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Fishing Report: Friday, Nov. 7


COASTWIDE: After a rough week that saw small-craft advisories and wind warnings, the ocean will start to lay down a bit this weekend. Forecasts call for 5-knot winds and 3- to 5-foot seas today, followed by 10-knot winds and 3- to 4-foot swells Saturday before kicking up to 7-foot swells Sunday.

The South Coast halibut fishery is closed until spring. Ocean salmon fishing is closed as well, except off the Elk and Sixes mouths, but effort is light because of poor weather.

Anglers can venture past the 30-fathom line for bottomfishing, but few will bother, as near-shore fishing is good for black rockfish and the occasional lingcod, which have moved farther offshore. The marine aggregate limit in Oregon is seven rockfish a day. Anglers can keep one cabezon as part of that limit. The lingcod limit is two a day with a 22-inch minimum, and that is separate from the marine aggregate.

Crabbers have been doing very well for legal-sized males in most Oregon estuaries, with boat crabbers landing limits or close to them in Coos Bay and other spots. The ocean is closed to sport and commercial crabbing until Dec. 1.

Razor clam digging in Clatsop County is about as good as it gets. A record 16 million clams are estimated for the 18-mile stretch of beach from the Columbia River to Tillamook Head. The previous record estimate was 9 million in 2005. Razor clamming is closed from the California border to Heceta Head near Florence because of elevated bacteria levels.

COOS BAY: Fishing for chinook salmon has tapered off significantly. Black rockfish catches are good off the north jetty, and crabbing is very good for boat crabbers and decent for dock crabbers. Many red rock crabs in the Charleston area have been tagged as part of a study. Anyone who catches one is urged to call state fish biologists at 541-888-5515.

BROOKINGS: Bay fishing for chinook is occasionally good on incoming tides but most of the action has been upstream since the bobber and flies restriction ended Tuesday. Chinook are spread out throughout the river.

GOLD BEACH: The Rogue bay has turned off for chinook and coho salmon, except for chinook milling around the mouth of Indian Creek waiting to run upstream on the next freshet.


AGATE: The lake has bottomed out at 3 percent full, and it's so murky that it's unfishable. The gate to the day-use park closes at 8 p.m.

APPLEGATE: The lake is fishing fairly well for holdover rainbow trout 10 to 14 inches long, but there is little effort there. Trollers are finding fish with Wedding Ring lures spiced with worms between 40 and 60 feet deep. Hart-Tish Park and its boat ramp are closed, and the ramp at Copper is no longer usable. That leaves only the French Gulch ramp for launching. Bass fishing is good with crankbaits and grubs. The lake was down to 82 feet from full, dropping about 2 feet this past week.

Applegate Lake has a standing advisory against eating too many portions of warmwater fish caught in the lake due to elevated mercury levels found in the bass and crappie.

DIAMOND: Fishing for trout has improved as the water has cooled and the fish have fanned out into deeper water. Most of the action is still-fishing with PowerBait or with worms under bobbers. Vary your depths. Trolling is slow. The limit is eight trout per day longer than 8 inches, but only one can be longer than 20 inches. Diamond Lake remains open year-round.

EMIGRANT: The county park boat ramps are unusable. The lake is holding steady at 9 percent full. There is some bank fishing where Emigrant Creek hits what's left of the lake and near the rowing boathouse, but not much action is going on. Driving on the lake bed is illegal.

FISH: The lake has inched up to 22 percent full after being below the water-gauge level most of last month. No boat ramps are usable, however. A few people fishing on float tubes are faring very well for a mix of trout and chinook salmon. Most of the fishing is with bait near the center of the lake or from the bank near the resort. Tiger trout must be released unharmed. Chinook are legally considered trout and can be kept as part of the five-trout daily limit. The chinook are in 12- to 14-inch range.

HOWARD PRAIRIE: The lake is closed to angling until April 25.

HYATT: The lake is closed to angling until April 25.

