Oregon Fishing Report
Portland/Metro Fishing Report – Mainstem Columbia sturgeon seekers had bad road conditions and frigid weather conditions to contend with, it certainly hampered catch and effort since the opener on January 1st. Only about 10% of the quota has been caught to date so there’s plenty more opportunity to be had! You can find regulations about halfway down THIS page, and the agency’s most recent press release HERE to ensure you’re within your legal guidelines.
Once the New Year hits, anglers start thinking spring Chinook, even though we’re still many months away from any semblance of a peak season. There hasn’t been any salmon cross Bonneville Dam just yet, but winter steelhead are making their way upstream in minute numbers.
The Willamette continues to climb and has yet to crest, but that will happen soon. Fishing will be out for a while, but when it comes back in, winter steelhead and sturgeon will once again become a viable option. It’s a roily, brown mess right now.
The Clackamas and Sandy Rivers are both blown but have both likely peaked from their highs at the time of this writing. Both systems should be good when flows subside after the weekend. Catches have been good this year so anglers are excited about the opportunity.
Avid angler Jeff Stoeger reports, “Hello All. This weeks’ report has fish being caught throughout the entire river. The fly guys fishing from Revenue Bridge to Oxbow have had some luck using larger streamers in various colors and most of the fish are a mixture of both hatchery and natives. Cedar Creek guys using beads and spinners in 12mm to 16mm beads and spinners in sizes 3 and 4 in silver blades with blue, green, black and pink bodies. The river was running at ideal height but will be on the rise as of this report.
Find the full report and forecast for Members on the Sandy and the Clackamas from this page here.
North Coast Fishing Report – Steelheaders on the north coast had great fishing last week, with broodstock fish starting to show up on north coast streams. Rivers are cresting at the time of this writing, with smaller streams coming into shape by Saturday, larger systems by Sunday. Action should be good when flows subside.
Smaller stream, early season steelhead should be on the spawn right now, fisheries on the NF Nehalem, Necanicum and Klaskanine Rivers, as well as Big and Gnat Creeks have peaked and will start fading quickly from here. There should be one last chance at fresh fish by Saturday if hydrological models are accurate.
Winter weather kept most anglers home last week, but conditions improve this weekend and into next week.
A small window of opportunity may exist over the weekend for those wishing to recreate in the coastal estuaries or even the ocean. Estuaries are currently inundated with freshwater so crabbing will likely be challenging.
SW Oregon Fishing Report – Contributor Jeff Rome reports
It’s now 2022 and the New Year brought in a big rain and snow storm that blew out the rivers big time! Just prior and into the New year, winter steelhead were being caught most everywhere. The lower Rogue saw an influx of early adult steelhead and the Chetco produced some nice ones as well…..all before getting blown out! It’s now a waiting game for the rivers to get back into “steelhead” shape and some should be as soon as the weekend and better into next week for an unofficial “official” winter steelhead season!👏🎣
After talking with some of my resource guides, there seems to be some optimism that the 2022 winter steelhead season should be a good one. While “licking my chops and chomping on the bit” to get on the river, I’m patiently waiting for more optimum river conditions and getting my tackle in order. Anxious anglers that are closer to some of the smaller streams like the Elk and Sixes, Millicoma and even the Applegate have a better opportunity starting Saturday as these tend to drop and clear sooner. The larger rivers should be in “high” water fishable shape Sunday and should be approaching prime shape early next week. This would be a great time to schedule a trip with some of the local guides and learn some new techniques as they will get you on fish.
My bets bets for the weekend and into next week is looking like the Elk and Sixes should be good and fishable as is the Millicoma. Sunday looks to be a bit better for the Chetco, Rogue and South Umpqua for high water conditions running plugs from boats or side planing and for bank plunkers. The beginning of next week looks very promising to hit any favorite spots and there should be good numbers of steelhead in. Sunday might also be a first of the year opportunity to get out on the ocean for bottom fish and crab. You’ll have to go a bit North of major river inlets as there’s a lot of fresh water coming out. Crabbing in the bays will be a little slow until the fresh river water slows, so ocean crabbing will be better when you can get out. Also the surf perch are biting!
