SW Oregon Fishing Report for October 12th, 2018

From ODF&W

On the Chetco River chinook salmon and steelhead season is open from the river mouth to Nook Creek through Dec. 31. Anglers are picking up a few Chinook in the estuary below the Hwy 101 bridge. Both effort and catch have started to pick up. However, due to low and warm water conditions above tidewater, fishing in this part of the river doesn’t typically start for another few weeks. After recent rains, a few anglers have reported Chinook catch at Social Security Bar.

The use of the two-rod validation for salmon fishing in Coos Bay ended on Sept. 30. Salmon fishing continues to be slow but anglers have caught some Chinook salmon from the Marshfield Channel up to the head of the tide. The majority of the salmon caught this week were jacks with a few adults mixed in. Bank anglers are starting to catch fish at the mouth of Daniels Creek, upper Isthmus Slough, Coos Bay boardwalk and Pony Slough. Boat salmon anglers have been catching and releasing wild coho near the airport. There is no retention of wild coho in Coos Bay this season.

Recreational fishing for bottomfish is open in the ocean along with bays and estuaries. The daily bag limit for marine fish is back to 5 plus 2 lingcod. The retention of cabezon is no longer allowed for the rest of the year. Fishing for rockfish and greenling continue to be good inside Coos Bay near the north jetty and other submerged rock structures.

Salmon anglers have been trolling the lower Coquille River from Bandon to Riverton Boat Ramp. A few salmon have been caught while trolling a cut plug herring but overall fishing has been slow. Boat salmon anglers have been catching and releasing wild coho. There is no retention of wild coho in the Coquille this season.

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.

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 is an effective technique, but using bait or flies has also been showing positive results.

Anglers are continuing to catch largemouth bass, crappie, and bluegills from the fishing dock and along the weedlines in Eel Lake. Fishing is typically the best in the mornings before the wind starts blowing in the afternoons.

Galesville Reservoir has been stocked several times this year and should have lots of trout from previous stockings. In addition to trout, the reservoir was stocked with coho smolts until 2015. Anglers have reported recent catches of coho measuring up to 14-inches. Many people mistakenly think these fish are kokanee. The coho smolts should be adipose fin-clipped, and please remember to release coho and rainbow trout smaller than 8-inches.

In Galesville Reservoir, all landlocked salmon are considered trout and are part of the five-per-day trout limit, with only one trout over 20-inches long allowed for harvest.

Fishing for bass and other panfish should be decent. Good areas are near dead snags and the boat ramp.

Loon Lake should have plenty of trout from recent stockings including trophy-size trout. Fishing for crappie, bluegill and bass has been decent. Slower presentations such as jigging can be a good technique.

Lost Creek will be the primary draw for trout anglers in the Rogue watershed now through early spring. Large rainbow were stocked last week to complement fish remaining as holdovers from earlier releases. In addition, Lost Creek is the only place where trailered boats of any size can be launched. Both the Takelma and Marina boat ramps are usable at this time.

On the lower Rogue River water levels are low and with cooler than average water temperatures, fish have begun to move up river. People trolling bait are still reporting catches in the bay, but anglers might also think about side drifting with eggs farther up river.

Coho salmon have started pushing through as well. Anglers have reported catch in the bay and lower sections of the Rogue. Only hatchery coho may be kept as part of an angler’s adult and jack salmon daily bag limit.

Both adult and half-pounder steelhead have been moving upriver in decent numbers. Lower flows are ideal fishing conditions for anglers swinging flies or tossing lures. Anglers interested in traveling up river are advised to contact the Forest Service for updates on road closures during fire season.

On the middle, the river remains open for hatchery summer steelhead, and the 2018 runs appear to be very strong. Anglers are catching summer steelhead on plugs fished from a drift boat or drifting night crawlers/roe or yarn balls with scent. Fishing has been fair to great, depending on the angler and reach floated. Wild steelhead must be released unharmed.

There are reports that Coho are starting to show in the Grants Pass Area, and definitely within the Rogue Canyon. You have to target coho if you want to catch them. Use black or pink, black and orange jigs or panther martin or blue fox spinners with a pink body. Coho typically bite on the fall, so don’t retrieve gear quickly.

The Rogue River is also open for trout fishing. Only hatchery rainbow trout may be retained. All wild rainbow and cutthroat trout must be released. There are half-pounder steelhead present from near Hog Creek downstream throughout the Rogue Canyon. There are many BLM public access points to fish for these from Hog Creek to Graves Creek.

And the upper, artificial fly season is underway between Fishers Ferry boat ramp and Cole Rivers Hatchery. Between Sept. 1 and Oct. 31, anglers may only fish artificial flies on any type rod and reel: no added weights or attachments except a bubble. This reach of the Rogue is open to fishing for hatchery summer steelhead and trout. Fishing for Chinook is now closed.

Fly anglers fishing from drift boats have been doing quite well in the Dodge Bridge to Fishers Ferry Reach of the Rogue. Anglers report catching a 50/50 ratio of wild to hatchery steelhead. Cole Rivers Hatchery recycled approximately 1000 summer steelhead at Touvelle and Modoc last Friday.

As of Oct. 9, 1,731 summer steelhead had entered Cole Rivers Hatchery, with 15 new for the week. Water temps are cold and low and fish do not appear to be moving.

