Willamette Valley/Metro – Strong numbers of summer steelhead continue to pass Bonneville Dam. Due to high water temperatures however, success rates are beginning to fall. Spinners and spin-n-glos tipped with coon shrimp will continue to be an anglers best bet. Catchable numbers of fall chinook are still about 3 weeks away.
Salmon and steelhead counts have picked up a little at Willamette Falls. Coho will appear in the counts starting around mid-August. The Multnomah Channel has produced walleye occasionally but it has been slow. Smallmouth bass fishing has been good while catch-and-release sturgeon fishing is slow in the summertime.
McKenzie River levels have dropped to levels where it will fish quite well. Target trout with caddis patterns and steelhead with spinners or drift gear.
Despite good numbers of summer steelhead on the North Santiam, they have been off the bite lately, Best chance is with a small spinner or jig early in the morning. Expect to pick up some fresh character on a hard-hulled drifter on the South Santiam. Boats are banging and dragging in places but they’re picking up a few fish.
A push of summer steelhead historically occurs on the Clackamas in late July and early August. Steelheaders are hoping this comes to pass despite low, clear water conditions. Early mornings are really the only opportunity this time of year in these conditions. Try small spinners and a stealthy approach.
Hot weather this week is triggering glacial runoff in the Sandy during which the water turns from clear to milky. Some anglers prefer it that way, most do not. Steelhead are being caught between Marmot Dam and Dabney Park by anglers using small offerings early in the day.
Northwest – Moorage slips are next to non-existent in Astoria as anxious anglers await the opening of the Buoy 10 fishery starting Friday. Early returning chinook are typically destined for Young’s Bay but the target fishery that had developed there in previous years, near the mouth of Young’s Bay, has been rescinded by the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission; be mindful of the new closure, it can be viewed here: http://www.dfw.state.or.us/fish/CRP/docs/lower-columbia/Map_YBC_Boundaries.pdf.
With predicted returns (about 10,000 adults) of these Young’s Bay brood about half of what it was last year, the early season may not prove to be too productive anyway. Regardless of where you fish, you’ll want to target the last 2 hours of incoming tide and the first hour of outgoing.
Ocean fishing out of the mouth of the Columbia remains excellent with more chinook beginning to show north of the river mouth, just off of the Long Beach Peninsula. Unfortunately, rough seas will continue to keep the small boat fleet at bay.
Success rates dropped out of Garibaldi over the weekend as coho seemed to scatter when water temperatures warmed. Now, with the trade winds blowing and cooling the offshore water, coho may once again go on the bite. Don Loper of Portland landed a 23-pound chinook fishing deep for halibut, in 210 feet of water west of Manzanita on a trolled whole-rigged green label herring. Ocean crabbing has been productive too although some soft-shells remain in the catch.
Nehalem Bay action remains fair at Wheeler and the city of Nehalem but the upcoming weekend tide series should draw interest back to the mouth where August should produce impressive catches here.
NOW IS THE TIME to prep yourself for a RECORD return of salmon on the lower Columbia. Don’t go into this fishery thinking it’s still going to be easy! Go to our tech report page at: http://www.theguidesforecast.com/techrpt.shtml and order your Buoy 10 tech report for home study. Look for the report titled Columbia River Estuary Salmon Fishing #04. You’ll need every advantage you can to outshine the competition you’ll have this year. Good luck!
Southwest- Salmon fishing has been good out of Depoe Bay with the majority of the catch coho although there have been chinook in the mix as well. Ocean crabbing is yielding good numbers but the majority of Dungeness are still soft. Bottom fishing is producing limits of rockfish along with a few lingcod.
All-depth halibut opens for the summer on August 1 & 2 then every other Friday and Saturday until the quota fills.
Over the past weekend, one of the charter boats out of Newport returned to the docks with 96 albacore on board. Tuna are running large this year with fish running up to 35 pounds.
Boats out of Winchester Bay have been taking a mix of coho and chinook. Bay crabbing is improving and a few salmon are available to trollers in the bay, The pinkfin perch run is winding down on the lower Umpqua but has still provided decent catches recently around marker 12.
The most productive port for tuna on the entire coast has been Charleston where every angler has returned with eight to 10 albacore. Crabbing has been good on Coos Bay although many are still soft.
Bottom fishing has been excellent out of Gold Beach although opportunities to launch have been frequently hampered by windy seas. Ocean coho salmon fishing has been good when bar crossings have been possible. Rogue Bay was giving up chinook to 30 pounds or better until last week’s rainfall dropped the water temperature of the lower Rogue, sending salmon upstream. Chinook will continue to enter however, and August is expected to be a good month for bay trollers. Half-pounders are being caught from the low water between Quosatana and Lobster Creek on the lower river. There’s little interest on the middle river as fishing has been poor to slow. Upper Rogue summer steelheading is worthwhile and will continue to improve into August. Plugs have been hooking fish recently.
Salmon fishing out of Brookings has been a little more challenging this week with chinook at 100 to 120-foot depths. This requires downriggers, a specialized technique with heavy weights.
Eastern – Caddis dries remain the best bet for redside surface action on the lower Deschutes. Take representations of other life stages of the insects life as well in case trout aren’t looking up.
Fly fishing has been good on the stretches of the Metolius which remain open. Sections of the river are closed due to wildfires, most recently around Wizard Falls Hatchery.
Now that the Wallowa River water level has dropped sufficiently to allow wading, water temperatures have slowed the bite. Wallowa Lake is fishing well for trout but poorly for kokanee.
Kokanee are running large at Wickiup although the bite has been unpredictable; on one day, off the next two.
Jigging has been most effective for good-sized kokanee at Paulina with best results coming from early to mid-morning.
SW Washington- The Cowlitz River has slowed for steelhead but boat and beach anglers in the lower river had a productive week of mainstem Columbia steelhead fishing. Still, on average, only every other steelhead could be retained as wild fish made up over half of the catch.
Seasons and bag limits become more liberal on SW Washington tributaries after August 1st. Check local listings before heading out. Good chinook and coho returns are expected.
Drano Lake action is slowing but some summer steelhead remain in the catch.