Portland/Metro Fishing Report – Spring Chinook action remains challenging for Willamette River anglers, but that’s nothing new. Veteran anglers are calling it their worst season in 30 years. That said, there were good catches recorded on Sunday, but it has tapered since.
Despite promising numbers bypassing Willamette Falls daily, success rates at Oregon City are dismal. Anglers fishing upstream of Willamette Falls are hampered by moss and algae fouling gear before a fish gets a chance to strike. Summer steelhead passage is poor, not boding well for Santiam and McKenzie River anglers.
Sturgeon fishing is productive in the lower Willamette River for keepers, shakers and oversized fish. Retention season remains closed here, but opens up on Monday, downstream of the Wauna Powerlines about halfway downstream of Longview and Astoria on the mainstem Columbia River.
Spring Chinook were tallied on the Clackamas River this week and are also present on the Sandy. Summer steelhead are largely absent however.
Trout opportunities will continue to play an important role in the Portland/Metro area, until summer Chinook arrive in catchable numbers later in June.
Pro guide Kevin Anderson of Next Level Guide Service (541-974-1135) reports, “Detroit Lake Kokanee fishing continues to produce some very healthy & quality fish up to 16” with a solid range of 14-15”. The lake is currently in the summer filling phase which has a tendency to alter the Kokanee bite and scattered the fish in the water column.
Reminder no chinook can be retained and must be released unharmed. We are catching chinook that are very similar size of the Kokanee. Also available are trophy sized rainbows in the 2-3 pound range.
Couple local reminders that the Santiam Canyon area is in full recovery mode from the devastating wild fires last summer. Lots of work is being done along highway 22 which will cause some travel delays. The speed limit is 40MPH from Gates to Detroit Lake so please be cautious & aware of the reduced speed limit. Find a local business that is open and support them with purchasing things you might need.”
North Coast Fishing Report – Spring Chinook remain elusive in the Tillamook district, but it’s still early. Some fish are coming from upper Tillamook Bay, but district rivers remain quite low for spring Chinook and what few summer steelhead may be in the area. Trout season opens later this month.
Nearshore halibut season has been slow to the north, but Pacific City yielded some catches and Newport was likely producing fair results as well. The all-depth fishery opened today north of Cape Falcon and opens on the 13th to the south of it.
ODF&W lowered the bag limit for rockfish starting on Monday, May 10th. Effort and catch has been high. Check out all the details HERE.
Ocean crabbing is good but offshore weather looks a bit volatile over the weekend so study your bar crossing and ocean weather before committing.
Trout are also a strong option on the north coast as well.
Central Oregon Fishing Reports – Glenn Zinkus POURS 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!
Weather Outlook Across Central and Eastern Oregon: As of May 4, I am taking advantage of incoming good weather for a few days to spend time in the Lower Deschutes canyon. A cold front is forecasted to come in and mean a cold start to the weekend, even with some mixed precipitation on Friday!
Lower Deschutes River: The Lower Deschutes is fishing incredibly well right now. With the April 22nd opening, anglers dispersed along the river and pressure around Maupin eased a bit. River flows, unsurprisingly, remain low for this time year.
Middle Deschutes River: The Middle Deschutes is now at a great level for fishing. Jeff Perin at The Fly Fisher’s Place is reporting that there are salmonflies coming off right now.
Haystack Reservoir – The reservoir shows as 70% full. 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. Some boats with downriggers are having a lot of success. Jigging is also effective.
Crooked River: Crooked River flows have been somewhat bumped up.
Euro nymphing is taking a majority of the fish from all of the reports. Anglers are catching rainbows and whitefish, and there are numerous reports of larger rainbows between 15 to 20 inches. The reservoir level remained steady over the past week, and at 61 percent full as of today.
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. Reports are that there are fishing from the hatchery up to the headwaters is good.
Metolius River: This has been the week for dry fly fishing, with BWO and caddis activity around the edges. 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.
Suttle Lake: Fishing with jigs, suspended lures, and balance leeches together with chironomids are taking fish. The incoming weekend front will cause winds to come off of the east slope of the Cascades. Fishing potential is only increasing as the waters warm.
Crescent Lake: Crescent lake is accessible, but very low showing at 26 % full as of April 29. The lake is accessible from the boat ramp at the resort, for a $10 fee paid to the resort.
