If you have been hitting McNary and looking to do something different, you could drive over to the Cowlitz instead.

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is reporting that the steelhead catch is starting to pick up on the Cowlitz River, where anglers are catching bright 8-12 pound steelhead near the trout hatchery.

With more sunny days head, the Kalama River will also begin giving up some nice steelhead, and both rivers should be good bets for hatchery spring chinook.

Meanwhile, anglers have through March 15 to fish for steelhead on the Coweeman, Elochoman, Grays, East Fork Lewis, South Fork Toutle, and Washougal rivers. That is also the case for Abernathy, Germany, Skamokawa, Mill (Cowlitz Co.), Cedar (Clark Co.), Rock (Skamania Co.), and Salmon (Clark Co.) creeks.

Of course, most area weekend warriors are waiting anxiously as the Wind River and Drano Lake open for salmon fishing March 16, with a daily limit of two hatchery chinook, or two hatchery steelhead, or one of each.

Anglers planning to fish any of these waters are advised to check for emergency fishing rules to make sure they are aware of any updates to state regulations before they head out.

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