SW Oregon Fishing Report for October 26th, 2018

From ODF&W

Coos River Basin

Streams and rivers are open to trout fishing through Oct. 31. Trout fishing in streams and rivers is slow to due to low water conditions. Trout anglers can now use bait in all streams that are open to trout fishing. The daily limit for trout in streams is 2 fish per day and they must be 8-inches or longer.

The use of the two-rod validation for salmon fishing in Coos Bay ended on Sept. 30.

Salmon fishing continues to be slow and most anglers stopped salmon fishing for the year in Coos Bay. 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.

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 this fall with lots of fish in the 9- to 12-inch range. Yellow perch have transitioned away from the weedlines into the deeper mudflats in the lake. Anglers are using small jigs or a worm on a hook fished near the bottom.

APPLEGATE RESERVOIR: largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, trout

The water level continues to drop in the Applegate Reservoir, and now the only access for boats is the low water ramp at French Gulch. The lake surface temperature is 59 degrees. Trout fishing has been very good, and fishing for bass should still be productive. Anglers trolling a flasher trailed by a wedding ring/night crawler combo, or flasher and straight nightcrawler have reported limits of trout in short order!

The Applegate River is open to trout fishing. Only hatchery rainbow trout may be retained. All wild rainbow and cutthroat trout must be released.

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.

Expo Pond in Central Point, and Reinhardt Pond in Grants Pass both received Rainbow Trout this past weekend. With the cooling weather trend, fishing should be good at these easily accessible fisheries.

On the lower Rogue water levels are low and with cooler than average water temperatures, fish are moving up river. With some rain in the forecast, there might be a push of fish in the near future. The bay fishery has slowed way down and anglers have begun to shift tactics. It’s worthwhile to start thinking about side drifting with eggs farther up river.

Coho salmon have started pushing through as well. Anglers have reported catch in the 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 up river in decent numbers. Lower flows are ideal fishing conditions for anglers swinging flies or tossing lures. Anglers who are traveling up river should contact the Forest Service for updates on road closures during fire season.

On the middle Rogue the river remains open for hatchery summer steelhead, and the 2018 runs appears 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 targeted/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 Majority of Coho are wild and must be released unharmed. Please do not remove them from the water.

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 Robertson bridge downstream throughout the Rogue Canyon. There are many BLM public access points to fish for these from Hog Creek to Graves Creek.

And on the upper Rogue 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. Scent is not considered bait. This reach of the Rogue is open to fishing for hatchery summer steelhead and trout. Fishing for Chinook is closed.

Fly anglers fishing from drift boats have been doing quite well from Rogue Elk to Fishers Ferry Reach of the Rogue. The upper Rogue above Rogue Elk is pretty cold so knowing where the fish are and swinging right on top of them is good bet if you’re going to target that reach. Please be aware of Chinook redds (Salmon nests) and do not wade on top of these. There was a slight bump in hatchery fish starting to show back up at Cole Rivers, so the later run should be approaching. Cole Rivers Hatchery recycled approximately 1000 summer steelhead at Touvelle and Modoc 2 weeks ago.

As of Oct. 17, 1,779 summer steelhead had entered Cole Rivers Hatchery, with 48 new for the week, up from 15 new fish the week prior. No Coho have shown at the hatchery yet, but anglers should be aware of their identification. Namely a white gum/tooth line along their lower jaw. Coho will also have ribbed fin rays with prominent crosshatching along their tail that an anglers can feel. Coho jacks can sometimes be difficult to distinguish between chinook jacks for even the experienced angler. Only hatchery coho may be retained, so when in doubt, release the fish.

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

Bottomfish anglers may now fish at all depths for the remainder of the year. The daily bag limit for marine fish is 5 plus 2 lingcod. The retention of cabezon is now closed for the remainder of the year.

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, 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.

Salmon fishing is open through Oct. 31 from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain with a limit of two salmon per day. But salmon anglers are limited to fishing inside the 40 fathom line. The Elk River Fall Chinook State Waters Terminal Season starts on Nov. 1-30.

From Humbug Mountain to the OR/CA border, salmon fishing is closed for the season.

The Nearshore halibut season is open seven days a week through the earlier of the attaining the quota or Oct. 31. As of Oct. 14 there is 33 percent of the quota remaining.

For the southern Oregon Subarea, halibut is open 7 days a week through Oct. 31 or attaining the quota of 8,982 lbs. As of Oct. 14 there is 33 percent of the quota remaining.


Other Reports out of Depoe Bay reports of good fishing for rockfish and slower fishing for lingcod have been posted. Offshore weather has been hampering fishing offshore but forecasts look favorable.

From Pete Heley at PeteHeley.com

Regarding ocean recreation – crabbing is now closed and will remain so until December 1st when both sport and commercial crabbing in the ocean will resume. Of course there is always the chance of a toxin-related closure or a voluntary closure by the commercial crabbing fleet because of a low meat content in the crabs they test.

River and bay crabbing appears to be slowing down, but is still decent for boat crabbers. Dock crabbers willing to put sufficient time in are making decent catches as well.

The ocean chinook fishery will close an hour after sunset on October 31st).

Steve Godin took some OCA members on his boat to fish the Chetco River’s “bubble fishery” in early October and one member, Russell Smitherman, was fortunate enough to hook and land a 40 pound chinook. Steve said that since the “fishing area” only extends to three miles offshore, the 250 boats Steve was competing with made for very crowded fishing conditions.

The best ocean angling opportunities are for bottomfish. The long leader method is still legal in waters deeper than 240 feet – but most anglers are using conventional bottomfish methods, because, since October 1st, this method has been legal in waters deeper than 180 feet – which is where most boat anglers are fishing that want to be able to keep lingcod, greenling and black and blue rockfish – fish species that are not legal to keep when using the long leader method.

Coho salmon fisheries on Tahkenitch, Tenmile and Siltcoos lakes has been open since October 1st, but no salmon have yet been reported in Tahkenitch and Tenmile lakes, but Jeremy Hicks, who owns Ada Resort on Siltcoos Lake, reported that some coho jacks were caught last week as well as a few adult cohos measuring less than 24-inches.

Bradley Lake is slated to receive 800 trophy rainbows this week in addition to the 800 it received last week and should offer good trout fishing. The 1,390 trophy rainbows planted in Butterfield Lake last week should be easy to find, since the main portion of the lake is not connected to the smaller west portion and the recently planted trout are confined to about 15 acres of water.

Trout fishing should also be good on Upper Empire Lake which currently has less than 30 acres of water and received more than 3,200 trophy rainbows last week. Powers Pond, which currently consists of less than 30 extremely weedy acres was stocked last week with 1,300 trophy rainbows – so the holding water for the trout is rather small and the trout typically go on a strong bite right at dusk. Fifty acre Saunders Lake also received 1,300 trophy rainbows last week.