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Fishing and Hunting Report

River Outlook ROGUE ' Early fall chinook salmon are starting to show up in good numbers in the middle Rogue, while late-run spring chinook have been on the bite in the upper Rogue and steelhead fishing is starting to kick into gear around Shady Cove.

The best bet for today would be spring chinook in the upper Rogue, where the contingent of late-run salmon are biting Kwikfish and roe. The fishes' quality remains good, and the wild fish are kegged in traditional holes like the Buzzard and Betts holes. However, the upper Rogue season ends this evening, with only steelhead and trout angling allowed upstream of Gold Ray Dam beginning Friday.

For bank anglers, the bite has slowed at the Hatchery Hole, where first light still is the best time to fish. Glow-in-the-dark beads and yarn are most common. The recent hot spell has posed a problem, shorting the day's bite.

The out-flow from Lost Creek Lake remains around 1,600 cubic feet per second, and the water-release temperature also have increased to 50 degrees. The low flow helps corral the salmon, and the cool temperature is good for the fish.

Steelhead fishing should be good for those rolling worms or fishing plugs from driftboats as well as evening fly-fishers. The most recent update on the fish counts at Gold Ray Dam, according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, show 3,103 steelhead over the dam as of July 7. Figure on twice that many now. There also are 32,694 spring chinook counted over Gold Ray Dam, and 11,786 of them have already reached Cole Rivers Hatchery as of July 14.

— These early steelhead are very aggressive biters, willing to take all kinds of flies as well as roe, worms, sandshrimp and most small plugs.

The lower Rogue has been poor for fall chinook in the bay, chiefly because water temperatures in the 70s have pulled the chinook off the bite. When the hot spell dissipates, look for those chinook to dart upstream.

Smelt are in the bay now, and the first few half-pounders of the season are getting caught by fly-fishermen and bait anglers in the Lobster Creek area.

In the Grants Pass area, early fall chinook started showing up in droves earlier this week, with salmon getting caught regularly at Taylor Creek Canyon, Ennis Riffle and Finley Bend. Most boat anglers are finding success with Kwikfish, in part because the warm water has made the squawfish extra active.

The river is open to trout fishing, with anglers catching primarily steelhead and chinook juveniles. Only fin-clipped fish over 8 inches long may be kept as part of the legal trout limit.

For daily flow reports out of Lost Creek Lake, telephone 800-472-2434.

Anglers can no longer keep any wild steelhead as part of their two-fish bag limit. Wild spring chinook, however, are legal to keep as part of the two-fish limit.

APPLEGATE RIVER '

Angling for resident rainbow trout and large juvenile steelhead is fair, with water releases holding steady at 270 cubic feet per second.

The river is open to angling downstream of the deadline below Applegate Dam. The limit is two adipose fin-clipped trout per day, 8 inch minimum length may be kept downstream from the Applegate Dam. All non-adipose fin-clipped trout and steelhead caught downstream of the dam must be released unharmed.

UMPQUA ' Warming water temperatures have improved the smallmouth bass fishing in the Elkton area as well as the Roseburg area. Steelhead fishing has slowed due to the hot weather.

WOOD/WILLIAMSON ' Trout fishing has been good in both streams for fly-fishermen. The annual grasshopper hatch has not yet kicked in.

Lake Outlook HOWARD PRAIRIE ' The hot weather continues to entice the trout to hold in deep water, so most anglers are still-fishing or wind-drifting to get after them.

The best luck is with Velveeta cheese followed closely by rainbow or chartreuse or yellow Powerbait with glitter. The best bait fishing is at Buck Island, usually the north side, in 30-35 feet of water or in front of the dam. Red Rock Cove, and out in front of Klum Landing are still producing well too.

Trolling early in the mornings in the 25-30 foot range is a fair bet, with Wedding Ring spinners spiced up with a worm or a Tasmanian Devil considered good options. The best trolling is still taking place along the eastern shoreline from the resort to the dam.

Fly fishing has tapered off. Dusk is best with Brown Baileys and brown woolly buggers the best bet.

Excellent bass fishing continues, with plenty of fish around — pounds getting caught. The resort jetty and in front of the dam continue to be the best places. Flipping jigs and casting Panther Martins or Rooster Tails works.

The limit is five trout over 8 inches a day, with only one of them allowed to be more than 20 inches.

HYATT ' Hot weather has altered angling there. Bass are biting plastic worms fished along the lily pads and weed lines throughout the day. Trout fishing remains good, with the best bet for trollers right around dusk along the southeastern and southwestern portions of the lake. Trollers can use Triple Teasers or black Roostertails, while still-fishermen should focus on glittery PowerBaits or worms.

Fly-fishermen using dragonfly nymphs and woolly buggers are also catching trout in the evenings near the resort. The upper end of the lake is choked with weeds and not fishing well. The lake has been stocked with legal-sized rainbow trout.

The limit remains five trout more than 8 inches long, with only one of them allowed to be more than 20 inches long.

