Good late season steelhead may materialize

Willamette Valley/Metro Nope, no springers at Bonneville yet. An initial springer frenzy has ensued recently but if the metro rivers swell as anticipated, interest will wane. It’s too early to invest too much time into these fisheries. I know, they’re springers, right? As the lower Willamette rises and muddies up over the coming week, the burgeoning winter steelhead and spring Chinook fisheries will stall. Catch-and-release sturgeon fishing is expected to remain good. There’s not much reason to send anyone fishing on the McKenzie River in the Wek to come.

While there are a few summer steelhead available in the Santiams, there are too few winters to target them this early in the season. The Santiams will be high and swift regardless.

Northwest – Steelheaders have been waiting for the upcoming rain freshet for a while now. The precipitation should produce good results for the late steelhead run. The Wilson and Nestucca will be primary targets for hatchery fish seekers.

You won’t find many boats working the Trask River post freshet, mostly because it’s catch and release. This will be a good system to look for trophy steelhead over the next several weeks.

The Kilchis will be one of the early systems to clear and should provide some wild steelhead action.

The smaller, north coast systems should have lots of hatchery fish in them (Necanicum, North Fork Nehalem) but they will largely be spawned out and of poor eating quality.

Forget an offshore effort this weekend but it sure was good last weekend, especially for sea bass out of Garibaldi and lingcod out of Newport.

Crabbing, both in the ocean and in the estuaries, is slow.

Southwest– Heavy rainfall over the next several days will hinder crabbing efforts in coastal estuaries. Surf perch fishing has been quite good, particularly for this time of year. Beaches at Bandon and Coos Bay have been productive although with storms over the weekend make surf fishing unsafe. A couple of boats out of Newport caught Chinook salmon while bottom fishing.

Smelt shouldn’t be far from the Cowlitz, be sure to check last weeks archived edition for the smelt season. Chinook season will not open until August 1st on the Siuslaw according to 2015 regulation. Umpqua mainstem flows will be on the rise this weekend with the water forecast to crest at 60,000 cfs overnight Saturday, February 7th. Water level on the lower Rogue will rise above the ‘Action Level’ of 16 feet at Agness on Saturday, February 7th. Steelheading will resume and possibly improve as the water drops and clears. High water stalled fishing efforts on the Chetco River a couple of days ago and just as it’s settling down, another front is due to cause a genuine blowout. This freshet should bring fresh winter steelhead into the system. It looks like ice fishers may not get a change this year as the surface has already started to thaw without ever getting thick enough to support anglers.

Eastern – Redside fishing is fair to good on the lower Deschutes with Blue-Winged-Olives hatching around mid-day although nymphs fished near the bottom will be effective ‘most anytime.

While the Metolius is slow to fair, fly anglers are occasionally picking up some nice trout.