River flows better, as is the fishing

The river action is picking up now that flows are closer to normal and the clarity has improved. Among the hot steelhead spots are the Bogachiel on the Olympic Coast and the upper Columbia around Brewster.


Columbia: Fishing on the upper river for steelhead with a jig and bobber has been very good. Anglers are using jigs under slip bobbers baited with pink shrimp, in water 3-28 feet deep. Fishing in the lower river has been poor.

Cowlitz: The fishing has slowed a bit in the last week as the water got a little cloudy, but the level has been holding steady at around 9,880 cfs for a couple days now and that should help the bite, said Marshall Borsom at Fish Country. Steelhead are being caught from Blue Creek all the way up to Barrier Dam.

Kalama: There was no catch observed by state employees on Sunday.

Lewis: Anglers are catching some steelhead on the mainstem and the North Fork.

Nisqually: Anglers are catching an occasional chum, but that seems to be the exception.

Olympic Coast: The steelhead action, mostly hatchery fish, has been good the past few days, said Bob Gooding at Olympic Sporting Goods. The Bogachiel is the place to be, Gooding said.

Puyallup: Although river conditions are good, the fishing has been on the slow side. A few chum are being caught.

Tilton: Last week, Tacoma Power employees put 150 coho adults, nine jacks, four winter-run steelhead and two cutthroat trout into the river at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton.

Yakima: Fishing fair to good. Fly anglers are having the most luck with stonefly nymphs, like a size 8 or 10 Pat’s orange stonefly, said a report from Red’s Fly Shop.


Chelan: Trolling for lake trout at the Yacht Club has also been “lights out,” said Anton Jones of Darrell and Dad’s Family Guide Service. The key to is managing your line to prevent slack, and to allow solid hook sets.

Mayfield: The lake is producing some good catches of trout for bank anglers near the Hatchery. Orange or red Power Eggs, or worms, fished off the bottom are productive.

Rufus Woods: Action for triploid rainbow trout has been very good to excellent. Jones recommends trolling flies, with an action disk in front of something with marabou in the tail. If that doesn’t work, go to the pens and fish some Pautzke’s Fire Bait in rainbow either off the bottom with a slip sinker rig or from the top with a jig and bobber.


Fly fishing: The Tacoma Narrows remains the best location, with anglers having a decent chance of catching a resident coho. Try a Clouser minnow or switch to smaller krill patterns, said a staffer at Gig Harbor Fly Shop.

Tacoma: The fishing remains very slow. Last week, 27 anglers were checked at local boat ramps by the state, and they brought in just one coho. Art Tachell at Point Defiance Boathouse Marina said coho are being caught off Point Fosdick. The squid action remains fairly good as well. Crabbing in the South Sound has been good on the Nisqually Flats.