Cowlitz River

Details

Location:
Kelso, WA
United States United States
Coordinates:
46.0981, -122.91
Distance:
2480 Miles
Description:

The Cowlitz River is a river in the state of Washington in the United States, a tributary of the Columbia River. Its tributaries drain a large region including the slopes of Mount Rainier, Mount Adams, and Mount St. Helens.

The Cowlitz has a 2,480 sq mi (4,017.6 km²) drainage basin, located between the Cascade Range in eastern Lewis County, Washington and the cities of Kelso and Longview. The river is roughly 105 miles (170 km) in total length, not counting tributaries.

The Cowlitz is spanned by several bridges along its length.

Just upstream from its mouth at the Columbia river, a railroad bridge connecting the Port of Longview to the BNSF rail line crosses the Cowlitz, with a road bridge for SR 432 (Tennant Way) beside.

Further upstream are the Allen St. and Cowlitz Way bridges, connecting West Kelso with the rest of Kelso. Just north of Kelso, a railroad bridge provides crossing for the Columbia & Cowlitz Railroad.

There is something about a river that has fresh Steelhead, Salmon, and Cutthroat trout every month of the year that appeals to all fly fisherman. The sound of LARGE fish rolling and jumping makes the adrenaline flow. Twelve months of the year there is a genuine possibility of hooking into a fish 15 lbs. or greater and not a day goes by that a lucky few have that experience. In today's world, it is rare to find a river that is remote enough and yet close enough to civilization that it can be reached within a 2 hour drive from 2 major cities. The Cowlitz River in Southwest Washington is such a river.

The Cowlitz River is a big river by any standard. In many places the river is over 100 yards wide. It begins it's journey to the Pacific Ocean on the slopes of Mt. Rainier, one of the highest peaks in the lower 48 states at 14,410 feet above sea level. It flows nearly 100 miles from the glacial fields to the confluence with the mighty Columbia River near Longview Washington. Along the way, many small streams join the river providing excellent habitat for spawning native Salmon, Steelhead and Sea-Run Cutthroat trout.

There are numerous eddies, side-channels, and creeks that add to the river's complexity. Small channels on this river are often as large as some other smaller northwest rivers. These features create superb holding water for a wide variety of fish species and make for a fly fisherman's paradise. This river hosts strong runs of both wild and hatchery Winter and Summer Steelhead, wild and hatchery Coho Salmon, wild and hatchery Chinook Salmon, wild Chum Salmon, wild and hatchery Sea-Run Cutthroat, and resident Rainbow Trout. This river has been the top Steelhead producer in Washington for the past few years and hit an all time return in July of 2002 for Summer Steelhead.

Although there are a growing number of fly fishermen becoming aware of it's vast potential, few fly fishermen are encountered along its journey to the sea. This is probably because much of the surrounding land is private and a boat is required for good access. This river sits slightly far enough south of Seattle and far enough north of Portland that it doesn't receive the pressure of many more "well known" rivers. For the fly fisherman, this translates into a river that is waiting to be discovered. Long, gently sloping gravel bars make for ideal fly fishing opportunities with both single and double handed rods.

There are two hatcheries in the lower stretches that do attract many during the weekends and during the peak runs. Amazingly however, the gear guides and crowds really only target approximately the mile of river below the Blue Creek hatchery and the few hundred yards below the salmon hatchery at the Barrier dam. This leaves over 50 miles of river left to the adventurous angler. If you're looking to find yourself in a remote location fishing on your own gravel bar this river is for you.

A very large part of what makes a quality fishing experience is being able to fish a river that still has abundant wildlife, both below and above water. A day on this water provides wonderful opportunities to observe nature at its finest. Besides the aforementioned species of fish, River Otters, nesting Bald Eagles, Cooper's Hawks, Peregrine Falcons, Osprey, Great Blue Herons, White Tail Deer, Canada Geese and Mergansers all can be seen on this river all within a relatively close proximity to two large metropolitan cities. Beautiful views of Mt. Rainier and Mt. St. Helen's are all part of the journey on the Cowlitz..

Cover/Structure:

Bridges, gravel bars, eddies, side channels, coves, inlets, timber, brush, submerged logs.

