Fishing Reports for Oregon
Portland/Metro Fishing Report – With the Columbia River creel census wrapped for the season, salmon and steelhead on the mainstem will be in resting mode for a while. Up next is the 2022 spring Chinook/summer Chinook predictions, it’s always an anxious time of year as we anticipate what lies ahead for our beloved sport.
In the interim, we can be relieved that both Stellar and California Sea Lion pressures on our dwindling stocks of salmon, steelhead and sturgeon are being attended to. Measurable numbers of both species have been removed from both the Willamette and Columbia River basins over the past year, and it IS going to make a difference in the long-term viability of these listed species. There is of course a bevy of other conservation measures needed to recover these precious fish, we intend on keeping you better informed on those issues in the coming months.
Meanwhile, anglers looking for early winter steelhead on the Sandy and Clackamas Rivers know that the historic Thanksgiving kick-off isn’t what it used to be for these metro watersheds. That said, there are steelhead showing up in both systems, but persistence and luck will both have to be on your side to strike silver this week.
The Willamette is likely harboring fair numbers of sturgeon right now. The weather has been less than ideal, especially given the fact it’s catch and release only right now. Interest and success will increase during the spring months.
The trout stocking schedule still offers hope for metro anglers willing to brave more inclement conditions. No bodies of water are slated for stocking this week, but trout plants will bump when kids are about to exit for winter break, conveniently.
Find the full report and forecast for Members on the Sandy and the Clackamas from this page here.
Did you miss Buzz Ramsey’s webinar Wednesday night? Never fear, we recorded it!
It’s winter steelhead season, make sure you’re armed and ready to catch your share!
Get Buzz’s recorded webinar HERE.
Want even MORE information on how to catch more winter steelhead? We have several more (recorded) webinars to choose from, use the discount code provided below!
- Driftboating and Bank Fishing the Wilson River with Pro Guide Bob Rees
- Building Your Own Gear with Pro Guide Chris Vertopoulos
- Metro Winter Steelhead Techniques with Pro Guide Brandon Glass
- Coastal Bobber Dogging with Pro Guide Rob Gerlitz and
- Pulling Plugs for Winter Steelhead with Pro Guide Bob Rees
North Coast Fishing Report – Winter steelhead on the north coast are present and accounted for. Early season systems such as the NF Nehalem, Gnat and Big Creek and the Klaskanine River are rather encouraging. All of those systems are showing good signs of an early return, so much so that the NF Nehalem hatchery has already transported 60 male steelhead to Coffenbury Lake for anglers to take advantage of.
There remains some late fall Chinook on the Wilson and Kilchis Rivers but these systems are getting low and clear again but a bump is forecasted for Saturday, which could jeopardize weekend opportunity, yet bolster it early next week.
It’s still relatively early for other systems such as the Nestucca and Siletz, even the Wilson, but if the return is stronger than last year (it couldn’t be any worse), then one would expect some decent early season opportunities, even for river systems that have broodstock fish that typically return later in the season.
Commercial crabbers have been hard at it, and yielding good catches from ocean waters. That will certainly have an impact on estuary crabbing, but it remains fair in larger estuaries such as Tillamook Bay, the lower Columbia and Netarts Bay as well.
The ocean remains upside down with no sign of a calming period in the days ahead.
See the full report and forecast for Members right here.
Central Oregon Fishing Reports – Contributor Glenn Zinkus reports:
(Glenn will be providing fresh reports every OTHER week through the winter season.) From last week:
Weather Outlook Across Central and Eastern Oregon:
Dry weather will continue through much of Central Oregon over the weekend, with the first rain making over the mountains for Monday. Temperatures will be in the 50s during the day, and nightime lows in the 30s. This weather pattern remains consistent for the High Desert, the Deschutes Canyon and the Metolius and Fall River areas.
Mid-Columbia Gorge area will see high temperatures in the 50s through the weekend, and some rain and possibly mixed precipitation on Monday with highs in the 40s next week. Saturday will be the windiest day of the weekend.
ODFW News – Angling Restrictions
Mouth to Moody Rapids – Includes the Deschutes River mouth at the westbound Interstate 84 Bridge upstream to the marker at the lower end of Moody Rapids.
