Oregon and SW Washington Fishing Reports

Mainstem Columbia to Close Soon, Coho Yet to Show

Willamette Valley/Metro – With the fall Chinook migration underway, anglers are coming out in force to take advantage of the abbreviated season. Check your local listings here for the river reach you’re fishing, for up-to-date information on regulations.

Overall, The Fishery is going well but that doesn’t negate the fact that success rates are sporadic from day to day. Wobbler anglers are still taking fair numbers of fish from Cowlitz to Warrior Rock but 360 flasher and spinner combo’s are doing slightly better. The season won’t last much longer so pick your strategy and get after them.

Coho have yet to show on the Willamette or Clackamas Rivers, but it won’t be long.  There are few anglers fishing for summer steelhead on the Clackamas River right now, but it is an early morning option.

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. There have been a few guys out fishing the lower river and guys fishing Oxbow up stream. The  rumor is that there has been a coho caught but not confirmed. The river is running at 7.74 ft and water temp is about 64 degrees. The color this morning was running glacial green and will change color as the day gets warmer. If you go after coho I would fish spinners. If you have braid line on your reel make sure to add a bumper section of mono that is 12 to 20 pounds. There is fish thru out the entire river.

So wishing everyone the best of luck and tight lines. Check your local tackle stores for fresh bait. Also don’t forget to try the mouth of the sandy for chinook and hatchery coho on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. So tight lines and the best of luck.

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 – It’s been a windy week for anglers on the north coast so fishing open water has been less than ideal for anglers. The ocean has been a poor option with strong tradewinds keeping boats from recreating. Offshore halibut, Chinook, and albacore are desperate to get caught, but the weather isn’t currently cooperating.

The Buoy 10 Chinook fishery closed a bit slow on Thursday, but Wednesday was good and overall, managers believed the fishery tracked as expected. There were a lot of Chinook taken from the Buoy 10 fishery and still a lot to come. Coho fishing for hatchery fish remains an option and numbers are building, but ALL Chinook must be released from the Buoy 10 reach of the river until later into Septeber. Some of the coho are running at an exceptional size as well.  There is an odd number of wild coho in the river in comparison to hatchery fish.

The sportfleet had an additional 1,650 coho added to the non-select coho fishery starting on September 4th. We’ll write about it more in next week’s edition. It should be a good fishery. 

Nehalem Bay has slowed but fall Chinook are right on their heels. Coho should also start to show in the fishery. 

Although reports are scarce, Chinook should start to show in the Tillamook, Nestucca, Salmon, Alsea and Siletz River estuaries this week. Trolling herring at the mouths of these estuaries will be a good idea when these tide exchanges are low like they are this week.

This should be a good weekend for crabbing in most north coast estuaries.

Ocean boating doesn’t look like a good idea for a while. at least through the weekend. 

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

Hello Everyone! It should be another great week of fishing! Cooler temps on Sunday and Monday should help the fishing which hasn’t really needed much help as it’s been pretty swell! Let’s get to it! Over on the….

Metolius River – The fire is burning in the area but has moved away from the river and depending on the wind, you can have blue skies or smoke. Fishing has been good for those who have ventured back and will only get better.

Lower Deschutes – A check in with The Deschutes Angler and The Fly Fisher’s Place shops tells us that trout fishing is good on the river although like other area rivers, smoke can be an issue (not so much for the fish as for your health). Trout are being caught all day. The river is running at about 3700CFS which makes getting to some of the gravel a bit easier.

Lower Deschutes Steelhead – Steelhead are in the river all the way up to Maupin with the lower section you can reach from Maupin on the access road being the better area. I would start at Mack’s boat ramp and work my way up river. There are lots of fishermen on the weekends but still lots of holes that are open if you walk a bit. Be sure not to drop in below other fishermen.

The Middle Deschutes – Bend to Lake Billy Chinook – Streamer fishing is very good here for browns and rainbows. This area is open to lures as well and casting small wobblers.

Crooked River – Lots of releases this week which really mucks up the water with floating mass. It can be frustrating. Most of the gunk is below the surface so fish dries for the best success.

