Portland/Metro Fishing Report – The fall Chinook fishery continues, with managers once again opening up opportunity for anglers to pursue a robust return of fall Chinook to the Columbia River. Catch rates continue to impress, with a few more weeks of golden opportunity.
Although the Bonneville reach remains a good option for lower river anglers, those that know the upper reserviors for Chinook, using both trolling and hovering tactics, will continue to find success in the coming weeks.
The Willamette is also plugged with coho and although they are nortoriously challenging to get to bite, their sheer numbers should provide good opportunities for anglers up and downstream of Willamette Falls. Falls passage is already impressive and we’re still weeks away from the peak.
Clackamas River Fishing Report – Like Willamette River coho, returning numbers are big, but most are reluctant biters. That has changed in recent days however as more seem receptive to angler’s offerings. The Clackamas is loaded with coho, getting them to bite is another story.
Rain is in the distant forecast, a rare occurence for this time of year. If the system comes to fruition, metro anglers may witness opportunity like they haven’t seen in a long, long time.
Anglers are taking coho daily near the mouth of the Clackamas. Daybreak to 9:00 a.m. seems to be the magical time.
Sandy River Fishing Report – Jeff Stoeger reports – Hello all. This week we saw fish scattered throughout the river system, from Cedar Creek to the mouth of the river. The most productive section has been from Oxbow to the hatchery with shoulder-to-shoulder anglers at the hatchery at times. Oxbow is holding some nice fish, as well as the Dodge Park area.
The weather forecast is looking brighter as we have a rain event coming up this week and the river could come up, over eight feet and possibly eight and a half feet. With the ran, expect the fish to fly up river and hit the hatchery.
North Coast Fishing Report – It’s the month we’ve all been waiting for, September is here and we are well into the fall Chinook season. The depressing part of that is the reality that we have a fraction of the fall Chinook that we once had.
Despite that fact, there are still catchable numbers of fall Chinook returning to nearly every estuary, but of course some are going to be more productive than others.
Given pre-season expectations for these coastal estuaries, nobody is going into it with high expectations. Those low expectations are being met.
Tillamook Bay, once the crown jewel of the north coast, is again crippled with compromised returns of adult Chinook. There are some stories of promise, but in recent years, the Tillamook and Trask River runs have been the better part of the Tillamook Bay component.
As you have heard us say more than once before, the bigger tide exchanges produce better results for upper bay trollers, while the smaller hold-over tides are best at the jaws.
The other north coast favorite, the Nehalem system, isn’t impressing anyone. Pro guide Chris Vertopoulos, (503-349-1377), fished there the last two days with mixed results. On the any coho option yesterday, (Wednesday) Chris landed just a single coho, their only bite of the day. He said based on all day observations, he felt pretty lucky. Today, Thursday, he had just a single plus his rod fishing, he landed 5 wild coho, including a double, for an all day effort. That is the nature of many fall coastal fisheries, good one day, challenging the next.
The Nestucca and Salmon River systems are entering their prime right now. Effort is increasing, but most anglers remain mum on success. No doubt, fish are being caught in both estuaries.
The Nestucca is producing catches throughout the tidewater reaches as a strong incoming tide is seeding the extensive tidewater reach with fresh Chinook. Results vary by reach, with some fish coming from trollers near the mouth, bobber fishers and spinner casters at the Boat Ramp Hole, trollers and bobber casters upstream of Woods Bridge.
The Salmon River is a flash-pan fishery, in the sense that this homogenized return of Chinook come back in a very short window of time. That time is now however, the Salmon River will produce its best catches in the next 10 days.
Further south, the Alsea is starting to get good. Tides are right for an influx of fresh fish for trollers working the extensive tidewater reach.
The Siletz River is coming into its own as it has been in recent years. This will again likely be the north coast bright spot and the effort will reflect that in the coming weeks.