- All angling is closed through December 31.
Moody Rapids to Pelton Dam – Includes the Deschutes River from the marker at the lower end of Moody Rapids upstream to Pelton Reregulating Dam.
- November 1 – December 31: Closed to angling for and retention of steelhead and coho.
Lower Deschutes River:
Lower Deschutes flows are steady and the trout fishing has been great. A few October caddis were flying with the recent warm weather; BWOs are actively hatching during the afternoons.
Middle Deschutes River: The river level is up. No recent reports over this last week.
Haystack Reservoir: Fill level is 95 %. Recent warm temperatures make Haystack fishing quite nice. Slow trolling buggers will produce.
Lake Billy Chinook:
The recent reports this week are that the fishing is great at LBC. No surprise this is a pleasant place to fish with the recent warm temperatures.
All of the boats were catching fish last week.
Crooked River: Flows at the dam are at 54 CFS, and although fishable, are low and steady like they have been all fall.
With the recent balmy weather, there are consistent daytime hatches including a few caddis during the afternoons.
Fall River: Fall River continues to fish well – really well.
There’s been some BWO hatches through the afternoons, that can linger for hours. The hatches are not prolific, without blizzards of bugs, but good and the bonus seems to be prolonged hatch periods that keep anglers busy through the afternoons.
Check out Glenn’s detailed report with much more information and forecast in this week’s Member’s version.
Eastern Oregon Fishing Report – Contributor Glenn Zinkus reports bi-weekly.
Here is last week’s report:
Wallowa Lake was stocked in August with 5400 legal size trout and 180 trophy trout. Rob at the The Joseph Fly Shoppe thinks Wallowa Lake is one of the best in Oregon right now for stocked trout. There is some action on the south side of the lake with small dry flies – anything like a parachute Adams, Purple Haze and Elk Wing Caddis are taking fish.
Jubilee Lake: Jubilee Lake, in the Umatilla National Forest was stocked with 2000 legal size trout.
Wallowa River: Rob at the Joseph Fly Shoppe reports Wallowa trout fishing has been good for trout up through now. Nymphing, soft hackles, and lures have been taking trout, including some larger trout.
As for the coming weeks, Rob comments that the cold weather starts to slow down the trout fishing, and when temperatures drop below 42 degrees, the fish begin to shut off.
The Wallowa River steelhead run is slightly later than the run on the Grande Ronde, as the steelhead wait for higher river levels.
Grande Ronde River: The very latest from the Joseph Fly Shoppe reports that ODFW Creel Checkers in the Troy area have only seen 1 or 2 fish caught recently, a change from the very encouraging numbers from a few weeks back.
The steelhead seem to be moving through, in pods, so it is a matter of timing. If angling at a time the pod is moving through, steelheading can be quite good. ODFW reports that steelhead are showing up at the hatchery. 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
Grants Pass Pro-guide Troy Whitaker of Troy’s Guide Service (541-761-0015)
Troy reports (while I’m on the phone and he’s smoking salmon on the Traeger) that low water conditions has kept him mostly on the Rogue River targeting summer steelhead and some Coho. The Coho are really fun to catch twitching jigs but they’re almost all wild (must be released) and very colored up. Best chances of a hatchery fish is up towards Shady Cove ” but be very careful in a boat because it’s very low and there’s lots of rocks”!
This “twitching” method is fairly new to me and I asked Troy to elaborate a little on it: basically it’s like bass fishing with a jig but for salmon. Using a jig 3/8 – 1/2 oz tossed out in slack water and behind large boulders, you let it sink briefly and then “twitch” the rod tip so as to jerk/ twitch the jig and retrieve. Troy said that a lot of the time a fish will take the jig on the sink or on the 1st or 2nd twitch. Hummm, maybe I might have to try this out???
Troy said that there’s still a fair amount of summers steelhead from the mid to upper Rogue, but as with all streams in Southern Oregon, we need rain! A few winter steelhead have been taken on the lower Rogue and should start arriving in numbers after the next big rain.