Above Lost Creek, the artificial fly season is underway between Fishers Ferry boat ramp and Cole Rivers Hatchery. Between Sept. 1 and Oct. 31, anglers may only fish artificial flies on any type rod and reel: no added weights or attachments except a bubble. This reach of the Rogue is open to fishing for hatchery summer steelhead and trout. Fishing for Chinook is now closed.

Fly anglers fishing from drift boats have been doing quite well in the Dodge Bridge to Fishers Ferry Reach of the Rogue. Anglers report catching a 50/50 ratio of wild to hatchery steelhead. Cole Rivers Hatchery recycled approximately 1000 summer steelhead at Touvelle and Modoc last Friday.

As of Oct. 9, 1,731 summer steelhead had entered Cole Rivers Hatchery, with 15 new for the week. Water temps are cold and low and fish do not appear to be moving.

Chinook salmon and Steelhead season is open from the river mouth to Edson Creek through Dec. 31, but doesn’t typically pick up for at least another month. Steelhead may be fished for up to the South Fork of the Sixes River.

Fall Chinook fishing opened 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. There have been reports of good Chinook fishing in the Smith River tidewater. Steelhead fishing is closed on Smith River above head-of-tide at Spencer Creek from May 1 through Nov. 30.

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.

The wild coho fishery opened in Tenmile Lakes on Oct. 1 and will run through December 31. Salmon anglers may harvest 1 wild coho per day with up to 5 wild coho for the year in aggregate with Siltcoos and Tahkenitch lakes. The water level in Tenmile Lakes is very low so it will take a few good rains to bring the coho into the lake.

Fishing for largemouth bass has been good. Bass are hitting plastics and jigs fished in deeper water.

Yellow perch fishing is very good fishing on the deep water side of the weedlines in water depths of 7-15 feet. Anglers are using small jigs or a worm on a hook fished near the bottom.

On the Umpqua River Mainstem, Fall Chinook fishing has been slow with only a few reports of success, but more fish have been moving into the river recently. We have also been hearing that coho fishing has been excellent but please remember that only fin-clipped hatchery origin coho may be harvested.

Smallmouth bass fishing is good throughout the main.

Chinook fishing closed on July 1 and summer steelhead fishing has been slow throughout the North Umpqua.

The annual closure of the South Umpqua and Cow Creek began Sept. 16 and continues through Nov. 30. Tributaries to the South and Cow Creek also closed Sept. 15 until the opener in May.

2018 STOCKING SCHEDULE and STOCKING MAP

Other Reports

From the Depoe Bay area, The weather seems to have calmed a bit with the forecast looking good. The inshore fishing for Rockfish and Ling Cod continues to be good. Ling Cod fishing is slow but Rockfish has rebounded after a brief lull.

The deep water Ling Cod fishery has been slow from the opening October 1st, but picked up well today (11th).

Another report from the area, “Over the past two weeks fishing for albacore off Oregon and Washington remains fairly slow for most. Fishing seemed to have dropped off when the weather improved. Fishing still is scattered from Coos Bay, OR to Northern, WA. There seems to be a good mix of age classes in the overall catch from 2-3-year-olds to 4-5-year-olds which is a good sign for the future.”

From Pete Heley at PeteHeley.com

Salmon fishing remains fair on the lower Umpqua River at Winchester Bay. But few chinooks or finclipped cohos are being caught. Bank anglers seem to be doing every bit as good as the boat anglers.

The coho salmon seasons on Siltcoos. Tahkenitch and Tenmile lakes opened on October 1st and second rod validations immediately became invalid on those three lakes. No salmon have been reported yet in all three lakes, but a series of high tides could get salmon into the Siltcoos River, but there may not be enough water flowing through the fish ladder at the dam for the salmon to actually use it and move upstream past Highway 101 where they become legal to fish for. Very seldom do Tahkenitch and Tenmile lakes get any coho salmon before the end of October. The lower deadline on Tahkenitch Lake is the Highway 101 Bridge. The lower deadline on Tenmile Lakes is the bridge on Hilltop Drive in Lakeside.

It most likely will not be a productive coho season on these lakes, but at least anglers can keep wild or unclipped coho salmon. The daily limit is one adult and one jack salmon per day and the season limit, which includes all three lakes, is five adult salmon. Anglers are supposed to quit salmon fishing after keeping an adult coho salmon.

The Chetco bubble fishery opens for the first of two weekends on Oct. 6-7.

Striped bass angling on the Smith and Coquille rivers should remain poor to fair through October when it typically slows to a crawl.

Afternoon fishing for smallmouth bass should be fair to good, but slower in numbers than during the summer, but the chances of bass longer than 15-inches will be improved. On the Coquille River system, the best fishing will be on the lower reaches of the South and Middlke forks of the river.

Afternoon fishing for largemouth bass should be productive on most area lakes – and last year, the best bassfishing on Tenmile Lakes occurred during the first two weeks in December.

Ocean crabbing remains good, but the recreational season will close on October 15th. River and bay crabbing will remain open all year – subject to emergency closures for elevated toxin levels.

Bottomfishishing in marine waters deeper than 180 feet, using conventional angling methods, reopened on October 1st and fishing has been very good. Long leader bottom fishing is still legal in waters deeper than 240 feet, but almost every marine angler is opting for the conventional techniques – which allows them to keep two lingcod (22-inch minimum) and five bottom fish. Cabezon are still illegal to keep.

Lake Creek, a tributary of the Siuslaw River, will be closed to salmon fishing from Oct. 15-Dec. 31. No salmon fishing will be allowed from the mouth of Lake Creek to Indian Creek.