Portland/Metro Fishing Report – The Willamette is in ideal shape for salmon, steelhead fishing and sturgeon and weekend weather looks good for anglers so motivated to try their luck, despite it not being peak season, except maybe for steelhead. Counts at Willamette Falls steadied, but upper Willamette steelhead should also pop over the next 6 weeks. The run is tracking higher than most years, certainly a good sign.
Mainstem Columbia Chinook have yet to show, but that will change soon, when more Willamette bound springers start to show downstream of St. Helens.
Avid angler Jeff Stoeger reports, “Hello All. Fishing has been good in certain stretches of the river. Dodge Park to Oxbow Park has produced good catches of hatchery fish with few limits of three fish.
Overall, the Clackamas has witnessed a slow week, but it is due to pop this month. Numbers should build and water conditions remain favorable well into next week.
A more robust trout stocking schedule lies just ahead. Go to the stocking page to see what opportunities lie ahead in the coming weeks.
Find the full report and forecast for Members on the Sandy and the Clackamas from this page here.
In this TGF 101 course!
Beginner anglers will learn:
Week 1 Tuesday, February 15th, 2022
- What species of fish can I catch in our waters?
- What gear do I need to catch these fish?
- How to know where to go; public access
- Proper Fish ID
Week 2 Tuesday, February 22nd, 2022
- Interpreting regulations
- Trout opportunities and how to maximize my success
- Run timing for salmon and steelhead
Week 3 Tuesday, March 1st, 2022
- Rod and reel selection for the species I’m targeting
- How to select and properly rig my rod
- Proper rigging for the species you’re targeting
Week 4 Tuesday, March 8th, 2022
- Maximizing success for the waters you’re fishing
- Are you fully prepared for your excursion?
- What’s next after catching your fish?
Week 5 Tuesday, March 15th, 2022
- Planning your next excursion
- Resources available to help you win!
- Detailed Q&A with the pros
Following completion of this 5-week course, we’ll outline some additional opportunities for participants to learn on-the-water strategies for success through the various workshops we’ll be offering in 2022.
Each 1-hour Zoom webinar will start at 6:30 p.m. and as many family and friends can participate from one computer/device as you want. Each webinar class will be recorded so anglers need not be present to utilize this opportunity. You’ll have indefinite access to this material and many other resources we’re going to make available to you.
Find out more about this course starting up next week by clicking here and learn how to fish.
North Coast Fishing Report – Low water conditions are once again upon us, compromising north coast opportunity for steelhead fishing in what should be peak season. Don’t worry, there’s lots of opportunity ahead, but steelhead are certainly anxious to get their run “on”.
There was brief periods of glory on the Wilson and Nestucca systems early this week however, but robust catches quickly faded in the dropping flows. Weekend action is likely to be challenging once again.
Wild fish are starting in on other coastal systems such as the Trask and Kilchis Rivers but better action lies ahead when the next rain freshet rises river levels to more comfortable standards for fish.
The Siletz and to a lesser degree the Alsea are close to busting loose too. Again, we’re just one rain freshet away from good steelhead fishing.
Saltwater cowboys found excellent conditions to pursue lingcod, sea bass and sport-legal Dungeness late last week. A calm ocean was a welcome change and anglers took advantage of it from every coastal port. The commercial fleet has had a record year for economic landings to date but there’s lots of sport legals yet to be had.
See the full report and forecast for Members right here.
SW Oregon Fishing Report – Contributor Jeff Rome reports
Winter steelhead fishing “just ain’t worth it right now” is the primary consensus of guides and fellow anglers. Most if not all rivers and streams are low, clear and cold where the bite has now turned into luck in order to attain any kind of action. Until more rain comes, it will be bleak winter steelhead success. 😩
Best bets for now is to book a charter or get your boat out to take advantage of some nice ocean and bay days. Ling cod and bottom fish are in closer now to spawn making for some great action. Don’t forget that the surf perch are biting along the rocky jetty’s and sandy beaches too! Crabbing in Coos, Charleston and Winchester bays are great now….. boiled crab, steamed crab, BBQ crab, crab cakes, crab puffs, crab omelets, crab bisque…….I could go on but I won’t 😉
Winter steelhead action on the lower and mid Rogue has been not too slow where the flow at Agness is a low but fishable 3000 cfs. but the mid Rogue is hovering just over 1300 cfs. where the river is getting low and skinny. Some success has been had by bank plunkers on the lower near Agness and on the mid-section between Galice and Robertson bridge for 1/2 pounders and a few adults. As of February 1st, you can keep a wild steelhead over 24″, but it’s little enticement until rain brings in the run…… none in the near forecast.
