This past week was phenomenal week for winter steelhead fishing along the west coast of Washington. With warmer temps hitting the Pacific NorthWest the water temps have come back up to 41-42 degrees and now the Steelies are active and hungry.
Columbia River: the water is cold and visibility 3-4 feet, there is still some catch and release sturgeon going on above Bonnevile but the Key note to this river right now… the smelt are starting to enter the river.
When that happens the Springers start showing up as well to feed on those smelt as well as those pesky sea lions.
It’s almost springer time.
Lewis River: water levels are below normal and a few wild Steelhead being caught from downtown to the hatchery. Side drifting has been the most productive in finding bitters.
Kalama River: water conditions are perfect for this system with an occasional salmon steelhead being caught. Overall pretty slow.
Cowlitz River: water flows are lower than average with visibility up to 3 feet. There are some steelhead in this system. Side drifting roe is the ticket. A little side note that there has been 3 Springers caught there this past week. People ask why and how…very simple cause thesmelt are coming in the river down low and spring chinook love smelt. That was your key note to grab.
Chehalis system: excellent flows on this system and clarity is 1-3 feet with good numbers of hatchery and a few wild Steelhead throughout this system.
Water temps have definitely come up 10 deg and the fish are active if you can keep all the boats from running over the fish.
Side drifting roe cured in #zillabait is the ticket.
Humptulips River: the water is perfect for this system as well as the temps, definitely good numbers of wild Steelhead throughout this system but many folks like to fish higher in this system for catch and release.
Wynoochee River: I can tell you that I wait all year long for perfect water conditions that we had this past week for this system and may only get just a few stellar days. That is exactly what we were able to do as this river is controlled by a Dam and when they shut the water off the fish don’t come in big numbers. Did I tell you I don’t like dams???
Satsop River: there was a descent number of good steelhead that moved into this system but I can tell you they didn’t stick around as they shot up to the hatchery as if they were late for super. The waters have dropped big time and the river has cleared making for catch rates to slow at down.
Swanny is booking for those Scrappy winter steelhead on the Chehalis system.