I’ve been festering about how many of us are getting afield, what with high gas prices, the staggering-along economic recovery and this spring’s poopier than normal weather.
Now, one weekend’s worth of fishing photos and reports shouldn’t be hailed as a turn-around, but we’re getting out. Here’s a roundup:
I am sending you a couple of pics. Just went summer steelie fishing in Forks with Mike Z. Caught a nice one spey casting.
We bagged our limit. Good fighters, bright and good eating.
There’s some hogs moving now, and still cleaning up on jacks too. Did some fishing for sockeye and managed to get one and released two wild Chinook and one wild steelhead, and caught my fair share of shad.
Thought you might like this. Wyatt Wellette, 3 years old, with his older brother, Colton, shows off one of their many bluegill taken from Bond Butte Pond on Sunday.
Caught our limits today (at Rufus Woods Lake), 6-8 pounds. Even the Timm Ranch is producing. Got this nice 10-plus-button rattlesnake.
I also took a couple fishing reports over the phone this morning.
In the North Sound, Brett Barkdull, a state fisheries biologist and avid angler, says of this year’s lingcod fishing “the word on the street is, it’s better” than the past couple. That may be a function of fewer anglers out; he says he fished for three-quarters of a day one recent Sunday in the Juans without seeing another fisherman.
Season runs through this Wednesday, June 15.
Down in the South Sound, Northwest Sportsman columnist “Uncle Wes” Malmberg reports slower fishing at trout lakes, but some biggees nonetheless.
He was outfished by brother Brett at Nahwatzel. No sooner had Wes landed a 3-pound, 10-ounce rainbow than Brett brought in a 4-pound, 2-ouncer. The lake, which is west of Shelton, has been stocked with over 500 3- to 6-pound broodstockers.
Over at Lost, they hooked seven while at Island, they kept four from 13 inches up to 16 1/2 inches, Wes reports.
“The new Smile Blade Fly gets a double thumbs-up,” says Wes about the new Mack’s Lures product which combines the body of a Bugger with one of the company’s mylar blades for super-slow-trolling speeds. “They smacked it so hard they hooked themselves. We tried our go-to Woolly Buggers but couldn’t get any hookups.”
And finally, fisheries biologist Joe Hymer in Vancouver has the following roundup for Southwest Washington and the Columbia River:
Cowlitz River – Bank anglers are catching some spring chinook at the barrier dam while boat anglers are catching some steelhead around the trout hatchery. Effective June 16, bank anglers may fish the south side of the river from Mill Creek to 400 feet or the posted markers below the barrier dam.
Last week Tacoma Power recovered 109 spring chinook adults, 162 jacks, four winter-run steelhead and 131 summer-run steelhead during five days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
During the past week Tacoma Power employees released 5 spring chinook adults, 150 jacks, and one winter-run steelhead into the upper Cowlitz River at Packwood.
River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 6,100 cubic feet per second on Monday morning, June 13. Water visibility is 10 feet.
Kalama River – No report on steelhead angling success. Remains closed to fishing for spring chinook. Through June 8, just 73 hatchery adults had returned to Kalama Falls Hatchery. The escapement goal is 400 fish for hatchery brood stock
Lewis River – Light effort and catch. Remains closed to fishing for spring chinook. Through June8, a total of 1,022 hatchery adults had been collected for brood stock. The goal is 1,300 fish.
Wind River – Fish are being caught throughout the river but the coffer dam area was the best location. No boats were observed at the mouth yesterday (Sunday June 12) and only eight vehicles at Milepost 7 and at the coffer dam.
Through June 8, a total of 926 spring chinook had returned to Carson National Fish Hatchery. The escapement goal is 1,500 fish.
Drano Lake – Light effort but a few spring chinook are still being caught. No boats were observed there yesterday.
Klickitat River – Anglers are catching a mixture of adult and jack spring chinook and summer run steelhead. Up to 2 hatchery adult spring chinook may be retained in the upper river.
Lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam – Last week we sampled over 1,400 salmonid anglers (including 82 boats) with 205 adult and 132 jack spring chinook, 83 steelhead, and 5 sockeye. 156 (76%) of the adult and 108 (82%) of the jacks were kept as were 68 (82%) of the steelhead and all of the sockeye. 92% of the adults and all but one of the jack spring chinook sampled were upriver origin based on Visual Stock Identification (VSI).
Over 1,000 salmonid bank anglers and 300 boats were observed on the lower Columbia mainstem during last Saturday’s (June 11)effort flight count.
The summer chinook fishery gets under way June 16 from the Megler Astoria Bridge up to Priest Rapids Dam. One difference is anglers fishing below Bonneville Dam can retain two adult hatchery-reared chinook after June 16, rather than one.
Bonneville Pool – No effort observed at the mouths of the Washington tributaries. Beginning June 16, boat anglers can fish from Bonneville Dam upstream.
The Dalles Pool – Bank anglers are catching some adult and jack spring chinook.
John Day Pool – From Paul Hoffarth, WDFW District 4 Fish Biologist in Pasco: Estimated harvest in the John Day Pool for June 6 through June 12 is 20 adult hatchery chinook and 33 hatchery jacks. An estimated 21wild adult chinook and 20 wild jacks were caught and released. Catch and effort picked up a bit this past week. Water is turbid and the flows are high. Effort was light with 126 boats on the water fishing for salmon for the week. Salmon bank angler effort declined this past week with more bank anglers fishing for walleye than salmon. An estimated 961 adult hatchery chinook have been harvested in this fishery and 304 wild adults have been caught and released.
Lower Columbia from the Wauna powerline downstream – Overall fishing is still slow though slightly improved in the Deep River area. Overall, private boat anglers averaged a legal kept/released per every 11 rods while charter boat anglers averaged one per every 11.5 rods. No catch was observed from the bank. If an angler catches a fish, there was about a 20% chance it would be a keeper.
Sturgeon effort is slowly increasing with nearly 200 boats observed of which 125 of those were found in the estuary last Saturday. In addition there were 14 charter boats.
Lower Columbia from the Navigation Marker 82 line to the Wauna powerlines – We did not sample any keepers last week.
The Dalles Pool – Light effort and catch. Through May, an estimated 138 (46%) of the 300 fish guideline had been taken.
John Day Pool – 4 boats/10 anglers released 1 sublegal (catch-and-release only).
BASS AND WALLEYE
The Dalles Pool – Boat anglers continue to catch walleye while bank anglers are catching bass.
John Day Pool – 5 boats/9 anglers caught 19 walleye and 2 bass.
Lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam – Effort and catches are increasing as are the dam counts. Based on mainly incomplete trips, bank anglers just below Bonneville Dam averaged nearly 3 shad per rod when including the few fish released. Some shad were caught by boat anglers in the gorge and at Woodland. Bank angling effort for shad is increasing with over 350 anglers tallied; however, there were still few boats fishing for shad. Daily counts at Bonneville Dam are now in the tens of thousands of fish.