SW Oregon Fishing Report for August 3rd, 2018

From ODF&W

The winds finally died down last Friday allowing anglers to get out for bottomfish, among other things. Reports are that rockfish fishing is scratchy, anglers are having to work for them, might be due to some colder water that the winds pushed nearshore. Lingcod has slowed down some as well; however there are still some good-size lingcod being landed, it just may take some more time and effort than it did a few weeks ago. Reminder that as of April 1, the bottomfish fishery is restricted to inside of the 30 fathom regulatory line.


The summer all-depth fishery opens this Friday and Saturday (Aug. 3-4), and will be open every other Friday and Saturday until Oct. 31, or the quota is caught.

The Central Coast nearshore halibut fishery opened on Friday, June 1. When the winds have allowed anglers to get out, there has been limited success with nearshore halibut. The average weight of fish landed last week was around 21 pounds live weight.

The Southern Oregon Subarea (Humbug Mountain to the OR/CA Border) remains open 7 days per week.

Reminder that similar to the bottomfish fishery listed above, descending devices are mandatory when fishing for or retaining Pacific halibut.

Sport salmon fishing for Chinook is open in ocean waters from Cape Falcon (just North of Nehalem Bay) to the Oregon/California border for two salmon per day (all salmon except coho). Minimum sizes are 24-inches for Chinook and 20-inches for steelhead. Anglers are also reminded that within the 15 fathom depth contour off Tillamook Bay (Twin Rocks to Pyramid Rock) that all Chinook salmon must have a healed fin clip.

The hot spell continues in Southwest Oregon, and water temperatures are heating up, especially in lakes and reservoirs. To reduce stress on fish, fish early in the day when water temperatures are cooler. Avoid handling large numbers of fish. When releasing fish, handle the lure or hook and not the fish. Minimize the use of baited treble hooks if you plan to release trout.

During the hot weather the best trout fishing will be early in mornings at higher lakes like Diamond, Lemolo, Hemlock, Lake in the Woods, and the high Cascade lakes in the Umpqua basin.

With hot, dry conditions, it might be a good time to target half-pounders in the lower Rogue. Look for them hanging out near the tributary mouths where cooler water is still feeding into the mainstem.

Other lower Rogue opportunities include people are reporting catch from the bay up to Indian Creek. The bay Chinook troll fishery has slowed some.

A few anglers are catching summer steelhead, half pounders and surfperch. Lower flows are ideal fishing conditions for anglers swinging flies or tossing spinners.

The Rogue River above Lost Creek Reservoir is a hot spot for summer trout fishing, offering a great place to escape the heat of the valley, enjoy some beautiful scenery, and catch some nice trout. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is stocking legal-size rainbow trout each week at most of the campgrounds and popular access sites along Highways 62 and 230. In addition to the stocked trout, the river and its tributaries also support naturally produced rainbow, cutthroat, brook, and brown trout. During the summer, this section of the Rogue River offers some of the best trout fishing in the Rogue Basin. Anglers can cast flies or smaller lures like a Panther Martin or rooster tail. Bait is typically best, however. Worms, Pautzke eggs, even PowerBait in some slower holes will produce.

Anglers are reminded that all Chinook salmon fishing closes in the Upper Rogue from Dodge Bridge to Cole Rivers Hatchery effective Aug. 1. Below Dodge Bridge anglers may continue to fish for Chinook through Aug. 31. Fishing for summer steelhead remains open and anglers are picking these up consistently. However, only hatchery summer steelhead may be retained.

Trout fishing in the upper Rogue can be very good in summer with some adipose fin-clipped steelhead smolts available for harvest. Casting flies or lures like panther martins will work, or drifting worms. Anglers are reminded that wild steelhead and trout must be immediately released.

Spring Chinook and summer steelhead are available on the middle Rogue. Anglers may retain both hatchery and wild Chinook salmon in the river downstream of Dodge Bridge. Wild steelhead must be released. Fishing for Chinook salmon upstream of Dodge Bridge to Cole Rivers Hatchery closes effective August 1.

Lemolo can be a good option for fishing during hot weather and recent reports indicate brown and rainbow trout fishing has been good. Kokanee in Lemolo are considered trout and therefore fall under the daily limit for trout of 5 per day with only one of those measuring over 20-inches. Contact Lemolo Lake Resort at 541-957-8354 for weather/road conditions and additional information.

