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Name: ilikefish Date: November 26, 2014 Rating:
 
Time: Morning Bait: Login to view! Tackle: Login to view!
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Took my son down to the cowlitz since it was not going to rain. Water was super high, but the clarity was good. We found some soft water and floated eggs. We both landed one beautiful coho but they were both wild so off they went. The one my son caught had two sets of double hooks with corkies in it's mouth plus his hook. She was hungry! No fish to eat but good father son time
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Name: linh.uw Date: November 15, 2014 Rating:
 
Time: Morning Bait: Login to view! Tackle: Login to view!
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Posting for Saturday Nov 14th, 2014

Hi everyone. I fished the Cowlitz River by the Barrier Dam last Saturday and it was an overall great day. Got to the river early, squeezed into a spot, and line in the water about 5:30 am. Started off floating eggs under a 3/4 oz bobber, 3/4 oz connecter/swivel weight and tied an egg loop around my 2-0 hook.

The smelt were in tough and devouring my eggs pretty much every cast. Everyone around was lucky to get one good drift, maybe 2 drifts before you had to put more eggs on. Got old real fast... tried some sand shrimp- just the tail curled around the hook. (Bobber to leader - about 3.5feet to 5 feet varying depths and tried different rifts) added some spitshot about halfway down between my swivel/weight and the hook. Got my first hit with this sandshrimp/bobber combo. spit out my hook right at shore.

Tried the shrimp for an hour or more- switched between eggs/shrimp ... the shrimp def lasted longer.. I thought i could just wait out the smelt but they were bad. About 9 am switched to a purple/black jig (in the picture) and landed an older 'silver' if you could call it that haha - it was "pre-smoked" for me.... didn't need to put it in my smoker haha

Got a few more bobbers down with the purple jig (i believe 3/8 oz or 1/4oz). Bites slowed down and tried eggs again- no real luck; more smelt.

Started drift fishing pink cork and pink yarn- with egg loop and occasional eggs thrown in every 10th cast or so... the smelt were def taking their toll. Hit a nice bright female coho drifting eggs and it was a great fight. She came in with the hook in her nostril- leading her in like my pittbull by the nose. That came right before noon.

A few more hookups/lost fish and a few more snags but nothing else landed. I heard Cowlitz + barrier dam was great from a co-worker of mine and it seemed it would have been nice if the smelt weren't there. Overall nice first day there... im sure ill be back again when i have another day off. I hear its always this crowded but i was surrounded by good peoples - older guy Mike, who has been fishing at that same spot i stood - as he claimed for the last 29 years .... not 30 years though! he was very exact about that... very interesting guy and also to my right, Richard. Both older guys and they helped me out a bunch- I've fished puyallup and green for pinks and silvers before but my first time here - met some nice people.

Hope this post helps! I hear the B run is just starting to come in so get out to the Cowlitz if you can brave the crowd. Even on that slow day most people i saw caught at least one- very few with 2ea and only one guy that had 3-4 landed all day. On a regular, non-smelt day... im sure y'all will do great with eggs, twitching jig, or sandshrimp under a bobber. or corky/yarn and eggs drifting about 1/2 oz maybe a bit more in pencil lead.

Good luck guys! and tell me how it is still!

Best,

Linh
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Name: catchanything66 Date: November 15, 2014 Rating:
 
Time: Morning Bait: Login to view! Tackle: Login to view!
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Started early by boat launch at Blue creek by throwing glo corkies. Then went to floats and eggs and spinners. Nothing. Worked my way down the river to Blue creek hitting any number of open spots and still came up empty. Didn't even have a hit. There were a couple of lucky guys that had a king apiece. Way to to go guys. Heard a few boats had netted some. But I was there for 6 hours and still nothing. That's fishing.
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Name: djw0414 Date: November 07, 2014 Rating:
 
Time: All Day Bait: Login to view! Tackle: Login to view!
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I was fortunate to be invited on a guided trip to the Cowlitz by a good friend who was picking up the tab. You gotta love that. We met at Barrier and launched around 7:30 am and started side-drifting eggs. The action was instantaneous including a triple of which we landed only one but we were thinking we were going to limit in a couple hours and head for home. Not so fast my friend.......the action was continuous but we worked hard to catch 13 adults and a jack amongst 4 fisherman. All the fish were bright and filleted beautifully with nice red meat. The weather was great and the company was better but I can't give the day the holy 5 star rating because we were 10 fish short of a limit. Quite a few bankies at Barrier who were catching fish on and off so the opportunity is there to land some nice dinners even if you don't have a boat. Tight lines.
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Name: rmerikle Date: November 02, 2014 Rating:
 
