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Fishing and Hunting report

Fishing and Hunting reportRiver Outlook ROGUE ' Early summer steelhead fishing is good in the upper Rogue, which is experiencing one of the best summer showings since the 1980s. But hot water conditions have made for a slow-down in fall chinook salmon fishing from the Gold Hill area on down.

That makes the best bet summer steelhead fishing, with boaters faring better than bank anglers. The upper Rogue is experiencing an excellent run of early summer steelhead, with 5,359 counted over Gold Ray Dam as of July 19. The fish are pretty well distributed, which is why driftboaters are doing best. Plugs and worms fished off divers are good first bets, with drift-fishing with small clusters of spring chinook eggs a decent bet. Worms with a single red bead work well, too.

The water releases from Lost Creek Lake remain at 1,600 cubic feet per second, but those will jump to 1,800 cfs on Monday when the annual mid-August spike of water begins as a method to draw fall chinook into the Grants Pass area. Look for the steelhead to get on the move as well.

Bank angling for summer steelhead is hit-and-miss now at the Hatchery Hole, where some days are good at dusk and some are very slow. Pressure is light now that chinook fishing is banned upstream of Gold Ray Dam.

Fly-fishing for summer steelhead is good in the upper Rogue, with the current water temperatures making it a good time to swing streamers with sink-tip lines or shooting heads.

— Fall chinook are a bit sparse in the Grants Pass area, with fishing slow. However, a large group of fall chinook are holding below Rainie Falls waiting for a rise in the water levels to take off. That will happen beginning late Monday, so look for the chinook to start showing up well in places like Taylor Canyon and White Horse. Lots of these fall chinook head toward the Applegate River as well as the Gold Hill area.

Chinook fishing is banned in the upper Rogue now.

The lower Rogue has been hit-and-miss for fall chinook in the bay, chiefly because water temperatures remain in the low 70s. That continues to keep 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 halfpounders of the season are getting caught by fly-fishermen and bait anglers in the Lobster Creek area.

In the Agness area, there is some fall chinook fishing off the bank at Lobster Bar, but little other effort there.

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 1-800-472-2434.

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, with the fish holding in the main-stem river near cool-water sources. These fish are stressed and not biting, but some anglers reportedly have been illegally snagging these fish. The North Umpqua is slow for summer steelhead.

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 ' A string of storm fronts has caused the trout to bounce on and off the bite this week, with anglers getting mixed success. Still fishing with chartreuse and rainbow colored PowerBait has been the most productive, and trolling with nightcrawlers behind flashers is a distant, but respectable, second.

Still fishing largely has been centered at Buck Island and at Red Rock Cove while trolling is taking place along the east shoreline, and right down the middle of the lake. The fish are fluctuating from 15 feet deep to 45 feet deep, and anglers should vary their depths even if they've caught a few trout.

Fly fishing remains slow. 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 ' Bass fishing remains good with plastic worms or grubs right along the weed lines and lily pads. Trout fishing remains good, with the best bet for trollers right around dusk and at first light 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. 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 Needlefish 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 a bit faster and is now more than 33 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 dropped 4 degrees to 74 degrees Wednesday after the hot spell seems to have subsided. However, the bouncing barometric pressure has caused the fish to jump around in the water column.

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 structures. 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 19 feet from full and dropping quickly, 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 flyfishers and early-morning trollers.

LAKE of the WOODS '

The lake is fishing fair to good 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 tapering off amid the warm weather and warm water. 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 have 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 spring and summer progresses.

Hunting Outlook ROGUE ' Black bear hunting started slow 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 located on Whetstone Pond, just north of the ODFW office.