River Fishing Reports

Washington Rivers Fishing Reports
by KCW Services

Columbia River - Springer Salmon

Well, unfortunately the fishing in the lower Columbia has come to an end for now. However, the tributaries are all open and all have fish in them. I fished the last weekend in the Cathlamet area and did quite well, many fish were caught on the anchor with Kwikfish and also trolling with herring. Limits were fairly common the last few days. Right now I will be concentrating my efforts in the upper part of the river, Drano Lake specifically. I will be booking trips there beginning the 1st week in May through June. It should be a great time there this year, things have already started to happen there and you should get in on some of the fun. Bring prawn spinners, your float rods, Sand Shrimp, Herring, Kwikfish and Flatfish. It will all work at times there. More fish can be kept there too. Call or email me if I can be of any assistance.

Troy with his 21 lb Springer, Brandon, Brad and Flash 8 yr old Blake with his first Springer.


Lake Washington - Cutthroat Fishing

I have some very good friends that fished the Lake over the weekend and did very well, they caught 11 fish! All were caught on small herring trolled 150 feet behind the boat at the 12 to 15 feet on the downrigger cable. I like this time of year for Cutthroat, they are generally very aggressive and up higher in the water colum. I like to use small brass/orange bladed spinners with a 3 inch
Gulp Smelt on the double hook setup. At times, that configuration can get you a limit very quickly. I'll be out there this weekend, I'll have another report to you next week. As always, give me a call or email me with any questions about this fishery.

Humptulips River - wk of 10/24

If you're looking for some hot-busy fishing, the Humptulips might be the place to be these days. This river is not what I would call a "beginner" river. This is a small jet boat/drift boat fishery and you should know how to read water, how and where to put in and where to take out. These days, the rain can make or break your day so be careful and pay attention if it's raining. Anyway, three of us went 17 for 27. Mostly Coho, but a few Kings were available too. As you can see by the picture, I was able to take home one of each. If you want any more information about this river, give me a call, I'll tell you what I know.


Columbia River - Astoria/Buoy 10 area - wk of 10/10

When we got to the Chinook ramp at 7 AM on Sunday, it was windy, cold, (38 degrees) and miserable. We geared up, got the cold weather stuff on and headed out. First, we put two crab pots out just West of the Chinook channel and then we headed East towards the Astoria bridge on the Washington side. We trolled for over two hours with spinners, nothing! Then, my brain began to warm up, the water temp, it had dropped from the last couple weeks. There were lots of fish on the graph, but they were not biting on the spinners like they had done so previously, so I switched to cut-plug herring. You would have thought that we turned some kind of a "fish switch" on. We used 5 dozen herring (that's all we had) in about three hours and kept 8 fish. We had one huge 19 lb hatchery. When we checked the crab pots, we had 9 keepers, not a bad day after all.

Chehalis River - October 3rd

Here is Eric Carazo, Burt the wonder dog and Scott LaPeer with a couple of nice fish from Saturday.

When we went to the Chehalis on Saturday, I knew it was going to be on fire for fish. It was! We went 5 of 13 on Saturday and had to release a few wild fish. We began at 7 am and were off the water by 11:30 am. That's a pretty good day in anyone's book. We would have stayed and caught more, but the guys with me wanted to get home to watch the last half of the Huskies game.

We trolled a Fish Flash, whole and cut-plug Herring, 5 foot leaders, 4 ozs canon balls on 12 inch droppers and I set my line counter reels to 23 feet. The nets went in Sunday (4th) afternoon, the fishing has dropped off considerably since.

Chehalis River - 09/26/09

I launched the boat at Montesano at 6:45 AM. There were six of us and we trolled with cutplug Herring with 6 oz cannonball droppers for almost two hours without success. I then added three green and three chartruese Fish Flash to the scheme of things and within 10 minutes, got our first fish. We stayed pretty close to the ramp for a while and then decided to head down river towards Aberdeen. We began fishing just upstream of Aberdeen and started hitting fish just about every ten to 15 minutes. We brought home seven Coho, there were so many wild fish we had to release, it was an incredible bite. On the left is a photo of some of our catch: 6 wild and 1 hatchery. Not a bad day at all.