Tips/Tactics:

Cowlitz shuttle service from barrier dam to I-5 $15.00 to mission and $20.00 below mission to I-5 call anytime 360-864-8095

Spot Access:
Boat Ramp, Parking (car/truck), Parking (boat/trailer), Picnic Area, Power Boats Allowed, Swimming Area, Pier, Shore fishing access, Camping, Restrooms, Fly Fishing, Wading, Floating
New Photo

Photos

Map

Map for 46.0981, -122.91
New Fishing Report

Fishing Reports

about 3 years ago (08/18/2011)

Cowlitz River Fishing Report 08.18.11

CURRENTLY BOOKING FOR STEELHEAD & FALL SALMON - Prime Dates Still Available. Don't miss the BIG ONE - BOOK NOW!!! Guide You to Fish Northwest “Guiding You to Fish since 1994” www.GuideYouToFish.com...
Kick Ass Fishing Guide Service
about 4 years ago (10/04/2010)

Cowlitz River Fishing Report 10.04.10

It seems that the Fall Kings have a "B" run with bright fish being caught daily! Coho Fishing in the Columbia River has also been doing good at the mouths of the majo rivers, Fish have been hitting spinners and Plug Cut Herring or whole Anchovies behind a Hot Spot Agitator, the fish have been averaging 12 – 18 pounds and dime bright.       www.KickAssFishing.com   scott@KickAssFishing.com     Kick Ass Fishing River Guides www.KickA...
Kick Ass Fishing Guide Service
about 4 years ago (09/22/2010)

Cowlitz River Fishing Report 09.22.10

A great mix of King Salmon and Coho are working there way up the Cowlitz River from the mouth to I-5 Bridge. Kings averaging 12 – 25 lbs Coho 8 – 16 lbs.     Scott Warter Kick Ass Fishing Guide Service www.KickAssFishing.com 253.279.1944  ...
Kick Ass Fishing Guide Service
about 4 years ago (08/24/2010)

Cowlitz River Fishing Report 08.24.10

The number of Fall Kings is increasing daily in the Cowlitz River! Fish have been hitting Sardine Wrapped K-15 plugs in a variety of colors with Chrome Red being the go to color the fish have been averaging 12 – 16 pounds and dime bright.   www.KickAssFishing.com email scott@KickAssFishing.com 253.279.1944    ...
Kick Ass Fishing Guide Service www.KickAssFishing.com
about 4 years ago (08/17/2010)

Cowlitz River Fishing Report 08.17.10

  www.KickAssFishing.com email scott@KickAssFishing.com Scott WarterOwner  Kick Ass Fishing River Guides www.KickAssFishing.com...
Kick Ass Fishing Guide Service www.KickAssFishing.com Scott Warter
about 4 years ago (08/04/2010)

Cowlitz River Fishing Report 08.04.10

The first of Fall Kings are trickling in the lower Cowlitz River around Longview. The go to bait has been eggs and sand shrimp, side drifted on the bottom in the deeper holes.   Scott Warter www.KickAssFishing.com 253.279.1944...
Kick Ass Fishing Guide Service
over 4 years ago (03/26/2010)
Kick Ass Fishing Guide Service
over 4 years ago (02/24/2010)

Cowlitz River Fishing Report 02.24.10

Spring Chinook Salmon and B run Steelhead are starting to show in decent numbers, Peak Steelhead Runs will be mid March and Peak Spring Chinook Runs are mid April. We are expecting record numbers of Spring Chonook this year breaking the previous record set in 1934! Book Tips Now as peak days are filling up fast Captain Scott Warter cell phone~253.279.1944, or book on line at www.KickAssFishing.com . Email ~ Scott@KickAssFishing.com...
Go Fish Guide Service Mike Griffiths
over 4 years ago (02/02/2010)

Cowlitz River Fishing Report 02.02.10

Happy New Year everyone January 2010 Steelhead and Sturgeon were on for January Willamette – Both the lower section and Multnomah Channel produced lots of fish and many keepers. I averaged 1.3 keepers per trip in January. Anchovies still seem to be my go to bait with Squid a close second. Columbia – Ventured out late into the month looking for Sturgeon in the Rainer to Trojan area with good success surprisingly Anchovies worked well and smelt I expect to see smelt grow in the f...
Scott Warter / Kick Ass Fishing Guide Service
about 5 years ago (10/06/2009)

