Willamette Valley/Metro – With declining dam counts, come declining success rates. Chinook counts at Bonneville have consistently dipped below 10,000 fish a day, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t catchable numbers of fish around. Trollers working Pro Troll flashers and spinners are still taking fish with fair regularity in the Bonneville to St. Helens reach of the lower Columbia. Anchor anglers are also finding some biters if they happen to anchor in the right slot. This fishery should stay viable for another few weeks.
The unusual early season rain that metro coho salmon anglers hope for hit early this week. Both the Sandy and the Clackamas do have fishable numbers of coho available with more on the way.
The Sandy came up over 2 feet, inspiring staging coho to begin their trek upstream. Catches have been light as of mid-week, but should improve into the weekend.
The Clackamas has fish to Feldhiemers with anglers taking fish on spinners when they can find concentrations of fish.
Sturgeon fishing remains a catch and release option in the lower Willamette, and around the mouth at Kelly Point Park.
Northwest – Despite a semi-significant rain event for this time of year, catches in the Tillamook district didn’t improve all that much. Tillamook Bay itself is still producing fair numbers of fall Chinook, but never really materialized for hatchery coho. The rain event did raise the Trask River by 1.5 feet, enabling bank anglers to take advantage of hatchery coho and Chinook that took advantage of the river rise.
Nehalem Bay anglers say a flurry of action for both Chinook and coho on Wednesday, but a fair number of wild coho were in the mix requiring release. Despite the rain event, coho fishing at the North Fork Nehalem hatchery has not been all that productive.
The Nestucca and Salmon River systems should be peaking right now but action has been medium at best. These systems, especially the Nestucca, will get fish well into October, but the bulk of the run will be in by month’s end.
The Alsea return is also somewhat mediocre. The tidewater fishery kicked off with the recent rain event and should improve into October.
The Siletz remains fairly quiet, but should improve in the coming weeks.
The ocean has been too rough to access in recent days, but is forecasted to come back down by the weekend. Tuna chasers will be after them by Friday. Ocean crabbing remains excellent. Bottomfishing is closed, but a deep reef fishery looks promising for October.
Bay crabbing likely won’t be all that impacted by the recent rain freshet.
Southwest – From TGF’s friend Pete Heley (PeteHeley.com) – The big news this past week was the implementation, as of Monday, October 18th, of a complete closure on bottomfishing along the Oregon coast. A similar closure went into effect in 2004, but that closure allowed anglers to target bottomfish while fishing from shore. In another recent year, Oregon’s cabezon fishery was closed because California anglers had retained the entire west coast quota before they realized it.
This complete closure of indefinite duration will result in economic hardship for Charleston, Newport and several other Oregon coastal communities, but it is also bad news for Winchester Bay and Florence which had almost completed their annual six-month offshore bottomfishing closure and were scheduled to resume their non-jetty bottom-fisheries on October 1st.
Flatfish, such as sanddabs, flounder, and sole are not included in the closure as are halibut which are managed separately. Surfperch remain legal angling fare as do tuna which have moved shoreward along the southern Oregon coast. Crabbing and clamming are marine activities that remain open and are currently very productive.
Slightly cooler weather has improved the trout bite at Lake Marie, but one has to wonder how many trout are left in the lake. The best Columbia River walleye fishery in recent memory is starting to slow down and anglers targeting walleyes.
The Umpqua and Coquille rivers are still producing very good smallmouth bass fishing and cooler weather should increase the chance of catching larger bass – and make evening fishing every bit as productive as early morning fishing. Striped bass fishing on the Coquille River seems to be improving.
Extremely heavy fishing pressure on the fishing dock in Tugman Park on Eel Lake has finally influenced fishing success. Most of the decent-sized crappies have been caught and kept and even the smaller, frequently-released crappies are starting to wise up. Tenmile Lake bass-fishing continues to be productive and yellow perch anglers fishing off the fishing dock in the County Park finally caught a few bluegill and crappie last week.
Eastern – From our friend Tim Moran:
Deschutes River – The White River is pumping some off colored water into the Deschutes but it hasn’t effected the color too much and fishing below the confluence should be fine. There are still plenty of fish around and very little pressure.
Metolius River – Dry fly fishing is good on the Met this time of year. The game is getting what they want.. Adams, BWO’s, PMD’s, October caddis and Mahogany Dunns in 18 to 22 and Drakes in 12 and 14 will all work at various times. Bring lots of flies in different stages and break down the puzzle.
Cascade Lakes – Okay so most of them got snow the last couple days…that should tell those big fish it’s time to eat! With the better weather this weekend I’d look for 10AM hatches at East and Paulina and fish the shallow flats where the water will warn first.
Boaters troll size 4 or 5 hotshots or a worm behind your favorite flasher. This is a great time to fish as the trout are gearing up for winter and most of your buddies are chasing deer and elk!
Have a great weekend everyone!
SW Washington – No update from WDF&W this week, but go here for last week’s report.
The Drano Lake fishery as well as the Klickitat should be producing good results right now. It’s peak season for these fisheries.