IFish Fishing Forum banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

3,904 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's happening!
Cowlitz hot last weekend, slow last week and hot today.
Elocoman was hot Tuesday and Wednesady and slow but producing Thursday and Friday due to high muddy water.
Both rivers have a lot of late strain coho's yet to return and will be sporadically hot for two to three weeks yet.
The Cowlitz should be worth fishing everyday now for several weeks and should consistently produce including many three fish limits for those who due a little homework.

Arrived up here in Longview Wednesday morning 1:00am and slept in my van on the Cowlitz after eating lunch, dinner and breakfast at 2:00am. :grin: (Didn't want to wake up my friend Brad at one in the morning).
Woke up a couple hours later at 5:45am freezing (didn't have a sleeping bag with me) and fired up my van and heater, bought me a hot choclate and waited 'till 7:05am to start casting plugs from the bank.

Fished hard for about 5 hours determined to catch some fish from here in Longview all the way up to Lexington and never had a bite.
Might have possibly only saw two fish roll!

However when I was driving up river I saw a sled that passed by me at day break earlier fishing a peculliar spot on my side of the river just directly accross the river from a spot I discovered last year where we killed them (downstream from Carnival Market).
I pulled over and went down to throw some wiggler's mostly to observe how the boat was doing and saw them net 2 or 3 coho's and loose one in the short 30-40 minutes I was there.
I was in disbelief because they were catching some fish on spinners (4 guys) and I didn't touch one on the wiggler's. Usually it's the opposite senario.
It was real stormy however and blowing right at me and I think I spent as much time back-lashing as I did fishing. Still couldn't believe it.
Nobody else on the river I had talked to or heard about was catching. Dead.

Stoped by Bob's and talked to my friend Brad and he told me a friend of his got an easy limit the night before at the Elocoman.
Took care of some business and off I went.

Got there about 4:00pm and the first hole didn't produce and went down to my favorite hole and imediately turned a chromer on eggs.
The two old guys fishing corkies weren't catching squat. Looked to me they were trying to snag.
Missed another fish and then between 4:30 and 5:00 I landed 3 fish all on eggs.
Once I moved a bit up in the hole, two cast, two fish.

Figured I would try for some jacks and got another adult which I released.
Felt bad about stressing him out and released him in the water and called it quits.
Kinda dissapointed that I was done that quick because the fishing was hot and drifting eggs is my favorite way to catch coho.
Wished it was a three fish limit as is the Cowlitz. Rushed over to the Cowlitz to see if some friends were fishing there and I found them and they took the pic of me and they didn't touch a fish there either.

Went to the Elocoman the next morning with Brad and a couple friends of his and I was so tired I stayed in his truck and napped while they headed down river in the dark.
Woke up at a quarter of eight, started putting my waders on and here he is back at the truck informing me we are probably going to leave because the water is high and choclate and all 10 or twelve fishermen in the hole didn't touch anything.
I never wet a line that day.

Friday I went back to the Elocoman hoping it might have dropped and cleared up some. It was high and muddy.
Decided to try anyway and there was a couple adults caught and I caught a cutthroat or harvest trout.
Earl (SteelheadSlayer) showed up and we had fun fishing together but not catching.
I told him I was going to go upstream where I saw some guys do good durring high water a couple years ago.
In short time I hooked a bright fish on eggs but she came off.
Got Earl to come over next to me and try it and he immediately caught a coho and I thought, hmm, should of encouraged him to stay on the other side of the river. :grin:
Then he nailed a second one and I thought, hmm, wonder if I can talk him into going back down to that hole a quarter mile downstream. :grin:
Anyway, he turned loose the first buck because it had a little red to him and the second was a good one.
Then I nail this hot chromer in front of him and again it spits my hook. Earl jokingly tells me it's Brad's hooks. :grin:
I then nailed a nice hen and a buck that decided to stay attached to Brad's hooks until we get them on the bank along with 3 nice jacks.
Earl fights this chromer until it decides to run into the bank and breaks off.
I told his dad to tell him not to buy that cheap X-Mart line anymore. :grin:

So it was tough fishing with the very high muddy water and not a whole lot of fish caught that day but we had a good day and I later saw some lucky individual walking out with a 20-22 pound bright buck coho he caught. Big hatchery coho and the largest I have ever seen caught on the Elocoman!

Today me and Earl went to the Elocoman together thinking if the water dropped and cleared it probably would be hot although I told him I was a bit skeptical because it appeared to me the day before the fish were moving through but I didn't think there was much behind them to replace them based on a lot of factors I observed after Earl had left yesterday.
Turns out that was the case and it was dead.
There is a lot more lates to come and it will be excellent with the next big rise in the river.

