Jeff Traver on Cowlitz River



Dated 8/13/17


Rob Crandal from Water Time Outfitters in Oregon City fishing with John Kendall from Black Heron Fly Fishing this morning went 1 for 3 steelies. Rob hooked up immediately in the first hole we visited. A great time was had by both of us remembering the times at Larrys Sports Center in Beaverton and Oregon City where we began out careers in the fishing industry.

Dated 8/10/17

Ray Johnson, George Foshee and Bill Barker with some summer run from the Cowlitz river.


Dated 8/8/17
Tony Williams with a nice summer run from the Cowlitz river using his single hand fly rod.


Dated 8/4/17
Ray Johnson with a nice summer from the Cowlitz at 34inches and 14 pounds.

Date 8/2/17



Dated 8/1/17

John Kendall from Black Heron Fly Fishing and Frank Fortino.

The fly fishing on the Cowlitz was good this morning with most fly anglers getting a steelhead.

Contact Black Heron Fly Fishing for info on the Cowlitz river at 360-575-3970 office and ask for John

Night closure in effect below Lexington Bridge.

Reduced hatchery steelhead limit of 2 per day.

No fishing below the lexington bridge for steelhead.

You do not have too kill hatchery steelhead on the Cowlitz due to reduced numbers being expected this summer.

Dated 7/7/17

A nice summer run steelie caught by John Kendall from Black Heron Fly Fishing. John Hooked three steelies and lost the first one on a piece of stray spectra fiber line that was in the stream. The third fish was lost after  short fight  and a direct run at the angler from about 35 feet. Fun was had by all this morning. It was beautiful, cool and very pleasing.

Several other anglers were also luck including two other fly anglers who were in boats.

If your in need of a guided trip contact John at Black Heron Fly Fishing 360-575-3970 or email at

We provide guided flyfishing services on the Cowlitz, Kalama and several lakes in the area using our custom drift boat.

All your needs will be taken care of during our trips, including lunch, snacks, drinks rods, reels, lines, flies,leaders,  and shuttle services. You only need your fishing license, waders, boots and rainwear. We even watch your vehicle while fishing.
Drop us a call if you have any questions at 360-575-3970 or email us at

Dated 7/6/17

Hey Look who got the 2nd summer steelie on the fly this year. Non other than Mr Ray Johnson. Rays fly of choice as the Oregon Stater  Tube fly using his spey rod.
There were several fish caught this morning from the boats and a couple from the bank by fly rodders. The steelies are just moving into the area around Blue Creek and should provide good action from here on out during the summer.

If your looking too book a trip on the Colwitz please call John at Black Heron Fly Fishing from 10am-6pm. 360-575-3970 office or 360-431-7045 cell and leave a message.

We provide the rods reels and lines plus all your flies and lunch. You only need a fishiing license , waders ,boots and rain gear.

Rocky Rockwood with a nice steelie from the Lower Cowlitz river .

Dated 7/3/17

A beauty of a summer run steelie from the Cowlitz river. Caught by Russel Stevens on his fly rod on Satruday morning.

River level is now at a wonderful height about 4000 cfs and holding.

Call Black Heron Fly Fishing if you have questions at 360-575-3970 office
and ask for John.

Dated  6/22/17

The Cowlitz is finally down below 10000 cfs at 9600cfs today.
The steelies are still a bit lacking in numbers but they are present in the river.

The Tiger Muskies are present in the river system in Mayfield lake and taking flies.
The best flies are Black and White in about 5-7 inlong streamers.

 Popular minnow pattern for Tiger Muskies.

Some popular minnow patterns for tigers.

Ray Johnson with a nice Tiger Muskie he caught with Mike Sturza from Lost Creek Fly Shop. Ray caught 3 Tiger this day ranging from 44 inches to 36 to 30. A very good day. Your a great guide Mr Mike.


tiger 3
Ray with his 44 inch Tiger from Mayfield reservoir. About 25-30 pounds.
Dated 6/17/17

The Cowlitz river is at 10700 cfs flow and fishable but high. There are a few steelies around but not large numbers.

A fly for the Cowlitz river that has produced well in the past.
The Pink Panther

A great fly in the tail outs and other areas using sinking tips and sinking leaders.
Get these flies from Black Heron Fly Fishing.
360-575-3970 office

Dated 6/12/17

Are you ready for some summer steelies??????

The water has finally dropped too 6000 cfs and should provide afew fish. The counts are still low but at least they have lowered the river levels.

If you have a raft or boat your chances are better.

There are new regulations which we are checking on at this time. Be aware they have lowered the bag limit on the Cowlitz.

Barbed hooks are allowed according to the regulations from June 1st through July 31st, 2017.

Dated 5/29/17

The Cowlitz river is still high at 12300 cfs and continuing too rise.

High Snow Pack is still present in the cascades making the run off  unpleasant to fish in.

The winter steelies have begun to disappear and the summer runs have begun too arrive in the river. High water will make the summers return earlier rather than later in most cases.

Be on the look out for the counts too start rising in the near future.

Dated 5/18/17

The Cowlitz is beginning to fall towards 10000 cfs and is currently 11,300 cfs.

Winter steelies are still present in the river and springers are there also.

When the water drops a few more cfs get ready too hit the river.

Hopefully the good weather headed this direction will drop the river down in to the
8000 cfs range or lower and hold it there for a few weeks.

Dated 5/14/17

The Cowlitz river is running at 14500 cfs which is extremely high in the 90th percentile.

The streams surrounding the cowlitz have all receded to just above normal flows. This is a good indicator but !!!!!!


Shawn West will be demonstrating how to tye Deer Hair Bass bugs in the shop on
June 10th from 11am till 3 pm. Shawn is one of the best Deer Hair tyers I have ever met in the last 30 years. Shawn has demonstrated for the Fly Tyers Renedevouz and FFF Tyers expo in Albany Oregon and always provides an excellent  demo. If your interested in becoming a better tyer drop by Black Heron Fly Fishing on June 10th from 11am till 3 pm to talk  with Shawn West.

If you have questions please feel free to contact
John at Black Heron Fly Fishing
105 Debbie Street
Longview, Washington 98632
360-575-3970 office

Dated 5/1/17
Last week the winter steelie count was 371 winters into the hatchery.
This Friday their were 417 into the hatchery.
They are in the river now and fishable.

Get them while you can because this will be a short season. The summers have already hit the hatchery in very small numbers due to the water levels.

Current cfs flow is 10900 whihch is high but fishable.

There have been fish being taken on the river.

Andrew Greigs new toy for fishing out of. This guy is motivated and now has a boat.
Good luck Andrew doing the river thing.

While practicing Mr Greig said he caught numerous fish from Kress lake fishing with his friend Dave.
This week appears to be very nice weather and should provide excellent oppurtunity
for the steelhead fly angler on the Cowlitz river.

Some typical winter patterns for the Cowlitz river and others while the water is high.
Get these patterns at Black Heron Fly Fishing. 360-575-3970 office

Green Butt Intruder

Pink Intruder


Orange Intruder

Dated 10/14/16

Mike Dagley had a good morning hooking 3 steelies and landing one summer run about 9 pounds using his new spey rod and the Oregon Stater Tube fly from Black Heron Fly Fishing on the Cowlitz river.


