Oregon and SW Washington Fisheries Update

Depoe Bay, Newport Have Biting Coho, Metro Fisheries Lack Opportunity

Willamette Valley/Metro – With mainstem Columbia steelhead fishing closed until you get to the John Day Dam, anglers won’t have much to fish for until at least the 3rd week of August, when fall Chinook start to show. There are reaches of the lower Columbia that open for Chinook retention starting August 7th, but success rates will be poor until Chinook show in better numbers. You can study those options HERE.

Willamette River spring Chinook fishing is effectively over.

The Clackamas is a cold water refuge for many (humans) in the Portland/Metro area. Some summer steelhead remain in the pocket water but few anglers are in pursuit. Coho won’t show for another month and few have high hopes for a good run.

HERE is the state-wide status list of open and closed state parks. The map is getting more green and less red on it. We’re coming out of lockdown!

Pro guide Jeff Stoeger (503-704-7920) of O2BFISHN reports, “Hello All.   I hope that everyone is doing well. Here are the current river conditions.  The river has dropped to 7.93 ft and should hold there until we get the first big rainfall. The river temp is running around 65 degrees and will climb if we get another run of hot weather. The river is running glacial green and as the weather warms up the river will turn glacial brown.  There has been some still nice springers caught in the lower river and upriver. The fish that is pictured here was caught in the lower river by Mitch Webb on a pink and silver blade blue fox size 4. The river is getting tons of pressure from swimmer and rafters. So wishing you the best of luck and tight lines.

Mitch Webb spring Chinook

See the full version of Jeff’s, Tim’s and Bob’s reports by becoming a paid member here. It’s just $0.50 cents per week!

Brannan Hersh with a Buoy 10 Chinook coming in around 30 pounds

Get ready for the abbreviated Buoy 10 season with TGF’s Successfully Fishing Buoy 10 for Chinook and Coho Salmon Webinar, still available for your viewing. Hosted by Bob and Doug Rees, we had a great turn-out for our 2nd webinar and for just $19.95, you can still learn all the secrets of Oregon and Washington’s most productive salmon fishery in just over 2 hours, we recorded it! SIGN UP NOW to get access to a Buoy 10 education of a lifetime – guaranteed! That’s right, if you don’t feel you got your money’s worth, we’ll give you a 100% refund! CLICK OVER HERE to find out more details and let us HELP YOU CATCH MORE FISH!

North Coast Fishing Report – After a slow-down on action following the last band of cold water that chilled the salmon and bottomfishing bite, temperatures have normalized and the bite is back on. Ocean salmon action out of Depoe Bay and Newport improved this week, with anglers reporting large coho and a few Chinook in the catch.

Halibut fishing also improved with Newport again posting the best catches along the coast.

Bottomfishing improved too, although lingcod remain a bit elusive, which isn’t all that uncommon for this time of year.

Ocean crabbing is good, but a large percentage of the crab remain in the soft-shell state.

Nehalem Bay is improving for summer Chinook. Catches are climbing for trollers in the Wheeler to Nehalem reach with herring and 360 flashers with spinners both taking fish. This fishery should be peaking in the coming two weeks.

Bay crabbing in Tillamook, Nehalem, Netarts and Nestucca estuaries is fair. There is also a fair amount of pressure under these sunny skies.

Albacore action is becoming more consistent although anglers still need to plan on a 30+ mile run to the west.

Central and Eastern Oregon Fishing Reports – From our friend Tim Moran: (Repeat from last week) Paid subscribers, Tim is going to have a fresh report updated the afternoon of 8/7 so check back to the members section in the afternoon!

It’s been a hot week in the central and eastern part of the state and it’s also been pretty crowded with valley residents coming over to camp, fish and recreate.

Metolius River –  July and Early August are usually the toughest months of the year on the metolius.  The combination of crowds, fishing pressure and lots of sun on the water tend to put fish down and make them skittish.  This isn’t to say you won’t catch fish,  several anglers caught some real nice rainbows this week, but you need to work for them and figure your best fishing will be early and (especially) late. 

Lower Deschutes –  Caddis patterns dominate most of the day, but PMD and Pale Evening Duns will intermittingly be what the trout want.

