Oregon and SW Washington Fisheries Update

Coastal Fall Chinook Still Available; Ocean Options Fading

Willamette Valley/Metro – With most hatchery coho upstream, and mainstem fall Chinook starting their spawning cycle, metro area fisheries will start to fade for angler opportunity. That said, wild coho can still provide great sport for motivated anglers in some metro tributaries, but most anglers will be awaiting winter steelhead, which don’t show in earnest until late January these days.

Catch and release sturgeon fishing in the lower Willamette often starts to pick up this time of year, although few participate in this fishery.

Chinook anglers are still posting great catch rates in the Bonneville area, mostly from boats. Over 1 Chinook per boat was tallied in last week’s creek count from that reach, although the quality of the target species is coming into question. Fresh-run coho are still available, but that run has peaked at Bonneville Dam as well.

Clackamas River coho are now largely of wild origin. Eagle Creek fish hatchery began spawning this week, with robust numbers of adults, and an unusually high return of jacks this year. There should still be a rare adult hatchery coho available, but most fish anglers catch will likely require release.

Pro guide Jeff Stoeger (503-704-7920) of O2BFISHN reports, “Hello All. Well its been a very tough week to be fishing on the Sandy. Since last week’s report, the Sandy has been out of shape to fish. For most of the week, the river has been running chocolate brown with a foot to foot and a half visibility. The river went up with the last rain event just over 9 ft and has dropped and then gone back up. There are guys out fishing and most of the action has been around Cedar Creek down to Oxbow Park. The river is high enough to float but you may have to drag your boat of raft in certain sections of the river.  With the current conditions I would recommend that you use bait and scent on all your lures. It wont be too long before we start seeing winter steelhead showing up in the river.  So get your gear ready and get out when you can. So wishing everyone the best of luck and tight lines.”

North Coast Fishing Report – Anglers had a nice offshore opportunity for bottomfish, and last ditch efforts for halibut and salmon early this week. Some made the most of it, but bottomfishing was the best option, no surprise there.

Fall Chinook fishing remains challenging for most on the north coast. There was a surge of fresh Chinook into some of the river systems with the improvement in tides this week.

Tillamook Bay itself remains tough although effort remains high for the success rates most are seeing. Wilson and Kilchis fish are due in, and the current set of tides should prove to be a positive factor for those in pursuit.

The Wilson River tidewater did improve for bobber tossers and the upper Nestucca tidewater had fish present too.

The Nehalem remains filled with wild coho, but Chinook catches remain subdued.

Sea bass and lingcod fishing was productive out of Pacific City, Garibaldi and most north coast ports early this week. Unfortunately, ocean crabbing is closed. Halibut and ocean Chinook fishing closes after October 31st.

No sign of significant rain in sight to stimulate coastal Chinook and chum runs. When it happens, north coast rivers should be flush with fish. The tidewater reaches will be the best producers until that happens.

Bay crabbing has tapered, but remains worthwhile.

Minus tides for razor clam digging start on Friday. Surf conditions starting Saturday afternoon look terrific for north coast diggers.

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Central and Eastern Oregon Fishing Reports – From avid angler Tim Moran:

Hello all!  This week we got a touch of the coming winter with temps at the start of the week into the single digits at the high lakes in central and northeast Oregon and highs down lower that stayed in the 30’s. Brrrr!  Winter is coming….But not before we get a little more nice fall weather..it was 75 today in parts of central Oregon!  Crazy!  The cool thing about the “cooler” weather is it does kick off some hatches like mid-day BWO’s and over on the Metolius, Fall, Crooked and Deschutes Rivers BWO’s.

My friends and the guides I checked in with said that the Metolius is still loaded with spawning Kokanee too so egg flies, small flesh flies and streamers like an egg sucking leech or minnow are excellent choices for the bigger rainbows and bull trout that inhabit the river.  

The Crooked and Fall are great fall/winter rivers too but right now if I had to fish one place, it would be the Deschutes from Warm Springs to Macks Canyon because it’s got excellent fall trout and Steelhead fishing. 

Don’t forget that Crane Prairie closes at dusk on Saturday but would be an excellent choice! 

