Rob Schmidt of Sequim won the $10,000 first prize at last weekend's Olympic Peninsula Salmon Derby with an 18.90-pound salmon. Overall, there were 248 fish checked in during the three-day event that ended Monday.
Taking the $5,000 second prize was Ray Lampers of Snohomish, who caught an 18.05-pound fish. In third place, earning $1,500, was Mike Thacker of Chimacum, who caught a 17.90-pound fish.
Three area anglers had fish in the top 10: Gary Randall of Federal Way took fifth (16.50 pounds), Jim Chandler of Puyallup took eighth (14.10 pounds) and Chris Hoff of Shelton took ninth (14.05 pounds).
Cowlitz: The fishing is finally coming around. There have been some nice catches of steelhead, said Marshall Borsom at Fish Country. Fluctuating water levels are making fishing hit and miss from day to day. Boat anglers pulling plugs or a diver with bait seem to be getting a few, while bank anglers are using sand shrimp or jig and bobber.
Borsom said he heard of a few spring chinook being caught near Blue Creek, but added they haven’t seen the proof yet.
Kalama: The river is producing some wild and hatchery fish. Anglers are using pink jigs or eggs with some success.
Olympic Coast: River levels have dropped quite a bit in the last week, but the steelhead fishing is still pretty good. Fly anglers are having luck with orange-pink beads or yarn balls in pink or pink/yellow. The Hoh has been crowded, as has been the lower Sol Duc. Try using longer leaders to get your gear down in the deep holes and to avoid spooking the fish.
Satsop: A few steelhead are being caught. There are lots of people on the water.
Wynoochee: The fishing is getting a bit better, but the action is still off and on, said Walt Harvey at Verle’s Sports Center. Bank anglers are using eggs, sand shrimp or drifting jigs and bobbers through the deep pockets.
Yakima: The fly fishing action was a bit slow over the weekend, according to a report from Red’s Fly Shop. Right now, stonefly nymphs and streamers in size 10 appear to be the most effective flies. Flows were at 1,750 cfs late Tuesday morning.
Cady: A dark-colored leech pattern fished on a full sink line is the most effective setup.
Munn: The lake is fishing pretty well for this time of year and should continue when the weather warms up, said Anil Srivastava at Puget Sound Fly Co. Some anglers are fishing chironomid patterns like a Snow cone under an indicator, or fishing a black leech on a full sink line.
Mayfield: The water is pretty cloudy right now, slowing the action down. Reports from muskie anglers indicate some fish are moving but not biting any offerings.
Riffe: The lake is still producing some catches for people fishing for silvers. Borsom said people are fishing with a nightcrawler and cocktail shrimp off the bottom.
Roosevelt: Anglers hitting the south end of the lake have had mixed success when fishing for walleye. Some boats came back with fish and others came back empty. Try jigs tipped with worms.
Fly fishing: The action has been a bit on the slow side, perhaps because of the cold weather, Srivastava said.
Sekiu: Anglers are having to deal with a lot of shakers before landing a legal-size salmon. Most people were having luck in the Eagle Bay area, said a staffer at Olson’s Resort.
Tacoma: The blackmouth action has been slow, although there was a slight pickup Monday, said Art Tachell at Point Defiance Boathouse Marina. Anglers are catching plenty of shakers but finding few keepers. Trolling has been the most effective method.
Jeffrey P. Mayor: 253-597-8640