Many anglers will be watching the ocean forecast, as a break in the swell and wind should offer up some good opportunities for coho, largely wild, when the ocean weather cooperates.
Tuna, far offshore right now, are a bit out of reach for most sport boats. Halibut, bottomfish and crab remain a nearshore option, but weekend weather will be hit or miss so be prepared to make a break back to land when the signs point to “It’s time to go.”
Bay crabbing is improving, with more quality keepers here than in the ocean.
Upper Willamette River System Report – Contributor Glenn Zinkus reports
Trout In The Lower McKenzie – Fishing Well. Detroit Reservoir Kokes And Trout Still Providing Action.
Alton Baker Canal: Alton Baker was stocked with 900 legal size rainbows this week. Will be stocked with the same next week.
Detroit Reservoir: Good fishing report on the inlet into Detroit near Hoover Campground with angling from the bank opportunities. Other reports are of good kokanee away from the dam.
Green Peter Reservoir: Fishing kayaks and canoes have access. Whitcombe is closed. Thistle Creek boat ramp has been closed. Water level is at 907 feet. Dropping with some pulsed flows. Level can be found here: https://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?site_no=14186100
Quartzville Creek: Quartzville Creek is open all year, and just stocked two weeks ago with 2200 legal size trout. Stocking is complete for the season.
South Santiam Steelhead/Salmon: Small numbers of steelhead are present in the South Santiam, with 350 at the dam on August 29th. Running at less than last year – at about 1/3rd of last year’s numbers.
South Santiam Trout: No New Updates.
Foster Reservoir: Foster will be stocked again next week with 3000 legal size trout.
There are reports of some good crappie fishing on the east side.
Willamette River – Middle Fork:
The Middle Fork flow is currently 1,860 CFS – at a good fishing level and steady since last week. Upper portions of the Middle Fork, including parts of the North Fork of the Middle Fork are affected by the Bedrock Fire, although the fire is coming under control. Look carefully at conditions, expect smoke in the area, and heed fire closure signs and stay away from these areas. Fire closure information in the Willamette National Forest can be found here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/willamette/fire/?cid=fseprd552029
Willamette River – From Harrisburg, to Corvallis, to Albany:
The Willamette River is at 3,790 CFS at Harrisburg – about the same as last week.
Anglers have been catching a few steelhead here and there, as some incidental catches.
Steelhead numbers are down from last year. Temperatures at Harrisburg range from 60 to 64 – trending downward and into a good trout range.
Dexter Reservoir: Will be stocked again in October.
Gold Lake: Reports of good fishing with leech patterns.
McKenzie River: At this point, upper river has not been accessible.
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
Metolius River Continues To Bask In September Hatches. Crane Prairie Reservoir Big Cranebows. Deschutes River Steelhead Are Biting.
Weather Outlook Across Central and Eastern Oregon:
It will warm up from the current cool temperatures and occasional light showers. Friday will get into the higher 60s and 70s through the high desert, Sunday will remain dry and in the 60s. Some wet weather returns on Monday with highs in the 60s.
The Deschutes River canyon will see 70s from Saturday through Sunday, cooling into the 60s next week.
ODFW News – Angling Restrictions
Lower Deschutes River: The Lower Deschutes continues with good fishing levels – at typical summertime levels. Flows bumped up and are currently at 3890 CFS at Madras. Flow is currently at 4,470 at Moody.
Water temperatures near Madras remain in the range from 54.5 to 56.5 F and Moody is drifting down to a 57 to 60 F range.
Still some good hatches happening. Steelhead have spread through the lower river and up through the Maupin area- lots of takes being reported.
Middle Deschutes River: Water levels should be okay until October. Jeff Perin likes the purple haze and x-caddis for dries on top.
Upper Deschutes River: Access is subject to change due to the Pete’s Lake fire. Two days ago, Elk Lake and the Lava Lakes went under a Level II alert. The upper Deschutes closes Sept 30th.