Dated 10/10/16

Todd Steveson making a nice cast on the Cowlitz river. There were a few people present due to the holiday but most were very polite anglers.

Todd Steveson with his first summer steelie from the Cowlitz river, a nice 12 pound summer run about 31 inches fishing with Black Heron Fly Fishing. Todd was fishing with the Oregon Stater Tube Fly from Black Heron Fly Fishing.

Dated 10/8/16

David Lampit with a nice sea run cutthroat from the Cowlitz river.
This fish was caught using a size 10 October Caddis Pupa and a floating fly line.
David said he was a little hungry after getting up at 330am. We recommended Mcdonalds on the way home.

There quite a few cutthroat trout caught on 10/10/16 at Blue Creek and below for probably 2 miles stacking up in the Hinkley and Eagles nest holes. Be watching for slower moving water with good drops and good shoreline vegetation.
Tail water is also good for these tasty morsels using flies.

Dated 10/5/16
The Cowlitz river has been doing well for summer steelies this week with numerous anglers reporting success.

The cutthroat have also been doing well the last few days. Get them while you can. The rain has began and it will not be long before the rivers rise.john81809

Dated 10/2/16

The steelies and Cutthroat are begonning to show signs of picking up n the Cowlitz river with numerous people reporting good success.


Smokey Crews with a nice 18 inch cutthroat from the Cowlitz river caught this morning.

Dated 9/29/16

Sam Wells and Ray Johnson with a set of nice summer run steelies from the Cowlitz river.


Shane Wade with a ncie Cuttroat trout from the Cowlitz
Dated 9/24/16


Rock Rockwood with a ncie S Toutle summer run caught on


Dated 8/29/16

Hey Skagit casters!!!!!!

TFO close out on Deer Creek Spey Rods

Looking for a great spey rod with plenty of power and a great blank..Includes cloth and hard case.
Look no further we have the discontinued Temple Fork Outfitters 14 foot 7/8 spey rods in stock as a combo.

We are offering a great buy on these rods with Airflo Compact skagit in 570 grain, Rio Slick Shooter line, Echo Ion Fly reel iin size 79 and a casting class for $460.00 dollars. This package normally goes for $810.00 dollars.

Get them while they last!!!!!!!!
TFO 14 foot spey rod in 7/8 weight normally    $450.00       $250.00
Echo Ion Reel 79 normally                               $100.00        $100.00
Airflo Compact Skagit 570 grain                      $55.00          $55.00
Airflo Floating ridge runnng line                         $40.00          $40.00
Backing                                                            $15.00          $15.00
Casting Class                                                  $150.00          $0.00
                                                            Total   $810.00          $460.00

NOW $460.00 while they last

Upgrades available!!!!!! Call and ask about upgrades.

Black Heron Fly Fishing
360-575-3970 office

TFO Deer Creek Spey Rod 14 foot, 78 weight with custom cloth and case

Echo Ion Fly Reel in 79 size

ion reel

Dated 8/29/16

Frank with another nice summer run from the Cowlitz river using a Oregon Stater tube fly.


Frank Fortino with a nice summer steelie from the Cowlitz river.
frank 82216

Dated 7/21/16

The Black Heron Custom Rod Wrapper

Our newest product in the store. For all the people needing to wrap a rod or repair an existing this wrapper does it all with ease.
Made from solid oak and fishined in a lite Danish Oil finish it is very nice looking and easier to use than all the other $100 to $150  wrappers on the market.
Our introductory off on this unit is starting at $85.

We used self locking bolts and double locking nuts on this wrapper along with teflon skids to improve the tension on these wrappers. A double thread holder eliminates wasted time changing thread and increases speed.

The Cork lined bottom allows you to use this wrapper even on the wifes kitchen table which might not be the safest area to consider wrapping rods. Remember " Happy Wife Happy Life".

The improved side adjusting spool rack will extend beyoud the end of the rack to help with the wrapping of the most delicate tips and ferrule sections on any rod..

We will soon have this wrapper displayed on Youtube. Please be watching for this video..

rodwinder1The Black Heron Rod Wrapper.
Notice the large machined self locking bases on the end caps and carriage bases. This allows for the sliding of the thread carriage past the end bases for the application of thread onto  ferrules and tips without the repositioning of the rod section.

rodwinder2The Thread carriage on the Black Heron Fly Fishing wrapper showing the double nut  tension adjustments and self locking carriage base. These tension adjustments are incredible with extra smooth dispension of thread onto the rod.
The Carriage base can also be swung outward  in a 180 degree or 90 degree angle for thread application.

The Black Heron Rod wrapper end base with felt lined rod holder and adjustable end base with self locking aluminum nuts. Extremely easy to use and adjust to any rod or size.

This rod wrapper will soon come with a drying motor and base. Be looking for this one also . This will make this wrapper one of the best on the market and will greatly increase the ease and functionality of the system.

Notice the tye down areas on the end caps for your rod. We recommend using hair tyes for these. They allow for smooth and flawless application of thread with minimal recoil which rubber bands can do.

Be watchng You Tube for our demo on how to wrap a rod using this system on The Black Heron Fly Fishing Youtube channel

Dated 7/21/16

The Cowlitz river is seeing good numbers of summers enter the river at this time. 650 summer entered last Friday. Fishing was somewhat slow for the fly fisherman at Blue creek even though the numbers of fish were good. Expect things to self correct anytime with fish being caught anytime.

Current water level on the river is 3390 cfs below Mayfield dam.

Weather is forcast for thunder showers this evenning with a 45-50% chance over night. Tomorrow morning is forcast to have shorter periods of rain with a 15-20 % chance.

Dated  6/14/16

Mayfield lake will be planted with 4000 trout this week and another 4000 next week according to the Dept of Fish and Wildlife.

Dated 6/4/16

The Coal Car Steelhead. A long time favorite fly for the Deschutes river . This fly is great on many other rivers including the Cowlitz for summer steelhead.

Get these flies from Black Heron Fly Fishing. Tied on Mustad chemically sharpened hooks. Using premium materials such as Black Bear and our own custom dubbing. These are fish catchers in every respect.
Black Heron Fly Fishing
105 Debbie Street
Longview, Washington
360-575-3970 office

Dated 5/21/16

The Irish Car Bomb a custom tye from Black Heron Fly Fishing. A great summer steelhead fly for many rivers.  Get this fly by calling
 Black Heron Fly Fishing at 360-575-3970.

Black Heron Fly Fishing has Basic classes in Fly Tying and Fly Casting which are semi private.
Sign up today by Calling us at 360-575-3970 and ask for John  irish car bombIrish Car Bomb by Black Heron Fly Fishing. Tyed on an Alec Jackson Spey Hook.

Dated 5/18/16

The Cowlitz river is at 5100 cfs and weather is looking good.

The Salmon hatchery recieved 290 winters and 32 summer run steelies last Friday.

Lower river is doing the best for summer run steelies.

