Willamette Valley/Metro – The Columbia River has both steelhead and chinook salmon spread from Buoy 10 to Bonneville Dam. Beach fishermen and boaters alike are scoring at all the popular beaches and river mouths, with the mouth of the Cowlitz being the busiest.
Walleye fishing remains the highlight on the Willamette River, although effort has dropped a bit since last week. The dip in effort is likely due to the presence of chinook in the mainstem Columbia River. Regardless, fishing should hold up for weeks to come until the river cools substantially. Bass anglers are still getting a few fish but effort is at a minimum here as well. Catch and release sturgeon remain an option for anglers wishing to get a few hours of fishing while staying close to home but few fish are available.
Water flows measure 2,100 cfs with temperatures below 55 degrees at Vida on the McKenzie River. Fly anglers throwing caddis patterns continue to enjoy steady results for trout here.
Fish counts at Willamette Falls have not improved. Since all salmon and steelhead must travel the main Willamette, there has been very little change in populations on the Santiams. Fish higher on the system for best results targeting trout and possibly steelhead.
Northwest – With the 14th annual Buoy 10 Challenge looming Friday, anticipation is running high for chinook limits to hit the deck. The fishing in Astoria has been epic with limits of chinook common, coming largely from the Washington side of the river, above the Astoria Bridge. Size 6 Fatal Flash spinners in red/white or pink/white combinations have been working during outgoing tide but fresh and frozen herring and anchovies are holding their own as well. Michael O’ Leary of Portland hooked several chinook on Tuesday, trolling a whole rigged fresh herring on the Washington side in 24 to 30 foot of water. The Oregon side has yet to produce tangible results and coho have not made a strong showing either.
Although interest has largely shifted to the lower Columbia, action in the salt, just outside of the river entrance is productive for mostly coho. The bite is best right at first light and effort remains focused to the south. A calm ocean forecast should keep the ocean fishing favorably and with a southern influence, may move albacore tuna closer to shore next week.
Crabbing is good on the lower Columbia.
With the central coast halibut quota filled and coho season closed, effort out of Garibaldi is minimal. Rockfish and crabbing remain a good option however and a productive any coho season is likely starting September 1st.
The Nehalem has slowed and will likely continue to be slow until the fall run make a stronger showing in September. There will likely be sporadic flurries of activity through the month of August however.
Southwest- Tuna are far offshore out of Depoe Bay, making it a long trip to reach them. Rockfish and lingcod limits are being returned to port regularly. With the bag limit raised from 16,000 to 19,580, anglers are anxious for the non-specific coho season to open September 1-2. Fish need not be fin-clipped during this fishery.
Summer all-depth halibut is wrapped up with the quota exceeded over the first opener on August 2-3.
Friendly ocean conditions are forecast to endure through the coming weekend.
While the ocean out of Reedsport is productive, so is Winchester Bay. Herring trollers have been taking chinook regularly. Bay crabbing remains poor. Chinook are in the Umpqua mainstem but don’t seem to be biting.
The ocean laid down and winds were light all last week out of Gold Beach, allowing boats to get out every day. Fishing was good for chinook and limits of rockfish and lingcod were frequent. While upriver fires are mostly under control, so much water was required to do so, lower Rogue temperatures dropped and cooled the bay. Results slowed for bay trollers. Middle Rogue fishing is poor. Below Dodge Bridge on the upper river where wild Chinook may be retained, it has been productive for drift boaters using bait.
Boats launching out of Brookings Harbor have been taking limits of ocean chinook trolling depths from 110 to 140 feet.
Eastern – With steelhead numbers improving, catches have picked up a little. Hot weather has occasionally raised water temperatures and the bite will slow when that occurs.
Crooked River flow increased slightly in the first week of August although it continues to fish well. Nymphs are most effective at this time of year.
Schools of kokanee can be seen cruising at Odell Lake but they have been off the bite. A better option might be using downriggers to troll plugs for lake trout.
East Lake is fishing well and produces large brown trout periodically.
Big Lava Lake fishing is slow.
SW Washington- The mouth of the Cowlitz continues to produce good catches of steelhead and chinook are starting to show in earnest. Chinook will soon dominate the catch and given the magnitude of the run this year, action should be excellent.
The Cowlitz River itself is producing fair catches of steelhead.
Trollers at Drano Lake are taking both steelhead and chinook with less than half of the steelhead of hatchery origin. Action for chinook will only get better as Bonneville Dam counts increase. Chinook have already been caught in the Hanford Reach.