SW Oregon Fishing Reports

From ODF&W:

AGATE LAKE: largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, bullheads, yellow perch

Agate Lake has been dropping quickly over the last month and is now at 14 percent capacity. The boat ramp and day use facilities here are open and managed by Jackson County Parks. The boat ramp has a light layer of mud at the water line, but the concrete looks to extend a ways out still. There is a 10 mph speed limit on this reservoir.

Agate Lake has a good population of crappie and yellow perch, as well as brown bullhead. Expect poor water clarity. Last updated 9/23/2020.


The Siskiyou Mountains Ranger District has implemented a revised forest closure. Applegate Lake is accessible now, but the closure extends upstream of the reservoir into the upper Applegate’s tributaries. Check the website or call the Rogue River Siskiyou National Forest 541-618-2200 or the STAR ranger district.

The reservoir is 18 percent full with an elevation of 1,904 ft. Reservoir operations, elevations and boat ramp levels can be viewed by hovering over icons on the US Army Corps Rogue Basin Teacup webpage.

The USFS had already closed Hart-tish boat ramp for the season due to low water. Copper ramp becomes unusable around 1920 feet elevation, so the best bet is French Gulch for the rest of the year whenever the area closures are lifted. Last updated 10/7/20.

APPLEGATE RIVER: winter steelhead, trout

Remember, the Applegate River is closed to Chinook fishing and retention. If you see someone fishing for Chinook, trying to snag, or otherwise actively poaching Chinook salmon, please call *OSP to reach local dispatch to report to the local game trooper on duty.

Chinook salmon are actively spawning in the Applegate River through about mid-November, and anglers should be very aware of not stepping on gravel nests or disturbing spawning fish. 

All tributaries above Applegate Lake are currently closed as they are part of the revised Siskiyou Ranger District National forest closures for elevated fire risk (updated 9/25/2020).  More information can be found on their website or by calling the Rogue River Siskiyou National Forest 541-618-2200.

Applegate River is currently open for trout fishing, and bait is allowed. Only adipose fin clipped (hatchery) trout may be kept, all wild rainbow and cutthroat trout must be immediately released unharmed.  However, the ranger district closures in effect means there is no public access along the upper Applegate River below Applegate Reservoir.

Anglers should do their part to harvest and remove non-local pikeminnow they encounter on the Applegate River. All tributaries are closed below Applegate Dam, except Glade Creek.

River discharge at Wilderville is steady at 181 cfs. You can check the flows on the Applegate when planning a trip. Last updated 10/21/20.

ARIZONA POND: rainbow trout

Slow. The pond is low and very weedy.

Oregon State Parks manages Arizona Pond for anglers ages 17 and under. This is a great place for new anglers to learn fishing techniques. Last updated 10/28/20.

BEN IRVING RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, bass, bluegill, yellow perch, crappie

With the cooler weather the bite should be on for most of the day at Ben Irving. No recent reports; however, but it’s still worth a trip. Last updated 10/28/20


The lake was stocked last week with fall trophy size trout. Anglers should have success catching trout trolling spinners or spoons. Last updated 10/21/20.


This small lake found at the Coos County Riley Ranch was stocked with fall trophy size trout last week. There is an access road to the lake which can be used to launch a pontoon or small boat with an electric motor. Bank anglers should have success fishing spinners or PowerBait. Boat anglers should have success trolling spinners or casting flies like wooly buggers. Last updated 10/21/20.


Recent rains have moved some fish up river into the closed area. Fishing in the estuary will gradually pick up as water levels drop. Most anglers are fishing the lower estuary, but there is quite a bit of area upstream of Hwy 101. Downstream of the closure that can be very good fishing.

Temporary regulations take effect Oct. 1. Anglers are entering into the second year of a restrictive in-river Chinook fishery as the river’s chinook population re builds from some tough ocean conditions.  Good numbers of younger age chinook will be returning which bodes well for the future, but larger, older age Chinook are still below conservation status.

Anglers will want to take note of temporary regulations (see Regulation Update section above) before heading out. The big change this year is that anglers can no longer fish once they have retained a single adult hatchery or wild Chinook. Anglers can still keep 5 hatchery or wild Chinook jacks a day. Last updated 10/28/20.

