Our weekly Oregon Fishing Report Summary for August 6, 2021
Portland/Metro Fishing Report – It’s still early for mainstem Columbia fall Chinook to show and with the spring Chinook fishery complete on the lower Willamette, most metro anglers are headed west for ocean and lower Columbia River fall Chinook. Until then, anglers still have a small chance for summer steelhead on the below mentioned metro river systems.
Clackamas River Fishing Report – Summer steelhead remain the target for what few motivated anglers remain on the Clackamas River. As ODF&W personnel reported last week, the summer steelhead are running large this year. I assume these are 3-salt fish, but I don’t know if summer steelhead life histories portray the same characteristics that winter steelhead do. This just in from PGE fish biologist Garth Wyatt:
“The spring Chinook return is 66.2% complete (2013-2020) resulting in a median forecast return of 2,739 (min-2,448, max- 3,358) or 109% of the 10-year average (n =2,505; 2011-2020). We observed the largest number of lamprey at the adult sorting facility (1958-present) and our second sockeye of the year. Generally speaking ~50% of the Chinook are displaying symptoms consistent with columnaris but there are fresh/clean fish coming through the facility daily.”
Sandy River Fishing Report – Avid angler Jeff Stoeger reports, “Hello All. This week’s report has little more fish being caught with beads in size 10 and 12 mm in orange and cherry in color. Spinners and jigs tipped with shrimp are also taking an occasional fish. The river is holding around the 8ft mark and will stay that way until it rains. There were lots of people that were swimming over the weekend with warmer temps. The river has good water clarity and didn’t color up with the upper 90-degree temps as I was expecting. There were tons of tubers and rafters on the river at all the local bank access and state parks. Oxbow Park had lots of people and a few anglers trying their luck.
North Coast Fishing Report – Salmon, coho in particular remain the primary target for coastal anglers. Deciphering the ODFW creel counts, it appears as if coho are finally starting to migrate north.
Catches out of Winchester Bay and Florence finally tapered significantly, while Pacific City catches improved and Newport remained strong. You can find all the catch statistics by port here.
Garibaldi action remained fair at best, only tallying about a 1/2 fish per rod.
Strong winds, for significant parts of the day, kept most of the sensible fleet at bay. With primary targets such as halibut, albacore and bottom fish, mostly all located far from port, not many anglers were willing to beat themselves silly to go and seek those species offshore under these weather conditions. Fortunately, we have a brief weather break as we will outline in the forecast section of this newsletter.
Even with good action in the south of Cape Falcon Fishery, there still remains over 65% of the quota. The season goes through August 28 and anglers surely won’t harvest to their fullest potential. That will leave plenty of fish left over for the non-select salmon fishery we’ve enjoyed the last several Septembers. It’s likely there will be some quota transfer for this awesome fishery to extend opportunity for those able to take part in it.
Halibut effort and catch has been stagnant recently. There should be some quality fish moving into the nearshore however, taking advantage of the Dungeness crab molt currently underway.
Bottomfishing has been challenging with all the wind; reefs closest to North Coast Ports have been hit hard recently. With competition high, success rates have suffered.
Most crab in the ocean close to coastal ports are in a soft-shell state. Your success rate does increase the longer you soak your pots however. Bay crabbing, particularly in Garibaldi, has been better.
Coastal rivers, with all the warm and dry weather, have suffered for salmon and steelhead angling. Hoot owl regulations remain in effect.
Spring Chinook are on the decline in the Trask, Nestucca and Three Rivers. Summer steelhead are still available in the Wilson, Three Rivers and Siletz systems but given the current water conditions, are challenging to find.
The Nehalem should be hitting its stride this time of year, but anglers remain underwhelmed. Trollers had ideal tides for fishing at the jaws this week and fish were certainly caught, just not with the level of success we’re used to seeing this time of year. Wheeler has produced poorly in recent days.
Trolling for sea-run cutthroat trout remains an underutilized fishery on the north coast and action should be improving in the coming weeks.
The Buoy 10 and Ocean fishing report is a video post this week, click on the image below to access it.
We’ve had many folks ask about “the toothpick method” video and how to find it. It is posted on our website in our small video section. The first video up, How to Effectively Rig Whole Baits to Troll for Salmon, is what you are looking for. It’s right here.
Central Oregon Fishing Reports – Contributor Glenn Zinkus reports
Lower Deschutes Below Warm Springs
Odell Still Stands Out – Produces Macks and Kokes. Lower Deschutes Trout From Warm Springs to Trout Creek
Weather Outlook Across Central and Eastern Oregon:
Moderating temperatures starting today and going through the weekend. Warmup mid-next week. Temperatures through Central Oregon in the 70s and 80s depending upon the local.
