Willamette Valley/Metro – Chinook and coho counts at Bonneville have dropped below 500 fish per day. That said, persistent anglers are still catching both species on Pro Trolls and spinners from Bonneville to Longview. One recent participant stated the bite is over after 8:30 a.m. however.
Anglers are pretty excited about the October 21st sturgeon opener. Some anglers are going out to find where the best pockets of fish are for the opener. Here is the link to the official ODF&W press release, you’ll need to pay attention to the regulations, especially if you’ve already tagged a sturgeon or two from earlier this year.
Coho seekers remain focused on the Sandy River, although some anglers dispute rumors of good fishing. I don’t doubt it, they are coho afterall. Pro guide Jeff Stoeger (503-704-7920) reports that some nice bright hatchery coho have come from the river since the recent rain freshet. One fish pushing the scales at 12 pounds! The best fishing will take place above Dodge Park, and especially at the mouth of Cedar Creek.
The Clackamas is a bit slower, as it seems fewer fish are returning here. That said, action can still be had above Barton Park, but that will likely change over the weekend, when we get a fairly significant rain system come in.
8,000 trout have been stocked in Henry Hagg Lake this week. That should make for a good fall fishery. Another 800 will go to Mt. Hood Community College Pond for a fishing event this weekend.
Northwest – Chinook anglers working the Tillamook area are still finding fair numbers of fish in the Ghost Hole and at Bay City. Pro Trolls still rule the day, but plug cut herring are taking a few fish as well. High tides will be in the afternoon this weekend, but given the weather forecast, there may not be many willing to fish. Blustery winds and plenty of rain may not make it so fun.
Plenty of wild coho and a few smaller Chinook are still coming from the Nehalem system. The coho and Chinook are running about the same size so be sure to check for the proper characteristics to make sure you have the right flavor. Chinook are certainly hard to come by though.
The Siletz is still the central coast favorite, but the Alsea is starting to put out more bobber and bait Chinook. The rain system this weekend could be a game changer, the driftboat fleet may finally get a chance at them.
And yes, the Trask, Wilson and maybe even the Kilchis should start to see some fair Chinook catches following the weekend deluge. The Wilson will likely offer up the best opportunity, but fish can sometimes be picky about biting on a rising river so make your plans accordingly.
Bay crabbing is of course still good, but check the weather before making a commitment.
The ocean is going to get impressive, don’t even think about it.
Southwest – From our friend Pete Heley at PeteHeley.com
The Coos County trout plants for last week were changed from what was originally scheduled. The changes involve Butterfield Lake, Saunders Lake and Upper and Lower Empire Lakes. Butterfield should offer better trout fishing than Saunders. Powers Pond was slated for 1,300 14-inch rainbows last week and Bradley Lake was to receive 800 and is also scheduled for the Oregon coast’s last trout plant this year – an additional 800 14-inchers during the last week of October.
Diamond Lake has been fishing very well and ODFW creel surveys estimate about three and a half fish per angler are being caught and one fish per hour which is higher than this time last year. Anglers are also catching larger fish, with the average fish size at just over 15 inches. Best success comes with trolling lures and bottom fishing with PowerBait while fly-anglers are having good luck on the south end of the lake.
Crappie and some bluegill are still biting for anglers fishing off the fishing dock at Tugman Park on Eel Lake. Two weeks ago, anglers were reeling in their crappies really slow in the hopes that a lunker largemouth would grab them.
Ocean crabbing closed at midnight on October 15th – but remains open in the lower tidewater portions of all of Oregon’s coastal rivers and that includes Coos Bay all the way down to the most western tips of both jetties. Crabbing has been very good and will remain so until we get quite a bit more rain.
Ocean salmon fishing will close an hour after sunset on October 31st. However, through the end of October, salmon fishing is restricted outside 40 fathoms – as one would expect, there has not been much ocean salmon fishing pressure since only chinook salmon of more than 24-inches in waters less than 240 feet deep are legal.
Ocean bottomfishing is now open in waters deeper than 240 feet but only for some mid-depth fish species and I strongly urge anglers intending to bottomfish to check out the new regulations on the ODFW website. Important new info would include the use of a leader of at least 30 feet in length between the lure or bait and a non-compressible float. By non-compressible, I’m pretty sure the ODFW is ruling out hollow or inflatable floats.
Eastern – Our friend Tim Moran is in Mexico this week for tarpon and bonefish. Look for an Eastern Oregon update next week.
SW Washington – Mainstem Grays River from the Hwy. 4 Bridge upstream to the South Fork and West Fork Grays from the mouth upstream to boundary markers 300 yards below the hatchery road bridge – Under permanent rules, closes to all fishing from Oct. 16 through Nov. 30. These areas will reopen to fishing for hatchery salmon and hatchery steelhead beginning December 1.
Cowlitz River – I-5 Bridge downstream: 25 bank rods released 1 cutt. 19 boat anglers kept 6 adult coho and released 2 adult Chinook and 4 adult coho. Upstream from the I-5 Br: 26 bank rods kept 4 jack and 1 adult coho and released 16 adult Chinook, 2 adult coho, and 1 cutt. 11 boat rods kept 4 jack coho, 1 steelhead, and 5 cutts and released 1 jack and 7 adult Chinook, 2 jack and 2 adult coho, and 2 cutts.
North Fork Lewis River – 7 bank anglers kept 1 adult coho. 2 boat anglers had no catch.
Drano Lake – 3 boat anglers had no catch. Klickitat River – 32 bank anglers kept 10 adult Chinook and 3 adult coho and released 1 adult Chinook.
Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam – Effort and catches are still holding up, at least until the rain forecasted for later this week. Over 300 boats were counted during last Saturday’s flight. Boat anglers averaged an adult Chinook per every other boat last week.