Happy Holidays! Here is your weekly Oregon fishing report including SW Washington
Portland/Metro Fishing Report – High water and slow fishing has most metro anglers fishing for presents in the shopping malls versis steelhead in the district’s rivers. High water will continue to be the theme through the holiday weekend and bone-chilling cold will keep most sensible anglers inside for a while. Steelheaders aren’t known for the sensibilities however, so that’s on you.
Meldrum Bar anglers are finding a few winter steelhead from the rocky beaches, most likely destined for the Clackamas River, at least the hatchery fish. There is a rare wild fish in the sparse catches too. There’s been about twice the number of winter steelhead pass Willamette Falls so far this year, compared to last year at this same time although 300 steelhead isn’t really a very large “sample size.”
Avid angler Jeff Stoeger reports, “This week we saw a few winters being caught throughout the river. There were a few fish caught in Oxbow on both jigs and spinners as well as lower river fish being caught on plugs and jigs. The upper river we saw fish being caught on beads and drifted corkies with yarn and scent. The forecast for the river shows the river taking a bump today to 12.3ft and then shows it dropping over the next week with much cooler weather. The weather will be cold by the end of the year with temps in mid to low 20’s.”
It’s still early on the Clackamas and it too, will remain high through the holiday weekend. There are fish around, but they will be challenging to come across until flows start slowing down.
Find the full report and forecast for Members on the Sandy and the Clackamas from this page here.
North Coast Fishing Report – Small stream steelheaders are in peak week right now, with the North Fork Nehalem, Necanicum, Big and Gnat Creek and the Klaskanine River all producing good catches for those savvy in small stream tactics. This will be one of the best weeks to find fresh steelhead still available before they start turning to their spawning characteristics in the coming weeks.
Larger systems have been too high to fish lately but fish better later into the winter anyway. Chinook season closes on most systems starting January 1st. And speaking of the New Year, it might be best to get your 2022 license now, while you’re thinking about it.
Estuary crabbing is still an option on the lower Columbia, when the weather is a bit more cooperative. Cold weather and high winds are in the immediate forecast, so purchasing crab vs. catching it yourself may be the better idea.
Ocean weather looks too volatile to target offshore species, but saltwater anglers will have even MORE opportunity in 2022 for deep-water species. The limit however will be 5 fish for the foreseeable future.
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.) This is a repeat from last week.
Weather Outlook Across Central and Eastern Oregon:
Snow tapers off through Thursday with a break from any precipitation on Friday before rain comes to the high desert and snow in the higher elevations. High temperatures throughout much of Central Oregon will be in the 40s during the day and widespread 20s at night, some teens in the higher areas.
Mid-Columbia Gorge area will see high temperatures in the 40s through the weekend, and some rain and possibly mixed precipitation on Saturday and into next week. Snow and snow showers are forecasted for next week.
ODFW News – Angling Restrictions
Mouth to Moody Rapids – Includes the Deschutes River mouth at the westbound Interstate 84 Bridge upstream to the marker at the lower end of Moody Rapids.
- All angling is closed through December 31.
Moody Rapids to Pelton Dam – Includes the Deschutes River from the marker at the lower end of Moody Rapids upstream to Pelton Reregulating Dam.
- November 1 – December 31: Closed to angling for and retention of steelhead and coho.
Lower Deschutes River:
Lower Deschutes flows are steady and the trout fishing is good, great on some days. With the onset of winter temperatures and conditions, blue wing olives are the primary hatch during the early afternoons. Nymphing will produce on the Lower Deschutes.
The Guides Forecast – Lower Deschutes River:
Fish have moved into the slower water for the winter. Go to the mellow, slower trout water. Back eddies, slow flows along the banks, and the pools (think those small, or micropools within the main river) are examples of winter holding water.
Whitefish are spawning, and a small (1/8”) peach-pink egg fly will get attention from redsides.
Nymphing has been and will continue to produce.
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. This is a repeat from last week.
Weather Outlook Across Central and Eastern Oregon:
Northeast Oregon will see highs in the 30s through the next week, with night ranging from the teens to 25 degrees. Some snow on Thursday, and again middle of next week.
Southeast Oregon will see highs in the 30s and 40 on the weekend. Lows in the teens to the mid 20s. Some snow on Thursday, and then mostly clear.
EASTERN/SOUTHEASTERN OREGON WATERS
Ana Reservoir: Fishing on Ana Reservoir remains steady for legal and trophy size trout, but will slow down with colder temperatures. Trout will go for slowly stripped leeches and streamer patterns.
Trolling lures and flies, and bait are taking fish.
Blitzen River: No new reports. Latest water temperatures are in and around 32 degrees, meaning the trout will go to the bottom and get lethargic. The banks will begin icing over if not already. Flows remain low in the 30 to 32 CFS range.
If fishing there, it will be a nymphing: PTs, Euro nymph style flies.