See a map of the low water closure area on the Chetco.

COOPER CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, bass, bluegill, coho and Chinook smolts

Anglers are still finding trout and bass willing to bite in Cooper. Cooler weather likely means the bite could be any time of day.

Beginning in 2016, Cooper has been stocked with coho and Chinook salmon juveniles (20,000 coho in 2019). These are often mistaken for kokanee. Anglers may retain up to 5 salmon juveniles in the reservoir as part of their daily trout bag limit. Please remember to release salmon and trout less than 8 inches.Last updated 10/28/20.

COOS RIVER BASIN: trout, marine perch species, salmon

Fishing for rockfish in the lower Coos Bay estuary has been decent while fishing along the jetty and submerged rock structures. Smaller jigs with a twister tail or 1-ounce jigging spoons have been working to catch rockfish and greenling. The daily bag limit for marine fish was recently increased to 7, which for boat anglers cannot include any copper, quillback, China rockfish, or cabezon.

Bank anglers can still retain one copper, quillback or China rockfish and 1 cabezon as part of their daily bag limit. Boat and bank anglers are also allowed 2 lingcod per day.     

Temporary wild fall Chinook regulations are in effect starting Aug. 1 for salmon anglers fishing in Coos Bay. Anglers cannot harvest no more than one (1) adult wild Chinook salmon daily / five (5) for the period of Aug 1 – Dec 31 from all waters of Coos River basin, Floras Creek/New River, and Sixes River. See specific rules for Floras/New River and Sixes. 

Most salmon anglers have put away their salmon fishing gear for the season. There are still a few boats out trolling the Millicoma and South Fork Coos rivers. Bank anglers are fishing in Isthmus Slough, at the Coos Bay boardwalk, and at the mouth of Daniels Creek.             

Trout fishing in streams and rivers is open through Oct. 31. Anglers may use bait in streams and rivers above tidewater starting Sept. 1. Last updated 10/21/20. 


The temporary regulation allowing the use of spears and spear guns to harvest smallmouth bass in the Coquille River system will end after Oct. 31. Fishing for smallmouth bass after Oct. 31 will remain open in areas of the river that are open to salmon or steelhead fishing.

Temporary wild fall Chinook regulations are in effect starting Aug. 1 for salmon anglers fishing in the Coquille Basin. The entire Coquille Basin is closed to retention of adult wild Chinook Aug 1 – Dec 31. Anglers may harvest hatchery Chinook but must fish downstream of Hwy 101 bridge or can angle from the bank in Randolph Slough between sign markers located at the West and East ends of the slough. 

Fishing for hatchery Chinook salmon has been slow.

Trout fishing in streams and rivers is open through Oct. 31. Last updated 10/21/20.


According to the latest information from the US Forest Service, Diamond Lake is now back open. Anglers should check with the Umpqua National Forest (541-498-2531) for information on camps and ramps. Anglers can check fishing and water conditions at Diamond Lake on the Diamond Lake Resort Facebook page, or call 541-793-3333 for updates. Diamond Lake is open year-round.

Weather should be very cold this week at Diamond, but the trout seem to still be biting.

Diamond Lake has been stocked with tiger and brown trout. These fish are intended to assist in controlling illegally introduced tui chub. These trout are catch-and-release only and need to be released immediately and unharmed if caught. Last updated 10/28/20.

ELK RIVER: Chinook

Anglers will want to check temporary regulations in effect for Chinook this year for the Elk. The big change this year is anglers are only allowed to keep hatchery adult Chinook along with their jack limit. ODFW is expecting an above average return of hatchery Chinook. Last updated 10/28/20.

EMIGRANT RESERVOIR: largemouth and smallmouth bass, crappie, bluegill, bullhead, catfish, rainbow trout

The RV Park is open but tent camping has closed for the season. All boat ramps are currently unusable. There is very little fishing pressure here.

For more information on park facilities closures visit the Jackson County Parks website. The water park is closed for the season.

Fishing should be good on Emigrant if you can drag a kayak out here. It is ridiculously low.

The reservoir is currently 3 percent full, lower than most staff have ever seen. Last updated 10/21/20. 