Local Grants Pass guide Riley Wallace of Wallace Guide Service 541-761-2386
Riley reported that due to very low water conditions in the Chetco, Elk and Sixes that future success of those systems will rely on the upcoming rain event -that being winter steelhead in the Chetco and Chinook in the Elk and Sixes. He expects it to be good early next week depending how much rain comes. He also reported that there are still lots of Coho and summer steelhead in the mid-Rogue. He netted 5 coho by 1pm fishing the mid Rogue on Thursday! Tossing spinners, side drifting worms, roe, soft beads, yarn balls and back trolling plugs (in a boat) are all good for catching these fish.
Jeff’s detailed report, multiple lake updates, and forecast in this week’s version for Members!
SW Washington Fishing Report by Terry Otto
Tributary fishing is dropping off sharply. The late run of coho is finishing up, and there are few options for early steelhead in southwest Washington. Trout angling is excellent in local waters.
Vancouver Metro Area
The tributaries are pretty much done for late coho. The lone exception is the Klickitat River, which is still giving up some fresh fish. A few steelhead may be trickling into a few rivers, but most streams won’t get good for steelhead until next year.
Black Friday trout fishing was very good in all locations, and most of those fisheries have received additional stockings. Trout stockings in local lakes will be pretty regular this winter, and the state is getting ready to plant out trophy-sized rainbow brood trout soon. Watch for fresh trout plantings, as well as big broodstock trout plantings HERE
Lewis and Washougal Rivers Fishing Report—Fishing has slowed in the Lewis, with the coho run over, and the first winter steelhead slow to show. The most recent creel survey from the river had four bank anglers with no catch. Last year’s steelhead run was poor, and this year is beginning to look like a repeat. The river is high, but in good condition, running at around the 12.5-foot stage.
Fishing pressure has slowed from the crowded coho season, with a few anglers targeting the hatchery. With the water running high the steelhead are moving through the river fairly quickly and pulling into the area around the hatchery. Still, there are only a few fish to be found.
Likewise, the Washougal River is in the same condition, with the late run coho having finished up, and few winter steelhead pulling in yet. The river is in good shape, and running at about the 6.9-foot stage. There may be a few steelhead around, but there have been no reports of any steelhead being caught as of yet.
Merwin and Yale Lakes Fishing Report—Not much change here, with both lakes fishing fair to good. The lakes are still a little dirty from the recent high water. However, Dave Mallahan of Dave’s Guide Service (360-201-9313), reports that fishing has been very good for him. The fish are near the surface, so flat-line trolling or fishing with just a little lead has been effective. The fish are taking scented corn fished with a wedding ring, spinner, or hootchie behind a kokanee dodger. The fishing pressure is fairly strong on the nicer days, with Yale being a little less crowded then Merwin.
Local Lakes Fishing Report—Both Klineline Pond and Battle Ground Lake fished very well this week, and have had recent stockings. Lacamas Lake was stocked and is fishing well near the boat ramp and around Round Lake.
Cowlitz and Kalama Rivers Fishing Report—The Cowlitz is fishing poorly right now, and there are few anglers hitting this river. The coho run is mostly over, even though a few late-comers are still hanging around, but the fishing, and pressure, have dropped off a lot. The steelhead run is a late run, and except for a few strays, there are too few to target right now. The river is also still in poor condition, with dirtier than usual color. The upper river did not generate any action this week. Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 1,204 coho adults, 186 coho jacks, 16 cutthroat trout, one fall Chinook adult, and one winter-run steelhead adult during six days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
The Kalama River has slowed up for coho, but there are a few fish still around. This river does get a modest early run of hatchery steelhead, and a few have been caught in recent weeks. However, anglers are having to work hard to find a fish or two. Anglers targeting coho are using a wide variety of offerings, including spinners, bobber and bait, and jigs. Plugs have also been effective. Most boat anglers are working the middle sections, between the Red Barn and the Modrow Bridge, and bank anglers are fishing the canyon. The steelhead have been taken on bobber presentations. Bait, beads, and jigs are all good choices. The river fishes well for anglers pulling plugs, too.
Columbia River Gorge
Local Lakes Fishing Report—Rowland Lake has been very good for trout since it was stocked, and is still fishing excellent.
Check out Terry’s detailed report (he crushes it every week!) and forecast in this week’s SW Washington Member’s version!
Receive these SW Washington and Oregon fishing
reports in your email on Thursday nights by signing up here.