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MailTribune.com
  • Fishing Report: Dec. 3, 2010

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  • Coastwide - A cold front with rain will create some potentially promising mornings for anglers with good sea legs to sneak out for near-shore bottomfishing trips before the swell and wind waves increase this weekend.
    The marine aggregate limit remains seven rockfish a day and two lingcod a day with a 22-inch minimum.
    Sport crabbers are invited back to the ocean now. Ocean crabbing near river mouths can be very good in December, with good meat quality. Just be mindful of a rough ocean.
    All shellfish fishing is open coast-wide, including the popular Clatsop County beaches. Mussel harvest also is open coast-wide. For more information and updated closures, call the shellfish hotline at 800-448-2474.
    Dungeness crabbing in bays off public docks in Winchester Bay and Charleston have been very good, and most of the crabs are in their hard shells.
    PORT ORFORD - Ocean trolling for chinook off the mouth of the Elk and Sixes rivers is over now.
    BROOKINGS - Anglers sneaking out of port in early mornings when the surf dies down should see near-limits of bottomfish by staying close to shore and jigging near kelp beds. Glow-in-the-dark jigs are a good bet. All cabezon must be released unharmed.
    WINCHESTER BAY - Sturgeon fishing remains slow, but good catches of bottomfish have been reported off the south jetty. Crabbing remains very good to excellent in the bay.
    CHARLESTON - Bay crabbing remains excellent in the lower stretches of the estuary. Some good negative tides in the late afternoons through the weekend will make for good clam digging near Charleston, off Cape Arago Highway, and, of course, Clam Island.
    AGATE - Fishing for recently stocked legal- and trophy-sized rainbows is very good for those trolling Wedding Ring lures or fishing chartreuse PowerBait off the dam. The lake is just a hair above 20 percent full. No gas motors allowed.
    APPLEGATE - Trollers using Flatfish or Triple Teasers still are doing very well for the large and trophy trout stocked there in late October. Woolly bugger flies have worked well, also. The lake is very low but the French Gulch boat ramp remains usable. Hart-Tish Park is closed. Bank fishing is tough because the lake is so low. Focus off points and look for schools of land-locked chinook stocked there.
    EMIGRANT - The lake is down to less than one-quarter full, hurting angling effort there. Trolling for trout remains fair to good, and most of the action remains on the lower third of the reservoir near the dam. Troll red Tazmanian Devils or Wedding Ring lures spiked with a piece of worm.
    A standing public-health advisory continues about eating all but trout from the lake because of elevated mercury levels.
    HOWARD PRAIRIE - The lake is closed to angling until the fourth Saturday in April.
    HYATT - The lake is closed to angling until the fourth Saturday in April.
    DIAMOND - The lake is closed to angling until the fourth Saturday in April.
    EXPO - Fishing remains good for large and trophy rainbow trout stocked there in late October. Chartreuse PowerBait or worms under bobbers remain popular choices.
    LAKE of the WOODS - Fishing for brown and rainbow trout has remained good. No ice yet. Still-fishing with PowerBait off the bank has been good near the resort. A few brown trout are getting caught on Kastmasters or worms from shore or docks.
    LOST CREEK - Trolling for trout 15 to 17 inches remains very good near the dam. Troll Wedding Ring lures with worms or Triple Teasers. The lake is getting drawn down for flood-control purposes, and the Stewart State Park boat ramp might not be usable by early next week. The Takelma Ramp will remain open throughout the winter.
    The lake remains under a public-health advisory against water contact because of a blue-green algae bloom.
    FISH - Fishing for large rainbow trout remains good with a few anglers fishing near the resort and the Forest Service boat ramp. Bank anglers and those anchored in boats are catching plenty of large trout on chartreuse or orange PowerBait floated off the bottom. Some small spring chinook have been stocked in the lake, and they are nearing legal size.
    WILLOW LAKE - The lake remains under a public-health advisory against water contact because of a blue-green algae bloom. The boat ramp and campground access are closed, but anglers can park outside the gate for walk-in, day-use access.
