Greg Frogner, professional steelhead fishing guide, states that he had luck fishing the Cowlitz River roughly 50 feet downstream from the Blue Creek boat launch. This is an area of the river called the "Magic Mile," where the steelhead congregate during the summer months. Bob Sommer of GuidelinesFishing.com writes that steelhead fishing on the Cowlitz extends from the Barrier Dam Salmon Hatchery through the Blue Creek Trout Hatchery, and all the way to the Columbia River.
Frogner states that the Cowlitz River is stocked annually with approximately six hundred thousand smolt, making it one of the most well-stocked rivers in the Northwest region of the United States. The summer run is the best time of year to fish the river, according to Frogner, but the Cowlitz boasts excellent fishing year-round. Sommer also speaks highly of the winter-run steelhead fishing, from December through February, but notes that a change in tactics is required to account for the cooler temperatures, rainy weather and higher water levels. For bank anglers, the river is accessible from the Blue Creek to the Barrier Dam; boaters can launch from the Blue Creek ramp or the Mission Bar. Frogner recommends using a bobber and jig when steelhead fishing.