Oregon & SW Washington Fishing Update

Willamette Valley/Metro – Anglers chasing coho on the mainstem near the mouth of the Sandy River are still doing well with spinners and plugs taking the majority of fish. Action should remain steady for another few weeks or until significant rains send fish upstream. Boats walleye fishing in the area are averaging 2 kept fish per boat.


Gorge anglers are still catching an occasional chinook but these fish are now making poor tablefare. Sturgeon fishing has slowed for both bank and boat anglers with boaters taking a legal fish for about every third party. Late run coho numbers are peaking at Bonneville Dam indicating better fishing at the mouths of upstream tributaries in the coming days.


While the counts at Willamette Falls lag behind a week, coho number easily exceed a record-smashing 20,000 adults so far this season. Falls temperatures are up to the high 50s as the flow moderates. Bright steelhead are available below Dexter Dam.


McKenzie water levels have returned to those measured October 12th after spiking on October 14th. It is fishing well for summer steelhead.


Fluctuating water levels have further hampered an already problematic fishery on the North Santiam. Wild steelhead are being hooked around Mehema.


The Clackamas remains a tough fishery. A few coho were taken over the past weekend on jigs in the deeper, slower pools.


Coho catches are spotty on the Sandy with many dark chinook in the mix. The water is clear. Eagle Creek fish are black.

Northwest – After a poor performance over the weekend, Tillamook Bay chinook catches have improved in recent days. Low slack along the inside of the north jetty produced good catches early in the week. The morning low tide series continues to improve into the weekend for anglers using herring near the bottom. Ray B. Townsend of Milwaukie landed a 25-pounder in the ocean on Monday.


Although forecasters failed to accurately predict rainfall amounts last weekend, thousands of adult coho and some chinook moved upstream on the Trask and North Fork Nehalem where hatcheries are expecting big numbers of fish to return. So far, returns are below expectations and conditions remain challenging with extreme low and clear water. Only slight river fluctuations are in the forecast, keeping driftboats trailered through another weekend.


Good bar and ocean conditions allowed for ample harvest of rockfish in both nearshore and deep reef areas. The south jetty out of the mouth of the Columbia River produced fine catches of black sea bass. Weather forecasts for the near future offer little hope of offshore recreation into the weekend.


Coho fishing in the lower Columbia has finally diminished. Only a rare fish will be taken as adults move into tributary systems for a November spawn.


Crabbing in the lower Columbia is productive as well but last weekends strong tides likely didn’t produce as good as this weekend’s will. Unfortunately, high slack will occur during the dark hours but with the weak exchange, productive crabbing should happen all day long.


Southwest – One of the best ocean Dungeness seasons in history came to a close on October 15th. Bay and estuary crabbing is good and improving with crab in excellent condition.


Coho are in at Tahkenitch but remain concentrated near the outlet. No fishing is allowed below the Highway 101 Bridge. The dam opened on the 17th.


Umpqua side drifters have been doing well for coho on the Elkton stretch of the Umpqua.

With a wild coho fishery in the Coos, Coquille and Yaquina rivers for the first time in many years, Umpqua anglers witnessed thousands of native fish present and hope for a season here in the future.

Coos anglers saw a slowing in chinook hookups and while there are lots of coho in the system, most are wild which must be released.


Trollers in Rogue tidewater have continued to see steady action with chinook, jacks and coho although action slows whenever the ocean is rough.


It’s mostly a coho show in the Coquille system where nearly half of the 1,500 wild coho quota allowed here has been taken.


Offshore forecasts look dicey for ocean launches out of the Port of Brookings this coming weekend. Good-sized chinook are entering the Chetco providing fair to good opportunities below the Highway 101 Bridge. The river above the bridge opens November 11th.


Chinook moved into the lower Elk and Sixes with recent rain but additional precipitation is needed to get this fishery underway. There are some fish being taken in the tidewater areas however.

Eastern – Steelhead are being hooked on the Deschutes from Madras to the mouth. Water level is up but clarity is good on the lower river.


Steelheading is improving on the Imnaha with hardware anglers outfishing fly rodders.


The Grande Ronde is improving for steelhead with reports of a fish landed for every 6.7 hours of effort. Anglers are reminded that the bag limit on the lower Grand Ronde, Imnaha and Wallowa Rivers has increased to 5 per day in response to a record number of steelhead passing into the system.


Once the river temperature warms, the smallmouth bass bite is epic on the John Day River. Steelhead are beginning to show in the lower stretches.


SW Washington –  Coho numbers and quality is peaking in district rivers right now. The Cowlitz, particularly at the mouth of the Toutle is producing well.

The Kalama and Lewis River is also producing with coho making up the bulk of the catch and an occasional summer steelhead in the mix.


The lower Klickitat River is producing great catches of coho as the effort will attest to. With adult coho passage peaking at Bonneville Dam, catch rates will continue to be high in the coming weeks.

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