    FOURMILE - Fishing for rainbows is good for trollers fishing deep with Kastmasters or other spoons. The lake is slightly less than one-third full.
    SELMAC - Another complement of large and trophy rainbow trout were stocked recently, and fishing for them is very good with worms, Panther Martin lures, single salmon eggs floated off the bottom or PowerBait.
    LEMOLO - The lake is closed to angling until the fourth Saturday in April.
    MEDCO - Fishing for rainbow trout is good off the bank with PowerBait. Effort has been light.
    ROGUE - The upper Rogue has slowed for late-run summer steelhead thanks largely to higher flows, while steelhead and coho were still getting caught with decent regularity in the middle Rogue this week. Water flows were up and much of the river was unfishable Thursday, but look for a drop in flows through the weekend that might start bringing the first winter steelhead into the middle Rogue.
    That turns the best to the middle Rogue, largely out of a desire to see some fresh steelhead in the mix. Flows were at 4,600 cubic feet per second and rising Thursday afternoon in Grants Pass, with flow estimates showing a drop starting today. That could trigger a good steelhead bite on plugs and roe in the Galice area, particularly if this week's flows were high enough to draw the first winter steelhead of the season up here.
    The Grants Pass area is still giving up some coho salmon on 49er plugs (silver and red WeeWarts to those outside of Josephine County) fished in slower holes and deep riffles. A few of the retread steelhead recycled to Gold Hill last week were caught in the Gold Hill area, as well around the mouth of Bear Creek, but look for them to zoom to Cole Rivers Hatchery with the swelled river conditions.
    Flows Thursday at Gold Ray Dam were about 3,500 cfs, and releases from Lost Creek dam were jacked up to 1,800 cfs as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers works to lower the reservoir for winter flood-control.
    Those fishing from the Hatchery Hole to the Shady Cove boat ramp are using worms or roe side-drifted from boats. Egg flies work great as well, and don't forget to bring a bag of pink rubber worms to fish in faster water. Plugs have worked very well, too. The chinook are all spawned and dead, so the steelhead are not focusing so intently upon just eggs these days.
    From the Shady Cove ramp downstream to the former Gold Ray Dam site, anglers are relegated to artificial flies and lures but no bait. Most are either fly-fishing or side-drifting single salmon egg patterns in riffles. The change in rules means molded plastic egg patterns are now legal, and they are a good choice. Fly-fishers casting streamers are picking up a few fish in riffles, and K-11 Kwikfish plugs have worked very well for larger steelhead. Some big fish still are in the mix.
    The new Pucker Rapid just downstream of the old Gold Ray dam site continues to morph daily, with new wood reported in the rapid this week. Driftboaters have been picking down the river's left side there and avoiding the Pucker, largely because of higher flows.
    A few more early-run winter steelhead have been caught side-drifting roe in the lower Rogue, but flows at Agness shot up to 8,300 cfs Thursday. Flows there should start dropping Saturday, so look for more fresh winter steelhead off gravel bars and the heads of riffles.
    UMPQUA - The upper mainstem Umpqua was up, making for rough fishing this week, and the coho that remain are dark. The lower Umpqua remains slow for sturgeon. The South Umpqua should have some fresh steelhead now and it is open, but water conditions have been poor.
    COQUILLE - The wild coho salmon season in the river is over. The river was up and dirty this week from rains, and no winter steelhead were reported caught yet.
    COOS - The first winter steelhead of the year have been found in the South and North forks, but conditions were high this week.
    ELK/SIXES - Both rivers were up and high, but look for them to pull into good fishing shape by the start of next week. Look for a mix of fall chinook and winter steelhead.
    CHETCO - The river was high but dropping and conditions should be good for a mix of fall chinook, winter steelhead and some stray coho salmon by Sunday. Fish are well distributed throughout the system. More rain, however, could cause problems for anglers.
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