Oregon Fishing Report - August 15th 2014

Oregon Fishing Report Forecast for the fishing week of August 15th - August 21st, 2014


Weekend fishing opportunities

The first fall Chinook of the season are showing up in Winchester Bay, and anglers have been having good success in the Rogue River estuary.
Coho fishing has been good in the ocean just outside of Coos Bay.
Summer trout anglers can have success fishing the deeper waters of Applegate and Lost Creek reservoirs, fishing Lost Creek upstream of the Highway 62 bridge, or fishing the river upstream of Lost Creek Reservoir.

Warm temperatures increase stress on fish

With summer temperatures heating up throughout the state, anglers should take special care when catching and releasing fish.

Fish early in the mornings when water temperatures are lower.
Fish in lakes and reservoirs with deep waters that provide a cooler refuge for fish.
Use barbless hooks, land fish quickly and keep them in the water as much as possible in order to minimize stress. Anglers who keep the fish in the water when looking for finmarks or taking photos are leaders in stewardship of the resource.
Shift your fishing efforts to higher elevation mountain lakes and streams where water temperatures often remain cool.
Target warmwater species, such as bass, bluegill and crappie, that are available in many lakes and reservoirs statewide. However, even warmwater fish can feel the effects of the heat and anglers should try to land and release them as quickly as possible.


Rogue River, lower: steelhead, Chinook
Chinook fishing picked up in the estuary with most boats picking up a fish or two. The best bite has been on the incoming tide and as it starts to drop out. River water temperatures may drop a little this week which may move greater numbers of chinook into the river.

Adult steelhead and half pounders are moving up river, but warm water is making it a little tough getting them to bite. Anglers are picking up summer steelhead casting spinners or fly fishing. Best time to fish is first thing in the morning.

Rogue River, middle: steelhead, trout, spring Chinook

With hot weather in the forecast during this drought year, anglers are reminded to be extremely careful when handling fish. Fishing early in the day when water temperatures are cooler reduces stress. Always keep the fish in the water when looking for finmarks or taking photos and release fish quickly.

Anglers are catching some summer steelhead in the middle Rogue. Try night crawlers and corkies, or a Panther Martin with black body and gold blades. The flow at Grants Pass was 1620 cfs on August 12. The water temperature was averaging 68F, with a peak of 70F.

Rogue River, upper: steelhead, trout, spring Chinook

With hot weather in the forecast during this drought year, anglers are reminded to be extremely careful when handling fish. Fishing early in the day when water temperatures are cooler reduces stress. Always keep the fish in the water when looking for finmarks or taking photos and release fish quickly.

Summer steelhead fishing is fair to good in the river from Gold Hill upstream to Cole Rivers Hatchery. Casting flies or spinners like a Panther Martin should work well for anglers.

Trout fishing should be very good on the upper Rogue. Anglers may keep up to five adipose fin-clipped rainbow trout per day. All other trout must be released unharmed.

The release from Lost Creek Reservoir was 1500 cfs and the water temperature was 56°F the morning of Aug. 12. The water temperature at Dodge Bridge was averaging about 60F with a peak of 64F. The water temperature at Gold Ray was averaging about 64F with a peak of 66F. As of Aug. 8, 833 summer steelhead had entered Cole Rivers Hatchery (108 new for the week), and over 300 had been returned to the fishery downstream at the Gold Hill boat ramp.

Rogue River, above Lost Creek Reservoir: trout

Major public access sites on the Rogue River between Prospect and Minnehaha Creek are being stocked with legal-sized rainbow trout each week. Fishing has been good. Anglers can fish bait like single salmon eggs or worms, or cast small spinners like a Panther Martin or Rooster tail, or let a fly drift downstream below a bobber. In addition to the stocked trout, naturally produced rainbow, cutthroat, brown, and brook trout are available in the river and in many tributaries. Plentiful trout, beautiful scenery, easy access, and an abundance of Forest Service campgrounds and day-use areas make this a great place to go trout fishing.

Willamette Valley/Metro Metro anglers are still waiting for what should be ample opportunity for chinook later this month. Fish that were in the estuary from the opener on August 1st should be present in the Portland to Longview stretch but a lull exists just behind the initial push. Steelheaders continue to struggle in the warming waters.
Fish passage remains at a near-standstill at Willamette Falls in mid-70 degree water. Fishing has been decent on the lower Willamette for bass anglers taking advantage of early mornings prior to the appearance of go-fast craft. The middle Willamette has offered fair to good fishing for trout and, occasionally, summer steelhead.
Water levels on the McKenzie have been a roller coaster, literally up one day, down the next. While this is generally considered a less-than-optimal condition, trout fishing has been reliable although steelheading is slow.
North Santiam bank fishers have had nothing to show for their time recently except smiles and sunburns. A few summer steelhead were located and landed by boaters over the past week.
With the often-milky waters of the Sandy River running low, pontoons and rafts are appropriate craft for those willing to drag their boats in spots. Steelhead and chinook are laying low.

