Willamette Valley/Metro – Spring Chinook anglers are chomping at the bit, but results remain subdued. High water is the contributing factor and things don’t look to be changing anytime soon. An extension on the Columbia is certainly imminent, just no details yet.
The full Columbia River fishing report is back, but don’t get too excited, there’s not much to report, or to get excited about for that matter.
The mighty Willamette is falling! River, that is, and it will continue, we hear. Visibility is not good enough for Spring Chinook trolling but we’re betting there will be several trying this weekend. We suggest alternatives.
When an irresistible force such as Oregon rain meets an immovable object such as a mountain (this one’s been covered in snow), the result is high water. One example would be the McKenzie River this weekend.
Another example would be the entire Santiam system although the McKenzie at least has some fish under all that water.
We’re sure it comes as no surprise to hear that the beloved Clackamas has been high this week with no catches reported.
The latest data shows Sandy River levels dropping while our Man on the Sandy. Pro guide Jeff Stoeger (http://guideoregon.com/) says it’s gonna rise again and gives us tips to crack the code.
Northwest – Steelheaders finally got back on the river early this week and those fishing the Wilson found some good fishing on Tuesday and Wednesday. Levels remained high during that time, but those fishing the slower water were happy with their results. Despite the prolonged high water period, fish will hold in the estuary or lower reaches until flows subside, allowing them to conserve valuable calories for their spawning run.
The Nestucca finally came into fishable shape recently, but another system will put it high again until the weekend. This river is a bit larger, requiring more time to clear. There are fish available however.
The smaller systems such as the Kilchis, Necanicum and upper Trask have also been putting out fish. It is peak season after all. Anglers are already starting to see some down-runners, but there will be fresh fish for another week or so, at least in fishable numbers.
More gale warnings and high seas for offshore anglers. Everyone’s supply of bottomfish is on the low side. How will we ever get through Lent without Skippers?
Crabbing is tapering as well, especially in the freshwater-laden estuaries.
Southwest – OK, here’s your Tip o’ the Week: Ling cod fishing is as good as it gets all year. Whether fishing offshore or from shore, now is the time. Go get ‘em!
This week, Author and Reedsport resident, Pete Heley gives us details about ocean Chinook season which opened March 15th but tells us it may not las ‘til May this year, shares south coast trout planting details and where the big ones will get planted with Spring Break coming up and shares his opinions (as always) with the ODFW and WDFW, er, disagreement in his sites this week.
Pete Heley works weekends at the Stockade Market & Tackle in Winchester Bay where he is more than happy to swap fishing info with anyone.
Our Rogue River writer complains this week about running out of was to describe Rushing, heaving, unfishable torrents where a river used to be with seemingly no end in sight. We suggested: Rogue River.
There have certainly been some “wow!” days on the Chetco this season. Too few thanks to crummy weather and high water during far too much of the winter steelheading season, which closes on March 31st.
There have been no reliable reports regarding the stability of the surface of Diamond Lake nor reports of fishing over the past week.
Eastern – In addition to flowing high and swift, the Metolius adds daily fluctuations to its fly fisher frustration menu. This, too, shall pass.
This time of year, we generally start hearing about smallmouth bass fishing on the John Day but with the water running high and cold here, not so far in 2017.
Although the water level allows launching a boat without problem, visibility has been poor and the water cold.
High Lakes in the Cascades were inaccessible earlier this week but the Cascade Lakes Highway has historically opened in May.
Fern Ridge reservoir has warmed sufficiently to get trout up and active in the shallows. Later in the year, kokanee are available here.
SW Washington – Steelhead catches on the Cowlitz ticked upward this week. Boats tallied 41 steelhead and 2 spring Chinook for 199 boats on the weekend creel check. Flows remain high but late season steelheading is peaking and catches are proving it.
The Cowlitz should remain strong for steelhead, but spring Chinook should start to bump up as well. Once flows begin to subside, action should pick up, especially as we enter April.
Several lakes received healthy trout plants this week, in anticipation of spring break. Check out the WDF&W web site for trout plant details.