Upper Empire Lake was stocked last week with fall trophy-size trout. Fishing has been very good for anglers casting spoons/spinner or by fishing Powerbait. 

Due to extremely low water Lower Empire Lake was not stocked with trout this fall.

Last updated 10/21/20.

EXPO POND: rainbow trout, largemouth bass, bluegill, black crappie

Temperatures at Expo Pond have dropped significantly. Good bank access exists. Day use permits are required.

Expo pond does have Chinese mystery snails, and folks should remember to drain and dry and inspect any personal watercraft when leaving here, these critters are highly invasive and you don’t want to inadvertently carry them somewhere else. Last updated 10/14/2020.

FISH LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout, spring Chinook

Fish Lake Marina and store is currently closed for park maintenance. Cabins will reopen after Nov 23. The store will reopen once snow is on the ground. The lake is 17 percent full. The reservoir has been slowly rising with springs input. The boat ramp at the marina is again usable for drift boats that can be pushed off a trailer, but the marina is closed. Smaller boats should be able to launch now as well. Kayaks and pontoons will have no problems.

Fish Lake was stocked with trophy trout in early October, and fall fingerling tiger trout. 

More information on National Forest Developed recreation sites and campground closures for the Rogue Siskiyou Forest please visit here.

There is a 10 mile/hour speed limit on Fish Lake, which does help provide a tranquil experience while you enjoy views of Mount Mcloughlin. 

Tiger trout, Chinook salmon, brook trout, and larger rainbow trout are available. Remember that tiger trout must be immediately released unharmed. Anglers are encouraged to report their catch of tiger trout to fish district staff at 541-826-8774 ext 234 or 226. Last updated 10/21/20.


Temporary regulations are in effect that started Aug. 1. The big change from last year is anglers will be allowed to retain a single wild adult Chinook as part of an aggregate bag limit for the year. Last year, the river was closed to fishing. Last updated 10/28/20. 

Temporary fall Chinook regulations started Aug. 1. The special regulations for 2020 can be found here.

FLORAS LAKE: rainbow trout, cutthroat trout

No recent fishing reports.

October can be an excellent month to fish the lake. Lower water temperatures and usually light winds can make for a great day on the lake. There is limited bank access, so the lake is best accessed by boat. There’s a public boat ramp is available at Boice-Cope Park. Anglers will want to watch the weather forecast and try to fish when the wind is light. Last updated 9/23/20.

GALESVILLE RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, bass

No recent reports from Galesville, however, with the lake very low, fish should be more concentrated. This might make them easier to find.

The current info from Douglas County Parks is the parks are open. Call 541-837-3302 for information on camping and boat launching conditions. Check out the Lake Level Gage for more information.

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. Last updated 10/28/20.

GARRISON LAKE: bass, trout

October can be an excellent month to fish the lake.  Lower water temperatures and usually light winds can make for a great day on the lake.

Bank anglers can find access at the 12th street or Pinehurst boat ramps and off Paradise Point Road. The lake can be very windy so anglers will want to check the weather before heading out. Last updated 9/23/20.

HEMLOCK LAKE & LAKE IN THE WOODS (Douglas County): trout

It appears that the lakes are open to fishing and anglers should be able to drive Little River Road to the lakes. Please mind the closures in the area.

The USFS has closed the campgrounds at these sites due to COVID-19. Anglers should be able to access the lakes from other areas. Anglers should check with the Umpqua National Forest (541-496-3532) for information on camp and ramp closures.

Fishing should be great as trout should be biting in the cooler weather. Fall can be a great time for trout fishing these lakes.

Anglers fishing the high lakes in the Umpqua District are encouraged to e-mail fishing reports. Remember to only keep trout at least 8 inches long, and only one trout over 20 inches per day. Last updated 10/28/20.

HOWARD PRAIRIE RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass

The emergency regulations for Howard Prairie are no longer in effect, and have returned to zone regulations as of Oct. 1. The reservoir is still extremely low and no boat ramps are currently accessible. You may be able to push a drift boat off its trailer at the unimproved ramp at the dam site, or kayaks and small personal watercraft.

All campgrounds and facilities are currently closed until further notice.  More information on facilities can be found on Jackson County Parks website.

