Fishing report for July 18: Algae caution in place at Spanaway, Ohop, Twin, Whitman lakes

Anglers should note the county has issue toxic algae cautions for several Pierce County lakes, recommending people not fish or swim there. The lakes are Spanaway, Ohop, Whitman and Twin. You can find updates online at the health department’s website:


American: People are starting to catch some of the large brown trout. Fly-anglers are fishing chironomid patterns deep or trolling with a leech pattern.

Baker: Sockeye fishing has been very slow because of the low return of fish so far.

Harts: The crappie action remains excellent, while the bullhead catfish action has been fair. Crappie anglers are using night crawlers and crappie micro jigs in red and white or yellow and white.

Mineral: The pressure has been light, but the fishing is showing signs of improving. Earlier this week a 6-pound, 12-ounce rainbow fell for white Power Eggs fished on a 6-foot leader.

Munn: This lake and many other shallow waters in Western Washington are just too warm to fish right now. Hooking and playing a trout would stress it too much if you planned to release it.

Potholes: With the heat, bass fishing in the sand dunes has been best from early morning to about 10 a.m. In the evening, people fishing near the weed beds that are close to deep water amid the dunes are catching walleye.

Wenatchee: The lake opened for sockeye salmon fishing Saturday, July 19. But getting to the lake might be an issue because wildfires in the area have closed access roads. Entry to Wenatchee State Park also has been closed. When you can get there, fishing will be open from one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset each day. The daily limit for each angler will be six sockeye, 12 inches in length or longer. Visit for more details.


Olympic Peninsula: The Hoh might be the best option for the weekend because it has good flows and some color. The Sol Duc and Bogachiel have been producing trout and some steelhead but are fairly low and clear.

Skykomish: People looking for summer-run steelhead might want to head north. The Reiter Ponds stretch has been the best area to fish. Try a pink or orange jig tipped with sand shrimp, or orange corkies.

Yakima: The action remains best early in the morning and in the evening. There has been some good action on large hopper/stonefly dry-fly patterns. Use flies in sizes 8 and 10.

Salt water

Fly-fishing: Locally, people are catching sea-run cutthroat trout and resident coho. Try using brown Shock and Awes, sculpin patterns or surface flies like a popper. Salmon are starting to make their way to the eastern edge of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, giving beach anglers a chance to hook one.

Ilwaco: Salmon fishing has been very good, with anglers hooking chinook — some weighing around 25 pounds — and plenty of coho weighing 7-9 pounds. Reports from early tuna trips are that boats are landing 15-50 fish after making the 60-mile journey to the best fishing areas.

South Sound: There has been some improvement in the salmon fishing, with chinook being caught from Beal Point north on the east side of Vashon Island and off the clay banks and shelf area. Crabbing remains good. The keys to success are using fresh bait and changing the depth of the pots.

Westport: The action has slowed this week. Not everyone is catching limits, but the average catch is still more than one salmon per person. The majority of the catch right now is coho. The fish seem more scattered right now than they have been in the last week or so.

Contributors: Annie Meseberg at MarDon Resort, state Department of Fish and Wildlife, Westport Charter Boat Association, Joe Rotter at Red’s Fly Shop, Waters West Flyfishing Outfitters,, Pacific Salmon Charters, Tom Pollack at Sportco, Dan Knickerbocker at Puget Sound Fly Co., Don Wells at Harts Lake Resort & Deli, Doreen Douglas at Mineral Lake Resort.