Has anyone ever fly fished for steelies on the cowlitz?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by fly15, Dec 11, 2001.

  1. fly15

    fly15 New Member

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    A guy my dad knows that is a full time guide that fishes the
    cowlitz a lot is taking my dad and i up to the cowlitz on sunday for a steelhead trip out of his heated jet sled boat and
    a couple of days ago he took a couple of guys that didn't know what the heck they were doing and they hooked 14 and
    caught 6 chucking gear of course but with the number of hatchery steelhead in the cowlitz i should be able to hook at least one winter steelie on fly.But i was wonderin if anyone else out there has ever fly fished the cowlitz for steelhead , i know
    a lot of bait slingers fish it and do well but how have fly fisherman done in the past up there.Any info would be great
    THANKS.:CONFUSED
     
  2. ray helaers

    ray helaers New Member

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    fly fished for steelies on the cowlitz?

    I don't know anyone who has actually flyfished on the Cowlitz, but apparently there is some good fly water accessible from a boat in the popular drifts. If you can get the guide to bsach the boat at a good looking riffle and give you the time to fish it properly, go for it.

    However, it's possible he might not have much faith in flyfishing and you'll be under pressure to hurry it up. Hooking winter steelhead on the fly is never easy, and having to rush through unfamiliar water won't help, which of course will help reinforce any misgivings your guide might have about the usefulness of fly rods for catching steelhead.

    My impression is that most fishing on the Cowlitz is done from the boat, pulling plugs, "boondogging(?)" bait, drifting lures or bait underneath floats. There's no reason you can't use your fly rod to do a little "float fishing" yorself from the boat. Use a floating line, a long leader, a big strike indicator, and a big, heavily weighted fly, them essentially dead-drift the rig like you were nymph-fishing for trout. You can drift your fly through the slots or along the banks from the boat, just like you would some roe or a pink plastic worm.

    You won't be taking time away from anybody else, and if you hook some fish, you'll impress the hell out of the "gear chuckers."
     
  3. rockfish

    rockfish Member

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    fly fished for steelies on the cowlitz?

    I'm going this saturday maybe sunday to on my buddies boat. the reports are 100% limits there on cowlitz. he said fly fishing is a waste of time there but I'm gonna bring my 8wt anyway. I'll let you know how it is saturday night. Ben
     
  4. fly15

    fly15 New Member

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    fly fished for steelies on the cowlitz?

    Hey ben that would be awesome if you could tell me how you
    did on the cowlitz saterday , I think it would be possible to catch a steelhead down there on fly if they hit a jig under a float i don't see why they won't hit a fly under a strike indicator
    like the previous guy said.:THUMBSUP
     
  5. shortline

    shortline New Member

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    fly fished for steelies on the cowlitz?

    I went down to the mouth of Blue creek on the cowlitz on tues. the 11th. Although my first love is fly fishing, I chucked gear and hooked two steelhead, landed one. It's quite a thrill to have one of those silver rockets on the end of your line. The combat fishing scene there is grim, so now that I've actually caught a metalhead I plan to concentrate on flyfishing for them.
    I don't have access to a boat and I have not seen many spots between the Barrier dam and Blue creek where there is room to back cast. I plan to go back tomorrow and work my way down from the Barrier dam, although there seem to be mostly coho in that area. I've never fished a fly under a strike indicator but perhaps drifting that type of setup could produce. I think I'll stop in at the Morning Hatch here in Tacoma for some advice.
    I'll report back on my experience. Hopefully the rain will slow down.
     
  6. rockfish

    rockfish Member

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    fly fished for steelies on the cowlitz?

    hey shortline. what were people catching them off of. and how big were they. thanks Ben
     
  7. Steve Buckner

    Steve Buckner Mother Nature's Son

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    fly fished for steelies on the cowlitz?

    I fished the Cowlitz last weekend below blue creek with a fly rod for steelhead and came up empty handed. As all of the other reports suggest, fishing with gear from a boat was very productive last weekend.

    I have a sled and went down below blue creek about a half mile. I fished a speyrod as well as a single handed rod. I did some fishing by boat, using the same techniques as one would use on a drift boat. Although I didn't get anything, I also saw plenty of boat chucking gear that didn't catch anything either.

    I'm quite certain one could catch a steelhead with flies on the Cowlitz but the trick is just putting in your time. I'm planning on heading up there again this next weekend. Keep your flies down!!!

    Best of luck,
    Skinny
     
  8. shortline

    shortline New Member

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    fly fished for steelies on the cowlitz?

    Rockfish
    Everyone was using small corkies and yarn in orange, green or orange corkie with white yarn. They tend to use 20# mainline with 15# leader. I was using 12# line with 10# leader and my first hook up broke my main line with no problem. Even if I'm using gear I'd like to use some skill rather than simply crank a fish in on heavy line.
    Almost every one was leaving the creek with 2 fish. I saw numerous steelhead in the 10 to 15 lb range being taken back to the parking lot. The mouth of Blue creek is hot right now. I got my steelhead, but one day of tangling lines with with the gear crowd is enough for me. From now on it's me and my 8 wt.
     
  9. steve

    steve New Member

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    the cowlitz is tough

    I tried to fly fish the barrier dam one year in Dec. It was impossible. I got their before daylight, waded out to a good spot, and as soon as the sun came up two gear chuckers waded out in front of me, making it impossible to fly fish. I spent the rest of the day watching those guys snag steelhead. If you've got a boat and can get away from the combat fishing it might be worth it, but otherwise I would avoid the Cowlitz.
     
  10. fly15

    fly15 New Member

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    the cowlitz is tough

    People were actually snagging steelhead , that's really sad those
    guys are pathetic.:MAD
     
  11. rockfish

    rockfish Member

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    the cowlitz is tough

    that means there are lots of them. had 1 break my line on a hood canal river. totally blows took 4 hrs to hook it in the same spot all day. but i'll be floaten the cowlitz tomorrow. Ben
     
  12. steve

    steve New Member

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    the cowlitz is tough

    Yeah, unfortunatley you will probably see a lot of that on the Cowlitz. Its sad that the best steelhead river in the state is crowded with callous jerks.
     
  13. fly15

    fly15 New Member

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    the cowlitz is tough

    Hey ben how did you do on saturday , get any steelhead.

    I went to the cowlitz today with four other guys including the
    guide and fished just below blue creek and the fishing was horrible out of like 30 boats all within easy sight , we only saw
    one other steelhead caught and the guide in our boat hooked our boats only steelie and handed me the used 7 pound hen.
    I didn't bother to take my fly rod because the river was way out of shape, it would be impossible to have gotten a fly any
    were near the bottom.We used three inches of pencil lead with
    corkies and eggs.OH YEAH IT WAS WET.:DUNNO
     

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