The reservoir is hovering at 7 percent full. This is the lowest that any current ODFW staff can remember seeing it. Last updated 10/21/20.

HUNTER CREEK:  Closed to all fishing Oct. 1 to Dec. 31.

HYATT LAKE: rainbow trout, largemouth bass

The Mountain View boat ramp and all campgrounds are closed and inaccessible. The ramp by the dam is pretty much limited to personal water craft as well. Bank access is readily available.

The reservoir is 4 percent full. The deepest portion of Howard is over near the dam, which would be your best bet for trout or bass, fished as deep as you can get. Last updated 10/21/20.

ILLINOIS RIVER: rainbow trout, cutthroat trout

The Illinois River is currently closed to all fishing from 8 Dollar Mountain Road Bridge crossing the Illinois River outside of Kerby, upstream to Pomeroy Dam near Cave Junction through Nov. 30, 2020.  Both the East and West Forks are normally closed as permanent regulations in the SW Zone.

This new closure is to protect returning fall Chinook salmon in the upper Illinois River. Lower streamflow prevalent in the last few years is making fall Chinook more susceptible to snagging, and drought conditions are again prevalent in Southwest Oregon. Additionally a low fall Chinook return to the Illinois River is anticipated.

Check USFS Wild Rivers Ranger District for updates on additional forest access closures on their website

Check the USGS Kerby guage which provides up to date river flow information.  Last updated 10/7/2020. 

LAKE SELMAC (Selmac Lake): trout, largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie

Trout should still be available at Selmac, and with the cooler temperatures should be more apt to bite. A simple setup of a nightcrawler under a bobber or PowerBait from the bottom should work for trout. If the sun is out, fish will be down and the bait off the bottom will likely do better.

Lake Selmac facilities operated by Josephine County Parks are currently open. More information about Josephine County Parks can be found on their website.

Expect water temperatures to continue to drop out here, and weeds to start dying off. Anglers should keep a lookout for any potential dead fish.  A few years ago during the end of the 2015/2016 drought, some bass died when the lake turned over due to low oxygen conditions that developed. Please let ODFW know if you see something like this.

Bass and panfish are available here year-round. Last updated 10/21/20.

LEMOLO RESERVOIR: brown trout, rainbow trout, kokanee

Anglers should check with the Umpqua National Forest (541-498-2531) for information on camp and ramp closures. Contact the resort at 541-643-0750 for weather/road conditions and additional information.

The brown trout and Kokanee are likely focused in the upper portion of the reservoir. 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. Last update 10/28/20.

LOST CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, bass

Lost Creek Reservoir was recently stocked with legal and trophy trout in late September and early October

The boat ramp at Lost Creek Marina and Joseph Steward Park had already become unusable due to the dropping elevation of Lost Creek Lake.  For more information, please visit the Lost Creek Lake Facebook page or the Oregon State Parks website. Takelma boat ramp is usable and open.

Lost Creek Reservoir is 34 percent full and 1,802.1 feet elevation, and surface temperatures have dropped significantly. Water visibility is clear.

Anglers can get the latest surface temperatures by calling the US Army Corps Lost Creek Lake and Applegate Reservoir projects information line at 1-800-472-2434. Last updated 10/21/20.

MEDCO POND: rainbow trout, largemouth bass, bluegill

Bluegill fishing from the road can be very productive, and is a great place for taking younger anglers. A simple setup of a small bit of nightcrawler on a #4-#6 hook under a bobber can be very effective here.

Medco Pond is a private pond and access can be revoked at any time. To help keep access open, anglers should make sure to pick up their trash, as well as other trash when they are there. The owners of Medco have restricted vehicle access to along the roadway because of vandals and dumpers. If you see someone doing something that may risk access for everyone, please let ODFW know.  Last updated 10/21/2020.

PACIFIC OCEAN AND BEACHES: bottomfish, salmon, halibut, surfperch

Bottomfishing is open to all depths. The daily bag limit for marine fish was increased to 7 through the end of the year. But anglers must release all cabezon, copper, quillback and China rockfish when fishing from a boat.

Anglers are also allowed 2 lingcod per day.

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, chillipepper, 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.

Surfperch anglers are having some success on the beaches using sand shrimp or Berkley Gulp sand worms.