There is currently some smoke haze through much of Central Oregon.
The Cascade Lakes Highway area will have temperatures in the 70s and 80s with light winds on the weekend, and picking up next week.
The Lower Deschutes canyon will see highs around 90 on Saturday, sharply cooling into the 70s for Sunday. Calm winds on the weekend and into next week are expected.
The central Oregon Columbia Gorge will be cloudy and in the 80s going into the weekend. West winds of 11 mph expected on Friday, west winds 15-20 mph on the weekend.
Effective July 1 through September 30, all angling for salmon, steelhead, sturgeon, and trout is closed from 2:00 p.m. to one hour before sunrise in the lower Deschutes River from the mouth at the Interstate 84 Bridge upstream to Sherars Falls.
Effective July 1 through September 30, all angling for salmon, steelhead, sturgeon, and trout is closed from 2:00 p.m. to one hour before sunrise in the entire John Day River and all tributaries, for the Umatilla River and all tributaries (but not the river within the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation lands)
Lower Deschutes River:
River temperatures and the mix of water from Pelton dam remained steady through the week.
Temperatures near the mouth are in the low 70s during the afternoons and evenings, much too warm for fishing for salmonids. Low water temperatures near the mouth are lowest in the early morning in the mid 60s – almost always lowering to 66 degrees. Nearer to the dam the temperatures are 56 to 58 degrees.
The Lower Deschutes from the mouth to Sherars Falls remain under “Hoot Owl” regulated hours. Anglers should voluntarily abide by these regulations upstream of Sherars Falls to protect these wild fish.
Middle Deschutes River: Jeff Perin at The Flyfisher’s Place in Sisters reports on early morning action on the Middle Deschutes, with hatches including PMD, PED, Caddis, and Yellow Sallies.
This is a great place for Euronymphing with Frenchies and Perdigons right now.
Upper Deschutes River: The upper Deschutes has been fishing well, with nymphing being the primary method now. Brook trout are being caught on Perdigons, Frenchies, Jig Style PTs.
Josh Pardee at Tim’s Fishin Tackle Shop reports hot fishing for brown trout, with #9,#11 and #13 silver Rapalas being the hot lures.
Mosquitoes are subsiding, at least during the daytime.
Haystack Reservoir: Bass fishing is excellent and with these temperatures, is the best species to target. Haystack remains good for bass in August.
Crooked River: Crooked River is best fished now in the mornings only, if you must fish it. Fishing up near the dams is best.
Ochoco Reservoir: Good fishing for bass and crappie. Water levels, however, are getting very low at 12% full.
Paulina Lake: Paulina remains one of the Central Oregon hotspots – although the water is cool and deep which is why Paulina is good.
SW Oregon Fishing Report – Contributor Jeff Rome reports
Finally the ocean winds out of Brookings has calmed down enough to get to the halibut holes and spurred on a decent Chinook and coho bite this week. Upcoming marine forecast looks promising out of Bookings-Harbor and the Rogue Bay (that’s been decent). Salmon up towards Coos Bay up through Winchester Bay is still excellent.
If you want to target halibut, then now is the time since there’s quite a bit of quota left.
Summer steelhead on the middle to upper Rogue are scattered but can be had with spinners and worms. The Rogue River River Hatchery Hole located just downstream of the Cole Rivers Hatchery Dam is now open for angling. Rogue River above the dam towards Foster Creek is a good bet to get out of the heat but might be smoky. Valley smoke this week has been bad so check conditions over at the lakes and upper Rogue system first. Best bet to beat the heat and smoke is head to the coast!
Grants Pass Pro-guide Troy Whitaker of Troy’s Guide Service (541-761-0015) reports the salmon angling on the Rogue Bay has seen a nice bite mid week with a mix of mostly Chinook and some jacks and Summer Steelhead mixed in. Here’s a nice one caught on Wednesday.
Troy said that the anchovy baits are a bit “fat” so they’re prone to blowing out the belly section so he’s been curing them in Pautzke fire brine in blue and green to toughen them up and will last longer while providing some scent.
Andy Martin- Brookings Fishing Charters 541-813-1082 reports that wind issues improved the last couple of days and the ocean should be nice through this weekend…..”finally”. Salmon (both coho and especially Chinook) catches have picked up with “quick limits” of Kings up to 30 lbs were seen Tuesday this week. He’s fishing 4 miles out in around 220 feet of water trolling anchovy around 20′-60′ down. An expected calm ocean is also lending his fishing fleet to target halibut out in 200 feet where the bite has also been good along with Petrole Sole.
Andy also said that the Rogue Bay had been good through last weekend but the last couple of days but has slowed down so far.
