The best options in the days ahead point to winter steelhead fishing in a few local rivers or digging up razor clams on coastal beaches.
“We should see some of the best winter steelhead fishing once the river levels drop, and it could happen by the weekend since we’re supposed to get colder weather and less rain,” said Mike Chamberlain, owner of Ted’s Sports Center in Lynnwood.
“The Upper Skykomish within a mile of the hatchery complex is still the best place,” Chamberlain said. “We’ve also heard fairly good reports out of the Snoqualmie near Tokul Creek, but the fish are smaller, in the 4- to 7-pound range.”
Up north, the Cascade River is the most consistent for steelhead.
The much-anticipated conventional fishing gear (bait and lures allowed) opener last Saturday on the Stillaguamish River North Fork was a bust as Brett Barkdull, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist, reported swift flows and high water. Once it drops expect some decent steelhead action.
The west side of Whidbey Island off Bush and Lagoon points is generating some steelhead for bank anglers.
“We’re seeing a few more fish caught on Cowlitz at Blue Creek,” said Joe Hymer, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist in southwest Washington. “There are signs of winter steelhead around, and we’ll know more after the river levels drop. The Kalama remains slow, and the Lewis (water level) is pretty high and fishing is slow.”