In SW Washington fishing this week, tributaries have seen a great bump in summer steelhead with anglers finding good success in the very early mornings. Mainstem Columbia has been slow though there are still fish moving through the system but the numbers over Bonneville are dwindling. Buoy 10 fishing opens Tuesday 8/1/23 for retention of Fall Chinook and Coho. Marine area 2 also reopened 7/26/23 for Chinook on specific days and Coho seven days a week. Great reports coming out of Merwin this week with anglers still catching limits of Kokanee.
REMINDER, please verify the regulations before fishing any body of water. AND wear a life jacket.
The Lewis saw a drop of about 500 cfs down to 1500 cfs and a drop of .3 feet on the gage height down to 1.8 feet. The water is reaching its summer low and won’t start to rise until fall. Last week’s report talked about the water getting shallow in some areas and it will only have gotten shallower this week so be very cautious if you don’t know the river go with someone who does. Fishing has been better than in previous weeks but hasn’t reached its peak yet. Creel reports read 24 bank rods kept two steelhead. 4 boats/6 rods had no catch.
No report this week. Creel Reports show 28 bank rods had no catch. 1 boat/2 rods had no catch.
Tacoma Power employees recovered 136 spring Chinook adults, 75 spring Chinook jacks, 812 spring Chinook mini-jacks, 399 summer-run steelhead adults, one coho adult, and 13 cutthroat trout over five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator. Creel reports this week show Cowlitz River I-5 Br downstream – 40 bank rods kept one steelhead. 2 boats/7 rods had no catch. Cowlitz River Above the I-5 Br – 37 bank rods kept one jack, one steelhead and released one Chinook and one jack. 30 boats/97 rods kept three jacks, 53 steelhead and released two steelhead.
The Washougal is still sitting very low and fishing tactics need to be low and clear. There are some fish around with reporter Beckham Schill reporting catching a few fish this last week on mostly lower river holes. There was a great return of fish to the hatchery this week as well.
Sockeye has all but ended with very few fish still in the system. Steelhead has been pretty good still though the numbers have fallen in recent days. Plunkers have found success though the outgoing tide has been bringing tons of algae down the river and making it hard to fish at times. Chinook and Coho reopens 8/1/23 though the numbers continue to drop for Chinook and I wouldn’t expect to start hearing of success until mid to late August. Smallmouth Bass continues to be caught in large numbers up and down the Columbia.
The Buoy 10 fishery opens next Tuesday 8/1/23, the run this year to the Columbia is supposed to be fairly good as well. Buoy 10 is the first place to try and catch these fish and in early season the only place and it can be crazy good. If it’s your first time going out, find where others are trolling and join them, having a fish finder is a must as these fish will be suspended at times.
Drano Lake and Wind River
As the water temp on the Columbia increases more fish have started to move into Drano Lake with multiple reports of Chinook and Steelhead being caught. Creel reports show some fish being caught this week as well 8 boats/15 rods kept one Chinook and released four Chinook and five steelhead.
Warm Water Lakes and Ponds
Fishing has been great for Bass, Crappie, and Bluegill around the docks and fallen trees. The best fishing comes at sunset and the morning before the swimmers come out. Top water, Sankos, and crank baits have been killer for bass. Panfish fishing has been great using worms under a bobber. Catfishing is still great at night as well.
Kokanee fishing has still been producing a good amount of fish although they have been deeper in the water column, around 30-45 feet. Still waiting on a reported catch of a Muskie they are around and should be biting but it’s one of those fish that are a fish of 10,000 cast and are rare to hear about catching.
Read this week’s Oregon fishing report.