Portland/Metro Oregon Fishing Report – All the buzz is the Columbia River re-opener, set for tomorrow, May 19th from Tongue Point to Eastern Oregon. It’s on, but the jury is out as to how the fishery will perform based on the current high water we’re experiencing basin wide.
This week’s FORECAST for the Columbia River is packed with strategies and our best prediction on how to target these elusive spring Chinook. These are the best salmon that swim, be sure to check the Columbia River report and FORECAST especially, to up your odds at Columbia River CHROME!
The Willamette continues to perplex anglers. With high water on the Columbia still backing up the Willamette, trollers are still challenged on how best to get out the tens of thousands of fish that are still “allegedly” still coming. Statistically speaking, we’ve seen the best catch rates of the season, but there’s still plenty of biters to fall.
Oregon City has seen flashes of success, but the lower Multnomah Channel is most likely to produce the best catches in the coming weeks. The middle river from St. Johns Bridge to the RRX at Milwaukie is DOA.
Shad are in, with Oregon City anglers the most likely to score consistent catches. We’re still weeks away from peak fishing, but it’s a fantastic fishery to introduce young anglers to. Small spinners and spoons produce great results.
Sturgeon fishing in the Portland Harbor is fantastic too, it’s all catch and release.
Clackamas River Fishing Report – Effort on the Clackamas remains low but spring Chinook and a few summer steelhead are starting to show. There’s a few dark winter run steelhead as well, with the upper reaches around Dog Park producing the best catches. This is about when the Clackamas starts to kick off if the fish show in any measurable numbers, which most are not expecting.
Sandy River Fishing Report – Avid angler Jeff Stoeger shares, “This week we saw the river take a small bump due to the warm weather we have had. The river bump came up about a foot over the last couple of days. The river is forecasted to drop with cooler weather over the next few days with the possibilities of some showers Monday or Tuesday with the temp dropping into the 60’s. The river temp is running in the upper 40’s and will climb to the 50’s with more warm weather. I floated last Thursday and was lucky enough to catch one native buck on a green pirate Maglip in size 3.5 from Oxbow to Dabney. There were a few drift boats and a raft that floated that stretch and heard of one other fish hooked and lost. I have a few guys that fished Cedar Creek and Dodge Park areas and had some luck on springers with two of the fish caught on spinners with hoochies seemed to be their ticket for success.”
Several lakes in the district are slated for stocking. Go HERE to see if your favorite is on the list this week.
Find the full report and forecast for Members on the Sandy and the Clackamas from this page here.
North Coast Fishing Report – Spring Chinook are starting to fall with more consistency on Tillamook Bay. Stronger tides this weekend will put anglers in the upper bay, where spinners, herring or plugs are all options to find fish in the system. Mid-May is when more consistent catches come, but in recent years, it seems the run has arrived later. There’s been enough fish caught to make us think that we could see a fair return to this system this season.
The ocean remains off limits to Chinook, but halibut and bottomfishing is great. Large lings continue to fall out of most north and central ports, with fair halibut catches coming from Pacific City, Depoe Bay and especially Newport. With several days of a calm ocean, opportunities have been abundant.
Ocean crabbing is nothing to write home about, at least in the nearshore. Commercial crabbers are catching plenty of sport legals farther offshore, but few inside the commercial size limit.
Summer steelhead seem scarce so far on the Wilson, Siletz and Nestucca systems, but the end of May is typically when we see the first strong push of fish into these systems.
See the full North Coast Report and Forecast for Members right here.
Upper Willamette River System Report – Contributor Glenn Zinkus reports
Alton Baker Canal: Alton Baker was stocked with 1250 legal size rainbows this week, and stocked again next week with 1000 legal size trout.
Note that Alton Baker Canal was stocked earlier in January with 700 one pounders.
Detroit is currently at 1556 feet – down a couple of feet. Docks are starting to go in. Check the water levels here: https://waterdata.usgs.gov/or/nwis/uv?site_no=14180500
Fishing is picking up, with reports of kokanee and trout action. Kokes around 40 feet – red or pink seem to be the hot colors.
The Detroit Reservoir fishing derby is this weekend, starting tomorrow. Details available here: https://detroitoregon.us/austin-tx-live-music-crawl/
Green Peter Reservoir: The reservoir is fairly steady, and anglers/boaters are finding Green Peter accessible. Water level is at 1008 feet right now. Water level can be found here: https://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?site_no=14186100
Green Peter was stocked last week with 2,800 legal size trout and again next week with 2,800 legal size trout.
Anglers have been catching trout. Fishing near the mouth of Quartzville Creek was productive.
As a caution, there are some reports of thefts from boat ramps including catalytic converters.
Quartzville Creek: Quartzville Creek is open all year, and just stocked this week with 2,200 legal size trout, and will be stocked again next week with the same. Flows have been dropping this week, currently at 790 CFS – very nice fishing flows and water clarity on this slope looks great.
