The best fishing has come from the San Juan Island region.
Those willing to brave the chilly weather will find a lot of angling activities.
The hatchery-steelhead fishery is nearing its winter peak, and while it’s not stellar there are enough fish around to keep it interesting.
“We had a little uptick in steelhead catches on the Cowlitz and Lewis,” said Joe Hymer, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist. “Some of the better checks came from Blue Creek on the Cowlitz, and around the Lewis salmon hatchery. I also had some buddies catch some coho and steelhead on the Naselle.”
The Kalama and Washougal were slow for steelhead, but decent in the Wynoochee.
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Closer to Puget Sound, the clear, cold and low water levels have left the steelhead bite somewhat lackluster. A few fish are being caught in the Skykomish from Reiter Ponds downstream, Snoqualmie, North Fork of Stillaguamish, Bogachiel, Lower Hoh and Nooksack.
Hatchery-chinook fishing is open below the I-5 Bridge on Lower Columbia, and barbless hooks are required.
A break in the stormy weather allowed marine anglers to venture out, and they found some decent action for hatchery chinook.
The best fishing has come from the San Juan Island region in eastern Rosario Strait, the north side of Orcas Island, northwestern San Juan Channel, Spring Pass and President Channel.
Fair to good for chinook at Jefferson Head, Saratoga Passage, Kingston, and from Port Angeles to Freshwater Bay. The Tacoma Narrows area is spotty. Northern Puget Sound reopens Jan. 16 for salmon, and Hood Canal reopens Feb. 1.
The final Tengu Derby in Elliott Bay was Sunday, and 28 members caught three chinook. The winning 4-pound, 7-ounce fish was caught by Justin Wong off the west waterway.
The largest fish in the Tengu Derby was caught Dec. 9 by Doug Hanada, and weighed 11 pounds, 9 ounces. The Tengu Awards Banquet is 6:30 p.m. Jan. 19 at the Sun Ya Restaurant in Seattle. Details: 206-722-4748.
Mark Yuasa: 206-464-8780 or firstname.lastname@example.org