The columbia river is doing well for summer runs with numbers increasing daily.

Dated  5/15/16
The water level is at 5160 cfs and holding . Weather reports are good for the next few day having cloudy conditions and broken periods of rain towards the middle of the week.

Expect the fishing to be challenging for summer steelies with only 17 reported in the hatchery this last Friday. The best part of the river to fish will be below I5 to Castle Rock using typical summer steelhead patterns. Come prepared for a long search and only a few grabs this time of year.

A good pattern for you to use in the Cowltz river is the Steelhead  Muddler Minnow or other summer steelie pattern.

The Steelhead Muddler Minnow tyed by Black Heron Fly Fishing. Tyed in Olive, Black, Natural, Purple and Brown a very succesful summer run pattern in the Northwest and beyond.

If your looking for a tying class or a guided trip we can help in your pursuits. Visit us at Black Heron Fly Fishing
105 Debbie Street
Longview, WA 98632
360-575-3970 office

Dated 5/13/16

The weather forcast is for rain this weekend with a 50% chance.

The Cowlitz is running at 5200 cfs which is very good for this time of year due to lower snow run off.

The winter steelies should just about be done and all that is left are the spring salmon.

There are summer steelies present in the lower river. Only a few are available
 to die hard anglers.

A freight train  steelhead fly.
A great choice on the Cowlitz or any other stream in the area.
Get this fly at Black Heron Fly Fishing in
Longview, Washington
360-575-3970 office

Dated 5/11/16

The cowlitz is currently at 6800 cfs and holding. Weather is very nice with clear skies which are forcast to hold through Friday. Saturday and Sunday are forcast to have some rain.

Good flies to consider for the Summer run.john511161
The old Skykomish Sunset.

Skykomish Sunrise.

Both these patterns have long histories of catching fish.
They can both be obtained from Black Heron Fly Fishing at 105 Debbie Street, Longview, WA 98632
360-575-3970 office


A current pic from Cowlitz river at 5 pm. No anglers and very few boats.
There are still winters present in river with chinoook showing in bigger numbers.
The salmon hatchery was a similar senario with just a few anglers.
A few summer run have entered the hatchery 20,  along with 400 winters.

Dated 5/3/16

The current river level is 6300 down from 8500 cfs yesterday.

During the higher water the fish were closer to the bank at  8500 and thus as I have said before easier to catch.
Here is an example.


A beautiful chrome winter from the Cowlitz caught on one of Larrys shrimp patterns I talked about the other day on the internet. Caught on a strike indicator my friends.

Thanks for sharing  Picture Jesse!!!!!!!!
Dated 5/2/16
The winter steelhead are still present in good numbers at 493 along with 9 summers in the salmon hatchery on last Friday .

Get them while you can!!!!!!!!!garysflies20006
The Deschutes Demon a great summer steelhead fly.

Call Black Heron Fly Fishing for details on this fly at 360-575-3970 office or email us at

Dated 5/1/16

The water is still at the 5210 cfs level and a great time to be swinging a fly through some of the drifts on the Cowlitz river for steelies.

Weather is forcast for slight chance of rain Wednesday and Thursday
with .06 and .02 rainfall at 50% chance.

Most other days are forecast to be very pleasant from  the high 60,s to lower 70,s and a few days fore cast in the low 80s.

The rock garden below the salmon hatchery , Pump house hole above the trout hatchery, Blue Hatchery and the Hinkley hole should provide the most action this week.

The salmon run is in full swing and the boat traffic may be heavy with side drifters on the prowl. Especially since the Columbia has been shut down for salmon till further notice.


A shrimp pattern from the old Larrys sports center in Oregon City and Beaverton. This has been in the archives for many years and thought I would reintroduce
 it here on my website.

Larry Schoenborn fom Larrys Sports Center and Fishing the West Productions TV series has been gone for a number years but he really liked this pattern for winter steelies and Spring salmon in a variety of colors depending on the day and water conditions.

We all know Larry is out there catching all the fish he needs now with a fly rod.

Dated  4/29/16

The river is at 5210 cfs and looking good for winter steelhead with 610 steelies into the salmon hatchery last Friday.

The rock garden below the salmon hatchery , Pump house hole above the trout hatchery, Blue Hatchery and the Hinkley hole should provide the most action this weekend.

Get the winters while you can!!!!!!

Dated 4/26/16

River level is 6300 currently.

Dated 4/23/16

The water level has fallen to 5400 cfs and is holding. The rain will subside sometime late today and be relatively dry for the next few days.

This type of level should promote fly fishing in the Cowlitz river  with a spey rod greatly.

Get them while you can!!!!!!!!

Just a reminder !!!!!!
These precautions are to protect out native fisheries.


Dated 4/22/16

The forecast is for  moderate rain this weekend.  Which will push more fish above Blue Creek boat launch.

The water level is 6200 cfs below Mayfield dam which is an excellent level for fly fishing winter steelhead. At this time the trend appears to be the water level is dropping below 6200 cfs.

The second half of the winter steelhead seaon is in progress with the counts most likely going down from here. Last Friday the salmon hatchery had 550 winters enter the hatchery. The spring salmon will be the big run now till the summer run appears in June.

The winters are still bright and larger than the summers but in contrast have fewer after this point in time. This is still a great fishery at this time. Plan on putting your time in though to get a limit.

The Klickitat River is also open for fishing April 2 through May 30 from the mouth upstream to the Fisher Hill Bridge on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays only. The daily limit for hatchery chinook and hatchery steelhead is a total of 2 fish.

Dated 4/21/16

The Cowlitz Salmon hatchery recieved 550 Steelhead and 932 Springers last Friday.

The prior Fridays had 700 and 650 winter steelhead respectively.
Dated 4/21/16

The water level has dropped to 6500 cfs and clarity is several feet in steelhead green.

Fishing should be good with the trout opener happening this weekend.. Fewer people.

Good flies for the Cowlitz river include the Intruder, Pick Yer Pocket,
Moal Leech, Oregon Stater Tube fly, BH Buggers, BH Lifters, BH Stone fly nymphs,
Matts Furs, Steelhead Mojo, Popsicles, Aluetian Queens, Steelhead Beads and a variety of standard patterns such as Green Butt Skunk, Polar Shrimp, Skykomish Sunrise, General Practitioner, Matukas and string leeches.

A good way to fly fish the Cowlitz is to swing flies due to its large size using a sinking tip fly line such as a skagit witha piece of T11 or T8 depending on the water level. This will sink the fly into the strike zone easily.

One other effective technique is to indicator fish with a heavily weighted fly, possibly even 2 flies. This technique closely replicates the action of free floating eggs or nymphs on the bottom of stream.

Remember that the water is extrememly cold this time of year. Remember to wear a PFD and be safe when wading. Use cleated boots, a wading staff and dont fight the current when wading. Go with the flow of the water when crossing or wading deep.

Date 4/18/16

The steelhead and springers are both being caught in the Cowlitz river.

River level is currently 8500 cfs with green water. Wading should be done with care as the water is cold and still moderately high, The river is wadable and many fish have been reported caught.

