Rivers in good shape, producing fish

Rain this week has rivers on the Olympic Coast back on the rise. Even if it rains over the weekend, they should not be blown out. The waters in the Quillayute system would be the best choices.

Closer to the South Sound, the Satsop and Wynoochee are producing some steelhead, but attracting large crowds.


Fly fishing: The action has been poor the past few days, said Anil Srivastava at Puget Sound Fly Co. Anglers are having trouble finding the fish, he said.

Hood Canal: The action in the south end of the canal has been slow, said Gary Florek at G&M Hardware. There have been some reports of a decent catch from the north end.

Tacoma: The fishing remains slow overall, said Art Tachell at Point Defiance Boathouse Marina. Anglers have been catching a few blackmouth by trolling off the slag pile in water 120 to 150 feet deep. Tachell said to keep your bait or gear right on the bottom. The area from the Les Davis Pier to the grain elevators has also produced a few fish.


Cowlitz: Starting today, anglers can keep steelhead with a clipped right ventral fin and a healed scar at the location of the clipped fin. The rule change covers the Cowlitz from boundary markers at the mouth to Mayfield Dam.

Lewis: The action around the hatchery has been slow, although there were reports of fish jumping in the area.

Olympic Coast: The rain the past few days has the rivers back on the rise, said Dave Steinbaugh at Waters West. That should move more fish up the rivers. The Hoh is a bit on the high side, but the Sol Duc and the Bogachiel will be the best bets this weekend. If rivers rise too much, he thought area creeks might be a good weekend option.

Satsop: This river has been producing the best reports, especially for boat anglers, said Jim McDaniel of Tumwater Sports. “The whole key is getting on the water and putting your time in,” McDaniel said. Try drifting eggs or jigs tipped with sand shrimp under a bobber.

Smelt: There was no reported catch from the first three commercial fishery periods or the first sport opener last Saturday on the Cowlitz. Sport dipping on the Cowlitz is open today and Feb. 20, and 27 from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. There were no commercial catches on the mainstem Columbia this week.

Wynoochee: Anglers are picking up a few fish, but not as many as would be expected, said Walt Harvey at Verle’s Sports Center. Despite the poor results, there are plenty of anglers.


American: The water temperatures are making the action slow, said David Anderson of Bill’s Boathouse. He said a 22-inch, 4-pounder was caught last week.

Cady: The mild winter has created early spring fishing conditions. Try using chironomids fished under an indicator or fished slowly on a full sink line. The same techniques will work with olive colored leeches.

Offut: Anglers are catching a few trout here and there. Bring your nightcrawlers, Power Bait and patience, said Becky Pogue at Offut Lake Resort. The bite has been soft, but the fish are reaching 2 pounds.

Spanaway: Anglers are catching some rainbow trout. Boat anglers are having some luck on the southeast side of the lake. Try using Power Bait and worms floated off the bottom. From the dock, use a worm and marshmallow on a 2-foot leader, said Bud Herlitzka at Spanaway Park Boathouse.

Spencer: The fishing has been fair for trout, Harvey said.

Jeffrey P. Mayor: 253-597-8640