OK, brace yourselves for more wet weather as a warm front approaches the coast tonight, and then spreads inland by tomorrow, which could make for some nasty fishing conditions in the coming days.
How much rain we get and how much snow melts off the Cascade mountains will determine if and when the rivers will rise to flood levels.
Places that could be fishable for coho in between the mess are the Wallace and Cascade rivers where coho fishing has been off the charts although some are getting dark in color and harder to get to bite.
The Snoqualmie is producing some late summer run steelhead. The Skykomish River from the mouth of the Wallace up to Sultan has been fairly good for coho. The Skokomish River has also had good reports for coho and some early chum.
“Guys fishing the Humptulips, Queets, Satsop and the Oly Pen rivers [Sol Duc, Calawah, Hoh, Quillayute, Bogachiel] are doing well and it is some of the best salmon fishing they’ve seen in a long time,” said Bryan Nelson at Three Rivers Marine and Tackle in Woodinville.
Some early chums arrived in estuaries off Johns Creek in Oakland Bay, Kennedy Creek in Totten Inlet and off the Hoodsport Hatchery. Be sure to take a look at my Sunday outdoor notebook for more on the local chum fisheries.
In Southwest Washington, the Cowlitz, Kalama, Lewis and Klickitat are all good for salmon and a few steelhead. Forget about the Chehalis river system for coho, although a few were caught at the Fuller Bridge and Morrison Park of late.
In Eastern Washington, the Methow and Wenatchee rivers have picked up for steelhead, and the Snake and Clearwater rivers have been gangbusters for steelhead.
On the saltwater salmon fishing front, those willing to get out are finding the blackmouth fishing to their liking.
“Most of the action has been off Jefferson Head and the oil docks south of Edmonds,” said Pete Sergeef, a state Fish and Wildlife checker who fished this morning [Oct. 28] with Benny Wong of Seattle in Elliott Bay and reported lost of sub-legal shakers [chinook under the 22-inch minimum keeper size limit]. “I got close to a keeper-sized fish today.”
Charter skipper Gary Krein, owner of All-Star Charters in Everett was also out today at Jefferson Head, and by 11 a.m. had two keepers and released two wild chinook [only hatchery marked fish may be kept].
“We are getting some keepers on every trip along with some shakers,” Krein said. “We have been hanging out on the south side of Jefferson Head, and there is a lot of bait, but the color of the water browned up with some freshwater influence which is kind of weird.”
Northern Puget Sound [Area 9] and the eastern side of Whidbey Island [8-1 and 8-2] opens Sunday, Nov. 1 for hatchery marked chinook.
“Blackmouth fishing along with crabbing opening on the same day means you can do a combo trip,” Krein said. “Nobody has fished those areas since it closed for coho, but it should be OK and may take some time to find the fish. I would expect there to be plenty of fish at the beginning around Elger Bay, Possession Bar, Saratoga Pass and maybe Baby Island.”
The Bayside Marine Salmon Derby in Everett, and the privately held Grady White Salmon Derby are Nov. 7.
In the lake fishing scene, most of the attention will be on Beaver Lake in Issaquah which was planted last week with the first wave of rainbow trout.
“There was a plant of 1,000 trout [this past week], and we plan to add another 2,000 more in the first week of November,” said Chad Jackson, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist, who said the trout planted average a hefty 2 to 4 pounds apiece.
The year-round lake is best fished by a small boat, although there is some limited access from the shoreline. Internal-combustion motors are prohibited on the lake. Daily limit is five fish, and bait anglers must keep the first five fish they catch.
Lake Washington remains good for yellow perch 8 to 12 inches with a few up to 15 inches. Good places include the piers and docks off Leschi, Mount Baker, Seward Park, Coulon Park, Mercer Island, Juanita Bay and Yarrow Bay. Fish in water 35 to 60 feet deep. Start off using jigs like a Swedish Pimple and then once you get your first perch cut off some of the meat and use that as bait for these carnivorous fish.