ROGUE - More warm weather has shaken up the basin with in-flows at Lost Creek Lake up to almost 4,500 cubic feet per second. The extra water is getting the spring chinook active and moving now.
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 4,400 cfs Wednesday, and that flow was still good enough for decent springer fishing from boats at Pierce Riffle. Boat anglers have been finding chinook at Pierce by back-bouncing roe. Kwikfish fishing is slow.
The chinook remain on the move, so fishing is best in migration lanes and not as good in traditional holding holes.
On 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 4,282 cfs of water Wednesday and look for the Corps to keep flows close to 4,500 cfs for the remainder of the week. That's because the lake is full and the Corps is passing in-flow. With warm weather forecast and the 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 14, only 1,784 spring chinook had been counted over Gold Ray Dam. That's quite 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 has slowed chiefly because water temperatures have fluctuated greatly this past week, largely because of varying out-flows from Lost Creek dam. Fresh fish are moving through the lower Rogue. 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 are the baits of choice. Most of the action has been in the lower seven miles of the river. Fishing in the Agness area for springers has remained slow.
The upper Rogue has almost 6,000 winter steelhead spread out from Gold Ray Dam to Cole Rivers Hatchery. Steelhead fishing is basically over, with only a few spawned-out kelts around. They should be released unharmed. All wild steelhead must be released unharmed riverwide.
All wild spring chinook must be released unharmed riverwide.
ILLINOIS - The river re-opens to angling Saturday, and a few hold-over steelhead could be present in the lower river.
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 reopens to angling in freshwater, where the shad have yet to show up. Sturgeon fishing in Coquille's tidewater has been slow. Some 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 have occurred in the lower bay near the high and low slack tides. No shad have been reported yet.
ELK/SIXES - Both rivers re-open to angling Saturday but no substantial effort is expected.
APPLEGATE - The river reopens Saturday to angling, and a few fly-fishers can expect to find rainbow trout in some of the holes and riffles around McKee Bridge, the mouth of Williams Creek and elsewhere. The flows into the river were up to 800 cfs and flows should remain high this week as warm weather has triggered a strong in-flow into the reservoir, which is full.
METOLIUS - 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.