Portland/Metro Fishing Report – Although a late-season surge of coho passed by Bonneville earlier this week, mainstem Columbia sportfisheries are really on hiatus until spring Chinook begin entering in fishable numbers around late March. Motivated anglers should be able to intercept some of those coho at the mouth of the Klickitat this weekend if weather allows. Winds are always a wildcard this time of year and temperatures are often frigid. Dress appropriately.
Sandy and Clackamas River anglers are about to call it quits. These rivers have been high for most of the week, giving hatchery fish ample opportunity to make it back to their respective hatcheries. It’ll largely be a wild fish show from here. Winter steelhead, assuming they make a viable showing, won’t nose into metro watersheds for another few weeks, in catchable numbers anyway.
The trout stocking schedule still offers hope for metro anglers willing to brave more inclement conditions. The department of Fish and Wildlife is prepping for Black Friday, offering up a handful of opportunities for quality trout this time of year. Since nobody goes to shopping malls anymore, it’s a great place to spend the day if the weather cooperates.
The Department of Fish and Wildlife just announced their FREE FISHING “Weekend,” Friday and Saturday, November 26 – 27 actually, will offer up some great opportunities for trout, some coho, but especially crab as tides look favorable. If you dress appropriately, it should be a fun time. More details HERE.
Find the full report and forecast for Members on the Sandy and the Clackamas from this page here.
North Coast Fishing Report – Larger north coast systems remained high for much of the week with only a few motivated anglers still looking for late-season Chinook. Smaller systems such as the Kilchis offer the best promise, but the Necanicum and possibly the North Fork Nehalem will have a rare late-run Chinook as well.
Anglers fishing the Kilchis are running into WAY more chum than Chinook, even though the targeted chum salmon season ended on November 15th. It’s illegal to target chum, but they are much more numerous and often more aggressive than Chinook too.
Other systems should come into fishable shape this week, with the Wilson likely to offer up the best opportunities for late-run Chinook. Most aren’t holding out hope for great fishing, but anglers can get surprised if they hit it just right, even on a compromised return like what we’re seeing this year.
It’s early for steelhead on the north coast, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if a fresh returning winter steelhead was caught on the Wilson, North Fork Nehalem, Three Rivers or the Necanicum this weekend or next week. Thanksgiving is the traditional kick-off, but it’ll be a wildcard as to how the return performs this year.
Most estuaries are still inundated with fresh water from recent precipitation so crabbing doesn’t look all that promising despite fair afternoon tides.
The surf may calm down enough to provide some decent razor clam digging along Clatsop area beaches but don’t you dare let your guard down. The minus tide series is currently underway.
See the full report and forecast for Members right here.
Central Oregon Fishing Reports – Contributor Glenn Zinkus reports:
(Glenn will be providing fresh reports every OTHER week through the winter season.)
Central Columbia Gorge Cohos and Walleye. Metolius and Fall Rivers Consistent for Trout.
Weather Outlook Across Central and Eastern Oregon:
There will be some spotty morning showers Friday and some winds along the east slopes of the Cascades; and clearing for the weekend with temperatures peaking in the mid 50s Saturday and Sunday with calmer winds. High country snow lines and freezing elevations significantly climb higher through the weekend.
The Lower Deschutes Canyon will have clear weather after Friday morning, remaining clear through the weekend with highs in the 50s, lows in the 30s. The weather remains consistent through mid-week next week.
Mid-Columbia Gorge area will see high temperatures in the 50s through the weekend and into next week. There will be some showers on Friday and clearing for the weekend and into next week. There will be light winds to start the weekend, increasing on Sunday and into the first half of next week.
Lower Deschutes River:
The Lower Deschutes flows spiked last weekend and dropped through the week, slowly leveling with slighter drops right now. The river is again coming into somewhat high, but fishable levels. The muddy color so prevalent last weekend subsided to just a slightly tannin color, getting better each day.
Middle Deschutes River: The river level is up. No recent reports over this last week. I checked out the river along Lower Bridge Road and find that it is getting high. Despite this, the Middle Deschutes has been fishing well.
Lake Billy Chinook: No new reports. The Metolius Arm closed October 31.
Crooked River: Crooked River flows needed to increase, and indeed spiked end of last week and dropped since last weekend. Flows at the dam are near 50 CFS, and although fishable, are low and steady like they have been all fall.
This time of year, and through the winter, the Crooked fishes well. Friends have started catching more fish nymphing – Perdigons have been the ticket. Nymphing is consistent and anglers are catching redsides and whitefish.