LOST CREEK: Fishing for trout is best upstream of Peyton Bridge, though declining surface temperatures should start getting the trout to spread out more. Some 15-inch trout have been taken there recently. Bass fishing is very good with a mix of crankbaits and plastics. At 1,809 feet above sea level, the water level is below the bottom of the marina boat ramp, but the Taklema ramp is usable. Inflows are now matching outflows and that will remain the norm between storms.

LAKE OF THE WOODS: Trolling with green or black Wedding Rings is working well for rainbow trout, while pink ones are knocking the kokanee well for those bothering to try. Water levels remain very good. Still-fishing with PowerBait from the bank has been good for trout, especially early.

LEMOLO: Fishing is good for a mix of  holdover lunker trout from earlier fall stocking. Trolling deep gets a mix of trout and kokanee, while still-fishing near the resort with PowerBait is good. From now through Dec. 31, all brown trout must be released. The reservoir will still be open for fishing, and rainbow trout and kokanee can be harvested for the five-trout limit.

WILLOW: Fishing from the bank with PowerBait or worms has been good around the resort and directly across from the county boat ramp. Trollers could try Tasmanian Devils or Triple Teasers, or wind-drift worms in the afternoon. Boat traffic and fishing effort remain very light. The lake was up to 44 percent full Thursday after runoff from recent rains.


ROGUE: The upper Rogue is fishing well for summer steelhead in the bait section and somewhat slow in the flies and lures water, while the middle Rogue is decent and steady for steelhead but certainly not spectacular, and the lower Rogue is fishing well for chinook salmon for boat anglers upstream of Lobster Creek.

That makes the best bet the upper Rogue upstream of the Shady Cove boat ramp. That's the stretch where the entire tackle box is available for summer steelhead. Small clusters of roe or egg-soaked egg flies are the ticket for steelhead very used to sucking on loose chinook eggs. Side-drifting eggs or yarn flies at tailouts and the heads of pools is best, but stay out of the chinook redds.

Downstream of the Shady Cove ramp is open to flies and lures only and no bait. That makes it something of a plugging show with mixed results. While the steelhead aren't focusing on things like plugs, they will whack them and they tend to draw more of the larger steelhead than the smaller ones. Crayfish plugs and black-and-silver WeeWarts are good choices, with K-11 Kwikfish good in deeper, heavier water. Plastic egg flies are also legal for fly-fishers in this stretch, and they are terrific point flies when fished with a heavy dropper fly such as an Ugly Bug.

Flows in the Rogue have been bouncing around during recent storm fronts. Flows out of Lost Creek Lake are up a hair to 1,060 cubic feet per second thanks to a slight tick in inflows, but flows of 1,212 cfs at Dodge Bridge are pretty steady. That will make driftboating a bit bumpy during the popular early November fishery. Summer steelhead are scattered river-wide now.

In the middle Rogue, fishing is decent everywhere from Valley of the Rogue State Park on through Ennis Riffle. Flows at Grants Pass remained a skinny 1,386 cfs and dropping Thursday. Worms with beads or black-and-yellow Panther Martin lures are good offerings.

In the lower Rogue, recent rains have coaxed most schools of coho and chinook to move upstream. Fishing for them has been good upstream of Lobster Creek this week. However, the Indian Creek fish remain swirling around the creek mouth, especially at high tide. Fishing is decent for trollers using anchovies and bank anglers casting Blue Fox spinners or the occasional pink Rooster Tail.

Summer steelhead fishing remains decent and is best in the Agness area, where the flows were listed Thursday at 2,076 cfs. That means fly-fishing success will drop off in favor of worms, plugs and Panther Martin lures.

CHETCO — The river was at 1,200 cfs and dropping Thursday with no new rains forecast for the immediate future. That will cause a daily chilling of the chinook bite, though fish are scattered river-wide and hanging in pools, so bobber-and-egg fishing should be decent.  Back-bouncing roe and pulling plugs is now legal river-side, and fishing should be very good after another rise in flows.

ELK/SIXES — Last week's rains drew plenty of fall chinook out of tidewater on both streams, with good fishing happening until the flows dropped low and clear. Both rivers need a good soaking to jump-start fishing, but nothing good is in the immediate forecast.