Area 8-2 - 09/27/09

When clients don't show up, the only thing to do is go fishing! So off I went to Possession, I put on an Ace Fly in Blue UV and set my downrigger to 88 feet, put the clicker on the reel and turned away to watch the boat show. In about ten minutes, the reel was clicking away and I turned around to catch a glimpse of a 11 pound Coho jumping out of the water behind my boat. Put him in the boat, reset everything at 88 feet once again, and I didn't get to turn around this time, boom! Off the clip she goes again! This time a 8 pound Coho. Now, I have to go home. My day was done, I was the second guy back to the Everett Ramp with a limit. Life is good when fishing is good.

Puget Sound - Area 10 (9/18/2009)

Friday was a great day to be fishing for Coho in Puget Sound around West and Meadow Point. We kept 4 fish, and had 5 others on. We fished the early tide and ended our day @ 12 noon. We caught our fish on Blue UV Ace Fly's at 90 feet on the downriggers in 300 to 700 feet of water. Pictured above is Scott LaPeer (upper right photo) with his 13 Lb hook nose Coho and Eric Carazo (upper left photo) with his 9 Lb'er. The other two fish were 6 and 8 Lb's.

Sekiu - Area 5 (9/19/2009)

When I launched at Olsons at 4:30 AM it was already a mad house, the weather was cooperative and we were finally going to be able to keep all legal size clipped and non-clipped Coho. We left the dock at 6:30 AM and were back with 8 fish by 9:10 AM. I used fresh Herring on UV flashers and set my three downrigger rods to 35 feet, 55 feet and 70 feet. Our first three fish were caught @ 35 feet. The next 2 @ 45 feet and 1 fish @ 70 feet as the sun got higher in the sky. We also fished a 4th rod with a 4oz banana weight and fresh herring about 75 feet behind the boat, we caught two nice fish that way too. There are lots of Humbolt Squid being caught every day now, I saw 6 squid caught and heard of countless others. (for Halibut, the tentacles, you could not ask for a better bait!) Pictured above is Petra and her dad with two of their nicer fish. This was Petra's first Salmon, not a bad one to start out with.
Neah Bay - Area 4 (9/20/2009)

On Sunday, after we caught our Coho at Sekiu, we headed for Neah bay for some bottom fishing, it was a very calm day on the water and we were able to get many rock fish, Squid and one very nice Ling Cod. Holding the the Ling is Alan and Andrew is holding his first ever Squid. It took him quite a while to wrestle that squid in, but he loved it! You can see that the Squid is almost as long as he is tall!

Columbia River - wk of 09/05

I launched out of Willow Grove on Sunday, the weather was horrible.. There were four of us in the boat, cold, wet and not sure how our day would progress. Well, let me tell you, it was nothing short of fantastic! The weather finally cooperated and we got in to some very nice Kings. The first fish was a small jack about 6 lbs. The second was 32 Lbs, the third was just under 40 lbs, closer to 40 then she was 39. The forth fish (about 12 lbs) was not happy about being hooked and was line released at the boat. We had 10 other bites that just hammered the rods, but they didn't stick. I figure we'll have one more productive week in the Longview area, so I'll be targeting them again this weekend.
Simons and Brads Wobblers did the ticket. Chartreuse, Clown color or just about anything we threw at them caught fish. Call me for any particulars on this fishery.
Columbia River/ Buoy 10 - area 519 (wk of 8/29)

Limits of Coho were a bit harder to come by this weekend but some managed to get fish. Don't forget that the King retention season closes on August 31st, but the limit on hatchery Coho increases to three on the 1st of September. There are lots of Coho in the ocean, and the Coho bite should get even better in the river very soon. There are many wild fish, so be careful while releasing these fish. There is a ton of Anchovy in the water, and most of the fish I caught had full stomachs of Anchovy.

I fish with a Delta Diver, 18 inches of leader to a Chartruese Fish Flash, a rubber snubber, and a 6 foot 40# leader, a center 6 bead chain along with 5/0 (front) and 4/0 (rear) hooks. I've been using fresh Anchovy because it's the bait of choice. I fished Herring on Sunday, the Anchovy outfished it 5 to 1. If anyone needs assistance with this fishery, just give me a call.
Columbia River - Buoy 10 wk of 8/22

The tides were extreme this weekend making it a bit harder for that consistent bite you would normally expect to have this time of year. But we managed to get limits of Coho and 1 king for my clients this week. The King fishery is not what it was this time last year, they are few and far between but the ones being caught are big fish! Look for the Coho fishery to improve and don't forget the limit increases to 3 fish per day the 1st of September.

