Willamette Valley – It’s game on for trollers working flashers and spinners in the Bonneville to Longview stretch for fall Chinook right now. The peak migration is underway and wobbler plunkers are scoring good results as well. It appears that the fin-clipped only rule for Chinook does go into effect starting September 10th from Tongue Point to Warrior Rock. Anglers will be allowed to retain a single adipose fin-clipped Chinook through September 14th, before all retention in this reach closes September 15th, just like the Buoy 10 fishery. Regardless, there should remain ample opportunity for trollers, backtrollers and anchor anglers for several more weeks if the run comes in as predicted.
We have heard anglers complaining when there’s only warmwater gamefish or catch-and-release sturgeon fishing available in the lower river. They’ll howl again this week, we suppose, but fishing for either is really good now.
The McKenzie River attracts mostly fly anglers and for good reason: it’s a beautiful, classic trout stream. Now that fall is approaching and we’re off the first shower, the weekend is looking good.
Fish ‘em now, there ain’t no more! For now, at least, passage at Willamette Falls has all but come to a standstill, a seasonal imperative, but all the fish which passed before now are in upper river tributaries such as the Santiams where conditions for catching them have improved.
Rainfall was insufficient to raise the water level of the Clackamas or increase flows significantly. However, according to Dave Neels of Oregon City Fisherman’s Marine (503-557-3313), it was enough to entice the first coho into the river.
Pro fishing guide, Jeff Stoeger of O2BFISHN Guide Service (503-704-7920) reports that while the Sandy is clouding up a little, the water level is good for fish and there are fish to catch now. Coho have started to enter.
Northwest Oregon – With the crowds dissipating at Buoy 10, effort has shifted to other fisheries despite the extended opportunity. Coho numbers remain stable and anglers are reporting a nice grade of fish present. Chinook success will likely continue to decline, but coho action should remain fair at best for the next few weeks. You’ll virtually be alone in this fishery, as other target Chinook in other fisheries and no one expects great coho fishing, given the run size predicted this year.
Tillamook Bay and the adjacent ocean waters are producing Chinook but the big surprise is ample numbers of hatchery coho that are starting to show. With such a poor performance for the summer season in the South of Falcon fishery, it appears that escapement to the estuary is rather impressive. Any 2 salmon may be kept in the ocean for the next few weeks but anglers are restricted to hatchery coho only in Tillamook Bay. Coho are hitting spinners and to a lesser degree, herring. Chinook were being taken in the Ghost Hole on Thursday and the softer tides will produce best in the lower reaches of the bay.
The Nehalem is fair but good tides this weekend should produce good action near the jaws, weather depending. The Nestucca, Salmon, Siletz and Alsea Bays all have Chinook returning to them but in fewer numbers than last year. Anglers are still allowed hatchery coho in the Nehalem but only wild coho are likely to show in the other mentioned fisheries, and a bit later in the season. All wild coho must be released in Oregon’s freshwater river systems.
Ocean crabbing is excellent and decent in most estuaries. Soft tides this weekend should produce good catches and the crab are filling out nicely.
Afternoon wind waves may effect ocean opportunity for salmon, tuna and bottomfish by Sunday. Tuna remain oddly scattered or not very receptive; it should be game on for albacore this time of year.
Central & South Coast Reports – Bottom fishing has been fair too good out of central Oregon ports while ocean crabbing has remained excellent. Salmon fishing has been fair for most, good for a few.
Recreational boats have made tuna runs every time offshore conditions have allowed. Sometimes they catch a few, sometimes more than a few but it’s always a long run and a late day.
Halibut fishing has been fair to really great this season. Unfortunately, the final data was not available at deadline for the newsletter so we don’t know whether fishing will continue for nearshore or all-depth halibut. It’s supposed to be announced on Friday this week.
Fish are being caught by trollers working the waters of Siltcoos Lake but, at least so far, none of them have been coho.
In his regular weekly report, Blogger, publisher and author Pete Heley (peteheley.com) says that salmon fishing has produced some fish in the lower Umpqua as well as in Winchester Bay. Heley also mentions that with bay fishing getting better, no one will notice how well the jetty is capable of producing at this time of year.
The recent rain showers which passed through the southwest corner of Oregon, put enough water in the for the freshet to draw Chinook which had been holding in the bay, upriver. This means action in the bay has stopped for now but Chinook are being caught upstream. The middle river has been fair and the upper rogue, fair to good. Most of the upper river is flies-only now.
Central & Eastern – Deschutes steelheaders are playing a waiting game now as the bulk of the summer steelhead run is yet to show.
This is the time of year when High Lake fishing can really shine. While these fisheries often attract fly anglers, check the regulations as may allow gear and even bait fishing.
While trollers are taking some decent-sized trout at Lake Simtustus, they say there are too few of them.
Odell trollers report good numbers of kokanee taken although some of the fish which will spawn this year are starting to turn color.
Although trollers are using the same lures and techniques which proved successful in similar water conditions and temperatures at Detroit Lake, kokanee seem to be evasive.
Smallmouth bass fishing has remained worthwhile on the .
SW Washington – Although salmon are starting to enter most district tributaries, anglers largely remain focused on the mainstem Columbia as it’s peak migration for fall Chinook right now. Catch rates for anchor anglers and trollers are on the increase. Check regulation changes for the Tongue Point to Warrior Rock reach starting September 10th.
The Cowlitz is still putting out summers steelhead but interest is falling.
Drano Lake is fast becoming a good option for salmon anglers. B-run steelhead are also becoming more prevalent. Other upriver fisheries are also starting to percolate, such as the White Salmon and Klickitat as well.