Willamette Valley/Metro- Spring chinook anglers continue to be sidelined as thousands of chinook pour over Bonneville Dam. Managers may take a look at a re-opener but momentum must continue to build to bring optimism. Over 50,000 fish crossed Bonneville in just the last 7 days.
The level, flow and visibility are good on the lower Willamette and Multnomah Channel. Over 2,000 springers have crossed the Falls. Spring chinook anglers have been on a roller coaster ride of action but when the bite has been on, it’s been rewarding. Oregon City has had an occasional great bite but most fish seem to be staging below Milwaukie. This should be a break out week for Oregon City anglers.
Nymph fishing on the Middle Fork Willamette is yielding large rainbows.
McKenzie water level is on the drop, temperatures are on the rise and fish are looking up with March Browns hatching.
Over 12,000 spring Chinook are forecasted to enter the Clackamas system. Try the lower river to intercept early arrivals. Steelhead fishing is improving.
There are steelhead and a few springers in the waters of the Sandy but fishing has been slow and results spotty. Chinook fishing should be peaking soon but a mediocre run is in the forecast.
Northwest – With waters getting low and clear, steelheaders employing stealth techniques are still getting late winter steelhead on the Wilson and Nestucca Rivers. Bank anglers have an advantage in these lower flows but must target fish higher in the watersheds. Most winter fish are turning dark but a few bright winter fish are still present with a few summer run fish on their heels.
Still no glowing reports of spring chinook although one was reported at the Trask hatchery last week. One reliable report from upper Tillamook Bay had a local netting a chinook on Monday that spewed eggs in the bottom of the boat, indicating a late run fall fish. The fish was returned to the water but definitely an anomaly. Better tides will occur the week after this one.
Sturgeon are still being reported from the middle and lower bay on Tillamook. They should be easy targets in this weeks minus tide series.
Bay clamming should be easy on most coastal estuaries. Razor clamming has been challenging along Oregon beaches but if the surf calms, digging should improve.
Calm seas are in the forecast for Friday only. Bottomfishing should be excellent. Crabbing will be challenging and the offshore forecast is calling for rough water again by the weekend.
All-depth halibut season opens today north of Cape Falcon for three days per week, Thursday through Saturday. South of Falcon, nearshore (inside of 40 fathoms) opened on May 1st. Halibut often come close to shore this time of year to feed on softshell dungeness crab. The first all-depth fishery in this zone opens on May 12 – 14.
Southwest –With excellent returns predicted for the majority of south coast rivers, offshore chinook fishing should be very good this season.
Umpqua water level and flow has disallowed fishing recently but the river is forecast to recover by the coming weekend. Spring chinook will be in the upper mainstem and steelheading should be good for hatchery fish on the South Umpqua.
While there hasn’t been much hoopla about ocean chinook catches, boats launching out of Charleston have made good catches of large fish recently.
When ocean conditions have allowed launches out of Gold beach, catches of rockfish and lingcod have been good.
Boats in productive locations on the lower Rogue have had plenty of hookups with spring chinook on the lower Rogue. Salmon are running about 50% hatchery keepers. Fishing is fair on the middle river. Steelheading remains good on the upper Rogue with springers starting to make an appearance. Wild steelhead must be released as of May 1st.
Offshore launches out of the Port of Brookings have produced a colorful mix of rockfish and lingcod as well as decent takes of ocean dungeness.
Ice and snow will likely greet Diamond Lake fishers again this coming weekend but most are taking limits of large trout by auguring to water level. The daily bag limit is now eight fish.
Eastern – Deschutes anglers are taking redsides averaging 15 inches on a combination of top and sub-surface offerings but dry action is expected to improve as water levels drop and the weather improves. Action has been decent on the middle Deschutes with the Salmonfly hatch occurring later this month.
Although the weather has been unsettled, John Day anglers have been taking large smallmouth bass.
SW Washington – Steelhead remain the top choice for SW Washington anglers. However, the Cowlitz does have a mix of spring chinook and steelhead right now. Summer steelhead are starting to show.
The Kalama has a mix of early summer run steelhead, late broodstock and wild winter fish with only a rare chinook showing.
The Washougal has summer run fish but will peak later into June.
With dam passage at an impressive season high, Drano Lake and the Wind River fisheries are well underway. Fishing should be excellent for the next 2 weeks as fish not familiar with sport gear continue to cross Bonneville.