Your Best Bet for Fishing: Try Riffe Lake

By Kimberly Mason / For The Chronicle
Rivers and Streams
The Cowlitz River is running low on the weekends and high during the week.
“The Cowlitz River stinks,” said Charles McElroy, sporting goods clerk at the Sunbird Shopping Center. “Some of the guides I’ve talked to said they’ve floated from Blue Creek to Toledo averaging only four bites and they’re throwing everything they’ve got at ‘em. They’re looking to the second week in August for the steelhead to really come in strong.”
Tracy Borsom of Fish Country in Ethel heard a little brighter story from anglers.
“We had good reports from the boaters this weekend fishing Blue Creek on down — with anywhere from 2-6 steelhead per boat, however there were a few boats that blanked,” Borsom said. “The bank anglers are doing OK. We had some guys glow-balling at Blue Creek and did very well this weekend. Boaters are side drifting eggs or coon shrimp and the bank guys are using a variety of gear, from corky and yarn, jig and bobber or plain sand shrimp.”
“We did have a lot of pressure this weekend, mostly at Blue Creek,” Borsom said. “But they are getting fish all the way up to Barrier Dam, just takes a bit more effort though.”

Lakes and Ponds
“Mayfield Lake did OK this weekend, not red hot though. Boaters were trolling where the Tilton River dumps in and did pretty good,” said Borsom. “Wedding rings and pop gear with cocktail shrimp and worms.
We had a couple reports of tiger muskie follows too.”
Borsom said Riffe Lake seems to be the place to lake fish right now. The bigger silvers seem to be way deep — reports of anywhere from 30-60 feet deep near the dam. Near the fishing bridge was good this weekend also — off the bottom with worms, corn, cocktail shrimp or power eggs.
Swofford Pond was rather slow this weekend, only a few bass reported.
All of the lakes with kokanee are fishing really well, according to McElroy.
“It’s an early morning or late afternoon bite,” said McElroy. “They’re down about 30-feet.”
The South County Pond in Toledo has been fishing well, said McElroy.
“A friend of mine said he saw a 6-foot sturgeon in the water last week,” McElroy said. “He’s going back after it this week.”

On the Beach and Ocean
McElroy said he has heard reports that the pinks are in at Seiku and Neah Bay.
“They should be seeing lots in the North Puget Sound by this week or next,” McElroy said.
Westport is pulling in the kings, said McElroy.
Bottom fishing has been really good out of Westport — lots of sea bass, lings and halibut are being caught.
The jetty is still fishing well at Westport.
Crabbing in the Hoods Canal is picking up, according to reports.
Check the regs before you head out. Call the WDFW Fishing Hotline at (360) 902-2500 for emergency rules changes.

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