Portland/Metro Oregon Fishing Report – It hasn’t been an easy week for spring Chinook anglers working the Willamette River. Despite good water conditions and improving run timing, the bite has been a bit off this week, which isn’t unusual for spring Chinook. Hopes and dreams are easily dashed in this fishery.
The lower Multnomah Channel was producing the best catch rates as of late and anglers should have through Saturday to continue to try for the region’s most prized game fish. Trolling herring is common and the Willamette was already starting to get a bit discolored, further compromising opportunity for trollers throughout.
Following the Willamette high water event that should crest early next week, Meldrum Bar plunkers should stand a chance at some April spring Chinook. More wild steelhead are starting to show in the Willamette system and even a few summer steelhead as well.
Sturgeon fishing may take a downturn as bellies get filled with ample amounts of smelt from the mainstem Columbia. The Portland Harbor should still “harbor” a few biters however.
Mainstem Columbia trollers are having a hard time catching spring Chinook. Like the downstream fishery, catch rates are trailing last year, by a lot. Run timing is improving however although peak passage at Bonneville is still at least 5 weeks away. Only 50 spring Chinook have ascended Bonneville Dam while last year at this same time, 10X that number was over. The water remains cold however, certainly a culprit for slow migration.
Clackamas River Fishing Report – Winter steelhead action has slowed in the lower river, but the upper Clackamas remains consistently good for wild fish, and a rare hatchery winter or summer steelhead. There have been spring Chinook caught in the Clackamas, but it’s way early for productive fishing.
Sandy River Fishing Report – Avid angler Jeff Stoeger reported, “Hello All. I hope that you had the chance to get out this week for there was fish to be had. I have a couple of buddies that have been fishing from Cedar Creek to Oxbow and have been doing well fishing beads and spinners. The fish have been a mix of down-river and fresh fish with a couple of springers in the mix. The lower river has been hit and miss for fish with numbers depending on the day and location.
The 1-day smelt dipping season was a grand success on the Sandy today (3/30). Dippers typically had no problem taking home their 10-pound limit.
District lakes and reservoirs will be amply stocked with rainbow trout over spring break. Check HERE to see if your favorite body of water is on the list.
Find the full report and forecast for Members on the Sandy and the Clackamas from this page here.
North Coast Fishing Report – Most steelheaders are folding it up but there are still some good opportunities for both catch and release and consumptive anglers as well. Another rain freshet is set to grace the coastal systems, enabling yet another chance at scoring last season steelhead.
The Wilson and Nestucca are prime targets but even the most skilled guides and anglers are working hard for 1 to 2 steelhead per day. Smaller systems such as the Kilchis and NF Nehalem as well as the Necanicum should fish well after the rain. The Necanicum closes on April 1st however, and so do some other systems so check regulations carefully before heading out.
Spring Chinook season opens on April 1st as well with Tillamook Bay being a prime target when fish show. That will be many more weeks however so don’t get your hopes up anytime soon. Offshore Chinook season is closed until further notice; California fish make up the bulk of the catch for the south of Falcon fishery this time of year.
Crabbing is fair in coastal bays and tides are conducive to good action this weekend. Ocean crabbing is better but conditions are unsafe for the foreseeable future.
Have you seen our FREE webinar on ocean and bar safety? Check it out HERE!
Don’t overlook winter opportunities on the coast, the north coast stocking schedule can be found HERE. And many lakes were stocked with ample numbers of trout in preparation for spring break.
See the full North Coast Report and Forecast for Members right here.
Upper Willamette River System Report – Contributor Glenn Zinkus reports
McKenzie River March Browns. South Willamette Valley Trout.
Alton Baker Canal: Alton Baker was stocked last week with 1,250 legal size rainbows, and scheduled again to receive the 1,000 legal size rainbows during the week of April 10th.
Note thatAlton Baker Canal was stocked earlier in January with 700 one pounders.
Levels have been increasing – currently at 1478 feet. Check the water levels here: https://waterdata.usgs.gov/or/nwis/uv?site_no=14180500
There is a weekend weather system coming in, so the open water will be kind of tough.
Detroit will be stocked beginning mid-May.
Green Peter Reservoir: The reservoir is now rising, and anglers/boaters are finding Green Peter accessible. Water level is at 961.6 feet right now. Water level can be found here: https://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?site_no=14186100
Junction City Pond: JC Pond was stocked last week with 1250 legal size rainbows, and will be stocked again with 1250 legal size trout next week.
Timber Linn Park Pond: Was stocked with 1700 legal size rainbows last week, and scheduled to be stocked again in two weeks with 1000 legal size rainbows.
EE Wilson Pond: Scheduled to be stocked with 1200 legal size rainbows last week, and scheduled to be stocked with 1200 legal size rainbows during the week of April 10th.
North Santiam Trout: The North Santiam received 2,200 legal size trout in August.
Foster Reservoir: Foster was stocked with 3,300 legal size trout. Foster will be stocked again next week with 2,000 legal size trout, and again with the same the week of April 10th. Foster Lake was lowered for the winter refilling.