Tony from Tony’s Crab Shack in Bandon- 541-347-2875 said that coho fishing out of Winchester Bay is still doing well when ocean conditions provide. The valley heat this week has made for morning fog and temps into the mid 50’s and a flatter ocean. It’s expected to be similar into Sunday. Striper fishing on the Coquille is still fair above Rocky Point but is winding down.
Smallmouth bass anglers are catching good numbers of bass in the South Fork Coquille below the mouth of the Middle Fork and in the mainstem Coquille River. There is no size limit or daily bag limit on smallmouth bass in the Coquille River. It’s recommended to catch and keep as many as one can to help keep the population at bay since these fish are not salmon, trout, and steelhead friendly.
COOS RIVER BASIN: Boat and bank anglers (on the jetty) are still catching rockfish and an occasional ling cod inside lower Coos Bay. Smaller jigs with a twister tail or 1-ounce jigging spoons have been working to catch rockfish. Trout fishing in streams and rivers remains open through Oct. 31. Anglers fishing above the head of tide are restricted to using artificial lures and flies. Water temperatures are already in the mid-70s in the upper tidewater.
Stream flows are dropping and temperatures rising in the smaller streams, so anglers should take care in handling trout to be released. Trout anglers are reporting decent catches of cutthroat trout, especially in river sections that are little harder to get to.
COQUILLE RIVER BASIN- Striper fishing has improved in the upper end of tidewater all the way downstream to Riverton and are caught in low light conditions or in the dark. There is no size limit or daily bag limit on striped bass. Smallmouth bass anglers are catching good numbers of bass in the South Fork Coquille below the mouth of the Middle Fork and in the main stem Coquille River.
Umpqua River System- There are bass in most stretches of the river system- small mouth angling is fantastic now and Stripper angling on the lower main Umpqua is about over. Some Chinook have been caught as more pressure in the lower river has increased.
SW Washington Fishing Update by Terry Otto
Buoy Ten off to a good start, ocean coho still good but the schools are out in deeper water. Tribs still slow, trout fair, panfish and bass excellent.
Vancouver Metro Area
Good tides produced a better than usual bite for the opening of Buoy 10, while ocean salmon has been plagued by warm waters near shore. The schools of bait fish have moved off the shore to find cooler water, and the salmon have followed.
The Columbia is fair for steelhead, although catches are still poor in the Vancouver area, and the mark rate has been disappointing. Most warm water fisheries are still kicking, except that the Camas Reef has been poor for walleye.
Lewis and Washougal Rivers Fishing Report—No changes here for either river. The Lewis continues to fish poor to fair for summer steelhead, with the latest creel surveys finding 10 bank rods with no catch, while three boats/ six rods kept one steelhead. Pressure is light to fair.
The fish are hard to pattern, because there are so few in the system, but bait and plugs have taken a few fish.
The Washougal is still too prohibitively low, clear, and warm for any kind of decent fishing, and there is still little to no fishing pressure.
Merwin and Yale Lakes Fishing Report—Both lakes are rated as fair to good by the WDFW and multiple sources. Anglers are finding the schools by fishing 20 to 60 feet deep with kokanee flashers and hoochies tipped with corn.
Cowlitz and Kalama Rivers Fishing Report—When the most recent work on the Barrier Dam outflow was completed, the river was raised to almost 8,000 CFS. That pulled a burst of summer steelhead into the upper river and made fishing very good for a few days, according to Dave Mallahan of Dave’s Guide Service (360-201-9313). He reportedly was doing very well until they dropped the water, and since then he has struggled to get one or two fish a day. Above the I-5 Bridge in the last creel survey 11 bank rods kept one steelhead. 24 boats/77 rods kept 33 steelhead and released one jack and one steelhead. These catch rates are lower than has been the case over the last month or so, and reflect the lower river flows that are happening right now.
Anglers are reminded that the USGS hydro for the Mayfield Dam has been rendered inaccurate due to the changes in flow caused by the work at the dam.
Mallahan got his fish by bobber-dogging in the first few miles below Blue Creek. Bobber-dogging has been the most consistent method for both summer and winter steelhead, and if you are not doing that, you are not likely to do as well as the anglers that are. Salmon eggs have been the favorite, but sand shrimp, coon tail shrimp, and beads can all be effective at times.
Reports for the Kalama River still show very few summer steelhead coming to hand. During the latest creel survey, 12 bank rods kept one steelhead and released one steelhead.
Columbia River Gorge
Drano Lake Fishing Report—Anglers are finding a few Chinook, and in the latest creel survey, four bank rods kept one Chinook. Eight boats/15 rods kept two Chinook and released one Chinook, one jack and 11 steelhead. Anglers are reminded that steelhead are off-limits. With fishing already fair, the lake may be looking at a good fall season. Numbers should climb over the next few weeks, and fishing should improve.
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