Columbia River chinook continues to be interesting
Portland/Metro Fishing Report – Only a few days remain for salmon anglers to take advantage of this popular fishery. From Warrior Rock at St. Helens to Bonneville Dam, the retention of Chinook salmon will close starting September 7th at 12:01 a.m. It’s a big blow to anglers in this reach, just as we are entering peak season with numbers of fish growing daily.
Until the fishery closes however, action should be good from Camas to Davis Bar, across from the mouth of the Willamette River. Artificials trolled behind a 360° flasher will be the best bet, tides remain a bit too soft to expect good results from anchor anglers deploying wobbers to entice strikes.
Clackamas River – Coho salmon should start to show in catchable numbers this weekend on the Clackamas River. Most of the hatchery coho are destined for the Eagle Creek hatchery, which gets good numbers into October. Spoons or spinners in the lower reach of the Clackamas or at the river mouth should produce some early morning catches for interested anglers.
Summer steelhead are still available in the McIver reach of the Clackamas for savvy bank anglers and catches should improve with the cooler temperatures we’re now experiencing.
Avid angler Jeff Stoeger reports on the Sandy River – this week the Sandy is running at 7.6ft and the water temperature is around 62 degrees. The river is running clear and will stay that way until we get rain.
The mouth of the Sandy is holding both coho and fall Chinook. The river is exceptionally low with fish holding at the mouth because the cooler water coming out of the Sandy.
Just a heads up the Columbia is only open till 2 pm daily and there are game officers that are monitoring the mouth of the Sandy. They will cite you if you cast into the Sandy and it swings into the Columbia after 2 pm.
Upper Willamette System Fishing from Glenn Zinkus
Detroit Reservoir: Update on Detroit Lake Ramps and Parking: The low water ramp is in use at Detroit Reservoir. Parking is only allowed at the main parking lot. This is to free up space at the only ramps that are usable and allow more boaters access and egress.
Detroit continues as a solid producer for Kokanee and trout. Koke reports are now indicating the kokanee are deeper – in depths of 90 to 125 feet.
Green Peter Reservoir: Continues to be good for kokes in mid-August. Catches of kokanee being reported – trolling with downriggers in depths in and around 40 feet.
South Santiam Trout: Possibilities below Foster Reservoir, but the upper South Santiam is a mere trickle above the reservoir except for the popular deep swimming hole sections.
North Santiam Trout: The North Santiam received 2,200 legal size trout last week. Some reports of fly anglers successfully “dapping” for trout came in.
Clear Lake: Clear Lake water temperatures are good. Clear Lake has been fishing nicely for conventional gear. Reports of catches of hatchery trout using the usual bait fishing methods. I’ve been to Clear Lake in July and found good weekend parking and some activity on the lake, but it is certainly laid back. Cannot go wrong in the pretty location.
Find the full report and forecast for Chinook and Steelhead members for the Sandy and the Clackamas from this page here.
North Coast Fishing Report – The Buoy 10 and Tongue Point fishery has only been mediocre results for Chinook and coho in recent days. Columbia River chinook fishing above Tongue Point to Warrior Rock closes after Friday but there have been some sizable Chinook taken in recent days.
Photo – A happy customer of Captain Chad Niedermeyer of Garibaldi Charters (503) 322-0007 with a 30+ pound Chinook taken in the Tongue Point area of the lower Columbia River.
Coho action at Buoy 10 has been surprisingly slow in recent days, it seems even the minimal amount of precipitation will draw estuary dwellers upstream in a hurry. No doubt numbers will replenish in the coming days as hundreds of thousands more are in the forecast.
Tillamook Bay yielded some good Chinook catches earlier this week. It’s been common in recent years to have good fishing in early September, it looks like this year will be no exception.
Nehalem has slowed, as is commonly the case. September fall Chinook are likely to show, along with a fair return of hatchery coho, in the coming weeks.
The Nestucca and Salmon Rivers should both have fishable numbers of fall Chinook coming into the lower reaches of these watersheds. They’ll keg up in the deeper tidewater holes for anglers to pursue.
The Alsea has Chinook available and angler effort is on the increase. Catches should be fair in the estuary in the coming weeks, as well as the lower reaches of this river.
The Siletz was a bright spot for fall Chinook in recent years, but it’s yet to kick off for this season. That will likely change in the coming weeks.
Bay crabbing in Tillamook is good, other estuaries are producing just fair catches.
See the full report and forecast for Members for Chinook and Steelhead Members right here.
Central Oregon Fishing Reports – Contributor Glenn Zinkus reports:
Crane Prairie Reservoir Water Temp Cooling. Deschutes, Metolius and Fall River All Good for Trout
Lower Deschutes River:
With the lower portion of the Deschutes closed, the only relevant data are the dam release temperatures. Water temperatures range from lows of 54 degrees to highs of 56 degrees.
