Many rivers throughout the Pacific NorthWest have good numbers of steelhead in them, the water levels are low but expected to climb with the rain and snow that is headed our direction. Then we will see more salmon steelhead pour into our rivers with the rising of the rivers.
Columbia river: water levels are on the normal side for this time of year, large amounts of smelt have entered the river along with those pesky sea lions. The catch rates have defiantly dropped off for catch and release sturgeon due to the abundance of smelt in the system.
Lewis River: water levels are below average but expected to rise the end of the week. Catch rates for wilds have dropped off but there are a few folks playing catch and release.
Kalama River: Flows on this little system are below normal with a few Wild steelhead being caught mid section in this system. Things will change with the fresh rain that will be coming in.
Cowlitz River: one day the flows will be below normal and the next day they will be above average, I wish Tacoma power would at least make this river more consistent so the fishing would more stable. Catch rates for hatchery steelhead have dropped down but I would focus around the old blue creek for your best success. Side drifting roe is your best bet but float and beads are working well.
Zilla Bait is gearing up for the Portland Sportsmen show where they will be selling and showcasing all there perfectly ph balanced bait cures. By popular demand make sure you check out all the new swag that Zilla Bait will have on hand.
Chehalis system: this system has good numbers of hatchery and wild Steelies in it from top to bottom, there is a ton of pressure but you can still find them.
We caught good numbers side drifting roe cured in Zilla Bait, Bobber dogging Bait, beads, yarn balls. Try and stay off the holes as the water has dropped and cast far for the best success.
Humptulips River: the wilds have defiantly moved into this system but remember that when hooking a wild fish you must keep them in the river. Drifting pink worms in size 4-6 will drive those brutes wild. But be prepared for this river to spike with the moisture moving in.
Wynoochee River: this time of the year is when the second run of the hatchery fish show up and they are starting to trickle in, the pressure has been pretty heavy at times so if you can get away you will find fish to put in your boat. floats and eggs is very effective as well as side drifting.
Satsop River: there seems to be more wilds than hatchery being caught but it is still fun to catch and release. The water should spike in this system but when it levels off you should see descent numbers for a few days. I would focus from mid section to the lower river right now and if u fish low in this system try and fish the tides.
If your looking to go fishing in Alaska for Kings in the river make sure you check out www.jakesalaska.com. They have been in the same location for 35 years on the Nushagak river the largest king salmon run.
Swanny is booking for those Scrappy winter steelhead on the Chehalis system.