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SW Washington Fish Report, Cowlitz River, South Fork Toutle, Tilton, Lake May Field



Guide Trips by Lost Creek Fly Shop, Mike Sturza


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Cowlitz River Fly Fishing Guide Trips

Cowlitz River Fly Fishing Guide Trips by Mike Sturza. Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring Steelhead Trips are availalbe.

Professional Fly Fishing Guide on the Cowlitz River

In the fall, the Cowlitz has an abundant hatchery Sea Run Cutthroat return.

The Cowlitz River is my backyard river. I fished this river over a hundred and fifty days a year. The Cowlitz river is Washington state's largest producer of hatchery steelhead, with two distinct winter runs, and two distinct summer runs. The Cowlitz River is a big river by any standard. In many places the river is over 100 yards wide. Access is limited by foot, and a boat is the best opportunity to access the river's great runs. We'll travel by river sled or drift boat, and stopping to wade and fish each run.

Fly Fishing Only!

I'm one of the few guides in Washington State that provide fly fishing only guided trips. If you're looking to improve your odds and/or shorten your fly fishing learning curve, I'm here to help. There are plenty of "fly fishing" guides who offer fly fishing mixed with gear fishing, but I'm not one of them. I choose to run my business to help those that are truly interested in learning the art of fly fishing.

I'll provide instruction on reading water, casting, fly presentation, fly retrieval, and fly selection. I'm happy to give personalized service to improve your skills as a fly fisherman so that you'll have the confidence to fish on your home water.

We generally begin the day early and will normally spend 10+ hours on the river. We'll float the river using my Willies Drift boat or to cover more water we will use the river sled. The majority of the rivers that I guide on are within a relatively short drive from Seattle, Washington and from Portland, Oregon. If business or pleasure brings you out to either of these cities you could easily slip out for a day or two of fishing.

When it comes to fly-fishing for Steelhead, I guide using the traditional methods - the wet fly swing. It is my belief that this is the most sporting method for catching a fish as magnificent as a Steelhead. Tug is the drug!

Even if you're unsuccessful at catching Steelhead, and sometimes it happens, you'll learn a great deal about casting, presentation, and where these fish are found so that when fish your home waters you will have better chance of getting that tug.

Do you float or wade?
If you have a strong preference let us know. We generally travel by river sled or drift boat, and stopping to wade and fish each pool.

How long is a fishing day?
Generally about eight-ten hours unless you have special needs (plane flight etc.)

River transportation:
17' Willies drift boat or Jet Sled.

What to bring:
Chest waders, wading belt, wading staff, cleats or studded boots, 5 - 10 wt fly rods, sink tips and floaters, warm clothing in layers, rain gear, sun screen lotion, polarized glasses, camera, fishing licenses, and a lunch.

Trip includes:
Flies, leaders, spey tackle (if needed), casting/fishing instruction (if needed),snacks and drinks will be provided, you bring your own lunch.

We can completely outfit almost anyone with advance notice.

How do I book a trip?

  • Note that rates are subject to change so please inquire when you schedule your date. Maximum of 2 anglers per scheduled day.
  • 1. Contact us by email or phone (360-520-9855) and give the time period you wish to fish, how many is in the party, and how many days you wish to fish. We will tell you which days we have available in that time slot.

    2. Select Guide trip below and make your payment.



    (Click Here) to see the current Cowlitz River guide catches.







    SW Washington Fish Report, Cowlitz River, South Fork Toutle, Tilton, Lake May Field


    Traveling or need waders. Lost Creek Fly Shop offers wader rental.(Click Here)


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    Lost Creek Fly Shop
    2069 Highway 508, Onalaska WA 98570
    Phone: 360-978-4059 | | Home