Chinook are being caught in a number of SW Zone location including the Rogue Bay at Gold Beach, and in bays and lower sections of rivers like the Coos, Coquille and Umpqua.
Smallmouth bass fishing continues to be a fishing bright spot in the south and mainstem Umpqua.
On the Umpqua, 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 slow, but hopefully will get better as we move into late summer.
Smallmouth bass fishing is good throughout the main.
Open to trout fishing through Oct. 31 and is catch-and-release only. Retention of trout is allowed in the tributaries, which are open to trout through Sept. 15.
In the Coos River Basin, streams and rivers are open to trout fishing. Trout fishing in streams and rivers is slow to due to low water conditions. Trout anglers can now use bait in all streams when fishing for trout in all streams that are open to fishing. The daily limit for trout in streams is 2 fish per day and they must be 8-inches or longer.
From Aug. 1 through Sept. 30 salmon anglers with a two-rod validation will be able to use rods while fishing for Chinook salmon and hatchery coho salmon in Coos Bay. Salmon anglers had mixed results this past week trolling from the BLM boat ramp up to Chandler Bridge. A few more California halibut were also caught this past weekend by salmon anglers fishing near the airport. The Coos Basin Salmon Derby will be happening Sept. 8-9. Anglers can buy tickets tickets to fish in the derby that day at the California and Eastside boat ramps.
Corps facilities on the upper Rogue and at Lost Creek Reservoir, closed earlier due to fire concerns, are now open. The Marina and boat ramp are also open.
Lake surface temperatures continue to cool, and have dropped to 70F. Anglers targeting trout will still need to fish deeper water near the dam, or fish in the vicinity of the Hwy 62 bridge. Trolling a wedding ring spiked with a piece of worm or Gulp worm behind an oval egg sinker can produce very well at Lost Creek.
Some of the trout have external parasites called copepods. Fish parasites generally do not pose a threat to humans when fish are cooked, and copepods can be scraped off prior to cooking. Anglers are encourage to keep fish that have copepods while staying within the daily limit, since release simply allows the parasite to expand to other hosts.
Fishing for smallmouth and largemouth bass should be good.
Through Sept. 3, anglers with a 2018 two rod validation can fish for Chinook salmon and hatchery Coho salmon with two rods on the Rogue River from the mouth upstream to the Ferry Hole Boat Ramp (RM 5). Please note that anglers may only use one rod when fishing for any other species.
The Rogue is experiencing cooler than average water temperatures. Chinook have spread throughout the lower section and are moving up river. People trolling bait are still reporting catch in the bay. Anglers may want to also consider side drifting with eggs farther up river.
The Huntley seining project started July 16. Find updates on Huntley counts here.
Those interested in getting out of the wind or fog may want to head upriver to fish for half-pounders and adult summer steelhead. Both have been moving upriver in decent numbers. Lower flows are ideal fishing conditions for anglers swinging flies or tossing spinners. Anglers interested in traveling upriver are advised to contact the Forest Service for updates on road closures during fire season.
Some anglers have reported some success fishing for Chinook outside the mouth of the Rogue. Please remember to check the marine forecast and current ocean salmon regulations before heading out as both change frequently.
Anglers are still picking up Chinook in the Gold Hill area and from Robertson Bridge to Graves Creek by back-bouncing roe or Kwikfish, or fishing wobblers in deep holes. Look for Chinook rolling in deep holes. If you don’t see anything, the best bet is to move on after a few drifts. Fall Chinook numbers should pick up dramatically in the next couple of weeks.
Anglers are catching summer steelhead on plugs fished from a drift boat, or side planner and plug from shore, or drifting nightcrawlers or roe/yarn imitations. Wild steelhead must be released unharmed.
Authorities advise boaters to exercise caution when boating in areas near wildfires. Check for Taylor Creek Fire Closures here for the most up to date information.
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.
With the start of September, 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.
As of Aug. 29, 1,377 Summer Steelhead had entered Cole Rivers Hatchery, with 164 new for the week. Updated fish counts at Cole Rivers Hatchery can be viewed here.
The Rogue River upstream of Lost Creek Reservoir was stocked with trout for the final time in 2018 last week. Anglers will still find plenty of trout at most sites for the next several weeks.
The Miles fire complex is burning west of Prospect so there will be smoke in the area. Anglers are encouraged to keep tabs on fire conditions through an online resource such as Inciweb and https://www.facebook.com/ODFSouthwest/
Trout fishing in higher elevation lake continues to be good. Anglers should consider Diamond, Lemolo, Hemlock, Lake in the Woods and Lake Marie.
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.
From Pete Heley at PeteHeley.com
The ocean fin-clipped coho season is over but the catch data is currently only available through August 26th and 32.7 percent of the 35,000 fin-clipped coho quota had been retained. The northern portion of our zone had the best catch rate, which can be almost wholly explained by the difference in wild to fin-clipped coho salmon ratios.
Comparing the two busiest ports in our zone should make this difference apparent. Through August 26th, Newport, the busiest port, had 10,755 angler trips and 5,742 of the 13,252 cohos caught were retained fin-clipped cohos (more than 43 percent). Heading into the season’s last week, Newport is our zone’s most successful port with .58 retained salmon per angler-trip.
Winchester Bay, our zone’s second busiest port with 6,915 angler-trips has 1264 of the 8997 cohos caught that were fin-clipped and keepable (14 percent). Charleston’s percentage of fin-clipped cohos was even worse at 13 percent. So it should be no surprise that Winchester Bay’s and Charleston’s catch rates are a rather dismal .14 and .13 salmon per angler-trip respectively.
It is sadly ironic that the large numbers of wild coho hanging out off Winchester Bay and Charleston seemed to have “disappeared” prior to the ocean nonselective season which begins on September 7th.
Crabbing in the ocean is very good and will legal until October 15th. Crabbing in the lower Umpqua River is also very good and is legal the entire year.
Striped bass on the Smith River is the area’s most “hush-hush” fishery – so getting an accurate report is difficult. But it is almost certainly quite slow with a few fish taken after dark. Striper fishing on the Coquille River between Bandon and Coquille is very inconsistent but can be surprisingly productive with the best fishing at night.
Smallmouth bass fishing on the Umpqua River is very good. A very few smallmouths are being caught on the Smith River. But the most overlooked quality smallmouth fishery in our area is the South Fork of the Coquille River below Powers.
Anglers fishing for bottom fish need to remember that waters deeper than 30 fathoms are closed to conventional bottom fish techniques and there is an emergency closure on the retention of cabezon. Long leader fishing for some species of mid-depth bottom fish is still legal in waters more than 40 fathoms deep.