Oregon Fishing Updates
Willamette Valley/Metro – Although the mainstem Columbia River fall Chinook fishery has yet to take off locally, it’s only a matter of days as salmon counts are beginning to build at Bonneville Dam. Soon, trollers working Pro-trolls and spinners will be working from Bonneville to Longview, hooking up salmon to 30+ pounds as peak migration is about to happen.
Steelhead counts remain depressed on the mainstem, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission enacted regulations closing the popular mouth of the Deschutes troll fishery giving steelhead a cold water refuge on their upstream migration.
Coho are starting to ascend the Bonneville facility, although they are hard to catch in this reach of river.
Jeff Stoeger reports, “This week the Sandy still has fish but the fishing has slowed way down. The fish are on the dark side and should be getting ready to start spawning. The weather forecast is for rain over the weekend and if does happen we will see the river really go off color for the ground is so dry that the rain will wash all the dust and topsoil off causing the river to muddy up. If we continue to get rains over the next few weeks, we could start to see some coho show up in the river. The counts are starting to go up. ”
Northwest Oregon – Effort is picking up for salmon out of Garibaldi, as the fall run of Chinook start to make their way back to most north coast systems. Although Tillamook Bay is an option this time of year, the Nehalem is peaking for summer Chinook right now, with fall Chinook soon to follow. Anglers were working the jaws at Wheeler pretty hard over the weekend with some success, but stronger tides this weekend should produce fair catches at Wheeler into next week. Hatchery coho should start to make a showing as well.
Upper Tillamook Bay should start to produce some fresh Chinook and coho over the weekend as well, anglers should work the high tide in the upper bay or at the jaws near high slack. The peak is still weeks away however.
The Nestucca, Salmon, Alsea and Siletz Rivers should also start to produce better catches. Chinook start to show in good numbers from now through mid-October.
Friendly seas will likely produce interest in offshore albacore fishing, it should be excellent when anglers find the schools of fish.
Bottomfishing remains excellent and crabbing should pick up as well although many of the keeper males will still be in a soft-shell state.
Astoria area – Although Chinook catches in the Buoy 10 fishery were excellent prior to the weekend, action tapered early this week. The Tongue Point area produced over the soft tide series, but Chinook action will likely pick up prior to the closure (Buoy 10 to Tongue Point) after Friday’s effort. It’s too early to tell how the fishery performed overall, but some quality Chinook were taken this month.
The Chinook fishery will remain open above Tongue Point through early September so opportunity should continue through that closure as well. Chinook were more receptive to spinners in the warmer waters above Tongue Point.
Coho catches are on the increase, and the Buoy 10 area will remain open for fin-clipped coho only, but action is unlikely to pick up until the end of the month and into September. Coho were running large and plentiful prior to the ocean closure so anglers should be in for some good fishing. The minus tide series should start to produce fair coho catches off of the beach at Fort Stevens State Park. Anglers cast spinners or plunk herring just off the bottom in this popular fishery.
Central and Eastern Oregon – From our Friend Tim Moran:
Deschutes River – Wickiup to Sunriver – fishing is fair for brown trout casting Rapalas, spoons and spinners. Fly fishing with big weighted streamers is also good.
Lower Deshutes – Steelhead are showing in fishable numbers from the mouth to Sherars Falls (the river is closed from the mouth to Moody). The river remains under-fished due to the fire and lack of camping areas and facilities.
Prineville Reservoir – Has been and still is a great weekend spot to catch fish. If you fish worms you’ll catch everything from trout to bass, crappie and bullheads.
Crane Prairie Reservoir – Trout are in the channels and chironomids, leeches and damsel imitations are taking fish. Mornings and the last hour of daylight are best.
Crooked River – Cold water is good water! Fishing for Redband Rainbows is good.
Antelope Flat Reservoir – Lot’s of holdover fish as well as some recently stocked brood fish. This fishery is worth a trip. Fall should be really good!
Metolius River – I’ve seen some pic’s recently of some brute Bull Trout being landed on the Met. As the Kokanee continue pushing into the river the fishing should only get better.
Metolius Pond – This fishery just opened to kids (under 17) and disabled anglers. It’s at the Wizard Falls hatchery and I’m guessing the fishing there is REALLY GOOD! A great stop for the kids and the Met has awesome camping areas.
Southwest – From ODF&W
Salmon anglers are reporting mixed results on the Coos.
There are decent numbers of Half-pounders and adult steelhead in the lower Rogue, where lower water conditions are ideal for anglers swinging flies or tossing spinners.
There also are few Chinook being caught around the mouth of the Umpqua.
With reports of a fair number of wild coho being caught in the bays and oceans, remember to land these fish quickly and don’t remove them from the water, if possible.
Trout fishing continues to be good at Howard Prairie Reservoir despite low water conditions.
Smallmouth bass fishing continues to be a fishing bright spot in the south and mainstem Umpqua.
During the hot weather, the best trout fishing will be early in mornings at higher lakes like Diamond, Lemolo, Hemlock, Lake in the Woods, Lake Marie, and the high Cascade lakes in the Umpqua basin.
From Humbug Mountain to the OR/CA border, salmon fishing is open with a limit of two salmon per day but no retention of coho.
The All-Depth halibut quota has not been updated yet. If there is enough quota left the next All-Depth fishing days for the Central Coast will be Aug. 31-Sept 1. The Nearshore halibut season is open seven days a week and as of Aug. 12, there is 22 percent of the quota remaining.
For the southern Oregon Subarea, halibut is open 7 days a week through Oct. 31 or attaining the quota of 8,982 lbs. As of Aug. 12, there is 64 percent of the quota remaining.
Tuna have moved offshore over 50 miles. Most recreational tuna anglers have stopped fishing for tuna until they get closer.
And from Pete Heley at PeteHeley.com
Lake Marie was stocked this week with 800 trophy rainbows. In some years this late-season plant will immediately go deep due to warm surface water and not bite well for several days.
As for river salmon, the Rogue River continues to produce well despite the fact that not one keepable salmon has been caught in the ocean out of Gold Beach.
Chinook salmon angling in the Umpqua River between Winchester Bay and Reedsport was much improved last week – possibly due to slightly cooler temperatures – but if water temperatures drop very much, the Chinooks may zip upriver and anglers will no longer have multiple chances to catch them.
Crabbing seems to be improving weekly.
Retention of cabezon was prohibited beginning Saturday morning, August 18, 2018. Total mortality (catch plus discard mortality) of cabezon in Oregon’s recreational bottomfish fishery was projected to meet or exceed the annual recreational harvest guideline of 16.8 metric tons by Friday, August 17. Anglers will be asked to safely release any cabezon encountered.
Fishing for pinkfin (redtail surfperch) in the surf at most of our local beaches continues to be very good.
Smith River is still giving up a few stripers to a select few close-mouthed night anglers, but the best striper fishing recently has been on the lower Coquille River above Bandon. Very few big stripers are being caught.
The albacore tuna season doesn’t seem to be over, but the right ocean conditions to reach them don’t seem to happen very often.