Willamette Valley Fishing Report – Columbia River spring Chinook fishing remains mediocre despite good numbers of fish still going over Bonneville Dam. We’re about to officially shift over to summer Chinook season come June 15th and fishery managers continue to be impressed with this year’s return. Summer Chinook action won’t be much different from spring Chinook but the average size of the fish tends to be larger. Bonneville Dam will remain the best place to intercept willing biters but anglers will still struggle for consistency in this fishery. Summer steelhead numbers are starting to improve but we’re still weeks away from a peak period.
Fishing for spring Chinook in the lower Willamette is all but over. Shad fishing has been good at times in the lower Willamette as has fishing for smallmouth bass.
The waters of the McKenzie River has been on a lengthy, gradual drop for a couple of weeks and forecasts indicate that trend will continue. Fly anglers can catch some trout here.
While water level and flows of the North Santiam are fishable, the South Santiam is quite low. Fishing is poor for steelhead and slow for springers.
Water in the Clackamas is at summer level lows and predicted to get lower. Spring Chinook fishing is slow and challenging in these conditions while summer steelhead catches are poor.
While steelheading is a little better in the Sandy River, conditions are similar: low and clear. Some spring Chinook have been taken.
North Coast Report – Spring Chinook remain available in Tillamook Bay although area rivers remain critically low so boaters have the best access to fish. There is no reprieve in sight. Spinner trollers working the upper bay are scoring some fair results and that may continue for much of this week. Mid-June typically marks the end of effective spring Chinook fishing in the bay and tidewater areas but this is a different year. There has been no effective rain freshet to draw springers upstream this season.
Rough ocean conditions kept many boats in port this week; it may be early next week before the ocean becomes a viable option, especially for the small boat fleet out of most northerly ports.
The lower Columbia remains an excellent option for sturgeon, for those into catch and release options. Action remains epic and few people are taking advantage of this fishery.
Crabbing in the lower Columbia is fair and if you have fresh crab bait such as shad, you’ll likely score decent results. The tide exchange over the upcoming weekend won’t be great for crabbing but it could be worse too.
Central & South Coast Reports – The coast is usually windy when the weather is hot inland, so it has been this week. Combine this with rough ocean conditions and nobody goes fishing.
The ocean will open to hatchery coho fishing on June 27th with fishing scheduled to continue through August 9th.
Ocean fishing for halibut inside the 30 fathom line will open the 1st of July and is scheduled to fish through the month of October.
The big draw at Winchester Bay lately has been the annual run of pinkfin perch which improved recently, providing some anglers with 15-fish limits. Crabbing has also picked up in the bay for boaters but not for those crabbing from the docks.
Coos Bay crabbing has picked up and is said to be worthwhile now.
When boats have been able to get out of the port at Gold Beach, rockfishing has been good in the ocean. Spring Chinook fishing is poor in the lower Rogue with water temperatures rising this week as the weather got warm. The middle Rogue has been slow for springers although it’s somewhat better on the upper Rogue. Summer steelheading will be starting up soon.
Central & Eastern – It is recommended that if anglers want to fish the high Cascade lakes that they do so before summer temperatures make the water too warm to fish.
Trout fishing has been slow on the Metolius with fly anglers frustrated as to what patterns are effective.
Kokanee fishing has been fair at Odell Lake with trollers out-fishing jig fishers. Usually, jigging is the preferred method here. Some large lake trout have been caught here recently.
Washington fishing reports – Although spring Chinook action is tapering in the Cowlitz River, opportunity remains fair. This river has surpassed expectations with over 13,000 fish tallied at the hatchery. Action is likely to taper however and summer steelhead should come online in the coming weeks.
The Kalama remains a fair option as well while the Lewis is poor and underperforming.
Upper Columbia tributaries are also less than impressive although the Klickitat remains a fair option.
Anglers will begin focusing on the mainstem Columbia as summer steelhead numbers begin to swell.