Odell Lake: Angling buddies are reporting catches of Mackinaw in Odell – while trolling at about 30 to 40 feet – much shallower than expected. It must be that the Macks are shallow right now.
Crane Prairie Reservoir: Most reports are that Crane Prairie has been slow, and this continues into May. There are some angling successes, like boat fishing conventional gear and catching a dozen rainbows through the days, but this is the exception.
There are some unfortunate incidences of thefts from rigs in campgrounds at Crane Prairie and Wickiup. The Deschutes County Sheriff has 7 cases since opening day. Be careful, and keep everything locked up.
Wickiup Reservoir: Wickiup is now open, albeit with low water levels, Wickiup is dropping and is 49% 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 April 29, Quinn River Campground is still closed, but reports are that the boat ramp is now accessible and open.
Diamond Lake: Reports are that the boat ramp at the resort is open and the lake is free of ice.
North Central Oregon/Mid-Columbia Waters:
We continue with 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.
Bass fishing is good on the John Day and along the bank on the Columbia near the John Day. Anglers targeting bass in the area have been successful. Water still needs to warm about 2 to 4 degrees to get to optimal levels.
Jigging has been taking fish, in approximately 30 to 35 feet of water. When jigging is not effective and when the wind, worm harnesses work. Hot colors are gold, silver, red and purple. There are some new jigs in exciting colors that are exclusive to Gorge Outfitters Supply.
SW Oregon Fishing Report – Contributor Jeff Rome reports:
river has received an increase in flow the past couple weeks from an increased-out flow from Lost Creek Dam to keep the water cool and good flow to perpetuate upriver Spring Chinook salmon migration. Angling pressure has remained low, but expectations of a decent Springer year is high.
Take Mom fishing instead of out to lunch or dinner… let her catch her own meal and she’ll enjoy it more!!!
Tight lines! Romer
From the Guides Mouth:
Grants Pass guide Troy Whitaker of Troy’s Guide Service (541-761-0015) – Fishing pressure has slowed with the exception of those few avid Springer anglers looking to catch the first upriver fish… which has yet to be reported. Troy recommends using a spawn sac (mesh) to enclose the precious roe to keep the squawfish from bait sucking them off. KILL ALL SQUAWFISH!
Local Grants Pass guide Riley Wallace of Wallace Guide Service 541-761-2386 Riley is on sabbatical this week
NEWPORT, Ore – Effective Monday, May 10 the general marine bag limit is reduced to five fish (from six) per angler per day for sport bottom fish. The sub-bag limit of one China, copper, or quillback rock fish remains in place.
This change reduces the risk of early closure or more severe restrictions later this summer in the sport bottom fish season. Sport bottom fish effort this spring is higher than in any prior year, continuing a trend from last summer. In 2020, following a spring slowing in some areas due to the pandemic, coast wide sport bottom fish effort climbed to one of the highest levels on record by the end of the year. Last year also saw higher total catch of black rock fish and ling cod than past years. Continued strong interest in ocean sport fishing is expected this summer.
Anglers are reminded that all yelloweye rock fish must be released. Anglers should know how to identify rock fish species and must use a descending device when releasing any rock fish in waters deeper than 30 fathoms. The use of descending devices is strongly encouraged in any depth with fish showing barotrauma signs such as protruding eyes or bloating.Bottom fish or Pacific halibut anglers encountering yelloweye rock fish, especially in deeper water, are encouraged to move to a different location away from rocky structures preferred by this species.
Andy reports that wind is still a factor this weekend, however limits of rock fish and Ling Cod were had earlier this week when the wind wasn’t so bad. Despite halibut opening May 1st, wind has kept the trips a “no go” out to the halibut grounds.
Salmon Season- 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. Coho fishing is expected to be great.
The season out of Crescent City and Eureka runs June 29-Aug. 1.
Bottom Fishing– Bottom fishing for Ling cod and rock fish was great the last couple days when winds calmed down. The weekend weather looks better for fishing the lakes and ponds inland than getting out on the ocean
Surf Perch – Red-tail surf perch fishing has curtailed anglers due to the high winds and surf conditions. When the winds die down, it should puck right up again soon.
Just for the Halibut– all depth halibut season opened May 1st.
