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Fishing Report: Nov. 12, 2010

Ocean Outlook

Coastwide - Another front is moving onto the coast and that means more winds and brutal swells through the weekend. Swells up to 11 feet are expected to develop along most of the coast during afternoons this weekend, likely forcing ocean anglers to stay home.

When the seas subside, anglers must remain within the 20-fathom curve to reduce the bycatch on canary and yelloweye rockfish. That means staying in waters less than 120 feet deep. When getting out, anglers are still catching near-limits of bottomfish each trip, but only one in 10 anglers has been catching a lingcod.

The marine aggregate limit remains seven rockfish a day and two lingcod a day with a 22-inch minimum.

All shellfish fishing is open coastwide, including the popular Clatsop County beaches. Mussel harvest also is open coastwide. For more information and updated closures, call the shellfish hotline at 800-448-2474.

Dungeness crabbing in bays off public docks in Winchester Bay and Charleston have improved. Most of the crabs are in their hard shells. Lots of barely undersized crabs are in the mix. Ocean crabbing opens Dec. 1.

PORT ORFORD - Ocean trolling for chinook off the mouths of the Elk and Sixes rivers is open through November, and fishing was poor this week due to typically nasty November weather. Some decent catches were reported earlier in the season, but the rough seas have kept anglers in port.

BROOKINGS - Anglers sneaking out of the port in early mornings when the surf was down were getting near-limits of bottomfish by staying close to shore and jigging near kelp beds.

WINCHESTER BAY - Chinook and coho fishing has tapered way off in the estuary as the fish have moved upstream. Surfperch fishing remains good off the south jetty.

Lake Outlook

AGATE - The lake was stocked recently with legal and trophy-sized rainbow trout, and fishing for them is still very good with worms and PowerBait. Water conditions are extremely low, but the boat ramp remains usable. No gas motors allowed.

APPLEGATE - Trollers using Flatfish or Triple Teasers are still doing quite well for the large and trophy trout stocked there last month. Trolling with woolly bugger flies also has worked well. The lake is very low, but the French Gulch boat ramp remains usable. Hart-Tish Park is closed. Bank fishing is tough because the lake is so low. Focus off points and look for schools of land-locked chinook stocked there.

EMIGRANT - The lake is down to less than one-quarter full, hurting angling effort there. Trolling for trout has been fair to good thanks to cooling water, and most of the action remains on the lower third of the reservoir near the dam. Troll red Tazmanian Devils or Wedding Ring lures spiked with a piece of worm. The bass and panfish are dispersed among the willows and near Songer Wayside but they are getting less active.

A standing public-health advisory continues about eating all but trout from the lake because of elevated mercury levels.

HOWARD PRAIRIE - The lake is closed to all angling until the fourth Saturday in April.

HYATT - The lake is closed to all angling until the fourth Saturday in April.

DIAMOND - The lake is closed to all angling until the fourth Saturday in April.

EXPO - The pond is open year-round and it was stocked recently with a complement of large and trophy rainbow trout that are still biting well. Chartreuse PowerBait or worms under bobbers have been popular. Panther Martin lures cast and retrieved in deeper water will work, as well.

LAKE of the WOODS - Fishing for brown and rainbow trout has remained good with the cooler water. Still-fishing with PowerBait off the bank has been good near the resort. A few brown trout are getting caught early in the morning or at night by trollers using large Rapalas or Kastmasters in the deepest sections of the lake.

LOST CREEK - Another 900 trophy trout were stocked recently at the lake, split between the marina ramp at Stewart State Park and the Takelma ramp. Fishing has been best for anglers slowly trolling green or red Wedding Ring lures spiced with a piece of worm. Lots of rainbows 15 to 17 inches long. The lake remains under a public-health advisory against water contact because of a blue-green algae bloom there.

FISH - The lake recently received another 900 trophy trout, with good action continuing for anglers near the resort and the Forest Service boat ramp. Catches are better for those trolling Triple Teasers or Wedding Rings than for anglers still-fishing off the bank. Chartreuse PowerBait has worked well for bankies.

