Felt like Ichiro on the Cowlitz

rivlak

Always an Adventure
#1
Is there any Steelhead in the Cowlitz right now? Who knows, but yesterday Mike Sturza and the Lost Creek Fly Shop in Onalaska, WA. took this rookie out to learn how to Spey Cast and try for some Steel. The results: 4 for 6!!!! There were fish rolling around us, tailing around us, jumping around us all day. Of course that was yesterday. I finally got to be part of the expression, "You should of been here on Thursday!!!" Mike put a Beulah Spey Rod in my hand and worked with me all day. You want a guide that knows the Cowlitz? He is your man. There is no clock watching, no time table. He is there to work to the best of his ability to find you a steelhead. The water has been holding at 8000cfs. We were using purple in the morning and then some blue and black combo in the late afternoon. 4 for 6?? It felt like a typical Ichiro day of hitting. 2014-04-03 Bright Steelhead on the Cowlitz.JPG 2014-04-03 Steelhead w Spey Hanging.JPG
 

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
#3
Damn fine report and name dropping a gent known well to work his tail off so you can tail a nice fish. Congratulations!
 

Klickrolf

Active Member
#4
Those are nice & bright chomers. Congrats and welcome to the spey addiction...you Sir, are most likely hooked!
Any spring chinook around?
 

rivlak

Always an Adventure
#5
Those are nice & bright chomers. Congrats and welcome to the spey addiction...you Sir, are most likely hooked!
Any spring chinook around?
No Spring Chinook. Mike Sturza says when the Springers
Are in full force on the Columbia, the Cowlitz becomes less crowded.
 
#6
Glad you had a good day like that at the beginning of your steelhead fishing life.

Now you know how easy it can be and know that fish bite when they are there. Now you have confidence and know how easy it really can be.

Too many rookies get frustrated, have no confidence, and try too much dumb crap IMO. You just graduated beyond that.

Cheers!
 

rivlak

Always an Adventure
#7
Glad you had a good day like that at the beginning of your steelhead fishing life.

Now you know how easy it can be and know that fish bite when they are there. Now you have confidence and know how easy it really can be.

Too many rookies get frustrated, have no confidence, and try too much dumb crap IMO. You just graduated beyond that.

Cheers!
Thanks for the inspiring words. I noticed you are from Bellingham. Graduated from WWU a few decades ago before I got into fly fishing. How is the quest for steel in the neighboring areas?
 

freestoneangler

Not to be confused with Freestone
#8
Is there any Steelhead in the Cowlitz right now? Who knows, but yesterday Mike Sturza and the Lost Creek Fly Shop in Onalaska, WA. took this rookie out to learn how to Spey Cast and try for some Steel. The results: 4 for 6!!!! There were fish rolling around us, tailing around us, jumping around us all day. Of course that was yesterday. I finally got to be part of the expression, "You should of been here on Thursday!!!" Mike put a Beulah Spey Rod in my hand and worked with me all day. You want a guide that knows the Cowlitz? He is your man. There is no clock watching, no time table. He is there to work to the best of his ability to find you a steelhead. The water has been holding at 8000cfs. We were using purple in the morning and then some blue and black combo in the late afternoon. 4 for 6?? It felt like a typical Ichiro day of hitting. View attachment 40394 View attachment 40395
Yup, you are living proof that hatchery fish do not take a fly...fess up, you were swinging live sand shrimp right? The one I hooked a couple weeks ago was yet another aberration. rofl1.gif Thanks for sharing and providing Mike's contact... sounds like another good option to Steve Buckner.
 

Achilles

Active Member
#11
Yes, store up that confidence... And by dumb crap he means indicator fishing. J/k, but not really.

Glad you had a good day like that at the beginning of your steelhead fishing life.

Now you know how easy it can be and know that fish bite when they are there. Now you have confidence and know how easy it really can be.

Too many rookies get frustrated, have no confidence, and try too much dumb crap IMO. You just graduated beyond that.

Cheers!
 

John Hicks

Owner and operator of Sea Run Pursuits
#14
There is very limited access for bank anglers on the Cowlitz. It is usually at the launches. That being said, the river is a great river to float, and I think it gets a bad rep as being too crowded. Truth be told, if you move one or two runs up or down from either blue creed or barrier, you are very likely to find yourself alone. The sleds stick to a few runs that are good gear water. This leaves the majority of the good swing runs all to us lowly fly guys.

This really is one of my favorite fisheries throughout the summer. Lots of steelhead, lots of water and close to home. This is without even mentioning the fact that September through November are great times to catch both steelhead and sea run cutthroat.
 
#15
Congrats on the speyed steelhead!
If only I could get one now this season before the rivers blow out. I can catch them on herring when I'm looking for springs but I'll be damned if I can get a tug while actually looking for them.

As you're probably well aware now, the tug is the drug!

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