We are currently in the middle of summer and, with that, comes facing some of the toughest fishing conditions we have all year long. This is particularly true when it comes to fishing inland, but the very opposite situation exists while fishing the ocean waters.
Speaking of ocean fishing, Marine Area 2 which is generally the Westport and Ocean Shores region, offers anglers the option of a fresh salmon. This fishery continues until Sept. 23 or until the fish quotas for hatchery coho or Chinook are met.
Fishing inland is completely a different story. The reason this is is because weather governs water depth and temperature. When we come to mid-summer, these two factors impact fishing in both lakes and rivers throughout our region.
Game fish, such as trout and steelhead, tend to have a great sensitivity to extreme water temperatures. So, whether one fishes for trout in our lakes or steelhead in our rivers, this matter becomes a great concern to anglers.
The optimum temperature range for rainbows is between 55 and 60 degrees. For steelhead, the optimum temperature range is 45 to 58 degrees. In the winter, these fish become lethargic and need to be provoked to strike. In the summer, it becomes more critical and even harmful when water temperatures sores. Actually, these fish will also need oxygenated water as well. They will resort to the rapids of a river or an incoming stream of a lake to meet this need.
Another summer concern is low and clean water conditions. Every angler is mindful of this issue and thereby prepares themselves accordingly. This means staying under cover and avoiding every chance of spooking the fish. The rule of thumb is if you can see the fish, it has already seen you.
Add to this complexity is figuring out what is the best lure to present without crossing the threshold of acceptance with these fish. I have watched anglers presenting lures which are far too obtrusive and there is no way these game fish will be enticed to strike at such a presentation.
Throughout the state, fishing for game fish may be done during the night hours. So anglers have been successful finding the bite to occur an hour or two before sun up. Again, the proper presentation will enhance the productivity ration. Of course, anglers need to arise early or fish at sundown. This effort is known as working for the fish since it occurs at the fisher’s inconvenience. It helps to have a flexible schedule to make all this happen favorably.
If one is fishing for steelhead locally, you will learn that river flow dictates the level of slime accumulation.
The Humptulips River does not have this issue as much as the Wynooche River. The water of the Wynooche is regulated due to the dam holding back water for the lake per say. The Hump relies on head water snow melt and upper river water sources to keep water fresh. In the case of the Wynooche, the water can become inactive; henceforth, contributing to the slime problem on river rocks. The best way to overcome this matter is wear felt soles on the bottoms of boots or shoes. The slime will eventually wash away with high water in the fall or winter.