The Cowlitz is 30 minutes from Chehalis, and the closest spot to fish for anything in a river. The Chehalis river is boring, froggy and full of cow manure and bass until you go upstream on 6 west. The nooch is an hour and a half from Chehalis, and you'd be no closer to it than from home down there. Skook is barren until later unless you want to harass the spawning kings. The Newaukum has cutthroat in it, but you're more likely to hook a chub or a sucker.
Barrier or Blue Creek would be the best bet in the area. Depends on how far you're wanting to drive after a long day at work. If you scour the forum in the search box for "Cowlitz" or something like that, I posted a map with all the good spots marked in google maps somewhere, I forget where.
I grew up in Centralia, if I still lived there, that's where I'd be.