The Middle Deschutes – from Bend to Lake Billy Chinook  – Caddis and mayflies (PMD, PED, BWO) will be your dry fly hatches. Top Middle D flies (dry) for this time of year are X caddis, Renegade, Purple Haze and small Parachute Adams.   

CrookedRiver –  It’s a good summer bet anytime!  Caddis, Renegades, midge, and mayfly patterns all work here.  Size is usually the most important factor and then color. 

The Fall River – It’s good but it’s been very popular.  Size 18 and 20 dark colored nymphs and flashback PT’s are taking fish. Evening  fishing is best with BWO’s, Caddis and terrestrials the top flies. 

Crane Prairie – It’s good.  I’d fish it early though as the water is going to warm up enough to make it dangerous to the trout if you’re going to catch and release them.  It’s just my opinion, but the trout seem to be of poor table fare in Crane once it gets warm. 

Hosmer – I’d skip this fishery – when it’s this hot it draws too manypaddle boaters.  If you fish it, fish the evenings. Damsels are active so nymphs are essential fish will crush adults.  Alder flies are hatching (Black Elk Hair Caddis is a good match) and Balanced Leeches are also a great bet at Hosmer.

East Lake – Good this week again with Callibaetis and beetles and ants. Leeches, chironomids and prince nymphs all work great here too but if you can catch them on top Why not!   East should be a top pick this week with hotter weather down below.

John Day River -It’s low and ultra clear! It’s really beautiful right now and will remain so until a big thunderstorm drops a bunch of rain and muddy’s it up  Fishing rusty brown and green buggers and blacks too will be great. 

You can reach Tim by emailing him at: tim.moran18@gmail.com

SW Oregon – From avid angler Tim Moran: (Repeat from last week) Paid subscribers, Tim is going to have a fresh report updated the afternoon of 8/7 so check back to the members section in the afternoon!

The McKenzie We’ve been seeing very good fishing over on the “Mak” using a combination of Dry/Dropper, match the hatch dries (PMD, Epeorus, Caddis, Stones, Terrestrials), Nymphs and Euro Nymphing techniques. Fish early. It’s mostly over by 9am.

Rogue River –  It’s officially summer steelhead season on the Rogue! This is our favorite time of year and the next 4 or 5 months are the best fishing we see here in beautiful southern Oregon. We are starting to see our first decent push of steel getting into the upper Rogue, and fishing will just get better and better thru November.

Umpqua River – Bass fishing is awesome right now throughout the main stem and the south fork. Flies with rubber legs, 3 and 4 inch plastics, small spinners and worms are all take bass. This is the time of year you can catch 100 bass a day!

Diamond Lake – Fishing has continued to be good at Diamond Lake. Bug hatches at times have been prolific, so much so that when they are it actually slows the bite as fish gorge on the flies.

Ten Mile Lakes – Bass are up on the shorelines early and you can reach them with spinnerbaits and topwater plugs.

Southwest streams – There are also Sea Run Cutthroat’s in the systems too and they are fun to target by trolling or bobber fishing with a piece of sand shrimp.

Have a safe and enjoyable weekend everyone! And don’t forget, firsthand reports from you – the reader – are great and will be incorporated into these reports.

You can reach Tim by emailing him at: tim.moran18@gmail.com

SW Washington –  Terry Otto has put together another smashing report for SW Washington. What you will read below is an abbreviated version of what Terry’s “FULL VERSION” report will look like in the months ahead. Sign Up for Terry’s PAID version that started last week. With this level of detail, you won’t want to miss a single week! It’s JUST $0.32 cents per week! Here’s Terry’s summary for this week. SUBSCRIBE to the full SW Washington version HERE!

Covid-19 Update

Anglers are still being asked to follow state guidelines and health advice for the COVID-19 pandemic by fishing in their local communities, traveling only with family or other members of their immediate household, and practicing physical distancing by keeping six feet apart.

For updates on the pandemic, check the WDFW Covid-19 webpage HERE.

Vancouver Metro area

While anglers anxiously await the opener of the Buoy 10 fishery near Astoria on August 14th, they can fish some sections of the river from West Puget Island to Bonneville Dam for Chinook salmon starting on Friday, August 7th. The regulations are complicated so we won’t post them here but or a full list of Columbia River fall salmon seasons by section, check HERE.

