Copyright 2015 James Marsh
Gear, Tackle and Trout Flies - Cowlitz River Washington
The fly line we recommend for salmon fishing the Cowlitz River should be either an 9 or 10
weight, floating fly line. The fly line we recommend for steelhead fishing should be a 7 or 8
weight, floating fly line. If you prefer to use a Spey rod, then the line should probably be a 9
weight line made for Spey fishing. For sea Run Cutts, we prefer a floating 5 or 6 weight line.
Fly Line Weight:
Adding weight to your fly line is dependant on the flow and depth of the pools you are
fishing. You can add a sink tip line or split shot.
The fly rod we recommend for salmon fishing should be an 9 or 10 weight, in a nine foot
length. It is probably best in a medium fast to fast action.
The fly rod we recommend for steelhead fishing is a 7 or 8 weight in a nine foot length. It is
probably best in a medium fast to fast action.
If you prefer to use a Spey Rod, then we suggest a 9 weight, 14 foot length rod. It should be
a medium to fast action rod. The five or six weight rod for sea-run cutts should be a fast
action or medium fast action, nine foot rod.
You want a stiff, hard leader material like our Perfect Fly leaders. The size should range
from a minimum of ten pound test up to twelve pound test. They should be nine to fifteen
feet long for a regular fly rod and from ten and a half to fifteen feet for two handed Spey
rods. If you use a sinking fly line, you would want them only about four to six feet long. We
have hand-tied Perfect Fly steelhead leaders. We recommend a 71/2 to 9 foot leader for the
sea-run cutts in 0X to 5X sizes.
You want to carry plenty of extra tippet material for ten to twelve pound test. It too should be
hard, stiff material that is abrasive resistance. For the sea-run cutts, 0X to 5X tippet.
Unless you want to fish from the banks in the few areas it is practical, then waders are
necessary. We suggest them even if you fish from a drift boat.
The wading boots you use are very important. Both cleats and rubber/felt bottoms are used.
A landing net is recommended. The main requirement is that the net should be very large.
The net area should be at least 15 inches wide by 20 inches long. The overall length is
usually around 32 inches. You can use a smaller net for the sea-run cutts.
Salmon and Steelhead flies for the Cowlitz River:
We have a complete line of flies for steelhead and salmon. We have selected them as the
most popular flies from thousands of patterns that have been developed over the years. We
have some of our own Perfect Fly steelhead and salmon patterns. They imitate the
hexigenia mayfly nymph, certain caddisfly nymphs, stonefly nymphs and fish roe or eggs
that are found in the river throughout the year. We also have a full line of popular wet flies,
egg flies, Spey flies that are very popular.
We also have a complete line of trout flies for the sea-run cutthroat trout.
We suggest either a 4, 5 or 6 weight, weight forward floating fly line for most of the fly-fishing.
Most all of your fishing should be done using small flies but you should also be equipped to
fish small streamers and larger terrestrial flies. A six weight floating fly line may be desired
for fishing small streamers and larger nymphs.
You should have a fly rod for the above line sizes you choose to use. The rods should be
nine feet in length. A moderately fast to fast action would be our recommendation.
The reel for either of the three rods should have a good drag. You don't want to hang a
large trout and loose it because of a lousy drag.
You should use at least a 7 12 foot leader anywhere and anytime on the Cowlitz River. A
twelve foot length and even longer may be wise in some situations. You should have them in
sizes ranging from 0X for streamers, up to 6X for small dry flies such as midges.
Carry extra tippet material in sizes ranging from 0X to 6X.
You will need waders in most all the places you will want to fish. We prefer the breathable
Felt soles would be our first choice. The new rubber soles may work well. We haven't tried
them on the Cowlitz River.
Perfect Flies have proven to be effective on the Cowlitz River. We have several customers
who have used them on this stream. They closely imitate all the real aquatic insects,
crustaceans and terrestrials that are in the stream. We have specific imitations of all the
insects in all stages of life. If you haven't already tried them, we certainly hope you will. We
are confident you will find them highly effective.
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