Willamette Valley/Metro – With few mainstem Columbia River options right now, anglers in the Portland/Metro areas will be looking to the Sandy and Clackamas Rivers for early returning coho about to hit these systems in force. Effort remains fairly robust on each of these two rivers, but significant rains have yet to influence the river levels, keeping coho from pouring into these systems.
Summer steelhead remain an option on the Sandy and Clackamas as well, and early fall rains and cloudy weather has improved conditions from warm summer flows. Anglers will still have to target pocket water and broken surfaced riffles to find willing biters. Pro guide Jeff Stoeger (503) 704-7920 reports, “This week we started to see the coho how up in the lower river. I have a friend that had hooked a couple of fish and was able to put a coho hatchery jack in his bag. I’ve heard of some other fish that were caught in the upper river. If you do hook a chinook please make sure that its a hatchery fish. I received a call from a angler who said that he had two chinook in there possession and I asked if they were hatchery fish and his response was, what’s that ? I explained it and the phone went dead and they hung up. If you are reading this for the first time please make sure that you get a copy of the regulations and search by location for some info is given out and could be wrong.”
There’s still no sign of a large spike of Chinook that often passes at Bonneville Dam this time of year, further jeopardizing fall opportunity for both fin-clipped coho and late running fall Chinook on the mainstem Columbia. Managers remain concerned.
Several metro area lakes will receive another strong trout stocking over this week. North Fork Reservoir, Estacada Lake and Small Fry Lake are just three examples of local hatchery plants that will provide good action for savvy anglers. Henry Hagg Lake will receive 8,000 legals next week.
Sturgeon anglers reported fair success for keepers from Saturday’s opener. Boat limits were very uncommon, but anglers that knew what they were doing, knew where to go for consistent fall action. The second of two openers happens this Saturday, September 22nd, which will likely be a more challenging opener to find keepers. Sand shrimp was a top bait and can be hard to find for those that procrastinated in their bait purchases.
Northwest Oregon – Despite perfect tides for ocean and lower bay fishing, fall Chinook have yet to show in strong numbers on Tillamook Bay. Early in the week, anglers were finding some success along the inside of the jetty on the last half of the soft outgoing tide. Herring trolled on the bottom is producing the best for the hard to find Chinook of Tillamook. The Ghost Hole is also producing a few fish on the morning incoming tide, but they are scarce for the amount of effort being put forth.
Wild coho are abundant around Tillamook, and must be released inside the bay. Managers will decide if additional days are warranted, based on how the “any salmon” season performed last Friday and Saturday. The south wind quelled catches so there may be some leftover quota yet to harvest.
Long-leader bottomfishers continue to take 10-fish limits in the offshore fishery. An occasional halibut and fair numbers of lingcod are coming across the docks as well.
Anxious anglers will be making a tuna run this week, they are likely to produce good numbers, but the fish are running on the small side.
Ocean crabbing is not as productive as it has been in year’s past, but near limits are being achieved for those putting out numerous pots. Bay crabbing is improving however.
Astoria area – Crabbing is all that is left for Astoria anglers. With the abrupt closure, even hatchery coho aren’t allowed for catch and keep fishing.
Central and Eastern Oregon –From our Friend Tim Moran:
Well guys, All my fishing friends and sources are Elk Hunting this week or salmon fishing so not much to report!
Deschutes River – Steelhead are present in fishable numbers and pressure is still light. The guides are averaging a fish or two per day per client.. Fishing is best in the Mack’s Canyon area. Swinging flies near the surface is getting them when the sun is off the water. Bobber and jig combo’s are working too. The guide shops in the area are quiet so I haven’t gotten an update from my usual sources but I’m sure trout fishing is good too.
Metolius River – I haven’t heard from my guide friends on this river either but I’m sure it would be worth the trip. All the usual fall patterns should work. When in doubt, fish a small Adams or a black or tan Caddis. If fish are not breaking the surface but their feeding up close, fish emergers or swing small soft hackles. If the rainbows frustrate you, tie on a big streamer and some 10 lb. fluorocarbon leader and fish for Bull Trout and the bigger Browns.
Crooked River – Same as last report – this river is great because of it’s stable flow right now and when that happens, fishing is always good! Small nymphs under a small indicator or on a dry/ dropper always produce here. PMD’s and caddis are the show right now and all the usual patterns will draw strikes.
On another note – Wickiup Reservoir is at only 2% of capacity and is at a 50 year low. Reports are it may dry up which would devastate this fishery!
I should have a good report on Steelhead fishing on the Deschutes next week as I have a party going for a few days!
Stay tuned and tight lines!
Southwest – From ODF&W
Fall Chinook fishing continues to be good on the middle and upper Rogue, and with cooler temperatures, more fish are moving upriver.
There are half-pounder steelhead throughout the middle Rogue from near Hog Creek downstream throughout the Rogue Canyon.
Through Sept. 30, salmon anglers with a two-rod validation will be able to use an extra rod while fishing for Chinook salmon and hatchery coho salmon in Coos Bay.
Where water levels are too low for boats, like at Hyatt, Emigrant, Fish, and Agate, bank anglers will continue to find terrific fall fishing.