Lofton Reservoir: Likely iced over for the season. 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
Well it’s almost Christmas and winter storms are about to hit bringing more rain and snow throughout the SW Oregon region. Bad news is it’s looking like poor and blown out conditions for pretty much everywhere at least through mid next week. The good news is that those winter steelhead that have been waiting patiently to enter the extreme low river systems are in and more coming. The outlook for the post Christmas weekend so far looks very promising. The “steelhead” rivers and streams are forecast to get back into very fishable flows and should provide some great opportunity to use up your 2021 angling license and tags.
The Rogue river has still been getting good summer run steelhead action from Merlin up to Shady Cove. Recent rains have raised the river flows up into over the 3000 cfs level (mid section) but should be in good shape mid next week. The winter steelhead should also be in and provide some better quality fish and table fare.
The Chetco, Elk, and Sixes saw some decent catches earlier this week after rain. Both Chinook and steelhead catches in the Elk and Sixes were fair as most of the salmon have screamed up into their spawning areas. The Chetco also saw some fair steelhead action for those plunking.
The Coos area streams including the Millicoma and Coquille finally got into fishable shape and provided some steelhead action before getting blown out. Forecast for after Christmas looks excellent.
Reports of winter steelhead action below Sawyers Rapids on the Umpqua had been fair….. meaning there was some fish being caught!
I’m keeping this report rather brief this week as there’s really not much to report and forecast is bleak until next week. To all my readers, I thank you and wish a safe and wonderful Merry Christmas!?☃?❄
Jeff’s detailed report, multiple lake updates, and forecast in this week’s version for Members!
SW Washington Fishing Report by Terry Otto
Steelheading is improving in the local tributaries with early steelhead runs, while others are very slow. Trout angling is fair to excellent in local lowland lakes, while January sturgeon awaits in the Gorge pools.
Vancouver Metro Area
Early steelhead runs are kicking in, although high waters are making fishing difficult at times in some places. Most local trout lakes are fishing well, and the trout stockings will begin for some of the other lakes soon. Watch for fresh trout plantings, as well as big broodstock trout and steelhead plantings HERE
The states have announced the spring Chinook projections for 2022, with the forecasts for the most part looking better than last year. There may even be a springer fishery in the Cowlitz this year. You can read Terry Otto’s full story about the spring projections in The Columbian HERE.
Lewis and Washougal Rivers Fishing Report—The Lewis River is running pretty high following the recent heavy rains, but anglers are still managing to get some early steelhead. There have been a number of reports that the high water has drawn many steelhead as high up as the deadline at Merwin Dam, where a decent bite has developed. It’s a boat show, though, because the river is so high it has flooded bankside vegetation, making it difficult for bank anglers to reach the water. Some steelhead are also coming to hand at the hatchery, which is a better choice for bank anglers.
The Washougal is also giving up some nice steelhead, mostly in the lower river, but once again, beads and jigs are working well. The Washougal does lend itself to drifting in places, too. The river jumped up quite a bit following the heavy rains, but this little river clears out fairly quickly, and fishes well when it’s a little high. The fish have been taken in the lower three miles of the river, where the public access is best.
Merwin and Yale Lakes Fishing Report—Both lakes continue to fish fair to good. Some anglers are getting their fish easily, while others are struggling. Flat-line trolling or fishing with just a little lead has been the most effective, with the schools holding in the top 20 feet of water. The fish are taking scented natural-colored corn fished with a wedding ring, spinner, or hootchie behind a kokanee dodger. The fishing pressure is still fairly low, and the lakes have been windy of late. That can make fishing difficult.
Local Lakes Fishing Report Trout fishing at Klineline Pond was fair to good this week, while Battle Ground Lake is rated as excellent for trout again this week. The hot bait at Klineline this week was the Powerbait Mouse Tails. The fish are moving around quite a bit, so anglers should move if they aren’t getting bit. Lacamas Lake was stocked and is fishing well near the boat ramp and around Round Lake.
Cowlitz and Kalama Rivers Fishing Report—Fishing is extremely slow in the upper Cowlitz River, with the coho fishing over, and very few steelhead showing up as yet. Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 411 coho adults, 36 coho jacks, two cutthroat trout, one summer-run steelhead, and only four winter-run steelhead adults during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator. The river is high, but it is starting to clear out a little bit. Dave Mallahan of Dave’s Guide Service (360-201-9313), reports that the fishing is not worth the effort right now, and most anglers are giving the upper river a pass.
Things are no better in the lower river. With all the rain the Toutle is very dirty, and the Cowlitz is pretty much un-fishable below the mouth of that river. Also, there are almost no fish getting around for at least some weeks, so fishing, and fishing pressure are extremely low right now.
The Kalama River is producing a few early steelhead, and although the fishing is not rated as good, anglers are not wasting their time here. The fish are moving fairly quickly through the river on the high flows, so bank anglers are finding a few fish up in the canyon. Boat anglers are working the middle and lower sections, and picking up a few steelhead as well. The fish here will take almost any steelhead method or bait, including beads, jigs, and bait fished below a bobber. Also, plugs and hardware can be effective.
Check out Terry’s detailed report (he crushes it every week!) and forecast in this week’s SW Washington Member’s version!