There has been good to great trout fishing from the latter half of August up through now from Warm Springs to Trout Creek. Every angler and shop I know have been reporting good fishing. Dry-dropper combos with caddis and craneflies are hot.
A friend had a good day with traditional soft hackle patterns on a recent float.
Lake Billy Chinook: Reports of good kokanee fishing in both the Deschutes and Metolius arms. Jigging with gold and silver colors.
Crooked River: Crooked River is best fished now in the mornings only if you must fish it. Fishing up near the dams is best. Fall River: Fall River is scheduled to be stocked after Labor Day with 1000 trophy trout.
Metolius River: The Metolius has had some consistently good fishing over the last several weeks.
I’ve been saying this for several weeks, but it continues – Just like it has been this summer, caddis remain THE evening staple with these warm summer temperatures, as well as the forementioned spinner falls. Miller Lake: Brown trout action remains great on Miller Lake. Remember that night fishing for trout is legal on Miller Lake, making fishing opportunities for the browns even better. Cool nights in the area are cooling down the lake very nicely. Miller has had some smoke, but some north winds forecasted today may help this.
Ochoco Reservoir: Good fishing for bass and crappie and Josh from Tim’s in Lapine reports trout fishing is picking up. Water levels, however, are getting very low at 12% full.
North Central Oregon/Mid-Columbia Waters:
This week’s report from Gorge Outfitters Supply (541-739-2222) in Rufus, between the John Day and Deschutes Rivers includes updates on the salmon.
Anglers are regularly catching salmon in the area, the salmon bite is on for the holiday weekend.
The walleye bite is still on, but anglers still need to work for them. Pulling plugs and worm harnesses are working best.
Eastern Oregon Fishing Report – Contributor Glenn Zinkus reports bi-weekly, here is last week’s report.
Temperatures are cooling. Temperatures in Northeast Oregon peak in the low 80s on Sunday, and other peak in the 70s through much of the week. Nighttime temperature dip to the 40s on the weekend, and 30s next week. There is on and off smoke haze in the Cascades, High Desert, and Southeast Oregon
Southeastern Oregon, in the high country, will have high temperatures peak at 90 on Sunday, and high 70s or 80 on the other days. Nighttime temperature dip to the 40s on the weekend, and 30s next week.
Although 98% contained, the massive size of Bootleg Fire still affects fishing opportunities in the southeast. This area will continue burning and producing smoke into the fall.
Wallowa Lake was recently stocked with 5400 legal size trout and 180 trophy trout. The lake remains one of the viable fishing options in the northeast. Rob at the The Joseph Fly Shoppe thinks Wallowa Lake is one of the best in Oregon right now for stocked trout.
Northeast Oregon High Lakes: Straight from The Joseph Fly Shoppe – “We are getting some better fishing reports this year compared to last year, but numerous lakes still fishing tough. Some of the better lakes appear to include: Anaroid, Francis, Frazier, Crescent, Raze, Ice, possibly Glacier. Some of the more difficult lakes appear to be: Maxwell, Chimney, and the heart of the Lake Basin lakes”
Imnaha River: The Imnaha is fishing well – lots of hopper and terrestrial action on the river. Water level has risen and now around 150 CFS.
Sprague River: Inaccessible. Heavily affected by the Bootleg Fire. Consider this river to be off-limits for the time being.
Williamson River: The upper Williamson is off-limits from the Bootleg Fire and parts of the area have burned, and lower stretches are affected in some areas as well.
Blitzen River: The Blitzen did warm up into the 70s during August. With nightime tempertures well into the 40s, the Blitzen is cooling and becoming fishable through at least the mornings. Terrestrials are also good now. However, reports are that the Blitzen is below normal flows.
Lofton Reservoir: Affected by the Bootleg fire. Inaccessible.
Lofton is slowing down. Try early morning. Fishing for stocked legal and trophy trout. Spoons are working, as are slow trolled leech flies.
Chewaucan River: Affected and inaccessible due to the Bootleg Fire. The river is too hot to fish. Not even an option.
Krumbo Reservoir: Inaccessible due to the Bootleg Fire. Krumbo is slowing down for trout. Turn on to warmwater species opportunities, such as bass fishing on Krumbo.
Check out Glenn’s detailed report and forecast in this week’s paid version for Chinook and Steelhead Members both!
SW Oregon Fishing Report – Contributor Jeff Rome reports:
Fall Chinook main target in South coast rivers and bays
Since ocean coho are off the table (for now), most anglers are putting forth efforts for the mighty prized Fall Chinook in the rivers and bays from Winchester down to Rogue and Klamath (California) river bays. Now that the “Hoot owl” restrictions are lifted, more salmon have been caught in the mid Rogue. Half pounders are scattered in the lower Rogue and will arrive to the mid section anytime. A decent marine forecast for most of the Southern Oregon coast is expected through the weekend which will allow for more bottom fish, halibut and ling cod action if one is not targeting salmon.
