Willamette Valley/Metro – Steelhead fishing below Bonneville Dam has been spotty. The catch has been roughly 80% wild to 20% hatchery and most are ranging 4-6 Lbs. Sturgeon fishing is also on the slow side with little effort. A few fish are also getting taken off the mouths of the Cowlitz, Kalama, Lewis and Sandy Rivers.
Willamette sturgeon fishers were given another opener Thursday through Sunday. Effort was way down from the previous week and few fish were caught. No announcements have been made as of yet for a future opener. Walleye fishing in the Multnomah Channel has been exceptionally good. So much so, that anglers who have yet to try it are venturing out and having reasonable success. Worm harnesses fished behind a bottom walker, trolled upstream is the ticket. Look for water from 12-20 feet deep. Bass fishing has also been good in the main river and anglers putting in their time are having 10-20 fish days.
While McKenzie River water levels have continued to gradually drop, fluctuation in flows has moderated. This should come as good news for fly fishers targeting trout. With the McKenzie receiving a smaller percentage of steelhead than other Willamette tributaries, catches have been fewer this year.
North Santiam levels are low but fishable. Trout fishing is fair but steelhead success is slow this season with the numbers of summers in the Willamette system far fewer than in previous years.
On the Clackamas River, summer steelhead fishing remains slow with little effort. Scattered fish are present in the section between Carver and Rivermill Dam, but anglers must work first and last light for any success. Low water tactics are a must with small baits and subdued lure colors getting the fish’s attention.
Sandy River anglers have both summer steelhead and a few late spring chinook available. The water from the mouth of the Salmon River down to Oxbow County Park holds the best opportunity. Like the Clackamas, anglers are encouraged to use light gear and small baits for best results.
Northwest – Coho fishing has taken off again outside of the mouth of the Columbia. Although most boats continue to travel SW of the Columbia River Buoy, fish have been taken in the 150-foot range recently. This fishery should stay consistently good through August.
The Buoy 10 fishery is expected to produce mediocre results at first, with the mouth of Young’s Bay the exception. Fair numbers of Rogue strain chinook, also called select area brights, have been taken by gillnetters and sport boats alike in lower Young’s Bay. The chinook have been running large and the mainstem opener should produce nicely near high tide for herring trollers. This may be the last year for this fishery before a bubble restriction is enacted so take advantage of it. Mainstem chinook likely won’t show in earnest for another week. Fishery managers are expecting a banner year.
Chinook catches in Nehalem Bay are good. Herring trollers working the mouth to Wheeler are producing good catches of summer chinook, likely to peak the first 10 days of August. George Hemingway of Manzanita, recently recognized by Governor Kitzhaber for his conservation work, landed a 16-pound chinook off of the Wheeler dock just over a week ago, simply mooching a herring.
Coho fishing out of Garibaldi has been good but closes after today (July 31st). Albacore will be the primary focus for the next several weeks for the Garibaldi fleet.
Ocean crabbing remains good but most of the catches are soft-shelled. Bay crabbing is only fair.
Southwest- Wednesday this week was the last opportunity for coho in the ocean and the season had a hot finish. One charter out of Depoe Bay reported on July 29th with 11 hatchery coho on board having released 15 natives. The non-selective (hatchery or wild) season begins with a 2-day opener offshore starting September 1 & 2 for a quota of 16,000 coho.
Offshore wind and wave conditions are expected to be friendly for the weekend off the central Oregon coast. Mild westerly winds will be a pleasant change from gusts out of the north. This should come as good news to tuna hopefuls anxious to locate albacore as the water warms this week.
The all-depth halibut fishery for the summer season will start Friday and Saturday, August 2 and 3, continuing every other Friday and Saturday until the quota is fulfilled.
Chinook fishing has been slow for trollers at Winchester Bay. There’s an occasional flurry of action for those fishing the jaws but overall daily catches have been in the single digits according to fish checkers.
Diminutive craft will return from the ocean following the Kayak Fishing Challenge out of Sunset Bay State Park near Coos Bay on Saturday, August 3rd. Expect to see large cabezon and lingcod at the weigh-in.
Offshore trips were sporadic out of Gold Beach over the past week with ocean conditions unsettled. Boats did well for rockfish and lingcod when they could get lines into the water. Rogue Bay has been producing fair, steady catches of chinook. The lower Rogue remains too warm to fish well and chinook seem to be off the bite in the middle river. A mix of summer steelhead and spring chinook remain available on the upper Rogue. Cutthroat trout fishing is also good in this stretch.
When boats have been able to cross the bar out of Brookings, ocean salmon fishing has remained rewarding. Anchovies, often festooned with hoochies, are effective trolled on the 35-foot range over about 150 feet of water for chinook averaging 16 pounds but occasionally hitting the 30-pound mark.
Eastern – Interest in Deschutes steelhead is building with the occasional summer landed by spinner flingers recently. Some improvement is expected toward mid-August and into September.
In the absence of rainfall and with hot eastside weather, Wallowa water levels have dropped and trout fishing has slowed. Nymphs remain effective for fair catches with dries effective evenings. Trout fishing is good in Wallowa Lake.
Bass fishing is good in the low water of the Grande Ronde River as smallmouth move upriver from the warmer water of the Snake River.
Kokanee fishing is excellent at Odell Lake with evening trolling most effective. Pink lures are preferred here.
SW Washington- The Cowlitz remains a viable bet for summer steelhead, the best option in the district. Kalama anglers are witnessing poor results. Fall chinook will soon show in these systems however but not for several more weeks.
Anglers fishing Drano Lake are finally producing catches although the vast majority of them are wild and must be released.
Horseshoe Lake in Woodland was planted with 600 brown trout averaging half-pound each on July 25.