Southwest Oregon Fishing Reports
From Pete Heley at PeteHeley.com
ODFW trout plants have shifted to central Oregon and some of the area’s most popular trout fisheries were stocked last week.
Crane Prairie Reservoir received 6,600 legal rainbows, Miller Lake was stocked with 6,000 legal rainbows, East and Paulina Lake each received 2,500 legal rainbows. Miller Lake is slated to receive 3,500 legal rainbows this week along with 900 trophy rainbows. Two streams that are still receiving hefty trout plants are the McKenzie River above Leaburg and the Rogue River above Lost Creek Lake. The North Fork Santiam River received 1,800 legal rainbows last week and the Rogue above Lost Creek Lake is slated to receive 2,500 rainbows weekly throughout the rest of the summer.
When I read that the CDFW intended to re-establish Mono County’s Kirman Lake as California’s top lunker brook trout lake. I immediately thought about central Oregon’s East Lake. Like Kirman, East is a food-rich lake with limited spawning areas. Decades ago, East Lake had a few small gravel-bottomed areas that used to offer wonderful flyfishing during September and October for brookies measuring 14 to 19-inches.
When the decision was made to begin stocking Atlantic Salmon, kokanee and brown trout the stocking of brook trout was discontinued.
While East Lake’s new fish species proved quite popular – especially the brown trout. There always seemed to be something missing with the brook trout gone.
Stocking brookies in East Lake shouldn’t be problematic as the lake is a closed system. with the lake record brookie weighing an impressive seven pounds.
East Lake is also a prime choice to catch decent-sized brown trout from the bank. Situated at an elevation of 6,400 feet, cold early morning temperatures should have the browns cruising close to the surface within reach of bank anglers. by Labor Day.
It’s getting to be that time of year when the ODFW encourages anglers to fish early mornings rather than in the afternoon – especially if they plan to release their catch.
Closed for several months because of safety concerns regarding steep dropoffs near shore, Olalla reservoir near Toledo has refilled, been restocked and has reopened to angling.
A recent issue of the Columbia Basin Bulletin warns fishery agencies to not Wait For More Reports To Gear Up For Intensive Pike Suppression, Rapid Detection and response will be very important.
Lookout Point Reservoir continues to increase in popularity among Springfield and Oakridge area anglers and many morning arrivals walk the shoreline near launch sites to view the carcasses of fileted walleyes caught the preceding night.
Mike Long, a southern California angler who has made a career out of chasing a single giant largemouth bass in Dixon Lake has come under internet “fire” for cheating in many different ways. Accused by many of snagging giant bass to the point where SDFish.com went through the trouble of putting together an hour-long video, the most damning concrete evidence against Long occurred when he took credit for catching a lake record largemouth from Poway Lake that was actually caught by another angler.
As for local fishing reports, the Umpqua River shad run is essentially over except for a few fish being caught at Sawyers Rapids.
Ocean salmon fishing out of Winchester Bay was surprisingly good last week.
The South Jetty produced a couple of lingcod measuring more than 30-inches last week.
The pinkfin run is still going strong in the lower Umpqua River above Winchester Bay. Fishing pressure has been greatly reduced with the start of the ocean coho salmon season. The run should last through July.
Fishing local beaches for surfperch was very slow last week.
Fishing for striped bass on Smith River picked up last week with almost all of the stripers caught being quite small. Some of the larger stripers taken recently were caught by anglers using live sardines which they purchased at Umpqua Bait.
Coquille River striper fishing continues to be very good with some of the best fishing occurring in the two hours before dark.
While there haven’t been many recent reports of recent smallmouth bass catches from the Coquille River, the Umpqua River smallmouth fishing has been red hot. and extends downstream as far as nine miles east of Reedsport.
The upper Rogue is in good shape and expect flows to hold around this level for the foreseeable feature. Spring Chinook continue to be caught in the upper river as the run progresses. More summer steelhead are around as well.
Approximately 148 hatchery adult spring Chinook and 95 hatchery adult summer steelhead from Cole River Hatchery were recycled into the upper Rogue on July 3. The summer steelhead have red tags (spaghetti like) extending from the top of the fish near the dorsal fin. ODFW encourages anglers that catch these fish to call the upper Rogue office at 541-826-8774.