I was on the Metolius earlier this week, before the cooler weather blew in on Monday. It was a somewhat quiet day, a little overcast, and the first of the winds were just starting to blow in the treetops. During the morning I noted a few flies in the air over the river, when I looked downstream from Allingham Bridge.
Check out Glenn’s detailed report with much more information and forecast in this week’s Member’s version.
Eastern Oregon Fishing Report – Contributor Glenn Zinkus reports bi-weekly, here is this week’s report.
Northeast Oregon starts off with some snow and rain showers on Friday, becoming sunny for the weekend and through the first half of next week. High temperatures will be in the 40s through much of the time, except Saturday that will peak in the high 30s. Nightly lows in the 20s.
Southeast Oregon remains dry, with high temperatures in the 40s into next week, and nightly lows in the 20s and 30s.
Wallowa Lake was stocked in August with 5400 legal size trout and 180 trophy trout. Rob at the The Joseph Fly Shoppe thinks Wallowa Lake is one of the best in Oregon right now for stocked trout. There is some action on the south side of the lake with small dry flies – anything like a parachute Adams, Purple Haze and Elk Wing Caddis are taking fish.
Jubilee Lake: Jubilee Lake, in the Umatilla National Forest was stocked with 2000 legal size trout.
Wallowa River: Rob at the Joseph Fly Shoppe reports Wallowa trout fishing has been good for trout up through now. Nymphing, soft hackles, and lures have been taking trout, including some larger trout.
As for the coming weeks, Rob comments that the cold weather starts to slow down the trout fishing, and when temperatures drop below 42 degrees, the fish begin to shut off.
The Wallowa River steelhead run is slightly later than the run on the Grande Ronde, as the steelhead wait for higher river levels.
Grande Ronde River: The very latest from the Joseph Fly Shoppe reports that ODFW Creel Checkers in the Troy area have only seen 1 or 2 fish caught recently, a change from the very encouraging numbers from a few weeks back.
The steelhead seem to be moving through in pods, so it is a matter of timing. If angling at a time the pod is moving through, steelheading can be quite good. ODFW reports that steelhead are showing up at the hatchery.
Check out Glenn’s detailed report and forecast in this week’s paid version for Chinook and Steelhead Members both!
SW Oregon Fishing Report – Contributor Jeff Rome reports
Chetco, Elk and Sixes good for late year Chinook
Anglers looking for that “peak of the season” Chinook bite got it after recent rain. The main rivers being the Chetco, Elk, and Sixes in Oregon and Smith river (CA) got an influx of fish to reward those anxious anglers. The Chetco saw a 60 pounder caught (and released) and the Sixes produced some nice catches as well…..only in the 15-25 pound range. Flow rates are back down and maybe the Chetco will be the best bet for a pre-Thanksgiving treat. Some rain will come by end of week but might not be enough for the Elk and Sixes….be ready when they are because there’s plenty of fish in and coming to make it worthwhile.
Summer steelhead and half pounder catches on the Rogue have been fair in the middle section and slightly better up above Gold Hill. There are also decent numbers of coho more towards Shady Cove and is a great opportunity for some excellent action. Flow of course is back to low, clear and cold conditions meaning smaller baits and longer leader tactics are necessary.
Marine outlook is dim except for maybe Sunday. Bottom fish and ling cod catches have been great when you can get out. Ocean crabbing is not open yet except for California ports and has been good.
Riley (Riley Wallace of Wallace Guide Service 541-761-2386) recently has moved to Brookings (from Grants Pass) where he’s been actively working the Chetco, Elk and Sixes with good success. It’s all about the flow in which will dictate what river he’s going to fish and reports that the Chetco which had been producing a bunch of nice fish after the big rain is now hit and miss.
The Elk and Sixes are much smaller systems where flow is everything, so you got to be ready when they are prime Riley said. This weekend might be worth a try if they don’t get blown out from current rain, but they both should fish good by mid next week. The same bait tactics used in the Chetco will work here too.
Gale warnings through Friday will keep the ocean off limits, but Sunday looks to be the better of the weekend to get out on the ocean to catch some big lings. Andy said the rockfish are bunched up in thick schools spawning in shallow water especially near Bird Island.
COOS RIVER BASIN: Chinook fishing is a wrap and was slow at best. Anglers are now anxious and gearing up for steelhead season the latter part of November.
BRADLEY LAKE-Trout fishing has been good for trout that were stocked earlier this month. Anglers are having success trolling spinners in the main lake.
TENMILE LAKES/TENMILE CREEK: Most largemouth bass are in deeper water along hard bottom points , however some bass can still be found in shallower water and around boat houses and other structure. During the middle of the day bass can be caught.
