Portland/Metro Fishing Report – With the mainstem Columbia closed after nearly attaining the entire allocation for sport anglers, spring Chinook anglers will now focus on the Willamette to meet the needs of the springer addicted! Theoretically, more springers should be pouring into the Multnomah Channel, Portland Harbor and eventually Oregon City, to justify more effort.
Oregon City did pick up last week but until more rain arrives, the lower channel will be the more productive stretch to troll. Bank anglers are seeing improving catches for both summer steelhead and spring Chinook along Meldrum Bar just downstream of the mouth of the Clackamas River.
Catch and release sturgeon fishing has slowed on the Willamette River. Maybe they’re getting ready to take baits in the estuary, where catch and keep opportunities start in mid-May!
And speaking of the Clackamas, Bill Monroe writes about the possibility of a broodstock program here, but without it, this spring Chinook fishery is in real trouble. Late-run wild winter steelhead are present in fair numbers, with few anglers in pursuit of this catch and release opportunity. Summer steelhead should be showing soon.
The Sandy largely mimics the Clackamas in that wild winters are present, and of a nice grade. No sign of spring Chinook just yet however. Fish are well distributed throughout the system.
Trout fishing is a thing this month and ODF&W has its trout stocking schedule up and ready for study. Go HERE to see how many of Oregon’s favorite sportfish are available where.
North Coast Fishing Report – With rivers still low and clear, steelhead success, and interest for that matter, is waning. No doubt, if we get another shot of rain (none on the horizon), there’ll be one last shot of good steelhead fishing to be had. As for now, those late run winters are likely holed up in the tidewater reaches of each of the north coast systems now. The Nestucca and Wilson will remain late season favorites for hatchery fish.
Check any other system on the north coast before you go steelheading, some of them closed on April 1st.
No sign of Tillamook springers just yet, we’re still a month away from any real hope.
Seas look rough for the week, but when you can get out, the fishing is quite good. Tamara Mautner of Garibaldi Charters (503-322-0007) reports the deep reef action is great right now. Some of the rockfish are running a bit small, but lings between 10 and 20 pounds are common, and the best eating size anyway! Crabbing is oddly awesome too, with 6 – 10 keepers per pot just outside of Tillamook Bay.
Check out this ling on ling action one of their boats snapped last week. The larger ling weighed in at around 26 pounds! I’m glad those things don’t swim the nearby beaches!
Central and Eastern Oregon Fishing Reports – Glenn Zinkus POURS on the detail for trout and steelhead from the region. You’ve NEVER seen content like it (We guarantee it!), check out Glenn’s detailed report and forecast in this week’s paid version:
Weather Outlook Across Central and Eastern Oregon: This coming week’s weather outlook has an incoming cold front that will be with us at the start the weekend, with a warmup later in the weekend and especially into next week. Warm in Central Oregon, seasonal in the northeast, and throughout eastern Oregon next week. With the passing front, it will be windy heading into the weekend, with forecasted calming winds throughout the region during next week.
CENTRAL OREGON WATERS
Lower Deschutes River: Nymphing will remain hot! Like on waters across the region, expect winds and dropping temperatures going into the weekend, but conditions will improve Sunday and going into next week.
Middle Deschutes River: The Middle Deschutes is continuing to drop!
Haystack Reservoir is fishing well with reports of catches of rainbows. If fly fishing, start with Balanced Leeches under an indicator.
Lake Billy Chinook fishing opportunities are only improving as we get into April. The Metolius Arm is open (tribal pass required) and bull trout fishing in that area is picking up.
Crooked River: Water flows on the Crooked are on the rise! Water levels started rising earlier this week! At the time of this writing, flows and the system have stabilized enough to turn the fishing back on.
Fall River: Fall River is producing good fishing opportunities, and the popularity continues. ODFW released 1000 trophy size hatchery rainbows into Fall River this week. Reports are that there are fishing opportunities all over including, Camp Ground, Hatchery, Tubes and Falls.
Metolius River: Overall, the Met has been fishing well, and plenty of other anglers during the day. Fishing is improving with warmer temperatures and longer days.
If you are fortunate enough to catch a bull trout, please keep-em-wet, releasing these precious predators unharmed and as quickly as possible. Thanks much.
South Twin Lake: South Twin Lake is accessible. Jeff Perin at The Flyfisher’s Place in Sisters reports on an angler having fair success with a quick sinking (Type V) line stripping beadhead leech patterns.
Suttle Lake: The ice is off, and there has been a boat on the lake on two different occasions, so early season fishing may be starting. This weekend will start off with windy conditions, and boating on Suttle will likely not be fun on Saturday.
Crescent Lake: Crescent lake is accessible, but very low showing at 26 % full as of April 8. Hope to have some reports from the water soon from an expert angling buddy. The lake is accessible from the boat ramp at the resort, for a $10 fee paid to the resort.
Bend Area Ponds, Shevlin Pond: ODFW is scheduled to stock Shevlin again next week. Great opportunities to bring the younger anglers out.
