Oregon Fishing Report from TGF
Oregon's most complete and accurate fishing update.
Updated for July 25th – July 31st, 2014
Oregon Fishing Update
Willamette Valley/Metro - Steelhead remain the best game in town, at least for a little while longer. Bonneville boaters are tallying the best catches, running spinners and spin-n-glos along rocky outcroppings, which are few and far between, in the gorge. With water temperatures climbing, it's likely the bite will soon taper even though the run has yet to peak. River mouths at upstream tributaries should start to produce better catches as fish seeking out the cooler waters become susceptible. Anchor anglers still have another month before significant salmon catches occur.
Spring Chinook and summer steelhead counts at Willamette Falls have dwindled to insignificant levels. While the lower Willamette is providing a fair to good fishery for smallmouth bass, Multnomah Channel has been producing decent numbers of walleye, some larger than 24 inches. Pressure is picking up as the word gets out but there seem to be good numbers of fish for all.
The level and flow of the McKenzie River bumped up early this week but in the absence of precipitation this week, it should be dropping nicely through the weekend, providing opportunities for trout anglers and steelheaders.
Clackamas flows will show only a slight increase which should be brief in duration with already-low levels dropping further through the weekend. Steelhead are available in reasonable number and have been responding to spoons and spinners. While springer catches are not as frequent, drifting roe is the best way to entice a bite.
Cooler temperatures and a little precipitation may break the cycle of glacial runoff on the Sandy River this week but count on seeing it run milky as soon as the temperature starts rising again. Steelheading is fair on hardware but concentrate on the upper rover early and late in the day. A good springer year is predicted but expect skinny water conditions.
Northwest – The offshore salmon season continues to delight. It's been a productive week out of Garibaldi with some anglers reporting easy limits last weekend. Crabbing is picking up too although a fair number of the keeper-sized Dungeness remain in a soft-shell state. Halibut action has tapered slightly with the last statistics indicating 1 in 4 anglers lucky enough to keep a prized flatfish. Albacore chasers are having a good time trolling clones and casting swim baits at about 35 miles out. It won't be long before they respond better to live bait, however.
Further north, the Buoy 10 fishery is still over a week away but anxious anglers are pursuing ample numbers of salmon just outside of the mouth of the Columbia. Catch rates for hatchery coho are great and chinook catches are beginning to pick up again to the north, along the Long Beach Peninsula. Ocean catches will only continue to improve as salmon begin to stage just outside, waiting for ideal conditions to cross the bar.
Astoria tuna chasers are having great success trolling and working swim baits and jigs. Boats putting in a full day are taking home between 30 and 45 fish per day with the average size around 16 to 20 pounds. Seas were excellent at mid-week but are forecast to deteriorate by the weekend.
Minus tides over the weekend may afford one more week of productive plunking for steelheaders working lower Columbia beaches. Use hot colored spin-n-glos on the minus tides.
Southwest- Charters out of Depoe Bay have been taking good numbers of salmon ranging from a fish-per-rod to limiting out. Rockfish catches remain strong and ling cod to 15 pounds are being caught.
The majority of salmon catches out of central Oregon ports are hatchery coho while southern ports are producing primarily Chinook.
Nearshore halibut fishing is another option for offshore anglers. These fish aren't as plentiful nor usually as large as those outside the 40-fathom line although a 60 pounder was taken out of Newport over the past week. It's open seven days a week.
With wind and wave forecasts mellowing this week, prospects for surf perch will be improving. Almost any beach where waves break closer to shore, indicating deeper water, will be productive. The limit is a generous 15 fish but keep only what you need.
The coast-wide closure of mussel harvesting was lifted on July 17th with the Oregon Department of Agriculture determining they are now safe to consume.
Coho limits and near-limits of ocean crab are being taken by boats launching out of Winchester Bay. Limits of pinkfin perch were still being taken by boaters this week around marker 12 on the lower Umpqua despite the run winding down.
Charleston has held the top spot for tuna catches over the past week despite the fact that albacore have been holding 30 or so miles from the beach. The reward of large fish has been worth it for those capable of making the trip.
Offshore wind has been problematic but boats have managed to get out of Gold Beach periodically to troll for Chinook and coho. Results have been a little spotty but salmon are being landed every day. Decent numbers of fall Chinook are being taken by bay trollers and summer steelhead that are in the bay now will soon be entertaining anglers upriver. The lower Rogue is also producing Chinook while half-pounders are being caught between Quosatana and Lobster Creek. Summer steelheading is spotty on the middle river. Anglers back-bouncing bait are doing best for summers and springers on the upper Rogue despite low flows. Open fires are banned on the Rogue from Graves Creek to Watson Creek as fire danger is rated as extreme.
Boats out of the Port of Brookings have been experiencing excellent results for Chinook to 30 pounds. It's not unusual for boat to fill limits in less than an hour although most are releasing smaller fish to cull a limit of larger salmon. Speaking of which, coho are already hitting eight to 10 pounds with a 14-pounder landed over the past week. That's huge for this time of year.
Eastern – Steelhead counts at the Sherars Falls Fish Trap started to show in mid-July. Numbers and catches will be picking up in coming weeks. With the salmon fly hatch over, caddis patterns are fooling redsides around Maupin.
With Fewer fish available to anglers and warmer water temperatures, ODFW biologists decided to close spring Chinook fisheries in the Imnaha, Wallowa and Snake rivers beginning Sunday, July 27.
Results will be improving on the Wallowa River as levels drop sufficiently for fly fishers to wade while targeting trout.
Trollers using hoochies behind a dodger are taking limits or near limits of kokanee at Wickiup. The daily bag limit here is 25 fish.
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