ROGUE - A decent showing of spring chinook salmon in the lower Rogue has created a stir in the Gold Beach area while a couple good days at Pearce Riffle outside Rogue River have middle Rogue anglers showing interest. Few springers are upstream of Gold Ray Dam so far, while those not targeting chinook are running into some late-run or spawned-out winter steelhead.
The best bet is the middle Rogue, where boaters can try their luck at Pearce Riffle and bankies can hike into Rainie Falls in hopes of jumping into a fresh school of fish. Bankies are casting corkies and yarn, while driftboaters and powerboaters are focusing on Kwikfish. Water flows are high because of heavy snowmelt. Flows at Pearce Riffle were about 6,100 cubic feet per second Wednesday, which is ideal for boat angling there. The weekend brought a good bite, and that was followed by a few slow days.
In the lower Rogue, about 25 spring chinook are getting caught daily amid water with improving temperatures. The water was up to 53 degrees on Wednesday, triggering a decent day-long bite along the lower 17 miles of river despite windy conditions. Anglers also reported seeing plenty of fish moving through Elephant Rock, Clay Banks and Dunkelberger Bar. Boat anglers are using spinning anchovies while bank anglers are using large Spin-Glo's with a little anchovy on the hook for good luck.
All wild springers and all wild steelhead must be released unharmed.
In the upper Rogue, steelhead and spring chinook fishing are slow. As of April 30, just 55 spring chinook have joined 8,771 winter steelhead in the upper Rogue and none have reached Cole Rivers Hatchery.
The entire river downstream of the hatchery diversion remains closed through May 24 for trout fishing, fin-clipped or otherwise. That includes the targeting of native cutthroat trout, which always must be released unharmed. The entire river is open for bait fishing.
UMPQUA - Spring chinook are coming up the main-stem Umpqua and anglers have been catching decent numbers of springers. The stretch from Scottsburg to Elkton tends to provide the best angling for early spring chinook. Water flows are high as increased snowmelt has reached the main stem. No shad catches have yet been reported.
All wild steelhead must be released unharmed systemwide. The South Umpqua is closed to angling. The North Umpqua remains open for steelhead, with fishing fair near the Colliding Rivers.
Sturgeon and striped bass fishing remain slow in the lower section of the mainstem Umpqua.
COQUILLE - The entire system is now closed to steelhead fishing. Trout fishing is closed in streams and tidewater until May 24.
CHETCO - The Chetco River system is closed to all angling until May 24.
ELK/SIXES - Both river systems are now closed to all angling until May 24.
WINDCHUCK - The river system is closed to all angling until May 24.
APPLEGATE - The river system is closed to all angling until May 24.
CROOKED - Warmer weather is resulting in some nice insect hatches for fly-fishermen, who are doing fairly well on redband trout. Biologists have begun a radio-telemetry study on redband trout and whitefish, and anglers are reminded that it is illegal to keep or kill a radio-tagged fish. To determine whether a fish is radio-tagged, anglers should check for an eight-inch wire antenna protruding from the rear of both redband and mountain whitefish.
DESCHUTES - Trout fishing is improving on the lower Deschutes with the warmer temperatures. Trout anglers should be successful by using nymphs, but anglers also should be watchful for mid-day hatches. A few March brown and blue-winged olive mayfly hatches should be occurring. The Deschutes River upstream from the northern boundary of the Warms Springs Reservation is now open and fishing is good.