WILLOW LAKE - The lake remains under its second public-health advisory against water contact because of a blue-green algae bloom. The boat ramp and campground access remains closed, but anglers can park outside the gate for walk-in, day-use access.

SELMAC - The lake is cooling off and that should help the trout bite. Another complement of large and trophy rainbow trout were stocked there recently, and fishing for them continues to be very good with worms, Panther Martin lures, single salmon eggs floated off the bottom or PowerBait.

MEDCO - Fishing for rainbow trout is good off the bank with PowerBait thanks to cooling water temperatures. Effort has been light.


ROGUE - The upper Rogue remains very good for summer steelhead anglers using a mix of everything, while the middle Rogue is good for summer steelhead and a some coho, as well. The Agness area has slowed for steelhead and halfpounders, with the Gold Beach crowd waiting for the first winter steelhead to show up.

That means the best is still the upper Rogue, where it's a pick-your-pleasure fishery now. Those fishing from the Hatchery Hole to the Shady Cove boat ramp have their full arsenal open to them. The annual flies-only season ended Halloween, so bait-fishers can now drift-fish with worms or roe for summer steelhead. Most driftboaters are side-drifting roe or egg flies soaked in roe juice in the heads of riffles immediately downstream of chinook salmon redds. Most of the chinook have spawned and died, so the steelhead are not as intensely focused in on roe. That's makes plug fishing a very good option now.

From the Shady Cove ramp downstream to the former Gold Ray Dam site, anglers are relegated to artificial flies and lures but no bait. So most are either fly-fishing or side-drifting single salmon egg patterns in riffles immediately downstream of spawning chinook. The change in rules means molded, plastic, egg patterns are now legal, and they remain a good choice. Fly-fishers casting streamers are picking up a few fish in riffles, and K-11 Kwikfish plugs have worked very well for larger steelhead.

Some big fish have been in the mix of late, with a regular complement of 10-pounders showing up almost daily. All wild steelhead must be released unharmed. Flows are low and they are not expected to rise much until late next week.

The Agness area has really dropped off for summer steelhead and halfpounders. The flows at Agness were about 4,200 cubic feet per second Thursday, making that area a bust for fly-fishers. The limit is five fin-clipped halfpounders a day under 16 inches. More than 16 inches and they considered are adults during the summer steelhead run.

In the middle Rogue, fishing for summer steelhead and cutthroat trout is fair and a bit sporadic. Anglers side-drifting roe are doing well in the run downstream of Valley of the Rogue State Park, while plug anglers are finding fish now around Ennis Riffle and Carpenter's Island. Plug fishermen are catching coho in Brushy Chutes and at Robertson Bridge.

UMPQUA - The mainstem Umpqua continues to fish fair to good for coho salmon up near the forks, but fluctuations in water conditions make the bite almost day-to-day, and the water has been low. Coho also are moving into the North Umpqua. Only fin-clipped coho may be kept, and wild coho continue to dominate the catch. The South Umpqua opens to angling Monday.

COQUILLE - The wild coho salmon season in the river is over. The lower river is tapering off for fall chinook fishing, with a few trollers finding dark fish from Bandon all the way to the head of tidal-influenced water near Myrtle Point. Large spinners or cut-plug herring have worked.

COOS - Fall chinook fishing has fallen off to slow in the South Fork of the Coos River. Trolling cut-plug herring or sardines continues to produce fish, with gold-bladed spinners a decent backup choice. Sand shrimp drifted under a bobber is producing chinook in the upper South Fork of the Coos River in pools where chinook are hiding out in low water. Many of the fish are dark.

ELK/SIXES - Fall chinook have spread out throughout both systems, and fishing should be very good for them through the weekend. The mouth of the Elk River has seen some good schools enter this week, and fishing pressure there is heavy. Flows are dropping daily. Upstream, the fish are holding in pools, so the best results have come to those fishing roe and sand shrimp under bobbers.

CHETCO - The river pulled into fishing shape Thursday, and conditions should be very good for fall chinook fishing riverwide through the weekend. As the water drops, use Kwikfish or back-bounce roe and sand shrimp or just sand shrimp. Bank fishing will be slow.