Oregon Fishing Report from TGF
Oregon's most complete and accurate fishing update.
Updated for April 11th – April 17th, 2014
Oregon Fishing Update
Willamette Valley/Metro - With fishery managers extending the season another 6 days starting this morning, anglers will be excited and rewarded while pursuing spring chinook on the mainstem Columbia this week. Catch rates are likely to improve as temperatures increase and interest grows. Most fish are averaging around 12 to 13-pounds but Colby Howe of Portland boated a 14-pounder at Davis Bar on Monday. He was fishing in 24 foot of water, trolling a herring right on the bottom. Catches in the Cathlamet area jumped recently, indicating better numbers of fish are on their way. Action is also picking up in the gorge as well, and it's a much more beautiful place to fish! I just got my first “personal” springer with pro guide Dan Ponciano (360-607-8511). He trolled me into a nice 10 pound fish using a herring and red flasher and was surprised to learn he had a cancellation for Saturday. If you want a great chance at fresh spring chinook, call him IMMEDIATELY to get your Saturday reservation NOW!
Registration remains open for the Salmon Quest, Sandy River Spring Fishing Classic and Bounty on the Bay, allowing anglers to take advantage of a good return of the region's favorite salmon. Google these events for more details.
Water clarity, one of the most important factors in salmon success on the lower Willamette, has improved over the past week as water level and flows have dropped. Mid-week, the water in Multnomah Channel was changing from a gray hue to green. Tides this week favor anglers fishing afternoons. Whole or cut-plug herring trolled in the popular Sellwood Bride area or at the mouth of the channel is resulting in hookups as is sitting on anchor with wrapped plugs or prawn spinners. Overall, it has been slow to fair. Catch-and-release sturgeon fishing has been excellent on anchovies and smelt around Swan Island although most of the fish being hooked have been less than 40 inches. Fewer but larger sturgeon have been hooked at Oregon City.
Water levels on the McKenzie will be gradually dropping this week which is a positive condition for fishing. Fly anglers will need March Brown and Caddis patterns in their dry fly arsenal but should also carry a selection of nymphs which will be most productive the majority of the time on the water.
Winter steelhead fishing is on the wane for the Santiams and summer steelheading doesn't really get underway until May. For those who fish it, jigs are most popular here but spinners, spoons and pink plastic worms are also effective at times. This time of year, anglers won't have to deal with crowds.
Clackamas water level and flow is forecast to be stable through the coming week. Bank fishers have been taking the occasional winter steelhead by casting spinners at McIver Park. Overall, boat and bank steelhead fishing has been slow this week.
The Sandy was still somewhat high on Tuesday this week but it will be dropping with dry weather this week. A few springers are around but catches are quite scarce. Steelheading has been fair for winters although most hooked recently have been natives and some have been wild, requiring release. As catches of winter steelhead start to wind down, anglers are strategizing for summer fish which will be arriving in fishable number in the next few weeks.
Northwest – Steelhead season is winding down on the north coast but savvy anglers can have district rivers to themselves although few fresh fish will be available. Low, clear water will further challenge anglers so use small, subtle baits if you pursue these skittish fish. The Wilson and Nestucca will be the best bets for the last of these fish and may provide an early summer steelhead or spring chinook to boot. The Trask is an April favorite for those willing to practice catch and release fishing for steelhead.
Consistent spring chinook action is still a month away.
Saltwater anglers are anxious to see friendlier seas but wind waves will continue to make offshore options a poor choice. Sea bass and lingcod catches should be excellent when the weather allows.
More trout are destined for district lakes and ponds, fishing should be productive in the warming waters.
Southwest- Boats launching out of Depoe Bay early this week made good catches of rockfish along with several lingcod. Boats must stay within the 30-fathom line when angling for bottomfish as of April 1st.
Results have been good for perch anglers casting baits from south coast beaches. Catches will be best on days when the ocean lays down.
Winter steelhead fishing is on the way out while salmon fishing ramps up. Catches of spring chinook are improving on the Umpqua mainstem as the season gets underway here. The river should remain stable this week, which will keep springers on the bite. On the South Umpqua, steelheaders are doing well for hatchery winters.
Boats launching out of Bandon and Coos bay are reporting spotty results for ocean chinook as fish are scattered, making it difficult to find the fish.
Charters launching out of Gold Beach are looking forward to settling ocean conditions after a week of wet, unstable weather. As waters of the lower Rogue dropped and cleared over the past week, spring chinook catches ramped up. April and May are the best times to score a Rogue springer with most hooked by boat anglers fishing anchovies on anchor. Due to improving action for chinook downriver, there is little pressure on the river in the Grants Pass stretch although there are still winter steelhead to be caught. Springers will be in this stretch in a week or two. Winter steelheading is good on the upper Rogue where the peak of the season is approaching.
The Chetco, Elk and Sixes Rivers remain closed to fishing.
There's plenty of open water free of ice now at Diamond Lake where fishing is expected to be worthwhile in sunny weather over the weekend to come. Best results will be near the shoreline which is good news to bank fishers.
Eastern – Mann Lake has been producing good numbers of nice-sized trout to fly fishers using nymphs and leech patterns and to gear anglers throwing spinners.
Fishing has been very slow at Harriet Lake for the few who have tried it.
Trollers at Green Peter are taking a few kokanee. Fish are averaging 10 inches. While catches have been far short of limits, a few are taking enough for family dinner. Over the past weekend, a bass fisherman caught several smallmouth bass weighing two to three pounds and a largemouth which tipped the scale at seven pounds.
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