Good weather in the weekend forecast should bring plenty of people out to local lakes, to coastal beaches for a razor clam dig, and to rivers looking to hook a steelhead. The National Weather Service is predicting mostly sunny skies and temperatures in the low to mid-60s Saturday and Sunday. Could it be that spring fishing is finally here?
Columbia: Last week on the lower river, anglers made 9,912 trips and caught 487 adult chinook (360 kept and 127 released). Upriver spring chinook have comprised about 75 percent of the retained catch during March. The cumulative catch is 784 adult chinook kept and 243 adults released. Sturgeon fishing has been fair, with people catching some legal-size fish in The Dalles and John Day pools.
Cowlitz: Fishing is picking up, but slowly. People are catching a handful of steelhead and a few spring chinook. Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 318 winter-run steelhead and two spring chinook during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
Kalama: Steelhead action has been slow. The river remains closed for chinook until further notice.
Olympic Coast: Steelhead are still going strong thanks to river levels that are in good shape. Rain in the forecast today and Thursday should improve water conditions.
Skookumchuck: The river is producing consistent catches of steelhead, but the action isn’t red-hot. Fish have been hitting jigs under a bobber and spoons.
Yakima: Trout action has been fair in recent days, slowed a bit by low and clear water conditions. Look for where streams are dumping some off-color water into the river. Nymphing with stonefly patterns has been working best.
Black: The south end has been the place to catch rainbow trout. Some people are reporting having success trolling with a red Wedding Ring tipped with a worm.
Chelan: The hot action has been trolling the edges for jumbo kokanee. People trolling the trench are catching lake trout as well. Most of the kokanee are measuring 15-17 inches. Look for the fish in water 50-100 feet deep.
Pass (Skagit County): Trout have been feeding on adult chironomids as well as some small pale midges. You also can get some hookups using a leech under an indicator.
Riffe: People are catching a few kokanee, but the action has yet to get going. Some fish are being caught at the dam; others have been caught along the north shore in water 35-50 feet deep.
Tapps: Water levels are coming up, and fishing is showing signs of improvement. There are some reports of smallmouth bass being caught.
Beaches: The next razor clam dig, taking place on morning low tides, opens Thursday. No digging will be allowed at any beach after noon. The schedule, along with morning low-tide times, is: Thursday, 7:57 a.m., minus 0.3 feet, Twin Harbors; Friday, 8:40 a.m., minus 0.6 feet, Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Copalis and Mocrocks; Saturday, 9:26 a.m., minus 0.7 feet, Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Copalis and Mocrocks; and Sunday, 10:16 a.m., minus 0.6 feet, Twin Harbors.
Fly-fishing: This is the best beginning to the sea-run cutthroat season many experts can remember. Numerous beaches are already putting out good numbers of fish. Look for fish holding in current seams at the mouths of creeks.
South Sound: Salmon action has been slowly improving. People are catching blackmouth weighing 4-12 pounds off the slag pile, Owen Beach, clay banks and Point Dalco.Jeffrey P. Mayor: 253-597-8640 firstname.lastname@example.org blog.thenewstribune.com/adventure Contributors: Anton Jones of Darrell and Dad’s Family Guide Service, state Department of Fish and Wildlife, Anil Srivastava at Puget Sound Fly Co., washingtonlakes.com, Joe Rotter at Red’s Fly Shop, and Point Defiance Boathouse.