Wynoochee River

Photo courtesy of Bob Freiboth

Wynoochee River



Wynoochee River: Winter steelhead, coho salmon, and resident and sea-run cutthroat are available. Wild cutthroat must be released. Public access with toilets and boat launch.

Recent Reports

Jan. 13, 2001
Thanks to: Chris Tolman
My fishing buddies and I met at 5:30. On our way there, my buddy's uncle (Rick) passed us and we talked on the cb and he was going to float from a friend's house to white bridge. We decided to float from the crossover bridge to the gravel bar. The day was slow until 1:30 when Robbie hooked up a nice fish. He fought it for about 3 minutes until I netted it. That was the only fish of the day. At the take out there were 3 fish out of 4 boats. Conditions were perfect.
Jan. 13, 2001
Thanks to: Robbie Freiboth
Well, I have been blessed enough to have a nice enough girlfriend that will let me go fishing for the past 4-5 weekends. I have been enough that I think that it was time for me. On Sat. the 13th I had a nice 13-14 pound hatchery hen find her way to my purple yellow and orange corkies and yarn. It was awsome!!!! I went with my best friend Chris and we floated from the Crossover Bridge to the Pump House Sand Bar. We decided that we wanted to do a shorter drift this week and that we wanted to do some more fishing than floating, which turned out to be great. He had a few bites earlier in the morning then at 1:30 when you think you're skunked again she hit, while we were drifting almost towards the end. Water conditions were perfect and really didn't want to leave. The only other fish cought were a "couple" by a nother guy taking out at the pump house. Also my uncle drifted the upper and he saw about 4 more fish up there. Fishing is still a bit slow but I think it is gradually getting better.
Jul. 23, 2000
Thanks to: Mike
We've been catching a few fresh fish lately, nice big ones, too! Mostly they've been in the 12-15lb. range. Purple or black jigs at black creek and the slide hole have been pretty effective, my dad and I have been doing well on fresh eggs and bobbers. The river is getting very low for drifting but that also means you can walk farther up and down to the holes from bank access spots, all in all, this looks to be a better year for steelhead than past seasons, and it usually even gets better in August. Just remember not to get too frustrated when you see several fish in a hole and not a one is interested in anything you might try to tempt them with. At dawn and dark, as usual, seems to be the best bet for finding the feeders. Good luck!
July ?, 2000
Thanks to: Mike
I haven't had much luck landing any yet, but more fish are starting to show up at the black creek area and below, mostly bright 5-8 lbs and a few larger. The rivers been getting lower and is clear so light gear is a must, purple or black jigs have been doing the best, but shrimp or eggs still work, also! We're hoping for a night of rain to really bring in the numbers we like to see, but this time of year that isn't very likely to happen. Hopefully the fish will just keep coming anyway.
Mar. 7, 2000
Thanks to: Wayne Chan
The 'Nooch is HOT! Went fishing with Gordy of Gordy's Guide Service. Great morning bite. Had 5 bites with 3 hook ups by 8:30. Including one large dark buck (wild fish, maybe?)that just wouldn't come in with the 8lb spinning rig. He was the 3rd fish I lost after over 10 minutes fight. Hooked and landed 7lb hatchery buck at 10:30. Caught a bright little 5lb hatchery hen at 2:30. Both on plugs. Gordy spends a great deal of time and effort tuning in his plugs to make sure they dive and provide the action he wants. What a day! Cloudy, high 50, occasional cold wind coming up the river. H2O temp 41. River flow 1,250 - 1,100CFS. Clear water, visibility 10'+. Just perfect conditions.