The fish we caught came one hour before and two hours after the flood above the Astoria Bridge on the Washington side. (the church hole). I use Delta Divers, green Fish Flash a 7 foot leader and fresh Anchovies. Every fish I cleaned was chuck full of Anchovies!! I have line counter reels and generally run them out to 26 feet (13 pulls). Troll with the tide as much as possible or diagonally as long as the a boat traffic will allow. Be patient, they will bite, and when they do, it's fast and furious. Call me if you have any questions, I'll tell you what I know.

Columbia River - Astoria / Buoy 10 - wk of 08/15

The fishing for Kings and Coho continues to improve in the lower Columbia River. We caught limits of Coho on Friday and limits on Kings and Coho Saturday and near limits on Sunday until we were blown off of the water. We are fortunate to be able to buy fresh herring and Anchovies each day. And to tell you the truth folks, that will make all the difference in the world on your catch rate. I didn't have any kings over 18 lbs but I saw a few in the high 20's and one just over 30 that I weighed with my Boga Grip. There are a considerable amount of Coho to be caught, but I've noticed at the dock that people are catching some rather larger Coho and calling them Kings. I saw an 18 lb Coho with a fin brought in that the guy I talked to swears was a Coho. Please be very careful when assessing your catch, look for the black mouth on the Kings, their teeth and spots all over tail. If the fish you have does not have these characteristic, then it's most likely a large Coho. Remember, you can only keep hatchery (adipose fin clipped) 16 inch minimum Coho. You can retain any King clipped or not clipped and it must be a minimum size of 24 inches.

Here is a picture of my friend Karl Holman and his wonderful mom Claudia with their limits of Coho. I'm taking the picture, my fish are in the picture too.

Fishing Report - Wk of 08/09 (Area 5 Sekiu)
Since the King retention was shut down at 12:01 am August 7th, we now hear of more and more kings being caught! Go figure.
However, the Coho bite continues to improve and there are some pretty fair fish being caught right now. I had a party of three of Saturday and a party of five on Sunday. All of them went home with cooler full of filets. We released some Wild Coho upwards of 12 lbs and saw some other Hatchery Coho at the dock up to 14 lbs. Pinks were abundant too. If you're looking for some fun and want to get that freezer of yours stocked up with Salmon, then head out to Sekiu, you will not be disappointed.

Pictured on right is Travis with his
first Salmon and as you can see,
his mom and dad got in on the
action too (photo above).


I thought I was not going to be able to fish this weekend because my boat needed some repairs. We'll, as it turns out, things were fixed and Saturday was on for the weekend. I was back at Sekiu, Saturday and Sunday.

It was windy on Saturday when we launched from Olson's Resort, but the fishing was outstanding once again. My clients caught their limits on Coho, Kings and Pinks. Sunday, limits were found once again, but this time however, we had bigger fish. We released lots of wild Coho, wild Kings and many Pinks. Our primary baits were Green Hotspot flashers, a 40 inch - 40lb leader and either a Cop Car Kingfisher or Spatter back Hoochie with a twinkle skirt with a 32 inch leader and -50lb leader. We caught our fish in water depths of 300 feet to 100 feet while setting our downrigger at 45 to 90 feet. Many of our bigger Kings were caught at 45 feet in 250 feet of water in and around Pillar Point.

Here is a rather poor picture (photo above/right) of the group, Left to right is Donavan, Ross, Mike and Mike. Ross Burtness and his dad Mike, each invited a close friend to join them.

Area 5 - Sekiu Washington - Saturday - 7/25

It was about 5 AM when we departed Olson's Marina & Resort for the first of this years fishing at Sekiu. And as usual, it didn't let me down. We began fishing @ 5:10 (obviously we didn't have to go very far). I put the first downrigger @ 25 feet, then the second at 45,
I didn't get to the third downrigger before the first one went off. Small undersize King. Now, finally all of them are out, then Double!! And it pretty much did that the rest of the day. To make a long story short, we had 92 fish to the boat, many of them wild and a few undersize Kings. The number of Kings were 11 to the boat, we kept two and released a large wild fish somewhere in the mid 20's. Lots of wild Coho around 5 to 6 lbs. Humpies were on tap too, we kept three around 6 lbs a piece.