There is good public access for bank fishing and boat access at Cole Rivers Hatchery, McGregor Park, Casey Park, Rogue Elk, Shady Cove, Takelma, Dodge Bridge, Modoc, Denman Wildlife Area, Touvelle State Park, Gold Ray, and Fishers Ferry. Most floats in the upper Rogue have been from the hatchery or Rogue Elk downstream to Shady Cove. Dodge Bridge to Touvelle is an excellent float but anglers should be aware that they will encounter Rattlesnake Rapids. If you are not ready for Rattlesnake, many floats will start at the ODFW Modoc Access Site and float to Touvelle or Fishers Ferry.
Fly anglers that nymph will want to use prince nymphs or copperswans, steelhead brassies, stone flies, ugly bugs, or will want to fish large dark flies if swinging. Don’t be afraid of color such as black and chartreuse, black and blue, black and purple, black and pink, or black and red. If tying your own flies, don’t be afraid to add a little bit of flash dubbing or tinsel in the body of your fly. Also, covering lots of water when working through a run is a good technique when swinging flies. Trying moving 4-5 feet down every cast or two.
As of July 3, a total of 94 summer steelhead have entered Cole Rivers Hatchery with 50 new fish last week. Zero new winter steelhead were collected last week, leaving the season total at 2,835 fish. A total of 2,204 spring Chinook have entered the hatchery this season, including 202 last week.
Expo Pond has been stocked numerous times this spring with legal-size rainbow. Fishing for bass, panfish, and trout is good. One lucky angler caught an approximately 7-pound bass over the weekend. With the warmer temperatures, trout will be in the deeper water.
The Rogue above Lost Creek Reservoir will be stocked this week and this will occur weekly through the summer. Reports indicate fishing has been good from Prospect upstream and that includes one lucky angler who caught a 7-pound brown trout. With cold water, you’ll want to swing your lure right in front of fish, so work through a hole a bit more slowly.
Anglers can cast flies or smaller lures like a Panther Martin or rooster tail. Often tipping the lure with bait helps to produce. In slower holes, fishing straight bait such as night crawler or Pautzke eggs, even PowerBait will produce.
While fishing has been slow in the middle Rogue, reports indicate there are more than a few summer steelhead hanging out. Popular floats include Gold Hill to Rogue River, Baker to Lathrop or Ferry Hole, or Griffin Park to Robertson Bridge.
Boaters floating from Hog Creek to Graves Creek should be familiar with the rapids in this section of the river, and know their takeouts. Experienced oarsmen/woman are recommended here. There are many BLM public access points to bank fish from Hog Creek to Graves Creek. This is often referred to as the “Galice area”.
Bass fishing should be good in most of the mainstem Umpqua. Some summer steelhead should be around, and a few are being caught. All wild steelhead must be released in the Umpqua so please follow good catch-and-release techniques.
In the Coos River basin, a jig with a twister tail can be a great bait for catching rockfish around the jetties. Anglers have been catching lingcod with a herring floated under a bobber. Marine perch species are available around rocks, riprap, pilings, and docks at this time of year.
Striped bass have been biting well in the Coquille River from Riverton to Bullards, with most anglers using cut bait or nightcrawlers fished with sliding sinkers on the river bottom.
The smallmouth bass bite is also good at this time. A late resurgence of American shad has appeared in the last week.
Bottomfishing is restricted to inside the 40-fathom regulatory line through September. Fishing for lingcod and rockfish has been good when the ocean is calm enough to fish. The daily bag limit for marine fish is 5 plus 2 lingcod. The retention of cabezon opened on July 1.
Anglers may also choose to fish the offshore longleader fishery outside of the 40-fathom regulatory line, which is open year round. The longleader fishery has a daily bag limit of 10 fish made of yellowtail, widow, canary, blue, deacon, redstripe, greenstripe, silvergray, and bocaccio rockfish. No other groundfish are allowed and offshore longleader fishing trips cannot be combined with traditional bottomfish, flatfish or halibut trips. Find information about a longleader setup here.
Ocean salmon fishing for Chinook salmon from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt is open. The ocean opened to fin-clipped coho salmon on June 22. Chinook must be a minimum of 24-inches long and coho must be at least 16 inches.
Diamond Lake has picked back up as the large swarms of midges have receded. Recent reports indicate most successful anglers are using flies and using a quick retrieve or trolling.
The Tenmile Lakes have been stocked with legal-size rainbow trout. Trout fishing may slow down as the summer progresses, so try fishing deeper where cooler water is found.
Conditions should be prime for bass, crappie, bluegill, and brown bullhead catfish fishing at this time. Anglers also use small jigs or a worm on a hook fished near the bottom to catch yellow perch. To entice the bass, try frog imitation lures and popping lures around weed lines in the morning/evening, and fish around shaded areas during the day.