Saturday, January 30, 2016

2016 Columbia River Spring Chinook Seasons Announced

GREAT NEWS from WDFW Regarding the upcoming and highly anticipated Columbia River Spring Chinook Returns for 2016.  In a nutshell - the best news is for the Cowlitz and Kalama Rivers which are both expecting near record returns of Spring Chinook this April-June.  Book a Cowlitz or Kalama River Spring Chinook Fishing Trip ONLINE HERE


VANCOUVER, Wash. – Anticipating a return of 299,200 adult spring chinook salmon, fishery managers from Washington and Oregon today set this year’s initial fishing season to run through April 9 on the lower Columbia River.
In addition, representatives from the two states agreed to close the winter sturgeon retention fishery in the Bonneville Pool effective Feb. 8 and approved a six-hour recreational smelt season Feb. 6 on the Cowlitz River.
Here are the major provisions of those agreements:
  • Spring chinook: From March 1 through April 9, anglers fishing downriver from Bonneville Dam may retain one marked, hatchery-reared adult spring chinook as part of their daily catch limit. The fishery will be open to both boat and bank anglers upriver to Beacon Rock, and – for bank anglers only – from there upriver to the fishing boundary just below the dam.

    The sport fishery will close in all areas of the lower Columbia River on two Tuesdays – March 29 and April 5 – to accommodate potential commercial fisheries.

    Upstream of Bonneville Dam, anglers may retain one hatchery-reared adult spring chinook per day from March 16 through May 6 between the Tower Island powerlines and the Washington/Oregon state line. Bank anglers using hand-casted gear (no boats) can also fish from Bonneville Dam upriver to the Tower Island powerlines during that time.

    Barbless hooks are required to fish for spring chinook in the Columbia River and anglers must release any salmon or steelhead not visibly marked as a hatchery fish by a clipped adipose fin.

  • Sturgeon: The recreational sturgeon retention fishery between Bonneville Dam and The Dalles Dam will close Feb. 8. By that time, fishery managers expect that anglers will have reeled in 140 sturgeon from those waters, leaving 185 available for a one-or-two day fishery in summer. Catch-and-release fishing remains an option until then.

  • Smelt: As in the past two years, fishery managers approved a limited fishery for smelt on the Cowlitz River to help gather data on the species’ abundance. Recreational smelt dipping will be restricted to the hours of 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 6. The limit per person is 10 pounds – about one-quarter of a five-gallon bucket. Smelt dipping is not allowed from boats.

    To support the data-collection effort, the two states also approved a limited gillnet fishery for smelt in February on the lower Columbia River. The area’s smelt population was listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act in 2010, but runs have shown some signs of improvement since then.
Fishing rules reflecting these actions are available on the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (WDFW) website at
Fishing for spring chinook is currently open on a daily basis from Buoy 10 near the mouth of the Columbia River upstream to the Interstate 5 Bridge, although the bulk of the run doesn’t arrive until mid-March when the new fishing rules will be in effect.
Catch guidelines approved for the popular fishery will allow anglers fishing below Bonneville Dam to catch approximately 9,100 hatchery-raised “springers” before an updated run forecast is completed in late April or early May.
Another 1,000 adult upriver chinook are reserved for anglers fishing upriver from Bonneville Dam to the Washington/Oregon state line, 17 miles above McNary Dam. Additional fish have also been reserved for the Snake River sport fishery.
After banner spring chinook returns in each of the past two years, the projected run of 299,200 adult fish for 2016 is still slightly above the recent 10-year average, said Ron Roler, WDFW Columbia River policy manager. However, while this year’s projected run of upriver fish is down by about 100,000 fish from last year, he said returns to some tributaries – notably the Cowlitz and Kalama rivers – show an increase this year.
“Salmon returns rise and fall from year to year, especially during the kind of cyclical ocean changes we’re seeing right now,” Roler said. “Even so, if this run comes in as projected, it will still be the ninth-largest return in more than 25 years. We’re expecting plenty of fish to support a great fishing season.”
As in previous years, Washington and Oregon will manage the fishery with a 30 percent buffer on the upriver chinook forecast until the results of the in-season run update are known.
“We’ll continue to take a conservative approach in managing the fishery,” Roler said. “If the fish return at or above expectations, we will look toward providing additional days of fishing on the river later in the spring.”

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Cowlitz River Winter Steelhead

Anxiety levels are high!  We're only weeks or possibly days away from the flood of returning winter steelhead on the Cowlitz River!!

All of our Cowlitz River Fishing Guides have their big jet boats ready, engines tuned, leaders tied and new rods in stock to provide you with the best that the Cowlitz River has to offer.

