Washougal Steelhead

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by skiav8, Nov 19, 2004.

  1. skiav8 New Member

    Posts: 4
    Your City ,State
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    Still new to this whole steelhead thing. Would like to go out this weekend and get wet. Is it worth going up on the Washougal? Are there fish in there yet? Isn't about time for the winter steelhead? Any suggestions on where to go at this time of the year in the Vancouver area?
  2. East Fork Active Member

    Posts: 1,200
    Vancouver, WA
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    The Washougal is a beautiful river but your chances of actually hooking a steelhead would be better on the East Fork of the Lewis or the Kalama. On the East Fork the area above Day Break Park is good fly water and the river level looks like it will be conducive to fly fishing this weekend. Anything below 400 CFS is fly time on the East Fork. There is lots of good water in Lewisville Park too. The Kalama has better bank access and lots of good water. There are no secrets on the Kalama - just drive the road until you see water you like and walk down to it. Good luck. :)
  3. Stephen Rice Senior Member

    Posts: 1,479
    Wasilla, Alaska
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    No Steelhead on the Washougal Yet. I just talked to the Skamania Hatchery bout 2 to 3 days ago, and nothing has come in yet. I live bout 2 blocks from the washougal and I check it just about everyday and I haven't seen anything. Not even Salmon. Definitely listen to East Fork. the Cowlitz has reported some winter steelhead coming in too. Give it about two more weeks for the Washougal and the winter steelies will be coming in.
  4. Steelie Mike Active Member

    Posts: 1,600
    Camas, WA
    Ratings: +24 / 0
    Some guy on lewisriver.com stated that he caught two winter natives in the Washougal last week. Just FYI.
  5. Shane Stewart Friend of Wild Fish

    Posts: 47
    Hillsboro, Oregon
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Hi everyone! I'm new here.
    Anyway the Washougal was where I got my first steelhead on a fly way back in 1975 so that river hold alot of great memories for me.
    I used to watch Bill McMillan fish there. Unfortunately it seems like the river is just a shadow of it's former self and that could be because of poor hatchery practices.
  6. troutfanatic A day not spent wasted is.....wasted.

    Posts: 295
    Monroe WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Pretty sad that bad fishing is now considered poor hatchery practices instead of just building back up the wild fishery up again. Like the Yak or the Cowlitz that was closed for ten years until it was good again.

    Shane this wasn't a dig at you just seemed you had really good memories of that river.
  7. mike doughty Honorary Member

    Posts: 10,179
    the uinta's
    Ratings: +5 / 0
    I agree, I wish they would start shutting down several rivers at a time until the runs had improved significantly. i would encourage that whether i still lived in washington or not.
  8. Shane Stewart Friend of Wild Fish

    Posts: 47
    Hillsboro, Oregon
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    No problem...I didn't take it as a dig. I feel the Skamania hatchery is the root cause of the poor fishing on that river.
    The wild runs are very depressed and the wrong headed thinking that hatchery runs wouldn't hurt the wild fish is foolishness.
    I would love to see them close down the Washougal for the sake of the wild fish iagree
  9. BOBLAWLESS New Member

    Posts: 2,879
    Port Ludlow, WA, USA.
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    Close the river and the hatchery for about four years. All the hatch freaks will be dead by then since they have no way to live in the wild. And then, on a limited basis, open it back up. All C&R, floating flies only.

    Bob, the I know I'm an extremist but you might just get the river back to its original health. :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:
  10. Wes New Member

    Posts: 87
    Vancouver, WA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Generic quote - "shut down the river until its wild fish rebound"

    I myself have made this comment many times over the years about some fishery or another. Trouble is this approach hasn't seen much success. You're still only dealing with two facets of the problem, harvest (edit: part of the harvest) and hatcheries.

    Another aspect of closures I see given little consideration is what about all the displaced anglers? Say we close the Washougal, now those guys are going somewhere else, say the E. Fork Lewis, or the N. Fork Lewis, maybe the Kalama, or perhaps they'll head on up and hit the Klick (in season) (yeah I skipped a few rivers). Each of these other watersheds have their own troubles with their wild steelhead. What happens when we push the angling pressure to them?

    Don't they warrant the same concern for their wild fish populations? Oh I have an idea lets just close them all down. Can we really afford to shut down an entire industry in one fell swoop of the pen? No I'm not saying the almighty buck should always trump the wild fish but there are ramifications beyond just closing down a particular watershed.

    Lets see wasn't it just a season or two ago that a bunch of the S rivers were shut down. I seem to recall a hue and cry across several 'virtual communities' about all the displaced anglers ending up over on the OP and the extra pressure those local rivers faced.

    Shut down all of SWWA and coming soon to a river near you, yep you guessed it, a bunch of us. Don't those rivers warrant the same concern, wait, I'm starting to see a pattern here, BIG rock in a small pool kind of thing, the waves radiating out, hitting the banks, bouncing back, all kinds of cross ripples and conflicting wavelets smashing into each other.

    Not saying you're wrong to feel that closure is an answer, just saying we might need to step back and take a look at a little larger canvas.

    Out of concern for wild fish,how many put down their rods? I can tell you that I and any of the anglers I'm fishing with have only hit the Washougal once in the past two years due to concerns about its depressed runs.

    Don't have all or even any of the answers, just more questions.

    ~w
  11. BOBLAWLESS New Member

    Posts: 2,879
    Port Ludlow, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Thoughtful response, Wes. And you're right to a degree. Push down on the problem here and it pops up elsewhere. But what is the alternative? What direction do we take? Certainly to do nothing (the Eisenhower solution) is to do something--namely to continue this suicidal course we seem hell bent upon. It is the road to extinction and we must get off of it before it is too late.

    Sacrifices will have to be made by everyone. It will hurt to close something down. But we have no other course.

    Along with hydro, harvest, hatchery and habitat we should add hesitancy as another of the important "H's". If we continue to hesitate to take the drastic measures needed to save these fish, we can add annother "H". This will stand for the fact that wild steelllhead are history.

    Bob, the I am willing to do the necessary and to sacrifice if I must. :beathead:
  12. Monk Redneck

    Posts: 709
    Marblemount, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I work in AK during the spring and summer and have seen the destruction first hand. It is scary how sensitive the mighty steelhead is. I think Bob is not far off. I think the drastic overfishing/ polution/ habitat destruction must be remedied with drastic measures. It has worked in other areas. Skagit (B.C.) is one of them.
  13. East Fork Active Member

    Posts: 1,200
    Vancouver, WA
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    Skaiv8; So where did you go and how did you do? How about a report!