Willow Lake: is fishing is still good when trolling 25-35 feet deep.
CHETCO RIVER: Last weekend saw many nice fish along with lots of boat and bank angling pressure. It’s peak season for late Oregon Chinook and so you got to get there early and/or bring your own rock to stand on! Currently flow has reduced down to less than prime and rain is needed to color up the river again. There are decent amounts of fish scattered throughout and most are wild.
Jim (Jim at Rogue Outdoor Store – Gold Beach, Oregon 541-247-7142) reports that the Rogue is low and “slow” however, he did report that some boat anglers did catch some nice winter Steelhead running plugs this past week! It’s a good sign but in no way is fishing good yet.Check out Jeff’s detailed report, multiple lake updates, and forecast in this week’s version for Members!
SW Washington by Terry Otto
High water vexing anglers in some tributaries, while other rivers are fishing great for coho on the drop. Fishing in the Columbia is pretty much over, with the action slowing in most places. Trout action is improving in local lakes.
Vancouver Metro Area
Coho continue to bite very well in those rivers that are on the drop, but a few tribs are dealing with hangovers from the recent high water. SW Washington was luckier than points north, with most streams staying below flood levels.
Lowland trout lakes are beginning to fish well for holdover trout. Black Friday stockings will begin next week, and anglers need not wait for the holiday to fish. The lakes will remain open, so its game on once the trucks drop the trout. You can read Terry Otto’s recent article in the Columbian on Black Friday trout fishing HERE.
Lewis and Kalama Rivers Fishing Report—The Lewis is still running high, but many fishermen, bank anglers especially, are doing very well. During the latest creel survey, 37 bank rods kept seven coho and released one coho. 5 boats/12 rods kept one Chinook, one coho and released one Chinook. The high water and heavy flows have pushed the schools of coho near the banks, giving bankies an edge, but the high water has also reduced the areas with good bank access. In a lot of places the water is up into shoreline brush. Anglers are doing well with bobber and eggs or by twitching jigs, and the action has been best from Colvin Creek down to the golf course, with the fish concentrated up by the hatchery.
The Washougal was fishing very well before the high water, but some reports say the schools moved up on the freshet, and are now concentrated in the upper river, where public access is poor. Bobber and bait, or drifted gears were working well, and still should for the fish remaining down low, but those numbers are low. Also, there are few fish left in the Camas slough, and that fishery is pretty much over for the year.
Merwin and Yale Lakes Fishing Report—anglers are doing well for the next year-class of kokanee, although the fish are smaller than the spawners. The water has colored up some, but it does not seem to be affecting the bite. If you get on the fish the water is clear enough for a decent bite. Trolling hootchies or wedding rings tipped with corn behind kokanee flashers is the best way to go, although some anglers are getting the fish by jigging kokanee spoons.
Cowlitz and Kalama Rivers Fishing Report—The Cowlitz was fishing well before the recent rains, and the river is suffering right now, according to Dave Mallahan of Dave’s Guide Service (360-201-9313). He reports that he was getting limits by fishing plugs before the river blew out. There is reportedly a landslide on the Tilton River, and that has dirtied the water quite a bit. Before that the fish were taking plugs, spinners, jigs, and bobber and bait. Most of the schools are concentrated up near the Barrier Dam, and within the first couple miles below that. He also reports that the mark rate has been decent, with about half the fish being fin-clipped, retainable fish. There are lots of wild coho in the river, so anglers need to be careful about netting those fish or pulling them out of the water.
The lower sections of the river are not fishing very well right now, since most of the coho have moved up into the upper sections. Dirty, un-fishable water is the cast in all stretches of the river, but especially below the mouth of the Toutle.
The Kalama River is fishing very well, according to John Thompson of Sportsman’s Warehouse in Vancouver, (360) 604-8000. Thompson took a couple coho this week in the lower river, and he reports that there are coho spread through the entire river. He described the fishing as being really good right now, since the river went on the drop, and he said the flush took most of the leaves and other debris out of the river. He has been taking his fish with spinners, and other anglers are getting fish on just about any coho bait, including bobber and eggs, jigs, and plugs.
Klickitat River Fishing Report and Forecast—anglers in the lower river are still getting good bites from the late run coho, and most of the fish have moved in off the mouth, so the fishing is slowing a bit out there. Anglers have been getting them to take spinners or plugs trolled behind 360 flashers. In the river the anglers are getting most of the fish on salmon eggs, jigs, and drifted gear.
Check out Terry’s detailed report (he crushes it every week!) and forecast in this week’s SW Washington Member’s version!
Receive these SW Washington and Oregon fishing
reports in your email on Thursday nights by signing up here.