The best fishing has come from the San Juan Island region.

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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

Fishing report
Location Comment
Marine areas Squid jigging remains fair to good at Seacrest Pier in West Seattle, Pier 86 off Elliott Avenue West in Seattle, Des Moines Pier and Edmonds Pier, but somewhat slower in the Tacoma area piers. Smelt jigging is fair at Oak Harbor Marina and Cornet Bay on Whidbey Island. Slow to fair for steelhead off beaches at Bush and Lagoon points on west side of Whidbey Island.
Biting: Yes

Rating: 2 stars

Coastal razor clams Final approval for the next digging series should be announced by Thursday. Dates are: Jan. 8-9 and Jan. 13-14 at Twin Harbors only; Jan. 10 at Twin Harbors, Long Beach and Copalis; and Jan. 11-12 at Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Copalis and Mocrocks. Digging is allowed after noon each day. Other tentative dates are: Feb. 7 and Feb. 11-12 at Twin Harbors; Jan. 26 and Feb. 8-9 at Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Copalis and Mocrocks; and Jan. 25, Jan. 27, Feb. 10 and Feb. 23-24 at Long Beach and Twin Harbors.
Digging: Yes

Rating: 3 stars

Local lakes Rufus Woods Reservoir is good for large-size trout. Good for trout at Roses Lake near Leavenworth. Try for trout at Lone, Roesiger, Goodwin, Silver near Castle Rock, Sacajawea, Klineline and Blackmans. Slow to fair for cutthroat in Lake Washington and Lake Sammamish.
Biting: Yes

Rating: 3 stars