Summer-Run Steelhead, Chinook Salmon, Rainbow and Brook Trout
Joins the Columbia River east of Cook.
Take Highway 14 east from Carson or west from White Salmon to the tiny town of Cook. Drano Lake and the mouth of the Little White Salmon are right along the highway about a mile east of Cook. To reach up river areas, turn north at Cook and head north on Cook-Underwood Road, and finally Oklahoma Road (Forest Service Road 18), which runs along to the head of the river.
A boat ramp is located on Drano Lake, on the north side of Highway 14. Moss Creek and Oklahoma Campgrounds (U.S.Forest Service) have both tent and trailer sites. Big Cedar County Park has tent sites only. Food, gas, tackle, and lodging are available in White Salmon or Carson.
How to fish Drano Lake:
Much of the fishing here takes place not in the river but the back eddy of the rivers mouth known as Drano Lake, and it’ has a long reputation for its outstanding salmon and steelhead fishing. One of the best fisheries for spring chinook action during April and May, when anglers have been known to catch hundreds of 10 to 30 pound springers per month. When fish are available anflers troll Kwikfish wrapped with sardines, Flatshish, Wiggle Warts, and Flasher and a cut-plug herring. A big sign that the fish are in is by paying attention to the fish count on the Bonneville Dam, when the numbers are in the 5,000 to 15,000 a day, you want to be here.
August and September are also prime steelhead months in the Little White Salmon and Drano Lake, to go along with the fall chinook salmon run. In fact this is one of Washington’s top producing summer-run steelhead spots, giving up 2,000 to 3,000 fish a year, in the early 1990’s there where months that anglers recorded over 5,000 fish. Fishing both day and night anglers use a variety of techniques Hot Shots and other diving plugs to fresh ghost shrimp. The large percentage of fish come from the lake, but there are fish also caught in the moving water.
If your into smaller game, try the upper reaches of the White Salmon during the summer season. Hatchery Brook Trout provide much of the action, but a few rainbows are also scattered throughout the river.