Willamette Valley Fishing Report – Chinook counts at Bonneville Dam have finally started to slow. Although some days are still seeing greater than 1,000 adults passing, this fishery is finally on its last legs. A few bright fish remain available but it will be a hit or miss opportunity for another week before it really tapers. Coho returns to the area remain depressed, just slightly over 10% of last years return.
Fish passage at Willamette Falls is slow with only coho showing any significant movement. Lower river anglers can try for catch-and-release fishing for sturgeon or late-season bass fishing.
Waters of the McKenzie River are expected to change very little with the upcoming shower predicted in the next few days. Trout fishing should be worthwhile.
Fishing remains slow on the Santiam River system with low summer steelhead returns and winter steelheading still months away.
With the Clackamas River running low and clear, fishing has been slow for coho although it is hoped that just a little rainfall will get them moving.
Similarly, the Sandy River is quite low although some Chinook have moved into the system, providing a little action recently.
North Coast Fishing Report – After a productive Wednesday along the jetty, Thursday action slowed, especially with the onslaught of seaweed and eelgrass impeding anglers ability to fish. For the last several years, action has tapered after mid-October although most experienced anglers would agree that there are still very catchable numbers to be had. The bay will become the primary target as ocean conditions become more volatile this time of year.
Chinook are still stacking in the tidewater reaches with the Wilson River tidewater now a fair option. Trask and Tillamook River fish are in the upper reaches despite the fact the water levels remain critically low with no hope in sight for relief. Stronger tides this weekend should push fish higher into the system and tidewater areas for anglers to better access.
The Nehalem and Salmon Rivers are folding up for the season and although the Nestucca remains an option, it too is slowing somewhat. The Siletz and Alsea Rivers remain good options for several more weeks or until that first rain freshet hits. Bobber fisherman are in full swing. Oh yea, no significant precipitation events in the forecast.
Although the lower Columbia is void of salmon, the crabs are blanketing the bottom of the river. Unfortunately, we’re coming into a steep tide series this weekend, which will limit the time frame when pots can be picked. It may be best to wait out a softer tide series.
Most charter operations are tapering down their seasons for bottomfish. The deep reef remains an option but rough seas for the near future will dissuade interest. Ocean crabbing is closed after a good season and albacore chasers have folded it up for the season as well. No sign of a razor clam reopener in the near future; Domoic acid still reigns.
Central & South Coast Reports – Offshore bottom fishing has been good for boaters launching out of most Oregon ports.
Now that ocean crabbing has closed, Dungeness may be taken only from coastal estuaries.
Crabbing has been worthwhile for those dropping rings and traps in Siletz Bay as well as in Yaquina Bay.
Salmon fishing seems to have stalled for trollers working tidewater on the Siuslaw River. As with many Oregon locations, rainfall is needed to jump-start fishing.
Salmon fishing has been decent in Winchester Bay although most of the fish being hooked now are wild coho, which must be released.
Lower Rogue anglers have been doing well for half-pounders in the Agness area while a few adult steelhead are being caught on the middle river. Upper Rogue water conditions have made it difficult for drift boaters in the flies-only stretch although there are steelhead to be caught in this stretch.
Brookings Harbor crabbers are taking fair to good numbers although red rock crab have made up much or the catch recently. Scheduled to continue as late as October 31st, commercial Chinook efforts in the ocean were stopped on October 17th as they filled their quota.
Central & Eastern – While this is usually a productive time of year for steelheaders on the Deschutes, catches have been slow recently. Trolling for Chinook at the mouth may remain the best option in this area.
Many lakes and reservoirs on the east side of the Cascades will be closing at the end of October so be certain to check the regulation booklet before fishing there in November.
Trollers continue to take good numbers of kokanee at Odell. The daily limit here is 25 kokanee and five trout.
SW Washington- The Cowlitz remains one of the better options for salmon although a good portion of the Chinook being caught are wild, requiring release. Coho and steelhead are also available but Chinook seem to outnumber other species.
The Kalama is gaining in popularity as Chinook numbers increase. Action here is likely to last well into November and possibly December. Coho are rare and summer steelhead action is tapering as well.
The Lewis system has all 3 popular options available but fish are skittish in the low flows.
Above Bonneville, tributary fisheries are still performing well with Drano Lake anglers still boasting an average of about 1.5 Chinook per boat, including wild fish released.
The Klickitat is still putting out fish as well but the coho return this year will be depressing.