Steelheading has been fantastic.

Get them while you can. Big Bright and Chrome winter steelies.

Best time to verture out to the Cowlitz is during the week days when the crowds are smaller.

The cowlitz river is down to 8600 cfs and looking good for winter run steelies.

The main push of steelhead have entered the stream and begun thrie up stream migration.

Last week there were 700 steelies that enteed the hatchery and there are 650 that have entered this week through Friday. Get them while you can.

The weather is mild and the fish are here.

The fly rodders have reported good success around Blue Creek and the willing which have a drift boat or sled are doiing even better.
The best spots for winter steleelhead fly fishing are at Blue Creek boat launch, The Hinkley hole, Bills Corner and the Eagle Nest hole. There are many other areas which you can fly fish but feel these are the most prevalent and successful areas. If you dont know these areas please call us at Black Heron Fly Fishing 360-575-3970.

Some of the better patterns for winter steelhead are the Oregon Stater Tube fly, MOAL leech, Egg Sucking leech, Matukas, Steelhead Mojo, Fly Dejuer, BH Lifter, BH Stone with rubber legs, Popsicles, Aleutian queen Muddler MInnow patterns and many other patterns.

The Cowlitz river is a large river with alot of water to cover. Needless to say you must move quickly to cover the neccessary water. Thus, we recommend you use a quick 2step and 2 cast approach moving through water using a 10 foot sinking tip in T8 and short 3-4 foot leader helping to keep the fly down in the column of water. Dont spend hours in a hole keep moving and find a fish which has a aggressive attitude.. 

If the water is cloudy tye a large fly on. If the water is clear then tye a smaller fly on .
Dont forget to be flexible. What worked yesterday may n ot work tomorrow or the next day. Fish like a variety of things to strike at thus give them a selection.

A string leech about 5 inches long for winter steelhead. Tyed by Black Heron Fly Fishing.

Pick your pocket in Orange for winter steelhead. A great pattern for swinging through runs and riffles.

Custom tyed General Practitioner from Black Heron Fly Fishing.. Another great winter steelhead pattern used while swinging flies.

Dated 10/22/15


Ray Johnson and George Foshee with a ncie set of summers from the Cowlitz river.

John and Frank
Dated 10/18/15


Frank Fortino with a summer run from the Cowlitz river.

David Lampitt with  his second and third steelhead on a spey rod since starting on October 1st. Caught on Cowlitz river during the evening.

Dated 10/10/15

Dated 10/7/15

Dated 10/7/15

Dated 10/7/15

Dated 10/5/15

Dated 9/17/15

John Kendall from Black Heron Fly Fishing and Walter Pistor at the Blue Creek Boat launch, on Cowlitz river on Sept 10th at sun up.

Dated 9/17/15

The weather was horrible this morning with  rain over 90% of the time  from 4:30am till 8:00am but there were fish to be caught. There seemed to be good numbers of Chinook and Coho present this morning as they were active on the surface and chasing the steelies.

Frank Fortino with some more summer run steelies from the Cowlitz river.

Frank was wading the Cowlitz river at Blue Creek boat launch and was done by 6:30am before the sun was up. There were several other anglers who lost summer run steelies this morning. AND then the rain started like biblical story !!!!!!!!! How lovely this was . The only bad thing was that the river rose slightly and put the fishing down for several hours.

Please note that a 63 year old fly angler lost his life on  Tuesday afternnoon at Blue Creek while wading. The gentleman was in the tailout and was swept down stream. He was rescued by another angler from the shore and transpported up stream in another fishing boat to the launch. He was pronounced dead at the hospital in Olympia. The circumstances of this accident and persons name are not known at this time.

As I have said in the past!!!! This river is very cold and dangerous. Everyone please be careful out there even if in the shallows.

Things to consider while fly fishing:
Fish with a buddy!!!!!!!
Wear a PFD of some type!!!!!
Use a wading staff!!!!!!
Wear cleats and felt soles on your boots!!!!!!
Go slow when wading!!!!!!!!

Dated 9/15/15


John Kendall from Black Heron Fly Fishing caught this nice looking summer run  from the Blue Creek area on the Cowlitz river this morning before sun up. John was using a Oregon State Tube fly from his store Black Heron Fly Fishing. John lost one other fish this morning and witnessesd two other being lost by other anglers in the same run. No cutthroat present this morning.

Weather was perfect with over cast skies from before sunup till 9am when we left.

There is rain scheduled to develop this evening and tomorrow. Be lookng for the Barometer to rise and effect the fishing. Expect approximately 0.30 inches of rain tomorrow.

The river level was 2500 cfs this morning at 5am.

The Moon was basically non existent this morning because yesterday was the new moon.

Sun rise was 6:48 am .

Sun set is 7:22pm.

Malisha Small on the Cowlitz river  with a 13 pound summer steelie. This steelie was caught using her new Sage spey rod.
Congratulations Malisha on such a beautiful summer run steelie.
Dated 9/13/15


Frank Fortino and John Kendall from Black Heron Fly Fishing with three more steelies from the Cowlitz river this morning .
The action was fast and furious on the Cowlitz with actually few anglers present this morning.  After losing a total of 3 steelies between the both of us we settled down and caught three after the sun had barely popped its head up.
Of the 5-6 anglers present this morning most were rewarded with a summer steelie or more .

The water level is still low at 2800 cfs.

Temperatures on the river have risen since last week when it was actually cold. This morning was very calm and actually warm to the touch. No coats required but a sweater is always nice this time of year.

Moon phase is New. The next full moon is 9/27/15.

Sunrise is 6:45 am and sunset is 7:30pm

There have been afew chinook caught this week below on the river around Toledo and Castle Rock. One chinook was reported to be 32 pounds which was reported on 9/10/15

The Coho should begin arriving any day along with more cutthroat trout in the Cowlitz river. There have been reports of good cutthroat being caught below the Blue CReek Hatchery and in the Castle Rock and Olequa areas. This is a good indication they are on their way and available for taking.

Frank an I witnessed approximately 8-10 cutthroat trout being taken by anglers at Blue Creek Trout hatchery this morning. 

Look for the next freshette of  rain water to push more fresh fish into the Cowlitz river.

The  weather report is calling for precipitation on Tuesday through Thursday with the majority of time fairly calm but moist particularly in the mornings. Friday is expected to be clear and 72 degrees.

Dated 9/11/15

Geo Beck from Longview with his first fly rod steelhead this evening at 7:00pm using a Black Steelhead Wooly Worm size 6. Geo was using a Swinger Black Diamond Switch Rod, Skagit Head and Sinking Leader from Black Heron Fly Fishing. Geo has been spey rodding for about 2-3 weeks. He says the excitement was so much he may not sleep.

Congratulations Geo this was a very nice 1st steelhead .

River level is 2850 cfs  and holding currently.

Dated 9/10/15

Mike Vanderhorst with a his first fly rod steelhead on the Cowlitz river. Caught this morning around 7am.
Caught using a Oregon Stater Tube fly from Black Heron Fly Fishing.