You and your friends, family and customer will LOVE fishing with our Cowlitz River Guides.  We have guides Casey and Ryan with very nice big roomy sleds.  We have a 2 year old 20ft Wooldridge for smaller groups, a 24ft Willie Raptor for medium groups and a whopping 26ft 2015 Wooldridge sled for big groups.  We can even put two boats together for extra large outings.

The smolt plants on the Cowlitz River have remained at a very high level, around 700,000 fish, for winter steelhead for many years.  This year is the first year there are no fish returning for the A run which historically showed up earlier in the year.  So this year the Cowlitz River 2016 returning steelhead will all be coming in big waves starting sometime in early February and fishing will be red hot through April.

All of our steelhead fishing trips on the Cowlitz River start out at the Blue Creek Boat Launch.  We run up and down the river casting hand tied leaders, home cured bait (secret recipe) and gear to help you catch these beautiful winter steelhead.

We typically meet just before dark and you can plan on fishing for 8 hours or until you catch your limits of winter steelhead.  There is a really big WDFW parking lot at the Blue Creek Boat Launch o be sure to bring the parking pass that come with your fishing license.

WHAT:  Cowlitz River Winter Steelhead 2016

WHEN:  Early February through April

WHERE:  Blue Creek Boat Launch located on Osprey Ln Toledo,WA 98591

WHAT TO BRING:  Rain gear, boots, lunch.  Fishing license with catch record card for salmon and steelhead, Columbia River Endorsement, parking pass, camera and a cooler to get your fish home.  Be sure any kids bring and wear life jackets.  Sunglasses and sunscreen/protection are also recommended.

GROUP SIZE:  We can accomodate groups of up to 10 total people fishing in two boats. If you book a group of 3 people you get the boat to yourself with your guide.  Individual boats can hold a maximum of 4 and 6 people.

LIMITS:  The limit on the Cowlitz River for the Winter 2016 steelhead is 2 hatchery steelhead per person.  Be sure to mark your catch - the catch record code for the Cowlitz River between the mouth and Mayfield dam is 561.


Buy Your Washington State Fishing License Online Here 

Check Cowlitz River River Flows

Check Weather forecasts for Toledo Area

Directions to the Blue Creek Boat Launch

WDFW Steelhead Smolt Counts for the Cowlitz River

Tacoma Power Weekly Fishing Reports

Waters West Guide Service Cowlitz River Fishing Reports

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Book a Cowlitz River Steelhead Fishing Trip Online Here

Or Call/txt/email anytime with any questions:

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Three Fishing Trips YOU Must Book For Yourself NOW for the New Year

Your Love of Fishing will translate into a Successful trip because You booked one of these Prime fishing trips.

Winter Steelhead
When: November-April.  Some of the coastal rivers will start seeing catchable numbers of winter steelhead as early as November each year.  Other rivers on the peninsula won't start producing until January.  The Cowlitz River will be very good beginning in February and stays good clear through April.  The Humptulips, Satsop and Wynoochee Rivers are currently producing limits or near limits daily now.

Where:  Wynoochee through March and the Cowlitz through April

Why:  The Cowlitz and Wynoochee Rivers get the biggest returns of winter steelhead each year for their river sizes.  These rivers are easy to access with lots of public and private launching and fishing opportunities.  We catch 2 or 3 salt fish on these rivers almost daily.  The Wynoochee run is already in thick as of January 1st, 2016 and the Cowlitz will be good starting sometime in early February.  LINK TO SMOLT COUNTS

King Salmon
When:  Spring and Fall - the Chinook or King Salmon run in Washington State is broken up into 3 distinct runs of salmon.  There is Spring King Salmon aka Springers, Summer Salmon aka June Hogs and Fall Salmon frequently referred to as Fall Chinook.  

Where:  The best king salmon fishing can be achieve on the Columbia River and it's tributaries as well as the Humptulips Rivers.  We fish the Columbia River in March through August for King Salmon as well as it's tributaries including the Cowlitz, Willamette, Wind River and Drano Lake.  BUOY 10 is a very popular place to fish the Months of July and August for King Salmon near Astoria, Oregon.

Why:  King Salmon are high on the list of every anglers dream fish.  They are the biggest of all the salmonid species and are abundant in Western Washington and Oregon Rivers for 10 months of the year.

Humptulips River King Salmon
When:  September 1st-November 20th.  The Humptulips River opens annually on or around September 1st for the retention of King and Coho Salmon.  The Humptulips River is famous for producing huge king salmon and lots of coho and chum salmon each fall.  Besides Buoy 10 this is our most popular king salmon fishery of the year.  We catch King salmon here every year through Thanksgiving but the best months are September and October.

Where:   The Humptulips River is located in Grays Harbor County north of Hoquiam, Washington and east of Pacific Beach, WA.  Lots of people stay in Hoquiam or the Ocean Beaches for this fishery.

Why:  HUGE KING SALMON fishing on a remote creek -  you will love it!


Or Call text email anytime: 253-389-0359