Temperatures are starting to slightly trend upward, from 44 to 48 degrees. With continued warm weather, I think this will become a prime little river to fish.
Junction City Pond: JC Pond was stocked this week with 900legal size rainbows, and will be stocked again with 1,000 legal size trout next week. Good local option for southern Willamette Valley anglers. Next week is the last week of stocking until the fall.
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
Weather Outlook Across Central and Eastern Oregon:
The high desert will have a warm start to the weekend. Widespread highs in the 80s through Saturday, and cooling to the low 70s for Sunday and into the first half of next week. Cooling into the 60s in higher elevations.
The Deschutes Canyon will be a bit warmer, with temperatures into the 90s into the weekend.
There will be thunderstorm possibilities going from today into the weekend.
ODFW News – Angling Restrictions
The entire ODFW Steelhead Management Framework presentation is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPjaWczzOD8
The same metrics as last year are being applied. However, ODFW does forecast a lower steelhead return, which unlike last year, could close down steelhead for later in the season. But, that is only a return forecast which are not always accurate. Steelhead fishing on the Deschutes will be open to start. We will watch the fish counts.
Beginning Jan. 1, Fall River below the Fall River Falls is closed from Oct. 1 to May 22.
Lower Deschutes River:
Flows have come down from previous weeks, but started ticking up ove the last day. Currently at 5530 CFS at Madras. High, but lower in comparison to recent high water.
The big bugs, particularly salmon flies, are thicker in the lower portions of the river. Reports from the Maupin area indicate there are plenty of salmon flies around that area. That will only get better with the warm week we’ve had and some warmer weather for the start of the weekend. The stretch from Warm Springs to Trout Creek still has few salmon flies, but the hatch is moving upriver now.
Crooked River: Crooked is still high at about 1300 CFS at the time of this writing. Still a week or two away from fishable levels.
ODFW announced “pulse flows” on the Crooked starting April 17. The message reads ““The USFWS and NOAA have decided to release some water from Bowman Dam next week as a smolt pulse to help steelhead smolts move downstream. We’re trying to let as many constituents know as possible to help minimize inconveniences. The pulse flow will start on April 17 where they will slowly increase the amount of water released throughout the day to ramp up at an appropriate rate. The full 250 cfs pulse will be released all day on the 18th and 19th, and then will slowly be ramped back down to base flow on the 20th. We are uncertain at the moment what base flow will look like at that time since OID has indicated they may start releasing irrigation water on the 17th. Irrigation flows usually average about 200 cfs so the total amount of water could be anywhere from 250 cfs to 450 cfs.”
Jeff Perin at The Fly Fisher’s Place in Sisters has a fun tip – try a Hippie Stomper and chug it; sometimes the trout will race to the top.
Go light on the tippet – at least 6X light if not a diameter smaller.
Euronymphing with a heavy red/black leech, with a zebra midge dropper accounted for some fish. Fishing with streamers and jig style streamers has been exceptional.
The next trout stocking in Fall River happens next week, the week of May 8th with 1,000 trophy size trout.
The Met flows are still higher than normal, but on a slight decrease. The Allingham gauge is running around 36 CFS right now, and I consider 200 CFS nearer to normal. The gauge on the Lower portion at Grandview has been dropping this week.
Last week the river was running high when I fished it, and I still caught a bull and a redside.
Nymphing provides the most consistent action.
Dry flies will become more consistent; we’ll see more caddis, PMDs and PEDs will that will enter the mix. The caddis will keep getting better.
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:
The ocean has been producing a bounty of ling cod, rock fish and halibut during calm seas. It should continue through Saturday until winds pick up Sunday. Crabbing re-opened and has been good. Rogue Springer action is still going, but had definitely dropped off from a couple of weeks ago peak. It’s still worth fishing since the river conditions are good. As for the middle…..nah, go work the upper past Dodge bridge up through Casey Park where the water is great and more fish are congregating. Springer action has also picked up a bit on the main and North Umpqua rivers. All the lakes and ponds are fishing great, and the weekend is looking to be excellent to get out!
The ocean through at least Friday looks excellent for anything on the bottom. Good catches of halibut out of Winchester Bay last weekend have anglers attention! Surf perch along the beaches and jettys are good also. Here’s a nice “butt” caught out of Bookings on Thursday.
The Rogue system is still producing Springers in fair to good numbers because the water flow is keeping the temperature in the “bite-able” low 50’s. The Lower and upper stretches are the best. Trout season will open on Monday the 22nd.
The main and North Umpqua are finally getting decent catches of Springers and shad have been reported down from Elkton.
My weekend best bet would be to take the family and enjoy one of many lakes to catch stocked and holdover trout. There’s many options and you don’t need a boat!
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 this week’s SW Washington fishing report.