Decided to try bank fishing the Cowlitz this afternoon and got my friend Sturgeon Dave to go along.
Stopped by Bob's and Brad said why don't you guys go get my sled and put in at Camelot and fish the river down to Gearhart Gardens. He didn't have to twist my arm to hard and we were off to pick up his sled, gas, etc.

I'm a little more fond of the lower stretch and more familliar with it but thought we'd go ahead and hit the whole stretch so Dave could see it and just check it out and using his fish/depth finder checking out some of the big changes in the river from last year but planning on spending most of the time fishing the lower stretch that I was familliar with.

Put in about 1:15pm and the news coming from the other boats was not good. 0 fish, one wild released, 0 fish.
The first hole we came accross I thought looked good I nailed a nice buck. Then nothing for quite awhile but found a good hole above Lexington but a couple boats fishing it weren't catching.
Showed the one boat the plug we were using and told them how well it worked on coho last year and we were on our way.

Finally got down to the Lexington hole (at least that is what I call it) where I caught many coho on wiggler's last year on the bank and boat.
Nothing doing and the plunkers told me they did real well last weekend but nothing all week which is what I have been hearing from other sources.

Get down to riverside park and I decide to try casting the wiggler to the less obvious side of the river and fish on.
Nice chromer decides to jump a few times and throw the hook.

Then it's Dave's turn and I didn't think he was going to give me a turn again.
Unfortunately I break off the first one with the net which I believe I have only done once before about 13 years ago with a springer and I feel like ****! I was bummed but he wasn't really bothered and I gave him a BW-29 to relace the one I lost for him. He didn't want to take it but he didn't have a choice.
Then he starts putting these chromers in the boat sporting sealice and then nails this 15-16 pound hen chromer and I notice this extra fin on it and we both were bummed about that. What a beauty we had to let go!
We have 3 to 4 miles to go yet and a few holes to fish and check out for changes so off we went.

The next hole was one I discovered last year and was one of our better consistent producers and a friend named it Dan's hole.
First drift Dave nails and looses a fish that we never saw and then lower in the drift he nails another cromer that had BBQ written all over it. In the boat!

The next drift down the hole it was finally my turn again and what a heart breaker that was.
At the lower end of the hole where dave had just nailed one I got hammered and it slammed the wiggler with more ferrocity than they usually do and it took off like a freight train straight up the river that more resembled a tuna.
I hollared for Dave to take over the motor and just that fast the big toad was 40 yards up the river at full speed against heavy current and come barreling out of the water and spit the plug.
I thought he broke me off at first pulling heavy drag that fast and jumping.
It was a chromer and we both estimated it being a 20#+ class coho which would have been my second one in as many years.
It was a real heart breaker and I kept telling myself; "well maybe it was a wild one anyway"!

We moved over to the other side of the river where I had seen that boat catch some Wednesday and it was a deep, impressive slot but no fish or at least none biting at the moment.
We didn't fish it long because I really wanted to check out two more holes that were hot last year that have changed this year to evaluate them.
Unbelievable how much they changed and I think both will still produce but not be as hot as they were last year.

There was obviously a decent shot of fish that moved through the lower river today but is nothing compared to what I saw and experienced last year.
I believe throughout the next 3 weeks there is going to be some of the pacific northwest best coho fishing and it is a very uncrowded, under utilized fishery and some of the best I have seen.

There is excellent boat and bank opportunities and that includes little kickers not just sleds and all you need is a couple wiggler's.
All the coho's we caught, lost and broke off today including a jack I caught were on the Brad's Wiggler #29 that I made very famous on this stretch of river last year.
The only other color I have proven myself to be a consistent producer is the BW-08 (Pickle) but hear his new BW-74 is a hot color.

I would recommend to anyone who loves fishing and enjoys catching coho's in the river and enjoys a real pleasant, uncrowded fishery with virtually no snagging to come and fish it.
It's an easy fishery even for beginners because all you have to do is cast a wiggler and reel it back in and normally it feels like you snagged up for a split second until the fish realizes he made a big mistake and the fun begins.

Nows the time to fish it and it should be excellent from now 'till early to mid November and hopefully we don't get enough rain to blow out the ash infested Toutle that in turn can cloud up the entire lower Cowlitz.

I haven't had time to answer all the individual emails and appoligize for that but am still not completely moved out yet and have had limited time and access to the net durring my move.

Going to fish the Cowlitz in a couple hours, then to see my family in Vancouver and back down to the coast to finish up moving by Tuesday.

Shortly thereafter I will be back up here and fishing. This is my favorite fishery of all.
Come on up and have fun. Me and Dave just kept commenting on the way home from the river what a fun and rewarding day this was and we were both awed by this fantastic fishery right here in downtown Longview.
Quality fish, quality fishing.