Cowlitz River Fishing Report 10.06.09

Cowlitz River Report Hot, Hot, Hot Coho Fishing from the Barrier Dam Salmon Hatchery down to Kelso! Side drift eggs or throw Brads Wigglers along the shoreline. Coho running 8 - 20 lbs., WDFW estimates at least another 100k due to return to the River. King Salmon are still arriving daily, as of October 3rd all Kings must be released from Mill Creek to Blue Creek to protect the spawning grounds, check the regs for any other changes. Scott Warter Kick Ass Fishing Guide Servicewww.KickAssFi...
Kick Ass Fishing Guide Service
about 5 years ago (09/21/2009)

Cowlitz River Fishing Report 09.21.09

Cowlitz River Report King Salmon are tapering off..... but the first push of 150K of Coho's is starting to make a strong push and should be pouring in all of October, got go Fish ON! Tight Lines, Scott Warter Kick Ass Fishing Guide Servicewww.kickassfishing.com Scott@KickassFishing.com 253.279.1944 BOOK YOUR TRIP TODAY!...
KICK ASS FISHING GUIDE SERVICE
about 5 years ago (08/18/2009)

Cowlitz River Fishing Report 08.18.09

Summer Run Steelhead Fishing from the Barrier Dam downriver has been excellent, mainly and Egg and Cheater bite with Rocket Red Cheaters. Scott Warter KICK ASS FISHING GUIDE SERVICE www.KassFishing.com For reservations call ~ 253.279.1944...
Kick Ass Fishing Guide Service
about 5 years ago (08/12/2009)

Cowlitz River Fishing Report 08.12.09

Cowlitz River Report B run Snake River Steelhead have moved into the lower Cowlitz River from Castle Rock down,  lots of limits. The Columbia River is running about 74 degrees which has a tendency to push upriver Steelhead into the 55 degree water of the Cowlitz, these Steelhead are heading to the Snake River so they are excellant biters and fun to catch and eat. Scott Warter KIick Ass Fishing Guide Service www.KickAssFishing.com Call 253-279-1944 to book a trip...
Kick Ass Fishing Guide Service
over 5 years ago (07/30/2009)

Cowlitz River Fishing Report 07.30.09

Summer Run Steelhead fishing is getting better every day!  Fish have been averaging 6 - 12 pounds about a fish a rod this week! Scott Warter Owner Kick Ass Fishing Guide Service www.KickAssFishing.com Phone#: - 253.279.1944 Email: - scott@kickassfishing.com  ...
Kick Ass Fishing Guide Service
over 5 years ago (07/21/2009)

Cowlitz River Fishing Report 07.21.09

           Cowlitz River- Kick Ass Fishing Guide Service Report Summer Run Steelhead picking up daily from Blue Creek to Toledo Bridge, I think the main push of fish have finally hit the River, average about a fish a rod side drifting eggs or sand shrimp. www.KickAssFishing.com -Phone#: - 253-279-1944- scott@KickAssFishing.com  ...
Kick Ass Fishing Guide Service
over 5 years ago (07/07/2009)

Cowlitz River Fishing Report 07.07.09

Cowlitz River fishing Report Summer Steelhead Fishing is off to a slow start, but looks promising. The run timing usually peaks by mid July and the main push of early fish are starting to come in now which is about 2 weeks later than the norm, if the trend continues we will have a good run which will extend into September. The River continues to get a few late Spring Chinook daily which helps fill the S Run Steelhead void. www.KickAssFishing.com Scott Warner Owner Phone#: - 253-279-1...
Kick Ass Fishing Guide Service
over 5 years ago (06/17/2009)

Cowlitz River Fishing Report 06.17.09

Tue, Jun 16, 2009 - Kick Ass Fishing Guide Service Report:Summer Run Steelhead fishing picking up every day, guided 4 people Friday - Monday picked up 16 Stelhead. Loks like we will have a good return this year! Scott WarterKick Ass Fishing Guide Service www.KickAssFishig.comPhone#: - 253-279-1944 Email: - scott@KickAssFishing.com...
Scott Warter / KickAssFishing.com
over 5 years ago (05/29/2009)

Cowlitz River Fishing Report 05.29.09

Cowlitz River Report:Fished Memorial Day weekend from Thursday through Tuesday, Fair for Spring Chinook and Summer Run Steelhead due to the City of Tacoma Power playing with water levels daily at the dams by about 1000 cfs which turns the bite off! Landed 7 Springers and 5 Summer Run Steelhead in 6 days.Back Trolling Eggs and Shrimp was the go to bait, with plugs coming in 2nd.Kick Ass Fishing Guide ServicePhone#: - 253-279-1944 Email: - scott@KickAssFishing.com...
All River Guide Service, Inc. / Drifting Fly Guide Service
over 5 years ago (05/06/2009)