EASTERN/SOUTHEASTERN OREGON WATERS
Chickahominy Reservoir: Fish are in the reservoir. Last year water levels were low, and water remains low this year. That being said, fly anglers were catching fish last fall on streamers and bugger patterns, and reports are that fish are present in the reservoir.
Ana Reservoir: There are reports of good fishing on Ana Reservoir. The reservoir was just stocked this past week.
Owyhee River: River levels are on the rise earlier than planned! That will affect fishing for the next few days, and coupled with the early weekend cold front, Oregon anglers will not likely want to make the trip for any weekend outings.
NORTHEAST OREGON WATERS
Wallowa River: The Wallowa is running high and no reports of steelhead at this time, although fish are in river and moving.
Remember that trout fishing on the Wallowa is now open year-round, so trout opportunities exists.
Grande Ronde River: Water levels have been rising day by day. I recommend checking in with The Joseph Fly Shoppe at (541) 432-4343 around midday before setting off for the Grande Ronde. Note that the shop is now closed for the season.
Imnaha River: No on the ground reports this week. ODFW reports that steelhead are moving through the system, but their own creel surveys show that catches are variable.
SW Oregon Fishing Report – Contributor Jeff Rome reports: Steelhead still being caught despite low and clear Rogue
Rogue river conditions are back to fall time flows in the upper 1200’s (cfs) at Grants Pass. Local guides along with avid steelhead fishermen are catching a mixed bag of adults, ½ pounders and down runners…. all except me😏
As mentioned in my first couple reports, I’m going to try and expand the SW Oregon edition to include a marine forecast and some great fishing hot spots in NorCal. I’m happy to welcome new contacts Andy Martin – Brookings Fishing Charters and NorCal contact Mario Gomez – Ironhead Guide Service Tight lines! Romer 🎣
Mid-Rogue Fishing Report
Applegate, Illinois and Chetco – Steelhead fishing is closed
Most all neighboring streams are closed for steelhead, but the Rogue will remain open all year and retention of wild steelhead closes April 30th.
The mid Rogue flow at Grants Pass is at 1200 cfs, 4 NTU and 55 degrees (as of 3pm 4/8). Another nice weather weekend and will again provide opportunity to steelhead anglers.
Grants Pass guide Troy Whitaker of Troy’s Guide Service (541-761-0015) reported there’s still a good number of fish in the area. His suggested places to fish are anywhere between Gold Hill all the way down to Graves Creek.
Troy and his wife took to a day on the ocean doing some bottom fishing out of Brookings-Harbor Wednesday (4/7) in which he happily reported they caught limits of Ling Cod and black rock fish😁
Local Grants Pass guide Riley Wallace of Wallace Guide Service 541-761-2386. Riley has been fishing most days around Grants Pass between Chinook Park and Griffen Park following a pod of fish. “It’s been tough for many, but I’ve been blessed” he said regarding the winter steelhead season this year.
Josh from Rogue Fly Shop in Grants Pass 541-476-0552 reports, steelhead fishing is still hit and miss, but there are decent quality and numbers of fish in the Grants Pass area. The “holy water” (which is the short section between the Dam and the hatchery) has been productive this week with a good March Brown and Olive hatch.
The warm Spring weather will bring out hatches of March Browns. Caddis pupa, March brown nymphs and emerging patterns should entice some fish.
Andy Martin- Brookings Fishing Charters 541-813-1082 reports:
Bottom Fishing-Andy reports bottom fishing for Ling cod and rock fish has still been great when one can get out on the ocean. “The better the ocean conditions, the better the catches”. Limits of ling cod and various rock fish are to be had! Most of the lingcod are being caught in shallow water, from 30 to 60 feet.
Bottom fishing is open to all depths through May 31. The daily bag limit for marine fish is 6 fish, which includes a one fish sub-bag limit for China, copper, and quillback rockfish. Anglers can still harvest 2 lingcod per day. Anglers must release all cabezon through June.
Surf Perch – for those who want some other great fun to catch dinner fare, surf perch fishing is great now! Andy said that areas along Harris Beach, Lone Ranch and the boarder visitor center beach areas are all great access to fish.
Halibut– all depth halibut season opens May 1st.
Salmon– Season opener is yet to be determined and will probably be around mid-May.
Lower Rogue- Despite low water conditions, boat and bank anglers have been regularly picking up spring Chinook. Fishing pressure has been light however so obviously it’s not great yet😉
Winter steelhead are still moving into the lower river, most if not all anglers are targeting spring Chinook.
Middle Rogue- Fish are scattered throughout with a mixed bag of adult, “1/2 pounders” and down-runner steelhead. Some guides have reported “rolling salmon” but have yet to see the 1st Springer caught yet here. Persistency will lead to success!
Upper Rogue- As of March 31, 149 new winter steelhead entered the ladder at Cole Rivers Hatchery, bringing this year’s total to 351 fish. ODFW estimates around 1,100 winter steelhead are destined for the hatchery, so the upper river will be the place to fish in the coming weeks as this year’s run has been later than average.
