Willamette Valley Fishing Report – It’s clear that the fall run of chinook is underway at Bonneville Dam as over 6,000 adults passed the facility on August 19th. Effort remains light in the Portland to Longview stretch but with those numbers, interest will be ramping up in short order. A few B run summer steelhead remain an option but numbers are dwindling fast. It gets harder to target steelhead in these warmer flows and most anglers would call it a mediocre season for steelhead on the mainstem this summer.
With waters of the Willamette very warm now and the lower river closed to salmonids, fishing for bass and panfish is about the only option.
Water level and flow on the McKenzie has remained unchanged over the past week. Trout fishing is slow to fair.
There has been no change in the low, clear, warm condition of the Santiam system since the last report. Fishing remains poor.
As with other Willamette Valley systems, the Clackamas has shown no change in the poor water conditions here. Fishing is no better than those conditions.
The water level at the Sandy River actually dropped a little this week. Prospects here are poor.
North Coast Report – Nehalem Bay salmon trollers are scoring fair to good catches for summer/fall chinook from Wheeler to the jaws. The action has been steady for a while now and will likely spill over into the full fall run of fish by early September. Soft tides this week will keep interest high near the mouth although a predicted rough bar may make for undesirable conditions for boaters so be aware.
There have been reports of chinook in upper Tillamook Bay; not such a surprise as the run seems to be getting more attention early for Trask and Tillamook River chinook. Coho are due in the bay soon as well.
Offshore salmon remain a poor option as big blue remains absent concentrated numbers of chinook for most sport boats. It won’t be long before the waters adjacent to Tillamook Bay will be productive for big chinook, destined for both Tillamook Bay itself and other estuaries south of this popular fishery.
Tuna boats out of Garibaldi are worried about the upcoming weather forecast but action has been good with most boats eclipsing the 20+ fish mark for the day’s effort. Reports indicate all techniques are working, including trolled clones, which is kind of rare this time of year. Live bait will likely produce best this month and next but casting iron is often productive too.
Don’t over-look the all-depth halibut option, offshore anglers will get another shot at all-depth halibut Friday and Saturday, August 21st and 22nd off the central Oregon coast.
Ocean crabbing is excellent but soft-shells remain an issue. They should start to fill out in the coming weeks. Bay crabbing is also good and with a soft tide series this weekend, results might impress.
Central & South Coast Reports – When boats have been able to get out of Depoe Bay this week, bottomfish catches have been spotty.
Offshore anglers will get another shot at all-depth halibut Friday and Saturday, August 21st and 22nd off the central Oregon coast.
Another opportunity to fish ocean coho is coming up starting September 4th when the non-selective season is scheduled to start. It will continue through September 30th unless the quota fills first. An additional 8,000 coho have been added to this quota, a roll-over from the under-utilized summer season.
Crabbing has been good for boaters in Winchester Bay. Chinook fishing in the bay and lower Umpqua has improved with some anglers taking limits. No fishing may take place for salmon, steelhead or trout above tidewater on the Umpqua after 2 PM until further notice.
Tuna are being taken by well-equipped boats launching out of Charleston. Trollers using herring have been catching Chinook and jacks in Coos Bay.
Trollers are catching Chinook in Rogue Bay regularly. With the 2 PM restriction now lifted on the Rogue River, prospects for fishing the middle river have improved. Fishing remains fair to good on the upper Rogue with anglers taking Chinook and a few summer steelhead.
Ocean Chinook fishing is poor to slow out of the Port of Brookings. Bottom fishing has been producing good catches of rockfish and lingcod just outside the harbor. Ocean crabbing has been nothing short of excellent.
Central & Eastern – Steelhead are being caught here and there on the Deschutes River now that the summers are available in fishable numbers.
Fishing at East Lake has been fair to good thanks to recent trout planting by the ODFW.
While trout fishing is fair at Paulina Lake, catches of kokanee have been somewhat better this week.
Results for kokanee trollers at Green Peter have been spotty but overall fishing is fair to good.
SW Washington Reports – Summer steelhead remain a fair option in the low, warm and clear flows of the Cowlitz but most boaters are taking advantage of a good steelhead bite at the mouth. Fall chinook are also starting to appear in greater numbers.
The Kalama and Lewis remain slow although few reports are coming in.
The Wind River and Drano Lake fisheries are producing great numbers of steelhead and an occasional fall chinook. Most of the steelhead are wild, requiring release.
The mouth of the Klickitat should start to kick in for fall chinook and should last well into November for coho when they start to appear. It’s early but the coho seem to be tracking about a 1/3 less than last year and 1/2 of the 10-year average.