ROGUE — Early spring chinook fishing is gradually improving in the middle and upper Rogue, where a dearth of springers is the main culprit. The lower Rogue has had a few decent days for springers, but nothing spectacular.
That leaves the best bet to be bank-fishing in the middle Rogue, because the price of gas still hasn't changed for the better. A few bank anglers using side-planers and Kwikfish are catching spring chinook in migration lands around Rogue River, Grants Pass and Merlin. But Hayes Falls, behind the Weasku Inn and Rainie Falls are the more popular spots for anglers casting beads and yarn.
Flows are steady. The flow out of Lost Creek Lake, which is full, is holding steady at 2,234 cubic feet per second of 51-degree water. That's a perfect temperature for spring chinook fishing, which remains slow in the upper Rogue largely because of a lack of early-run springers. Through May 19 (the last available count date from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife) only 1,930 springers have cross Gold Ray Dam. A few fish are getting hooked daily at upper Rogue bank-fishing spots like the Hatchery Hole, Casey State Park and the Slide Hole, but not much other action. A fair amount of early hatchery fish remain in the mix.
In the lower Rogue, spring chinook fishing has remained spotty, mainly because not enough salmon are present to get many anglers to spend a day on the water there. Catches are pretty hit-and-miss throughout the lower stretch below Lobster Bar. Most action remains in the lower four miles of freshwater, but a few springers were caught this week by plunkers on Lobster Bar. Large Spin-Glo's are best.
The river-wide spring chinook salmon limit is two per day, but only one non-finclipped wild salmon can be kept each day. The wild springer season limit on the Rogue remains three.
For daily flow reports out of Lost Creek Lake, call 800-472-2434.
UMPQUA — The North Umpqua as well as the main-stem river have been slow for angling. Spring chinook salmon fishing remains slow. A few early summer steelhead are in the North Umpqua, but catch and effort has been very light. A few early spring chinook are getting caught on the lower end of the main stem. Sturgeon fishing has been spotty in the estuary, some sturgeon are being picked up in the Big Bend area. Striper fishing continues to improve, with some stripers being picked up by spring chinook fishermen. The South Umpqua remains closed to fishing until Saturday.
COOS — Shad fishing should take off once we get a couple warm days in a row. Most shad fishing takes place on the lower Coos and Millicoma rivers. Trout angling re-opens Saturday.
HOWARD PRAIRIE — The lake is open and early-season fishing has remained good. Anglers trolling worms behind Wedding Ring lures (red or chartreuse) and small flashers have fared well at the lake's south end. Casting worms off the jetty have caught some very good fish lately. And that should improve as more trout were stocked last week at the lake. Still-fishing from boats has been slow, chiefly because the fish primarily are in waters 15 feet or less. Lots of 17-inchers in the mix. Trollers around Fawn and Doe islands have fared best. It was snowing there Wednesday. The lake is full. The limit is five trout over 8 inches a day, but only one of those can be more than 20 inches.
HYATT — The lake is open to angling and early catches were fair to good for those slowly trolling Needlefish or fishing PowerBait off the bank near the dam. Anglers are catching a few large, hold-over rainbow trout, as well as the recently planted legal-sized rainbow trout. Fishing for largemouth bass should be improving with the warmer weather. The limit is five trout over 8 inches a day, but only one of those can be more than 20 inches.
LOST CREEK — The lake's surface temperature has holding steady at 61 degrees and that's starting to wake up the trout and bass. The lake was stocked May 14 with another 20,000 fresh legal-sized rainbow trout last week. The fish were distributed at Takelma Boat Ramp and the marina. The lake is full. The smallmouth bite has picked up this past week along the edges of the lake and in sunny coves, and it should be improving daily with more sunny days.
EMIGRANT — Weather conditions have improved the water temperature and that has improved warmwater fishing. Perch are dominant in the willows, while trout are off points and more in open water right now. Trolling for trout is best.
A health advisory has been issued about eating all but trout from the lake because of elevated mercury levels.
APPLEGATE — Trout fishing has improved for both legal-sized rainbow trout and stocked salmon, which tend to school at rocky points. The lake was last stocked May 14 with legal-sized rainbow trout, and many have been found in the Carberry Arm. The stocking occurred at Hart-Tish Park and the Copper boat ramps. The Carberry Arm also has a lot of trout there. The lake is full.
