A better-than-expected return of coho salmon will allow fishery managers to open a recreational fishery on Lake Washington, running Sept. 16 to Oct. 31.
Early forecasts called for a run of 4,414 coho. The state and tribal co-managers agreed to consider allowing fishing if the run topped 10,000 fish. The count of coho at the Ballard Locks as of Wednesday was 5,432 fish, giving co-managers the confidence to open the fishery.
Recreational anglers will be allowed to keep two coho, but must release chinook and sockeye salmon.
Tribal fishermen will also have a coho season on the lake. A decision is expected soon on whether to allow coho fishing in the Green River.
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Harts: The crappie and bluegill fishing remains very good, as is bass fishing. Trout fishing has been slow. Anglers were using night crawlers, or trolling a Wedding Ring along the weed edges.
Mineral: Anglers were catching plenty of rainbow trout in the 10- to 12-inch range. Fly anglers were trolling woolly buggers in brown or green on a sinking line near the shoreline.
Potholes: People were catching large panfish, including a crappie that weighed more than 3 pounds before it was cleaned. According to staff at MarDon Resort, an angler landed a bluegill that weighed 3 pounds before he cleaned it, not knowing the state record is 2 pounds, 4 ounces. Some largemouth bass have topped 6 pounds, and smallmouth bass weighing more than 5 pounds have been caught.
Stevens: The kokanee action has been good enough to warrant making the drive. People were catching fish 13-16 inches long. The fish have been holding 30-50 feet down. The key seemed to be using smaller gear, such as size 0 or size 1 blades with a few beads, or a size 14 Spin N Glo.
Washington: Anglers have had success landing cutthroat trout, some measuring more than 20 inches. A green artificial squid, trolled behind a dodger, has been producing strikes in the water near Kirkland.
Klickitat: Fly anglers were having success swinging flies or fishing with an indicator. There were a lot of people on the water.
Olympic Coast: The Sol Duc and Hoh are the best options. While there has been rain in the area recently, flows are still below normal, so try using longer leaders.
Yakima: Fly fishing with small nymphs has been very effective as river levels have dropped and water temperatures cooled. If you want to fish with dry flies, try summer stonefly patterns in size 10, or October caddis patterns in the evening.
Fly fishing: The action for sea-run cutthroat trout in the South Sound has been good to very good. Small baitfish patterns, such as brown or olive over white Clouser minnows, have been working well.
Puget Sound: Coming off an excellent season of squidding last year, the action seems to be off to a good start this season. People were having success jigging from docks in Des Moines, Tacoma, Kingston and Bremerton. In the areas of the Sound open to salmon fishing, the action has been very slow.
Contributors: Joe Rotter at Red’s Fly Shop, Waters West Flyfishing Outfitters, Mike Chamberlain at Ted’s Sports Center, Rob Harbin at MarDon Resort, washingtonflyfishing.com, The Evening Hatch, state Department of Fish and Wildlife, Puget Sound Fly Co., Ron Adams at Verle’s Sports Center, Harts Lake Resort.
Jeffrey P. Mayor: 253-597-8640