Blue Stream Fly Fishing
Fly Fishing Report for:

Cowlitz River - Below Mayfield Dam - Washington

Hatch Chart - Best Access/Spots - Local Fish - About

Water Flow Chart

Using Water Flow Charts & Weather Reports: Begin with our water flow charts to grasp stream velocity and volume – look for stable or rising trends to pinpoint ideal fishing times. Learn to interpret sudden spikes or drops, which can indicate potential challenges. Next, consult our weather reports to understand ambient conditions. Pairing the two, you can anticipate fish behavior, choose the right gear, and select the best fishing spots. Use these tools together for a holistic approach to your next fishing adventure.

In-Depth Weather

Directions To Location

Hatch Chart

Month Hatch Time of Day Recommended Fly Sizes Popular Fly Patterns
January Midges Dusk and Dawn #20-#26 Griffith's Gnat, Zebra Midge
February Stoneflies Daylight hours #8-#14 Golden Stone, Black Stone
March Blue Winged Olives Mid-day #16-#20 Blue Wing Olive, Pheasant Tail
April Caddisflies Evening #14-#16 X-Caddis, Goddard Caddis
May Mayflies Late Morning - Early Afternoon #12-#16 Pale Morning Dun, Beadhead Pheasant Tail
June Green Drakes Evening #10-#14 Green Drake, March Brown
July Grasshoppers Afternoon #10-#12 Dave's Hopper, Schroeder's Hopper
August Damsel Flies and Dragonflies All Day #8-#12 Damsel Fly, Stewarts Dragonfly
September Terrestrials All Day #10-#14 Ant Patterns, Beetle Patterns
October October Caddis Dusk #8-#10 Orange Stimulator, Egg Layer October Caddis
November Blue Winged Olives Mid-day #18-#20 Blue Wing Olive, CDC Blue Wing Olive
December Midges Dusk and Dawn #20-#26 Griffith's Gnat, Zebra Midge

While we strive to ensure the precision of our hatch charts, some reflect broader river region insights. Through ongoing partnerships with local guides and fly shops, we’re committed to refining our data. Should you notice any inconsistencies or have feedback, we welcome you to reach out. 

Best Fishing Spots

Below Mayfield Dam, the Cowlitz River offers some of the best spots for fly fishing. The serene and picturesque surroundings, apart from the abundant fish populations, make these spots a favorite for anglers:

  • Blue Creek: A tributary of the Cowlitz River, Blue Creek junction is a hotspot for anglers. With abundant Steelhead and Coho salmon, it’s a must-visit during the fishing season.
  • Barrier Dam: Located just downstream of the Blue Creek outlet, this area yields high catch rates, especially for winter Steelhead.
  • The Hatchery: Anglers often have a successful catch rate here due to the high concentration of fish, particularly Steelhead and Chinook salmon.
  • Mission Creek: Excellent spot for catching Cutthroat trout, especially in the late summer and early autumn.

Don’t forget to always check local fishing regulations before heading out.

Best Access Points

The Cowlitz River – Below Mayfield Dam hosts a myriad of opportunities for fly fishing enthusiasts. A few of the most renowned access points include:

  • Blue Creek Boat Launch: This spot alongside River Mile 48 presents anglers with a well-maintained boat launch and pretty decent wading possibilities.
  • Mission Boat Launch: Situated slightly downstream from Blue Creek, this area is especially known for steelhead fishing.
  • Hole-in-the-Wall: Accessible from Spencer Road in Toledo, this hidden gem off the beaten path promises solitude and abundant fish.
  • Massey Bar: This is a popular spot for bank fishing, located on the river’s south shore just downstream of the Barrier Dam.
  • Barrier Dam Boat Launch: Located 2.5 miles upstream from the mouth of the river, it offers easy access to the water, a large parking lot, and a restroom.
Ensure you have the required fishing license and familiarize yourself with the local regulations before heading out to enjoy a day of fly fishing at one of these amazing access points.

Local Fish

  • Steelhead Trout: The Cowlitz River is well known for its fantastic Steelhead fishing. Fishermen could catch both summer-run and winter-run Steelhead.
  • Chinook Salmon: This river hosts runs of both Spring and Fall Chinook, also known as King Salmon. They are highly prized for their size and fighting ability.
  • Coho Salmon: Coho, or Silver Salmon, make their run up the Cowlitz in the fall. They are a popular target for fly fishermen due to their aggressive nature.
  • Sockeye Salmon: Sockeye Salmon can also be found in the Cowlitz River, particularly during summer months.
  • Chum Salmon: Chum Salmon, or Dog Salmon, run in the fall and are often targeted for their unique fight on a fly rod.
  • Cutthroat Trout: The Cowlitz River supports a healthy population of sea-run cutthroat trout, which are often targeted by fly fishermen.
  • White Sturgeon: Although the White Sturgeon is not typically sought by fly fishermen, it can still be caught on the Cowlitz River below Mayfield Dam.
  • Mountain Whitefish: These fish provide an exciting year-round opportunity for fly fishing. Although they usually only grow to about a foot in length, they are great fighters and can be quite challenging to land on a fly.

About The River

Take a journey down the Cowlitz River – below Mayfield Dam and discover a world rich in history and natural beauty. This dynamic river, located in the heart of Washington state, is an icon for its rich history and diverse wildlife.

Human history along the river dates back thousands of years, with evidence of Native American tribes such as the Cowlitz and Taidnapam. These tribes relied extensively on salmon from the river for sustenance. Fast forward to the 19th century, and the river became a thoroughfare for loggers and miners seeking their fortune in the West.

  • Construction of the Mayfield Dam in 1963 was a turning point in the river’s history. It controlled the river’s flow, protecting communities from flooding and generating power.
  • Today, the stretch below the dam is a haven for exhilarating outdoor activities, including world-class fishing for steelhead, salmon, and trout!

Walk by or sail through, the Cowlitz River below the Mayfield Dam has stories to tell!

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