Oregon fishing report for August 29

Willamette Valley/Metro – Anchor anglers remain anxious for the upriver brights to show in better numbers. The greatest amount of effort will take place between Longview and Portland with anglers fishing wobblers in the deep shipping channel where temperatures remain coolest. Estuary catch rates jumped on Sunday and Monday, indicating the run may finally be underway. Counts at Bonneville look like they’re about to take off.

Chinook counts at Willamette Falls switched from spring to fall in mid-August although there have been fewer than 100 counted. There are still 20 or 30 summer steelhead making their way over the Falls every day despite the 73-degree water. Smallmouth bass fishing remains good on the lower river.

Water flows at the McKenzie have stabilized at 2,400 cfs at Vida. Fly anglers will do well to use Caddis and midge imitations in low water conditions.

The Santiam system is low and clear, offering little of interest to anglers. Fishing prospects are expected to improve into September and October.

Sandy continues to run glacial gray-green in color and offers little in angling prospects. Steelhead are in the Clackamas but have not been biting. Coho will trickle in even in current extreme low water conditions but the fishery will get underway in both rivers with fall rains.

Northwest – Larger numbers of chinook finally started to show in the Astoria area on Sunday. Those sticking it out through high slack found great chinook action above the bridge on the Oregon side both Sunday and Monday. Tides are strong enough to take cold, saline water well above the Astoria/Megler Bridge, stimulating the bite through the first part of outgoing tide. Both coho and chinook are now present in good numbers. Complicated regulation changes are likely to take effect beginning August 30th so check the ODF&W web site for the area you plan to fish.

Unless the north coast chinook run was also compromised, fall-run chinook should start to show in good numbers in the Tillamook, Nehalem and Nestucca systems in the coming weeks. The ocean will be the best option and offshore regulations relax to where anglers are allowed any salmon; coho or chinook, fin-clipped or not beginning August 30th. It’s a season anglers haven’t seen in decades. Fish close to the bay entrances to target fall returning chinook, especially at Tillamook. Ocean and bay crabbing should also produce good catches of quality Dungeness.

Offshore tuna fishing looks to be a viable option from now through Friday. Live bait should produce the best results but hardware proves effective this time of year as well.

Southwest- Long-range offshore forecasts from the NOAA indicate the long holiday weekend should allow for ocean launches.

While the ocean holds abundant herring and anchovy this year, tiny, baby crabs are
the primary food source for coho in some locations. With coho growing rapidly , offshore anglers need to know how to distinguish them from Chinook until the next fishery opens August 30th. On that date through September 30th of fulfillment of quota, all coho may be kept in addition to Chinook.

Tuna fishing has been good out of Newport and Depoe Bay for boats which have been able to find schools of active, biting albacore.

Excellent results for deep water halibut resulted in catches the remaining quota, closing all-depth halibut from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain. The Central Oregon nearshore fishery remains open seven days a week through Oct.31 or the quota is attained.

Winchester Bay has been producing large Chinook with several reported over 30 pounds and a few over 40. Crabbing has been good in the bay, excellent offshore.

When boats have been able to get out of Coos Bay and offshore conditions have allowed for the 30 mile trip, fishing for tuna has been worthwhile producing an average of seven albacore per angler. Tuna have been running 25 to 35 pounds. Crabbing inside Coos Bay has been good.

Ocean Chinook fishing out of Gold Beach has been good one day, poor the next. Reports from bay trollers indicate similarly spotty catches. Some guides have speculated that cool water could improve catches but it’s just as likely to send the salmon upriver. Trollers dragging anchovies around the area of the Highway 101 Bridge are taking fish daily. Half pounder fishing is good fun spinners or flies in the Agness stretch. While middle Rogue results have been slow, the Grants Pass stretch could light up any day for Chinook fishers. Summer steelheading is fair but steady on the upper Rogue.

Ocean Chinook catches have been good out of the Port of Brookings for trollers using anchovies near the bottom in 100 to 120 feet of water. Mostly limits of rockfish and ling cod are being taken. As an additional bonus, despite the south coast halibut quota filling, the season remains open due to plentiful numbers. An ODFW meeting on Sept. 4 will determine whether this fishery will remain open or close for the season.

With water temperatures dropping into the low 60s at Diamond Lake, trout fishing has started to pick up.

Eastern – Wildfires remain a problem in eastern Oregon. Be certain to check conditions before making a trip.

Lake Billy Chinook has been fair for bull trout and is producing good numbers of smallmouth bass although must have been small.

Kokanee are showing spawning colors at Wickiup Reservoir. Trout are being spotted but have been off the bite.

Now that flows and water temperatures have dropped, the Wallowa River is fishing well and producing some good-sized trout. It’s early, but a couple of steelhead catches have been confirmed.

The Grande Ronde River has started producing a few summer steelhead which bodes well for this fishery which should be worthwhile in September.

SW Washington- Much remains quiet for anglers looking for fresh-run chinook and coho in district streams. Summer steelhead remains the best option on the Cowlitz but chinook should start to show on most district rivers in the coming weeks. Coho are likely to follow later into October.

Drano Lake steelheaders continue to do well for mostly wild fish. Chinook catches should be improving in the coming weeks.

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