Oregon Fisheries Update October 2nd – October 8th, 2015

Willamette Valley Fishing Report – Fishing the mainstem Columbia below Bonneville Dam continues to produce good catches of upriver brights. Plugs and Brad’s Lures seem to provide the best action but eggs could become a strong option as well in the coming days. Anglers will start to see a few more dark fish, likely residing in the area for a mainstem spawn in the coming weeks. Trollers working the mainstem from Portland to Warrior Rock are also still catching some fish although success rates are dipping. The river downstream of Warrior Rock to Buoy 10 has now re-opened to any chinook as the constraining stock, the tule’s, have largely gone through.

There has been some improvement in water conditions at Willamette Falls as it is clearer and cooler. Consequently numbers of coho being counted are improving. Bass fishing in the lower river is good and will improve through October.

Despite the lack of rain, water conditions remain good and are quite fishable on the McKenzie. Fly anglers will enjoy fall trout fishing here.

The Santiams are low and clear, offering little of interest to anglers until winter steelhead start running after the first of the year.

The Clackamas River has dropped further over the past 10 days, creating difficult conditions in low, clear water. Fishing has been slow although the occasional coho or summer steelhead is being landed. Rain will improve the situation.

With the water clearing on the Sandy, conditions are good where clarity is concerned as this river is often opaque from glacial runoff. Recently, a few coho and Chinook have been landed but overall fishing is slow.

North Coast Fishing Report – Buoy 10 reports continue to verify that the coho run was grossly over-predicted this year. In fact, trollers are taking more chinook than coho on some trips. Anglers can write this option off although there will continue to be some hatchery coho in the river through the 3rd week of October. Chinook are certainly not a given here either although it’s nice to have the opportunity.

Crabbing is picking up on the lower Columbia and with a softening tide series, it could be a productive weekend.

Nehalem has slowed for Chinook, or at least become sporadic. It fished well on Wednesday but has been relatively slow for what should be a productive time for the fall fun fish.

Tillamook Bay continues to produce good catches of salmon. Lee Ritchie and his clan took 9 chinook by 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, fishing in the ocean with herring along the south jetty. They also retained 60 large keeper Dungeness crab out of 3 pots on an overnight soak using fresh salmon carcasses for bait. Fishing has been consistent in the ocean and productive in the upper bay as well. Guides reported multiple fish days at Ray’s Place Piling on Wednesday and the picket fence has been producing good action on bobber and bait as well as for trollers. Trask River bobber tossers did very well on Tuesday as well. The bobber fishery on the Trask should be in full swing right now.

Nestucca tidewater also had a good week with fair to good catches reported from Pacific City to Woods. The Salmon, Alsea and Siletz are also producing fine catches of Chinook as we enter peak season in the lower reaches of these systems as well.

The non-select coho season offshore is now closed. Catch and keep opportunities still exist in many coastal estuaries but check regulations for your favorite watershed before going out.

Albacore seem too far offshore for folks to get excited about.

Bottomfishing remains excellent out of most ports and the deep reef area is now open again where monster lingcod exist in plentiful numbers. Halibut, both inshore and all-depth are still options as well but check here before you go out.

Central & South Coast Reports – With the non-selective (fin-clipped or not) coho season closed offshore as of the last day of September, all ocean coho hooked must be released.

All depth halibut fishing will be open October 2nd and 3rd off the central Oregon coast as there is still remaining poundage in the quota. Nearshore halibut will be open seven days a week until further notice.

Results for tune fishers have slowed as the season’s end approaches. Predicting when it’s finally over depends on the whims of nature and where warm water takes the fish. Albacore trips are still being planned.

Bottom fishing has been excellent out of Depoe Bay and Newport. Mostly limits of rockfish are being caught although the ling cod bit is somewhat slower. The 30-fathom limit was lifted on October 1st, allowing offshore boats to fish at any depth.

There have been no catch reports from the Alsea but it is getting a great deal of attention from boaters trying to catch fish.

Wild coho may still be taken on the Umpqua River through October 15th and there is no seasonal quota here so it is guaranteed to go the distance. Be sure to check the regulations on this fishery,

Chinook and Dungeness crab are being caught in Coos Bay.

Trollers in Rogue Bay experienced a little slowing of the action this week. The Rogue River is running very low which prevents salmon from running upstream, causing numbers to build up in tidewater where anglers troll spinner/anchovy combinations to catch them. Steelheading is slow to fair on the lower river. Results for Chinook and the few steelhead in the Grants Pass stretch have been poor to slow. On the upper Rogue where it’s flies only season, fishing is fair to good for summer steelhead.

The “Chetco River Fall Chinook Ocean Terminal Area Season” or bubble fishery opened on October 1st to run through October 11th. Many anglers look forward to this event as it historically produces good numbers of large Chinook.

Central & Eastern – The lower Deschutes is in decent condition and no longer off-color from muddy water which was flowing earlier out of the White River. Steelhead slowed this week but it is hoped that results will improve in coming weeks..

Rainbow trout are being caught at Gold Lake although fishing results are only fair. There is no bag or size limit here for brook trout.

This time of year, kokanee are spawning or nearly so in most waters holding a population of these land-locked sockeye salmon.

With the last launch closing at Detroit Reservoir, boat fishing will no longer be an option.

The Jackson Armory located at 6255 NE Cornfoot Road in Portland. Will host the Pacific Northwest Fly Tyers Rendezvous on November 14th.

SW Washington- As is commonly the case, the Cowlitz remains the best bet for anglers for a multitude of species. Chinook, coho, steelhead and cutthroat trout are all on the table for this river but only hatchery Chinook may be retained here, of which only about 20% are of hatchery origin. Coho and steelhead action lags behind Chinook but the Cowlitz remains one of the best bets in the district.

The Kalama has some Chinook available now and should improve in the coming weeks.

Coho should also start to show in better numbers on the Lewis

Drano Lake trollers are taking good numbers of Chinook, better than a fish per rod. The mouth of the Klickitat remains a good option for Chinook as well. The coho fishery here will be disappointing in the coming weeks.