Crane Prairie – It is dropping pretty quickly now with Wickiup reduced to 10% of pool. Fish near the Deschutes and Quinn River channels. While the warm water is hard on trout, the bass are thriving and active. You can always find bass near the wood structure.

East Lake – Paulina Lake – Fishing was a little slow on both lakes last week because of wind. When the weather is good look for fish on both lakes.

Wickiup Reservoir – It’s very low – 10% of normal now – but fishing is holding up. Stripping large streamers on sinking lines have taken some really nice browns and a few rainbows. No report this week on Kokanee. Launching a boat of any size is challenging!

John Day River – Fishing is good but thunderstorms can blow the river out so check the flows before you head out. Also check to make sure there isn’t a fire in the area you plan to fish. The pattern will be the same as reported last week. The river is low and you can walk across it in several places. Water temps are in the mid 70’s so it’s really comfortable wading. These are 50 to 100 fish days!

Grand Ronde River – No update but last week smallmouth Bass fishing and fishing for rainbows to 20″ has been good from Troy to Bogans. Bass are taking the usual offerings including plastic grubs, buggers and spinners.

Prineville Reservoir – Trout were being taken and bass fishing is very good.

SW Oregon – From avid angler Tim Moran:

The McKenzie – The river just keeps producing great fly fishing. Casting Rooster Tails and Panther Martin spinners or drifting worms is very good too.

Detroit Reservoir – Fishing for kokanee is good. Downriggers are helpful for this fishery but you can reach these fish with long, braided lines and 3 to 4 oz. of weight. Using your fish finder electronics is key to finding the fish.

Rogue Bay – I didn’t get a fresh report but did see a picture last weekend and you could walk across the boats – so the fish must be in.

Winchester Bay – Chinook are moving into the bay and fishing near the jaws with herring is fair. Bay crabbing has been good with full pots of crab in mostly good condition. Salmon Fishing in the upper bay will improve soon too.

Coos River – The Coos estuary has been good for fall kings to 30 lbs. Stage your rods so that they are fishing near the bottom to mid depth for best results

From ODF&W

Anglers continue to do well on the South and Main Umpqua rivers for smallmouth. There is no limit on this species here and fishing can be fantastic. 7/29/20

Half-pounder steelhead numbers are picking up every day on the lower Rogue. 8/19/20

The Rogue River and tributaries above Lost Creek Reservoir should be a good place to target trout throughout the summer. Trout are stocked weekly from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Target calmer pools and pocket water for resting trout. Stocking sites are from Woodruff Bridge all the way upstream to Minnehaha Creek. Trout limits here are 5 trout per day, only 1 over 20 inches, and bait is allowed. 7/29/2020

A good push of Summer steelhead entered Cole Rivers hatchery last week. Some reports have been coming in that anglers are getting them on dark colored flies. Only adipose fin-clipped trout and steelhead may be harvested this time of year on the Rogue. Best bet for gear folks would be plugs, drifting bait, or getting started early on a “bug and bubble.” 8/12/2020

Smallmouth bass are biting well on small pieces of nightcrawler drifted on the bottom of the upper mainstem Coquille and South Fork Coquille rivers. Anglers are having some success free diving and spearfishing smallmouth bass in the South Fork Coquille River along the Powers Hwy and Middle Fork Coquille River. 8/19/20

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 guide Matt Eleazer of Eastfork Outfitters

Vancouver Metro Area

With the Buoy Ten closing after today, most anglers and guides report that the fishing was just about what most people expected. Matt Eleazer of East Fork Outfitters (360) 687-3474, reports that he has limited his boat on most days, but that some days it took longer to do so. The bites were decent in most of the usual places, and he found a lot of his fish off the Church Hole, and both above and below the Astoria-Megler Bridge.

Attention will now be shifting to the mainstem Columbia upriver, where catches of Chinook have been fair the last week. The best catches have been in the Woodland to Longview stretch.

The tributaries are seeing the first pushes of fall salmon, but anglers looking for early coho in the tribs should look to the North Fork Lewis, which has the last sizable early coho run left among the Columbia tributaries.

