Willamette Valley – Willamette waters will be rising once again as rain buffets the valley this comi9ng weekend. While it’s still too early for spring Chinook, sturgeon fishing will be worthwhile in the lower river.
Waters of the McKenzie are predictably on the rise and will continue in this trend through the weekend. With a break in the weather, the waters will o0nce again drop and clear for fishing.
North Santiam levels are above the crest which wasn’t supposed to occur until something over the weekend Needless to say it will be extremely high and since it’s not furrowing the forecast, impossible to predict.
Rising water levels are the least desirable fishing condition although that’s what steelheaders will be dealing with for the next couple of days on the Clackamas River. Once rainfall slows down and the river recovers, winter steelheading will resume.
A combination of too much rain and melting snow are being creating messy conditions and high water levels on the Sandy River. Once the freezing level drops and the precipitation lets up, our latest contributor, pro guide Jeff Stoeger of O2BFISHN Guide Service (503-704-7920) assures anglers there will be steelhead to catch here.
NW Oregon Fishing Reports- Anglers on the north coast finally had some good opportunity to pursue between season steelhead this week. Although fishing was fair for the brief window, it was excellent on Monday of this week, especially on the Wilson River. Rivers are on the rise again however and the larger systems, the ones most likely to produce quality broodstock fish, likely won’t fish again until early next week.
Steelhead success continues to impress anglers and although we’re between the early and late run of fish on the north coast, given the surprise magnitude of fish this year, action should remain good, even in the “shoulder” season. Smaller systems like the Kilchis and Necanicum should start to see some wild fish show by the weekend.
No sign of a calming swell anytime soon, bottomfish await if the window ever appears.
Crabbing remains challenging too. With all the freshwater and intensive commercial harvest, crabbers are lucky to take home a 1/2 limit for every one trying. Weak tides over the weekend may produce some keepers however.
Razor clam digging will be off the table due to the weak tide series and the high surf in the forecast.
Central & South Coast Reports – High winds and large swells to prevent boats from fishing offshore much of the time. Conditions will improve over the coming week.
Use caution on beaches whether walking, beachcombing or surf fishing as ‘sneaker’ waves aren’t uncommon in the winter time and are capable of sweeping people off their feet.
Due to its size and depth, Coos Bay is the only south coast estuary which has continued to produce crab.
Lower Rogue conditions are not good and deteriorating as storm fronts pass. As the river gets hammered with rain, the entire system will be unfishable by Friday and will rise through Saturday. Recovery will be rapid, however, with the upper Rogue becoming fishable before the rest of the river.
Chetco River level and flows are high and rising. It will be early next week before it will be fishable but it has been good and is expected to be productive once the flow drops below 9,000 cfs.
As the diminutive Elk River recovers from rainfall over the next few days, it is expected to pr9oduce some winter steelhead.
Central & Eastern – Fishing for steelhead will continue on the John Day River through February and March.
While kokanee fishing is poor at Odell Lake at this time of year, some large lake trout are being taken.
Bruce Berry will teach a Tube Fly Tying Class on Saturday from 1 to 5 PM at The Caddis Fly Angling Shop in Eugene. Call 541-342-7005 for info and to sign up.
SW Washington Fishing Reports – District reports remain gloomy for steelhead. The Cowlitz and Kalama are the regions two best bets and action is less than stellar on these river systems. Action is likely to improve later in February but folks will still have a reasonable chance at fish until then.
The spring Chinook forecast on the Cowlitz is what has most anglers excited for the coming months. Around 25,000 adults are forecast to return this year.
The razor clam dig went well last week along the Long Beach Peninsula. The tides are not right for it this weekend however.