I had a chance to fish the Cowlitz river for late winter hatchery steelhead for the first time this season on Monday February 18th with two other anglers. When I got up to leave the house that morning the flows out of Mayfield Dam where running about 6000cfs, and by the time I arrived at the river they had increased it to 9600cfs. Ugh! Usually when this happens it’s been my experience that you can expect to get zero bites for about 24 hours until the river stabilizes, so I breathed a huge sigh of relief when we hooked a fish free-drifting eggs on our first pass of the morning! We got him in the boat and that was the only one we saw all day, so we considered ourselves lucky and we were fine with just the one. The water clarity is in perfect shape for this time of year with about 4-6 feet of visibility although the temp is still a bit on the cold side at just forty degrees. I am optimistic about the late winter run being decent this year as usually when fish are being caught in the middle of February that’s a pretty good sign!
Black Star Fishing Co. - Ultimate Western Washington salmon and steelhead trips!