Time: Morning Bait: Login to view! Tackle: Login to view!
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All times are before time change since I refused to switch time until after fishing. Left home at 3:30AM and arrived barrier dam @ 5:30AM. Foggy Dark, but darn glad I got there so early. Got a great spot. First time I have really ever fished here and was losing rigs left and right in the dark. Really only one other guy that was fishing with me and he was hooking up every other cast. Frustrating.

Day break and finally started seeing what I was doing and by this time there were 20 some people lined up in the spot I was in. I was about waist deep in water just up from the boat launch. There were tons of people everywhere. It was getting crowded, but everyone was working together. Hook ups were many. Not uncommon to have multiple hookups going at the same time. I would say most of the people on the bank and not wading were have much worse luck. I was getting frustrated and then about that time bam first hook up. Fish jumped and I lost it. Shortly after that bam 2nd fish again jumped and lost it. A while later bam again and this time fought it for a while, but then lost it. About 11AM I get another hookup. I fight it down stream to the boat launch. Thought for sure I would lose it, but three really nice guys in a boat pull up and let me hop in. Fight the fish for another 15 minutes up and around the bend. Finally get it to the surface and it is a nice 25 to 30 lb King. We see it is wild and therefore I push hard to bring it in and break the line in the process.

It really was a catch 22. Great, great fishing, but lots and lots of people. I only had 4 solid hookups in about 5 hours of actual fishing, but there were guys hooking up left and right. A couple of guys were nailing them left and right. I even saw some first cast hook ups. I am still learning. The first part of the morning the group was good. The 2nd part of the morning was a group of people that just weren't very nice. Not sure if I was getting tired or they were getting tired, but there was a group that had been drinking since before light and were starting to show it. And lastly I would say maybe 1 out of 10 were landed and of those 1 out of 10 were fish people would want to keep. Lots of really beat up kings and lots of wild fish. The silvers that were kept were very good looking and it would have been an 5++ day if I had brought home some actual fish.

If you want to catch fish and are willing to brave the crowds then this is the place to go.

PS Another report mentions wading across the river to the other side. I don't see how this is possible. Not even close and the water flow is controlled and does not change much from what I understand.
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Name: seattledan Date: October 24, 2014 Rating:
 
Time: Morning Bait: Login to view! Tackle: Login to view!
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Weather: Mostly overcast and no rain. Heavy rains the previous day.

Location: Below barrier dam boat launch. I crossed the creek just below the boat launch and walked down the bank as far as I could. I could not have been crossed without high waders (and now the water is too high to cross unless you can swim?).

Gear: Float fished with a pink/white jig, 2 ft liter and 20b test. Didn't want to lose a big one!

Started fishing at 8:00 am. Around 9:30, right at the end of a long float, bobber down! Landed a nice chrome, hatchery 5 lb coho.

Decided to move to Blue Creek Trout Hatchery around 12:00. Walked the length of the trail to Blue Creek and fished my way back up to the boat launch. Before leaving I decided to check out the bank access that is about a quarter mile up from the boat launch. A few large logs along the bank created what I thought would be a slower inside seam for some fish. Waded out about waist deep and tried floating the length of the seam.

2:00 pm, right at the end of another long float, bobber down! Another nice chrome, hatchery 5 lb coho.

Both fish happened to be hens as well and I was able to cure the eggs for next time.

Need to take more fridays off! Tight lines!
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Name: seattlesteban Date: October 21, 2014 Rating:
 
Time: Afternoon Bait: Login to view! Tackle: Login to view!
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Got my first fish out of the cowlitz!

Went down to Lamiglas HQ to get a replacement rod. Got to barrier dam about 1/2 hour after quitting time and got myself a spot in the rotation.

I had been here once this year, with my skok meat stick that didn't quite have the casting power to get to the sweet spot in the honey hole. My new rod is 9'6" so I was able to get where I needed to be. Plus, I learned the secret tech to avoid snagging on the rocks.

