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What are the favored methods for this fishery? When does the action start heating up, first two weeks of September? We used to toss spinners off the mouth of the Sandy years ago but it seems like fishing the Washington side has been pretty good the last few years....opinions?
 

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It's been years since I fished there, but I did well using chartreuse bodied spinners, silver blade, in about size 3 or 4. Single hook regulation, I believe. Above the mouth, people plunk eggs.
 

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I am not sure what you are referring to when talking about the mouth of the Washougal but I will tell you this. For Chinook the Washougal is a 99.9% snag fishery. I can count on one hand the Chinook I have seen caught and not snagged, and that with25 years of experience. If your talking about anhoring up in the Columbia at the mouth thats one thing but if your talking about from the top of lady Island by the mill from there upstream is a snagg fishery.
Oak park, Sandy swimming hole, hathaway,Big eddy,Steel bridge.. All snag fisheries. There is no legit chinook fishery on the Washougal..
 

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Tell us how you really feel Rob.... :wink:
 

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hey rob the state helped em out this year, now you cant leave your gear stationary, has to be moving, that makes it alot easier to snag :laugh: those guys will be curtous jerking left and right :laugh:
 

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I agree with Rob...although I've only been fishing the Washougal for 2 years now...but it seems that every hole has a handfull of guys snagging. I've had luck at the "Beaver Den" actually catching fish...only managed to catch nates though?? I was there last night and saw two guys pull in fish..with the hook in the mouth...whoa..what a concept... The bridge on hwy 14 that crosses over the mouth has been good to my buddy. He tosses out a wiggle wart and does fairly well.
 

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fisherrfeild, really its called "beaver ponds" and there all unclipped....
 

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On the spinners I mentioned, that was fishing for silvers, not chinook.
 

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I only fished the Washougal once and that was about 14 or 15 years ago. When I was there must have been early in the season because it was chinook just starting to show.

What I observed and what I was told was a real snag fest similar to Camp Kalama.

I believe the Washougal starts out 3 coho a day this year and also that they are the late strain coho type (N). If that is the case the coho probably won't start showing until about mid October as do the late's in the NF Lewis, Cowlitz, Elocoman and Kalama rivers.

Last year I discovered that the Brad's Wiggler's in the BW-08 and BW-29 consistently out fish spinners in tidewater about 8-10 to 1. Spinners did work well at times early in the AM but the wiggler's caught fresh fish all throughout the day. The not so fresh cocho's showing a little red (bucks) seemed to usually only bite corkies and most of the time they chose to bite with their back or tail. :hoboy:

Rob, I would suggest you get together with some ethical folks and start doing something about the overwhelming snagging there in SW Washington.

Last year I got rid of a lot of the snaggers on the lower Kalama tidewater. I would show them everytime I caught a fish on a wiggler that it was both a cromer and was hooked inside the mouth. If that didn't work and they continued to snag I would get a little vocal with them. Others joined in. If you just simply tolerate it, it isn't going to go away!

Some of them finally realized that it is more fun and productive to fight a quality fish hooked in the mouth than in the tail and switched over to legal ethical methods.

Salmon River meeting tonight at the Grange at Rose Lodge at 7:00pm to address this and other problems on the Salmon River (coast) for any interested in attending.

This fall I will be living in Longview and will go out of my way to clean up the mess left behind by generations of unethical snagging and litering.

Dano
 

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I believe the Washougal starts out 3 coho a day this year and also that they are the late strain coho type (N). If that is the case the coho probably won't start showing until about mid October as do the late's in the NF Lewis, Cowlitz, Elocoman and Kalama rivers.
<font size="2" face="verdana,arial,helvetica">Ron,

As I said I believe the Washougal hatchery coho are of the late strain and don't think there is the early strain coho in the Washougal River. I probably have that info on my PC somewhere. Somewhere! :grin: A quick call to Joe Hymer at the Vancouver WDFW office would clear that up.

The Kalama, Lewis and Elocoman rivers have both the early and late strain hatchery coho. The general rule of thumb is that the early's start returning around the end of August or early September. They wind down around mid October. Then the late's start showing around mid October and return through November and in some cases into December. It is not uncommon on the rivers that have the late strain coho to get a mixed bag of coho and winter steelhead.