Steady action at Winchester bay, Coos Bay, and Rogue bay by salmon anglers is producing some nice Fall Chinook in the mid 20’s to over 30 pound range. Winds that have plagued many days this season look to be favorable for a nice Labor Day weekend to get out and get some nice ling cod and halibut. Tuna out of Charleston have been between 20-45 miles out depending on wind. The size of tuna have been consistently in the 20+ pound range.
Ocean Chinook salmon fishing remains open from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain through October 31. The selective coho season from Cape Falcon to OR/CA border ended on August 28. The non-selective coho season from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain starts on September 10.
Although most effort has been on salmon, boat anglers have been doing very well catching nice size ling cod and rockfish when the ocean winds are down. Bottom fishing is now restricted to inside the 40-fathom line unless you choose to fish in the offshore longleader fishery. Anglers can still harvest 2 lingcod per day.
Nearshore halibut season is currently open seven days a week inside the 40-fathom line and there is plenty of quota left!
Bottom fishing is now restricted to inside the 40-fathom line unless you choose to fish in the offshore longleader fishery. Anglers may also choose to fish the offshore longleader fishery outside of the 40-fathom regulatory line, which is open year-round. The longleader fishery has a daily bag limit of 10 fish made of yellowtail, widow, canary, blue, deacon, redstripe, greenstripe, silvergray, chillipepper, and bocaccio rockfish. No other groundfish are allowed and offshore longleader fishing trips cannot be combined with traditional bottomfish, flatfish or halibut trips. Find information about a longleader setup here. As of July 1, anglers may keep one cabezon (minimum length of 16 inches) as part of their 5 fish general marine fish daily bag limit.
Nearshore halibut season is currently open seven days a week inside the 40-fathom line. As of August15, there is still 69 percent of the quota remaining. Anglers have been picking up nearshore halibut in the Coos Bay/ Winchester bay area. Winds have been a big factor so far, but this weekend looks very promising if fog doesn’t keep you off the ocean. When conditions are good, halibut are being caught in the 15-25 pound range with an occasional fish into the 40’s and 50’s. It’s best to go early before the wind picks up and gets ugly.
Andy Martin- Brookings Fishing Charters 541-813-1082
Andy reports that wind has been horrible most of the week. During a couple window of opportunity for tuna, what few boats did get out came back empty and “couldn’t find em” anywhere out to 50 miles. The weekend looks good for getting out and targeting halibut and bottom fish which has been good when wind hasn’t been a factor.
The Rogue Bay is still producing Chinook with lots of jacks in the mix. Half pounders are between Lobster Creek and Agness and will be moving upriver.
Andy mentioned that the Klamath River just 25 miles south of Crescent City California has been producing nice sized Fall Chinook in the mid 20 pound range for both boat and bank anglers.
Tony from Tony’s Crab Shack in Bandon- 541-347-2875 latest fishing update:
When the winds are favorable, halibut fishing has been decent and a 100 pounder was caught a week ago!!! Crabbing of the pier and out in the ocean from Bandon harbor has been “off the hook” great! Bottom fish have been on the bite as well and many of the black rock fish are stuffed with feeder fish. It’s gonna be a nice Labor Day weekend at the coast so go have a great meal and say hi to Tony for me!
Smallmouth bass anglers are catching good numbers of bass in the South Fork Coquille below the mouth of the Middle Fork and in the mainstem Coquille River. There is no size limit or daily bag limit on smallmouth bass in the Coquille River. It’s recommended to catch and keep as many as one can to help keep the population at bay since these fish are not salmon, trout, and steelhead friendly.
COOS RIVER BASIN: Boat and bank anglers (on the jetty) are still catching rockfish and an occasional ling cod inside lower Coos Bay. Smaller jigs with a twister tail or 1-ounce jigging spoons have been working to catch rockfish.
Eager salmon anglers fishing in between the jetties may be able to pick up a Chinook salmon following bait fish into the Coos estuary. A few have also been caught up as far as the chip pile/ airport area. The main run of the Chinook salmon entering the bay is starting to build up and will go through September.COQUILLE RIVER BASIN- Striper fishing is starting to pick up again in the lower Coquille River. Striped bass can be found in the river from near Johnson Mill Pond to Rocky Point in the lower estuary. There is no size limit or daily bag limit and are caught in low light conditions or in the dark. Smallmouth bass anglers are catching good numbers of bass in the South Fork Coquille below the mouth of the Middle Fork and in the main stem Coquille River.
