Oregon fishing reports 9/27/12

Willamette Valley/Metro– Pro guide Chris Vertopoulos (503-349-1377) reports the fall salmon run up the lower Columbia River is tapering off but good opportunity still exists. The best action will be from the mouth of the Sandy River up to Bonneville Dam. Anchor fishermen and bank anglers have been doing best, while backtrollers take up the slack. Smaller sized bait-wrapped Kwikfish in size K13, K14 and K15 have been getting it done. Recent reports indicate that the faster, 20-30 ft. water has produced best. Further downstream, anglers are still catching fish on wobblers and Kwikfish alike, but the lower river has most likely already seen the bulk of the run pass by. 

With October Caddis ever more abundant, water conditions perfect and pleasant fall weather ongoing, fly fishers are enjoying good results on the McKenzie River.

Coho and summer steelhead entering the North Santiam should be available to anglers around the mouth of the little North Fork and Stout Greek.

On the Clackamas, no reports of silvers in the river yet, but a modest showing could appear any day now.


The Sandy has seen a few silvers taken on the river with most of the action reported from Oxbow Park downstream. Expect the Cedar Creek area to turn on soon as these fish will arrive and make a showing upriver, with or without rain. A handful are also being taken at the mouth by anglers casting weighted spinners.

Northwest – Recent reports from the lower Columbia indicate there are still a surprising number of coho around with some boats reporting more hatchery fish than wild for a change. The soft tide series recently booted out keepers near the Desdemona Light Marker while anglers indulged in easy Dungeness crab limits in the same area.


With the recent calm water, offshore anglers found on-again, off again success for albacore about 40 miles west of the river mouth. Live bait continues to produce the best results. Reports of a hooked marlin are likely accurate although still uncommon off of Oregon. Anglers are hopeful of one final series of opportunities before fish move out of range until next summer.


Tillamook Bay anglers are enjoying a productive season although rough seas kept anglers inside for the first time in a while on Monday slowing angler momentum. Seaweed and eelgrass is hampering success but fish are available throughout the bay. A large percentage of the catch are 3-year old fish, averaging around 12 pounds but fish to 40 pounds have been taken lately.


The Trask tidewater also has fair numbers of fish present but the soft tide series has them off the bite. With no measureable rain in sight, action should remain fair in the tidewaters of most north coast streams.


The Nehalem is producing fair catches of chinook and an occasional coho. Coho seem largely absent from most systems however but the wild run should start showing by early October.


The Nestucca, Salmon, Siletz and Alsea should all have catchable numbers of fish available to both bank and boat anglers. Catches should start to peak this week.

Crabbing remains phenomenal in the ocean and good in most estuaries. The fresher the crab bait, the better the results.


Southwest– Tuna fishing was good out of Depoe Bay late last week, rewarding sports and charter boats with good catches of large albacore. The end of this fishery is looming, but it’s not over yet.

Rockfish and Dungeness limits along with good catches of ling cod were the rule out of central Oregon ports over the past weekend.

The wild coho fishery started on September 15th on several southwestern systems. A few have been caught but the season has just started.

Nearshore halibut re-opened of the central coast on Monday, September 24th. It is scheduled to run through October 31st but is more likely to deplete the 4,700-pound quota prior to that date.

Crabbing in Winchester Bay is quite good while trollers targeting chinook in the bay have seen an improvement over the past week with herring behind a flasher.

Bottom fishing out of Bandon has been excellent with rockfish on the surface some days, allowing fast action casting with light gear or fly rods. Salmon fishing has been slow to fair.

Fishing out of Gold Beach lit up over the past week with scores of fall chinook landed in the Rogue estuary, three of which were over 50 pounds. Offshore boats are scoring rockfish, ling cod and plenty of crabs. Lower Rogue fishers are taking a mix of adult chinook and jacks. Half-pounders are gobbling spinners around Agness.   Back-trolled plugs are taking chinook on the middle Rogue while the flies-only upper Rogue has slowed for summer steelhead in low water conditions.

There is no chinook fishing out of Brookings until the “Bubble” fishery opens October 1st to high expectations.

Eastern – Fishing for redsides has been decent on the lower Deschutes during the morning and evening caddis hatches.


Hosmer Lake has been slow for most, worthwhile for experienced fly fishers who are taking decent numbers of Atlantic salmon and brook trout.


Green Peter continues to produce good numbers of kokanee, about two-thirds of which are of table quality but it is evident that the spawn is nearing.


SW Washington- The Cowlitz and Lewis Rivers remain top options for district anglers with chinook making the strongest showing although coho are not far behind.


Fair numbers of sturgeon are below Bonneville Dam but consumptive opportunity doesn’t open up again for another few weeks.


Columbia River Gorge anglers are enjoying a productive period, targeting chinook at the tributary mouths hovering with small clusters of eggs. Jigs can also be effective fished here but are more likely to take coho when they start showing in the coming weeks.

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