One of those proponents is Rich Mercado of Rich's Northwest Guide Service (253-535-0403).
"The Cowlitz stays good all the way," Mercado
"We used to get just a big bulk of fish all at one time," Mercado
So we ran back up and on the third drift he
got the second one," Mercado
and a lot of the other guides who jet-sled the river, the best way to fish is to launch at the ramp at the hatchery on Blue Creek, and go around the corner into the mainstem of the Cowlitz.
...Rich MercadoRich's Northwest
said the best way to learn how to sled or drift the Cowlitz is to go on the river when the water's down.
"Go when it's low and look at the water and see what the structure is," he
"Then you know what's down there, and you'll know what to expect when the water's high, because you know where everything is, like logjams and rocks."
What you're looking for in December are current seams.
"I'll really key on fishing the different current structures there, that's how I typically fish it," Mercado
"Because that's where the fish are going to be.And they tend to be in the same spots, so if you catch fish in one hole, come back in a week and there's fish in that same hole again."Mercado
tends to work his
favorite places over and over again, because of the propensity for different steelhead to use the same places in the river.
, free drifting, or boondogging, is so effective that it's his
numero uno preferred way to work the river.
"If you do anchor up," Mercado
warns, "just be careful of what's up above you.
"You have to just be courteous and patient," Mercado