Portland/Metro Fishing Report – It’s been another ho-hum week of spring Chinook fishing for metro anglers. The channel continues to be the bright spot for catches and statistically speaking, we’re entering the best week of the year this week. That may not be reflected in this week’s catches, anecdotally anyway. There are of course some fish being caught in the middle river as well as around Oregon City, but catches are rather unimpressive for the middle of April.
The Columbia remains closed downstream of Bonneville Dam but passage is ramping up. That doesn’t seem to be helping The Dalles Pool fishery however as it has yet to take off. Drano Lake is not expected to have a banner return but it’s time to consider this fishery however.
Trout fishing is improving and it would behoove anglers to look at the multitude of opportunities throughout the Willamette Valley, including new information from pro guide Kevin Anderson (541-974-1135) of Next Level Guide Service. Kevin reports, “Fishing for Kokanee at Detroit Lake continues to be really good if you can locate biting fish. The fish are schooled up and scattered all over the lake. This makes fishing challenging from day to day so be patient & persistent to be successful. Most popular Kokanee tackle is working currently but colors orange, purple & pink seem to be most productive.” Read Kevin’s full report in our paid version of the newsletter. He’s got some great tips, including where to find these biters in the water column!
The Clackamas and Sandy Rivers are in between runs now, with winter steelhead continuing to fade, and summer steelhead yet to show in any large numbers (not that we’re expecting “large” numbers this year. No spring Chinook have yet to be reported from either system.
TGF friend Heather Leyrer reported, “We went fishing at Hagg Lake yesterday (Wed 4-21) and I will send my official report this afternoon. Spoiler alert; fishing was good in the morning up until 10 AM, and after that it was horrible. Both still fishing and trolling did not produce any fish from 11 AM to 4 PM. There were eight other boats on the lake during that time, and we did not see one fish caught. The crew at the lake stop general store confirmed that it has been in very early bite all week long.”
North Coast Fishing Report – North coast anglers are waiting out calmer waters again and they may get their wish this week. Calmer seas will certainly be a welcome sight for those seeking fresh fish tacos and Dungeness crab this week. The fishing hasn’t been as easy as one would expect, but maybe they are just full of food and hard to get to bite.
Spring Chinook are present in the Tillamook Basin, but we’re still weeks away from peak season. It likely won’t be a great run but these are coastal springers, a high quality fish. With little else to target in the region, it may be worth investing a few hours during the peak part of the tide.
Razor clam digging opened up on the south coast, but remains closed on the central and north coast of Oregon. It may still be a while.
Ocean salmon seasons have been set and they are quite liberal. You can view your opportunities HERE, we’re in for a good year if the run actually comes to fruition. We cover the lower Columbia in-river summer and fall fisheries in the long version of our newsletter.
Central Oregon Fishing Reports – Glenn ZinkusPOURS on the detail for trout and steelhead from the region. You’ve NEVER seen content like it (We guarantee it!), check out Glenn’s detailed report and forecast in this week’s paid version for Chinook and Steelhead Members both!
Outlook Across Central and Eastern Oregon: The weekend starts with a cooler system moving in on
Friday evening, and precipitation through the weekend. Saturday looks to be windy, with some rain. There is mixed rain and snow predicted for the high country on Sunday, with slightly diminishing winds.
River: The Deschutes from Warm Springs to the mouth is now open! River flows, unsurprisingly,
remain low for this time year. The Deschutes has been fishing well with nymphs.
Haystack Reservoir continues to be red hot with reports of catches of rainbows. If fly fishing, start with Balanced Leeches under an indicator.
Lake Billy Chinook fishing is fantastic. The Metolius Arm is open (tribal pass required) and anglers are catching bull trout in this area. Leech patterns for fly fishers are the ticket.
Crooked River: Crooked River flows are at summertime levels, and reports continue to be great.
