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Rich's Northwest Guide Service
Rich's N.W. Guide Service
Rich Mercado of Rich's Northwest Guide Service (253-376-8004) says trolling plugs, bait, spinner/prawns and herring all will work at the Wind."There's a few of us who also bobber fish and hover fish right over the fish," he adds."We get on top of these fish and float bait under a bobber, or hover fish like you do for fall kings.When they pick up the bait, you put the hooks to them." Mercado says to pay attention to the buoys on the Wind that mark the boundary to where you can fish."If you go beyond those buoys, you'll get a nice big ticket," he says.Over at Drano, typically the tribes will be netting on Tuesday nights and it will be closed on Wednesdays, Mercado reports."That's when we wait for the next push of fish to come in.They don't net the Wind, but they net Drano." Mercado says fishing here is just like the Wind: "Lots of guys will be pulling plugs, herring and spinners/prawns."He adds that Cowlitz summer steelhead are just starting to show."There's some fish, but it hasn't been hot and heavy," he says.
Anglers are finding some steelhead now that the river levels are dropping, said Rich Mercado of Rich's Northwest Guide Service. ...
Cowlitz: Rich Mercado, Rich's N.W. Guide Service, call (253) 376-8004, or online at www.richsnwguideservice.com Rich Mercado, a fishing guide based in Washington, says you often get what you pay for when it comes to fishing guides. "There are fishing guides out there who are in it just to make a boat payment," says Mercado."The going rate is generally around $150.People should beware of guides who charge half that amount.You want to find someone who has a good reputation and has put in the effort to make sure his clients are safe and have the best experience possible." According to Mercado, this includes having a coast guard certification, a charter license, and certification in first aid as well as being an experienced fisherman.
One of those proponents is Rich Mercado of Rich's Northwest Guide Service (253-535-0403)."The Cowlitz stays good all the way," Mercado said. "We used to get just a big bulk of fish all at one time," Mercado said. So we ran back up and on the third drift he got the second one," Mercado said.Favorite hauntsFor 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 NorthwestMercado 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 said. "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 said. "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. For Mercado, 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 said.
Guide Trip: We have a guided trip with Rich Mercado, of Rich's Northwest Guide Service.