Feb. 21, 2000
Thanks to: Denny Christensen
We arrived at the river at daybreak. The river was low but fishable. The color was beautiful it was in between emerald green and clear. We started out at black creek and fished there for a couple hours nothing. Then we headed up river to another spot that I like to fish. There were boats pulled up on shore and they were already working the hole. We watched one guy catch about a 4 pounder and he also caught another small one. Finally the boats left and we had the hole to ourselves. After about an hour without a bite I felt something strange on the end of my line so I set the hook and felt a little wiggle, reeled in and there were 2 siver scales on my hook now my blood began to pump. I casted again into the same spot, WHAM a violent hit I set the hook nothing. I was wondering if the fish gods would just give me one more chance. So I casted into the same spot one more time and sure enough that fish hit one more time this time I reefed back so hard I nearly fell over backwards. A 12-lb. native that did 3 aerial displays and made a couple nice runs. What a fight I let the hole cool down and an hour later landed another fish, a mint bright 6-lbs. I'll be heading back soon, most of the boats had fish too, so there are definitely fish in the river.
Feb. 6 ,2000
Thanks to: Jerry Burbridge
Started fishing at dawn below the pumphouse launch site. My friend Nate and I covered a 3/4 mile stretch from the bank. We used corkies and yarn mostly with the occasional hotshot and sideplaneer. Saw one driftboat hook up and lose the fish. By noon we moved above the Wishcaw bridge as a result of hearing good reports from up river. We were on the west side of the white bridge take out. Nate went upriver to fish a slot running down on the east side of the river. I took time to retie and then started fishing. About the fifth cast "FISH ON!" The fish went for the clouds while doing summersaults. A great display for I could hear the boaters on the other side cheering me on. I landed the 7-lb. buck. After eight trips to the Dugeness or Wynoochee it was the first fish to land this year. Results were good for other fishermen---my guess was about one hook-up for two people that was on the river that day. Quite a few fish but you had to work for them.
Feb. 3, 2000
Thanks to: Wayne Chan
Thursday, Feb. 3, 2000. Met Gordy of Gordy's Guide Service at the Chevron station at 6:15AM (after an early morning mix up call, sorry Gordy). Put in at 7AM. First fish on at 7:30. A spent 2 salt hatchery hen on sand shrimp behind a bait diver. Big take down at 10 o'clock but I didn't get the hook set. Oh well ... 3 o'clock, a fresh chrome 2 salt hatchery hen nailed the pink HotShot plug. 5 jumps and several good tugs and she came in. 7 lbs. Missed another strike at 4:00 before taking out. Good day of fishing. Too bad I couldn't get one going on my fly rod. Gordy is good. He can back those plugs right in there where he knows they like to hang. Good weather and conditions too. Mostly sunny, high 62, wind out of the east, occasionally gusting up to 12 mph. Water temp 45+, water green with 3'+ visibility, started the day at 2,400 CFS dropping to 2,100 CFS by take out. 2 days after rain storm peaking the river at 3,700 CFS.
Jan. 29, 2000
Thanks to: jerry burbridge
Everybody thought like I did that Sat. Fish for steelhead Sat. and watch Superbowl on Sunday. The river was packed with bank fishermen, drift boats, plunkers etc. I fished the low, clear river. You name it I did it. Corkies, shrimp, eggs, spinners and sideplaner with hot shot. I was a bank fisherman probing the hidden holes under root wads. No fish for me today and heard very few sucess stories from the drift boats.
Oct. 5, 1999
Thanks to: Philip Fisher
Did a spot check of the Wynoochee at the Devonshire bridge, Montesano. water temp: 52 F. condtion: clear water low Fish spot: squaw fish. The slivers are still down in the Chehalis. No reports of steelhead as of yet
   note: Logs and debris that had been piled up against the Devonshire bridge from 1997 flood have ben removed so no snags and some pretty nice holes now. Have had some good rain so should perk up a bit soon.
Aug. 1, 1999
Thanks to: Rick Freiboth
On Sunday I took a friend down the Wynoochee for the first time. We put in at a friend's place and drifted down to White bridge. The river was extremely low and we had to get out and drag the boat a little. Turned out to be a beautiful day for fishing. I hooked and landed a nice chrome 16 pound hatchery buck. We hooked it about 10, so I thought we were in for a good day. I was quite supprised with the river being so low. We had a few smolties take our bait throughout the day but no more big fish. It was nice to show Jeff what we were after, but I wish we could have hooked up another. Maybe next time.
