SW WA Fishing Report (1-18-11), Or, At Least The Water’s Dropping

Postcards from Lyle, Wash., received today at NWS HQ:


Here is a today shot of the bridge above my place at mile ten,” writes Tracy Zoller of Adventure Fishing. “The river is now starting to drop. My big island in front of my house is half covered and the small island in front of the cabins is totally under. Standing next to the river bank watching logs float by makes me hypnotized. Hearing the sound of underwater boulders tumble, knowing I will have some new shallow’s and depths, this excites me.”

Adds Buzz Ramsey, the famed salmon-steelhead angler, Yakima Bait rep and Northwest Sportsman columnist, “The Klickitat’s the highest it’s been since 1996,” a reference to a whopper flood that killed at least eight and led President Clinton to tour the region. “They’ll be back out fishing though, and it should be good.”

And it’s been one of those winters in the Northwest.

“Every time I turn around, the rivers are out of shape,” says Ramsey.

He took his steelheading show on the road recently, catching seven out of the Brewster Pool near Pateros by noon on naked jigs.

“We tipped them with shrimp, but didn’t get any,” Ramsey says. “Just plain jigs worked.”

He was fishing below the mouth of the Methow with guide Shane Magnuson.

But if your gas card won’t let you get so far afield, here’s the most recent Southwest Washington fishing report roundup by biologist Joe Hymer:


Cowlitz River – 38 bank anglers kept 11 steelhead and released one.  27 boat anglers (10 boats) kept 10 steelhead and released two.  All the fish were sampled at the trout and salmon hatcheries.

Last week, Tacoma Power recovered 678 coho adults, four jacks and 58 winter-run steelhead during four days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week Tacoma Power employees released 222 coho adults and eight winter-run steelhead into Lake Scanewa behind Cowlitz Falls Dam, 152 coho adults, two jacks and two winter-run steelhead into the Cispus River above the mouth of Yellow Jacket Creek, and 49 coho adults, one jack and nine winter-run steelhead into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton.

River flows at Mayfield Dam will rise to approximately 16,200 cubic feet per second on Tuesday, January 18. Water visibility is less than one feet.

Lewis River – No report on angling success.  Flows below Merwin Dam are currently 22,000 cfs, significantly higher than the long-term mean of 8,200 cfs but lower than the record 38,800 cfs in 1953 for this date.

Lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam – We sampled 1 bank angler in the Longview area with no catch.

Bonneville Pool – No anglers sampled.

The Dalles Pool – Boat anglers are catching some steelhead though all the fish in the sample were wild fish that were released.

John Day Pool – Boat anglers are catching some steelhead.  Slow for bank anglers.


Lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam – We sampled 7 bank anglers from Longview to Bonneville Dam with no catch and 3 boat anglers (1 boat) at Camas/Washougal with 3 sublegals released.

Bonneville, The Dalles, and John Day pools – Boat anglers are catching some legals.  Slow for legal size fish from the bank.


Lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam – We sampled 2 anglers (1 boat) at Camas/Washougal with no catch.

Bonneville and The Dalles pools – The few boat anglers sampled had no catch.

John Day Pool – Boat anglers had kept some walleye.


Klineline Pond – 77 bank anglers kept 77 catchable size and 2 brood stock rainbows plus released 19 catchable size rainbows. Planted with 1,500 catchable size rainbows Jan. 10.

Other plants of rainbows into SW Washington waters since Jan. 6:

Fort Borst Park Pond near Centralia – 3,000 catchables Jan. 6;

Lake Sacajawea in Longview – 97 eight pounders and 75 four-and-a-half pounders Jan. 11;

Horseshoe Lake in Woodland – 3,000 catchables and 20 eight pounders Jan. 10;

Kidney Lake in North Bonneville – 1,500 catchables Jan. 10;

Spearfish Lake near Dallesport – 2,011 catchables Jan. 7;

Rowland Lake near Lyle – 4,000 catchables Jan.7;

Maryhill Pond in Klickitat County – 511 catchables Jan. 7


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