ROGUE - Last week's rains really shook up the spring chinook salmon fishery and started to get the fish on the move. Fishing has been decent in the lower, middle and upper sections of the Rogue.
The best bet will be the middle Rogue area on both sides of Grants Pass for spring chinook. The river level at Grants Pass hovered around 4,100 cubic feet per second Wednesday, and that flow was just marginal for fishing at Pierce Riffle. Boat anglers have been finding chinook at Pierce by back-bouncing roe. Kwikfish fishing is slow.
Chinook remain on the move, so fishing is best in migration lanes and not as good in traditional holding holes.
In the far upper Rogue, a few bank anglers are catching spring chinook off the dike at Cole Rivers Hatchery, where the early-morning bite is best with glow-in-the-dark corkies. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was releasing 3,232 cfs of water Wednesday, and outflows will continue to roughly match inflows. The lake is full. With warm weather in the forecast and a chance of rain tonight, look for some pretty strong out-flows from the reservoir throughout the weekend. That should improve upper Rogue chinook fishing.
The problem is numbers of fish. Through May 9, only 911 spring chinook had been counted over Gold Ray Dam. That's way low for this time of year.
Driftboat fishing for springers in the upper Rogue is slow, with back-bouncers averaging around a fish per boat during weekdays.
In the lower Rogue, fishing was very good throughout much of the end of last week as good numbers of fish and good angling conditions finally came together. Wild fish are starting to show up in the catches, and about half the fish this past week were wild fish that must be released unharmed. Anchovies with spinner blades is the bait of choice. Most of the action has been in the lower seven miles of the river. Fishing in the Agness area for springers has been slow.
The upper Rogue has almost 6,000 winter steelhead spread out from Gold Ray Dam to Cole Rivers Hatchery. Steelhead fishing is slow and most of the catches are spawned-out kelts that should be released unharmed. All wild steelhead and chinook must be released unharmed riverwide.
ILLINOIS - The river is closed to all angling until May 23.
UMPQUA - The mainstem Umpqua is in good shape and fishing for spring chinook has been good near the forks and around Elkton. The North Umpqua is starting to get some spring chinook action for boaters fishing downstream of Winchester Dam and in the Rock Creek area. The estuary has improved for sturgeon but remains slow for striped bass.
The South Umpqua is closed to all angling.
COQUILLE - The river is closed to trout angling. Sturgeon fishing in Coquille's tidewater has been slow. Striped bass fishing has been slow, but there have been a few fish caught near the town of Coquille. No shad have been reported.
COOS - Fishing for sturgeon is slow in the estuary, as is fishing for striped bass. Good catches of black rockfish and lingcod have occurred in the lower bay near the high and low slack tides. No shad have been reported yet.
ELK/SIXES - Both rivers are closed to steelhead fishing.
APPLEGATE - The river is closed to all angling until May 23.
CHETCO - The river is closed to all angling until May 23.
METOLIUS - Anglers are reporting that redband trout have become more active. Recent warm weather should result in some improved insect hatches and great fishing.
KLAMATH - Angling has been slow for native redband trout, primarily because of high and dirty flows. Water temperatures have cooled to the lower 50s. River flows of 1,200 cfs below Keno Dam should provide fair opportunities for anglers. Optimum flows for angling are below 1,000 cfs. Most redband trout have completed their spawn.