Dec. 24, 1998
Thanks to: Mike S
Just thought I'd tell you the Wynoochee River never cleared up beyond about 1 foot of visibility after the last high water earlier in December and with the current flooding, it should clear up in time for the June '99 opener! Time to go buy a new license.
Dec. 18, 1998
Thanks to: Mike S
I drove to the Wynoochee from Olympia Friday morning thinking the river would be dropping into shape quite nicely, but no. Still a day or two off, about 6" visibility. While commiserating at the Black Creek launch, a nice local gent offered a poleholder for some plunking there which was about the only option.
   Got cold and restless after an hour of no bites so I crossed over to the Humptulips looking for clearer water to drift. The water there was no better but was I astonished to find a madhouse at the Stevens Creek or is it Blue Creek? Hatchery. Musta been 100 people fishing there, easy. But they were catching fish. Not wanting to fish like that and having other things to do, I went home.
   A point I'd like to make is that the quality of the fishery would be greatly improved if the hatchery runs in most rivers filtered in instead of coming it at once like a run of mangey dog salmon, with the same type circus atmosphere as those fish attract. I'm not bitter or anything.
July 25, 1998
Thanks to: Nigel J Voller
Fished upper river for trout got a couple of bites, no food. Fished Satsop lakes no fish. Returned to camp and watched a fellow camper catch 3 5-6 l.b steelhead in the same section of river I fished. Had two hamburgers and went to bed.
Mar 22, 1998
Thanks to: Steve Ng
Planned a trip to the Queets on Sunday with my fishing buddy Gary, and of course the weather changed from great to typical Washington rain. We left Gig Harbor, drift-boat in tow at 3:30 in the morning in a slight rain. By the time we were in Aberdeen we were experienceing deluge after deluge of heavy showers. We expected the Queets to be going out, but being crazy die-hard Steelheaders, we continued on. It was light by the time we arrived at the river and as we had suspected, it was out. So, plan B, the Clearwater which usually was fishable under these conditions. Upon first glimpse of the river it looked great! So we proceeded to the put-in which was about 9 miles ahead. No sooner than a few minutes down the road we passed a fellow drift-boater and they honked and waved at us. But they were headed out and we thought that we had recognized them , so we turned around and turned on our CB. Sure enough, it was some friends from Aberdeen, and they told us that the launch above the river was running muddy. Plan C ! We headed to the Upper Quinalt, which always ran clear, so we thought! Six inches of visiblity and still raining hard.
Last plan of attack.......we find it hard to give up, as most fisherman do. The Wynoochee River....which we had avoided in the first place because of heavy pressure. At least the dam on the river would help keep the river in better shape. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity of driving, we arrived at the river take-out, and the river looked very fishable, and we figured at least now most of the boaters had already gone down the river. Dropped of our return vehicle, headed to the middle put-in and started fishing. We let our buddies go ahead of us and fished the first hole with no luck. We finally caught up with our buddies and they said that they had touched two fish already, but had no hook-ups. We headed down-river and fished hard, with no luck. Then we came to a great looking hole that was also being fished by a gentleman on shore. He asked how we were doing and commented that he had not touched a fish. We proceeded downriver out of his water and anchor! Fed up. We both commented how this hole "has to hold fish". I threw my corky and eggs in a likely hole and felt that unmistakeable pause, and the water exploded with a flash of silver with that tell-tale stripe of color of a large buck. It ripped line from my Shimano and ended up way down river and of course being in a drift -boat we wanted to stay put. After a battle of trying to gain line, we had to pull anchor and chase the fish. We finally caught up to it and fought it for a few more minutes. I jumped out of the boat and landed it near shore. Took a few pictures and released it to fight once again. We estimated it to be about 15 pounds.
Gary rowed hard to place us about twenty feet from the hole that we had hooked the fish. After several empty tosses, my bait was taken again. This time I was able to control this fish, even though it was a "chromer" . After a short battle we released a hen of about 10 pounds. Both were Natives and regardless of the regulations deserve to be released!
