Emerald Water Anglers Seattle Fly Shop and Guide Service

Cowlitz River, WA

Quick Facts and Pricing

Reservation Request

Season
All Year
Ideal Flows
2300-7800cfs
Length
Full day 8-9 hours fishing time
From Seattle
2 hours
Pricing
$495 Full day float trip, 1-2 anglers
$75 additional for 3rd angler
Prices do not include WA sales tax
Species
Steelhead
Coastal Cutthroat

Details

Rods
We are proponents of swinging flies with two handed/spey rods on all our steelhead trips and are more than happy to provide personal instruction on becoming proficient with them.  What we generally recommend is spey rods 6-9wt. depending on season with compact Skagit or Scandi heads and various sinking tips.
Flies
Bunny Leeches, Egg Sucking Leeches, Flatwing General Practitioners, Mega Moal, Skagit Minnows, Morrish’s Trailer Trash, River Rats, Fergus Rock Star, Skunks, Purple Perils, Skykomish Sunrises for steelhead. Flesh flies, egg patterns for Dolly Varden and pink, purple and chartreuse flies for coho.
Sizes
6 – 2/0 flies depending on season
Food
Menu options for full day trips — Lunch
Clothing and Equipment Checklist
Summer or Winter
Cancellation Policy

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The Cowlitz River in southwest Washington is the states largest producer of hatchery steelhead. Because of its large runs, there are fish arriving almost all year long. With tens of thousands of steelhead entering this river each year, this is the place to nail a steelhead on the fly. Another reason anglers flock to the “Cow”, is because of the numbers of coho salmon that arrive in the river from October through December. The Cowlitz gets a bad rap as being a gear anglers haunt, and it is, but there are some great runs and pools to fish where most gear anglers are not to be found. From Barrier Dam down, the river winds through tall timber and lush landscapes on its way to the trout hatchery at Blue Creek.

Although winters in Washington can be dreary with gray skies and horizantal rain, the summers can be the exact opposite with blue bird skies and very warm temperatures. On these days choose to swing traditional fly patterns to summer steelhead or toss small dry flies and streamers to the enormous number of cutthroat trout that reside in the river as well.

We highly recommend the use of spey rods on this and all the Puget Sound rivers. We have a full line of them for you to use from Winston, Scott and Sage and our guides are accomplished spey casters and instructors more than happy to teach you this unique style of fly fishing.