Willamette Valley/Metro – With the emergency closure at the end of the day on Wednesday (September 12th), anglers got their last licks in on Chinook, which are in peak migration in the middle river right now. Action had been sporadic by section but the lower deadline near the mouth of the Kalama River and the Bonneville reach have been fishing the best. Pro trolls with 3.5 spinners or red label herring had been the ticket, but anglers willing to target fish closer to incoming tide have proven to be the most successful. Anchor anglers have not had an overwhelming season. Adult and jack Chinook numbers are tracking ahead of last year’s run, but managers were forced to close the fishery prematurely due to the poor overall returns crossing at Bonneville. The closure may go through the end of the year, but may change if Bonneville counts improve dramatically and immediately.
The mainstem upstream of Bonneville Dam will also close until further notice and ODF&W had re-opened the mouth of the Deschutes River for Chinook and coho, but this section is now also closed with the emergency regulation. All steelhead incidentally caught on the mainstem Columbia must be released with extreme care. Coho counts are higher than what they were at this time last year.
Anglers are starting to fish in earnest on the lower Clackamas, in hopes of early season coho, which should be present and growing in numbers. Small clusters of drifted eggs or casting spinners should produce results for persistent anglers.
Pro guide Jeff Stoeger of O2BFISHN (503-704-7920) reports, coho should start showing on the Sandy River as well and with cloudy weather and some precipitation in the forecast, action should be fair for weekend anglers. These fish can be finicky however.
Recreational anglers will be able to retain sturgeon from the Wauna Powerlines (about 40 miles upstream of the mouth) to the deadlines at Bonneville Dam this Saturday. This will be the first of a 2-day season, the other open day being September 22nd for fish between 44 and 50 inches. Anglers are advised of an obscure rule requiring measurement to be taken on the underside of the sturgeon as a discrepancy in length can happen when measured over the top of the fish. The lower Willamette River remains closed to sturgeon retention.
Northwest Oregon – The Chinook fishery on the north coast is heating up, but as is common for the early season, results are sporadic. Chinook are being caught both inside and outside of Tillamook Bay.
The “any salmon” season last Friday and Saturday was good with ideal ocean conditions. Fair numbers of coho were being caught with some coho eclipsing 15 pounds in weight. Ocean weather looks favorable for good fishing on the next Friday and Saturday opener (September 14 & 15). A transfer for several thousand more coho from the leftover quota in the south of Falcon fishery will extend it at least through this weekend.
Nearshore halibut and rockfishing remains open as well and crabbing is picking up with the males starting to fill out better after the July molt.
Other north coast systems have yet to take off but the Nehalem, Salmon and Nestucca systems should improve this week. These systems have not taken off in any consistent manner just yet.
The Alsea especially, and the Siletz should start seeing better catches this week. The Siletz season will likely improve later this month. Tides are good for lower bay and lower tidewater action.
Astoria area – Coho fishing in the estuary has been extremely spotty. Last year, the middle of September produced white-hot hatchery coho catches, but the season overall for coho has been challenging. It’ll be closed this weekend, anglers will need to hedge their bets on a calm ocean and a “any two salmon” limit out of ports south of Cape Falcon (Manzanita) this weekend.
Crabbing is improving here, and the soft tide series this weekend should prove productive.
Central and Eastern Oregon –From our Friend Tim Moran.
Deschutes River – Reports from the shops are the same. There are fish – Steelhead in the river but no one is fishing for them. The guides are getting customers on 2 to 4 per day.
Metolius River – The Met is great! The Green Drake hatch is still happening and it has been very good from 2 pm until dark. PMD’s and caddis will be in the mix too. Small olive and golden stones are out as well. Did I mention Bull Trout?
John Day River – I love fall on the JDR. the water is still warm and it’s very low which means fish stack up in the deeper holes and runs.
Crooked River – Flows are low and stable and when that happens fishing is always good! Small nymphs under a small indicator or on a dry/ dropper always produce here.
Owyhee River – September is the best month on the Owyhee! The hatches are great and the fish instinctively know that winter is coming and it’s time to fatten up!
Southwest – From ODF&W
The rockfish bite is back on. Anglers were catching limits or near-limits of rockfish over the weekend. However, lingcod catches remain spotty during the month of September. Reminder that through Sept. 30, the general marine bottomfish fishery is restricted to inside of the 30-fathom regulatory line.