Willamette River – Middle Fork:
The middle fork has been bouncing around. Flow is 3190 CFS.
March browns are happening – be there during the afternoons.
Willamette River – From Harrisburg, to Corvallis, to Albany:
The Willamette River has been rapidly dropping since spiking earlier this week, currently at 11,000 CFS at Harrisburg and remaining steady to slightly dropping. It’s been blown out, and still running a little too high for optimal fishing.
Clear Lake: Will become accessible in the spring.
McKenzie River: The mainstem McKenzie water levels has dropped from spikes earlier this week and is currently at a 3610 CFS flowrate at Vida. March Browns are happening.
Members – find the latest full report and forecast as well as past reports for Members on the Willamette Valley/Metro start on this page here.
Central Oregon Fishing Report – Contributor Glenn Zinkus reports
Cool Weather Hangs In – High Country Rivers Including The Metolius and Fall River Will See Snow Again
Weather Outlook Across Central and Eastern Oregon:
There is more snow heading to the east slopes of the Cascades and much of Central Oregon this weekend, starting late on Friday and could continue through Sunday. Weekend temperatures in higher country top out in the higher 30s on the weekend. Temperatures in the Deschutes Canyon top out in the 40s on the weekend.
There is a warming trend in a week. Anglers will notice this first in the lower elevations of the Deschutes Canyon mid-week and temps in high country warm to more normal temperatures in little more than a week.
ODFW News – Angling Restrictions
Beginning Jan. 1, Fall River below the Fall River Falls is closed from Oct. 1 to May 22.
Lower Deschutes River:
The Lower Deschutes have been steady up near Madras, with current flows of around 3750 CFS and at 4930 CFS and rising at Moody.
Trout fishing is now closed in the Warm Springs to Trout Creek area until April 22, but there is activity around Maupin. Winter caddis activity is picking up. When there is no BWO and winter caddis activity, euronymphing has been the constant for catching fish.
Be careful not to wade in visible spawning areas.
Middle Deschutes River: The Middle Deschutes is running high now for another couple of weeks. But the skwalas are going, and March Browns are an occasional hatch now but if the warming later next week actually happens, there will be more March Brown activity.
Upper Deschutes River: Closed as of Oct 1 for the season.
Haystack Reservoir: It’s filling up – at 74% right now. Always an early season favorite. I haven’t had any Haystack reports in yet.
Lake Billy Chinook: With warming temperatures, LBC will become better.
Crooked River: Crooked River reports show some improving fishing. Mainly nymphing right now.
Fall River: Blue Wing Olives (around size 18), some Little Black Stones (size 18), and Midges (20-24). There will be some March Browns and Grey caddis starting over the next couple of weeks that will continue into April.
Metolius River: I fished the Met earlier in the week. Hatches were not happening at my usual location, BUT I did find action no more than a mile away. Getting out and walking, and fishing spots as you go bring the fish. Eventhough it’s stayed below normal cool, the number of hatches is increasing. There continues to be the early afternoon BWO hatch. Jeff Perin also reports a few Cinygmula mayflies (yellow 14-16), and bigger October Caddis (8-10s). Also watch for some gray caddis and silver stripe sedges all on the upper river to about Gorge CG area – I saw some fluttering in the riffles.
Bull trout are present throughout the river, even all the way up in the deeper pools up to Allingham, and grabbing caught fish, flies, and some streamers.
Members can always see the latest complete report as well as the forecast for central Oregon by starting right here.
SW Oregon Fishing Report – Contributor Jeff Rome reports:
Another big storm is expected for the weekend and in addition many “steelhead” rivers will close for the season on Saturday.😕 The ocean also looks to be off until mid next week at least. Best bet for the weekend is the upper Rogue river where more winter fish have moved their way up and catches have increased. Lakes and ponds are being stocked and could be an option but weekend weather will most likely wanna have you inside straightening up your tackle box!
Ocean conditions were good a couple days this week to get anglers out for some good bottom fish and ling cod action. It’s not looking good for getting out until early to mid next week.
The Chetco, Elk, Sixes, Applegate and Illinois all close on Saturday April 1st so it may be worth while to hit it Friday while most will be in fishable shape. Catches have been fair and angler pressure low.
The mid to upper Rogue has seen some fresh winter steelhead catches before the last rain/ snow event that raised the mid river up towards 5000 cfs and a brown color. The best bet would be to fish the upper from Dodge park on up where water fluctuation will be minimal and 200 more winter steelhead where recently counted. The Applegate on the mid section will close Saturday and would be a good Friday option.
The Umpqua river systems were in and out of fishing conditions and angler pressure down despite the firs spring Chinook has been caught. Weekend outlook will vary depending which river and area you want to fish. Weather is supposed to be nasty again until mid week when hopefully new fish will be in.🤞
Be safe, be nice and enjoy!
Tight Lines 🎣 – Romer
Jeff’s expanded report, multiple lake updates, and forecast in this week’s version for Members!
Read our SW Washington fishing report.