The Guides Forecast – Crooked River: More of the larger fish reports have been taken with Euro nymphing techniques with Perdigons and Frenchies.
Fall River: Fall River is producing good fishing opportunities, and a popular angling location with last week’s warm weather. ODFW released 1000 trophy size hatchery rainbows into Fall River earlier this month.
Metolius River: Euro nymphing continues to be effective. Stones and perdigons are the go-to flies. Variations on tungsten bead PTs are taking fish with Euro nymphing techniques.
Bull Trout fishing has been good on Streamers and occasionally on nymphs. Jeff Perin at The Flyfishers Place in Sisters that a micro streamer is working great on the Metolius. Stop in at the shop to pick up a few of the super-effective streamers.
Suttle Lake: Fishing with jigs, suspended lures, and balance leeches together with chironomids are taking fish. Winds coming off of the east slope of the Cascades will make fishing difficult to start the weekend.
Crescent Lake: Crescent lake is accessible, but very low showing at 25 % full as of April 15. Hope to have some reports from the water soon from an expert angling buddy. The lake is accessible from the boat ramp at the resort, for a $10 fee paid to the resort.
Crane Prairie Reservoir: Crane Prairie opens today! The unfortunate part is that cooler temperatures and forecasted winds will play havoc with opportunities on the water.
Wickiup Reservoir: Wickiup is now open, albeit with low water levels, Wickiup is 54% as of today.
Cascade Lake Highway Access: Our friends at Fly & Field Outfitters in Bend provided a road access scouting report: Anglers can currently access Crane Prairie via South Century Drive (past the Fall River) and utilize the Crane Prairie Resort Turn Off. As of now (4/20/21), the resort will be the only available boat ramp.
Access to Wickiup is excellent, with a few exceptions. There are docks in at North Wickiup boat ramp, Gull Point ramp looks clear, and access to other areas is decent.
I spoke with the folks at the Lava Lake Lodge. The lake and surrounding lakes are still frozen over and inaccessible at this time.
North Central Oregon/Mid-Columbia Waters:
We continue to receive great reports from Wendy at Gorge Outfitters Supply (541-739-2222) in Rufus, between the John Day and Deschutes Rivers. Anglers will want to consider the opportunities in this area based on her report; stop in if you are in the area.
Walleye fishing continues to be fantastic from boats and the banks. The big females are in the shallows. The smaller males in a good-eater-size are just a little farther out. This week, the males are out in 20 to 40 feet of water, and some in water up to 70 feet deep. There are some new jigs in exciting colors that are exclusive to Gorge Outfitters Supply.
Bass fishing is good. Water temperatures are coming into the right range for the spawn. On the Columbia, catches are good and some anglers are catching 15 to 20 per day.
Chickahominy Reservoir: There are non-specific reports of successful anglers on Chickahominy during this past week. The ideal conditions from last week will give way to cooler temperatures and winds as we go into the weekend. ODFW removed the trout bag limit on Chickahominy because of low water levels, specifically the reservoir is less than 10% full and there is approximately 6 feet of water in the deepest locations.
Ana Reservoir: There are reports of good fishing on Ana Reservoir. The reservoir was just stocked last week.
Krumbo Reservoir: Krumbo has been stocked with 13,000 rainbow trout during the week of April 5.
Owyhee River: Reports are that nymphing is good with flows around 100 CFS. If angling the Owyhee, think nymphing with a zebra midge, or small pheasant tail under a Skwala dry fly will produce, as will stripping in smaller buggers.
NORTHEAST OREGON WATERS
Wallowa River: As of April 22nd, the Wallowa is on the rise. Anglers are catching some steelhead, and Rob at the Joseph Fly Shoppe is reporting catches of some smolts. This river closes on April 30.
The Fly Shoppe in Joseph is closed for the season, but you may reach Rob at the shop around midday on a hit or miss basis.
Remember that trout fishing on the Wallowa is now open year-round, so trout opportunities exists.
