Willamette Valley/Metro – Now with the Columbia closed, effort will shift to the Willamette River but recent rains have put the Willamette out as far as turbidity, for the near future. On the Willamette, this year’s catches are tracking ahead of last year’s, but behind the 5-year average, which was to be expected. The middle reach of the Willamette, from downtown Portland to Milwaukie, continues to produce the best catches for those trolling herring. Anglers will be lucky to get back on the water by the middle of next week given the upcoming weather forecast.
The Columbia closed with a thud. Catches had just begun to improve until upper basin water releases cooled the bite. The Westport area was putting out good catches and anglers fishing in the I-5 reach were seeing some improvement as well. Anchor anglers seemed to be out fishing trollers for the last few days of the season. Due to the uncertainty of the run, managers are taking a precautionary approach and adopted the following season:
The Clackamas River will remain out of reach for a while longer, but when it does come back into shape, late running winter steelhead should be available. Although clearly a down year, opportunity should exist into May, with some summer steelhead in the mix. Better spring Chinook fishing likely won’t happen until May.
Pro guide Jeff Stoeger (503-704-7920), of O2BFISHN Guide Service reports, “The Sandy is also blown out and may stay that way until after the weekend. Anglers here are catching mostly wild winter steelhead requiring release, but a few summer steelhead and spring Chinook should start showing in the catches.”
Trojan, Harriet and Salmonberry Lakes, as well as Haldeman Pond will all be stocked with trout this week.
Northwest – Rain pummeled the north coast as well, but storms have subsided and rivers should be fishable by Friday. Late run winter steelhead should be available on most systems, although some rivers and river reaches closed on April 1st so check regulations before going out.
The Nestucca, with the Wilson a distant 2nd, should produce fair catches for end-of-season steelhead. Anglers are likely to find a mix of both returning spawned out fish, as well as a rare fresh one. Some summer steelhead should start to show in both of these systems as well.
No word on the season’s first spring Chinook, but it could be any day now. Action won’t improve until mid-May however.
Surf perch fishing is often productive this time of year but swell heights are forecast to be too high for safe fishing conditions. Needless to say, bottomfishing will not be an option either for the foreseeable future.
Many district lakes received large plants of rainbow trout last week and this week. Action should be good when the weather cooperates.
Central and Eastern Oregon – Our friend Tim Moran reports:
Crescent and Odell Lakes – Lake trout fishing is picking up for those who aren’t afraid of the cold temps. The fish are coming out of winter and some of the fish pics I’ve seen are massive! .
Ochoco Reservoir – Fishing has been great between storms. Most trout are coming still fishing a worm floated off the bottom or trolling a worm and a flasher slowly. Trout are running 10 to 12 inches with the occasional lunker!
Metolius River – Fishing is good. there are BWO hatches from noon to about 2:30. There are also some beautiful yellow mayflies coming off and the trout are keying in on them as soon s the hatch starts.
John Day River – Smallmouth are waking up and fishing is good (for Early Spring) when the river is in shape. It blew out like every river in Oregon did last week that doesn’t have major flood control.
Davis Lake – If the weather turns around soon, Davis should fish good. I love this lake in the spring. Rumor has it that the trout fishing is coming back so I’ll be out there soon hunting for those awesome rainbows.
Deschutes River – Before the big storm last weekend the Big D was fishing really well. BWO’s and size 12 brown caddis flies were fishing good in the afternoon and girdle bugs and Jimmy Legs with a smaller trailing nymph were taking trout all day.
That’s all for now…good luck this weekend everyone! I’ll be in Cabo chasing Dorado and Marlin come Thursday…I know….but someone has to do it!
Southwest – From ODF&W
Weather this last weekend kept most anglers off the ocean. However, reports over the previous couple of weeks indicated that the lingcod bite has slowed somewhat, but many anglers are still able to get their limits. Rockfish fishing has been a lot more hit and miss with anglers spending more time to catch close to their limit. Reminder that beginning Sunday, April 1, the bottomfish fishery is restricted to inside of the 30 fathom regulatory line. In the flatfish fishery, creels typically include sanddabs, sand sole and Petrale sole.
