Portland/Metro Fishing Report – Anglers fishing upstream of Bonneville Dam are still finding a few fresh coho, particularly around the mouth of the Klickitat River. This fishery will fade following this week, but with a robust return back to the Columbia, anglers shouldn’t be surprised it’s held on this long.
Coho returns to the upper Willamette were also robust, with over 21,000 adults tallied at Willamette Falls. That’s a number the upper watershed hasn’t seen in a long time. Jack counts this year are nearly identical to 2021, indicating we may get another good return in 2022.
There’s been rumored winter steelhead taken from the Sandy River, but no photographic proof. It’s certainly not out of the realm of possibility. Nothing rumored yet from the Clackamas, but early catches of hatchery steelhead from Meldrum Bar, just downstream from the mouth of the Clackamas on the Willamette River are also not that uncommon for this time of year.
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 next week, Alton Baker Canal near Springfield
Find the full report and forecast for Members on the Sandy and the Clackamas from this page here.
North Coast Fishing Report – Winter steelhead are returning to the district’s rivers and although effort isn’t high for these early returning fish, there seems to be catchable numbers present in some watersheds.
The North Fork Nehalem, Necanicum, Big Creek, Gnat Creek, the Clatskanine River, and the Wilson all get early returning steelhead and therefore, are early season options once December rolls around. Most systems are in ideal shape right now, making for some of the best small stream opportunities for bank anglers especially.
Fall Chinook are still present, albeit in small numbers, on the Wilson and Kilchis Rivers. Effort is low but fish are present and likely still navigating through Tillamook Bay as well. Finding one in the bay, however, will be more challenging.
The commercial crab fleet is already harvesting robust numbers of ocean crab. That’ll certainly have an impact on bay opportunity, but tides are more appropriate for clams versus crabs this weekend.
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.)
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 this week’s report, a repeat from previous weeks as fishing opportunities are slowing with a myriad of steelhead closures this year.
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
Well it’s looking like the best bets for fishing success will be either on the Rogue river (mid to upper sections) for remaining summer steelhead and half pounders or on the ocean where bottom fish limits and some nice big ling cod are being caught. The Chetco, Elk, Sixes and Smith (NorCal) are all way low and clear to make it worth spending the effort until next weeks forecasted rain. The Rogue despite flow around 1200 cfs and temp in the mid 40’s is still producing some nice summer steelhead action for those working plugs and/or side drifting the usual worm/corky, soft beads, roe, yarn balls, etc. Brookings has seen near 70-degree days this week while in Grants Pass it’s been maybe 50 and the cold fog hasn’t burned off. If you have an ocean-going boat (if not, check out Brookings’s fishing charters) it’s worth the effort for some bottom fish and crabbing. If you’re eager for steelhead, then try various spots along the Rogue and try out some new techniques like float fishing, fly fishing, or something else. Next week’s forecasted rain should have the coastal streams fishable again.
Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing (206-388-8988) reports that rain, or lack thereof, is the issue with the Southern Oregon coastal streams again. The Elk, Sixes, and Chetco that were producing some nice fish after the last rain (over 2 weeks ago) are either unfishable and/ or not worth it until the next rain. He did hear a report that a fellow guide working the Chetco has caught a couple adult winter steelhead lately…. “that’s a good sign this early in December” and should get more fish in the system after more rain.
Lakes and ponds to fish this week:
BRADLEY LAKE-Trout fishing has been good for trout that were stocked earlier this month. Anglers are having success trolling spinners in the main lake.
BUTTERFIELD LAKE (North Bend): Anglers are still reporting catching fall stocked trout and holdover trout stocked this past spring using Power Bait or trolling spinners.
Lake Selmac (Selma) Bass and bluegill bite has slowed down due to the colder weather. However, those working the extensive weed line from boats are having most success. Only 1 bass can be harvested per day
Expo Pond (day use permits are required) Fishing has been picking up with the recent cooling temperatures where the most northern pond is the best bet for largemouth bass.
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
A few late coho are scattered through the tributaries, but the fishing is quickly dropping off and the run is almost over. It was the best fall fishing in years in both the Columbia and the tribs. Prospects for a strong winter steelhead run are poor, and there are few options for early run steelhead in southwest Washington.
Black Friday trout fishing was very good in all locations, and those fisheries are still doing very well. Trout stockings in local lakes will be pretty regular this winter.
Watch for fresh trout plantings HERE
Most warm water fisheries are over for the year.
Lewis and Washougal Fishing Report—The Lewis River has recovered from the high flows that resulted from the “atmospheric river”, and the flooding it caused, but anglers are not finding many coho left in the river. Most of the available fish have most likely pulled into the hatchery trap, leaving little to fish for in the river. That’s the word from John Thompson of Sportsman’s Warehouse in Vancouver, (360) 604-8000).
So far there have been no reports of winter steelhead being landed in the river. The Lewis does get one of the few early winter steelhead runs left in southwest Washington, with the fishery usually producing decent catches by now. Few anglers or biologists expect a very good winter steelhead return this year, but there should be a few steelhead around by now.
The Washougal River late coho run is mostly over. There may be a few stragglers around in the lower river, but the reports indicate that what coho are left are up in the upper sections, where there is little to no pubic access. Fishing was very good prior to the high water.
Merwin and Yale Lakes Fishing Report—The kokanee in both lakes have been active lately, even though the lakes are still a little dirty from the recent high water. However, Dave Mallahan of Dave’s Guide Service (360-201-9313), who usually fishes the Cowlitz, took clients out on Merwin recently, and they did very well. Mallahan said they hooked about 100 kokes, and landed about half of them. The fish were taking scented corn fished with a small spinner, and the fish were reportedly up high in the water column. He was running his baits a good distance back from the boat, and flat-lining most of the rods.
Local Lakes Fishing Report—Both Klineline Pond and Battle Ground Lake fished very well on Black Friday, and have stayed good since. The fish at Klineline are moving around quite a bit, according to Stacie Kelsey of the WDFW Inland Fishes Program, so she advises anglers move if they aren’t getting bit. Boat anglers did the best at Battle Ground, but bank anglers did well, too. Lacamas Lake was stocked with over 6,000 catchable rainbows recently.
Cowlitz and Kalama Rivers Fishing Report—The Cowlitz River is in bad shape right now, with a mudslide in the upper system fouling the water from Mayfield Lake on downstream, according to guide Dave Mallahan. Also, the numbers of late coho in the river have fallen off after weeks of strong numbers. Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 1,654 coho adults, 208 coho jacks, eight cutthroat trout, seven fall Chinook adults, and one summer-run steelhead adult during six days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator. The hatchery trap saw returns of over 6,000 coho a week until recently. Mallahan figures that if the river conditions were decent, there are still a few fresh coho to be caught, but there are few to no anglers fishing the river right now. He reports that angling effort at the Barrier Dam has dropped off to almost nothing, too.
There are still some coho available in the Kalama River, but like the Cowlitz, this system’s run of late coho are finishing up. However, Thompson has heard reports of a couple winter steelhead turning up already, and a few late coho, so the fishery is still providing some action. The coho were spread through the entire river just a week or so ago, so anglers may still get some to bite. They will take everything from spinners to plugs, salmon eggs, and jigs.
Check out Terry’s detailed report (he crushes it every week!) and forecast in this week’s SW Washington Member’s version!
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