Portland/Metro Fishing Report – With the Columbia River now closed for spring Chinook, focus for the region’s most sought after species will turn to the Willamette, where a run of over 50,000 adults is expected back. The run is underway, well underway, with some guides commenting it’s far better this year, than what they witnessed last year. The Multnomah Channel produced good catches on Sunday through Tuesday of this week. The middle and upper river at Oregon City also produced fair catches, but it was still only about 1 spring Chinook for every 10 rods fishing. We’re entering the peak season for Portland Harbor spring Chinook fishing so it’ll get better when the water conditions do.
It’s still transition time on the Sandy and Clackamas systems. With the tail end of winter steelhead, and still weeks away from catchable numbers of summer steelhead or spring Chinook, metro anglers are all in for the Willamette River, if they have a boat. Bank angling opportunities this time of year aren’t great, we’re still weeks away from just mediocre bank fishing possibilities
Trout fishing remains a strong option as stocking programs continue with robust plants.
Check out the upcoming stocking schedule HERE.
Find the full report and forecast for Members on the Willamette, Sandy and the Clackamas from this page here.
North Coast Fishing Report – North Coast winter steelhead is over. It was far from a memorable season, but anglers will still become anxious for spring Chinook and to a lesser extent, summer steelhead available on the Wilson, Trask, Nestucca and Siletz River systems. We’re in sit-and-wait mode for north coast opportunities, except for…Bottomfishing.
April offers up some excellent deep reef and nearshore bottomfishing opportunities with sea bass and lingcod headlining the show. Lings can be particularly vulnerable this time of year as they end the spawn and leave their traditional nesting sites.
Ocean crabbing has been good too, and Tillamook Bay is yielding fair to good catches of keeper Dungeness.
More than one sportangler has bragged about good catches of deep water Chinook. It appears that the ocean Chinook fishing is pretty good, mostly out of Newport, but catches out of Garibaldi are reported as well. These feeder Chinook are most likely California stocks of fish, and although success rates can be volatile, overall, it’s pretty good fishing so far since the March 15th opener.
See the full report and forecast for Members right here.
Did you miss Josiah Darr’s Tuesday webinar on Fishing the Lower Willamette: St. Johns to St. Helens, including the Multnomah Channel?
You can still purchase the recorded version and watch it at your convenience. Just click HERE!
SW Washington Fishing Report by Terry Otto
Chinook fishing picking up in the tributaries, while Bonneville counts are SLOWLY improving. Trout fishing is good, while snow and cold is killing the warm water bite.
Vancouver Metro Area
Chinook catches are getting better in local tributaries, with the Lewis boasting the best catches. Less than 1300 spring Chinook have crossed over Bonneville as of Wednesday, and one or two have come to hand in Drano Lake.
Steelhead are moving past the peak right now, but there are lots of late run fish still being caught. The Cowlitz had a good week, until the river levels started jumping around.
Snow and cold kept a lot of fishermen at home this week, with only a few few anglers getting out after trout.
Lewis and Washougal Rivers Fishing Report—Springers are moving into the Lewis River in good numbers, and anglers are getting them to bite. The word has gotten out, and the fishing pressure is on the rise, even through the rotten recent weather. During the latest creel survey from the WDFW, 38 bank rods kept three Chinook. Six boats/13 rods kept six Chinook and released one Chinook and one steelhead.
Anglers are getting the fish to take salmon eggs or egg and sand shrimp combos by back-trolling in the lower river, and back-bouncing in the faster sections. In the Meat Hole boat fishers are hover fishing with bait, while bank anglers are fishing eggs below a bobber. A few bank anglers are plunking in the lower river, and a few folks are trolling herring at the mouth within the Lewis River deadline.
The Washougal remains closed for steelhead angling.
Merwin and Yale Lakes Fishing Report—Weather permitting, the fishing has been holding up well for kokanee, with most experienced anglers still getting their fish. However, the recent rotten weather has depressed the crowds a little, and when the snow is flying it’s hard to fish. The patterns are still holding: flat-line trolling within the top 20 feet of the surface, with spinners or hootchies tipped with scented corn fished behind a dodger.
Cowlitz and Kalama Rivers Fishing Report—Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 1,095 winter-run steelhead adults, 10 spring Chinook adults, and one spring Chinook jack over five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator. Fishing in the upper sections of the Cowlitz had a pretty good week, with Dave Mallahan of Dave’s Guide Service (360-201-9313), reporting that he had fair to good success until Tuesday, when the river levels were jacked up and down all day. He took his fish by bobber-dogging in the first few miles below Blue Creek. He also reported that bank anglers fishing the side channel where the creek empties into the Cowlitz did very well this past week, mostly by drifting.
He has seen a few spring Chinook taken recently in the upper river, mostly by anglers fishing for steelhead. Soon the anglers will be switching over to chasing the Chinook, and will forego the bobber-dogging for back-trolling with salmon eggs, or back bouncing with eggs.
The lower Cowlitz was productive this past week, too. The latest creel survey below the I-5 Bridge found 95 bank rods kept two Chinook, 12 steelhead and released one Chinook and two steelhead. 1 boat/1 rod had no catch. Plunking with spin-n-glos and bait has been effective, and some anglers are now targeting the Chinook by back-bouncing or back-trolling eggs. Some anglers are trolling herring in the lowest sections of the river.
The Kalama is still fishing fair to good for steelhead, and a few springers are showing, too. Recently, 38 bank rods kept two steelhead and released three steelhead. Nine boats/22 rods kept two Chinook, one steelhead and released three steelhead. Most boat anglers are working the middle sections of the river, although some folks are fishing below the Modrow Bridge. The steelhead seem to be spread through the entire system, from the mouth up into the canyon, where bank anglers have been doing well by fishing bobber and bait, drifting or fishing hardware. Boat anglers are pulling plugs, fishing beads or jigs below a bobber, or back-trolling eggs. Some anglers are targeting Chinook by back-bouncing eggs.
Check out Terry’s detailed report and forecast in this week’s SW Washington Member’s version