Fishing and Hunting Report
River Outlook ROGUE ' Summer steelhead and coho salmon should start moving again in the upper Rogue as the latest storm moving into the area should shake up the water picture. The middle Rogue is slow for steelhead, while the lower Rogue gravel bars are starting to come alive with early winter steelhead.
The best weekend bet remains the upper Rogue, where steelhead catches improve the farther upstream you go.
From Cole Rivers Hatchery to Shady Cove boat ramp, fishing has been good to very good with roe, soaked egg flies and plugs. Small clusters of roe near spawning beds work best. Start with 6-pound leaders because of water clarity.
From Shady Cove to the stillwaters above Gold Ray Dam, fishing is relegated to artificial flies and lures only. Top bets are crayfish plugs run through rocky pockets by driftboaters.
Water conditions remain good. Flows out of Lost Creek Lake were up to about 2,100 cubic feet per second, making it plenty good for driftboating. Flows at Dodge Bridge were up to 2,300 cfs and the Rogue was just over 3,100 cfs Wednesday at Gold Ray Dam.
Steelhead continue to move over Gold Ray Dam in decent, but not spectacular, numbers. Through November, the upper Rogue has eclipsed the 9,400 mark for steelhead.
— Upper Rogue anglers may now fish for fall chinook salmon, but what few fish are present are dark and of very poor quality.
The upper Rogue has more than 13,700 coho, but they rarely bite.
In the Grants Pass area, fishing with roe for wild steelhead remained fair at best, and all wild steelhead must be released unharmed. Few fin-clipped summer steelhead are in the Grants Pass area at this time. Flows at Grants Pass have stabilized at about 3,550 cfs on Wednesday.
In the lower Rogue, winter steelhead are biting well at gravel bars from the old Champion mill site all the way upstream to the mouth of the Illinois River near Agness. Water conditions were excellent Wednesday, and continued rains should help keep the water high enough and green enough for bank anglers. Plunking with large Spin-Glo's is best. Target waters 5-7 feet deep along the inside turns of gravel bars, and focus your effort as the river levels start to drop. That's when the steelhead move the most.
For daily flow reports out of Lost Creek Lake, call 800-472-2434.
CHETCO ' The river was in great shape for winter steelhead Wednesday, and the recent bite has been good with roe. A 20-pounder was caught Monday at Social Security Bar, the first 20-pound steelhead of the season.
Most of the chinook have moved into tributaries or upstream gravel bars for spawning.
UMPQUA ' Winter steelhead are moving en force into the lower river thanks to recent rains. Plunking off gravel bars in the main-stem river has been best. Plunkers using Spin-Glo's and roe should try Bunch Bar first. Anglers can keep one wild steelhead a day and up to five a year.
In the North Umpqua, the best catches of cohos remain in the Idyleyd Park area, while fishing for recycled hatchery coho has been fair around Glide.
COOS ' With recent high water, most of the cohos have moved out of tidewater and are inaccessible to anglers. Winter steelhead have started to show in the basin
COQUILLE ' Chinook have moved upstream toward the top of tidewater. Early winter steelhead are moving into the basin, and catches should improve once flows drop from the recent rains.
Lake Outlook LOST CREEK ' The lake is open year-round and fishing remains fair for rainbow trout and land-locked salmon stocked into the lake. Smallmouth bass fishing remains good despite dropping water temperatures. The lake has risen 4 feet from recent rains, and the lake's surface temperature has dropped below 49 degrees.
EMIGRANT ' Smallmouth bass fishing is poor thanks to cold water conditions, while fishing for trout is fair near the dam and in open water. Panfish angling has slowed down dramatically as well.
APPLEGATE ' The low-water ramp at French Gulch is open. Fishing has been fair for rainbow trout and land-locked chinook salmon juveniles. Wind-drifting or slow-trolling of worms is a good way to locate the schools.
Anglers can keep up to five rainbow trout, stocked salmon or recycled winter steelhead 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.
LAKE of the WOODS '
Trolling for trout is fair around the resort, with warmer days better than windy ones. Also try wind-drifting worms a few feet off the bottom when trolling slows. Focus on points and ledges.
SILTCOOS/TAHKENITCH ' The fall fishery for wild coho salmon is in full swing, with about half of Siltcoos' quota caught already. Tahkenitch is getting far less pressure. Recent rains have brought in good numbers of fresh coho.
Ocean Outlook Razor clam harvest remains closed along South Coast beaches. Crabbing has been good in lower Coos and Winchester bays, but the crabs were recently pushed down the bays from recent freshets. The ocean remains closed to crabbing until at least Dec. 15 because crabs have not yet filled out after molting.
Hunting Outlook JACKSON/JOSEPHINE ' A collection of youth hunts are set to start with the holiday season. The youth elk hunt starts Dec. 17 in the Rogue Unit, and holders better start scouting now.
Mountain quail hunting has been very good in the upper Applegate as well as Prospect and Butte Falls areas.
Waterfowl hunting is fair to good, with effort mostly concentrated on rural ponds and the Rogue River. Goose hunting re-opened Wednesday in southwest Oregon.
The fall turkey season runs through Dec. 31.
Waterfowl hunting on the Denman Wildlife Area should be picking up as more volatile weather has descended upon the Rogue Valley.
KLAMATH ' Waterfowl hunting has improved in the Klamath Lake area as weather conditions help move birds around. Goose hunting is closed through Dec. 14
SUMMER LAKE ' Waterfowl hunting has been spotty at the Summer Lake Wildlife Area.
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.
CURRY ' Gray whale migration is occurring, and some can be spotted from shore. Waterfowl are migrating on the coast, so look for them on local beaches and bays. Mud flats at low tide are like bird magnets this time of year. Aleutian Canada geese are passing along the coast toward wintering grounds in Northern California. Look for them around Cape Blanco.