Oregon Fisheries Update September 23rd, 2016

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Willamette Valley – Action for Portland/Metro area fall Chinook is slowing. With a downgraded Chinook return, anglers are seeing firsthand the impacts from an over-prediction. Trollers are still having a few good days just downstream of Bonneville Dam but as we’ve said all season, it’s a far cry from what sportanglers witnessed last year. Pro Trolls and small spinners remain the top option but backtrollers should start to see more biters as the water and air temperatures continue to cool.

Interest is growing for coho on the Clackamas and Sandy Rivers but few fish are in the system just yet. A rain storm would certainly motivate fish to move but no one is counting on a big return this year. Keep your effort low in these river systems until we get that rain storm. Only a slight river rise is in the forecast but the Sandy and Clackamas did come up nearly a foot on last weekend’s weather system.

The lower Willamette should have some coho milling around, for which anglers will usually cast spinners at the mouth of the Clackamas.

McKenzie River conditions were effected very little by recent rains and, as fall comes on, is a good destination for fly anglers to consider.

Recent precipitation caused a bump in the level and flow of the South Santiam which should translate as good news for Santiam fishers.

The Clackamas could only have benefitted from showers. While the effect on level and flow was slight, it doesn’t take much to entice fresh fish to enter at this time of year.

Sandy River anglers have been faced with off-color water over the past week which seems to linger. This isn’t necessarily bad news and many prefer off-color water when they fish the Sandy.

Northwest Oregon – Tillamook anglers were stuck inside the bay for much of the week but made the most of it with flurries of activity in the Ghost Hole, Ray’s Place Piling and Memaloose Point. The peak of the run is still to come but overall, the fishery is performing fair to good. The ocean opened up for one day of opportunity on Thursday but the best action took place on the inside of the north jetty, on the soft outgoing tide we had for much of the late morning hours.

Many of the hatchery coho have exited the estuary and are starting to return to their respective hatcheries on the Trask and North Fork Nehalem Rivers. Although returns are expected to be low, these small river systems will offer up some opportunities to find biting fish.

The Nestucca, Nehalem, Alsea and Salmon Rivers all have catchable numbers of Chinook available. Softer tides this weekend should be conducive for trollers working the lower reaches of these river systems using herring for bait. The Siletz is becoming more consistent too, but is still weeks away from peaking. Bay crabbing should also be productive. Keep in mind that the retention of wild coho is illegal in all of Oregon’s estuaries this year.

The lower Columbia remains abysmal for coho but crabbing should pick up this weekend.

Interest for tuna is waning offshore; anglers are coming back disappointed.

There remains halibut on the nearshore quota, we should make it through the end of September, especially if the weather remains volatile.

Bottomfishing remains excellent as well and the deep reefs open up October 1st. See discounted coupons from our homepage www.TheGuidesForecast.com for a trip with Garibaldi Charters.

Central & South Coast Reports – Despite earlier reports that hinted to the contrary, all central and south coast halibut fisheries will continue through September.

Tuna fishing has slowed due to a combination of albacore moving more than 30 miles offshore and high south winds which have made it challenging to navigate.

Fishing for rockfish and ling cod has been reported as excellent out of most Oregon ports. As a bonus, ocean crabbing has been reported as “stellar.”

This is a good time of year for sea-run cutthroat trout fishing, particularly after a little rain has fallen. They’ll be found in tidewater this early in the season.

Blogger, author and publisher of several fishing books, Pete Heley (peteheley.com) reminds us that Winchester Bay is kicking out a few salmon and that crabbing is pretty good here.

Coos Bay is usually mentioned as one of the places producing salmon and crab but this week it seems to be the Coquille River.

Trolling for salmon in Rogue Bay has taken a hit as Chinook are just passing through. Lower Rogue anglers are picking up a few fish as are those on the Grants Pass stretch. It’s still flies only and no Chinook on the upper Rogue.

‘Tis the season for the Chetco River as fall Chinook salmon start to enter. A few are getting caught daily with this fishery improving over the coming weeks.

Central & Eastern – That darned White River, a lower Deschutes tributary, is once again spewing mud into the main river. Fortunately, the condition has been improving over the past couple of days with the water staring to clear.

Spring-fed rivers are often the secret to successful fall and winter trout fishing, so determine which trout streams qualify and go catch some fish!

Odell Lake has been a worthwhile location for kokanee fishers but stay versatile with technique as it’s not always jigging that takes fish here.

Kokanee fishing has been decent at Green Peter. While these fish are smaller than at some other impoundments, there are plenty of ‘em.

SW Washington – Anglers are starting to hit the tributary fisheries a little harder with the appearance of Chinook and some coho salmon in the recent weeks. The Cowlitz will likely remain the top producer but the Kalama and North Fork Lewis River are also starting to improve.

Drano Lake continues to put out Chinook and some steelhead. The run has peaked here but angling should remain good for another week or so before it tapers.

The Klickitat River is also picking up as Chinook seek refuge in the cooler flows. This should be a good week for anglers here.