Cowlitz River Fishing Report 05.06.09

Cowlitz River Report:Spring Chinook in the lower sections with Steelhead up top by the hatchery. Current Spring Chinook Salmon hatchery counts are ahead of schedule and the best in the past 20 years. Visit our web site for more reports and current hatchery counts. Let Us Guide You To Fish! www.guideyoutofish.com Toll free: 888-204-5327All River Guide Service, Inc. / Drifting Fly Guide ServiceEmail: - info@driftingfly.com...
Scott Warter / KickAssFishing.com
over 5 years ago (05/05/2009)

Cowlitz River Fishing Report 05.05.09

Friday May 1st Fished 5 Rods for 8 Hours from first light until 2:30 PM. The River is Loaded with Steelhead smolts, if you are using bait be carefull because these are our future returning Steelhead, we hooked approximatly 30 and had about a 100% safe release with no bleeders. On the adult side we had 3 good takedowns and landed 2 adult Springers both were released unharmed because they were Wild with adipose fins intact. Fishing for Summer Run Steelhead should start picking up this month.Scot...
Drifting Fly Guide Service
over 5 years ago (04/28/2009)

Cowlitz River Fishing Report 04.28.09

Drifting Fly Guide Service-Cowlitz River Report:Still some Steelhead action and Sprink Chinook moving in. Let Us Guide You To Fish! www.guideyoutofish.com Toll free: 888-204-5327GUIDE YOU TO FISH NORTHWESTEmail: - info@driftingfly.com...
Capt. Jerry Brown
almost 6 years ago (11/10/2008)

Cowlitz River Fishing Report 11.10.08

A Fishing Special Just for You From Team J and L Fish Winter Steelhead and recieve a 7 Night Resort Stay.Over 3500 Resorts to Choose From worldwide Yes thats right, every fisherman that fishes with us this winter steelhead season will recieve a complimentary 7 Night Resort Stay for 2 people. Choose from over 3500 resorts worlwide. Go fishing with team J and L and get a vacation of a lifetime. Now fishing the Cowlitz and Wynoochee Rivers Tight Lines Capt. Jerry Brown www.columbia-river-fishing-...
Capt. Jerry Brown
over 6 years ago (07/02/2008)

Cowlitz River Fishing Report 07.02.08

July.......Cowlitz River Summer Steelhead Fishing with a 6 Fish Limit!!!! We are already seeing tons of these fish being caught on the Cowlitz and the run will peak this month. Looking to catch your 6 fish limit of powerful, chrome bright summerruns? Then don't delay and call today to reserve your date. Stop wishing and lets go fishing for limits of chrome!!! The Cowlitz has two distinct runs of aggressive biting fish, "A" runs which are now in the river and "B" runs which...

Fish

Atlantic-240-fwsw

Salmon, Atlantic (Salmo salar)

217
Chinook-240-fwsw

Salmon, Chinook (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha)

386
Chumsalmon-240-fwsw

Salmon, Chum (Oncorhynchus keta)

135
Coho-240-fwsw

Salmon, Coho (Oncorhynchus kisutch)

305
Salmonkokanee-240-fw

Salmon, Kokanee (Oncorhynchus nerka)

Freshwater
221
Pinksalmon-240-fwsw

Salmon, Pink (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha)

140
Sockeyesalmon-240-fw

Salmon, Sockeye (Oncorhynchus nerka)

205
Fish_1116236325_speid54

Trout, Steelhead (Rainbow) (Oncorhynchus mykiss)

Guides

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A & B Pro Guides - OR / WA

Since 1998, helping families, business groups and individuals hook up with the best sport fishing guides, charter boat services and tour boat operators in Oregon and Washington. Fishing adventures t...
Portland, OR, United States United States
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Bent Rods Fishing Guide Service

Fishing Guide Jordan Smith grew up in this area and has been fishing here all his life. His clients will tell you he works extremely hard to do everything in his power to make sure you get opportuni...
Vancouver, WA, United States United States
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Brett's Salmon And Steelhead Guide Service

"I have been fishing since I was a small boy with my grandpa in Eastern Oregon. I have been a licensed guide since 1990 fishing for Trout, Salmon, and Steelhead year-round on Northwest Rivers....
Arlington, WA, United States United States
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Chris Guide Service

