Willamette Valley/Metro – Columbia River anglers must be highly motivated to pursue salmon downstream of Bonneville Dam. Although the Chinook run is largely over, persistent anglers are consistently catching coho downstream of Rooter Rock. Pro Trolls with spinners remain the top option.
Anglers that wish to fish the catch and keep sturgeon fishery have 2 options: October 21st, and October 26th. The Willamette will remain closed to catch and keep due to success rates which would likely compromise future opportunity.
Although overcast skies and showery weather improved opportunity for coho anglers on the Clackamas and Sandy Rivers, anglers remain challenged. Fish are still largely hiding in deep pools, still reluctant to bite. Cedar Creek hatchery on the Sandy is showing promise for a good return.
Northwest – Tillamook anglers have found recent success, at least those willing to run Pro Trolls and small spinners. Far from limit fishing, guides are taking fish daily with some fish still reaching the 30-pound class. Trolling herring is not nearly as popular as it used to be.
Precipitation was welcome in Tillamook County, but far from inspiring Chinook and coho to make a river run into their natal systems. It will take much more of a deluge to stimulate district rivers.
Chinook action on the Nehalem is largely over. There will be a few stragglers, but wild coho will continue to dominate the catch.
The Siletz continues to see a strong return, and Pro Trolling with spinners has caught on there as well.
Ocean crabbing closes starting October 16th. Bay crabbing should remain productive, especially on the lower Columbia.
And speaking of the lower Columbia, although few are fishing it, it is starting to put out better numbers of B-run coho. Upper Blind Channel does have some fish available, but it’s anyone’s guess as to if they’ll stick around if any measureable precipitation hits.
Razor clam success was hot and cold; the best digging taking place on the early part of the minus tide series. Most would say however, limits are more challenging to come by.
Southwest – From our friend Pete Heley Coos County lakes that received trout plants this week include Bradley Lake with 800 14-inch rainbows and Butterfield Lake with 600 14-inchers. Powers Pond and Saunders Lake each received 1,300 14-inch rainbows and Upper and Lower Empire lakes each received 2,000 14-inchers. With the exception of Bradley Lake, which is scheduled to receive 800 additional 14-inch or one-pound rainbows the last week of October, this week’s trout plants will be the last trout plants along the Oregon coast this year.
Avid trout anglers with the means and ability to travel might consider Nevada’s Pyramid Lake which opened on October 1st. Located in western Nevada about 40 miles northeast of Reno, the 120,000-acre lake has offered sensational fishing for Lahontan cutthroat trout ever since the stocking program was changed due to Robert Behnke discovering pure Lahontan cutts in a small Pyramid Lake tributary.
As this column is being written, there have been no coho salmon yet reported in Siltcoos, Tahkenitch or Tenmile lakes. Siltcoos offers returning coho salmon the easiest lake access. Once the salmon actually get into the river they can reach the dam and accompanying fish ladder fairly easily, but many of the salmon may not ascend the fish ladder if there isn’t much water flowing through it.
Once rainfall allows the dam gates on Siltcoos River to be opened, coho salmon enter the upper Siltcoos River in earnest – as well as a few sturgeon, striped bass and unfortunately a few seals.
Closed areas include Maple Creek as well as the portion of the Fiddle Creek Arm above the bridge on Canary Road on Siltcoos. As for Tahkenitch, the outlet arm is closed below the Highway 101 Bridge. The channel connecting North and South Tenmile lakes is closed to salmon fishing.
This Saturday there is a bass fishing tournament scheduled on Siltcoos Lake and if there is any rainfall preceding the tournament, it could be crowded. But most salmon anglers will most likely wait and see if any salmon are incidentally caught during the tournament by bass anglers.
Good numbers of salmon are being caught by bank anglers at Winchester Bay. Dwayne Schwartz, who I fish with often, finally landed a limit of fin clipped cohos last Saturday after catching nine consecutive wild cohos. Smallmouth bass fishing on the Umpqua River is still very good with an increased chance at larger bass. The bass fishing starts about nine miles above Reedsport and actually improves as one moves farther upstream. As for the Coquille River, the same techniques fool the smallies, but the slightly murkier water allows crankbaits to be effective. A few anglers opt for larger crankbaits in the hope of incidentally hooking a striped bass.
The fishing dock in Tugman Park on Eel Lake continues to produce good crappie fishing, but very few decent-sized fish. In an attempt to find some larger crappies last weekend, I fished the upper lake for about three hours with Dwayne Schwartz in his bass boat.
Although we landed a number of small largemouth and smallmouth bass and more than a dozen rainbow and cutthroat trout to nearly 17-inches, we couldn’t hook a crappie or bluegill until we got within 100 yards of the fishing dock – and then we got bit on virtually every cast for more than 20 minutes with the largest fish being Dwayne’s very plump 11-inch crappie that missed weighing a pound by only an ounce or two.
Eastern – From our friend Tim Moran: Deschutes River – October is a great month to fish the big “D”. Lot’s of guys are chasing deer, Elk, upland birds and ducks this time of year and with counts over Sherars Falls up my favorite area above the Falls comes into play and is much easier for the bank guy to navigate than Macks Canyon. You can swing flies through the riffles and tail out or you can fish a big nymph or jig fly under and indicator with an egg bead below and catch em too.
Metolius River – Fall Drakes, PMD’s and BWO’s are all coming off right now.
Fall River – Fishing for trout on the Fall is great right now.
The Cascade high lakes are just about done for all but the most hard core guys.
SW Washington – Mainstem Grays River from the Hwy. 4 Bridge upstream to the South Fork and West Fork Grays from the mouth upstream to boundary markers 300 yards below the hatchery road bridge – Under permanent rules, closes to all fishing from Oct. 16 through Nov. 30. These areas will reopen to fishing for hatchery salmon and hatchery steelhead beginning December 1.
Cowlitz River – From the I-5 Bridge downstream: 33 bank rods kept 5 adult coho and released 1 adult Chinook and 2 chum. 11 boat rods kept 2 adult coho and released 2 adult Chinook and 2 adult coho. Above the I-5 Bridge – 73 bank rods kept 1 jack and 7 adult coho and released 25 adult Chinook, 11 jack and 2 adult coho and 4 cutts. 4 boat rods had no catch.
River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 3,520 cubic feet per second (cfs) on Monday, Oct. 9. Water visibility is 11 feet and water temperature is 54.3 degrees F.
Lewis River (mainstem) – 5 boat anglers had no catch.
Lewis River (North Fork) – 26 bank anglers kept 4 adult coho. 13 boat anglers kept 1 jack and 4 adult Chinook, 2 adult coho and released 1 steelhead.
Klickitat River – 33 bank anglers kept 6 adult Chinook and 1 adult coho.
Yakima River – Fall Chinook continue to trickle into the Yakima River. There was a push of coho into the river last week. WDFW staff interviewed 165 anglers this past week with 14 adult salmon, 1 jack, and 1 coho harvested (25 hours per fish). Most of the harvest has been recorded in the areas just downstream of the Grant Ave bridge. There were an estimated 545 angler trips for salmon in the lower Yakima River with a total of 3,134 angler trips for the season. An estimated 188 adult Chinook, 18 jack Chinook, and 2 coho have been harvested this season. Fishing should peak these final two weeks of the season.