Oregon and SW Washington Fisheries Update

Buoy 10 Set To Explode, Halibut and Ocean Salmon Producing

Willamette Valley/Metro – It remains a complex set of regulations on the mainstem Columbia, but salmon fishing is open upstream of West Puget Island. You can study those options HERE. It’s early for fall run salmon, but with the Buoy 10 season closed until Friday, there should be some biting Chinook that escaped the Buoy 10 entourage. Over the weekend, ODF&W sampled 66 boats (161 anglers) from Puget to Warrior with 6 Chinook kept and 1 Chinook and 1 steelhead released. Not impressive, but at least it was an option.

The lower Columbia, downstream of The Dalles Dam, remains closed to steelhead fishing.

The Willamette is currently a warm-water fishery although most serious anglers find other bodies of water to pursue these species. in.

The Clackamas remains a play ground for rafters and swimmers with very few summer steelheaders in pursuit under these challenging conditions. The wild run of spring Chinook performed surprisingly well this year.

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 had talked with a couple employees of ODFW and the report they shared was that there is fish to be had. They reported that they have about a 1,000 springers at the weir on the Bull Run and that they have had good number of summers back at the hatchery. ODFW is hoping that more guys will get out and catch these hatchery marked fish. Your best chances of hooking up will be from Oxbow Park to Cedar Creek and Dodge Park will have fish stacked up as well. Speaking about the river, the water is running 7.92 ft and water temp is around 65 degrees. The water color is glacial green and should stay that way until the weekend. So wishing you the best of luck and tight lines

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 – Only a few days remain for ocean salmon fishing for coho in the South of Falcon fishery. Chinook retention remains open, but makes up only a small portion of the catch. Coho action has been good for anglers out of Newport, they posted their best week August 3rd – 9th. Anglers have been commenting on how large the coho have been, I can attest to that!

Bob Rees with a Newport coho from August 7th

Despite good catches and a fair amount of effort, anglers had only gone through about 51% of their 22,000 fish quota as of August 9th. There will clearly be some fish left on the table, which may result in additional non-selective coho fishing that re-opens on September 4th. Ocean temperatures have been much more friendly to coho this year than last and there’s clearly an abundance of forage available.

Halibut fishing has been good too. On that same August 7th trip, our party of three had 3 triples on halibut, fishing just NW of the rockpile using shad chunks and herring as bait. I even reeled up 2 halibut at once:

Hmmm, which one to choose…

Shout out to former pro guide Bill Kremers for an awesome fishing trip and an even better friendship!

Nehalem anglers are hitting the peak season for summer-run Chinook here. Catches have been fair from the mouth to the town of Nehalem, with herring and Pro Trolls with spinners taking the majority of fish. This fishery is likely to hit its stride this week, and start to taper as the fall run progresses onward. Effort has been high with the Buoy 10 closure, but that’ll change come Friday.

Effort for freshwater fishing has been low, but anglers are still pursuing summer steelhead on the Nestucca, Wilson and Siletz Rivers with lackluster enthusiasm. Few are taking advantage of the sea-run cutthroat trout fishing, but that’s nothing new.

Crabbing has been good although there remains a lot of soft-shells in the catch.

Albacore anglers are talking about seeing a lot of fish, but having a hard time getting them to bite, except for short periods of time. They’re still far off, many are traveling west, over 40 miles to find them.

Central and Eastern Oregon Fishing Reports – From our friend Tim Moran:

Sorry readers, Tim has been short on time so we’ll have to forgo this weeks free blurb for Central, Eastern and SW Oregon. PAID members should get an update by Friday (8/14) afternoon.

SW Oregon – From avid angler Tim Moran:

Sorry readers, Tim has been short on time so we’ll have to forgo this weeks free blurb for Central, Eastern and SW Oregon. PAID members should get an update by Friday (8/14) afternoon.

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.

Buoy Ten success                  photo by Bill Monroe Jr

Vancouver Metro Area

The Buoy 10 fishery kicks off tomorrow, and even with the low projected returns, anglers are looking forward to it. For a couple weeks the focus will shift from the tributaries, but with the fall fish returning soon, those tributaries will offer opportunities other than summer steelhead. For anglers targeting the Columbia, always check the regulations before you fish. For a full list of river sections and seasons, check HERE.