Black Heron Fly Fishing is a quality suppplier of flies equipment, classes and guide services for the fly rodder.

Checkout our website for a complete selection of  our equipment and supplies.

Black Heron Fly Fishing
105 Debbie Street
Longview, Wa 98632
360-575-3970 office

The fishing is back on from the Cowlitz river having stabilized the water level. Current level is 3700 cfs

Here are afew pictures from this morning.

Ray and George with 3 nice summers from the Cowlitz river using there spey rods and Oregon State Specials from Black Heron Fly Fishing. Office 360-575-3970
Dated 9/10/15

Dated 9/9/15

Not a good day to be on river . The water was up and dispersing the steelhead over a larger area. Water was at 3700 cfs

Dated 9/8/15

The fly fishing was a little skinny this morning but several anglers were lucky and came away with nice summers this morning.  John Kendall from Black Heron caught this nice 6 pound summer at about 7:45 am this morning using his new  tube fly for the Cowlitz . Drop us a line and we will share the new tube fly with you. Black Heron Fly Fishing 360-575-3970 office. The darned fly is only 3 days old and has caught  6 steelhead so far .

The water level is still very low around 2500 cfs and cold to touch. Air temp was more moderate at about 54 degrees.

The mornings are beautiful with the Moon and Stars extra bright at 5:00am . Also the large beaver at 5:30 am woke everyone up in the run. Thus relieving us of needing more coffee for the people over 60 years of age.

Competition this morning was rather sparse due to the Labor day weekend. Only 3 anglers on the bank till 8:00am. A great day to be fly fishing.

Dated 9/8/15

Dated 9/7/15

Frank Fortino this morning September 7th  on the Cowlitz river. Caught using the Oregon Stater Tube fly from Black Heron Fly Fishing. Black Heron is a quality fly fishing store supplying materials and equipment from most major manufacturers. Located in Longview, WA Black Heron is conveniently located to most fishing areas in the SW Washington region. 360-575-3970 office
Dated 9/7/15

Malisha Small with here first Pink salmon from the Pulyalap River. Caught using a  Clouser Minnow.
Dated 9/4/15

Dated 9/3/15

George Foshee from Rainer , Oregon with a very nice Triple from the Cowlitz river on his Spey rod and a Skagit Head with a Light Mow Tip and a Oregon Stater Tube fly from Black Heron Fly Fishing in Longview, Wa 360-575-3970 office.
Dated 9/3/15

Ray Johnson with a very nice double on summer run steelies from the Cowlitz river.
Ray was using his Skagit Spey rod  with a skagit head and 12 feet of T8 and a Oregon Stater Tube Fly from Black Heron Fly Fishing in Longview, WA 360-575-3970 office.
Dated 9/3/15


Frank Fortino and John Kendall from Black Heron Fly Fishing both caught some very nice summer runs this morning using Glo Flies from Black Heron Fly Fishing.
The air temp was at 51 degrees and water slightly cooler.

Using spey rods and skagit lines with sinking tip material in 10 foot T8 was used this morning to score a nice set of fish.

Dated 9/3/15

Dated 9/2/15

The Cowlitz river was a little cooler today and you could feel the fall chill in the air. There was a little rain but nothing major to make you want to sit in front of the TV. The water was still low but fishable at 3000 cfs.

Andrew Greig with a beautiful summer run after a 30 minute battle on a 5 weight G Loomis Pro4X fly rod and a Oregon Stater Tube Fly. Up and Down Up and Down where is Andrew going with that fish. A truly great fight on this 8 pound summer steelie. This man is determined he must have run a mile. Afterwards we all had to take a break. It was tiring just watching him.

Congratulations Andrew a great job. I am taking a break again. 

Early in the morning before the fish have even really woke up we tried using glo in the dark tube flies and found they work well for steelies in the Cowlitz river before the sun has time to rise. Probably just a good change of pace fly. As seen in the Photo this fish came to a glo tube fly.


John Kendall from Black Heron Fly Fishing with a nice summer run steelie from the Cowlitz river

John says get your trip for steehead booked up and dont let the best time slip away. Our schedule is beginning to fill for the fall.

Dated 9/1/15

Mike Tuttle and Guide John Kendall from Black Heron Guide Service  with his first spey rod steelhead from the Cowlitz river.  Mike lost one other steelhead after a good fight of 4-5 minutes. Sue his wife caught a small steelie and released it.
In all the day was very good . The weather was perfect and water level good for wading.
There are alot of summer runs inhabiting the cowlitz river and this should continue for a few more weeks.

Book your trips now to ensure you give your self a good opportunatey
to catch one of these summer runs. They are full of fight and energy displaying big jumps in the air and long runs.

The weather was very good staying cloudy all day but not raining till the last hour we were on river. Expect more rainy weather this month and even more in October.

The October caddis have not began to migrate to the shore  but they are present in river.
The Cutthroat trout of the cowlitz river should begin to see a few fish show up this time of year and congrregate in the shallower slower areas and along riffles where they can rest.

Good patterns  for the cutthroat are the BH October Caddis, Andersons Euphoria, Steelhead Red Ant smaller sizes, BH Prince Nymph, soft hackles, Pheasant tail Nymphs, Pass Nymphs and BH Stone Fly Nymphs.

You can dry fly the cutts but it is more difficult in most cases.

Skylar Gloor and Frank Fortino with 2 nice summer run from the Cowlitz river on 8/28/15. Water level was 3700 cfs this morning.

Dated 8/25/15

Rindy Patterson with a nice 7 pound summer run steelie from the Cowlitz river which she caught on her TFO switch rod this morning using a Oregon Stater Tube fly. Rindy also lost 1 other fish during the mornings excursion.GO GIRLS!!!!!!

 Frank Fortino with his double also using the Oregon Stater Tube fly.. Frank almost tripled this morning but lost a third fish at the bank. A good day was had by all fly anglers at The cowlitz river. Quite a few anglers were lucky and had fish on but lost them. Not a problem next time is a charm in this sport and luck of the draw will prevail for the stead fast steelheader. Go get them guys and Gals. Dont forget you must harvest all hatchery steelhead this year by law that you land. Currently the limit is 3 steelhead a day on the Cowlitz river with an increased run size from prior years due to the later smaller run of winter steelhead in the fall winter season of NovemberDecember.

The water conditions were low at the cowlitz and wind soft this morning making for a nice day on the river at day break. The mornings are getting shorter and the sun rising later each morning now. Expect the temperatures to begin falling and to start layering up a little more to stay warm during these hours.

Most fly anglers fishing the Cowlitz river are using spey and switch rod of 11 to 14 feet in length and  most commonly in 7 or 8 weights with sinking leaders in the 10 foot 5.6 ips sink rate with 3-4 feet of 10 pound maximum green leader material with a tube fly, most commonly a Oregon Stater Tube fly.
Dated 8/24/15

It was a fabulous day on The Cowlitz river fly fishing for summer run steelhead. The water was cool and the scenery spectacular with the air just slightly cool but not cold.

The river is still at 2500 cfs and is best fished with sinkng leaders rather than sinking tips.