Ocean Chinook salmon fishing from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain will close after Oct. 31. Ocean salmon fishing is closed from Humbug Mountain to the OR/CA Border.   

The Nearshore Halibut season for the Central Coast Subarea is open 7 days a week, inside the 40-fathom line, through the earlier of the quota of 32,591 pounds or Oct. 31. As of Oct 11, there is 28 percent of the quota remaining.

The Summer All-Depth Halibut season for the Central Coast Subarea starts on Aug. 6-8 and continues every Thursday – Saturday until Oct. 31 or the quota is caught. As of Oct 10, there is 71 percent of the quota remaining.

The Southern Oregon Subarea for halibut is open 7 days a week through the earlier of the quota of 8,000 pounds or Oct. 31. As of Oct 11, there is 10 percent of the quota remaining. Last updated 10/21/20.

2020 Sport Bottomfish Seasons

PISTOL RIVER:  Closed to all fishing Oct. 1 to Dec. 31

PLAT I RESERVOIR: bass, trout

Anglers are still finding bass and trout willing to bite in Plat I.

Plat I provides some of the best disabled access in the area. Most anglers target bass during this time of the year. The best time would be in the morning before the heat of the day. Last updated 10/28/20.


Powers Pond was stocked with fall trophy size trout last week.  Fishing has been good casting spinners or fishing PowerBait. Last updated 10/21/20.


Rogue River, lower: Chinook, summer steelhead

Chinook fishing continues but there are fewer fish around than a few weeks ago since most fish have migrated upriver. Fishing should remain consistent through October. 

Anglers are also catching quite a few coho in the bay. Most of the coho are wild so anglers need to take extra care in handling these fish. Preferably wild coho should be not be netted or anglers should use a rubber coated net.

The Huntley seining project started in mid-July. The project monitors fall chinook, steelhead, and coho escapement to the Rogue River. The two-week fish count updates from this project can be found on the ODFW website and can be helpful for anglers to see when it is a good time to fish

Current river flows are reported by the gage in Agness on the USGS website. Note that this gage is above the Illinois River mouth and does not account for that additional water flow.

For a current view of the Rogue from the Isaac Lee Patterson Bridge in Gold Beach, check out the ODOT’s cameraLast updated 10/7/20.

Rogue River, middle: Chinook salmon, hatchery coho, steelhead, rainbow trout

Chinook fishing above Hog Creek closed on Sept. 30. 

As of Sept. 1, only flies and artificial lures may be used between Whiskey Creek and Foster Creek (Wild and Scenic section, downstream of Grave Creek). The fly-only season is also in effect upstream of Fishers Ferry to Cole Rivers hatchery through Oct. 31.  Bait is allowed in the remainder of the Rogue between Whiskey Creek to Fishers Ferry. 

Most guides are focusing on summer steelhead. Coho may start showing up soon, as the Huntley crew continues to see them trickle by. Only hatchery coho may be retained.

Locally-owned and operated tackle stores in Grants Pass have excellent gear and very fresh bait that is specific to the Rogue and to your particular technique. Go check them out and offer them support during this time.

It is illegal to snag and keep a snagged fish, whether it’s wild or hatchery!  Report violations to Oregon State Police by calling *OSP.

As of Wednesday morning, the flow in Grants Pass was approximately 1,210 cfs, temperatures have dropped a bit to the about 49.1 F. Turbidity at 1 NTU. For those interested in checking conditions before getting on the river, the City of Grants Pass Water Division’s websiteoffers information on river conditions at Grants Pass as well as a link to a river camera. Anglers can check all the USGS gauging stations, which have the most current temperatures and river flows hereLast updated 10/21/20.

Rogue River, upper: steelhead, rainbow trout

All Chinook fishing is closed from Fishers Ferry upstream to Cole Rivers Hatchery. Anglers should be avoiding areas of congregating and spawning Chinook salmon, and avoid casting at them. They are not good eating, let them spawn! Also, please be aware of their gravel nests (redds) and do not step on these.

As of Sept. 1, the fly-only season is in effect upstream of Fishers Ferry. No bait or added weights or attachments can be on your line. Spin-casters can employ a bubble or similar floating device, and a fly; this can be a very effective set-up when fished with a good presentation.

