Oregon and SW Washington Fisheries Update May 1st, 2020

Willamette Valley/Metro – It’s all Willamette, all the time! We’re in peak season for Willamette River spring Chinook and even though the run is clearly on the downside this year (again), being in peak season still offers and angler a chance at one of the region’s best tasting fish that swims. Rod hours per fish still remain in double digits however, and likely will for the rest of the season.

The lower Willamette (Multnomah Channel, St. Johns area) remain the most productive reach and that too likely won’t change until the hydrodynamics of the river do. In other words, a rain freshet. A change is in the forecast for the middle of next week.

As for the Columbia, passage is picking up to over 1,000 springers a day, well ahead of last year. That said, fishery managers meet on Friday at 2:00 p.m. to discuss allowing us back on the MAINSTEM COLUMBIA! Maybe don’t get your hopes up just yet, but we could be fishing in the peak passage period on the mainstem Columbia for AWESOME Columbia River spring Chinook! We’ll send out a special news alert email to our subscribers tomorrow (Friday, May 1st) when we get all the juicy details. What a great way to start May! Stand by and look for our email tomorrow!

Do you like to fish plugs? Check out our latest YouTube Video on how to secure your sardine fillet to your plug, using the quick and clean method with Bob’s Bait Wraps! It’s SUPER SIMPLE, fast and efficient!

Also, we’ve added a NEW VIDEO (4/30/2020) on how to rig your plugs for backtrolling on the Willamette, where there’s still enough flow to actually backtroll! Check out this simple way to rig your plugs for deeper water backtrolling, using plugs and Bob’s Bait Wraps to secure your sardine fillet!

Bob’s Bait Wraps sold in packs of 100 bait wraps/pack
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Here’s what pro guide Jeff Stoeger (503-704-7920) of O2BFISHN GUIDE SERVICE had to say about Sandy River fishing, “Hello All. I hope that everyone is doing well. I know a lot of people are starting to get frustrated with having to stay in and being cooped up. I heard today that the state parks look like they going to keep all parks closed until the 25th of May. I know a few guys that have gotten out on the Sandy the last couple of days and have caught fish. I heard of a couple of springers caught on plastic worms as well as spinners. A buddy caught a reel nice summer steelhead on bead pictured here.

As for the Clackamas, there remains a few late winters staggering in with a few more summer steelhead in the limited catch as well. Again, access is a problem. Although still early for spring Chinook, ODF&W’s creel check starts on May 1st, so we’ll get a better idea as to what’s running. In recent years, the hatchery return has been dismal, and wild returnees have been surprisingly good. Serious springer fishers opt for the Sandy however.

Don’t overlook trout opportunities as many area lakes continue to be stocked with rainbow trout. It’s kinda like the old days however, when we had to go fishing without the knowledge of when trout were going to be stocked where. Makes it kinda like treasure hunting! Most lakes in the districts have been stocked at least once however.

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

Central and Eastern Oregon Fishing Reports

From our friend Tim Moran: Tim has once again provided an excellent report for our readers. Below is the abbreviated version. PAID MEMBERS can log on to take advantage of ALL of Tim’s information.

The “traditional opener” last weekend was pretty good in most spots. Here is how it went and what to expect this week…

Odell Lake –  Kokanee were biting from the surface down to about 30 feet.  I expect the schools are probably that thick so you can catch them  in the top half of the water column.

Wickiup Reservoir – Campgrounds are closed but the ramp is open.  Camping is open in unimproved areas. kokanee fishing was good last weekend and I expect it will hold up for awhile. 

Crane Prairie – Crane fished well and should only get better. 

Lower Deschutes River –  Maupin area – trout fishing has been good fishing nymphs.  Last week was perfect for a march brown hatch with overcast skies and fishing didn’t disappoint. 

John Day River – the river bounced to 7000 CFS and is on the drop but it needs to drop and warm a bit to make a smallmouth trip worth it.  Look for flows below 2800 CFS and them plan your trip.  Boater passes are not available yet and May has been cancelled. 

Crooked River – Baetis and BWO imitations from the nymph stage through the adult cycle are the main dry’s but a small purple haze or Renegade is always a good choice here.

Owyhee River – We fished it last weekend and it was good on Friday and tough on Saturday.  Friday we did really well swinging a size 18 soft hackle with a size 22 brown nymph behind it. 

That’s the report…I’m heading to Wickiup this week so I’ll have a report fresh from the lake next week.          

Enjoy the weekend everyone – Tight lines!

From ODF&W

ODF&W is putting the fishing reporting on hiatus for a few weeks so nothing to report this week.

Southwest – From ODF&W

ODF&W is putting the fishing reporting on hiatus for a few weeks so nothing to report this week.

SW Washington –  From the WDF&W web site HERE is the press release detailing the re-opening of public lands and waters for the state of Washington.

Even though WDF&W has no reports of how the fishing HAS been (for obvious reasons), with peak fish passage happening at Bonneville and passage well ahead of last year, anglers fishing in the Wind River and Drano Lake fisheries may find some good action when it does re-open assuming those bodies of water are open. Be prepared and keep checking the WDF&W web site for updated information.

Maybe the bigger news, after over a decade of requests, The Guide’s Forecast is finally coming to SW Washington! Not only are we bringing our game for SW Washington anglers, we’re doing it with STYLE! Former outdoor writer for The Columbian, Terry Otto will be the main contributor for detailed information for the district. We’re SO fortunate to have Terry as the district’s writer, look for more information as we enter spring and ready ourselves for a SW Washington launch!

Terry Otto