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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

December 22, 2011 at 10:08 AM

Don’t let the Eastern Washington chill ice up your chances to catch steelhead

Here is the latest fishing report from Dave Graybill, longtime Eastern Washington outdoor radio host and angler:

There’s good news and bad news for anglers that like to fish for steelhead in the smaller rivers in our region.

The cold temperatures we’ve experienced have impacted our streams and the results are two fold. One is that the rivers are running very low and slow. This makes it even easier for ice to form.

The Okanogan River is usually the first to freeze and now the Methow, Entiat and Wenatchee are both showing signs of shelf ice along the shore and even anchor ice in the slower sections. Neither anglers nor steelhead like these conditions. The good news is that the steelhead will move out of these rivers and go back into the main stem Columbia.

Anglers will find better numbers of steelhead in the vicinity of the mouths of these streams and other popular spots along the Columbia. It is amazing how far steelhead will stray from their home streams, and this time of year they will travel surprising distances throughout the system.

Anglers in the know will shift to the stream mouths until warmer weather breaks up the ice and raises the level of our area rivers. There is plenty of great steelhead fishing ahead of us this winter!

For details or to get Graybill’s weekly report visit Dave Graybill’s website.

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