All boat ramps are open.

Trout anglers are especially encouraged to harvest adipose-fin clipped trout in the upper reach of river. Summer steelhead should continue through at least November in the upper Rogue. Black and black/purple flies have been the ticket for some local fly anglers. Copper johns and egg imitations will begin getting hot as fish start keying into spawning salmon.

For week of Oct. 21, 0 new summer steelhead entered the hatchery, bringing the total to 1,036 fish for the year. The last few weeks have seen numbers trickle into the hatchery, indicating that fish are not moving. So, if you find a pod of fish, they are likely to be in the same vicinity the next day.

The hatchery recycled excess summer steelhead downstream a few weeks ago and these fish are still being caught in the Modoc area as well. Some of these fish are tagged with colored and numbered tags in their backs. Anglers should call 541-826-8774 ext. 226 if they catch these fish.

If you plan on releasing the fish, leave the tag in it, but please try and get a 4 digit number on the tag (please don’t report the phone number!!). Participants will be entered into a raffle for donated prizes including gift cards to a local sporting goods store and even a box of hand tied flies. 

A few wild fall Chinook trickled into the hatchery as well, bringing that total to 21 for the year.  There is not a fall Chinook hatchery program on the upper Rogue. The collection pond is typically sorted on Tuesdays/Wednesdays, and new numbers are typically available to the public by Thursday or Friday. Call into the Lost Creek Reservoir hotline or check the MyODFW.com fish counts page.

Flows have remained consistent with no precipitation on the immediate horizon, and releases from the damn remaining constant for incubating Chinook eggs in the gravel. For the most current releases of water out of Lost Creek Reservoir, call 1-800-472-2434. For real time streamflow from USGS gauges on the Rogue click hereLast updated 10/21/20.

Rogue River, above Lost Creek Reservoir: trout

No recent fishing reports.

There are no public use restrictions on the Rogue River Siskiyou Ranger District, except for seasonal green dot road closures more around the Butte Falls region for deer winter range protections.  Cascade general elk season continues so expect some hunter traffic off of the Highway 62 corridor. 

More information on Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest lands can be found on their website or calling the RRSNF office. 

This reach was stocked from Prospect to Minehaha creek with 3,000 rainbow trout every week from Memorial Day through Labor Day, so there should still be trout around. With folks hunting, you may have the river to yourself!

All tributaries and the mainstem are open to trout fishing year-round with a daily bag limit of 5 trout. Trout are stocked from river bridge/natural bridge area in and above Minnehaha Creek from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Areas around the Union Creek, Farewell Bend and Woodruff Bridge can have pretty swift flows, and anglers should be aware of bedrock crevices when wading.

Above the Hwy 62/234 interchange, the river gradient starts to lessen. Target slower water at the top of a riffle, or pocket water within a riffle, or pools were fish are resting or waiting to ambush.

Flies, small spinners, or even drifting a nightcrawler under a bobber work up here. Pautske eggs on a small hook under a strike indicator work as well, just have some split shot above it. Fishing a bug and bubble will also do well here for anglers that use a spin caster rod.  Presentation is usually the key, get your bait down and free drifting with as little drag as possible. Last updated 10/21/20.


Saunders Lake was stocked with fall trophy-size trout last week. Fishing has been good casting spinners or fishing PowerBait. Last updated 10/21/20.


Temporary fishing regulations are in effect. Anglers will want to check all temporary fishing regulations before heading out to fish. The big change to regulations this year is the upstream deadline for the low flow closure is at the mouth of Crystal Creek.  This gives bank anglers greater opportunity to fish.  Last updated 10/28/20.

See a map of the low water closure area on the Sixes. 

SMITH RIVER, Umpqua: Chinook

Chinook should be holding in tidewater waiting for the next rain. There are a good number of anglers trying their luck in the estuary. Most anglers use a bobber and egg setup.

Trout season ended in the Smith River Basin after Sept. 15. Smallmouth fishing is also now limited to below Spencer Creek on the main and Johnson Creek on the North Fork Smith.

The Smith sees only light pressure for most of the season and can provide a great experience for anglers looking to get away from the crowds. Last updated 10/28/20.