Grande Ronde River: There are no reports for the Grande Ronde.
Imnaha River: The Imnaha is on the rise since last week. It would be wise to check in with the Joseph Fly Shoppe at (541) 432-4343 just as it is with all of the Northeast Oregon steelhead rivers right now. Note that the shop is now closed for the season. This river closes on April 30.
Kinney Lake: Rob at The Joseph Fly Shoppe recommends Kinney Lake for the spring. Kinney Lake is approximately 12 miles from Enterprise and is a popular fishing location.
SW Oregon Fishing Report – Contributor Jeff Rome reports:
Grants Pass guide Troy Whitaker of Troy’s Guide Service (541-761-0015) reported it’s getting to that period where catches are dwindling and the ones that are caught are mostly down runner fish. He hasn’t heard or seen any Springers caught yet. If one was going to try for them, ya might take the hike to Rainy Falls and side drift bait he suggested.
Josh from Rogue Fly Shop in Grants Pass 541-476-0552
Josh reports that upcoming steelhead fishing especially for this upcoming weekend may be more than a miss than a hit. Fly fishing forecast is dismal for any hatches around the “holy water” (which is the short section between the Dam and the hatchery). He suggested to try some of the small lakes and ponds for stocked trout and bass with black leech and streamer patterns.
Marine Forecast- Not looking so good for this weekend
Andy Martin- Brookings Fishing Charters 541-813-1082
Salmon Season- This should be a great year for salmon! ??? This summer’s ocean salmon seasons have been approved by the Pacific Fishery Management Council. The season out of Brookings runs June 12-Aug. 28. Hatchery Coho may be kept the entire season. Chinook (wild or hatchery) may be kept June 19-Aug 15. The daily limit is two salmon.
The season out of Crescent City and Eureka runs June 29-Aug. 1.
Looking at the NOAA marine weather forecast out of Brookings seems to be not so great to get out for bottom fish. A front that will hopefully bring some much needed rain to the area is expected to arrive Saturday providing for wind choppy seas.
Surf Perch – for those who want some other great fun to catch dinner fare, Red-tail surf perch fishing is great now! Andy said that areas along Harris Beach, Lone Ranch and the boarder visitor center beach areas are all great access to fish. Raw shrimp, and Gulp 2” camo sand worms are baits of choice for surf perch.
Halibut– all depth halibut season opens May 1st.
Lower Rogue- Some rain is expected this weekend and high hope of pushing more winter steelhead and some Spring Chinook is on all angler’s minds. Boat and bank anglers have still been regularly picking up spring Chinook. Fishing pressure has been light however but will be picking up withing the next several weeks.
Spring Chinook anglers have started fishing in the lower rivers and still no reports of fish caught as of yet. Most anglers plunk from a boat or the bank using either a spinner or other lures. Consider using gear that will be less harmful to fish that need to be released. Tactics such as using single point hooks and artificial lures may ensure a higher survival of wild fish after release.
Note that as of Oct 1, fishing in the fly water area is restricted to the use of a single, barbless, artificial fly.
NorCal Guides Forecast
Mario Gomez- Ironhead Guide Service -530-598-0530
Mario Gomez reports that he’s still fly fishing the Klamath river near Happy Camp which has been producing some consistent steelhead fishing the past month. 4-5 fish daily catches have been the usual for his clients ? It will be good through May and June until the water gets too warm.
SW Washington – Terry Otto has put together another smashing report for SW Washington. Terry reports on the Cowlitz, Lewis and Washougal Rivers in part, but also talks about the district’s lakes and what’s bitin’ where!
Tributary chinook numbers increasing, while summer steelhead showing in lower Columbia. Spring trout getting underway with the annual trout derby starting this Saturday.
Vancouver Metro Area
Spring chinook are moving into local tributaries in better numbers, although the fishing is still only fair at best. The best bet near Vancouver is the North Fork Lewis. The dam counts are finally rising, too, with over 400 springers crossing Bonneville Dam on Tuesday.