The tributaries are fishing slowly for summer steelhead, with the exception of the Cowlitz. Anglers there are doing pretty good.  

Those fishermen looking for trout should focus on the big reservoirs and high-country lakes, including Council and Takhlakh Lakes. Warm water anglers are doing very well in most local lakes with good populations of perch, bluegill, bass and crappie.

Lewis and Washougal River Fishing report

The fishing in both of these rivers has been slow recently, according to Cody Clark of Bob’s Sporting Goods in Longview, (360) 425-3870. However, bank anglers are doing a little better at the Lewis River hatchery in Woodland. The most recent creel survey had eight anglers keeping three steelhead. While that is not good fishing by any stretch, it is better than it has been.

Nothing has changed in the Washougal River, where fishing is poor most of the time, but fair if you are lucky enough to catch a fresh school as they move in.

Merwin/Yale Lakes Fishing Report

Kokanee fishing at Merwin Lake has been spotty, with some anglers doing alright, but others struggling. It also continues to be fished heavily. The fish can be found at depths of 40 to 60 feet, but reports suggest that the schools have been difficult to lock in on, and anglers are having to start each day by trying anew to locate the right depths.

Yale continues to fish better than Merwin, but the fish are averaging smaller as usual. Most anglers are flocking to Merwin to target those larger fish. That has left Yale with less pressure and a better bite.

Swift Reservoir, Power Canal, and trout lakes report

Trout fishing has been very good in Swift Reservoir and fair at the Swift Power Canal following recent stockings of rainbow trout. The canal received some of the extra rainbows from the cancelled kids fishing event at Merwin hatchery, and they are showing up in the catch. Trolling has worked well at the reservoir, while anglers have been getting trout by fishing Powerbait along the bottom at the canal.

Summer steelhead by Terry Otto

Longview Area

Cowlitz and Kalama Rivers Fishing Report

Guide Dave Mallahan of Dave’s Guide Service (360-201-9313), reports that fishing has been very good on the Cowlitz for most anglers. He has been doing very well by bobber-dogging with small bits of bait and beads in the reaches below Blue Creek. While the schools continue to gather up by the creek mouth, Mallahan has found some active fish a bit further down, below the fleet of boats that work the river every day.

‘We landed 11 of 16 this last trip,” reported Mallahan, who was fishing fast, boiling water near submerged boulders. He also reported being by himself for most of the morning, a rarity in the Blue Creek fishery.

Bank angling has picked up too with the fishermen targeting the side channel at the mouth of Blue Creek taking steelhead in better numbers. During the WDFW’s most recent creel survey, below the I-5 Bridge, 52 bank rods kept six steelhead. 1 boat/2 rods kept one steelhead. Above the I-5 Bridge, 48 bank rods kept 21 steelhead and released one steelhead. 40 boats/120 rods kept 63 steelhead.

Fishing in the Kalama continues to be spotty, with decent bites coming when a pulse of fresh fish enters the river. Otherwise the fishing has been slow. Effort has also decreased on the river as a result, and WDFW creel survey technicians encountered only one angler during the most recent survey, and he had no catch. 

Mayfield Lake

The lake was stocked with over 2,000 fresh rainbow trout recently, which should boost the already good fishing. Tiger muskies are biting well here, too.

Sacajawea Lake

Panfish are biting very well here, with good catches of yellow perch.

Mayfield Reservoir

The lake has been well stocked recently and is fishing well for trout. Tiger muskies are also biting well.

Riffe Lake

Coho fishing continues to be good, and the fish are of nice size for landlocked salmon. Smallmouth bass fishing is now good for summer pattern fish. They can be found holding on deep water structure.

Columbia River Gorge

Drano Lake and Wind River fishing Report Columbia River water temps are slowly climbing, and recently topped 71 degrees. As a result, some steelhead are pulling into these cold-water fisheries, and are showing up in the catch. At Drano Lake anglers with small craft are trying for the fish with both bait and flies, while anglers at the Wind River are taking a few fish by trolling. However, the mark rate has been skewed toward wild fish that cannot be kept.

If you like what you see, send it to your friends in SW Washington! You can email us at bob@theguidesforecast.com or Terry at orotto@wavecable.com. Your SW Washington fishermen can sign up for our FREE reports HERE or become a paid member to get even more quality fishing information HERE.