Jeff’s detailed report, multiple lake updates, and forecast in this week’s version for Members!
SW Washington Fishing Report by Terry Otto
Vancouver Metro Area
Sketchy weather continues to keep many anglers at home, and some local rivers look to be going into flood stage this weekend, the result of forecasted heavy rains. Trout fishing is good for anglers that can reach the water.
Although angling activity has been down recently due to winter weather, hatchery steelhead returns and catches in some streams have been good, feeding hopes for a better steelhead year overall.
Sturgeon retention started in the Gorge pools on Saturday, but anglers are reminded that the Dalles Pool is open only on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays, to prevent the quota being reached too soon. Winter weather has been an issue.
Not many anglers have dared the weather and roads to trout fish, but some die-hard anglers have made it out. Watch for fresh trout plantings, as well as big broodstock trout and steelhead plantings HERE
Be safe out there! The weather may make for dangerous conditions on local roads and rivers. Practice safe driving and boating if you get out this weekend!
Lewis and Washougal Rivers Fishing Report—Steelheading continues to be fair to good on the Lewis River. Some anglers are finding the fish up near Merwin Dam, and also at the Meat Hole. There are steelhead throughout the river from Woodland up to the hatchery. Boat anglers are getting some fish by bobber-dogging with beads or small bits of salmon eggs. A few anglers are getting some fish by pulling plugs.
Bank anglers have been fishing beads or jigs below a bobber, or drift fishing, with the best action coming from the hatchery area. A few are finding takers by plunking in the lower river. The river has dropped some, and is in good condition, for now.
You can read Terry Otto’s recent article in The Columbian on fish passage issues on the Lewis River dams HERE.
The Washougal has continued to give up a few steelhead, according to John Thompson of Sportsman’s Warehouse in Vancouver, (360) 604-8000). He reports he continues to hear of some steelhead coming to hand in the lower river. The fishing has been fair, with winter steelhead falling for bobber presentations and drifted gear or bait.
Cowlitz and Kalama Rivers Fishing Report—The Cowlitz has been fishing very slow, according to Dave Mallahan of Dave’s Guide Service (360-201-9313), and very few anglers have tried the river during the recent winter weather. The river gets no early return, and the late run is not expected to show in any good numbers for a few weeks. This past week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 330 coho adults, 18 coho jacks, and just seven winter-run steelhead adults during four days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
The lower river has been a bust as well, and once again, very few anglers are trying their luck down low. Few anglers, few steelhead, and poor weather have kept things quiet.
The Kalama had been fishing fair to good for steelhead, although fishing pressure has been a little light due to the winter weather. Anglers had been getting their fish through the entire river, with boat anglers getting their fish by bobber-dogging with beads or bait. Bank anglers have also been getting their fish on beads or bait fished below a bobber, although some fish are falling for drifted presentations and hardware. Plugs can also be effective.
Local Lakes Fishing Report—Lake Sacajawea was stocked before Christmas with trout that averaged about a pound each. The fishing has been good for anglers fishing Powerbait on the bottom, but these fish will also fall for spinners. Mayfield Lake was rated as fair for trout, but will probably get dirty following this week’s rains. This may be the weekend to give that lake a pass. The South Lewis County Park Pond is fishing well for trout.
Columbia River Gorge
Sturgeon retention started in the Gorge pools last Saturday, but heavy snow has kept most anglers from sturgeon fishing this past week. The Dalles Pool is open only on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays, to prevent the quota being reached too soon. The quotas for the three pools that are open are as follows: Bonneville Pool-500, with only 8.2 % of quota caught. The Dalles Pool-190, with 8.9% of quota caught. John Day Pool-105, with 7.6 % caught.
Travel in the Gorge has been difficult, and both I-84 and SR 14 have been closed at times due to heavy snow and ice. The weather may clear by the weekend, but anglers should check on road and ramp conditions before trying to pull a boat up the Gorge and launch it.