Haystack Reservoir: At 87 % right now, bit down from last week. ODFW started stocking fish, including some rainbow broodstock to begin rebuilding after the drawdown last year.
Lake Billy Chinook: Bull trout in the Metolius Arm is improving. Gear guys are catching big fish. Bulls of more than 30 inches. Fish are getting more active and fly anglers are getting in on the action.
Crooked River: Crooked River flow are at 227 CFS currently.
Jeff Perin reported better fishing conditions over the past week. Getting good drifts and lots of willing fish.
Fall River: Fall River was stocked with 1000 trophy trout two weeks ago. Fall River will be stocked again during the week of October 2nd. Still a popular place.
Metolius River: As usual – September on the Met is the best.
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. Jeff Perin says the lake run bulls are starting to come up the Metolius now……my favorite.
Wickiup Reservoir: Fill level is at 15% full – watch those boat ramps.
Wickiup still has rainbows and browns, and is very accessible. Reports of good kokanee fishing continue – good option for kokes. Otherwise, reports are that fishing is slow.
Hosmer: Access is subject to change due to the Pete’s Lake fire. Two days ago, Hosmer, Elk Lake and the Lava Lakes went under a Level II alert. The upper lake is fishing well.
Crane Prairie Reservoir: Lots of reports of good fishing, and bigger and bigger fish are being caught.
I reported last week that the fishing reports are only getting better, with some cranebows in excess of 20 inches being caught and this continues to hold true.
Jeff Perin’s report of hot flies includes a Holo Jig, leeches (orange heads are particularly good), chironomids, black zebra midges, tan zebra midges, red blood worms, small water boatman, and red two-bit hookers.
That said, bass fishing has been quite good.
East Lake: It’s getting later in the season, and we have some cool weather that will start to slow down the callibaetis.
Odell Lake: Kokes, from recent reports, are an early morning deal. Once the sun hits the water, it’s over.
Latest is that the kokes are on the small side. Mackinaw fishing has been good.
North Central Oregon/Mid-Columbia Waters: Mouth of the Deschutes is producing.
Members can always see so much more in the complete report as well as the forecast for central Oregon by starting right here.
SW Oregon Fishing Report – Contributor Jeff Rome reports:
Rain on the way… Angler’s anxious for outcome
The Anvil wildfire has plagued the Rogue Bay lately due to smoke and accessibility from hwy 199, but is still producing nice quality Chinook and fair numbers of coho. The middle and upper Rogue summer steelhead catches have picked up even though the river is quite low. Anglers are catching some Chinook from Grants Pass to Hog Creek. The ocean is providing good catches of bottom/ rock fish and there’s still halibut quota to be taken. Rain is expected starting Sunday, so Friday and Saturday looks to be a great ocean opportunity.
The Rogue bay fishery has been “downgraded” due to smoke and wind this week. Hwy 199 from Grants Pass has restrictions limiting traffic over to the coast. The Chinook bite has been fair with many good quality fish into the 30 pound range were caught. Half pounders are starting to come in and summer steelhead catches have increased in the mid and upper Rogue since river floater traffic has decreased. Anglers targeting Chinook in the middle section are getting fish as well.
The Chetco estuary is seeing increased attention and Chinook catches. Forecasted rain should help.
The ocean should be good for the weekend to try for some remaining halibut quota, coho, ling cod and rock fish. Surf perch are still biting well. Crabbing has picked up towards Charleston and Winchester bays.
The Coquille and Coos river systems are seeing Fall Chinook action.
There’s still some lakes with good trout fishing despite being at Summer low levels.
Lake Selmac coughed up a 6+ pound bass recently!!!
The main Umpqua in the lower is seeing increased Chinook catches
Be safe, be nice and enjoy!
Tight Lines 🎣 – Romer
Jeff’s expanded reports, multiple lake updates, and forecasts including his past reports can be found here for Members! There is SO much more.
Read this week’s SW Washington fishing report.