Willamette Valley/Metro – Although fish passage numbers at Bonneville are half of what they were last year, catches are starting to pop for Portland Metro anglers working the mainstem Columbia. Fall Chinook between Bonneville Dam and Longview are falling to both wobbler fishers, as well as trollers working Pro Trolls and spinners or Brad’s super baits on the downstream troll. It’ll only get better from here.
It’s still too early for coho on the Sandy and Clackamas River, but numbers are starting to improve on the lower Columbia near Astoria. It won’t be long before spinners or drifted egg clusters will give an angler a chance at an urban salmon for dinner.
Summer steelhead anglers continue to get shut out, but anglers are once again allowed to retain a single hatchery steelhead beginning September 1st. Prospects are poor however.
Northwest – Coastal anglers are getting anxious for the fall Chinook run to start. With the weak tide series we’re currently on, the lower reaches of Nehalem, Necanicum, Tillamook, Nestucca, Salmon and Alsea Rivers are all options this weekend. Hatchery coho are also an option on the Nehalem and Tillamook systems. There will be no wild coho inland fisheries this year on the north coast. These estuaries should see their first push of early season Chinook this weekend.
The much anticipated “any two salmon” season opens south of Cape Falcon beginning on September 2nd. Strong winds may keep most from participating in the ocean fishery however. Winds will also keep halibut fishers from participating in the nearshore and all-depth opportunities as well.
Crabbing is picking up in most coastal estuaries, including the lower Columbia River. Crabbers will continue to find a fair number of softshells however. That should soon change.
Tuna are rumored to be closer now, but like other offshore fisheries, strong north winds will keep folks from pursuing them.
Southwest – From TGF’s friend Pete Heley (PeteHeley.com)
The annual STEP salmon Derby will be held this Labor Day Weekend with more prizes than ever. As usual, the angler catching the heaviest salmon on Saturday, Sunday and Monday will each win $150 with the heaviest salmon taken by a derby entrant also winning the $500 grand prize.
The derby runs from daybreak until 6 pm on Saturday and Sunday and from daybreak until noon on Monday (Labor Day) and entry fees are still only $10 per individual and $25 per boat, which may contain three or more anglers. Tickets are good for the entire three days if purchased before the derby or for the remaining portion of the contest if purchased during the derby.
Thousands of farmed Atlantic salmon were accidentally released into the Washington State waters between Anacortes and the San Juan Islands, and officials are asking people to catch as many as possible.
Both finclipped and unclipped coho salmon 16-inches or longer become legal angling fare along the Oregon coast on Saturday, September 2nd. Salmon fishing in the ocean and Umpqua River has been gradually improving and was exceptionally good during Tuesday of last week near Reedsport and the Umpqua River Bar for boat anglers and at Half Moon Bay and Osprey Point for spinner flinging bank anglers.
Salmon fishing on the lower Rogue River near Gold Beach is much improved with most anglers using anchovies that are either plug cut or hooked on a “Rogue Bait Rig”.
Crabbing remains very good at Winchester Bay for boat anglers and fair for those crabbing from docks.
There were zero halibut turned in south of Newport during the latest summer all-depth opener on August 18th and 19th.
Very warm water temperatures have made trout fishing in Jackson, Josephine and eastern Douglas counties an early morning, deeper water affair. Bass anglers can fish at night in most waters, but current water temperatures probably mean that pre-dawn fishing will be more productive than late evening fishing.
Eastern – Steelhead anglers are not out in force on the lower Deschutes, but fish are available for those willing to put in some time. It hasn’t been easy, as most would have expected given the poor return this year.
Deschutes River – the trout fishing is holding up but with the forecast of hat weather this weekend it will be an early – late show. fish a caddis or hopper pattern with a a small nymph below it or go deep with some split shot and a stonefly and small caddis pupa trailer. As last reported the steelhead fishing is pretty good given the dismal run. The guys at Deschutes Anglers Fly Shop report almost zero pressure and good fishing as a result. Swing or skate flies early in the morning or fish spinners and spoons through the riffles. Cover lots of water and you’ll hang a fish or two! I’d fish early for steel then grab breakfast up in Maupin and a nap….then go after the trout from 6pm to dark.
John Day River – the flows are low enough now that you can walk in and walk the river in many places (like right down the middle).
Prineville Reservoir – fish early for trout and warm water species before the “bikini hatch” in the afternoon! Trout fishing has been good this year in the reservoir.
Davis Lake – Bass fishing should be great this weekend. Fish early.
SW Washington – Cowlitz River – Below the I-5 Br: 2 bank rods kept 2 cutthroats and released 2 fish. 4 boats/12 rods kept 2 adult Chinook, 3 steelhead, and 1 jack coho and released 1 adult Chinook and 1 steelhead.
River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 4,870 cubic feet per second (cfs) on Monday, August 28. Water visibility is 13 feet and water temperature is 54.9 degrees F.
Drano Lake – 22 boat anglers kept 3 adult fall Chinook and released 2 hatchery and 4 wild steelhead. 45 boats here last Saturday morning.
Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam – No creel summary is currently available. There were 853 salmon boats and 338 bank anglers counted during last Saturday’s flight.
Bonneville Pool – 13 boat anglers kept 9 adult fall Chinook and released 4 wild steelhead. 10 boats were observed off Drano and 11 off the White Salmon last Saturday morning.
Trout- Tacoma Power released 2,700 rainbow trout into Mayfield Lake this past week.