SPALDING POND: rainbow trout

Spalding pond recently received its fall fingerling releases. These fish should grow all winter and be ready to catch next spring. There should be trout around. This area is within the Forest Service Wild Rivers Ranger District and is not subject to area fire closures at this time. Last updated 10/7/20.

TENMILE LAKES: trout, warmwater species, largemouth bass

Topwater lures, crankbaits and wacky rigged stick baits are all catching largemouth bass especially in the bays and arms of the lake. 

Yellow perch fishing continues to be excellent for anglers fishing from a boat or fishing from a dock this past week. Yellow perch have been in 15-20 feet of water and are biting on small jigs or a worm on a hook. Some of the yellow perch harvested have measured up to 13 inches long. If you fish and area for 10-15 minutes without a bite, it’s time to move to another location.

The wild coho fishery opened on Tenmile Lake on Oct. 1. Anglers are allowed to harvest 1 wild coho per day and 5 for the season in aggregate with Siltcoos and Tahkenitch lakes. The Tenmile Lake level is still too low this past weekend to allow any decent number of coho to enter the lakes.  Last updated 10/21/20.


Some areas of the Umpqua National Forest are closed currently due to wildfires in the area. It appears most of the high lakes and forebays were not impacted by the fires directly. Anglers should check with the Umpqua National Forest (541-498-2531) for updates.

Fall can be a fantastic time to fish the high lakes. Lakes typically accessible from hiking trails and that were stocked in the last couple years are: Calamut, Connie, Bullpup, Fuller, Cliff, Buckeye, Maidu, Pitt, Wolfe and Skookum lakes.

Clearwater Forebay Two can be a great place to fish as well with brook trout and rainbow available.

Red Top Pond was recently stocked with trophy trout and offers excellent bank fishing opportunities. There are also bass and other warmwater fish available.

Anglers fishing the high lakes in the Umpqua District are encouraged to e-mail fishing reportsLast updated 10/14/20.

UMPQUA RIVER, MAINSTEM: Chinook, bass, trout

Chinook are distributed throughout the Umpqua. Anglers are finding some from the mouth to the confluence with the North and South. Check restrictions for 2020 fall Chinook before going out. The Umpqua is restricted to one unclipped Chinook per day and five per year. Coho should also be in the river, but only fin-clipped fish are allowed to be retained.

Bass fishing continues to be good. Anglers continue to catch fish throughout the main.

Trout fishing closes Oct. 31 of every year. Last updated 10/28/20.

UMPQUA RIVER, NORTH: steelhead, trout

Access to the North Umpqua is limited with the closure of areas in the Umpqua National Forest and on private lands around the fire. No recent fishing reports.

Steelhead fishing should be good where access is allowed.

Some of the North Umpqua and tributaries are open for trout (those above Slide Creek Dam): check the fishing regulations to see which areas are closed.

Note that as of Oct 1, fishing in the fly water area is restricted to the use of a single, barbless, artificial fly. Last updated 10/28/20.


The entire South Umpqua and tributaries closed after Sept. 15 as part of the annual closure to protect salmon. Last updated 9/16/20

WILLOW LAKE: rainbow trout, largemouth bass, black crappie, brown bullhead, yellow perch

All campgrounds at Willow Lake are currently closed for the season, but boat ramps and day use are open.

Facilities at Willow Lake are managed by Jackson County. For more information please visit their website.

Willow Lake is currently 55 percent full. No trout have been recently stocked, but there should be fish around. Fall changing colors and cooling temps should provide for an enjoyable lake fishing experience.

There are healthy numbers of illegally introduced yellow perch up here and anglers are always encouraged to take as many of these as they want. Last updated 10/21/20. 


Temporary regulations take effect Oct. 1.  Anglers are entering in to the second year of a restrictive in-river chinook fishery. Anglers will want to take note of temporary regulations before heading out.  The big change this year is that anglers can no longer angle once they have retained a single adult hatchery or wild Chinook. Anglers can still keep 5 hatchery or wild Chinook jacks a day.

A low flow fishing closure in place starting Oct. 1 from the mouth to Peavine Bridge. The map of the closure area can be found on ODFW’s website. Last updated 10/14/20.

See a map of the low water closure area on the Winchuck.