Portland/Metro Oregon Fishing Report – The Willamette is clear and dropping and rest assured, the Sultan of Sellwood is out and after the season’s first spring Chinook. You’ll find him at Sellwood Bridge, in his eternal quest for January springers. His first attempt, the afternoon of January 26th, came up short. It’ll be hot dogs for dinner tonight!
Meldrum Bar plunkers stand a chance at Clackamas bound hatchery steelhead, it’s nearing peak season. Returns thus far are less than impressive however so it’ll remain a needle in a haystack opportunity.
Clackamas River Fishing Report – A fish here, a fish there, the Clackamas is mediocre at best. An incoming chill will also cool any semblance of a bite anglers had, it was challenging enough in ideal water (and air) conditions. It’ll be best to wait for warmer air temperatures, but river levels will remain good, although clear, well into next week.
Sandy River Fishing Report – Avid angler Jeff Stoeger reported, “Hello All. I hope that you had the opportunity to get out and fish this week. I was able to fish Tuesday and caught a nice 11lb hatchery hen.
The river is on the drop and was 9.1ft and the water temperature was 38.7 degrees and gin clear. As we floated the river, we found fresh steelhead laying in shallow areas with structure in direct sunlight where we found the water to be a degree or two warmer. We were 1 of 5 boats floating the lower river from Dabney to Lewis and Clark.
The forecast is for the river to stay about 9ft and taking a small bump later in the week with more rain forecasted over the weekend.
Find the full report and forecast for Members on the Sandy and the Clackamas from this page here.
North Coast Fishing Report – It hasn’t been a spectacular week on the north coast for winter steelhead. Most guys are reporting challenging results when water conditions are becoming low and clear for most steelheader’s taste.
Most recently, guides are reporting only one or two opportunities a day on some of the most popular rivers of the north coast.
Nestucca River guides are disappointed with their full day effort. Most are coming away with just one or two opportunities per day but guides are grateful for the grade of fish they are finding.
The Kilchis is low and clear now, few are fishing it, but some wild fish should be available throughout the lower reaches of this river.
NF Nehalem anglers found a few fish in the afternoon of January 25th off of the handicap ramp, but overall, it hasn’t been great as most of the early returning hatchery brats have spawned. There remains however, a broodstock program that should start paying dividends in the weeks ahead. Hopefully those are entering the system.
The other early season streams such as the Necancium, Klaskanine, Big and Gnat Creek are really in the same boat.
Further south, the Alsea continues to decline after the early season show, but broodstock fish remain available through mid-March.
The Siletz has recently reported fair to good catches of steelhead throughout the river system.
Seas have been treacherous for boaters, leaving the high seas to the commercial crab fleet. Seas are calming however, and die-hard bottomfishers will be on the hunt when they do.
Bay crabbing will continue to decline as the commercial crab season wears on. The lower Columbia will get carpet-bombed with crab gear starting the 29th. It’s EXCELLENT right now, but that will soon change.
Don’t overlook winter opportunities on the coast, the north coast stocking schedule can be found HERE.
See the full North Coast Report and Forecast for Members right here.
SW Oregon Fishing Report – Contributor Jeff Rome reports:
Last weekend unofficially started off the 2023 winter steelhead season with decent catches in just about all steelhead holding rivers! 👏😎🎣 The Chetco, Rogue, Smith, Elk, and Sixes produced as expected…… lots of anglers and fair catches. The bite has dropped like the river flows into late week and looks to be a bit more challenging for the weekend. No rain and very cold temperatures are forecasted into next week.
The Chetco River is dropping fast and will continue into the weekend making it tough for boaters. Bet bet here is for bank anglers to side drift and plunk from the local gravel bars. Bring a heater and gloves cause it’s gonna be a cold one!
The ocean was good enough to get out and go for some winter crabbing and ling cod/ bottom fish, but unfortunately it doesn’t look promising for this weekend. Cold winds are expected so maybe some bay crabbing might be possible.
The mid Rogue River is still in good fishing shape but is a cold 41 degrees. It’s gonna get even colder with possible snow on Sunday and temperatures into the teen’s next week. Winter steelhead are starting to show, and reports of fish being caught mostly by drift boaters from Gold Hill to Griffin Park pulling plugs and side drifting soft beads. Now that the river has stabilized, action on down to Hog creek should be good. Confirmed catches of winter steelhead (although wild) on the Applegate this week make it a definite option for low water tactics this weekend.
The upper Rogue has dropped back down and is fishable but clear and cold. Two winter steelhead have been counted which says they’re here. Best to try from Dodge Park on up through Shady cove and Casey Park.
The Elk and Sixes rivers are back down to questionable fishing shape after a nice weekend of giving up fair catches of winter steelhead. It’s gonna be awhile till more rain sparks flow up again.
The south Umpqua is seeing decent action of mostly wild fish. The flow has dropped but is still fishable for the weekend.
Be safe, be nice and enjoy!
Jeff’s expanded report, multiple lake updates, and forecast in this week’s version for Members!
Follow the link for the SW Washington fishing report this week.