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Fishing Report: Friday, Sept. 30


COASTWIDE: A rainy weekend on the coast will bring some wind and a little chop to the seas, but overall decent conditions are expected for rockfish jigging and trolling for chinook off the mouth of the Chetco during the bubble fishery Saturday through Monday. Today's forecast calls for 10-knot winds and five-foot swells with afternoon rain, followed Saturday by 10- to 15-knot winds and five-foot wind waves with what looks to be daylong rain. Sunday's forecast calls for 15-knot winds and three-foot swells, with less rain than Saturday.

Salmon anglers will hit the Chetco bubble fishery Saturday through Monday, and catches should be decent for those who fish larger anchovies or sardines deep near the whistle buoy or skip anchovies along the beach just outside of the breakers. The limit remains two chinook a day.

Rockfish anglers can venture past the 20-fathom line beginning Saturday, and that should spawn more interest in fall rockfish jigging, particularly off the mouth of the Chetco if the salmon season turns out to be slow. Anglers can still keep one cabezon a day.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will announce today whether days have been added to the Central Oregon all-depth halibut season. If so, it likely will be next Friday and Saturday. Less than half of the quota remains in the South Coast halibut season, which will remain open through October.

The ocean and bays are open to crabbing coastwide, and crabbing in Coos Bay has been very good.

Razor clamming is closed along the entire coast because of domoic acid levels, and razors are off-limits through September on the North Coast for the annual conservation closure. Bay clams and butter clams are available coastwide, but mussels are off limits along the entire coast because of domoic acid. Before digging, check the shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474.


AGATE: The lake was listed Thursday at 16 percent full and dropping, with little angling interest. Fishing is fair at best for a mix of bass, crappie and perch. No trout stockings are planned this year. No gas motors are allowed. Electric trolling motors are OK.

APPLEGATE: Trolling for rainbows has improved slightly, and fish stocked earlier this year are putting on some size. Some anglers are catching rainbows up to 18 inches by trolling deep higher in the reservoir and off points. Bass fishing is best off points and near submerged trees. The lake was listed at 78 feet shy of full Thursday, down five feet in the past week, thanks to very little inflow. The Copper boat ramp is usable.

DIAMOND: The lake is fishing better during the day as the weather cools. PowerBait and worms are out-fishing trolling. Fly-fishing chironomid patterns with long leaders is working well, especially on cloudy days. PowerBait and worms under bobbers are working, as well. The rainbows are spread out. Another 300,000 fingerlings were stocked last spring are starting to reach legal size. All tiger trout must be released.

EMIGRANT: The lake was listed Thursday at 20 percent full and dropping, with little open water. The water is past the bottom of the boat dock at the county park, but the ramp is still usable. Trout and bass fishing is virtually nonexistent.

FISH: The lake was 18 percent full Thursday. The lake got 900-trophy trout stocked at the Forest Service boat ramp last week. The Forest Service ramp is barely usable, but the resort ramp is fine. Fish worms under bobbers or use PowerBait. Watch for exposed stumps in low water. Tiger trout as big as 18 inches have been caught, but they must be released unharmed.

HOWARD PRAIRIE: Fishing is starting to pick up a bit as cooler evenings help cool the water to more trout-friendly temperatures. Holdover trout in the 16- to 19-inch range are being caught. The lake has dropped slightly to 48 percent full and remains higher than Hyatt and Emigrant.

HYATT: Trout fishing has slowed, and bass fishing is good. Anything red works for bass, especially around the Orchard and in the bay near the BLM ramp. Not much size to the largemouth, though. The lake is 40 percent full.

LOST CREEK: The lake is dropping more slowly now, with outflows holding steady at 1,150 cubic feet per second, and flows could drop next week. The better fishing for trout is upstream of Peyton Bridge, where water temperatures are more favorable. Fishing is fair to good for 10,000 legal-sized trout and 1,075 trophy trout stocked there in August. Another fall stocking is set for later in October. Landlocked salmon have been holding deeper than the trout. Fish for largemouth in the submerged willows and for smallmouth off rocky points. The lake was listed Thursday at 60 feet below full pool and a few inches above normal fall low pool.

LAKE OF THE WOODS: The lake is fishing fair to good for a mix of rainbows, brown trout and perch near the resort for anglers using worms under bobbers or PowerBait off the bottom. Fishing is best at dawn and dusk.

WILLOW: Trout fishing has slowed for the mix of legal-sized and pounder rainbows stocked in July at the county boat ramp. The lake is dropping, but water clarity is good.

EXPO: The pond got 1,000 legal-sized trout in June, and that was the last stocking for this year. Fishing is poor.


ROGUE: The upper Rogue is slowing for summer steelhead as cooler water releases reduce their activity, while the middle Rogue is slow for steelhead and winding down its fall chinook season. The Rogue bay is holding on with a good showing this week of fall chinook.

That keeps the lower Rogue bay the best bet, thanks to a mix of good bay catches and what should be very good fly-fishing for halfpounders and adult summer steelhead around Agness and in the lower section of the lower Rogue canyon. The bay was dead last weekend, and this week started poorly, but Wednesday saw an excellent bite for boat and bank anglers off the mouth of Indian Creek. Lots of 20-pounders and a few 30-pounders were caught by trollers during a hot bite that ran late morning into the early afternoon. A few coho remain in the mix, but it's been a light year for coho.

Fly and bait fishing for halfpounders and adult summer steelhead is pretty good as fresh fish move into the lower Rogue canyon daily. The flow at Agness was up a hair to 1,603 cfs, and that's excellent for swinging streamers for halfpounders. Look for that to remain through the weekend despite rain forecasts.

In the upper Rogue, it's artificial flies only from the Fishers Ferry boat ramp all the way to the deadline at Cole Rivers Hatchery. That means traditional fly gear or spinning rods with flies and bobbers, but no added weights or attachments. That includes swivels. Cooling water and spawning chinook mean nymphing egg patterns will be far more effective than swinging big leeches or traditional Rogue streamers. Most fly-fishers are using a combination of an ugly bug dropper and an egg fly fished downstream of spawning chinook. Be careful not to wade in redds.

Flows in the upper Rogue out of Lost Creek were holding at 150 cfs and were scheduled to hover there through Thursday, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Flows at Dodge Bridge were a skinny 1,234 cfs, and were 1,395 cfs at the old Gold Ray Dam site.

Middle Rogue anglers can continue to fish for fall chinook today upstream of the Hog Creek boat ramp. The season ends tonight. Some fish were biting this week in Taylor Creek and Hellgate canyons, but pretty much nowhere else. Summer steelhead fishing remains pretty slow. Flows at Grants Pass were up a hair Thursday to 1,258 cfs.

Halfpounders and adult steelhead are in the lower Rogue canyon working their way upstream. The canyon remains open to the use of artificial flies and lures.