Fishing report: Columbia River sockeye run might be fifth largest

Anglers wanting to catch coho salmon need to head to the ocean waters off Ilwaco. These fishermen were cleaning their catch at Cape Disappointment State Park in 2009.
Anglers wanting to catch coho salmon need to head to the ocean waters off Ilwaco. These fishermen were cleaning their catch at Cape Disappointment State Park in 2009.


Coldwater: Fly anglers making the trip here are hooking trout with ant patterns or small woolly buggers in black, purple and pink.

Mineral: The trout fishing has been good to very good. Slowly trolling a Power Egg with a worm on a 6-foot leader with an egg weight has been producing strikes.

Potholes: The bass fishing remains very good, while the walleye fishing should improve as warm weather returns to the area.

Riffe: Anglers are reporting catching limits of landlocked salmon, but the fish seem smaller compared to last year’s catch. The fish seem to be about 50-60 feet down in water 100 feet deep. Trolling a pink hoochie has been working well.

Silver: Bass anglers have been casting frog patterns amid the openings in the lily pads and on the shady side of the docks. Dark-colored lures have been working best.

Tanwax: The lake has been producing a variety of fish. Bass anglers are catching some largemouth weighing almost 3 pounds. There are plenty of eating-sized yellow perch being caught, as well as panfish.

Wenatchee: The lake opened Wednesday for sockeye salmon fishing and early reports are the action was very good, with many people catching their limits. The daily limit is six sockeye 12 inches or longer.


Columbia: It’s shaping up to be another banner sockeye salmon run on the Columbia River. This year’s sockeye count at Bonneville Dam will likely be the fifth highest since at least 1938, according to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife. Through Wednesday, a total of 338,035 fish had been counted. The record is the 604,052 sockeye counted through July 20, 2014. The top five counts have been since 2010.

Yakima: The trout action has been good to very good, now that river flows are holding steady. The fishing is a typical pattern of salmon flies in the morning, then switching to mayflies and caddis in the evenings. Grasshopper patterns fished close to the bank also are effective.


Ilwaco: Last week was the best action of the season, based on state data. There were 2,156 anglers checked, and they had a total catch of 811 chinook and 1,025 coho.

North Sound: The fishing in Marine Area 9 has been fair since it opened. Possession Bar has been a good spot. Tailwagger spoons in Irish creme color has been effective.

South Sound: Salmon anglers are having some success trolling with their gear just off the bottom in water 120-150 feet deep. Anderson Island is producing some salmon, as well as off Tolmie State Park and the clay banks on Point Defiance. Crabbing has been fair but is improving.

Westport: The chinook action continues to improve, and the state has increased the daily limit of chinook. As of Saturday, July 23, anglers will be allowed to keep up to two chinook each day in Marine Area 2, but coho must be released. Look for fish holding 90-150 feet down in water 200 feet deep. Last week, according to state creel sampling, anglers averaged .51 chinook per person.

Contributors: State Department of Fish and Wildlife, Carolyn Burdick at MarDon Resort, Kevin Lanier of KC Sportfishing Charters,, Point Defiance Boathouse, Mike Chamberlain at Ted’s Sports Center,,, Art Tachell at Point Defiance Boathouse, Mike Zittel at Zittel’s Marina.

Jeffrey P. Mayor: 253-597-8640