Portland/Metro Fishing Report – The Willamette River lit up this week, with good spring Chinook catches from the Multnomah Channel to Oregon City, and everywhere in-between. We won’t see the true tally until early next week, but good action was seen by many anglers throughout the Willamette. The cool weather along with ideal water conditions deserves a lot of credit. Of course, it also helps that we’re in peak migration period for these Willamette River spring Chinook. If water levels continue to remain stable, we should be in for another few weeks of productive spring Chinook fishing.
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Meanwhile, Columbia River spring Chinook are on full display at the fish viewing window at Bonneville Dam. Passage is blossoming like the region’s dogwood trees. Counts are quite positive, but we’re a long ways away from dreaming of another sport opener, or are we?
Avid angler Jeff Stoeger summarizes the Sandy. Jeff reports, “Hello All. I hope that you have the chance to get out and fish this week. The river was ideal for most of the week except for the heavy rains and gusty winds off and on. The river is at ideal level and color, running at just over 10 ft and should stay that way until Saturday and into Sunday They are predicting the heavy rain to bring the river up over 11ft. With this forecast, the river could go off color and muddy up or if the freezing level stays low, the river can come up but stay steelhead green. Fishing has been fair to good depending on where you were fishing and what technique you’re using. I had a couple of buddies who caught both winters and springers in the lower river this past week.”
Wild steelhead continue to dominate the Clackamas River and the return seems pretty good this year. With the Willamette getting all the focus, few are targeting salmon or steelhead on the Clack and it’ll likely remain that way. Summer steelhead however should start nosing into the lower reaches with May being a much more productive month however.
Trout fishing remains a strong option as stocking programs continue with robust plants.
Check out the upcoming stocking schedule HERE.
Find the full report and forecast for Members on the Sandy and the Clackamas from this page here.
North Coast Fishing Report – For real this time, winter steelhead season is over. There are of course sparse returns of summer steelhead in some of these streams, the Wilson and Nestucca systems in particular. Pro guide Rob Gerlitz (503-812-4950) did continue to have some success for late returning winter steelhead this week.
There have been no confirmed reports of spring Chinook in the Tillamook basin but it’s really just a matter of time. Peak returns happen from mid-May through mid-June, early returning fish are caught every year, oftentimes in the Trask River itself. The Trask River is the only system that receives hatchery plants in the Tillamook basin anymore.
Although excited anglers are already pursuing Chinook, mostly around Memaloose Ramp, we will not see a bump in effort until mid-May rolls around. Until then, the ocean may be the better bet for Chinook, both springers and California stocks.
Bottom fishing is all the craze this time of year and for justifiable reason. All we need is an ocean that is friendly to boaters and it will be fish tacos for all! It looks like we may get that window this week, we’ll talk about that in the forecast section. It goes without saying however, just get out to the salt andyou’re sure to slay seabass. The deep-reef fishery will last into June of this year and re-open in September. That’s only 2 months of a closed season. Check out all the regulations HERE.
More trout stockings happening on the coast however. Be sure to check the stocking schedule if you plan on fishing this wonderful corner of the state.
See the full report and forecast for Members right here.
SW Oregon Fishing Report – Contributor Jeff Rome reports:
Well, after a much needed vacation down in the Riviera Maya Mexico for 10 days, I’ve detoxed and peeled enough to find out that the lower Rogue is finally getting the Spring Chinook run coming in 👏! Reports of 2-3+ fish per boat have been the norm this past week after much needed rain got fish on the move. A few of them have already made it up to the hatchery and more on the way as more rain showers are expected. Mid Rogue anglers are still getting winter steelhead and will continue to do so, but there are a lot of down runners in the mix.
Lakes and ponds that had been getting regularly stocked with trout are producing good catches. Lost Creek has continued to be a favorite especially now the main marina boat ramp is now accessible. Since the weather has warmed, bass and bluegill are also an option. Lake Selmac, Medco, Reinhardt, Empire and Saunders are good for spring trout and bass fishing.
Best bet for this weekend is the lower and mid Rogue for Springers (lower) and steelhead (both lower and mid). Flow is good for boating and weather looks to be decent (although take your rain gear for the April showers). Ocean conditions at least till Sunday look good out of Brookings for excellent bottom fish opportunities. Crabbing and surf perch out of Winchester Bay is also a good option.
Jeff’s detailed report, multiple lake updates, and forecast in this week’s version for Members!