Chrome-bright summer steelhead are biting very well in the lower Columbia, with local beaches producing some nice catches.
The WDFW spring trout derby starts this Saturday, and there are more than 1,000 prizes through tagged trout available in 2021, with a total value of more than $38,000. The derby runs through Oct. 31. You can get the full scoop HERE. You can check for recent trout stockings HERE.
Lewis and Washougal Rivers Fishing Report—spring chinook were pulling into the Lewis River in better numbers this past week, and catches are improving. In the latest WDFW creel survey 70 bank rods kept two Chinook, two Chinook jacks and released one Chinook jack. 23 boats/51 rods kept seven Chinook, one cutthroat and released four cutthroat.
Bank anglers are gathering near the hatchery and fishing bobber and bait, while boat anglers are targeting the Meat Hole by hover fishing with salmon eggs and sand shrimp. Trollers are getting a few down by the mouth.
The Washougal River is very low, and there are few fish to get after. Few anglers have been on the river lately, with most anglers awaiting the summer steelhead.
Merwin and Yale Lakes Fishing Report—both lakes fished well for kokanee this past week, although the high sun has pushed the schools deeper. According to John Thompson of Sportsman’s Warehouse in Vancouver, (360) 604-8000), anglers are now finding the fish in the 40 to 50 foot range. With the fish this deep flat-line trolling will not get down deep enough, so its time to pull out the divers and down-riggers.
Local Lakes Fishing Report—Trout are biting very well in Battle Ground Lake and Klineline Pond. Anglers are catching yellow perch in Lacamas Lake, as well as a few nice largemouth bass.
Cowlitz and Lewis River Fishing Report—Steelhead continue to show up in the catch in the Cowlitz River, and good numbers of the fish are still pulling into the hatchery trap. Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 665 winter-run steelhead adults, 15 spring Chinook adults, and one spring Chinook jack during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator. During the most recent WDFW creel survey, above the I-5 Bridge 30 bank anglers kept 11 steelhead. 13 boats/34 rods kept 19 steelhead. Bobber-dogging with bait or beads in the first few miles below Blue creek is still effective.
Below the bridge some steelhead are still falling to plunkers. During the latest creel survey below the I-5 Bridge, 54 bank rods kept one steelhead.
The Kalama River is giving up a mix of winter steelhead and spring chinook, although fishing is not real hot. Thompson’s reports indicate the springers are mostly still in the lower river, where they are mixing with the steelhead. The river is low and clear, which may be keeping the fish from moving up. Anglers near the mouth are doing well fishing bait, and anglers in the middle reaches are also doing okay. During the latest creel survey 32 bank anglers kept one Chinook. 21 boats/42 rods kept one Chinook and released one steelhead and five cutthroat.
Local Lakes Fishing Report—Kress Lake is fishing very well for steelhead and trout. Mineral Lake and Carlisle Lake will both open for trout this Saturday. Coho are biting well in Riffe Lake, as are the lake’s smallmouth bass.
Columbia River Gorge
Drano Lake and Klickitat River Fishing Report—Boat anglers were getting a few spring Chinook in Drano Lake this last week, although guide Shane Magnuson of Upper Columbia Guide Service, (509) 630-5433, described the fishing as still slow. He did find some success by trolling a Yakima Bait Spinfish in 3.0 out in the main lake. Keep your eyes on the Bonneville Dam fish counts, which you can do HERE.
A recent WDFW creel survey showed no catch for 22 bank anglers, while 94 boats/197 rods kept 18 Chinook and released four Chinook.
The Klickitat River is open for spring chinook but so far there have been no reports of any spring chinook being caught. Creel surveys this week had six bank anglers with no catch.
Local Lakes Fishing Report—Rowland Lake, Spearfish Lake, and Horsethief Lake in Klickitat County will open for spring trout on April 24.
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