The majority of fly anglers were blessd today with at least one steelhead and many with 2 or 3 depending on how early and how long you spent fly fishing.

The presentation seems to be the most important thing making sure the fly is sunk and tails accross the run during the entire swing.

Many anglers were using the Oregon Stater Tube by Black Heron Fly Fishing in Longview, WA. but afew anglers were using red tandem tube flies in smaller sizes while making the same presentation making  the fly swung accross the run with a tailing action.
Frank Fortino and John Kendall with 3 nice summers from the Cowlitz river. Caught using the Oregon Stater Tube Fly from Black Heron Fly Fishing.

Black Heron Flyfishing is a provider of quality fly fishing tackle in Longview, Washington. Supplying name brands like Air Flo, Rio Products, G Loomis, Echo, Norvise, Montana Flies, Spirit River, Scientific Anglers, Lamson, TFO, Cortland, Redington, Hodgman, Hardy, Hareline, Wapsi, Dan Baileys, Korkers, Solitude Fly Company, Umpqua Feather Merchants, Mustad, Daiichi and many other product lines for your convenience.

Black Heron Fly Fishing is a provider of quality custom tyed steelhead and Trout flies for your needs.

Dated 8/20/15

The cowlitz river was alittle low today at 2500 cfs but the steelies were still on the take.

The best pattern for use in this condition is a dark pattern such as a muddler or a tube fly.

Plan on fishing very early or very late in the day to take advantage of the low light and in ability of the fish to identify your fly completely.

Swinging flies accross the current in 3-7 feet of water with a sinking tip of ten feet is very good for producing summer run steelies.


Dated 8/14/15
The water was low again on the Cowlitz river but the steelhead were biting quite good this morning. Many spey rodders were successful this morning most landing 8-10 pound steelies.

John Kendall from Black Heron Fly fishing was successful this morning finding this steelie willing to take his Oregon Stater Tube fly. John also fought another summer run for 15 minutes and lost him at the bank.

If your in need of equipment for fly fishing please visit us in Longview, Washington at our shop on,  105 Debbie Street, Longview, WA 98632 360-575-3970 office.

Dated 8/13/15

The Cowlitz was smoking hot this morning with most fly rodders coming away with nice catches of steelies.bob81315
Bob Brown with his 2nd steelie while fly fishing . Bob also lost another steelie while there on the Cowlitz river.

What can we about Ray Johnson at this point. He has 3 summers this morning and is catching up to quite a few anglers who have put in some time. In two trips he has put 5 steelies on the bank.
Dated 8/13/15

Matt Milligan with his first fly rod summer run, doing it the hard way using a 6 weight single hand rod. Congratulations Matt. Keep trucking buddy. This is what its all about having fun. Dated 8/11/15

Ray Johnson with his first two steelies this year. Caught on the Cowlitz river 0n

Frank Fortino with a pair of summers, Caught 8.9.15
Dated 8/7/15

The fishing was hard and fast this morning with water level at Blue Creek at 3000 cfs . Many anglers including my self hooked fish but lost their catch at the bank. Three anglers went 1 for 3 this morning with only 1 fish to show but thats not bad considering the fun factor.

Bob Brown went 1 for 2 this morning catching his first spey rod steelie and loosing another early this morning.


Many anglers were present this morning at Blue Creek and most were very polite allowing the beginners their first time at a steelie.

The Sea Run Cutthroat were present at the Blue Creek hatchery this morning making their presence known with splashy rises in the shallows and tail out. The cutthroat were present last week and before in the lower river around Castle Rock and Olequa making afew anglers very happy.

The Oregon State Tube fly by Black Heron Fly Fishing. Please contact us for questions about this fly or any of the others we provide through the shop. We always like a good talk about our flies and the uniqueness of their qualities.
Black Heron Fly Fishing
Longview, WA
360-575-3970 office

The mouth of the Cowlitz has seen quite a few summer run heading into the lower river to get some cooler water. Many fish were congregated at the mouth of the Toutle getting a cooler bit of water compared to the Columb ia river.
Fly anglers have reportly done well on these fish while congregated at the mouth of the Toutle river and below to lexington area. Plan on fishing the areas with the highest water speed and broken surfaces which provides the most oxygen for the fish.
Another consideration is to fish extremely early in the morning or after the sun sets to maximize the fishability of the water. 

Dated 8/6/15

The Cowlitz river is running about 3000 cfs and is producing alot of summer run steelhead for the fly anglers.

John Kendall from Black Heron Fly Fishing with a nice summer run steelie from the Cowlitz river. Caught using a spey rod and Oregon State Tube fly from Black Heron Fly Fishing. John lost two summers after landing this one.

Frank Fortino with a nice summer run steelie from the Cowlitz. Frank also lost 2 other summers during this mornings adventure.

Come prepared with lots of tippet and flies as you will be loosing a few of them.

Other anglers who were present also did well using a variety of different methods.

Dated 8/4/15

A great picture for my friend Andra who caught her first steelhead and then her second just after this picture was taken.
Congratualations Andra!!!!!!!!!


Dated 8/4/15


John Kendall with another summer run steelie from the Cowlitz river using his spey rod and a sinking tip with an Oregon State Tube fly tyed by Black Heron Fly Fishing, Longview, Washington. 360-575-3970 office

Skylar Gloor with a beautiful summer steelie from the Cowlitz river using a variation
of the Oregon State Tube fly from Black Heron Fly Fishing, Longview, WA Office 360-575-3970 office
Dated 8/3/15

John Kendall from Black Heron Fly Fishing with a double on summer steelies from the Cowlitz river. Johns first fish was about 12 pounds 32inches and his secound about 10 pounds and 30 inches respectiviely.  Both summers were taken using the Oregon Stater Tube fly from Black Heron Fly Fishing.
360-575-3970 office in Longview, WA.

Several other anglers reported hooking fish but only a few came away with a steelie this morning. River level 3000 cfs and over cast condutions were in effect and should have dominated the fishing till at least 11am today.
Dated 8/1/15

Here we go again. Malisha is on a the trail of her favorite sumer fish the Cowlitz river summer steelhead. Congratulations again Malisha and thanks for the photo. Malisha's steellie came in at about 10 pounds and was chrome bright. Caught using a TFO switch rod and sinking tip with an Oregon State Tube fly from Black Heron Fly Fishing in Longview, WA . 360-575-3970 office

John Kendall with another summer run from the Cowlitz river using an Oregon Stater Tube fly from Black Heron Fly Fishing. 360-575-3970
Dated 7/30/15
Bill Davis with a 8pound summer run from the Cowlitz caught using a Red Tandem Tube fly.


The Cowlitz river is currently at 5500 cfs and flowing nicely. We recommend using medium weight sinking tip fly lines or heads like T8 or T11 or Type 6 fly line.

The river was very busy today but a few fish were caught.

