Trip to coast could be right tonic for fishing woes

Fishing seems to be slow around most of the Puget Sound, but anglers are not without opportunities.

Perch are biting in Lake Washington, coho are biting in the Cowlitz and the coastal rivers might be yielding the best fishing of all.

“I wish I could say all the rivers were overflowing with fish and you could catch them without hardly trying, but that’s not the case right now,” said Mike Chamberlain of Ted’s Sports Center in Lynnwood. “It’s pretty bleak right now.”

Unless you’re willing to drive a little bit.

“Right now the best reports are coming from the coastal rivers like the Hoh, Humptulips and Quillayute,” Chamberlain said.


Cowlitz: Coho fishing is strong here, according to the staff at Fish Country Inc. in Ethel. Using shrimp and eggs is the best way to land fish near the Barrier Dam. “Not fish for every person, but with so many fish in the river it’s worth a try,” the staff said via e-mail. Steelhead fishing has also been good on the river. Cutthroat fishing is solid with red corkies and nightcrawlers working best.

Tilton: There is a lot of pressure on this river near Morton and lots of fish to be had.

Kalama: Wayne Orzel of Pritchard’s Western Angler says the river is in good shape. Orzel says it’s a good time to try to fly fishing.

Columbia: Jig-and-bobber fishing is yielding steelhead on the upper river.

Methow: The fishing continues to be strong here.

Stillaguamish: Fly fishing has been erratic but occasionally good.

Skagit: An occasional silver is biting here.


Mayfield: A good place for trout fishing. The Fish Country staff recommends using red or orange Power Eggs with worms just off the bottom of the lake.

Riffe: Fishing has been slow here of late.

Scanewa: The Fish Country staff suggests pulling some wigglers here if you want to catch fish. The action has picked up in recent weeks.

Washington: This has been the best place for cutthroat fishing, Chamberlain said. Perch fishing is also good at the north end of the lake, he said. Try fishing at a depth of 35 feet.

Chelan: Anton Jones of Darrell & Dad’s Family Guide Service suggests trolling at the nursery to catch fish. Fishing is in transition on the lake, Jones said, with mature fish spawning and more challenging to catch.


Tacoma: Action has been very slow with most anglers coming back empty handed. Point Defiance Boathouse Marina’s staff suggests trolling with flasher and hoochie if you want to try for chum.

South Sound: Fishing continues to be slow.

North Sound: Squidding has been good near Edmonds and blackmouth fishing has been slow on the north end of Vashon Island.

Craig Hill: 253-597-8497