ROGUE — Spring chinook fishing has slowed as anglers trying to target hatchery spring chinook are shifting to the far upper stretches of the river while trying to avoid wild springers throughout much of the Rogue. Summer steelhead are starting to move into the Rogue and a few anglers are jumping in front of them everywhere from Agness to Shady Cove, while coho and fall chinook have yet to hit the bay.
That makes the upper Rogue around Shady Cove the best bet through Saturday, when salmon fishing will end between the Rogue Elk boat ramp and Gold Ray Dam. The closure is to save as many wild springers for spawning as possible. Anglers can now keep only fin-clipped spring chinook as part of the emergency closure enacted last week because of a poor wild spring chinook run into the upper Rogue this year.
The flows out of Lost Creek Lake, which is now almost 18 feet down from full, was just over 2,100 cubic feet per second of 51-degree water. That's down a hair from last week at this time. Through June 22 (the last available count date from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife) only 7,530 springers have cross Gold Ray Dam. A fair number of 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. The best bite has been at daybreak.
Through June 22, only 327 summer steelhead have been counted over the dam, and early fishing is very erratic in the upper Rogue. The general rule of thumb is to wait until at least 500 fish are over the dam, but the poor spring chinook season has anglers targeting steelhead earlier than ever. Worms, spinners, crayfish plugs and streamer flies are all steelhead-worthy.
In the middle Rogue, a few bankies are still casting beads and corkies for springers below Savage Rapids Dam, with success fair at best. Summer steelhead are starting to show in the Grants Pass area, with anglers finding them scattered throughout classic steelhead riffles like Ennis and Whitehorse. Water conditions are good for worms, spinners and streamer flies.
In the lower Rogue, spring chinook fishing has picked up slightly and is about as good as any other time this season. Anglers are sparse, but those fishing from Agness down to the old Champion mill site have found a few fish a day. With 64-degree water in the Rogue bay, salmon are no longer holding in the salt wedge. No cohos have been reported in the bay so far.
The riverwide spring chinook salmon limit is two fin-clipped chinook per day, and all wild salmon and steelhead must be released unharmed.
For daily flow reports out of Lost Creek Lake, call 800-472-2434.
UMPQUA — The main-stem Umpqua is good for smallmouth bass and shad, with shad hot-spots at Yellow Creek and Sawyer's Rapids yielding the best catches. However, an algae outbreak has made pockets of the river difficult to fish effectively. Striper fishing continues to be fair, with some stripers being picked up by spring chinook fishermen.
The North Umpqua is starting to see a few more chinook and summer steelhead in the lower section, while smallmouth bass fishing has picked up in the lower South Umpqua.
COOS — Shad fishing is very good in the lower Coos and Millicoma on lead shad darts and flies. Trout angling is now open. A few striped bass have moved into the estuary, with fishing best after dark.
HOWARD PRAIRIE — Trout and bass fishing are both holding on well for late June, when the trout bite starts to swoon and anglers mostly target bass around rocky points, stumps and the shallows around the lake's north end. Anglers trolling worms behind Wedding Ring lures (red or chartreuse) and small flashers have fared well at the lake's south end for hold-over trout from last year as well as legal-sized trout planted earlier this month. Casting worms off the jetty have caught a few good fish lately, especially early in the morning. The lake was stocked recently with fingerling trout, and they should start to become catchable sizes by fall.
HYATT — Lake fishing is fair to good for trout during dusk, with slowly trolling Needlefish or fishing PowerBait off the bank near the dam good bets. 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. Bass fishing is starting to pick up in the coves near the BLM campground as well as the waters around the dam. The limit is five trout over 8 inches a day, but only one of those can be more than 20 inches.
LOST CREEK — A toxic algae outbreak has health officials warning people, and pets to avoid contact with the lake's water until further notice. That includes a recommendation for catch-and-release fishing only. The warnings are advisory only and not mandatory. The lake's surface temperature has jumped to 67 degrees, clearly favoring smallmouth over trout. Trolling for trout is best when fishing about 30 feet beneath the surface.
EMIGRANT — Good water conditions continue to favor warmwater fish over trout, but trout trollers working deep near points on the lake's northern end have still fared well. Perch, bluegill and crappie catches are best free-drifting worms near the willows around Songer Wayside
A health advisory has been issued about eating all but trout from the lake because of elevated mercury levels.
APPLEGATE — Largemouth and smallmouth bass fishing has improved as the lake has warmed and dropped to about 6 feet from full now. That drop is starting to get trout to move out of the Seattle Bar area and work more toward deeper water. Slowly trolling woolly buggers or leeches is a good bet for fly-fishermen in float tubes or small boats.
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 — Fishing for stocked fish remains strong as trout up to 7 pounds have spread out across the lake. The west side, particularly around the freshwater shrimp beds, has been best for trout. Chartreuse PowerBait and worms for still fishermen has out-produced trolling with Needlefish or Wedding Rings.
WILLOW — Lake fishing is good for a mix of trout and bass. Bait-fishing with worms is the best way to target both species, with the trout cruising the shallows early in the morning and at dusk. The boat ramp and store are open.
FISH — The lake was scheduled to be stocked again this week with legal-sized trout. Still-fishing with worms or chartreuse PowerBait will be best near the resort, while trolling streamer flies from float tubes is also a good bet while the freshly stocked fish get their bearings. For trollers, try a Wedding Ring lure spiced with a small worm or Triple Teasers and Needlefish.
MEDCO POND — Trout fishing has slowed a bit while bass have become the dominant catch for those casting from shore. Slow trolling in the middle of the lake is best at dusk for trout.
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 largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie, and bullheads has been good. Also still-fishing is good for recently stocked legal-sized trout. Chartreuse and rainbow PowerBait has worked best for trout, while jigs and grubs are best for bass.
KLAMATH/ AGENCY LAKES — Fishing for large Klamath trout has improved throughout the lake as warming temperatures have gotten fish moving. The springs around Rocky Point as well as the mouths of the Wood and Williamson rivers are best for trout.
The ocean outside of Brookings and Gold Beach was down and good for fishing this week, but chinook and coho fishing was slow through the weekend. Coho are dispersed more than earlier this month, and about half the catch are fin-clipped coho. All wild coho must be released. Bottom fish and lingcod fishing remains good. Tuna have been found and caught as close as 52 miles from shore and they should be moving closer with current changes.
The entire Oregon coast is now open for razor clams, bay clams, and mussels. A good series of low tides this weekend 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 the ODFW razor clam web page at http://www.dfw.state.or.us/MRP/shellfish/razorclams.
JACKSON — Most game bird and big game seasons are closed. An exception is the extended cougar-hunting season, designed to address high levels of damage complaints. It is open in portions of Douglas, Jackson and Josephine counties and along the south coast. Visit http://www.dfw.state.or.us/resources/hunting/big_game/cougar/ for more information, including the latest report on cougar mortalities and any quotas reached.
GENERAL — The Oregon Coast Birding Trail Guide at www.oregoncoastbirding.com is a Web site that highlights great birding opportunities all along the Oregon coast. It's divided into sections of coastline, and the south 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.