Jim at Rogue Outdoor Store Gold Beach, Oregon 541-247-7142 reports
Rogue Bay Chinook fishing has been steady with an average of 55+ fish caught per day this past week. Tuesday saw 75 fish caught (reported) as the winds have picked up in the last day or so. Boat pressure has decreased to under 70 lately as the “obnoxious wind” has been blowing. This Labor Day weekend looks to be a big blast of fishing pressure since it should be relatively nice. Bank anglers targeting salmon have been catching some below Indian Creek. Summer Steelhead and 1/2 pounders are being caught up towards Huntley Park through Agness.
Check out Jeff’s detailed report, multiple lake updates, and forecast in this week’s paid version for Chinook and Steelhead Members both!
SW Washington Fishing Report by Terry Otto
Chinook are fair in the Columbia River hog lines near Vancouver, but fishing is better below the Lewis River. Local tributaries are good for early salmon, most notably the Lewis. Warm water fisheries are heating up and high-country trout are improving.
Vancouver Metro Area
Wobblers are taking some Chinook in the hog lines near Vancouver, but the tides were off a bit last week, and the catches dropped a little. The fish are there-the counts are good over Bonneville, and the fishing is better in the lower river. Chinook are collecting at the mouth of the Lewis River, where bait and wobblers can work well.
Remember that on September 11 and 18 sturgeon retention will be open from the Wauna Powerlines to the Bonneville Dam.
Lewis and Washougal Rivers Fishing Report—The river continues to drop, but that has concentrated the salmon in the deeper holes, and anglers are doing well. There are plenty of wild Chinook, which must be released, as well as hatchery coho. The coho are running better as far as size goes. Just about everything will take the fish: plugs, spinners, bait, jigs, and drifted corkies. With the river as low as it is, the fishing is better in the early morning and evening. Cloudy days have also been better.
The Chinook are spread through the river pretty well from top to bottom, but the coho are collecting quickly at the hatchery. The Meat Hole has been consistently giving up good catches in the morning for boaters hovering with salmon eggs, and wading anglers fishing bobber and eggs. Where there is room, twitching jigs has been effective. Spinners and plugs are working, too. Metallic pink Maglips in 3.5 are working well.
The Washougal is just too low and warm for any kind of decent fishing, and there are few, if any, anglers trying their luck. Some tule Chinook and a scattering of early coho must be waiting for a freshet to enter the river, but so far, no good.
Merwin and Yale Lakes Fishing Report—Both John Thompson of Sportsman’s Warehouse in Vancouver, (360) 604-8000), and Stacie Kelsey of the WDFW reports that anglers are doing very well on nice sized kokanee. The fish are feeding voraciously as they prepare for the fall spawn. Depths vary from sunny days to cloudy days, but most of the schools are in 20 to 60 feet of water. Anglers are mostly trolling hootchies tipped with corn behind kokanee flashers, but some anglers are mixing it up and doing well.
Cowlitz and Kalama rivers Fishing Report—Fishing continues to be slow on the Cowlitz, according to Dave Mallahan of Dave’s Guide Service (360-201-9313), although a few salmon are around in the lower river. The upper river’s summer steelhead run is over. Very few anglers are fishing the river, since other tributaries and the Columbia River are better bets right now.
Mallahan reports that there are only a few early hatchery coho planted in the system, with most bound for the Toutle River. Cutbacks to the early coho run mean only a small run is expected, and those fish are bound for the lower Cowlitz.
There are good numbers of salmon collecting in the lower holes of the Kalama River, and according to Thompson, they are biting on just about everything. Spinners, bait, and plugs are all taking fish. Metallic pink 3.5 Maglips are working well. Both coho and Chinook are in the mix, but anglers may only keep fin-clipped hatchery salmon. Both boat and bank anglers are getting some fish, but with the low water, most of the action is taking place early in the day.
Columbia River Gorge
Salmon Fishing Report—Drano Lake is fishing very good for Chinook. During the latest creel survey, 42 boats/100 rods kept 35 Chinook, one Chinook jack, three coho and released 56 Chinook, two Chinook jacks, one coho and four steelhead. The fish are mostly falling for spinners trolled behind 360 flashers. The same technique is taking some Chinook at the mouth of the Wind River, while other fisheries, such as the mouth of the White Salmon River, are fishing well for anglers jigging wobblers or hovering with bait.
Carl Coolidge of the Klickitat Canyon Market(509-369-4400), reports that the mouth of the Klickitat River is fishing well for Chinook. Trolling 360 flashers with spinners or bait is working pretty good here.
Local Lakes Fishing Report—Goose Lake trout fishing is improving, and if the weather stays cool, it should fish even better in the coming weeks. Largemouth Bass are biting well in Rowland Lake, and both largemouth and smallmouth bass are biting in all the Highway 14 causeway lakes.
You can read Terry Otto’s recent article in the Columbian on Buoy Ten Fishing HERE.
Check out Terry’s detailed report (he crushes it every week!) and forecast in this week’s paid version for SW Washington Members!
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