Time to put away nets and buckets, smelt anglers

For those who missed the news earlier this week, put away your smelt nets and buckets. The state Department of Fish and Wildlife has announced it has closed fishing for eulachon smelt statewide.

The action closes sport fishing for eulachon (Columbia River) smelt in all marine and freshwater areas.

Eulachon smelt are listed under the Endangered Species Act as “threatened.” There are no harvestable populations within the state and the statewide fishing closure will provide additional protection, according to the agency’s news release.


Fly fishing: Resident silvers have been fairly active on the Narrows Park side of the Tacoma Narrows, said Anil Srivastava at Puget Sound Fly Co. Try gray Miniceivers or euphasid patterns.

Hood Canal: The fishing has been very slow, especially in the south end.

South Sound: Your best bet is to stay away from the mouths of any rivers or streams, said Walt Harvey at Verle’s Sports Center. They have been pumping brown water into the Sound, making fishing very slow. Crabbing has been fair to good off the mouth of the Nisqually River.

Tacoma: The salmon fishing remains slow in part because few people have been on the water, said Art Tachell at Point Defiance Boathouse Marina. The squid jigging has been fair in the last few days.


Green: Only anglers willing to plunk will have any success, said Todd Rock at Auburn Sports and Marine. The river is still high and off-color. Try in the Kent-Auburn area.

Lewis: The river is kind of high, but still fishable. There are fish in the river, said a staffer at Angler’s Workshop, but the bite has been off.

Nisqually: Those anglers willing to contend with the high, muddy water midweek were rewarded with some chrome chum salmon. By Friday, water levels had dropped significantly, making conditions good for the weekend.

Olympic Coast: The rivers were just starting to drop in shape and should be in good shape for the weekend. There were lots of fish in the river, Srivastava said.

Puyallup: The lower river is extremely high and dirty. Anglers might have to wait another couple of days before giving it a try.

Wynoochee: The river and others in the area all are brown, Harvey said.

Yakima: Rivers levels have slowly been dropping the past few days. The water quality is good so this weekend should be a good time to hit the river, said a staffer at Red’s Fly Shop. Start by swinging streamers or running nymphs through deeper runs and pools.


Cady: The fishing for trout has been pretty good in the past week. Fly anglers are using chironomids and baitfish patterns. This time of the year, you will be more effective to fish slowly. On sunny days, look for the fish in the top 2 feet of water and on cloudy days they’re holding deep near the springs.

Offut: Anglers are catching a few rainbow trout, said Becky Pogue at Offut Lake Resort. The fish include some of the large trout stocked last month. Worms are the key, whether fished with a marshmallow under a bobber or trolled with a Wedding Ring.

Spanaway: A few trout were being caught late this week, said Bud Herlitzka at Spanaway Park Boathouse. Fishing down deep, with flies or worms, has been producing brown trout, while the west side of the lake has been producing rainbow trout. Try trolling a Wedding Ring in the top 15 feet of water.

Spencer: The lake should be producing rainbow trout. This time of year, try Power Bait or nightcrawlers if you want to still fish. Use Needlefish or small spoons if you want to troll.

Jeffrey P. Mayor: 253-597-8640