A portion of the Cowlitz River will be open Saturday (Feb. 25) for smelt fishing. Dipping will be allowed along the shore from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. between the state Route 432 bridge to the Helenberg Boat Ramp near Route 411 in Castle Rock. People can keep up to 10 pounds of smelt. The state is estimating this year’s run in the Columbia River will be about three million pounds, well below the estimated 16.6 million pounds in 2014.
Black: Trout anglers have been having some success. Try trolling slowly with a worm-tipped Wedding Ring, or still fish with dough bait and a worm off the bottom.
Chelan: The lake’s fishing for kokanee and lake trout has been consistently good this winter. The lower portion of the Lucerne basin has been the go-to spot this week. Mini Cha Cha Squidders on a short leader behind a dodger have been working best.
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Nahwatzel: The trout action has been good to very good, with a number of 15- to 17-inch fish being caught. Fly anglers are using leech, water boatmen and minnow patterns for fish 4-10 feet deep.
St. Clair: The trout and bass fishing has been slow.
Tanwax: The fishing results have been mixed.
Columbia: Fishery managers in Washington and Oregon have agreed to allow recreational anglers fishing below Bonneville Dam to catch up to 6,905 upriver spring chinook through April 6. Fishing will then close through mid-May for a run assessment. The sport fishery is being allowed 80 percent of the allowable catch, up from 70 percent in recent years. Go to wdfw.wa.gov for details on the spring season.
Olympic Coast: The Bogachiel was the hot spot from Feb. 17-Sunday, according to state creel samples. If the rains hold off, the rivers should be in good condition this weekend.
Yakima: It seems that the skwala activity is on the rise as trout have been hitting stonefly nymphs more than worm patterns. Look for fish holding in water 3-4 feet deep moving at a slower than walking pace.
Clams: A razor clam dig continues through Tuesday. Digging will be allowed at Twin Harbors each day and at Copalis and Mocrocks through Sunday. Low tide is at 5:21 p.m. Friday (-0.1 feet), 5:58 p.m. Saturday (-0.3 feet), 6:34 p.m. Sunday (-0.4), 7:11 p.m. Monday (0.3) and 7:48 p.m. Tuesday (0.0).
Coronet Bay: There have been some reports that people are having success jigging for smelt here.
North Sound: The blackmouth fishing has been very good in marine areas 6 and 9. During last weekend’s Olympic Peninsula Salmon Derby, anglers caught 208 fish, compared to just 63 salmon the year before. Tony Beam of Hansville won the $10,000 first-place prize with a 15.25-pound salmon. Ben Power of Olympia took second ($2,000) with his 15.10-pound catch. Geoffrey Smyth of Gig Harbor took seventh with a 12.20-pound blackmouth, while Larry Phillips of Olympia took eighth with a 12-pound fish and Jeff Dean of Olalla took ninth with a 11.75-pound fish.
South Sound: The salmon fishing has been very slow, in part because so few people have been heading out.
Contributors: State Department of Fish and Wildlife, Ellensburg Angler, Art Tachell at Point Defiance Boathouse, Waters West Fly Fishing Outfitters, Mike Chamberlain at Ted’s Sports Center, Anton Jones of Darrell and Dad’s Family Guide Service, northwestfishingreports.com.
Jeffrey P. Mayor: 253-597-8640