Fall chinook fishing opens on the Smith River Aug. 1 from the mouth to the head-of-tide at Spencer Creek and in the North Fork Smith River from the mouth to the head-of-tide at Johnson Creek. Steelhead fishing is closed on Smith River above head-of-tide at Spencer Creek from May 1 through Nov. 30, but trout fishing is currently open on the mainstem Smith River and tributaries.

Striper fishing has been decent with a recent increase in catch rates.

Smallmouth bass fishing continues to be very good on the mainstem Coquille River, South Fork Coquille and Middle Fork Coquille rivers. Smallmouth are hitting on crankbaits, jigs and bait. There is no size limit or daily bag limit on the number of smallmouth bass you can keep in the Coquille River Basin.

Streams and rivers are open to trout fishing. Trout fishing in streams and rivers is slow to due to low water conditions. Anglers can use only artificial flies and lures in streams above tidewater, except the use of bait is allowed on the South Fork Coquille up to the Forest Service boundary upstream of Powers. The daily limit for trout in streams is 2 fish per day and they must be 8-inches or longer.

Fishing continues to be good at Diamond Lake. Most anglers are taking home fish averaging 15-inches and we are starting to see more 17-inch or larger fish in creel surveys. Trolling seems to be the most effective technique, but using bait or flies has also been showing positive results.

Trout fishing on Tenmile Lakes has slowed down with the best fishing is in the early mornings. Anglers should focus on fishing in deeper water.

Fishing for largemouth bass has been good with the best fishing in the early mornings or late evenings. Bass are hitting topwater lures in the low light conditions and anglers are switching to plastics and deeper water once the sun hits the water.

Please be aware that through Sept. 30, 2018 all fishing is closed within a radius of 200 feet from the mouths of all tributaries (including 200 feet into the tributary) of the Umpqua River mainstem between the Scottsburg Bridge (Hwy 38) and the River Forks Park Boat Ramp. These areas are critical for juvenile steelhead that seek refuge in the cooler tributaries as mainstem water temperatures reach 70+ degrees.

Fall Chinook fishing is starting to pick up in the lower estuary and should get better as we move into late summer.

Smallmouth bass fishing is good throughout the main.

Bass fishing is good throughout the South Umpqua with particularly high catch rates from Canyonville to the mouth at River Forks/Singleton parks.

From Pete Heley at PeteHeley.com

An emergency closure was enacted last week to protect wild summer steelhead and early returning fall chinook on the mainstem Umpqua River. The emergency regulation, covers the Umpqua River from the Scottsburg Bridge (Hwy. 38) to River Forks Boat Ramp in Roseburg. through September 30th – and may be extended, if necessary.

Above the Scottsburg Bridge angling is now is prohibited within a 200 feet radius of all tributaries in the Umpqua River and in the tributaries themselves from the mouth to 200 feet upstream. This emergency regulation protects wild summer steelhead and fall Chinook salmon that hold in and around tributaries looking for colder water. Currently, the Umpqua River has abnormally low flows and high water temperatures due to drought conditions.

“The Umpqua River at Elkton was 79 degrees Wednesday morning morning, and we know that temperature will be higher in the late afternoons. We believe the closure is needed to help protect our native fish that use these areas of cooler water,” said Greg Huchko, Umpqua District fisheries biologist. “Salmon and steelhead begin to have a tough time when water temperatures reach the upper 60’s, and we aren’t seeing a cooling trend any time in the near future.”

Anglers fishing out of Winchester Bay for ocean salmon continue to have the highest success rate at .40 retained salmon per angler/trip, but Newport has been hot – raising its catch rate from .30 salmon per angler/trip through July 15th to .37 retained salmon per anger/trip through July 22nd.

Striper fishing on the Smith River continues to be slow, but the spawning run of redtail surfperch above Winchester Bay was hot last week with some anglers getting quick boat limits.

Tuna have moved farther offshore and windy conditions have made them virtually unreachable by sport anglers.

Most of the freshwater lakes in our area offering decent early morning fishing for warm water fish.

Webinar - Building Your Own Gear with Pro Guide Chris Vertopoulos - January 29th