We fished the hole longer without any more sucess and decided to pull anchor and also noticed that the river was getting muddier and muddier. We did not hook anymore fish but, did see our buddies hook and "long distance release" a nice bright fish. We did pass two fellows in an aluminum lake boat, and told us that they could "keep" Native Steelhead in the Wynoochee because the Regs. said so. We told them that the whole state was under emergency order "Wild steelhead release." We also quite frankly stated that we sportsmen must learn to catch and release natives regardless. Well you can guess what I am leading to, we saw them catch and clobber what looked like a beautiful fish shortly afterwards. Lets all work hard in getting everyone to catch and release wild fish.
Well, by the time we arrived at the take out, the river was pretty much unfishable, but all in all at least we were able to catch a few fish. I guess it was my turn to be the lucky one, and what great timing, as my wife is due to have a baby in a few weeks. And I am sure you all know what that means to my fishing in the near future!
March 14, 1998
Thanks to MR8FRED for the following report:
Finally found a steelhead. A lot of fishing on Saturday (eight hours), March 14, for one nice fish. We (John & I) got on the river about 7 a.m. and spent the day searching a great deal of bank real estate (which is not much) on the Wynoochee. We tried many techniques (drift, bobber, and even some plunking (yuck) before we got the hookup, just not very many fish.
I hooked the nine-pound native hen on a pink rubber worm with a small pink spin-glow on the front end. She took the offering with a strong pull and really put up a good battle & tried her best to tangle the line in a log jam about 30 yards from my position down stream. After 10 minutes she finally gave up, I got a nice picture of her, put her back in the river, and said bye. Was a fun trip with excellent water and weather!
December 24, 1997
Thanks to Mike Shockman for the following report:
I lucked out Christmas Eve and caught a 35" hen that weighed about 15lbs drift fishing on foot above the white bridge launch. Went back Christmas and over the weekend and nothing... It was the only one I felt the whole time. Lots of boaters but I didn't check their results. By the way, I think it's ridiculous to allow jet boats on smaller rivers. Traffic is bad enough on the roads...
December 14, 1997
Thanks to Jeff Zenk for the following report:
The Wynoochee is experiencing the same phenomena as the Cowlitz and other rivers. There just isn't any fish. Let's hope they are late, but the signs seem to be pointing to a coast-wide run failure.
June 21, 1997
Thanks to SW Regional Editor Jeff Zenk for the following report:
I hit the water at about 4:30 AM with high hopes of getting into a fish. I had talked with some guys who had fished the river on Friday that had "touched" a couple. My luck wasn't as good on Saturday. I fished it hard, but to no avail. The other boats I talked with had the same success - zip.
June 15, 1997
Thanks to Jeff Zenk for the following report:
Fished the Wynoochee Fathers Day with my dad. The river has really dropped making fishing difficult. My dad lost a nice fish after an exciting battle, but from the rest of the folks we talked with, it sounds like that was the extent of the excitement on the river for the day. Not a lot of action.
June 6-7, 1997
Thanks to Jeff Zenk at chinook@olywa.net for the following report:
Ryan Wells and I fished the Wynoochee over the weekend. From the early indications, it looks to be at least a decent run this year. We had an exceptional outing, although the majority of the people I talked with reported only moderate success.
As the river drops into its summer flows, the water becomes crystal clear with many of the holes becoming almost stagnant with the lack of water volume. Floating the river becomes almost impossible and only the stealthiest of fishers will find success. Good Luck!
March 13, 1997
Thanks to Chris Tompkins for the following report:
We arrived at the Wynoochee at 2:30 p.m. and launched my drift boat at the White bridge access. The weather was nice and sunny with some showers around and the water was a very nice color and had about 5 ft visibility , she was running at 2200 cfs. We floated the 3 miles down to the Wishka bridge and fished until dark. My friend had all the bites, one take down on a plug and a large fish on drift gear, but unfortunately both were lost before we could land them for a couple of quick photos. There is some pressure on the river but not as many people now that native fish are required to be released. After fishing we had the fun part of the day trying to get the boat back on the trailer, the winch gave out after 15 years and we had to load the boat by hand, had lots of fun searching Aberdeen for a new one at 8:30 p.m. (Kmart saved us). We decided to head up to the Hoh for the next day and give the big river a shot, heard some good stories.

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