Oregon Fishing Update
Willamette Valley/Metro – Columbia River sturgeon fishing remains good and in the murky waters of the NW, is one of the better options. Keepers are still being taken with some regularity in the gorge for anglers using smelt and sand shrimp combinations. Sub-legal action is good from the gorge downstream to Rainier. Bank anglers are still doing well with higher flows pushing fish closer to the shore and good action should last until the end of the month when temperatures drop.
Steelheaders are coming into their prime season in the John Day area. The mainstem is picking up for both boaters and bank anglers. The John Day River itself is a viable option when trolling slows. Trollers are taking most of their fish in the morning.
Willamette sturgeon action is improving with a cooling Columbia. The stretch from the St. Johns Bridge to the mouth is producing best using smelt. Anglers still need to be wary of floating debris. Although limits are not the rule, some quality fish are available.
Thanksgiving usually brings out the first of the serious steelhead plunkers at Meldrum Bar just downstream of the mouth of the Clackamas. With turbid water conditions and high flows, fish will be hugging the shoreline. Anglers shouldn’t get their hopes up too high however. Incidentally caught coho, hatchery or wild, must be released downstream of Willamette Falls.
The Sandy and Clackamas are quiet this time of year. Recent precipitation, a coho closure and the end of a stocking program that brought back earlier returning steelhead make these metro rivers a poor option until February.
Northwest Ã¢â‚¬â€œ With the recent break in weather, anglers were out in force on Tillamook Bay and the Kilchis River. The Kilchis remained one of the few fishable rivers on the north coast but the Wilson showed signs of improvement on Monday. Forecasted weather will once again put the larger systems on hold.
Anglers working the Kilchis from Kilchis Park downstream were met with lots of competition. Patient anglers working the lower stretches were rewarded with a mix of dark and bright fish. With the consistently high water, fresh fish were moving all the time but very few anglers scored excellent results as is usually the case when we experience fewer rain freshets.
The Wilson and Nestucca had fair numbers of fish present but the Wilson never got much clearer than 10 inches of visibility. The water below Highway 101 produced the best catches on the Nestucca over the weekend. The Nestucca run will begin to fade fast while the Wilson will last into mid-December- if it ever clears again.
A large log jam exists on the Trask River at the Railroad Bridge about 2 miles upstream from Highway 101. It is impassable but hopefully the dropping flows will break it up.
Although unconfirmed reports of winter steelhead are coming from the north coast, Thanksgiving typically motivates anglers to try their luck on the Wilson, Kilchis, North Fork Nehalem or Necanicum Rivers in search of early success. These rivers will fish best in mid-December however.
Tillamook Bay is still producing good catches. The Ghost Hole is responsible for the bulk of the action and effort. Nearly 30 fish were estimated in Monday’s catch. Crabbing is a poor option on Tillamook Bay but Netarts is yielding good catches of hard shelled Dungeness crab. Effort has not picked up for sturgeon although numbers should begin to increase later this month.
The lower Columbia River out of Hammond is producing excellent catches of keeper crab. The tides will be good over the holiday weekend and commercial pots are likely to enter in early December.
Southwest Ã¢â‚¬â€œ The Chetco River is one of the best November options but high water will once again prevent productive opportunities for this south coast favorite. It may come back into shape late into the weekend.
The Elk and Sixes Rivers produced some of the best catches of the year over the weekend. Driftboaters backbouncing eggs and backtrolling plugs scored good numbers but forecasted weather may put many south coast streams out until the weekend. The Elk will be one of the first to clear when rains subside.
Summer steelhead in the upper reaches of the Rogue River is still the best option in this region. The quality of the summer fish will begin to fall after Thanksgiving and anxious plunkers working the lower reaches may score winter fish when flow stabilize.
Eastern – The Grande Ronde is likely to have some of the more stable flows in the state. Last week, anglers tallied 1 steelhead for every 15 hours fished. Catch rates should begin to improve as the month progresses.
The Umatilla won’t get good until later in the year.
The Snake River is improving but fish are most congregated below Hells Canyon Dam.
Washington Fishing Update
Southwest Washington – SW Washington streams remain challenging to fish due to high water conditions. Steelhead have become available on the Cowlitz Rivers but success is limited. Anglers should focus efforts along river banks using bright colored lures and scented baits. The Cowlitz will remain the best bet but more high water is forecasted through the holiday weekend.
The Grays River opened to fishing for hatchery steelhead on November 15th from the mouth to the Highway 4 bridge.
But here’s the best thing going in SW Washington! Lamiglas will hold its first ever factory clearance sale on Saturday December, 9th here at Lamiglas. We will have over 3000 rods which include closeouts, obsolete models and blems. Lots to choose from. We will also have rod blanks and components for the custom rod builder. I wanted to personally invite all Ifisher’s to come on by our factory at 1400 Atlantic Ave. in Woodland, Washington for this huge event. We will also have Jack Glass, Dave Vedder and Carmen McDonald on hand to talk about different fishing techniques. Hours are 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Saturday, December 9th 2006. See you there.