By Ian Carter
The heavy rain forecast didn’t disappoint, but the extent of rainfall caught some people by surprise. Some folks found fish even with the insane river levels. Things seem to be clearing out quite nicely and we should have great conditions on track for the weekend.
REMINDER, please verify the regulations before fishing any body of water.
There wasn’t much activity due to the water levels being high. The river was swift and muddy, until yesterday, Tuesday. This last Sunday there was a break in the weather, so we decided to run out to the Lewis to work the now completely submerged logs in the Pekin Ferry area. There was just too much water and after an hour headed out to the Columbia to troll the slack tide.
The WDFW creel checks for the Kalama were bleak and only showed that 9 bank rods kept four coho and released one Chinook and one steelhead. About a third of the effort from last week, but with better overall results.
WDFW angler checks showed fishing pressure increased below the I-5 Bridge, but catch efforts were low. Cowlitz River I-5 Br downstream – 32 bank rods kept one coho. 1 boat/2 rods had no catch. Cowlitz River Above the I-5 Br – 38 bank rods kept three coho, one coho jack, two steelhead and released four Chinook and three coho. 3 boats/8 rods kept one coho and released two coho.
Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 9,890 coho adults, 427 coho jacks, 36 fall Chinook adults, two fall Chinook jacks, 139 cutthroat trout, and 49 summer-run steelhead adults over seven days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator. These are pretty consistent numbers compared to last week.
Similar to the Lewis, the water flow on the Cowlitz at Castle Rock as of Wednesday has returned to “normal flows” after the rain event. Currently it is 3,560 cfs. Real time water flow data can be found here USGS-Cowlitz. Scanewa and Tilton are still receiving the transplants.
During the past week, Tacoma Power employees released 3,145 coho adults, 93 coho jacks, and nine cutthroat trout into Lake Scanewa near Randle and they released 1,033 coho adults and 56 coho jacks at Franklin Bridge in Packwood. Tacoma Power released 2,274 coho adults, 126 coho jacks, 17 fall Chinook adults, six fall Chinook jacks, and 25 cutthroat trout into the Tilton River.
Sol Duc Report
Dave Mallahan with Dave’s Guide Service had some snowfall on Sunday fishing the Sol Duc. He is continuing to have amazing success on this river. He’s better than the mail man, will deliver by boat in all sorts of weather.
Last Friday the river reached almost flood stage, creating some alarm for those living in the flood zones. The hydrograph reached a crest of 14.16ft and has since fell to 6.5ft. This is optimal for fishing conditions as the weather pattern settles down. The WDFW angler checks reported that four bank anglers released two Chinook.
Nathan at Sportsman’s Warehouse doesn’t recommend fishing for Coho as they are all A run fish and range from red to zombie fish. The river doesn’t receive any B runs, but the South Fork should be picking up for steelhead very soon.
Good news from Carl at Klickitat Canyon Market regarding the Klickitat. The river is in great shape and there are a few Steelhead around. Most of the guides have cleared out, but fish are being caught. This is not a river or time of year for fair weather fisherman.
IF YOU BOAT heed the following warning by the Boulder Hole there is a giant log than spans the entire river. It’s out of the water and impossible to go over. Plan ahead for portage. It’s about five miles north of town. For more info and pictures, visit Carl’s FB page here. River data for the Klickitat can be found here.
Klickitat River below Fisher Hill Bridge – 43 bank rods kept two Chinook, 14 coho and released five Chinook and one coho.
A Joint State hearing is scheduled for 4:00PM Wednesday, November 9, 2022 via teleconference to consider the following fisheries:
2023 Zone 6 recreational white sturgeon fisheries
Swift–The lake is still fishing well. If you are making future plans to go, be aware that it closes November 30th.
Riffe and Mayfield Lakes –Riffe is still too low to launch a boat. Trout fishing on Mayfield has improved since a couple of weeks ago.
Razor Clams – Per WDFW the scheduled clam digs are still postponed until further notice. Tests came back positive.
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2 thoughts on “SW Washington Fishing Report”
You say in this report that Swift is fishing well. I saw on PacificCorps website that the boat ramp at Swift Forest Camp was closed on November 4. Do you know anything about this? I would like to go up and fish, but don’t want to drive all the way up there to find the boat ramp closed. Haven’t gotten a reply yet to the message I left for Pacificorps.
Thanks for the note – we were unaware of this situation.
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