Success drops along with rivers

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife has changed the daily trout limits for American and Black lakes.

Only two trout 14 inches or longer may be kept as part of the five-fish bag limit. The change is effective through April 30.

The department made the change to extend the time that larger trout, including triploid trout, are available to ensure opportunity for more anglers, according to a news release.


Columbia: There were a lot of folks on the river over the weekend. A flight by the state Saturday counted nearly 800 boats and 500 bank anglers. Creel checks last week on the river below Bonneville Dam sampled 1,013 boat anglers, who had 31 chinook and three steelhead, and 324 bank anglers, who had no chinook and just three steelhead. The sturgeon fishing has been slow. On the upper river, the steelhead fishing continues to be quite good on Lake Pateros using quarter-ounce Rock Dancer jigs baited with purple shrimp.

Cowlitz: There were several reports of spring chinook being caught at the Barrier Dam from the pool at deadline and downstream, said Marshall Borsom at Fish Country. Anglers free-drifting eggs seem to be picking up the most. The steelhead fishing has been best at Blue Creek, with the boaters pulling divers with bait and bank anglers using sand shrimp or corky and yarn.

Lewis: Low river flows are making the fishing tough. Flows Monday were less than half the long-term average. A state creel check on the North Fork showed 13 bank anglers kept one steelhead, while two boat anglers had no catch.

Olympic Coast: River flows are still down, making the fishing a little more difficult, said Jim Kerr of Rain Coast Guides. He said a steelhead topping 25 pounds was caught last week by an angler using a jig and float. Be sure to use lighter lines or tippets with the water levels so low.

Skookumchuck: There were mixed reports online. Some anglers are reporting catching a few steelhead, while others said they were coming up empty.

Yakima: The Yakima version of March Madness is just getting started. Anglers are using skwala nymphs in the morning and switching to dries whenever the afternoon warms up, said a report from Red’s Fly Shop.

You also can try swinging streamers in the morning if the fish are active.


Chelan: The shoulders of Mack Bar have been productive for lake trout early in the day, with the action moving to the trench later in the day. Fish Worden Lures U20 Flatfish in either luminous chartreuse or purple glow off the downriggers, said Anton Jones of Darrell and Dad’s Family Guide Service.

Mayfield: The action has been hit-and-miss. Some people are getting a few trout, but nothing red hot.

Riffe: The lake is still producing good numbers of silvers being taken daily. Most anglers are having an easy time catching their limits, said Borsom. Cocktail shrimp and worms are working very well.

Rufus Woods: While the size of the fish might be smaller than normal, the numbers make up the difference, Jones said. He said a fly-angler reported 18 trout weighing about 2 pounds caught by casting wooly buggers from the shore, in the vicinity of the net pens.


Hood Canal: The north end of the canal has been producing some chinook. A creel check Saturday at Pleasant Harbor, near Brinnon, showed 58 anglers brought in eight fish. At Misery Point, 31 anglers had seven chinook.

South Sound: Anglers are reporting the action has been improving, said a staffer at Narrows Marina Bait & Tackle. Most people are fishing close to the Tacoma Narrows Bridge for chinook.

Tacoma: The fishing remains on the slow side. Creel checks are showing a few chinook being brought in, said Art Tachell at Point Defiance Boathouse Marina.

Jeffrey P. Mayor: 253-597-8640