The artificial fly season is underway on the upper Rogue between Fishers Ferry boat ramp and Cole Rivers Hatchery. This reach of the Rogue is open to fishing for hatchery summer steelhead and trout.
From Humbug Mountain to the OR/CA border, salmon fishing closed on Aug. 26. The Chetco River Fall Chinook State Waters Terminal Fishery will open on Oct. 6-7 and Oct. 13-14 with a daily bag limit of 1 Chinook per angler.
The Nearshore halibut season is open seven days a week and as of Sept. 9, there is 38 percent of the quota remaining. The remaining 7,968 lbs of the All-depth quota was moved to the nearshore halibut quota on Sept. 6.
For the southern Oregon Subarea, halibut is open 7 days a week through Oct. 31 or attaining the quota of 8,982 lbs. As of Sept. 9, there is 48 percent of the quota remaining.
From Pete Heley at PeteHeley.com
The September nonselective coho season will be open on Friday, September 21 for all salmon. The season will close to retention of coho at 11:59PM on Friday, September 21.
RATIONALE AND NOTES: The recreational season in the area from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt. has landed a total of 5,422 coho during the two Fri-Sat nonselective coho salmon open periods in September. This leaves a remainder of 2,178 coho on the revised quota of 7,600 coho. With 2,736 coho taken in the first two-day opening and 2,686 coho taken in the second two-day opening, it was obvious that there were not enough coho remaining to allow for another two days of fishing. Managers selected Friday as the best option for a final day of fishing based on forecasts of marine conditions.
The daily bag limit for general marine fish (rockfish, greenlings, skates, etc.) will go back to 5 fish per angler per day, beginning on Wednesday, September 19.
Very much overshadowed in the Pacific Northwest by the much larger Pacific Halibut, California Halibut seem to be becoming more common in Coos Bay – possibly because more anglers are correctly identifying them. They also seem to be getting bigger.
SW Washington – From WDF&W
Columbia River Tributaries •
Deep River: Effective September 13, 2018 until further notice, closed to angling for and retention of salmon and steelhead.
Oregon Select Areas including Youngs Bay, Tongue Point/South Channel, Blind Slough and Knappa Slough: Effective September 13, 2018, closed to angling and retention of salmon and steelhead.
Cowlitz River: Effective September 22, 2018 until further notice, closed for Chinook retention from the mouth to the Barrier Dam including all lower Cowlitz tributaries, except the Toutle River. Until further notice, the closed waters section below the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery Barrier Dam is 400’, at the posted markers.
Washougal River: Effective September 22, 2018 until further notice, closed for Chinook retention from the mouth to the bridge at Salmon Falls.
Wind River: from the mouth to 400’ below Shepherd Falls, effective August 18, 2018 until further notice, closed for steelhead retention and closed to night fishing for salmon and steelhead.
Drano Lake: effective August 18, 2018 until further notice, closed for steelhead retention and closed to night fishing for salmon and steelhead.
White Salmon River: from the mouth to the county road bridge below the former location of the powerhouse, effective September 4, 2018 until further notice, closed for steelhead retention and closed to night fishing for salmon and steelhead
Columbia River Tributaries:
Elochoman River – No anglers sampled.
Cowlitz River – I-5 Br downstream: 20 anglers/24 bank rods kept 5 chinook, 4 jacks, 1 steelhead, 7 coho jacks and released 25 chinook, 18 jacks, 2 coho and 1 coho jack. 57 boats/ 168 rods kept 19 chinook, 6 jacks, 4 coho, 10 coho jacks and released 75 chinook, 42 jacks, 4 steelhead, 3 coho and 9 coho jacks, 3 cuttthroat. Above the I-5 Br: 7 bank rods released 3 chinook.
Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 58 summer-run steelhead adults, 32 spring Chinook adults, 150 fall Chinook adults, 29 fall Chinook jacks, 34 cutthroat trout, 162 coho adults and 139 coho jacks during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator. During the past week, Tacoma Power released 11 spring Chinook adults, 32 coho adults, 36 coho jacks and four cutthroat trout into the Cispus River near Randle, and they released 18 spring Chinook adults,12 coho adults,17 coho jacks and one cutthroat trout at the Franklin Bridge release site in Packwood. Tacoma Power released 89 fall Chinook adults, 21 fall Chinook jacks, 49 coho adults, 80 coho jacks and four cutthroat trout into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton.
River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 2,430 cubic feet per second (cfs) on Monday, September 17. Water visibility is 14 feet and the water temperature is 53.6 degrees F. River flows could change at any time so boaters and anglers should remain alert for this possibility.
COWLITZ RIVER BOAT LAUNCH UPDATE: Tacoma Power finished its boat launch maintenance work on Sept. 13. Both the Barrier Dam and Blue Creek boat launches are open again.
Kalama River – No anglers sampled.
Lewis River – 7 bank anglers had no catch.
Wind River – No anglers sampled
Drano Lake – 13 bank anglers kept 1 coho and released 2 steelhead. 35 boats/100 rods kept 29 chinook, 12 jacks, 2 coho and released 1 chinook.
Klickitat River – No anglers sampled.