Below is a picture of a couple of Kings Eric Corozo and I caught on Saturday.

Sekiu Washington - 7/26 Continued

On Sunday, Shane Arlt, his two sons Dalton and Gunnar and Shanes dad came over from Spokane to catch their limits. It was just as it was on Saturday, lots of fish, many wild fish and undersize Kings, but we managed to fill a couple of catch record cards in the interim. Pictured are the two boys, Gunnar on the left and Dalton on the right. Both boys had never caught Salmon before. BTW, Gunnar lost a huge fish to no fault of his own, the 40 lb leader broke. Sorry Gunnar, we'll get 'um next time!

Our bait(s) of choice were Coho Killers in Purple, Purple Haze, Purple anything and 40 inches behind a green Hotspot flasher. The Kings were caught on Green hotspot flashers with Green Spatter back Hoochies and a small piece of Herring on the inside hook. In the AM, we set our downriggers to a maximum of 45 feet, when the sun hit the water, we went to 65 and 90 feet. Most of the bigger Kings were caught on Hoochies at 90 feet. I would suggest if you're fishing two downriggers, stack one if you have too, and leave the other for the Kings at 90 feet. The caves and Pillar Point would be a good start.

Fishing Report: Lake Washington - Perch Fishing -wk of 7/18

The fishing was pretty good last Friday. I began about 8 AM and fished the East side of Mercer Island just about 1/4 mile South of the I 90 bridge. Night crawlers and Berkley Power bait grubs (brown or pink) were the ticket that day. Within a 3 hour timeframe we caught 67 Perch. You need to fish just on or outside of the weed lines these days. I used my electronics and traveled the weed lines and looked for pockets of fish and then began to target them. The payoff was great! If you want to have "some fun in the sun" try the Perch fishing in Lake Washington, it's fun, fast and they're terrific table fair.

Fishing Report: Puget Sound - Salmon Fishing 7/18 and 7/19

Kids, you watch them grow up and hopefully become productive adults. But when you have the pleasure of being part of an experience that you know has the potential to be special, well it just plain warms you heart when you see it. This weekend my two trips included kids. Saturday, was Dalton's turn.. he and his grandpa spent most of the day with me in area 10 and specifically Jefferson Head, where he limited on Coho. We caught 4 fish three Coho and one small King that we released. We fished White Lighting Coho Killers behind green Hotspot flashers with our downrigger set to 65 feet. Here is Dalton Nardine with he and his grandfathers' catch. That smile says is all...

Sunday I was out in the same area with 4 more kids and their mother / guardian. The action was not quite as productive for me on Sunday as it was on Saturday but a good time was had by all. Pictured here is Jimmy Brown of Santa Rosa California and Emilie Weller of Port Orchard WA. As you can tell by this picture, they had a real good time, they could not wait to get them on the barbeque that evening. We used green Hotspot flashers with green spatter back Coho Killers with Herring Smelly Jelly at 90 and 45 feet on the downriggers.

click on photos to see larger versions
Fishing Report 6-29-2009  -  Lower Columbia River

     Saturday I fished with a Seattle Cop, two retired Boeing employees and my daughter Hailey. Three of the 4 had never caught a Sturgeon. Well, that monkey is off of their back now and they can no longer say that. Each of them has now experienced the strength and power of these prehistoric dated fish. We caught and released 5 fish that were just under the slot limit and had a couple more that take downs that we should have gotten. All it all it was a good day of fishing.

     I'm probably not going to do much more Sturgeon fishing this summer because Salmon season is really turning up now and I can stay closer to home and fish the Puget Sound and surrounding areas. But, in August, you'll find me back down in the Lower Columbia targeting Kings and Coho below the Astoria Bridge. You certainly don't want to miss out on that fishery, it's much better than good when it happens!! If you have any questions on either of these fisheries, please email or call me direct.
Puget Sound / Staits Of Juan DeFuca
We left the Keystone ramp on Whidbey Island about 7:30 AM. It was foggy but we were sure that the GPS coordinates we were headed to would more than likely produce fish. We were right, this 45 LB Halibut I'm holding in this picture is proof positive that electronics, know how, the right rigging and fresh bait will keep you from going home empty handed. (well, most of the time!!)
It's a great time to get out there for one of these delicious delights, but our season will be ending very soon so get your boat and gear ready or find your favorite guide to get you on one of these fine fish.  And one more thing, marine areas 3 and 4 (La Push and Neah Bay) will be open for Halibut fishing in all waters from 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, June 4 and again on Saturday, June 6.

