Oregon Fishing Report - August 22nd 2014


Oregon Fishing Report for the week of August 22nd - 28th, 2014 


Weekend fishing opportunities

  • On the lower Rogue, half-pounders have really started to move this week and anglers fishing with flies and spinners are reporting excellent success.

  • 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

Rogue River, lower: half-pounders, steelhead, Chinook

Anglers have continued to pick up Chinook at a fairly regular pace in the estuary. Good numbers of Chinook are in the bay as this is only the beginning of the salmon fishery which will continue into October. A few chinook have been moving upriver, but warm water will make it hard to get them to bite.

Half-pounders have really started to move this week and anglers fishing with flies and spinners are reporting excellent success. Half-pounders are immature steelhead that move back into freshwater after spending 3 to 4 months in the ocean. These fish will return to the ocean in the spring to continue feeding until maturing as adult steelhead. The best time to fish is in the morning or evening.

Rogue River, middle: steelhead, trout, fall 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.

Early season catches of summer steelhead at ODFW’s Huntley Park seining project on the lower river remain very good, and hint at a good steelhead season for anglers this year. Try night crawlers and corkies, or a Panther Martin with black body and gold blades. Some fall Chinook have been reported in the middle Rogue this week, and fishing should improve over the next several weeks. Releases from Lost Creek Reservoir are increasing slightly Monday and Tuesday of this week to minimize prespawning loss in adult fall chinook. The flow at Grants Pass was 1860 cfs on August 19. The water temperature was averaging 68F, with a peak of 72F.

Rogue River, upper: steelhead, trout

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.
Releases from Lost Creek Reservoir are increasing slightly Monday and Tuesday of this week to minimize prespawning loss in adult fall chinook. The release was 1850 cfs and the water temperature was 56°F the morning of Aug. 19. The water temperature at Dodge Bridge was averaging about 60F with a peak of 64F. The water temperature at Gold Ray was averaging about 65F with a peak of 68F. As of Aug. 12, 894 summer steelhead had entered Cole Rivers Hatchery (65 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.

Around Oregon

Willamette Valley/Metro - Although early, chinook counts at Bonneville are far behind last year's total to date. It's too early to call the run under-predicted but anchor anglers in the Portland to Longview stretch haven't begun to show positive results just yet. Summer steelhead are still pouring through but not very responsive to angler's offerings.

Catch-and release sturgeon fishing is poor in the lower Willamette at this time of year and Multnomah Channel walleye catches are slow in warm water. That leaves smallmouth bass fishing as the activity of choice for anglers, and it has been good.

Boaters are urged to exercise caution in drifting the North Santiam. Most channels are clear on the upper river but there are the occasional obstacles to avoid. Fishing has been slow. Water level and flow has settled down a little but is still exhibiting minor irregularities every day.

Sandy anglers are used to glacial conditions but over the past week, the water color has turned opaque. It's difficult to imagine a fish finding a lure in the murky water until there's some improvement.

Steelheaders on the Clackamas are spotting fish but they seem to be lock-jawed with in the low, clear water. NOAA forecasts indicate only a gradual decline in level and flow over the next 10 days. This time of year, most anglers are waiting for rain and coho.

Northwest – Although chinook are starting to show with more regularity, anglers fishing the Buoy 10 region are largely disappointed with early season results. Some large upriver brights are beginning to show however and coho are being caught with more regularity. Fatal Flash spinners in size 5 and 6, with white/red on cloudy days and brass/red on sunny days are going down with regularity.

The ocean fishery just outside of Astoria continues to be productive for trollers working Long Beach. Bobby Keerins of Portland hoisted a 41-pounder on Friday, fishing a trolled anchovy in about 34 feet of water. Former Oregonian outdoors writer Tom McAllister came in shy one fish from the ocean on Saturday but instantly hooked up a 24-pounder on the last trickle of outgoing tide on a whole herring by Buoy 20 to finish out the boat limit of 12 salmon. The ocean will once again be an excellent option on Thursday and Friday if the weather prediction holds. Salmon should be plentiful and the lower Columbia should be producing very well too.

All is quiet south of Cape Falcon as ocean coho season is closed. Bottomfish and tuna remain a strong option this week however.

Nehalem summer chinook trollers are taking fair numbers of fish along the jetty but the crowds are intense. The weak tide series should continue to produce good catches and some coho are showing as well. Check the ODF&W web site for what's legal to take as there will be a wild coho fishery here this fall.

Albacore chasers should do well this week and weekend as we near peak season for those looking for canning opportunities.

Ocean crabbing is productive but gear in the lower Columbia only frustrates Buoy 10 trollers. The better crabbing will start mid-September anyway.

Southwest- Warmer water and with it, albacore tuna finally moved closer to shore over the past week. Sport and charter vessels were quick to respond. Charters report each client taking four or five large fish. Wind early this week shut down efforts, unfortunately.

Bottom fishing out of Newport and Depoe Bay is still a good bet for limits of rockfish and lingcod as well as good catches of large ocean Dungeness.

Since the closure of ocean coho on August 10th, chinook fishing has taken a hit. It has been challenging for offshore anglers to keep coho off the hook. This problem will solve itself come August 30th when all coho, fin-clipped or not, may be kept. An additional 15,000 coho will be added for a total quota of 35,000 fish according to the ODFW. In the interim, silvers are gaining about a pound of body weight each week.

Ocean chinook fishing has been spotty for boats out of Winchester Bay. Salmon trollers around Reedsport are experiencing marginal results but fishing will improve in coming weeks.

Offshore fishers found tuna out of Florence over the past weekend. Fishing was a little spotty but numbers ended up being good.

Boats launching out of Charleston found spotty results with tuna but returned with limits or near-limits of lingcod and rockfish. Crabbing has been good offshore as well as inside Coos Bay.

Fishing around Gold Beach has been remarkable over the past week. Offshore bottom fishing on a calm ocean has rewarded boats with good catches of bottomfish, lingcod, the occasional halibut and pots loaded with ocean crab, Inside the bay, trollers have continued to score chinook, which have be awaiting cool water and more of it. Fishing for steelhead and half-pounders has been good on the lower Rogue. Release of water from Lost Creek Lake began Tuesday this week which will cause chinook to high-tail it upstream. While this is bad news for bay trollers, chinook fishers in Grants Pass will get the salmon they have been hoping for. Passage of summer steelhead into the upper Rogue has slowed and results for steelheaders have similarly declined.

Offshore boaters saw an improvement in chinook catches occur the past week out of the Port of Brookings. Trolling anchovies near the whistler buoy has been producing well. In addition, about one-fourth of the southern Oregon halibut quota remains to be taken.

Trout fishing has been best early in the day at Diamond Lake. Bait is the best bet although catches are only fair at best.

Eastern – Steelhead are being caught as pods of fish move through various sections of the lower Deschutes. August fishing can be a challenge here but at least the water is not too warm as it has been the past few years. Chinook and steelhead are represented in counts daily at Sherars Falls. This data is considered indicative of fish movement rather than an accurate count.

Access to eastside fisheries is being periodically limited by wildfires. Be sure to check with local ranger stations before making the trip.

Light-colored hoochies trolled behind a flasher have been taking good numbers of kokanee at Odell. Anglers are reminded of the tournament taking place on Saturday, August 23rd.

About the Author

Brent Johns

Director of Web Development & Marketing. I have coupled my 21 years of web design & development/marketing experience with a vast educational background - University of Washington (BA English & BS Psychology), Boise State University (MBA), Full Sail University (BA Graphic Design, BS Web Design & Development, MA Media Design, MS Internet Marketing).

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