The Chehalis River is a medium size river located east of Mission BC, off Highway 7, in the Hemlock Valley. The river gets its water supply from Chehalis Lake, as well as various streams accumulating runoff and rain water from the surrounding mountains. The river eventually becomes a tributary of the Harrison River, just above the Sandpiper Golf Course, in Harrison Mills.
The river produces both hatchery and wild winter run steelhead. This steelhead river can be tough to fish, as most of the time the water runs low and clear at that time of the year, making it tough to catch these fish. Fishing for steelhead is most productive during warmer spells when the river gets some rain instead of snow. Fishing can also be productive in early spring when snow starts melting in the mountains of the surrounding the valleys, causing the water levels to rise, and the water to get some color.
Some of the more popular and effective steelhead catching techniques on this river are: small wool ties, Jensen egg/wool combinations, and quality salmon or steelhead roe. Some of the more effective wool colors include pink, peach and orange. Also, since this is not a large river and the average fish size is around the 9-10lb. range, consider the use of lighter gear.
The most easily accessible section of the river is middle section, with the Chehalis river hatchery being the central point. For this very reason, this section of the river is also the most heavily fished. Some of the more popular spots include the Easter Seal, the Hatchery and the Gun Barrel runs. The upper section of this river is also fishable, however, the access is difficult and it can be a very dangerous hike. Please do yourself a favor and do not try to explore the upper Chehalis alone. Always go with a friend. Good luck and we'll see you on the river.
Article by: Radek Hanus of Double Header Sport Fishing