The Lewis is still fishing well and the Cowlitz is looking more promising by the day. If you don’t have any fluorescent pink Brads wigglers make sure you add them to your shopping list, deadly for coho right now.
REMINDER, please verify the regulations before fishing any body of water
BEST BET – Lots of opportunities throughout the area, there is no single bright spot.
Flows on the Lewis are near perfect since this morning (Wednesday) with another release from the dam. Fishing is generally good, depending on when, where and how you fish. My son and I fished with my friend Keith Fisher on Sunday. We focused on the area from the I-5 bridge to the forks. We weren’t alone by any stretch, but it wasn’t too bad. Everyone fishing this river is pretty respectable.
Spending the day casting mostly plugs turned out to be a good move. We followed a pod of fish upriver on the bottom of the outgoing tide. We managed to land two, (both wild) and lost 2 others. The bite happened during a two hour window. The go to plug was Brads Wiggler -FLUORESCENT FLO PINK #BW-07 with hooks that were retrofitted with a small bead chain trailing a big river bait hook.
This Monday I did some scouting around the Kalama. While I visited the river, officials were in the process of removing the fish weir. Within the next week or so this will make a huge difference on the Kalama. Currently the river is very low and fishing is difficult. Nathan at Sportsman’s Warehouse in Kelso tells me of a few reports of success, but far from lights out.
Creel checks from WDFW showed that 37 bank rods kept four coho, and released three coho. Four rods for two boats kept six coho, and released one Chinook and four coho. Pressure has certainly increased from last week.
Nathan at Sportsman’s Warehouse in Kelso says the Cowlitz is definitely worth the trip. Some of his employees are regularly picking up Coho on spinners. He also states that a few Steelhead are still in the mix.
WDFW anglers’ checks reported the following: Cowlitz River I-5 Br downstream – 10 bank rods released one coho. 6 boats/17 rods kept 10 coho and released three coho. Cowlitz River Above the I-5 Br – 15 bank rods released seven Chinook and three coho
John at Sportsman’s in Vancouver indicates the weir has been removed which should help fishing improve. The fall chinook broodstock take has been attained and the river is returned to permanent rules effective 10/26/22.
I apologize last week for indicating that the river was opening above Hi-way 4. The emergency rule superseded the regular rule and I overlooked it for this particular river. Please always review the rules for any water you fish before heading out.
There have been a few reports of the Coho turning dark. He went on to say that the fishing spots are very crowded.
Columbia Gorge and Tributaries
Fishing pressure is dropping off, coinciding with the drop off of fish passage over Bonneville Dam. WDFW creel check report shows: Drano Lake – 83 bank rods kept one Chinook, seven coho, and released 13 Chinook, two Chinook jacks, two coho and one white sturgeon. 38 boats/115 rods kept nine Chinook, one Chinook jack, 56 coho, two steelhead, and released 15 Chinook, three Chinook jacks and 15 coho. Klickitat River below Fisher Hill Bridge– No report. Klickitat River above #5 Fishway – No report.
Merwin is still a little slow but folks are grinding it out. Watch the weather this time of year as the winds can be rough. I haven’t heard any specific reports of catches and effective techniques this week.
Last Thursday I fished the Columbia outside the Lewis again. We didn’t mark nearly the number of fish from the trip I reported on last week. There were no schools at all. We didn’t catch anything and observed the same for the five boats in the area. I think the incoming low pressure system affected them. Once the weather front moves all the way through the lower Columbia should fish well. Especially off the mouths of the Kalama and Lewis rivers.
Salmon Fishing – The Chehalis River tidewater is producing fast limits of Coho. Montesano seems to be the most popular area. Trolling spinners is effective. I haven’t received reports of anything for the Columbia Estuary.
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