Westport angling best of season; Neah Bay fishery ending

For salmon anglers, Westport and La Push have been very productive, while the rivers have been mostly slow. The action on local lakes should be improving as water temperatures cool.


Carbon: The river continues to be a good spot for chinook. Try drifting corkies and yarn in shades of red and orange.

Cowlitz: Starting today, anglers can keep one adult chinook with an intact adipose fin as part of the two adult chinook daily limit on the river. The rule change runs through Dec. 31 and covers the river from the boundary markers at the mouth to 400 feet below Mayfield Dam Powerhouse. The state said an unexpectedly high number of hatchery-produced fall chinook that have not been marked with a missing adipose fin are returning to the river this season.

Nisqually: While visiting the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, I saw two boat anglers fishing with bobbers downstream from the visitor center. They didn’t catch anything while I watched, but there were fish jumping and rolling all around them. People are reporting the kings they are landing are dark. Try using eggs and sand shrimp.

Olympic Coast: People are still catching a few fresh steelhead, and in places plenty of earlier summer-run fish, said Jim Kerr of Rain Coast Guides. Trout fishing has been very good, but, he said, most folks are now working the lower river looking for the first of the fall coho and chinook.

Puyallup: Action on the river seems to have slowed down. Visibility is less than 2 feet, and the river rose a great deal on Thursday. That might bring some fresh fish into the system this weekend.

Yakima: With river flows around 1,500 cfs, look for the fish holding in deep water midstream, said a staffer at Red’s Fly Shop. Try dry-fly patterns like October caddis or a Tan Gypsy King, a Stone Nymph with a gold Lightning Bug.


Hood Canal: Action has been slow for coho, said Walt Harvey at Verle’s Sports Center. Fish are there, they just won’t bite.

North Coast: This is final weekend of the current opening off La Push and Neah Bay. Anglers will be able to fish today and Sunday, with the state approving the Sunday opening on Thursday. Fishing off La Push showed improvement last week, with anglers averaging .7 salmon per person. At Neah Bay, anglers averaged just .3 salmon a person.

Tacoma: Salmon fishing remains slow. A few fish were caught Thursday, off the clay banks. Look for them in water 250-300 deep, but fishing just 30-90 feet down, said Art Tachell at Point Defiance Boathouse Marina.

Westport: While angler numbers have dropped since summer, last week was the most productive of the season. Anglers averaged 1.58 salmon a person, including 1.19 coho a person.


American: The kokanee action has been fair, with anglers trolling Pop Gear off a downrigger deep for them, said David Anderson at Bill’s Boathouse. Anglers also are catching some small yellow perch and an occasional rainbow trout.

Mason: The Mason Lake County Park boat launch, outside Grapeview, will be closed beginning Monday. The launch is being renovated and will be shut down until mid-December, said John Keates of Mason County Parks.

Offut: Dock angling is shut down while a contractor installs a new bulkhead at Offut Lake Resort. Check their website at for updates.

Spanaway: The rock bass and perch fishing has been good, said Bud Herlitzka at Spanaway Park Boathouse. Trout fishing – rainbow and brown – has been fair to good. Pressure has been light.

Spencer (Mason): Try using Power Bait fished off the bottom or trolling a Wedding Ring with a night crawler, Harvey said. He also recommended Lost Lake.

Jeffrey P. Mayor: 253-597-8640