If you can't catch up with me or I can't get back to you on a timely basis, stop by Bob's and talk to Brad Schoenborn who started fishing this fishery last year also and I pass on all the info I learn from my experiences to him and he will be able to put you where the fish are, or were, or will be. :grin:

I will try and get together with SteelheadSlayer and a couple other ifisher's to show the ropes or places so they can pass it on to other ifisher's.

I'm serious, this fishery is under utilized or exploited and can handle much, much more boats and bank fishermen with plenty room and fish to spare.
A great opportunity for all family members to enjoy.
A very rare situation in the pacific northwest!

Sorry no other pictures but both my digital cameras are in depoe bay and both are inopperable presently.


448 Posts
Right on Dan! Your reports are the greatest! I am heading down to Tillamook in about an hour to try my hand at bobber fishing. I wasn't pleased with the Tanner Creek fishery and have only landed really dark ones on the Sandy. I may have to make a trip up to your favorite fishery. PM me with some directions to a good hole that I can take my son to (on the bank). I am going to pick up some wiggler's tomorrow.


3,904 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
No, actually I was just really jazzedaboutyesterday afternoon and suffering from a lack of sleep yesterday. Today too!
Got a headache this morning from a lack of sleep again.
My ride is late so here I am.
Going to take Dave's 15' kicker boat out this morning and he was suppose to show up at 6:45am.
Wished at this point he didn't show up at all and I would go back to bed. :grin:

Forgot to mention that I found a third of a quart jar of eggs Wednesday on the Elocoman that someone had left behind and the next few days I caught fish on those and some old freezer eggs from last year and some from this year.
Earl caught fish on his two different cures he had brought with him.
Others caught fish on whatever cure they were using.
My point is it doesn't seem to matter which cure you are using, they bite 'em all.
I've noticed this the last few years since I have been fishing these fish.
Dave showed up and I just came back from bs'ing with him out front.
Got to go and will let you know if there are fish moving in and through the lower river this morning after we get back.
I suspect and expect to find some fish again.

Too tired to fish but will force the issue.


1,534 Posts
Awesome report. I always mean to fish the Cowlitz but end up at the Kalama which has been pretty dead. I've been up to Blue Creek and just couldn't deal with the combat. If you ever want to show a Cowlitz rookie the ropes, I'm all game. I got the transportation, food and everything. Thanks for the great report.


784 Posts
Dan, great report - guess I missed the boat this weekend. Glad that you and Dave were able to get out together and see some action.


3,904 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Went out yesterday morning with Sturgeon Dave.
He was impressed with the new hole i showed him the day before and we tried a new place to launch his boat closer to that particullar hole.

By the time we got done fartin' around it was 8:00am when we launched.
At 8:10am I had a cromer to the boat.
It had one too many fins and was carefully released.
Ten or fifteen minutes later Dave had a cromer to the boat.
One too many fins and again great care was taken to release the fish unharmed.

We thought this was going to be a great day and as it turns out, it was weather wise.
That was the last fish we hooked until we called it quits around noon.
The nets were still out and no fish to speak of showed up Sunday.
They come when they decide to come regardless of the nets.
Had us fooled, the weather was unexpectedly great and the fish didn't show up at least by noon o'clock.

But it was a worthwhile trip and we discovered we could launch his 15' boat in this location that is not for the timid and it gave me more confidence that this small area or hole that became one of my favorites last season hasn't changed much and will produce this year.
That's the hole where we hooked 3 or 4 the night before and the only place we caught fish on Sunday.

Just realized it's my birthday Saturday and I will fish the Cowlitz on Saturday with hopes and expectations of catching 3 fish and then to the razor beds if the ocean is cooperating.

Scotty V,

Email me when you are ready to fish (before hand) or call me @ (541) 921-2185.
Found out my cell (Verizon) roams up there in Longview and am going to have to change providers.
Better to email me with your number and I will call you.
Love to get togrther with you and have your son catch a cromer or two.

Same goes for the Ridgefield guys or anyone else.

I should be living up there in Longview by the end of this week and will be somewhat free'er to fish.

Think I might start a thread for a Cowlitz invitational for Saturday, Oct. 25th (my birthday) and come on up bankies or boat fishermen (fisher persons if that is more politically correct). :grin:


5,893 Posts
Dano, glad to hear you and Dave had some action this weekend. I made it to the Elochoman Sun. afternoon and hooked four, they weren't biting as hard as they were Fri. but they were still picking it up. I did turn one chromer but that was about it. I talked to the big guy with red hair and beard and he said he lost 5 Sun. morning. He said it was pretty good. Looking forward to you finishing the move so we can hook up with a lot of chrome silvers. :dance:
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.