Steelheading is slow to fair on the Clackamas with hardware occasionally effective. Beat the splash 'n' giggle crowd and fish high up on the system for the best chance of taking one home.
Generally, when stalking steelhead in the summertime, make an earnest effort to be stealthy. Stay low, use light line and small offerings. If the fish sees you, all bets are off. You might as well move on.
Northwest – Traditionally, chinook make a strong showing by this time in the Astoria area. They are however, largely absent but an explosive fishery is likely just days away. Thankfully, coho have become abundant in recent days, with the best action right at the Buoy 10 deadline. Fresh herring and anchovies are taking the bulk of the fish but small #5 silver Fatal Flash blades are also taking good numbers of coho. This fishery should really take off by the weekend.

Ocean fishing out of the mouth of the Columbia remains excellent for the larger boat fleet that can comfortably fish outside. A weather change mid-week is offering up better opportunity into the weekend. Coho will continue to dominate the catch although more chinook are being taken off the Long Beach Peninsula.
Ocean crabbing remains good but the strong tide series we’re currently on, keeps river and estuary crabs buried for a larger portion of the day.
The ocean south of Cape Falcon closed August 10th for coho but remains open for chinook, which are hard to find. An “any salmon” season opens later this month and should be productive.
Nehalem Bay is producing fair at best for summer chinook. The strong tides should have Nehalem and Wheeler the more productive reaches but that could change by the middle of next week.
Southwest- The selective or hatchery coho season came to a close at the end of day on Sunday, August 10th. The next opportunity starting Saturday, Aug. 30 will be a great one as all coho are fair game, fin-clipped or not. This non-selective fishery is scheduled to continue through September or fulfillment of quota.
Bottom fishing has been good out of central ports but it has been an either/or fishery with rockfish on the bite one day, lingcod the next. Either way, there’s nothing to complain about.
Tuna fishing has been good out of Newport when boats have been able to find pods of fish. Warm water has yet to move close enough to guarantee an offshore trip of less than 40 miles.
With 35,063 pounds remaining of the all-depth halibut quota after the last scheduled fishery, offshore anglers will be allowed to fish Friday and Saturday, Aug. 15 and 16. Any additional dates after that will be announced by noon on Friday, August 22.
Sport craft crossing the bar at Winchester Bay, the top port for Chinook on the coast by a wide margin, have been taking salmon to 30 pounds. A few Chinook are being caught by trollers inside the bay with this fishery due to turn on at any time.
Trollers on Rogue Bay hit the jackpot on several days over the past week as scores of salmon were landed on several days. The spike in flows that historically occurs on August 10th as cold water is released to draw Chinook upstream, has been delayed a week. Estuary trollers are thankful. Steelheading has been slow to fair in the warm waters of the middle Rogue. If weather or the hand of man serves to lower water temperatures however, sending chinook upstream, the outlook for Grants Pass will be much more optimistic. Summer steelhead catches are fair to good bit steady on the upper Rogue with a good early showing this season.
Persistence seems to be the key to salmon limits out of Brookings. Bottom fish limits have filled the void created by a spotty salmon bite for many anglers.
Trout fishing has been slow to fair at Diamond Lake with best catches coming to bait fishers working 30 to 35 feet of water.

Eastern – Summer steelhead numbers continue to improve on the lower Deschutes although catches have been only fair. Trout fishing has slowed a little on the Warm Springs to Trout Creek drift. The same tactics that have been recommended have endured; caddis dries early and late in the day with nymphs getting grabs during daytime hours.
The fire closure on the Metolius was lifted late last week. Dries have been ineffective of late although nymphs are fooling some fish.
Crane Prairie was slow over the past weekend although it did give up a few of those large rainbows for which it is so well-known.
A drop in water temperature on the Wallowa River has triggered the bite. Trout from 10 to 18 inches are being caught now.
SW Washington-  Cowlitz River steelheaders are still struggling for consistent returns of summer steelhead but action should be picking up for chinook, if the run actually materializes this fall.
Wild steelhead will continue to make up the bulk of the recreational catch in the Wind River fishery for just another few weeks.
High temperatures still have the Klickitat River producing poorly with no relief in sight; turbid waters from glacial siltation is to blame.

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Brent Johns

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