After a few casts I had one on, lost it. Then a bit later, fish on! A mid-sized mildly blushed buck. Thank you to the helpful angler that netted it for me.

This is a very cool fishery. There is a lot of room to fish, though you need waders/decent boots unless you plan on float fishing the deadline, where you don't need to enter the water. For a city slicker like myself navigating the river rocks can be challenging.... but its 1000x better than fishing the Green River at this time of year.

Thank you to WALAKES and the reporters. Keep it dapper people!
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Name: c_saeteurn Date: October 19, 2014 Rating:
 
Time: Morning Bait: Login to view! Tackle: Login to view!
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hmmm. lewis county, barrier dam doesnt seem to be an fishing option on the location selection. Well Headed out Sunday with a couple friends this morning in search of some coho at barrier; since the reports been pretty good so far. drifted eggs the entire time. 2 hours later. hooked into a 8 - 10 lbs hatchery buck king. kinda dark, so back in it went. That was the only action for me that day. A dozen or so coho pulled out by other bait fisherman. Corkie and yarn guys down river hooked up a few times. But they could never seem to land them. wicked hook sets that slap the water behind them. Was a fun sight to see. Lot of fish rolling and jumping in the middle of the river. Some kings where charcoal black
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Name: tele_maniac Date: October 17, 2014 Rating:
 
Time: All Day Bait: Login to view! Tackle: Login to view!
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Took a vacation day Friday and hit the Cowlitz river in pursuit of chrome. Had a great time! There were a lot of fishermen out for a weekday. Caught some nice fish, but had to work for them and put in some time. Started off floating eggs at Barrier dam. During the first hour I caught a feisty chrome hen and lost two other fish after brief battles. Continued to float eggs for a couple hours until I ran out of my home cure. Had another handful of bobber downs, but missed the fish. Switched to bottom bouncing corkies. Caught a large slightly blushed hen on my first cast. She put up a great fight! Caught a second smaller blushed hen a few minutes later. Hooked up with a huge colored up King about ten minutes later. It jumped twice and popped my leader as I tried to subdue the beast. Wasn't planning to keep that one anyway, but it would have been fun to get it in and take a closer look at it. Guessing it was about 35 lbs. Took a short break for lunch then brought out the backup store bought eggs and went back to float fishing. Hooked up twice and lost both fish after brief battles. After another hour or so decided to switch back to bouncing corkies. Fishing picked up in the evening about an hour before sundown. Pretty sure some fresh fish pushed up into the hole because the bite got crazy. There were multiple hookup and flying fish everywhere. Lots of chrome came to the bank in a short time. I lost four fish in rapid succession. All of them popped my leaders. One took me down the rapids and got stuck on a log. The other three broke me off out in the hole. Truth is there were so many lines in the water and people around at that point I was horsing them a little too hard trying to get them to the bank without getting tangled with anyone else. All in all it was an amazing day. I went 3/12, but had a blast doing it!
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Name: AJFishdude Date: October 11, 2014 Rating:
 
Time: Morning Bait: Login to view! Tackle: Login to view!
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Fished the Cowlitz at the barrier dam with some friends. We were standing in the water ready to go when the clock registered an hour before daylight. Started the day off drifting glow corkies and immediately started getting hits. One of the friends I was with brought in a Coho or two on the glow corkies as well as a native Chinook (released). I hooked into one fish that came off after about 10 seconds and then hooked up with another on the glow corkies. Ended up being a wild Chinook buck (probably around 12 or 13lbs), which was promptly released without pictures. The early morning bite was really good but slowed a bit once the sun was up.

After the light had come up enough we all switched to free drifting eggs. I'm very new to that technique and am still getting used to what a bite feels like, but with my 9.5' Shimano Clarus drift rod in hand, I was able to clearly feel one good nibble on the eggs, reeled down, and then set the hook for all it was worth knowing that I had a lot of play in my rod and mono mainline. Anyway, I drove that hook home (through the jawbone I think) and proceeded to play out a nice Coho of about 8lbs that was just starting to darken. It was a lot of fun fighting that fish on that rod with 10lb leader and was also good to get a solid feel for what that soft egg bite is like. The friends I was with were able to bring in about 3 more Coho between them drifting eggs as well.
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