Anglers can keep up to five rainbow trout or stocked salmon a day, but only one fish can be more than 20 inches long. Also, no bass between 12 and 15 inches can be kept, and only one bass larger than 15 inches can be kept.
DIAMOND — The lake has been stocked with about 70,000 fish ranging from 5-pounders to legal-sized rainbows. Trolling Needlefish or Wedding Rings with worms is working best. The fish are starting to distribute themselves throughout the lake.
WILLOW — The lake was stocked with legal-sized rainbow trout the week of May 14. Angling for bass and other warmwater fish is improving as the water warms up. The boat ramp and store are open.
FISH — The lake was stocked two weeks ago and fishing for legal-sized rainbow trout has been good for slow trollers and still-fishermen near the shoreline.
EXPO POND — One of the ponds near Gate 5 was stocked earlier this year with excess summer steelhead from Cole Rivers Hatchery. The pond also will get a complement of legal-sized rainbows and grade-out steelhead this week. Trout catches should be good, but catches on the old winter steelhead released there in January remain poor. Only one of these steelhead over 20 inches can be kept daily, and they are legally considered trout that do not have to be added to a salmon/steelhead tag.
MEDCO POND — The pond was stocked with legal-sized rainbow trout last week, so trout fishing should be good. Fishing for rainbow trout, largemouth bass, and panfish should be good as well.
LAKE of the woods — Angling for largemouth bass, crappie, brown bullhead, smallmouth bass and brown trout is picking up. Angling for yellow perch and kokanee should be fair. The lake was stocked with legal and trophy rainbow trout just before the opening weekend of trout season.
SELMAC — Fishing for rainbow trout, largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie, and bullheads has been good. ODFW stocked the lake with legal-sized rainbow trout last week.
KLAMATH/ AGENCY LAKES — Fishing for large Klamath trout has improved throughout the lake during as warming temperatures have gotten fish moving.
The ocean outside of Brookings and Gold Beach was decent but winds have plagued salmon and bottomfish anglers. Fishing is best early before the winds kick up, and most Brookings anglers are heading due south. A few salmon are getting caught, while black rockfish and lingcod fishing remains very good. One 40-pound halibut was caught this week by a rockfish jigger in 160 feet of water outside of Brookings.
The entire Oregon coast is now open for razor clams, bay clams, and mussels. A good series of low tides this week should make razor clamming fair in Curry County. Before doing any clamming, check for any updated health advisories by calling the Oregon Department of Agriculture's Shellfish line at 800-448-2474 for updates. For more information about razor clams and current status of particular areas see www.dfw.state.or.us/MRP/shellfish/razorclams online.
JACKSON — Spring bear activity has picked up with the warmer weather; continue checking hillsides with green grasses and timber areas for dead logs where bears are looking for grubs. Areas where fires have gone through in the past several years provide great grass green up. In lower elevations most deer have moved to higher elevations, leaving game trails to bear activity, look for tracks along these trails. The spring bear and turkey seasons close May 31. Turkeys are still calling although they may be reluctant to come to call. Scouting with the use of locator calls will help in locating flocks and roosting areas. Turkeys can be found in oak savannah habitat with open grassy clearing, where much of this habitat is found on lower elevation private lands and BLM public lands.
CURRY — The South Coast is brimming with bears. Hunters should focus around fresh grasses and on south slopes for bear activity. Cougar hunters are reminded to buy a 2007 cougar tag, and a new regulation this year allows some hunters to buy two tags. With low snow levels cougar tracks may be easily located along ridge lines. Predator calls have been successful.
ROGUE — Turkeys are still calling although they may be reluctant to come to call. Scouting with the use of locator calls will help in locating flocks and roosting areas. Becoming skilled in a variety of call tools and sounds maybe the key to bringing them in. Turkeys can be found in oak savannah habitat with open grassy clearings, where much of this habitat is found on lower elevation private lands and BLM public lands. A growing population is being found in thinned-out areas of conifer forest habitats that have interspersed grassy clearings.
GENERAL — The Oregon Coast Birding Trail Guide at www.oregoncoastbirding.com highlights great birding opportunities all along the Oregon coast. It's divided into sections of coastline, and the north coast is only a click away from the main home page. Links to checklists and sponsors can be found on the home page as well.