DIAMOND ' Trout fishing remains good along the lake's south end despite an algae bloom that has led to a ban on water-skiing, swimming and wading at the lake for all of July. Fishing and boating remain open, but anglers are encouraged to avoid the algae scum and keep their dogs at home. Catches are a mixed bag of recently stocked legal-sized rainbow, some of the two-pound lunkers stocked this past spring and some of the large hold-over trout up to 10 pounds.

Trollers are catching the majority of the fish, with Needle fish or medium-sized Rapalas the best choice when used with a half-ounce of lead to get your lure deeper.

The limit remains five trout more than 8 inches long, with only one of them allowed to be more than 20 inches long.

LOST CREEK '

The lake is dropping slower now that the out-flows have been dropped. The lake is now 30 feet from full. Trout fishing upstream of Peyton Bridge is fair to good, with trolling deep and early in the morning good near the dam.

The lake's surface temperature has climbed to a blistering 78 degrees, which causes the fish to move deeper in the water column, so vary your depths when trolling.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife last month released 27,500 legal-sized rainbows into the lake, putting half at the Lost Creek Lake Marina and the other half at the Takelma boat ramp near the dam's face. These trout are biting an assortment of offerings, from worms and PowerBait to small spinners and leech flies.

Smallmouth bass fishing is improving in the shallows and around rocky structure. Grubs and crankbaits both have been good.

The daily limit is five trout at least 8 inches long, but only one trout over 20 inches. For bass, the limit is five a day with no more than three over 15 inches long, but most bass fishing is catch and release. Angling is open year-round.

APPLEGATE ' Fishing for rainbow trout and stocked coho is fair to good for those trolling points and coves, as well as bank fishing in the upper portions of the reservoir. The lake is now 12 feet from full, and that is pushing the fish out of the far upper end of the reservoir.

Worms, single salmon eggs and Velveeta cheese are the baits of choice. For fly-fishermen, the bigger rainbows are biting green or brown leeches or nymph patterns.

The smallmouth bass bite has picked up amid warmer weather and better water temperatures. Bass anglers are reminded that they cannot keep any bass between 12 inches and 15 inches, and just one bass longer than 15 inches can be part of the five-bass daily limit.

EMIGRANT ' Fishing for legal-sized rainbows remains fair near the dam, but warming water has forced most of the trout into deep holes or near streams flowing into the reservoir. Bass fishing with crankbaits has improved in the upper arms, but schools of perch are dominating the catches there. Crappie fishing is very slow.

KLAMATH/AGENCY ' Fishing for rainbows near the springs has been good for fly-fishers and early-morning trollers.

LAKE of the WOODS '

The lake is fishing well for both rainbow trout and brown trout early in the mornings and evenings. The lake is open to night fishing as a way to target the brown trout.

SELMAC LAKE ' Trout fishing is fair to good with bait and lures, chiefly near the boat ramp. Bass fishing was very good at the lake, with grubs fished near submerged vegetation a good first choice.

WILLOW LAKE '

The lake was recently stocked with legal-sized trout and catches were good but activity was light. Bass fishing was improving as the weather and water has warmed.

The campground, cabins and ramp at the Willow Lake Resort are open, but the restaurant remains closed.

Ocean Outlook Chinook salmon fishing remains good out of Brookings, where anglers are running into far more coho than chinook as the coho schools move north. All coho must be released unharmed, and anglers should troll deeper and near the bottom to find the chinook. Windy days have been interspersed with nice ones. Most anglers continue to bottomfish for lingcod and other rockfish, with catches excellent for those jigging in 80-100 feet of water north of the port.

The chinook season for southern Oregon is open daily and runs to Sept. 14, with a two-chinook daily limit and no weekly limit or mid-season closures. All wild and hatchery coho salmon must be released unharmed.

At Coos Bay, ocean fishing for salmon and bottomfish remains very good for both, with lots of 8-9 pound hatchery coho making up the lion's share of the salmon catch. Anglers are also catching lots of wild coho, which must be released unharmed, and some chinook are still available. Fishing is best now early, with afternoon winds kicking up daily.

Surfperch fishing has slowed in the Rogue River bay at Gold Beach, and it's also good near the mouth of the Elk River, but wavy conditions have made afternoon fishing difficult. Clam necks or sandshrimp are good baits.

Crabbing is slowing down, and crabs may begin to get soft-shelled as the summer progresses.

Hunting Outlook ROGUE ' Black bear hunting starts Friday, and most bears will be found in high-elevation timber areas and around berry sources. Most of the bear damage on low-elevation lands starts to pick up in September, so figure on working the Cascades this month. Bear tags remain on sale through Oct. 3.

KLAMATH ' Squirrel hunting is good to very good. Remember to get landowner permission.

Watchable Wildlife ROGUE ' A covered viewing station on the Denman Wildlife Area provides a good opportunity to view waterfowl, egrets, raptors and songbirds. The structure was built by the Oregon Hunters Association and is accessed by a paved, wheelchair-accessible pathway. It is on Whetstone Pond, just north of the ODFW office.