The longleader gear fishery outside of the 40-fathom regulatory line continues through September. Catches from offshore longleader trips often consist of a nice grade of yellowtail, widow and canary rockfishes. Reminder that the Stonewall Bank Yelloweye Rockfish Conservation Area is closed to all bottomfish trips, including longleader trips.
The Stonewall Bank Yelloweye Rockfish Conservation area, approximately 15 miles west of Newport, is closed to bottomfish (groundfish) and halibut fishing year round.
From Humbug Mountain to the OR/CA border, salmon fishing closed on Aug. 26. The Chetco River Fall Chinook State Waters Terminal Fishery will open on Oct. 6-7 and Oct. 13-14 with a daily bag limit of 1 Chinook per angler.
For the southern Oregon Subarea, halibut is open 7 days a week through Oct. 31 or attaining the quota of 8,982 lbs. As of Aug. 30 there is 61 percent of the quota remaining.
Anglers had limited success on albacore tuna during this past week. Access to albacore was most limited by weather conditions and most fish were found well offshore (40 miles or more).
On the lower Rogue, water levels continue to drop as we enter the driest part of the year. With cooler than average water temperatures, Chinook have begun to move up river.
Those interested in getting out of the wind or fog may want to head up river to fish for half-pounders and adult summer steelhead. Both have been moving up river in descent numbers.
September is a good time to fish fall Chinook in the middle Rogue area.
Anglers are catching summer steelhead on plugs fished from a drift boat, or side planner and plug from shore, or drifting night crawlers or roe/yarn imitations.
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.
As of Sept. 5, 1,419 Summer Steelhead had entered Cole Rivers Hatchery, with 42 new for the week.
Fishing for bass and other warmwater species should be good at Willow Lake.
Where water levels are too low for boats, like at Hyatt, Emigrant, Fish and Agate, bank anglers will continue to find terrific fall fishing.
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.
Anglers are continuing to catch largemouth bass, crappie and bluegills from the fishing dock and along the weedlines in Eel Lake.
Fishing for bluegills on Lower Empire Lake has been good but most of the fish are small.
Large rainbow trout will be stocked at Fish Lake by the end of this week, a bit early than scheduled because water levels at Fish Lake are dropping fast. The USFS boat ramp is no longer available, and only very small boats can launch at the resort ramp. Even this rock ramp will be dewatered soon.
Anglers fishing from shore, or from inflatables or personal watercraft should have very good fishing at Fish Lake this fall. Water clarity is poor due to a bloom at this time, however.
Galesville has been stocked several times this year and should have lots of trout from previous stockings. In addition to trout, the reservoir was stocked with coho smolts until 2015.
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.
Fishing for bass and other panfish should be decent. Good areas are near dead snags and the boat ramp.
Trout fishing continues to be good at Garrison Lake.
Trout fishing on Tenmile Lakes has slowed down with the best fishing is in the early mornings.
Fishing for largemouth bass has been good with the best fishing in the early mornings or late evenings.
The annual closure of the South Umpqua and Cow Creek will begin Sept. 15 and continue through Nov. 30. The South Umpqua and Cow Creek are open until then for catch-and-release trout fishing.
Bass fishing is good throughout the South Umpqua with particularly high catch rates from Canyonville to the mouth at River Forks/Singleton parks.
Chinook fishing closed on July 1. Summer steelhead fishing has been slow throughout the North Umpqua, it should pick back up again with cooler weather in the forecast.
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.
From Pete Heley at PeteHeley.com
9/13 – The good news is the ODFW did the right thing and increased the 3,500 coho quota to 7,600 – an increase of 117 percent. The bad news is that if they had not done that, the 2,739 coho salmon caught and kept in the ocean would have represented more than 78 percent of the original quota.
Lake Marie, which received two recent trout plants, should be fishing well for trout. Trout fishing should be improving for native, carryover and searun trout in larger coastal lakes like Siltcoos, Tahkenitch, and Tenmile lakes.
There should be plenty of planted trout left in the north arm of Cleawox Lake, which is essentially disconnected from the main body of the lake and therefore receives very little fishing pressure – even though many trout planted in the spring end up in the north arm.
Bluegills should still be biting well in Eel and Loon lakes, but they won’t be near the shoreline or in shallow water like they were in the spring and summer.
Striped bass should be biting better in slightly cooler water on the Smith and Coquille rivers.
Ocean crabbing out of Winchester Bay has been very good, although some crabbers were griping about the recent dredging.
Most serious bottomfish anglers have found they like the long leader technique that allows them to retain ten mid-depth bottomfish per day in marine waters at least 240 feet deep.