Will The Cowlitz Fish @ 10,600 cfs?

Breck

The Whisky Guy
#1
??? 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
 

martyg

Active Member
#2
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
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
 

Salmo_g

Well-Known Member
#4
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
 

fly dds

Tooth and Tail
#5
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
 

Mike Lee

It's all about the sauce.....
#6
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
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.
 

SpeySpaz

still an authority on nothing
#10
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
Dang, _G, I knew they moved more steadily but didn't know they went that fast. Learn something new every day. Thanks!
 

Salmo_g

Well-Known Member
#11
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