Chris' Guide Service offers both half and full-day guided fishing trips for Salmon, Steelhead and Sturgeon. Fish from the comfort of a 22ft power boat, 30ft cabin cruiser or 18ft drift boat.
Vancouver, WA, United States United States
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Clancy's Guided Sportfishing

Custom guided fishing trips for Steelhead - Salmon - Sturgeon - Tiger Muskie
Chehalis, WA, United States United States
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Dan Pociano Guide Service

We do not accept credit cards
Vancouver, WA, United States United States
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Double G Guide Service

Join us for a relaxing day of guided Salmon fishing or guided Sturgeon fishing on one of Northwest Oregon's premier rivers or coastal bays, aboard a 25 ft. custom Alumaweld sled with the finest in q...
Portland, OR, United States United States
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Go Fish Guide Service

As an experienced Oregon and Washington fishing guide, Mike is skilled and knowledgeable in all phases of Columbia River fishing that includes the spring salmon and fall salmon runs, steelhead fishi...
Tigard, OR, United States United States
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Guide You To Fish Northwest

Founded in 1994, we specialize in guided spin, drift and fly-fishing float trips for Steelhead, Salmon and Trout on Washington States Premier Cascade and Coastal rivers. Fly-fishing for Trout on the...
Forks, WA, United States United States

Jessica

Guided Sportfishing in the beautiful Pacific Norhwest. Washington/Oregon. We specialize in fishing for Salmon, Steelhead, Sturgeon and Trout. Customize your trip the way you want to fish, or le...
Montesano, WA, United States United States
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Kick Ass Fishing Premier River Guides

STANDARD PACKAGE A full day of fishing. Top of the Line Rods, Reels, Tackle and Bait included. Pictures of you and your fish in our web gallery. Full day: (8 hours) - includes a...
Tacoma, WA, United States United States
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Kyle's Outdoor Adventure Guide Service

Salmon Sturgeon Steelhead HALIBUT BOTTOM FISHING PERCH & TROUT Fishing Guide Service on Washington state's most popular rivers streams & lakes. Welcome to Kyle's Outdoor Adventure Guide Service,...
North Bend, WA, United States United States
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MegaBites Guide Service LLC

Part-time guide since 1993Full-time since 2001Coast Guard LicencedWe have to do it better. It's what we live for!...
Woodland, WA, United States United States
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NW Fishing Guides

NW Fishing Guides offers Personalized Washington Guided Fishing Trips and Fishing Charters for Salmon, Steelhead and Sturgeon on the Columbia River, Skykomish River, Snohomish River, Skagit River, C...
Everett, WA, United States United States
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Onco Sportfishing & Guide Services, Inc.

We invite you to join us for the best salmon and steelhead fishing in the lower 48 states! Anglers of all ages and abilities are welcome at Onco Sportfishing. You would enjoy drifting a white water...
Vashon, WA, United States United States
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Pacific Norhtwest Outdoors LLC

Fishing for salmon,steelhead,sturgeon, and trout on the Skykomish, Skagit, Cowlitz And the Columbia Rivers. We don't just fish we teach is our motto.
Sedro Woolley, WA, United States United States
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Rivers Northwest Guide service

I fish washington states columbia river tribsfor salmon and steelhead and some walleye and sturgeon. We specialize in light line angling.We use the top gear...G.LOOMIS rods and SHIMANO reels..Alumaw...
Selah, WA, United States United States
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Rod's Guide Service

Rod's Guide Service fishing S.W. Washingtons premier rivers the Cowlitz,Lewis and Columbia Rivers for Salmon,Steelhead and Stugeon. Site contains lots of information with many links,guest book and a...
Longview, WA, United States United States
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West Side Guide Service

West Side Guide Service
Port Angeles, WA, United States United States

Lodges

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Blue Heron Inn

Choose from seven intimate, beautiful guestrooms, each featuring a queen size bed, a full bath and private balcony overlooking America's only active volcano, Mt. St. Helens. We also have an ADA acce...
Castle Rock, WA, United States United States

Jessica

Guided Sportfishing in the beautiful Pacific Norhwest. Washington/Oregon. We specialize in fishing for Salmon, Steelhead, Sturgeon and Trout. Customize your trip the way you want to fish, or le...
Montesano, WA, United States United States

Tournaments

There are no tournaments associated with this fishing spot.