Sports

Rain a gift for anglers

Who would have thought outdoor enthusiasts would be singing, “rain, glorious rain,” after the chaotic weather we had only a few short months ago? I know there are quite a few anglers singing for the rain.

The lack of rain has resulted in the local rivers running low and clear, two combinations that make for poor fishing conditions.

With a little bit of rain to bring up the level of the rivers and muddy them a bit, anglers can look for the big native steelhead to start returning to their river systems. I am betting this weekend we will have better reports of fish being caught than we’ve had the past two weekends.

My pursuit continues for steelhead, my new thing to try this year, and you will find my updates in the forum at www.washingtonfishfurfowl.com.

I have done my research, have fished the river a few times and am waiting to take my guided steelhead trip next month. I am sure the guided trip is going to be a very educational experience.

If you are an avid river angler, I would suggest heading south to the Green or Cowlitz river systems. Both have been hot for the past week or so and continue to put out a few fish every day.

Locally, anglers have had a tougher time trying to put a fish in the cooler.

Even with a great season opener, Area 7 has slowed down quite a bit.

On my most recent trip out this past Saturday, I had a talk with the WDFW fish counter and he had checked 17 boats and counted only six fish.

Unfortunately we did not have one of them, but I did catch two small lings and a rock fish. That got me thinking of the ling opener in May.

Areas 8-1 and 8-2 have been just as quiet, but the protected waters make it a winter favorite for locals.

The golden rule for salmon anglers is to find the bait. but that’s been tougher lately. We trolled along Lopez flats for a few hours on Saturday and only marked a couple of small bait balls. Nothing like the huge ones we where seeing in 8-2 just a few weeks ago.

Once you find the bait stick to it. Also, keep changing up the gear until you find what is working. I admit I have never been a herring-type of angler unless it was bottom fishing, but this year, it’s another one of the new things (or revisited things) that I decided to try.

I looked like a rookie, I’ll admit. I would just get my line in the downrigger clip and then I would have to fight with a seagull just to get it down in the water. I found it comical. Things were much better when I switched back to a spoon.

Smelt fishing in Cornet Bay has been good. On my trip out Saturday, the dock was loaded with anglers and buckets of smelt. I also observed a few anglers having multiple fish on their rig and this could be a fun way to stock up on some bait if the herring are mixed in with them.

Be patient and look for fishing to pick up dramatically after a few days of rain.

If you have any comments or suggestions please email me at ed.oldham@washingtonfishfurfowl.com or visit the Web site and join the discussions.

Unfortunately we did not have one of them, but I did catch two small lings and a rock fish. That got me thinking of the ling opener in May.

Areas 8-1 and 8-2 have been just as quiet, but the protected waters make it a winter favorite for locals.

The golden rule for salmon anglers is to find the bait and it has been a tougher lately. We trolled along Lopez flats for a few hours on Saturday and only marked a couple of small bait balls. Nothing like the huge one we where seeing in 8-2 just a few weeks ago.

Once you find the bait stick to them. Also keep changing up the gear until you find what is working. I admit I have never been a herring-type of angler unless it was bottom fishing but this year. it is another one of the new things (or revisited things) that I am going to try.

I looked like a rookie, I’ll admit. I would just get my line in the down rigger clip and then I would have to fight with a sea gull just to get it down in the water. I found it comical. Things were much better when I switched back to a spoon.

Smelt fishing in Cornet Bay has been good. On my trip out Saturday, the dock was loaded with anglers and buckets of smelt. I also observed a few anglers having multiple fish on their rig and this could be a fun way to stock up on some bait if the herring are mixed in with them.

Be patient and look for fishing to pick up dramatically after a few days of rain.

If you have any comments or suggestions please email me at ed.oldham@washingtonfishfurfowl.com or visit the Web site and join the discussions.

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