Will The Cowlitz Fish @ 10,600 cfs?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Breck, Dec 7, 2011.

  1. Breck

    Breck The Whisky Guy

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    ??? What do you think? If "yes", what drift would you do? I was thinking I-5 to Olequah, reasoning that the fish would be lower in the system. I'm camping at Ike Kinswa. I like the Barrier to Blue Creek drift as it seems to have better fly water, but I don't want to waste my time on a fish desert.

    Any input would be appreciated.

    Thanks,

    -Breck
     
  2. martyg

    martyg Active Member

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    Yes, but you need a sled and someone who knows ho to run it. At 10K you won't be both running your boat and effectively fishing.
     
  3. Matthew Kaphan

    Matthew Kaphan Active Member

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    I went to Blue Creek last week when the river was at 10,000 and it was very difficult to get away from the trees to cast. I'm sure you'd find better swinging water during a float than I did walking in to Blue Creek.

    I also didn't see anybody with a fish for the few hours I was there.

    matthew
     
  4. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    Breck,

    There are sled jockeys who effectively fish the Cowlitz at up to 13,000 cfs, but they aren't fly fishing. I don't like fishing it above 5,000 cfs but feel that I can fish it up to 6,000 or 6,500 cfs. Beyond that most places I would fish require drifting my line through the willows that grow on and near the river bank. Oh, and with the high water, the steelhead are not hanging out between I-5 and Olequah. In high water they race from Longview to the Barrier Dam in about 2 days, where they are removed from the river and removed from fishing opportunity. High water works very much against sport fishing interests.

    Sg
     
  5. fly dds

    fly dds Tooth and Tail

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    I fished it right after the last big storm and it dropped to around 7800. There was still good water and swinging with the Spey was no prob. We fished below Blue creek to about half way to mission. I swung up a nice 8-9 lb winter run. Not an immensely productive day,but it was fish able!

    Kristian
     
  6. Mike Lee

    Mike Lee It's all about the sauce.....

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    Fishing Report
    Cowlitz River 12/07/2011

    Cowlitz: People are catching mostly salmon at the barrier dam and steelhead around Blue Creek. The steelhead catch is increasing, said a state report.
     
  7. Skilly

    Skilly Member

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    Short answer. NO

    I have a sled and find there is not water that will fish well. You can't get out of the boat in most places to fish. The runs are all up in the weeds. About 8500 is the max I will try and fish it.
     
  8. HungryNookie

    HungryNookie New Member

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    Looks like the Cowlitz is dropping to 6100cfs. Is the section near Blue Creek hatchery a drift boat river or is everyone on it in a sled?
     
  9. Phil Fravel

    Phil Fravel Friendly

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    The majority of sleds stay around the Blue creek area. You can use your drift boat easily anywhere above or below
     
  10. SpeySpaz

    SpeySpaz still an authority on nothing

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    Dang, _G, I knew they moved more steadily but didn't know they went that fast. Learn something new every day. Thanks!
     
  11. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    The Cowlitz has been running a bit over 6,000 cfs the last few days. This could be as good as it's going to get for fishing conditions for the early hatchery winter run steelhead. A gear guide I know has did well the other day, limiting his boat.

    I don't know why Spaz, but a fundamental difference between hatchery and wild steelhead is their migration rates. Hatchery steelhead mainly return to their place of rearing and or release, as expected. And the higher the water, excluding flood flows, the faster they race home. Wild steelhead are significantly slower in taking their time to reach the area where they will spawn.

    Sg
     
  12. Paul Huston

    Paul Huston Swinger

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    Ive been watching the level for a few days now to. Its got to be going off down there.
     
  13. SpeySpaz

    SpeySpaz still an authority on nothing

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    yeah, dipped down by 5K today, would love to not be at work...
    (koff koff) I feel unwell suddenly.:beer1:
     
  14. HungryNookie

    HungryNookie New Member

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    I am thinking of drifting this Mon-Tue after Xmas. Anyone have a rough idea of drift times from Barrier Dam to Blue Creek To Mission Bar.
     
  15. SpeySpaz

    SpeySpaz still an authority on nothing

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    Barrier to Mission, that's a long drift. Longer than I'd want for the shortest days of the year.
     
  16. Rick Sharp

    Rick Sharp Member

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  17. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    I wouldn't do barrier to Mission as a one day winter float. Either barrier to Blue Ck or Blue Ck to Mission; both of those are good day long floats.

    Sg
     
  18. Stonefish

    Stonefish Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater

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    + 1 on Trudy for the shuttle. She is a great old gal!
     
  19. HungryNookie

    HungryNookie New Member

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    I ended up floating the Cowlitz 12/26. Trudy shuttled me from Blue Creek to Mission. Put in about 9am and out by 4 pm with lots of stops along the way. River was in perfect shape clear and running about 4500 cfs. Took the Koffler pram and had a good learning experience. All the hatchery SH were in the hole just below Blue Creek. Lots of fish caught by the hoards of bank fishermen. Also an army of Jet boats but never saw one boat with a fish on. Not exactly relaxing and yes I got skunked. Ended up on a nice hole down by mission holding 2 cutthroat. I hit them on the head with everything I had but nothing! Thought about bank fishing the next day, not my style..
     
  20. Breck

    Breck The Whisky Guy

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    I had the Clackacraft that rowed into the Mission takeout right behind you.