Skylar Gloor scored this steelie this morning and was one of  the lucky fly rodders  coming away with a steelie. The boat traffic was very heavy and started very early due to many guide customers in the parking area. Skylar used the Oregon State Tube fly from Black Heron Fly Fishng to take this summer run.
Dated 7/30/15

Skylar Gloor with a nice double on summer run steelies using his G Loomis Spey rod , sinking tip line and Oregon Stater Tube fly from Black Heron Fly Fishing
Dated 7/29/15

Dated 7/28/15

John Kendall, Owner of Black Heron Fly Fishing in Longview, Washington with a nice 12 pound summer run steelie from the Cowlitz river. John used a Scandinavian head, Oregon State Tube fly and sinking leader to produce this morning.

If your in need of  quality fly fishing equipment visit our store in Longview at :
Black Heron Fly Fishing
105 Debbie Street
Longview, WA 98632
360-575-3970 office
We guarantee you will recieve the most unique fishing report while visiting our location.

The Cowlitz river was in great shape and few anglers present at Blue Creek boat launch this morning. River level 2500 cfs

Frank Fortino with a nice 10 pound summer run steelie from the Cowlitz river.

Dated 7/23/15

The Cowlitz County Fair is underway and the Cowlitz Fly Anglers have been gaining support there for their organization, holding there raffle and educating the public about their conservation and educatonal support for the Fly fishing community. A International Federation of Fly Fishers club they work in the community recycling monofilament line with line collection boxes on the Cowlitz and Kalama rivers. Please checkout thier booth while at the fair you will be surprized by their dedicaton and family friendly club.

Mr Gary Bevers and Jim Crislip manning the Cowlitz Fly Anglers booth at the Cowlitz county fair 2015.

These flies were tyed by Mr Gary Bevers who is ranked #7 as a competitive Atlnatic fly tyer in the world. Come check out the booth and watch gary tye some bueatiful flies.

Tomorrow professional tyer Chuck Scott will be in the booth from 11am to 7pm doing his magic. Chuck tyes for many local fly shops and has been active in the business many years. Come learn from the best in the business.

Streamer tyed by Chuck Scott.

Mr Chuck Scott fly fishing a Eastern stream in Washington.

Dated 7/21/15


Ken Patterson caught his first summer steelie on a spey rod in the Cowlitz river. Rindy Patterson also hooked a summer run but lost her fish at the last moment before landing. Both fish were hooked using the Oregon Stater Tube fly from Black Heron Fly Fishing in Longview, WA. 360-575-3970 office

Water levels are still low but within normal summer levels on the Cowlitz river.

Plan on fishing very early or late depending on situation with state regulations on various rivers for drought mitigation and native fish recovery. Please consult your states website on river closures.

There have been two major closures in area The Washougal and East Fork of the Lewis due to high temp and low water conditions. There will be more in the future which has been the sentiment of of the WDFW.

We have been looking for the Kalama to close but with our cooler temps there is a chance they will not close this river. Lets hope so!!!!!!!

Be aware the there may be fishing time restrictions on yoour favorite river also. BE AWARE by checking the WDFW home page for news releases and emergency restrictions and closures

Dated 7/20/15

John Kendall from Black Heron Fly Fishing with a nice 8 pound summer run steelie from the Cowlitz river. This chromer was taken on one of  his Oregon Stater Tube Flies from Black Heron Fly fishing. Use of sinking leaders is quite effective now in 3.9  and 5.6 ips sink rates. Make the steelhead chase your flies this time of year as they are active.

Plan on flyfishing very late or very early for the summer runs using lihter lines and leaders.
The water level is only 3000 cfs and quite cool compared to other rivers in the area due to Mayfield Reservoir.

Frank Fortino was also there on the Cowlitz with John and produceed a long fight with a large summer run which came off on the first cast of the morning after about a 12 minute fight.

Other good patterns to try include the lady caroline, BH Wooly Bugger, Green Butt Skunk, Small MOAL Leeches, Silver Hiltons and Black Heron Spey flies.

Dated 7/16/15

The Cowlitz is still very low but the steelhead have appeared and have begun to take flies regularly.

Franks second summer run this year from Blue Creek Trout hatchery area.
Plan on using a spey rod with a skagit head and long sinking leader in the 3.9-5.6 ips.

Plan on fishing early and late during the day due to heat.

Tailouts and riffles will provide the most active fish in the river.

Long deeper runs with moving water would be a strong  2nd choice for active fish.

Fishing down and accross with the flies is the easiest and most effective  method for taking steelhead on a fly rod.

Please call Black Heron Fly Fishing if you have any questions at 360-575-3970

Franks 1st steelie of the season caught on 6/23/15.
Dated 7/5/15

Current flow at mayfield dam is 3110 cfs which is a low summer level.
Plan on using smaller and darker fly patterns to aatract the steelies.
There have been success stories from the Blue creek area. These usually involve  being the very first person on the river before sunup . (4:00am) Bring a head lamp.

Long fine leaders will work the best in the shallow water.

Smaller spey rods with sinking leaders are all good but persisitance is the determining factor. If you want a steelie you will put your time in to get one. The summer run steelies in the cowlitz are on the way into the river as we speak and the main part to the  run will appear in July and August.. Thefishing in September and October is also very good along with a host of cutthroat which showup to make for some very nice days of fly fishing.

Guided trips are available on the Cowlitz river and we  specialize in fly fishing with either single or double hand fly rods. Instruction is provided if necessary.

Barbed hooks are allowed during July this year and then the barbless hook regs take effect on Auust 1st again.

Dated 7/1/15 The water is still low and people should consider using techniques that would be used in the late fall such as sinking leaders and long floating leaders on scandinavian heads. Many fish will be in the faster water trying to oxygenate their gills this time of year.

Scott Mckenzie with his 38pound Atlantic salmon from Norway. A personal best for him..
Thanks for donating the picture Scott. Black Heron Fly Fishing say that is a piglet and congratulations.
Dated  7/1/15

The Steelhead caddis tyed at Black Heron Fly Fishing. Pick these flies up in our store. These are favorites with the dry fly steelheaders on the Deschutes and Cowlitz rivers.
Dated 7/1/15

Dated  6/30/15

The ladys at their fly tying class at Black Heron Fly Fishing.

Date 6/30/15

Alek Rybar with his first Winter Steelie on a fly rod. Thanks for sharing Alek with Black Heron Fly Fishing..

Dated 6/25/15

The infamous Steelhead muddler. Always a favorite on the Cowlitz river either swung dry in the tail outs or wet on a sinking tip. These flies do a number on the steelies and should be a prime fly with the warmer weather. Fish early in the morning when the fish aer the most active and closest to shore.

The muddlers at Black Heron are tied using Tiemco Hooks and  premium materials.

Contact us at :
Black Heron Fly Fishing
105 Debbie Street
Longview, WA 98632
360-575-3970 office

Dated 3/26/15

Ray johnson with his 30th steelhead this year. A nice 7 pound steelie caught on a Oregon Stater Tube fly tyed at Black Heron Fly Fishing. Cowlitz is still running at summer levels around 4050 cfs and doing well for winter run steelhead.
Dated 3/26/15

Ray Johnson with another winter steelie caught using an oregon stater tube fly from Black Heron Fly Fishing.
Dated 3/24/15

Dated 3/23/15

Rindy Patterson with her first winter steelie. Caught during the morning during a over cast period with light rain.

