|COWLITZ RIVER -
SUMMER HATCHERY STEELHEAD|
MID JUNE TO
Mid June means that the long waited
summer steelhead-fishing season has finally arrived
once again. Beginning in May the first of the hatchery steelhead
begin their trip into the Cowlitz and
other southwest Washington rivers looking for the hatchery
they were reared in. The first of the main run starts to show
in cacheable numbers around the second week of June. The hatchery steelhead runs peak around
mid-July and begin to taper off in mid-August.
In early June the first of the anticipated summer hatchery steelhead begin
to show up. We are also catching Spring Kings in here at this
time. We will target the Spring Kings usually from May through
June. The numbers of steelhead begin to build and the
specific to this river will start to stack up in the blue
creek area of the Cowlitz river. The hatchery steelhead is what makes the Cowlitz river renowned for the steelhead
fishing. The Cowlitz River is still one of the
most productive for Summer Steelhead in Washington
State. It is close to metropolis Tacoma, Seattle, Olympia,
Portland, Oregon and Sea-Tac Airport. We will fish in shorts
on some of those hot summer days. The summer hatchery steelheads
that enter the Cowlitz River
usually average in size about 6 to 10 pounds with the occasional
15 to 18 pound steelhead to be caught. You will see mostly
8-pound steelhead in June, July, and August.
We fish the Cowlitz river from our 23'–
6” Alumaweld super-vee pro jet boat, a very stable platform
that can accommodate up to six fishermen for the type of fishing
trips we offer here. We use only the finest of equipment,
including g-Loomis and Lamiglass fishing rods, Gamakatsu hooks,
Shimano and Ambassadeur reels, Yakima Bait product, Berkley
products, Pure Fishing Products, and Izorline. Of course if
you're more comfortable with your own gear, bring it along.
We mostly use ultra-light G-Loomis spinning rods and Shimano
Stradic reels filled with 10 or 12 pound Hi-Vis line. On the
terminal end we use either a single no. 1 bait hook with a
corky and yarn, or yarn with a small offering of cured salmon
eggs or shrimp. We also use a double, (tandem tied), no. 4
hooks with bait or shrimp. We utilize a drift fishing or side
drift technique, (where all the gear is cast out one side
of the boat and the whole boat and cast gear slide down the
river along a seam or along the riverbank or through a hole).
At times we will also pull divers & bait or cast a float
and jig or a float and bait, shrimp or cured salmon eggs.
We might also pull diving plugs like a Hotshot or a Tadpolly
after we have gone through a hole drifting with bait or float.
During this time you can catch anywhere from 8 to 12 fish
per day. During the summer steelhead fishery we have
had days with up to 27 fish hooked for four fishermen.
Reserve fishing dates as
early as possible because prime dates, especially weekend
trips, book early.
Our technique is usually drift
fishing for the steelhead with corkies and yarn or small bits
of egg offerings or we will side drift eggs or a float and
jig, shrimp, or eggs. we will sometimes pull plugs like
hot-shots or tadpolly's or use divers and bait in certain
parts of the river or after we have gone through side drifting
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