Steelheading in most tributaries continues to be slow, although anglers are doing fairly well in the Cowlitz River. Trout anglers’ best bets are still the highland lakes, which will shine with the cooler fall weather. Warm water anglers are having a good summer, with local lakes putting out good numbers of just about everything, including catfish.

Lewis River and Washougal River Fishing Report

Anglers fishing the Lewis River continue to catch just a few summer steelhead. They are being caught mostly near the hatchery at Woodland, but a few are being taken elsewhere. Fishing pressure has been moderate at best, a result of the fairly slow fishing. Boat anglers are pulling plugs and fishing baits below a bobber, while bank anglers are throwing drift gear or fishing bobbers with bait.

Anglers are reminded that only fin-clipped hatchery Chinook may be kept until October, when anglers may retain un-marked Chinook.

Washougal anglers are still finding it tough going, with just a very few steelhead being caught in the lower three miles of the river. Many of the fish have moved into the upper stretches of the river, where public access is very limited.

Merwin and Yale Lake fishing Report

The kokanee are getting to be very good sized at Merwin, according to Stacie Kelsey of the WDFW Inland Fishes Program. However, the fish have been fickle as far as depths are concerned, and anglers are having to search for the best depth each day. Most are in 50 to 60 feet of water, but if you don’t find them there you will need to experiment with other depths.

The fishing pressure at Merwin continues to be an issue, so anglers wanting a little elbow room should try Yale, where the fishing is more consistent, but the kokes are running smaller.

Swift Reservoir and Swift Power Canal Fishing Report

The swift Power Canal is fishing very good for trout, and the reservoir has been fishing fair to good. Anglers are trolling and fishing bait at the reservoir, while fishermen at the canal have been getting the trout to bite on Powerbait fished along the bottom.

Longview Area

Cowlitz and Kalama Rivers Fishing Report

Steelhead action continues to be good to fair on the Cowlitz, with anglers continuing to be centered on the Blue Creek reach. The best action is taking place above the I-5 Bridge, where in the latest WDFW creel survey, 56 bank anglers kept 22 steelhead. 24 boats/89 rods kept 67 steelhead and released one. Below the bridge the catch was much lower, with 28 bank anglers only keeping two steelhead, and five boats/16 rods keeping one steelhead.

Bobber-dogging with bait or beads continues to be the most popular method for boat anglers, while bank anglers, including those fishing the side channel at Blue Creek, are catching fish with drift gear and by bobber fishing.

Fishing in the Kalama continues to be slow, and the pressure has dropped accordingly. The WDFW has now installed the weir to collect hatchery fish in the lower river, leaving anglers in the upper reaches to compete for the few fish the department allows to pass. John Thompson of the Sportsmen’s Warehouse in Vancouver, (360) 604-8000, reports that anglers he talked to recently spent some serious time in the Canyon in the upper river and had nothing to show for their troubles.

Swofford Lake and Lake Sacajawea fishing report

Yellow perch and other warm water species are biting very well in Lake Sacajawea, while catfish are being caught in good numbers at the Swofford Pond.

Riffe Lake fishing report

Anglers are catching good-sized coho salmon by trolling the lake, while anglers are finding good numbers of smallmouth bass holding on deep water structure.

Columbia River Gorge

Drano Lake and Wind River Fishing Report

Fishing is improving at both of these fisheries as temps climb in the Columbia. A few Chinook are starting to show up. Anglers are reminded that fishing for steelhead and steelhead retention is closed per permanent rules until November in both waters.  

Anglers at Drano are fishing bobber and bait for the fish, while anglers at the Wind River are primarily trolling.

Anglers at Drano are fishing bobber and bait for the fish, and a few anglers are trolling. Anglers at the Wind River are primarily trolling.

Goose Lake The lake received over 1,300 rainbow trout on August 5, and by all reports continues to fish very well for good-sized rainbows and cutthroats. Anglers are taking the fish on a wide variety of baits, including flies, spinners, lake trolls, and dough baits.

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.

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