It's That Time Of Year!!! SRCs on the Cowlitz!

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Breck, Aug 13, 2014.

  1. Breck,

    2010 was the season for lots of SRC and BIG SRC on the Cowlitz, possibly the best ever. I hope program improvements are sustaining the fishery with fewer smolts being reared and released. At Cowlitz everything seems to hinge on disease issues in the large grow-out ponds.

  2. I see on WDFW's web site and the hatchery escapement report that the escapement of sea-runs to the Cowlitz over the last 3 years has ranged from 1,000 to 2,500 adults.

    Sg -
    I was surprised to see while only 500 or so adults are needed for brood stock that the rest of the returning adults were not released post spawn back to the river. Given the expense of producing smolts being about to add 500 to1,500 repeat spawners would be a relatively cheap way to enhance the fishery.

  3. Smalma,

    Not everyone has the same opinion about what is best for the fishery. It's almost like having Rob Allen on the hatchery technical committee.

  4. I'll make sure to post up a report after my float on Saturday.
  5. I agree. If we strategically keep some systems as hatchery fisheries, then both sides of the wild vs. hatchery debate can be served. One caution, however, is that if these wild only projects do not yield results (Nisqually case in point) then what?
  6. Is it feasible to chase SRC without a boat and without going shoulder to shoulder? I'm under the impression that bank access on the Cowlitz is pretty limited but really don't know.
  7. Yes, bank access is pretty limited, but the long run at the Blue Creek hatchery access holds a lot of SRC, and you can often find a spot that isn't too crowded.

  8. The Blue Creek area is likely the best spot to shore/wade fish for SRCs on the Cow. You will have a lot of company, however.
  9. I'm heading down to the Cowlitz with some buddies this weekend to give this a shot. We will be targeting steelhead and SRC's. I've never fished this river and my steelhead game is "developing" at best. Any other suggestions on flies that are successful down there? Or access points that aren't Blue Creek or Barrier Dam? I've read in a couple of other threads about a decent spot or two, so we will probably be trying to find those. We will be swinging flies from the bank so hopefully we can find some water not full of people. I'm not looking for your secret honey hole, but maybe just a general idea that isn't at one of those two hatcheries?
  10. Tyler,
    BC has been a zoo during the week of late. The weekends are beyond circus atmosphere. If you get discouraged you can go down to Mission and or even down to the I-5 launch. With the current low flows it's easy to wade your way up and down the river.
    Good luck.
    Tyler Axel likes this.
  11. Fun fishery. A 6-wt. Spey rod is a tad heavy for most of the cutts, but not at all for the occasional steelhead that comes to play. Think October caddis size and color on spiders. Fish around dusk. Several things can happen between now and October, and none of them suck.

    The skin removal instructions posted earlier are good, but when you use a razor sharp knife to cut toward the skin, it's very easy to cut right through the skin, and getting started again is tricky. I was taught by chefs to cut in at the tail to just above the skin, just far enough so you can get a decent grip on the skin. Then, hold the knife still and pull on the skin, rocking it back and forth. Comes off nice and easy (and whole). I like a fillet knife for cutting fillets, but a chef knife works great for skinning.
    Breck likes this.
  12. Tyler,

    There are some gravel bars way downriver between the mouth of the Toutle and Castle Rock that look fishable to me. I don't know the ins and outs of access, but a few minutes on Google Earth would probably find you a less crowded spot.

  13. There are stretches of shore access if you don't have a boat, but you won't be alone; and the guys don't move. You have to have the right mindset when you go fish this river or you will be miserable. A good set of ear muffs too because the sleds are relentless. I actually suggest sleeping in a little then go fish. A lot of guys clear out mid day and you may find more space that way.

  14. Get yourself a decent quality pontoon and life jacket. Launch at Blue Creek and float to Massy Bar... lots of great places to swing for steelhead and cutthroat.
  15. Pretty slow yesterday. Floated I-5 to Olequah. Fished all day for about 12hrs. 6 fish in the bag for 4 anglers. My buddy did hook and land a wild steelhead that hit one of my spider flies. Going to give it a week or two and then try again.

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