The Chetco is providing skilled drift boaters a bump and grind ride to be the first one on the flats to get the first opportunity at some steelhead. Wear your waders as you’ll probably need to get out in a few places depending on where you put in at. Bank anglers are having decent success plunking at the traditional plunking areas.
The smaller rivers and streams such as the Elk, Sixes, Coos, Millicoma, N. Umpqua and Coquille are very low and clear to make an effort to fish right now.
The main Umpqua had been producing some steelhead, but all Umpqua systems are getting low and slow for winter steelhead. Best to hit the “known” holes/ areas early.
Weather and ocean conditions look great this weekend to get out crabbing and bottom fishing for rock fish and lings.
Jeff’s detailed report, multiple lake updates, and forecast in this week’s version for Members!
Vancouver Metro Area
Steelheaders are finding the late run to be a little slow arriving, although most rivers are in good shape. Anglers are also searching for early springers in the Columbia, but there have been few successful reports as of yet.
Trout fishing is fair to good, but some lakes have been slow, even with heavy stockings. A few warm water fish are being found, mostly at Silver Lake.
Lewis and Washougal Rivers Fishing Report—Steelheaders on the Lewis are finding a few fish, according to John Thompson at Sportsman’s Warehouse in Vancouver, (360) 604-8000). Anglers on the river are now getting good numbers of native steelhead, and the early run of hatchery fish is over. Fishing pressure has been dropping off a little, but the wild fish bite has been pretty good. These fish are spread through the entire system, and boat anglers are finding them from Merwin Dam down to the town of Woodland. Bobber-dogging with beads has been effective, and most anglers are using the technique. However, pulling plugs, and drifting are also taking these aggressive fish.
The Washougal has dropped to below the 6-foot stage, and is running low and cold. The bite has slowed, although here are still a few steelhead to be caught. Bobber presentations have been working very well for both boat and bank anglers. Beads are good, but jigs are scoring, too. A few anglers are drifting. The fish are now spread through the entire river, but the best access is in the lower three miles.
Merwin and Yale Lakes Fishing Report—The boat ramp at Speelyai Bay was still unusable as of Wednesday this week, because of the drawdown of the lake for maintenance. The lake should be filled enough to launch by this weekend. Yale Lake is fishing well for kokanee, except that the water has not cleared out completely yet from the storms. The fish are biting on most usual kokanee rigs, and the fish are up high in the water column, within the top 20 feet, so anglers are flat-line trolling. Remember there are bull trout in Yale, and they may not be kept.
Cowlitz and Kalama Rivers Fishing Report—Late run steelhead have been slow to arrive in the upper Cowlitz, and the fishing is rated as slow by Dave Mallahan of Dave’s Guide Service (360-201-9313). Bites have been few, even though the numbers of steelhead showing at the hatchery has increased, a little.
Last week 25 winters showed up in the hatchery trap, as opposed to the 44 adult winters collected this week. However, Mallahan said it should improve, and fairly soon. What fish he has gotten lately have been taken by bobber-dogging, but he added that some other anglers are trying other methods. Most of the action is taking place in the first few miles below Blue Creek, where WDFW creel surveyors found 10 bank rods with no catch. However, six boats/18 rods did keep two steelhead. Not exactly hot fishing.
The Kalama is fishing fair for steelhead, even though the river is now a bit low and cold. Most reports put the best bite from mid-river down, and fishing was a little slower in the upper river. Beads and jigs below a bobber are what most anglers are fishing, although some are trying plugs or spinners. This kind of water is good for the fly guys that fish it, too. The river is in between its early and late runs right now.
Local Lakes Fishing Report—The Fort Borst Park Pond was recently stocked, and is fishing well for trout. Kress has been good for excess steelhead, and Riffe Lake is good for trout and coho. Silver Lake has been fair for crappie and yellow perch.
Check out Terry’s detailed report (he crushes it every week!) and forecast in this week’s SW Washington Member’s version!