SW Oregon – From ODF&W:

  • Fall Chinook are still being caught in the Umpqua with a few bright fish still around. 10/28/20
  • The Rogue River and tributaries above Lost Creek Reservoir are open year-round.  Anglers may see increased pressure for camp sites and such in the next week or two with elk season underway. Trout were stocked weekly from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Target calmer pools and pocket water for resting trout. Stocking sites are from Woodruff Bridge all the way upstream to Minnehaha Creek. Trout limits here are 5 trout per day, only 1 over 20 inches, and bait is allowed. 9/23/20
  • The artificial fly only season is still in effect on the Rogue through the end of October from Fishers Ferry upstream to the hatchery.  The cold stream temps and lack of freshets with no foreseeable rain on the horizon has summer steelhead pretty locked down. If you find a pod of fish, they will likely be in the same vicinity until some moisture brings the river up. Bait is not allowed until Nov. 1, when it is allowed again upstream of Shady Cove boat ramp to the hatchery. 10/21/2020

SW Washington –  Terry Otto has put together another smashing report for SW Washington. What you will read below is an abbreviated version of what Terry’s “FULL VERSION” report will look like in the months ahead. Sign Up for Terry’s PAID version that started last week. With this level of detail, you won’t want to miss a single week! It’s JUST $0.32 cents per week! Here’s Terry’s summary for this week. SUBSCRIBE to the full SW Washington version HERE!

Lewis and Washougal Rivers Fishing Report–Salmon fishing slowed considerably this past week in both fisheries. Catches of coho in the Lewis River dropped even though the river is running at a good, consistent level.

The hot bite at the hatchery has slowed as the A run coho move into the hatchery trap, or move upriver above the hatchery.

The Washougal has been doing well and has seen less pressure than the other tributaries, but it is now also experiencing low water, which has made the bite more difficult.

The Washougal River should pick back up if we get any solid rains, but only showers are predicted through the next week.

According to John Thompson of Sportsmen’s Warehouse in Vancouver, (360) 604-8000, the fishing pressure in the lower Washougal is still very low. If you have tired of heavy competition, this is where you should try. Target the area behind the bowling alley or at access points along the Washougal River Greenway.

Coho by Terry Otto

Longview Area

Cowlitz and Kalama River Fishing Report—the fishing in both the upper and lower Cowlitz slowed a little over the past week, possibly because of a lull between the early and late coho runs. Below the I-5 Bridge WDFW surveyors found that 21 bank rods kept one coho, seven coho jacks and released four cutthroat. 11 boats/36 rods kept three coho, five coho jacks and released four Chinook, one Chinook jack and three coho. Above the I-5 Bridge 84 bank rods kept four coho, six coho jacks, two cutthroat, and released 34 Chinook, three coho and one coho jack. five boats/10 rods kept two coho and released one Chinook.

Chinook catches in the Cowlitz have bested those of coho all season long, yet anglers have had to release all Chinook caught until the state finally allowed anglers to keep fin-clipped hatchery kings on October 16. Recent released Chinook numbers indicate that anglers are finding few, if any, clipped Chinook. 

Columbia River Gorge

Drano Lake and Wind River Fishing Report—Fishing continues to slow at Drano Lake as the season starts to wrap up, but a few salmon are still being found. Boat anglers are still getting the fish to take bait or lures trolled behind Pro-Trolls, and bank anglers are fishing mostly bobber and bait.

Klickitat River Fishing Report–According to Carl Coolidge of the Klickitat Canyon Market, (509-369-4400), the Klickitat is in excellent condition and has good flows as well. Anglers continue to take good numbers of steelhead up in the canyon.

Local Lakes Fishing Report

Anglers are beginning to catch hold over trout in Rowland Lake. Goose Lake also continues to shine for big trout. Just about any method or bait will take the trout.

Be sure to become a paid subscriber and get TWICE the information as you see here in the abbreviated version. Terry produces a weekly FORECAST, detailing how the fishing will be this weekend and into next week. You don’t want to miss this valuable information for just $0.32 cents per week! SIGN UP NOW!