Next week, Columbia River Sturgeon.

This Month (May 2009):
Iíve just finished up (for the time being) my Springer fishing in the lower Columbia River. I had an exceptional time! In total, I have had 83 take downs, (drive bye's) and 51 Springers to the boat, all of my clients were great, and good times were had by all. I appreciate you all! Now Iím booking for the remainder of my summer fishing in the Columbia River, Puget Sound area, Sekiu, and the Lower Columbia (around the Astoria area) for Fall Kings and for some of the million Coho that are supposed to show up. All of my trips are $150 per person with a three person minimum.

Special offer for this month:
Mid June to mid July for Columbia River Sturgeon in the Deep River area, this is a very productive time and 25 to 75 fish per trip are not uncommon. Keeper Sturgeon limits are almost a certainty. For Columbia River Sturgeon, book three people and the 4th person is half price. Dates are going fast, so give me a call or email for updates.

Call or e-mail me for more details.
(425) 577-8484


Rufus Woods Reservoir
Well, my daughter wanted to go fishing on Sunday, so I met her over in Grand Coulee Saturday night and we spent part of Sunday on Rufus Woods for some Tripiloid trout fishing. It was a good break from all of the salmon fishing I've been doing as of late and our limit was easily caught. We had another friend of mine with us, (someone had to take the picture) and he caught his limit too. We launched at Seaton Grove, downstream from Coulee Dam about 7 AM. Headed down river about 5 miles to the first set of trout pens and trolled the first part of the morning. We had just set the last of three rods in the holder and BOOM.. fish on! Lost it right off. I'm pretty sure it was the biggest of the day. (of course it would be) We trolled #2 Black Wholly Bugger on a 5 ft. leader tied to a swivel with a 1/4 once black bullet weight just above it. Our lines were back behind the boat about about 75 feet too.

Although trolling was productive, it was not as lighting fast as I remember it being last year at this same time. So we pulled in behind the pens and went to work jigging Wholly Buggers and rainbow floating type #5 Rapalas. BAM, that worked pretty well. There's a fairly strong current there so I used a 18 inch 2 once dropper with a 5 foot leaded with either the Wholly Bugger or Rapalla on it. It was just enough weight to work it down stream very slowly and nail these fish. We caught somewhere around 12 fish and then decided to keep the next few for our limit of two each. We quit fishing at noon. Please note that we were not using sent or bait, if you use either of those together or separate, you have to keep the first fish you catch and you are not allowed by law to release them. They are considered a part of your daily catch limit. While using anything artificial that is not scented or baited, you can release the fish. I recommend that if you practice this method of "catch and release" that you do so with the upmost care to help secure their future and this great fishery.

The picture you see is my daughter Hailey and myself, I'm the one with his eyes closed. These are a good representation of the trout caught in fairly good numbers this time of the year at Rufus Woods.

Next week, Drano Lake, stay tuned!

Please check out my weekly fishing reports at Salmon University.
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Previous Fishing reports & photos
Date: 4/17 & 4/18
Columbia River Springers

Columbia River Springers

Columbia River Springers

Columbia River Springers

Columbia River Springers
Click On Photos To See Larger Versions
Date: 04/09 - 4/11
Columbia River Springers

Columbia River Springers

columbia River Springers

Columbia River Springers

Columbia River Springers

Click On Photos To See Larger Versions
Date: 4/4
Springer Salmon, Cathlamet WA.

Lake Washington

Date: March 28th

Caught 2 Columbia River Springers
on Cut Plug Herring.

Sorry I forgot the camera... :)

Click On Photos To See Larger Versions
Date: 3/15
Fishing Lake Washington
for Cutthroat Trout.

Washington Rivers Fishing Reports  River Fishing Reports  Lake fishing reports