Lewis and Washougal Rivers Fishing Report

Anglers are getting a few fish in the North Fork Lewis, according to John Thompson of the Sportsmen’s Warehouse in Vancouver, (360) 604-8000. Thompson said pressure is still very light, a result of poor summer fishing overall. The first early fall salmon are now showing in the river. These early catches, while few, have many anglers feeling optimistic about this year’s returns.

The Washougal continues to disappoint for summer steelhead anglers, and fishing pressure has been very light as a result.

Merwin, Yale, and Swift Lakes Fishing Report

Both Merwin and Yale are still fishing well for kokanee and should do so for another week or two until the larger kokes start to migrate to their spawning areas. There will still be smaller kokanee available after the larger fish move off. The schools in both lakes are still holding at about 40 to 60 feet.

The large rainbow trout that have been stocked into Merwin are schooling up and biting well down by the park near the dam. Big muskies are still being caught by anglers throwing large baits.

Stacie Kelsey of the WDFW reports that trout fishing in Swift Reservoir is picking up after a lull in the action the last few weeks.

Trout Lakes Fishing Report

Both Takhlakh and Council Lakes continue to fish well for trout anglers tough enough to fight off the mosquitos. There have also been good reports from anglers hiking into the lakes in the Indian Head Wilderness. All of these options will produce very well through the fall months.

Warm water Fisheries

Lacamas Lake has been giving up lots of really nice largemouth. Anglers are finding them by searching among the lily pads. Anglers should start at the east end of the lake and work toward the middle. Silver Lake is fishing well for crappie and a few bass, but most crappie are below the 9-inch minimum.

Longview Area

Cowlitz and Kalam Rivers Fishing Report

Fishing pressure has dropped considerably on the Cowlitz over the past week, partly because anyone with a boat has been down at the Buoy Ten fishery. Anglers are also forsaking this river for the mainstem Columbia, but early salmon are moving into the lower sections of the river, and will offer anglers something to target other than summer steelhead.

Steelhead catches in the Blue Creek area are still fair to good, with the latest surveys above the I-5 Bridge showing that 19 boat anglers kept 21 steelhead. Bank anglers did a little less well.

Fishing in the Kalama River picked up just a tad this week, as a few fresh salmon entered the river. For these early fish the best bet is in the lower two river miles. A few early Chinook will probably show, but these will mostly be tules and of poor quality.

Warm Water fisheries

Swofford Pond is giving up plenty of good-sized catfish, and anglers at Sacajawea are finding some good panfish. Smallmouth bass at Riffe Lake are biting well, and are reportedly larger than usual. While currently in a summer pattern, they will transition into shallow areas to feed this fall.

Summer steelhead by Terry Otto

Columbia River Gorge

Drano Lake and Wind River Fishing Report

Fishing is picking up for Chinook at both Drano Lake and the Wind River, but according to Thompson at Sportsman’s Warehouse, pressure is building, too. Anglers are trolling for the fish at the mouth of the Wind, with many fishing bait or Brad’s Super Baits behind Protrolls. Anglers at Drano are trolling for the fish, too. Bank anglers are trying their luck fishing salmon eggs below a bobber, and a few fish are coming to hand.

Klickitat River Fishing Report

The river did clear out just a little bit this week, but not enough to really improve the fishing, according to Carl Coolidge of the of the Klickitat Canyon Market, 509-369-4400. He said a few anglers did try their luck, but the results were poor.

Goose Lake

The WDFW has begun stocking the lake with big, fall trout, and even with considerable pressure, especially on the weekends, the lake is really fishing well. Anglers that can fish on weekdays will be rewarded with more room and better fishing.

Rowland Lake

Big largemouth bass and bluegill are biting very well in the lake, and many anglers have discovered that South Rowland Lake, just on the other side of Highway 14, is filled with really nice bass that are biting well, too. Anglers will need to use small craft such as inflatable rafts or small kayaks to access the best water.

Willapa Bay fishing Report

Anglers fishing Willapa Bay are finding some Chinook, while anglers in the rivers, including the Naselle, are getting a few early coho. Portions of the Naselle are closed at this time, so check the regulations before fishing.

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.