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RIFFE

Riffe Lake is a reservoir that is on the Cowlitz River and stretches more then 13 miles, 52 miles of shoreline and 11,830 acres. Its along US-12 and is east of the little town of Mossyrock and is open year- round. The biggest fishing attraction is the Kokanee that can get up to 14 inches long, and are best caught in the spring and early summer. The other kinds of fish this reservoir has are Rainbow, Cutthroat, Brown trout, Smallmouth Bass, Largemouth Bass, Landlocked Chinook, Brown Bullheads, Bluegill, Crappie and Perch. Riffe has two boat ramps at Mossyrock Park. One that is $5.00 and one that is on the old road that is free. There is one at Taidnapam Park that is $5.00. There is free ramp called Kosmos by the Taidnapam Park. There is a Public Access on the road to Taidnapam Park, they all have good parking and there is camping at Taidnapam (52 Campsites) and Mossyrock (more then 200 campsites). Plus there is free camping down by the Mossyrock dam (first come first serve). Just take the dam road out of Mossyrock Park to get there. Here you can only fish from shore. There are also toilets at this spot. There is also the 108 Bridge on the Champion Haul Road near Taidnapam Park for people who stillfish off the bridge. If you get tired of Riffe, you can fish Swofford Pond and Mayfield Lake which just a few minutes away and Mayfield has a State Park called Ike Kinswa. There is also a great fishing lake called Mineral Lake which a few miles north on Hwy. 7. So anyway you look at it, you will always have fishing in this part of the county. To get to Riffe Lake, take U.S 12 East from Interstate 5. Its about 23 miles to Mossyrock. Turn right to go into Mossyrock, then left at the "T". The lake is about 7 miles in. To reach the east part of the lake, Taidnapam Park, Kosmos and 180 Bridge, go past Morton on U.S 12 for about 5 miles. By Michael Emerson

If one was to speak of premier large lakes to visit in this state, Riffe would certainly be on the top of the list. This 23 mile reservoir has 52 miles or so (depending on water level) of shoreline with more than a weekend's worth of exploration. There are campgrounds located a couple different places on the lake, as well as boat launches strategically located to allow easier access to all corners of the lake. The lake holds a great variety of fish. It includes rainbow, brown trout, landlocked coho salmon, lg and sm bass, crappie, bullhead and bluegill - plenty of species to explore and target. With a lake this large trolling is an excellent method to target trophy fish. Just as effective are the still fishermen who anchor up and target the landlocked coho. Bass fishermen will find plenty of habitat to cast to.

The boat launches are good, concrete, and come with floating piers. Which is necessary because water levels can really change here. In the drought of a couple years back the ramps were all high and dry. But that was the exception. Most times you'll find plenty of pier space to tie up to. Because of it's size, there is plenty f room to spread out on Riffe. You'll not have too much problems with skiers getting in the way. You do need to be mindful of the potential for heavy chop on windy days. Early morning and evening hours are always best for calm waters.

The lake is undeveloped and has pristine views in all directions. Be mindful of the dam on the west end. There are nearby small towns to get grub and other essentials at. This lake is definitely a place to add to your "must check out" list. Also, check out near-by Swofford Pond (SW end of the lake). It holds panfish, rainbows, browns, crappie, bass, and channel catfish. No motor restriction in effect at time of this printing (check WDFW regs for updates). By Mike Carey