Cowlitz River King Salmon and Steelhead Fishing

The Cowlitz River is a river in the state of Washington in the United States, a tributary of the Columbia River. Its tributaries drain a large region including the slopes of Mount RainierMount Adams, and Mount St. Helens.

The Cowlitz has a 2,586-square-mile (6,698 km2) drainage basin, located between the Cascade Range in eastern Lewis County, Washington and the cities of Kelso and Longview. The river is roughly 105 miles long, not counting tributaries.

Major tributaries of the Cowlitz River include the Cispus River and the Toutle River, which was overtaken by volcanic mudflows during the May 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens.

When the smelt spawn in the Cowlitz River, the gulls go into a feeding frenzy that lasts for weeks. Kelso, Washington is known as the "Smelt Capital of the World


  • February- April: Winter Steelhead Fishing
  • April – May: Spring Chinook
  • Summer: Spring King Salmon Fishing, Summer Steelhead
  • September- November- Fall Salmon Fishing
  • November- March: Winter Steelhead