Oregon fishing update 7/5/13

Willamette Valley/Metro- A recent resurgence in shad fishing below Willamette Falls is likely due to the high pressure. Even though we are on the backside of the run, a decent handful of fish have been caught in the last few days by a few participating anglers. Traditionally the shad run is over by the Fourth of July. There has been little effort for sturgeon and salmon leaving little to report. Smallmouth bass fishing had been decent, but the hot weather slows the bite and keeps most fishermen off the water.

Spring chinook numbers were tapering off at Willamette Falls toward the end of June with over 25,000 upstream along with roughly 12,000 summer steelhead. Some of these will have entered the Santiams. The North Santiam is low but fishable and a few fish have been taken recently.

McKenzie River water levels are dropping this week but should still provide opportunities for fly anglers using Caddis patterns. Try early or late in the day for best results. There are steelhead in the system which are most likely to respond at first light.

Both the Sandy and Clackamas Rivers are best left to the splash and giggle crowd during the hot weather. Prior to the high pressure system, a few summer steelhead and spring chinook had been present. The fishing and catching has been difficult with the high pressure system coupled with the never ending onslaught of rafters, tubers and swimmers.

Northwest – With freshwater options waning, anglers are taking a hard look at the ocean for what is shaping up to be a great summer season. Out of Astoria, salmon anglers continue to produce good catches of chinook and coho, fishing just to the north of the mouth of the Columbia using fresh anchovies for bait. Unfortunately, the northwest winds have been blowing all morning and afternoon and are forecast to intensify by the weekend. Action is likely to remain good however, when seas are safe to ply.

Ocean crabbing has been best on the Washington side of the Columbia River but be mindful of Washington regulations if you drop pots here. The Oregon side has plenty of female crabs and octopus have been laying egg sacks in some of the pots, rendering them unfit for crab.

Catch and release sturgeon fishing in the estuary remains excellent with the upcoming weaker tide series likely to produce better in the deeper water. They have readily been taking anchovies with keeper-sized fish and oversize making up the bulk of the catch.

Farther south, anglers reported slow coho fishing out of Garibaldi however some did well targeting bait balls although birds often seemed more interested in bait than the salmon did. Another round of nearshore halibut opportunity is coming up Thursday through Saturday but a stiff northwest wind will keep most small boats at bay.

Spring chinook fishing remains best near the hatchery hole on the Trask River and Three Rivers is producing an occasional good bite too. Only another week and a half of opportunity exists on these systems.

Estuary crabbing remains challenging. The last good minus tide series begins tomorrow, before the summer razor clam closure lasting into September.

Southwest- July 1 marked the opening of the offshore selective coho salmon season with initial catches promising out of Newport and Depoe Bay. Hatchery coho may be taken seven days a week for a quota of 10,500 fish. Ocean chinook numbers have also been decent.

Limits of rockfish have been taken off the central coast but the lingcod bite has been off. Many bottom fishers report hooking chinook inadvertently over the past week.

Rockfish catches have been decent out of Winchester Bay although crabbing inside is poor. The Umpqua mainstem is dropping and will be extremely low over the coming weekend. Smallmouth bass fishing will be worthwhile in the warm water.

Offshore boats out of Rogue Bay have been taking limits of rockfish and lingcod with several chinook hitting soft plastics intended for bottomfish. Record low river flows are predicted along with an outstanding troll fishery in the estuary during the month of July. The lower Rogue is forecast to drop this week, hitting and holding 2,000 cfs at Agness, less at Grants Pass. Chinook anglers have taken a few springers every day on the lower Rogue over the past week but it is still scratch fishing. Springers are tough to hook, even in the upper Rogue where it has been best. With summer steelhead numbers improving, catches will start to pick up.

Ocean fishing out of Brookings has been spectacular over the past week with happy anglers bringing limits to the cleaning station. Mostly averaging 20 pounds, a few scaling 30 or better are coming in. Most trollers are scoring with anchovies behind a dodger. Big lingcod are being taken by bottom fishers.

A free Family Fishing Event on Sunday, July 7 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Lhuuke Illahee hatchery on Little Rock Creek near Logsden. Those 17 and younger are invited to fish.

Eastern – The lower Deschutes is producing on Caddis patterns early mornings with daytime air temperatures soaring.

Crooked River flows are low and gradually dropping. It should continue to fish well in these conditions.

Green Peter is producing good numbers of kokanee averaging 11 inches with several 25-fish limits reported. Most are trolling with flashers and hoochies.

SW Washington- Effort is still running good on the Cowlitz but the summer steelhead take is fair at best. Anglers remain focused on lower Columbia beaches but with a sub-par summer run, success rates are poor. The Lewis River is slow as well.

Anglers working the reservoirs above the John Day Dam are finding fair to good success for walleye and smallmouth bass. Action is likely to remain good into mid-July.

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One Response to Oregon fishing update 7/5/13

  1. Ken says:

    Thank you very much for providing this report, I appreciate it.

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