Some folks believe that the Cowlitz has two runs of coho. An "A" run and a "B" run. But in reality the Cowlitz has a late strain only. I think the confusion comes from the early run of Toutle/Green river coho that migrate through the lower Cowlitz all the way up to the Castle Rock area where they enter the Toutle.

The Toutle/Green has the early strain coho only. I believe that holds true for the Grays River also.

I have found over the 4 or 5 years or so that I have fished those rivers that both the early and late strain coho bite eggs (drifting or bobber fishing) and hit spinners real well. Sometimes one works better than the other from minute to minute. I have never had any success getting the coho to bite eggs in tidewater however. Spinners and plugs work best there.

Last year after seeing plugs used effectively in the past but very little I decided to try them because some of my favorite areas didn't get enough water while the coho's were good quality.

I started in the Kalama tidewater and spanked them with Brad's Wiggler's. When the rains finally hit I caught a couple in the river itself but when the river was out I started fishing the Cowlitz late strain that were just showing up. Again I spanked them and got a lot of fishermen using them now. Never left the Cowlitz because I was catching them right in town and it didn't require a drive as I was staying there.

The Elocoman and Kalama rivers run timing in the river itself can be effected by the water level or rains. The Cowlitz and Lewis that are controled by dams seem to always have enough water for the fish to move up when their clock says to.

Two years ago when we had a sizable hatchery year the Toutle coho were a big dissapointment. I believe the Toutle had a 6 coho limit that year but they were held up in the Cowlitz due to low water conditions (drought) in the Toutle until early October and were for the most part in poor shape when they could finally go. The Toutle is a real early run.

It was easy to get limits of 6 coho at times in both the Cowlitz and Elocoman in 2001.

This year I believe it starts out 3 coho a day in the NF Lewis, Cowlitz, Toutle and Washougal and would be surprised if they didn't make an inseason change to 4 or 6 coho a day in the Lewis and Cowlitz and possibly the Toutle.

One last note. Every coho and chinook I caught on Wigglers last year (approx. 100 - 75 hatchery and approx. 25 non fin clipped) were caught by casting wigglers from both a boat and the bank. I tried trolling them a couple times but didn't catch any as others were doing. I'm not a troller and prefer anchoring and casting them or drifting and casting them. Most of them I caught casting from the bank. I probably broke off a dozen to two dozen of them also and this year I am going to try a single siwash hook verses the two trebles that come with them.

Dan
 

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Oh sorry after that lengthy post I noticed that you intended on fishing the Columbia at the mouth of the Washougal.

I don't have much expertise fishing them in the upper Columbia (away from the estuary) but a friend of mine trolls them at slack tide with spinners in the CR near the mouth of the Cowlitz and last year there were quite a few successful anglers that anchored in the CR off the mouth of the Kalama and caught them casting big heavy spinners. Went out there once (mouth of the Kalama) and they seemed a little cliquish. I believe they fished around the low tide while the fish held up there and waited for the tide to come in that pushed the fish in and they has enough water to run their boats back inside.

Plugs should work well there also if you are fishing shallow enough water.

Dan
 

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I'm 46. Born and raised on the river just above Hathaway park. If you like combat fishing, you'll like the fall chinook run. They used to have a great silver run years ago. At least they would strike. Now it's Chinooks, and they don't bite well in the Washougal so people rip em. Now if ya want to watch something crazy, go to Oak park or a couple of other spots on the river. :shocked: :hoboy:
 

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Dont forget the camas slough is washington waters, washington license is needed.
 

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Ron,
Do a search on some posts by MrDorkfish on here. I know he has had real good luck out there trolling wiggle warts for the coho.

Isn't it amazing how some people can ramble on and on and never even come close to answering your question. :hoboy:
 

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Fishstik~

Are you telling me that we can keep unclipped fish on that river?? According to the regs you couldn't keep unclipped fish?? What gives. I've caught at least a half dozen fish there...Steelies and one nook and they all had fins...but I've seen guys catch clipped Steelies??
 

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You can't keep unclipped steelhead on the Washougal,if you see someone doing that TURN THEM IN !!!,they must be clipped.Salmon don't have to be clipped.
Bob
 
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