New to the area, need help

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by WIFly, Jan 4, 2002.

  1. WIFly

    WIFly New Member


    I recently moved to the Longview area from Wisconsin. I'm looking for Fly Fishing opportunity. I've been told about the Steelhead fishing in the area but unfotunately I don't have the gear for it. I own a 6wt and a 4wt. I guess I'm looking for someplace to fish for trout.

    Any advice anyone could give would be greatly appreciated.

    Mike Bartnik
  2. ray helaers

    ray helaers New Member

    I'll go ahead and be the first to give you some advise that you're likely to hear a lot of. Get yourself some steelhead/salmon gear. Your in an area close to some very good fishing (the Kalama, Lewis, Elochoman, Klickitat, Toutle, and the Sandy, Salmonberry, Newhalem, and Deschutes in Oregon). The Cowlitz doesn't have much of a fly tradition, but it puts out a lot of fish, and I'm sure some local flyfishers must have figured out a thing or two about it. Get a fast-action 8wt with a matched reel and a weight forward line with interchangable tips, one floating and three or four sink-tips, from 10 to 20 ft.

    As for trout, I don't know that corner of the state that well, but I can point you in a couple of directions. Merrill Lake (I think it's in the upper Kalama drainage) is excellent, big rainbows and browns, and even offers an impressive Hexagenia hatch in late summer (which should make you homesick). I'm sure there are some locally known small stream opportunities in the nearby Cascades (I believe I've heard the upper Klickitat has a trout fishery), but Washington is not a particularly great state for trout streams (at least by western standards). The Yakima River is our one "blue ribbon" stream, but it's not particularly close to you in Longview. The lakes of the Columbia Basin, like Lenice, Nunally, or Dry Falls (again a bit of a haul), do offer some of the best flyfishing in the country for rainbows and a few browns to 20". Sixteen inch fish are common.

    The best news I can give you is that you are reasonably close (gonzo day trip or easy weekend) to the Deschutes River, absolutely one of the best trout streams in the world, and a still great if declining steelhead river. Ask around for particulars. Some of the northern Willamette Valley tributaries in Oregon (McKensie, Santiam, some others) also have quiet reputations as decent trout streams.
  3. Rob Blomquist

    Rob Blomquist Formerly Tight Loops

    Ray is right on top of all the info, and listen to him.

    But I would not be concerned about fishing for steelies with your 6 weight. It is the normal weight rod that many use for summer steelies. And it is an okay weight for winter steelies, most use a 7-9 weight, but a 6 will be fine for a first timer. If you have a type 3 or 4 sink tip and 100 yards of backing you are set for steelheading. Get a copy of Trey Combs Steelhead Fly Fishing, read up on the steelie swing and on tackle, then take the rest of the book at your pace while you chase the wily steelhead.

    Also know that there are searun cutthroats in your neighborhood. Fish rocky, weedy beaches with shrimp and streamers to catch these beasts of the salt water and estuaries. Right now, they are in the salt, in the fall they follow the migrations of the salmon to eat eggs, and in the late winter ascend streams and rivers to spawn in fresh water.

    rob :pROFESSOR
  4. Scott Salzer

    Scott Salzer previously micro brew

    For a couple of lakes close to you try Coldwater - by Mount St. Helens & Merrill Lake. Walupt might be another option. Check the regs, I don't know when they are open.

    Good luck, let us know how you do.
  5. rockfish

    rockfish Member

    hey I think silver lake is by there one of the best bass lakes in the state when the end of march comes around. the pigs come from that lake. Ben :THUMBSUP
  6. steve

    steve New Member

    You might try Mayfield lake in Mossy Rock in the spring for Tiger Muskies. I've never fished it, but I heard they're a blast on a fly rod. Good luck.
  7. chadk

    chadk Be the guide...

    For hatchery trout, you really can't beat battleground lake or klineline pond. It can get crowded, but they stock these lakes like crazy - even with brooders and some steelhead. Battleground has bows, cutts, and brookies I think. A float tube would be great here.
    Don't expect solitude - and try to keep the power bait from sticking to your neopreme :)

  8. WIFly

    WIFly New Member

    Thanks for the replys everybody. :)