Drano Lake, the best springer fishery this year via a 37 % success rate in the last few days, closed Tuesday. Other tribs are fishing fair, and the Lewis has closed to springers as well. Trout and warm water fishing have been excellent.
Vancouver Metro Area
Springer fishing has closed in Drano Lake after the last few days produced a fantastic bite. The Lewis River also closed after a pretty good season. Only the Kalama and the Klickitat are still open for springers.
Summer steelhead have been slow to move into the tribs. Some good rains would help the cause.
Bass and walleye fishing is excellent in the Columbia River pools, while local trout lakes are fishing excellent as well.
Lewis and Washougal Rivers Fishing Report—The Lewis River has closed to the retention of spring Chinook as of May 1, and anglers did fairly well this year. Bank anglers caught a few, but most were taken by boat anglers. During the latest creel survey, 58 bank rods released one cutthroat. 28 boats/55 rods kept 13 Chinook, three jacks and released three Chinook. Most of the Chinook were taken on salmon eggs, or a salmon eggs/sand shrimp combo. Hover fishing worked well in the Meat Hole, while bankies threw a lot of eggs fished with bobbers.
The Washougal is still prohibitively low and clear, and there have been no reports yet on summer steelhead showing.
Merwin and Yale Lakes Fishing Report— Both lakes were fishing a bit better this past week, but the schools of kokanee are still spread throughout the water column and anglers are struggling to find that magic depth. Anglers might find the fish anywhere from 20 to over 50 feet deep.
Local Lakes Fishing Report—Klineline Pond, Battle Ground Lake, and Lacamas Lake are all well stocked and have fished well this past week for trout Bass and yellow perch continue to be taken in Lacamas Lake, too. Trout fishing in the Swift Power Canal is good.
Cowlitz and Kalama rivers Fishing Report—Fishing for steelhead has slowed to a crawl with the winter run over and the summer run still not showing in force. Pressure has dropped significantly as a result. Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 229 winter-run steelhead adults, 137 spring Chinook adults, 25 spring Chinook jacks, and three summer-run steelhead adults during five days of operations. During the last creel survey above the I-5 Bridge, 11 bank rods kept one steelhead and released three Chinook. One boat/two rods had no catch. Below the I-5 Bridge 63 bank rods had no catch. 2 boats/3 rods released one Chinook, one steelhead and one cutthroat.
Anglers are reminded that Chinook retention is closed on the Cowlitz this spring.
You can check the full Tacoma Power Cowlitz River Report HERE. You can check river flows and lake levels, including for Mayfield and Riffe Lakes, HERE.
The Kalama River is fishing fair for spring Chinook and a few late winter steelhead. according to John Thompson of Sportsman’s Warehouse in Vancouver, (360) 604-8000), anglers are still getting some spring Chinook in the lower sections of the river, mostly below the Modrow Bridge, but a few fish have moved higher in the system. In the last creel survey, 46 bank rods kept one Chinook. 25 boats/59 rods kept 10 Chinook, two jacks and released three Chinook. Most anglers are fishing bait with a bobber or behind divers, while bank anglers are fishing bobber and bait.
Local Lakes Fishing report—Coho and smallmouth bass fishing is good in Riffe Lake. Carlisle Lake and Mineral Lake are good for trout, especially big trout. Silver lake is good for crappie, yellow perch, and largemouth bass.
Columbia River Gorge
Drano Lake and Klickitat River Fishing Report—Drano Lake springer fishing really heated up just ahead of the closure, which officially begins today. Guide Shane Magnuson of Upper Columbia Guide Service, (509) 630-5433, reported that he managed to limit his boat every day for the last five days of the open season.
The last few days saw some serious effort, but the bite was hot. According to the last WDFW creel survey taken at the lake, 27 bank rods had no catch. 309 boats/870 rods kept 313 Chinook and released 17 Chinook. That equates to a 37% success rate for boat anglers, by far the best rate for any spring Chinook fishery so far.
The Klickitat is still very slow, and in the latest creel survey, Six bank rods had no catch.
Local Lakes Fishing Report—Rowland Lake trout fishing is very good, and the bluegill are now biting as well.
Be sure to check out Terry Otto’s recent article on trout fishing in SW Washington in the Columbian Newspaper: “Opening Week of Trout Fishing Creates Holiday Atmosphere”. You can find the story HERE.
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