Fishing Report: Friday, July 21
COASTWIDE: Forecasts call for ocean conditions to be nice today but get progressively worse through the weekend. Today calls for 5- to 10-knot winds and 2-foot swells, followed Saturday by winds of 15 to 20 knots and waves up to 8 feet. Sunday's forecast calls for winds up to 25 knots and waves up to 10 feet. Not good.
Very good to excellent lingcod and black rockfish catches have occurred out of Brookings when the weather has allowed. Blue rockfish catches have been good to very good. The South Coast halibut season is open through Oct. 31, and some very nice fish have been caught when the weather cooperates.
Crabbing is open along the entire Oregon Coast and it is picking up in bays. The crab shells have hardened and another molt could come soon. The best ocean crabbing has been in more than 100 feet of water.
Razor clamming is closed along the entire coast because of domoic acid. Bay clams and butter clams are available coastwide, and mussels are closed south of Cape Arago near Charleston. Before digging, check the shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474.
AGATE: The lake is 69 percent full. Look for crappie, yellow perch and occasional bass in deeper water and anywhere there's shade. No gas motors are allowed. Electric trolling motors are OK. The park closes at dusk.
APPLEGATE: Rainbows are spread throughout the lake and biting well for bait anglers and trollers. A worm 5 feet or so under a bobber continues to work well at the upper end of the reservoir, but the Seattle Bar area will continue to see water levels drop. Bass fishing off points and around structure in the upper part of the reservoir has been fair to good. Still lots of floating debris throughout the reservoir. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has held releases at 370 cfs, and inflows have plunged to about 142 cfs. The lake was listed Thursday as 15.5 feet from full, down more than 3 feet from last week.
DIAMOND: The lake continues to fish very well for rainbows in the shallows at the south end and near the shrimp beds and the old Cheese Hole — lots of fish between 12 and 17 inches. PowerBait floated off the bottom is out-fishing worms under bobbers, with corn yellow and salmon-egg peach popular, but don't forget the glitter chartreuse. Trollers are getting action on Needlefish and Flat Fish. The south ramp is open and so are the campgrounds, but the mosquitoes are brutal this year.
EMIGRANT: The lake was listed Thursday at 75 percent full and dropping fast. Bass fishing has picked up for those casting plastic worms or slowly worked crankbaits off points. Trolling for trout will be best in the upper section of the lake where the cooler water is in the Emgrant Arm near Emigrant Creek. Fresh trout were stocked last week at the county boat ramp for a fishing event held there last Saturday.
EXPO: The pond got another 1,000 legal-sized trout last month. Fishing is best with worms and bobbers or Panther Martin lures. Access the pond through Gate 5 off Peninger Road. Parking fees are required. Next week's country music festival means anglers will be squeezed out of parking.
FISH: The lake got 3,000 legal-sized rainbows a month ago, and that's it until next month. Fishing is very good. Catches have been good with PowerBait, as well as leeches and woolly bugger flies. The lake was down a hair to 83 percent full. Tiger trout must be released unharmed.
HOWARD PRAIRIE: The lake received 5,100 legal-sized trout near the resort last month, and fishing is holding up well throughout the lake. Fishing has been very good from Grizzly Campground up into the flats at the lake's northwest side, with trolling and still-fishing equally effective. Lots of bug activity in that area means fishing streamer flies such as leeches and thin woolly buggers should be good. The lake was listed Thursday as 93 percent full, which is great for July.
HYATT: The lake received 5,100 legal-sized rainbows at the BLM ramp last month, and anglers are catching them with PowerBait or worms under bobbers. Trolling is good along the lake's old creek channel. Bass are active, as well. The lake has dropped a hair to 58 percent full and it will stay about that level for the foreseeable future in preparation for improvements to Hyatt Dam this summer. Construction has not yet begun.
LOST CREEK: The lake got another 10,000 legal rainbows and 1,500 pound-sized trout a month ago, split between the Takelma and marina boat ramps. The trout have spread out fairly well, with some of the best fishing directly across the lake from the marina and near the dam. The lake is starting to drop much faster and was listed Thursday at 27 feet from full, down 6 feet in the past week. Water quality is getting poor from an apparent algae bloom. Trolling has been decent with red or green Wedding Ring lures with a worm near the dam. Wind-drifting worms where the river flows into the upper part of the lake is very good.
LAKE OF THE WOODS: Fishing is good for rainbows in the shallows and farther out in the lake with bait or lures. Some kokanee have been caught in the deeper recesses of the lake.
MEDCO POND: The pond received another 1,600 legal-sized rainbows last month to go with 4,000 legals stocked in May. Fishing is good with PowerBait or worms under bobbers.
WILLOW: The lake got 3,000 legal-sized trout and 1,500 pound-sized trout in early June. Catch them on PowerBait or worms.
ROGUE: A mix of spring chinook salmon and summer steelhead are creating a fairly decent fishery in the upper Rogue, while the middle Rogue is seeing pockets of decent summer steelhead fishing, and the lower Rogue Bay has slowed some for early fall chinook due largely to tough winds.
That makes the best bet the upper Rogue, where anglers can double-dip for steelhead and chinook.
In the upper Rogue, the Corps of Engineers dropped Lost Creek Lake outflows a hair this week to 2,800 cfs, and that has kept fish in the upper Rogue moving. A good bite occurred at times this week throughout the upper Rogue, with spring chinook hitting eggs and sandshrimp back-bounced or fished off divers. Plugs also have worked fairly well with sardine wraps and other scents. Those fishing smaller plugs have hit some nice summer steelhead on both sides of Shady Cove.
Cole Rivers Hatchery collected 435 more springers this week. The count so far is 2,773 springers at the hatchery, which is a hair above half the 10-year running average. The hatchery now has enough fish to fuel this year's brood stock and actually will allow for some recycling of chinook downstream.
Another 204 summer steelhead were counted Wednesday, putting the count at 630 fish so far. That's comfortably over the running 10-year average. The early fish tend to be either 20-inch, first-time spawners or 8-plus pounders that are either wild fish on their second or third spawning run or hatchery females stripped of their eggs and released to the Rogue. These fish will bite anything from spinners to plugs to worms and even pink plastic worms fished under bobbers.
Cole Rivers Hatchery workers recycled another 157 hatchery summer steelhead to the Modoc Unit of the Denman Wildlife Area July 14, as well as 323 spring chinook. Of those, 148 were adult males, and the remaining were jacks and subjacks.
Anglers fishing downstream of Dodge Bridge can keep wild springers as part of their two-chinook limit, while those upstream of the bridge must release wild spring chinook unharmed. All wild steelhead must be released unharmed.
The Hatchery Hole is closed for the season. Fishing is allowed from the old deadline on down, which is the area where boat fishing begins.
Flows at Dodge Bridge were down a hair to 2,806 cfs Thursday, 2,982 cfs at the old Gold Ray Dam site, 2,650 cfs at Grants Pass, and 3,329 at Agness. All were the lowest flows of the season.
The lower Rogue has slowed down a bit, with stiff winds making trolling difficult. When afternoon winds die down, guides are finding a bite later in the day. Mostly everyone is using anchovies and Rogue blades, but a few Brad's cut-plug herring lures are coming into play, in part because of all the perch biting anchovies near the sand spit.
In the middle Rogue, anglers targeting summer steelhead are catching fish most evenings, with Panther Martin lures or worms and corkies the top offerings. All wild steelhead must be released unharmed. The summer steelhead seem to be moving through in small pods, so success is hit-or-miss.