Willamette Valley/Metro – Fishing for chinook salmon below Bonneville Dam has dropped off a bit, as have the counts over the dam. The peak of the run has now passed and more sporadic fishing should be expected for the next few weeks. However, fish are still being caught and some good days are still in order for back trollers and anchor fishermen alike.
The Willamette River holds some opportunity for coho salmon at the mouth of the Clackamas, but hot fishing is not likely. As the water clears from last week’s storm, bass and walleye fishing will pick up for the season’s finale. The section from Ross Island to Lake Oswego should fish best for smallmouth bass and the Multnomah Channel will be the go-to spot for late season walleye.
The entire McKenzie River is fishing very well for fly anglers. Large redsides have been looking up lately, creating exciting opportunities for dry patterns. In the absence of surface activity, nymphs have been effective.
Thanks to thousands of coho which have passed over Willamette Falls, these fish far outnumber steelhead on the North Santiam. Fishing for coho has been fair to good at times.
The Clackamas River has dropped into prime shape for early fall coho fishing, but the numbers of fish available are disappointing. A few pods of fish scoot by from time to time but relatively few get caught. Clackamas coho are notorious for being non-biters, but with fewer hatchery fish planted in the last few years, the outlook for decent action is mediocre at best. Anglers intent on trying for the random coho would be well advised to spend their time near and in Eagle Creek.
The Sandy River offers better opportunity for coho and chinook salmon than the Clack. Best action for coho would be from Oxbow Park up to Cedar Creek and the few chinook salmon that are available, would be better sought after down low in the system. Chinook are mixed stock, with both darker tules and a few brighter “quality” fish.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will host a Family Fishing Event Saturday, Oct. 12 at Mt. Hood Pond in Gresham. The event is free and open to anglers of all ages. ODFW staff and volunteers will help participants learn how to set up tackle, cast and land fish.
Hagg Lake closes for the season on November 24th but will be open year ’round starting in 2014.
Northwest – North Coast fishing, particularly in Tillamook Bay have been nothing short of epic. Anglers working Tillamook Bay, as well as the lower reaches of the Wilson and Trask Rivers are realizing catches that haven’t been witnessed in many years. In Tillamook Bay itself, the west channel produced many boat limits last weekend and although it has dropped off, remains a strong option. Todd Liebow of Portland took his 2-fish limit on Sunday; a 25-pounder from Bay City and a 16-pounder from the West Channel on trolled herring. The Ghost Hole is still producing good catches too, especially around the last part of outgoing tide and the first part of incoming. The middle and upper bay is also producing consistent results and could pick up when the morning tide series intensifies over the weekend.
Bobber fishing in the lower Wilson is excellent and last week’s high water produced excellent catches for driftboaters over the weekend on the Trask and Nestucca Rivers as well. River levels are expected to remain stable but the strong early showing of Wilson and Kilchis River chinook are an indication that Tillamook area anglers will likely have good fishing well into Thanksgiving.
The Nehalem River has had an epic run as well although fishing tapered with the recent high water. The system should be well primed for the weekend however as the run is sure to continue well into October. The North Fork Nehalem hatchery reports fair coho fishing, particularly from the handicap platform although the bite is likely to taper.
Crabbing has picked up in some coastal estuaries, likely due to the fall crab spawn approaching. Ocean crabbing may be an option over the weekend if the calming trend continues. Deep-reef bottomfishing will also be productive for lingcod and sea bass out of Garibaldi.
Southwest- Without depth restrictions as of October 1, offshore boats have been taking limits of lingcod out of Newport and Depoe Bay. Nearshore bottom fishing has been excellent. Ocean crabbing remains rewarding but will close at the end of day on October 15th.
Long-range offshore forecasts predict a moderating trend into the coming weekend with mild swells at manageable duration and coastal winds becoming breezes.
Chinook fishing has been good on the Umpqua River bar. Hatchery coho may be kept anywhere on the Umpqua, wild coho are legal to take below the Scottsburg Bridge. The North Umpqua is producing some steelhead but be prepared to find campgrounds such as Fisherman’s Bend and Susan Creek closed and locked.
Trollers on Rogue Bay have had some good days over the past week, landing both chinook and coho. About 15% of the coho have been hatchery keepers however. Anglers are still waiting for decent numbers of Indian Creek chinook to show. These fish are due to show any day now. Adult steelhead and half-pounders are being taken at Agness with best results early and late in the day. Now that chinook fishing is closed on the middle Rogue, anglers are targeting steelhead with fair results. Drifting flies for steelhead holding below spawning chinook has been an effective technique on the upper Rogue.
When trollers have been able to get out for the Chetco Bubble fishery, it has not disappointed. Plenty of 20 pounders have been landed and a few have topped 30. Cut-plug purple label herring has been most effective. This fishery will remain open through Sunday, October 13. Fishing is closed above River Mile 2.2 until November 2nd although an early opener of the waters above may occur if flows justify doing so in mid to late October.
The mouth of the Elk River produced chinook earlier this week despite low, clear water conditions.
Despite lower water temperatures at Diamond Lake, fishing remains only fair at best. Try the south end with Power Bait or night crawlers.
Eastern – Following a spike in water levels at the end of September, the lower Deschutes has returned to stable flows. Steelheading and trout fishing are worthwhile.
Trout to 14-inches or better have been responding to October Caddis patterns on the Wallowa River.
Steelhead are bound for the Imnaha and Grande Ronde Rivers at the 10-year average which means better numbers this season than last.
SW Washington- The Cowlitz, Kalama and Lewis Rivers are all producing fair to good catches of chinook and coho with the Lewis the bright spot for quality chinook. Action is likely to continue through October although the quality of fish will degrade rapidly on some of these systems.
The Klickitat River, especially near the mouth, remains a great option for late season chinook and coho are starting to show as well. With chinook making up the primary catch and coho numbers down, this fishery will slow after mid-month.