UMPQUA RIVER System- Remember that the mainstem is temporarily closed to the harvest of all wild Chinook (including jack Chinook) through June. There’s not much to report except from the ODFW report that said that river conditions are and catching steelhead is slow throughout the Umpqua system. Spring Chinook anglers have started fishing in the lower rivers and still no reports of fish caught as of yet. Most anglers plunk from a boat or the bank using either a spinner or other lures. Consider using gear that will be less harmful to fish that need to be released. Tactics such as using single point hooks and artificial lures may ensure a higher survival of wild fish after release.
NorCal Guides Forecast
Mario Gomez- Ironhead Guide Service -530-598-0530
Mario Gomez has a guiding fleet servicing the Klamath, Smith, Chetco, Rogue and Umpqua rivers. I spoke with him last night to get some “low down” of fishing prospects for the next few days.
The Klamath river near Happy Camp has been producing some consistent steelhead fishing the past month. Last weekend produced 4-5 fish daily and even a 7+ fish day! 😊 It will be good through May usually he said.
Mario an avid fly fisherman uses nymphs, stone fly, copper June bugs, and caddis pupa in his arsenal for success. When fishing “conventionally”, he side drifts yarn balls, roe and soft beads.
There are lots of places to access the Klamath- Hwy 96 which goes along the river is primarily public land and anywhere that looks good to the fisherman’s eye is good to fish. Now is the time to be there!
SW Washington by Terry Otto
Columbia springers closed, not likely to reopen anytime soon. A few spring chinook showing up in tributaries along with the last of the winter steelhead.
Vancouver Metro Area
Fishing in the lower Columbia river was beginning to get good before it was shut down. Don’t expect it to reopen anytime soon, though. You will find the bad news in the April 6 spring fishery update HERE.
The states estimate that 2,900 spring Chinook adults were kept from an estimated 42,730 angler trips through April 4. Catches were best below the I-5 Bridge and with bank anglers below Bonneville Dam.
In the Columbia River Gorge section this week, guide Shane Magnuson of Upper Columbia Guide Service breaks down the Drano Lake springer fishery. You’ll find the full version in the paid version of The Guide’s Forecast.
Lewis and Washougal Rivers Fishing Report—There are a few anglers on the North Fork Lewis still chasing wild steelhead, but pressure is reportedly low. In the latest WDFW creel survey Three bank anglers had no catch. Most anglers are waiting for the first springer of the year to be caught in the Lewis. However, no reports of such catches as of yet. There should be a few being hooked by trollers at the mouth, but if that has happened folks are keeping it quiet. Most anglers at the mouth will be trolling within the channel from the railroad bridge down to the Lewis River fishing deadline.
The Washougal is on the drop and while a last stray winter steelhead or two might show, the river should be done for a while. The little stream gets no real spring chinook run, and the first summer steelhead have yet to show up.
Merwin and Yale Lakes Fishing Report—WDFW sources report that kokanee fishing in both lakes picked up this week, probably a result of warming weather. The fish are still holding fairly high in the water column, but anglers are having to work to find that magic depth. Most of the time the schools are still in the upper 20 feet of the water column, so most anglers are still flat-line trolling for their fish.
Cowlitz and Kalama river Fishing Report—Fishing was fairly decent over the last week, until they bumped the river up on Tuesday, and then dropped it back on Wednesday. Dave Mallahan of Dave’s Guide Service (360-201-9313), reports that before that happened, he had a number of days with boat limits. The fish did not like the river lifting, and he found fishing to be tough on Tuesday. He said the river is fishing about as good as its going to get, and he hopes the bump in flows may have brought in some fresh steelhead. He took his fish by bobber-dogging in the first few miles below Blue Creek.
Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 337 winter-run steelhead adults and one spring Chinook adult during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator. Creel surveys above the I-5 Bridge found that 31 bank rods kept seven steelhead. 22 boats/82 rods kept 40 steelhead and released one Chinook.
A few spring Chinook have already been caught in the Kalama River, according to john Thompson of Sportsman’s Warehouse in Vancouver, (360) 604-8000). He reported the catches were made in the middle sections of the river. About 1,000 spring Chinook are expected to return here this year, and the fish like to bite in the Kalama. Anglers are also still taking some winter steelhead, too, with the best catches for those being up in the canyon. Bobber and bait, or bait fished with divers are the perennially favorite methods for springers. Just about any steelhead method will work for the winter fish.
Local Lakes Fishing Report—Brown trout in Kress Lake are very active, and rainbows are biting well in Swofford Pond, Sacajawea Lake, and Horseshoe Lake was scheduled to be stocked this week. Steelehad planted in the Fort Borst Park Pond are biting well.
Columbia River Gorge
Angling is open on Drano Lake for spring Chinook, but there is no report on angler success. However, fishing rarely picks up until mid-April in these fisheries. According to the Fish Passage center, 247 adult Chinook have passed over Bonneville Dam as of Wednesday.
Shane Magnuson on Drano Lake Springers
The fishing in Drano should begin to get good about April 20, according to long-time guide Shane Magnuson of Upper Columbia Guide Service, (509) 630-5433. Even so, he said he will probably not fish it himself until the 25th. “That is, unless there is a fish swimming around there now,” he said.
It will be a short window of opportunity, according to Magnuson. The fishing ends on May 5, which is a Wednesday, and Drano is closed to angling on Wed.