SW Oregon Fishing Reports

From Tim Moran

The McKenzie – Good to great fishing on the fly with Dry/Dropper, match the hatch dries (PMD, Caddis, Stones, Terrestrials), Nymphs and Euro Nymphing techniques.  40 to 50 fish days are common with fish to 16 inches.  Guide Martin Thurber reports that fishing for trout with small egg clusters and worms behind a hotshot is producing non stop action for trout in the 12 to 14 inch class.  These are mostly planted trout and a family can get out and take home plenty for the BBQ or smoker! Spring salmon fishing is winding down but fish, although darkening, are still being caught.  Eggs and shrimp back bounced or behind a diver are getting the most fish. Fish early. It’s mostly over by 9am.

Rogue River –  The first decent push of steelhead has moved into the upper Rogue, and fishing will just get better and better thru November. Fish are being hooked every day out there swinging and nymphing, so it’s been a great start to summer steelhead season.

Swinging mostly dark flies works basically all year in the upper Rogue, whether it be classic summer flies (green butt skunk, silver hilton, muddlers etc.) or mini intruder type flies on sink tips when the sun is high. First and last light swing the classics or throw the skater on a Rage head with a floating Polyleader, and definitely fish mostly blacks and purples with a bright butt (chartreuse, pink etc). After 10 or so AM throw a skagit head with 10 or 12.5 feet of T-11 with mini intruders or hoh bo spey style flies. Black/Red, Purple/Black, Black/Blue are go to colors on the sink tips. Follow the sun and fish on top when the sun is off the water and deep when it’s high.

Nymph the usual suspects like Otis/Ugly Bug stoneflies, with oversized trout patterns below it like copper swans, steelhead brassies, princes, copper johns etc. Flashier flies are very effective early in the summer steelhead season, as that extra flash seems to attract a few more fish. These early fish somewhat race to the cooler waters of the upper Rogue without feeding all that much, so when they first get here they don’t seem to like the natural stuff quite as much as flashier stoneflies. Once they have been in the river for a few months they start learning that the real stoneflies aren’t so flashy, and more natural stonefly patterns will work better.

Nymph the usual suspects like Otis/Ugly Bug stoneflies, with oversized trout patterns below it like copper swans, steelhead brassies, princes, copper johns etc. Cast flashier flies early in the summer steelhead season, as that extra flash seems to attract a few more fish. These early fish somewhat race to the cooler waters of the upper Rogue without feeding all that much, so when they first get here they don’t seem to like the natural stuff quite as much as flashier stoneflies Once they have been in the river for a few months they start learning that the real stoneflies aren’t so flashy, and more natural stonefly patterns will work better.

Rogue River, above Lost Creek Reservoir: (From ODFW)

This reach is stocked with 3000 rainbow trout, every week, all summer. All tributaries and the mainstream are open to trout fish 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.  Anglers can cast flies or smaller lures like a Panther Martin or rooster tail. Often tipping the lure with bait helps to produce. In slower holes, fishing straight bait such as nightcrawler, Pautzke eggs or even PowerBait will produce. Fishing a bug and bubble will also do well.  Presentation is usually the key, as will most trout fishing in moving water, with care to try and provide the best free drifting presentation of your fly or bait.

Rogue Bay – Fishing for Summer/Fall Chinook is starting to pick up in the bay. Fishing in the bay should improve through the month.

Umpqua River – Bass fishing is good throughout the main stem and south fork casting flies, small crankbaits, plastic curly tails and worms. Summer steelhead are present but fishing has been slow. Most anglers are awaiting the Fall chinook season which should get going soon in the bay.

The Wood and Williamson – have both been fishing pretty well, although the Wood is starting to slow down a bit while the Williamson is just getting better as more big trout leave Klamath Lake for the cooler river water. There have been a few really great reports from Klamath Lake recently too, so it should still fish well for at least another few weeks or so.

Diamond Lake – Fishing has been good for bait fishermen with powerbait and worms/eggs as well as fly fishermen fishing leeches, damsels, wooly buggers and big minnow patterns. Rainbows will get up to 20 inches and Browns and Tiger trout will attack your flies. Be sure to release these as they are protected and there to control the chub population.

Ten Mile lakes – Fishing is good in the mornings and evenings fishing the pads and weed lines with spinnerbaits, top water plugs and flipping jigs in the pockets. Later in the day fish slower and deeper with plastic worms near docks and out on the point edges. The channel between the two lakes can be productive too. Yellow Perch fishing has been good in 8 to 10 feet of water fishing with worms.

Good luck this weekend! It should be a great weekend to get out on the water anywhere in Oregon!