Oregon & SW Washington fishing

Willamette Valley/Metro- Anticipation for a good summer chinook season has anglers preparing spinners for Bonneville area salmon. Although salmon fishing is open upstream of Tongue Point, the majority of effort will take place in the gorge. With counts on the upswing, action should be good for fin-clipped salmon into mid-July. The first of two mainstem gillnet seasons begins tonight.

Summer steelhead fishing above I-5 is also now open and better numbers are entering the Columbia each week. Although boaters in the gorge will score better results in July, bank anglers downstream of the mouth of the Willamette should continue to find fish when the tides improve next week.

Shad anglers in the gorge are doing well and run numbers should now be peaking. Fresh shad continue to take oversize sturgeon in the gorge below Marker 82. Only a rare keeper is in the catch.

With water temps in the upper 50’s, springers and summer steelhead have resumed crossing the Falls, having stopped when the water was high. The lower river should be fishable by the weekend with the best action likely to come from the lower Portland Harbor. Hardware will become most effective for salmon when water temperatures exceed 60 degrees.

With the McKenzie at 41 degrees and down to 5,000 cfs at Vida, trout fishing is good.

The water has dropped and cleared on the Clackamas but has still been higher than most like to fish it. A few fish are being landed on cured eggs.

The Sandy River has been very slow with most leaving empty-handed. Summer steelhead will make up the bulk of the catch when flows drop.

The Santiam system will be dropping throughout the week with the North producing hatchery steelhead. Warmer water temperatures should drastically improve catch rates.
Northwest –  Catches have slowed dramatically on Tillamook Bay as peak season has passed. Hatchery fish will remain available but wild fish may soon make up a larger portion of the catch. Softer tides will focus effort in the lower bay for anglers using herring for bait.

Although district rivers performed well after the last rain freshet, river levels have dropped and fish are concentrating in deeper holes awaiting the next rain. They will become increasingly more challenging to pursue but early risers and stealthy tactics will take salmon and steelhead on the Trask, Wilson, Nestucca and Three Rivers. The Wilson and Three Rivers offer the best access to bank anglers but the Trask is a top bet for salmon anglers near the hatchery. The Hatchery Hole deadline is now in effect.

The offshore chinook season has not performed well and anglers wishing to recreate in the ocean will not enjoy the forecasted wind chop this weekend. Commercial troll catches out of Astoria indicate good numbers of chinook are in the area.

High flows and relatively cold water continue to keep sturgeon action from breaking loose in the lower Columbia. Astoria area anglers didn’t quite average a keeper for every other boat over the weekend. The best action remains in the deep water where anchovies are faring best. Fresh ocean fish, recognized by whiter skin coloration and even an iridescent sheen on their sides, are making up a larger portion of the catch now. The best fishing remains upstream of the Astoria Bridge but a few fish are beginning to fall out of Hammond.

Southwest – Another round of all-depth halibut opens June 17, 18 and 19 off the central Oregon coast between Cape Falcon and Humbug Mountain with 40% of the quota remaining. Mild early morning incoming tides are forecast.

Ocean launches provided good bottom fishing out of Bandon and Charleston. The Coast Guard was particularly cautious about opening the bar out of Reedsport, keeping boats inside.

There has been some improvement in catches of ocean chinook but it’s still slow with salmon deep.

Impact of the last storm has springer fishing at a standstill with water muddy on the Umpqua. Shad and smallmouth fishing is also poor. It may be a week or longer before it will be fishable.

On the Rogue, spring chinook fishing was off and on over the past week but shut down on Sunday, June 13th, when the water temperature topped 60 degrees. Fish upstream for best results but stay clear of the river above and below Gold Ray Dam which is closed for the dam removal project.

Eastern – The latest giant kokanee, taken over the past weekend at Wallowa Lake by Ron Campbell of Pendleton, is on track for the new world record at 9.67 pounds. The state record has now been broken 4 times this spring.

The Umatilla River is an option for spring chinook as flows subside after snowmelt. The Wallowa and Imnaha Rivers should also provide some opportunities in the coming weeks.

Kokanee fishing is fair at Odell with few filling the generous 25-fish limit here.

SW Washington – District anglers continue to leave area rivers disappointed. The Cowlitz remains the best spot to intercept a spring chinook with the Barrier Dam producing the best.

Summer steelhead numbers should start to build in the Cowlitz, Lewis and Kalama Rivers and increasing water temperatures should stimulate the bite. The Washougal is another good bet that not many anglers pay attention to.

The Wind River remains a good bet for anglers targeting salmon at the coffer dam. The Klickitat should also produce a few salmon. Summer steelhead numbers at Bonneville will determine when the effort is worthwhile on this system.

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