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River Outlook

ROGUE - Spring chinook salmon fishing remains somewhat hit-and-miss on the upper Rogue, dead as a spawned-out buck in the middle Rogue and sporadic but decent in the lower Rogue as the transition between chinook runs begins.

Still, the best bet is the upper Rogue, where fish numbers continue upward. As of July 2, 10,318 spring chinook had been counted at Gold Ray Dam. That's low, but at least they're still coming.

Anglers are banned from keeping wild spring chinook riverwide now, and about half the fish getting caught these days are wild fish that must be released unharmed. Releasing fish caught with roe and corkies is easier than releasing those that bite Kwikfish, and that has more anglers fishing bait than plugs from boats.

Catches of fin-clipped springers has been off and on from Shady Cove Park on up to the Hatchery Hole, where the action remains good enough to keep it fairly crowded.

For driftboaters, focus on migration lanes and the tops of holes. That increases your chance of hooking a hatchery fish and reduces the pressure on wild springers, which tend to hunker down in deep holes now.

Flows out of Lost Creek Lake have dropped to 2,377 cubic feet per second of 53-degree water. Both numbers are down from last week.

The summer steelhead count over Gold Ray Dam is now high enough to start targeting these critters. As of July 2, 850 summer steelhead had been counted over the dam, and that includes about 500 fish just since June 25.

Summer steelhead bite everything from worms to streamer flies, ugly bugs, pink plastic worms, crayfish plugs and more. The trick is to find these fish in fast water around structure and tail-outs. They prefer the oxygenated water.

A few stoneflies are all but done at the impoundment just beneath the dam, with catches tailing off dramatically this past week.

In the lower Rogue, a few anglers trolling anchovies with spinner blades are catching early-run fall chinook, but it remains all catch-and-release until Saturday. Beginning Saturday, anglers can keep up to two wild chinook a day downstream of the Hog Creek boat ramp. The bay and lower Rogue will get some attention from chinook anglers then.

In the far upper Rogue upstream of Lost Creek Lake, weekly trout stockings are occurring around campgrounds such as Union Creek and Farewell Bend. Catches of legal-sized trout are good on worms, single salmon eggs or woolly bugger flies.

ILLINOIS - The river is open to catch-and-release fishing on resident trout. Catches are slow.

UMPQUA - Summer steelhead fishing is starting to improve in the bait-fishing areas of the North Umpqua. Some spring chinook are getting caught below Rock Creek, as well. In the mainstem Umpqua, shad fishing is slow. Sturgeon fishing also remains slow in the estuary. Smallmouth bass fishing remains excellent in the Elkton area, but public access is poor.

The South Umpqua is very good for smallmouth, especially the lower end.

COQUILLE - Sturgeon fishing in Coquille's tidewater has been slow. Striped bass catches have picked up in the upper end of tidewater. Shad fishing is slow.

COOS - Shad are now in the South Fork of the Coos River, and trolling shad darts has been fair to good.

CHETCO - Fishing for cutthroat trout is fair to good in tidewater on bait. Upstream fishing is allowed only with artificial flies and lures, with Prince nymphs working well in pools in early mornings and evenings.

APPLEGATE - The river is open to angling, and a few fly-fishers are catching and releasing rainbow trout throughout the Applegate and Jackson Campground area. Stonefly nymphs and dries are working best.

KLAMATH - Dry-fly fishing for trout is good below the Boyle Powerhouse, with golden stoneflies still hatching and flying daily. Fly-fishing for trout has been good in the Keno area below Keno Dam with caddis and mayflies.