The Cowlitz is still running at 4050 cfs and the count from last friday for steelhead entering the hatchery was 463. Get these fish now or forever hold your peace. The winters are now in and doing well on the Cowlitz. Boaters are reporting numerous fish per boat trip.

The main part of the run will peak arond the 7th of April for the new run of hatchery steelhead which were introduced 2-3 years ago.

Good patterns to run for the steelhead include MOAL Leeches, BH Lifters, Oregon Stater Tube flies, Tandem Tube flies, and the ever popular BH Wooly Bugger.

Plan to fish early in the morning and late in the evening using sinking tip fly lines or heads. Most anglers are using 10foot T8 sinking tips and 15 foot T14 if in heavier deeper water over 7-8 feet deep.

Many anglers perfer to use a strike indicator system with an egg pattern such as a BH Lifter and stone fly nymph. 

 Plan on using dark flies on Bright days and Bright flies on dark days. The darker the day the bigger the fly. Winters can be aggressive but wait till they acquire the fly completely.

Plan on fishing the sides of runs 2-4 feet deep early in the morning along with tailouts this time of year.

If the middle part of the day seems less productive try fishing during a time when the weather is over cast or slightly raining. This strategiy provides the fish protection and can make them more aggressive.

Dated 3/23/15

Dated  3/22/15

Another nice steelie by Bill Davis from Castle Rock, caught using a Black and Blue Tube fly from Black Heron Fly Fishing. The river is in excellent shape with the level reported at 4030 cfs. Rain is reported to be in the area for the next 2-3 days and then another dry spell. Rain should only be a minor problem as the river will most likely not rise and only provide the fish a reason to move up stream providing more active fish in the river.

Dated 3/22/15

Dated  3/21/15

A beautiful winter run steelie from the Cowlitz river . Caught by Steve Grayson using a BH Oregon State Tube fly. Fly fishing for winters is picking up and should continue for a while.
Water levels are currently at 4030 cfs and weather is good with over cast evenings and mornings. The projection is good through the lunar period for the new moon providing higher water for the fish to travel with.
Dated 3/21/15

Dated 3/19/15
The Cowlitz river is starting to pickup for steelhead and salmon flyfishing.

Flows are excellent at this time around 4050 cfs.

There have been a number of fly rod steelies caught since the last report and March is looking good with the peak of last years run coming in early April.

Get after these fish asap as they will be gone soon after the peak of the run appears due to the new run timings.

A nice chrome fish about 6 pounds and 25 inches caught by Bill Davis on 3/18/15 at 6am in the Blue Creek run below the boat launch. Bill was using a Oreange State Tube fly by Black Heron Fly Fishing.

Dated  3/10/15

Ray Johnson with a beauty of a winter steelie about 7-8 pounds from the Cowlitz river on March 9, 2015.
Caught using a T8, 10 foot sinking tip and skagit head on a 14 foot 9 weight spey rod and a Oregon State Tube fly from Black Heron Fly Fishing.

The Cowlitz river has seen a large drop in water levels since mid february . Current levels are 5000 cfs with intermittent levels of only 4000 cfs.

Fly fishing has been fair for winter run steelies and the main part of the run is just arriving for the  new hatchery steelhead. This run should peak around April 7th. Be looking for good numbers of winters to be below the Blue Creek area from the high banks at the mouth to the Hinkley hole and around Bills Corner just above the Mission Bar area.

The current fish count into the hatchery is 100 winter steelhead. Which means many of the fish are hanging out below the hatchery waiting to enter. With the increase in water level comes fish movement thus expect more fish in the near future which are on the move to the hatchery.

In case you havent notice the weather is fantastic and everyone needs to get out and fly fish for one of these wonderful fish before they dissappear with the spring rains and higher water.

Good patterns to use on the Cowlitz river include Tandem Tube flies, Moal leeches, Small Hoh bo Flies, Oregon Stater Tube flies, BH Lifter Patterns and BH Stone Fly Nymphs just to mention afew. All the standard patterns work here too.
We recommend you use the down and accross casting pattern with a T8 10 foot section on a spey rod and skagit head for this river to maximize your time and energy.

Another good technique to use is the dead drift with a strike indicator. Using a BH Lifter and a BH Stone fly Nymph. You also have the possibility of runnning things like BH Pass Stone flies, Girdle Bugs, Matts Furs and BH Prince Nymphs with a variety of  egg patterns. This technique works well while fishing from a boat along a steep bank or behind rocks and other obstructions.

Black and Electric Blue Hoh Bo Fly
March 10, 2015
Available at Black Heron Fly Fishing
360-575-3970 office

Mini Intruder Pink and White
March 10, 2015
Available at Black Heron Fly Fishing
360-575-3970 office

Dated 2/9/15

The Cowlitz is beginning to see more steelies being taken with the water level falling below 10000 cfs to 6600cfs for the last few days. Expect the water levels to rise slightly over the week due to power consumption. Leverls should remain lower than in the past few weeks.

There have been several reports of fly rod fish being caught in the area below Blue Creek boat launch using tube flies. T8 sinkng tips will work at theselevels and be very effiecient in taking steelhead.


The hinkley flat area has been good also reporting numerous fly rod steelhead being caught by anglers. Many anglers here like a Black and Blue Tube fly.

Indicator fly fishing can also be very good here and in many other areas. Good patterns to use include the BH lifters and BH Stone fly patterns.

Dated 1/27/15

The river is green at Blue Creek boat launch and fishable. The current level is 10900 cfs and on the high side. We recommend you use larger flies with a heavy sinking tips in the T14-17 size. Some of the flies recommended are the Hoh Bo Spey, Intruders and Moal leeches. Other good patterns include the Oregon State Tube Fly but  with a new hitch which includes running 2 - 3 tube flies stacked on your leader. This makes your Oregon staters like a MOAL Leech pattern just lighter.

There have been reports of numerous hook ups on winter runs this winter with only a moderate number of fly anglers trying there luck with success. As I have said in the past you must put in your time or stay at home. Cut bait as the bait guys say or go home. Notoriously the weekend after the super bowl seems to motivate the couch potatos from their hybernation in January. Needless to say we are a Seahawks fan also.
 GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!

Nymph fly fishing works extremely well during the winter months for Cowlitz river steelhead. Good patterns in clude the BH Lifter, Pass Nymphs, BH Stone Flys, Comets, Bosses, Large Prince Nymphs, Glo Bugs.

The Skookumchuck and Newaukuam rivers have been doing well just North of Chehalis/Centralia. The area at the mouth of the Skookumchuck near Borst Park has a boat launch and has fish there now.

The area below the hatchery and dam on the Skookumchuck are favorite areas during the winter season and is easily fly fished from the opposing side of the river due to a bridge below the hatchery. February and March are peak times for nymph steelheading using BH Lifters and Glo Bugs.

For Cowlitz Reports Older than 1/1/2015
Click Here

Black Heron Fly Fishing
1060 14th Ave.
Longview, Washington 98632
360-575-3970 office  web page   email