The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission will finalize the recreational halibut fisheries at their April 20 meeting.
River conditions are almost perfect on the lower Rogue, and spring Chinook fishing has started to turn on.
Winter steelhead fishing on the middle and upper Rogue has been good.
Winter Steelhead fishing has been good on the North and South Umpqua rivers, and should be good again if the water drops.
Several waterbodies have been stocked with trout. Check the reports to find a location near you.
Many lake and reservoirs are scheduled to be stocked this week and should make for some great fishing.
Fishing for bass and other warmwater fish has been getting better, especially on warm afternoons. Consider Agate Lake, Emigrant Reservoir, Expo Pond, Lake Selmac and Reinhart Park Pond.
Anglers have reported catching rockfish and lingcod inside Coos Bay near the north jetty and other submerged rock structures.
From Pete Heley at PeteHeley.com
Quite a few area lakes received trout plants this week. Loon Lake and Lake Marie each received 1,000 legal rainbows.
Winchester Bay’s South Jetty continues to offer good fishing for lingcod and rockfish – as does virtually every saltwater jetty in Oregon.
Redtail surfperch, often called “pinkfins” and walleye surfperch have been biting well on the beach adjacent to the second parking lot south of the Triangle.
The much-anticipated run of female redtail surfperch up the Umpqua River usually starts around the first week in May and lasts until late July
The first shad should be bending rods on the Umpqua River near Sawyers Rapids and Yellow Creek within the next couple of weeks.
Spring chinook fishing on the Umpqua and Rogue rivers continues to be slow, but it is still early in the season and fishing should improve.
On the Smith River, stripers seem to school up in a few holes on the North Fork about three miles upstream of where the North Fork Smith River enters the mainstem Smith River.
On the Coquille River in the spring, muddy water is often a factor limiting fishing success.
SW Washington – From WDF&W
Cowlitz River – From the I-5 Br downstream: 42 bank rods kept 3 steelhead and released 1 cutthroat. 3 boat anglers kept one adult spring Chinook. Above the I-5 Br: 129 bank rods kept 12 adult spring Chinook and 6 steelhead and released 1 steelhead. 99 boat rods kept 34 steelhead and released 3 steelhead. Most of the steelhead were sampled at the Trout Hatchery while most of the salmon were checked at the salmon hatchery.
Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 228 winter-run steelhead and two spring Chinook adults during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator. During the past week, Tacoma Power employees released 13 winter-run steelhead into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton and they released one winter-run steelhead into the Cispus River near Yellow Jacket Creek. Tacoma Power released 20 winter-run steelhead into Lake Scanewa near Randle. River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 6,370 cubic feet per second (cfs) on Monday, April 9. Water visibility is nine feet and the water temperature is 44.1 degrees F.
East Fork Lewis from mouth to top boat ramp at Lewisville Park and Washougal River from mouth to Mt. Norway Bridge – Open to fishing for hatchery steelhead Monday April 16. Through the first Friday in June, selective gear rules are in effect; no bait may be used.
Kalama River – 23 bank anglers kept 1 steelhead. 7 boat anglers had no catch. Now closed to retention of steelhead through May 15.
North Fork Lewis River – 24 bank anglers had no catch.
Wind River – 1 boat angler had no catch.
Drano Lake – 5 boat anglers had no catch.
Wed. April 11 is the first of the scheduled Wednesday closures that run through June. Effective April 16 through June 30, bank fishing only west of a line projected from the easternmost pillar of the Hwy. 14 Bridge to a posted marker on the north shore.
Klickitat River – 4 bank anglers had no catch. Open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays only through May. Trout Tacoma Power released 4,020 rainbow trout into Mayfield Lake. They are part of the 72,000 fish expected to be planted between April and August.