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Fishing Report: July 15, 2011

COASTWIDE - Weather forecasts show some very good promise for ocean anglers who want to hit the water this weekend, especially early in the morning before afternoon winds kick up the chop.

Bottomfish anglers must stay within the 40-fathom line and all halibut fishing is closed until August.

The marine aggregate limit in Oregon is seven rockfish a day, with only one being a cabezon. The lingcod limit is two a day with a 22-inch minimum, and that is separate from the marine aggregate.

Ocean salmon fishing has been very slow. Coho fishing north of Humbug Mountain is slow, and chinook fishing is slow coastwide.

A good series of minus tides runs through the weekend, so clammers should have a good reason to hit the coast everywhere but Clatsop County, where the annual conservation closure starts today. Diggers must get a shellfish license.

Beaches from the mouth of the Columbia River down to Cape Meares are closed to mussel harvest, but the rest of the coast is open.

BROOKINGS - Chinook fishing has remained poor when winds allow anglers to get out. Surfperch fishing has been excellent on calm days, with the females spawning near the Winchuck River mouth. Fish with sandshrimp, prawns, mussels, plastic, scented sandshrimp and streamer flies.

GOLD BEACH - Surfperch fishing has been good outside of the Rogue River jetties and Nesika Beach when the winds die down during the top of the incoming tide and the first hour of the outgoing tide. A flurry of chinook are being caught in the river mouth by trollers, yet guides are not convinced they are true fall chinook yet.

ELK - Fishing for surfperch is excellent in and near the mouth of the Elk River.

WINCHESTER BAY - Sturgeon fishing is still slow. Crabbing has picked up this week but the overall Dungeness catch is low.

AGATE - Crankbaits, plastic worms and small spinners are working well for bass near willows, while small black flies and purple jigs are working well for crappie amid warm water conditions. The lake is 93 percent full. No gas motors are allowed. Small electric motors are legal.

APPLEGATE - The lake is a hair under full and no new trout were stocked this past week. Still, trollers and fly-fishers working the Seattle Bar area are doing well with Wedding Ring lures and Triple Teasers or woolly buggers with sinking fly lines. Smallmouth bass are biting plastic worms and small crankbaits near the dam and off points. The French Gulch and Copper boat ramps are usable. Hart-Tish Park is open. For updates on facilities, call 541-899-9220.

EMIGRANT - Trout fishing is best near the dam and off the county boat ramp for those trolling or wind-drifting worms. Also, the cool in-flows from Emigrant Creek are drawing trout to the creek mouth. Catch them by casting a worm on a hook with no weights. Good water conditions have helped the bass and perch bites lake-wide, with perch fishing best in the willows and bass off rocky points and around Songer Wayside.

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

HOWARD PRAIRIE - The lake is starting to turn into a smallmouth bass fishery with the warmer weather. There are still plenty of 15- to 17-inch trout for anglers fishing deep and in the early mornings and late evenings. Trollers continue to out-produce bank anglers. Success along the jetty near the resort has been improving, as is fishing near Grizzly Campground.

HYATT - The lake remains good for rainbow trout fishing, but the big 20-inchers that were in the mix most of the season are now fewer and farther between. Fishing near the dam and around the Orchard has been good with chartreuse or rainbow PowerBait. Largemouth bass fishing is excellent for those wind-drifting worms or casting and retrieving any red spinner or spoon.

DIAMOND - The rainbows are moving into deeper waters, and that means some changes in tactics for anglers. Trolling F-4 Flatfish or Triple Teasers for trout is very good, while fly-fishers using black or olive leeches are having some epic days in the south end. Fish mostly in water 18-20 feet now. For PowerBaiters, the high weeds are problematic. Float your bait about 3 feet above the bottom for rainbows feeding on insects and freshwater shellfish in the weeds.

The temporary eight-fish limit remains in effect, but only one can be longer than 20 inches. One smaller rainbow with an orange tag in its dorsal fin is worth $500 to whomever catches it. Check it in at the resort if you catch it.

EXPO - Fishing remains good for stocked rainbow trout, with Panther Martin lures, PowerBait and worms under bobbers all are working fairly well.

LOST CREEK - The lake's public-health advisory was lifted this week, and anglers are back to wind-drifting worms or roe at the lake's far upper end or trolling deep near the dam. Smallmouth bass fishing is very good in the mornings and evenings for jiggers and those casting rubber worms in the weeds.

FISH - The lake remains under a public-health advisory against water contact because of a blue-green algae bloom, primarily near the resort. Water tests elsewhere in the lake last week did not reveal unhealthy levels of potentially toxic algae. The lake was last stocked three weeks ago with 3,000 legal-sized rainbow trout, and more trout are scheduled for stocking next week. Fishing has been best around the resort and the cove near the Forest Service boat ramp with PowerBait, worms and streamer flies.

SELMAC - The lake has not been stocked in a month, and water temperatures are warm. Bass fishing is good with plastic worms, nightcrawlers or small crankbaits near downed wood.

LEMOLO - Trolling for big brown trout remains good, and fly-fishers using woolly buggers or leeches are finding a mix of rainbows and browns. Fish are more active in the mornings and evenings.

LAKE of the WOODS - Bank and boat fishing for stocked rainbow trout has been good with PowerBait and worms. Brown trout fishing should start picking up near shorelines in the evening and at night.

ROGUE - The upper Rogue is aflutter with spring chinook and summer steelhead, while the lower Rogue has turned on again for chinook salmon in the mouth (though no one's really sure whether they're late spring chinook or early fall chinook) and the middle Rogue is pretty much dead for action right now.

That keeps the best bet on the upper Rogue, but with a twist. Time to think steelhead.

Already 264 summer steelhead have reached Cole Rivers Hatchery, and 39 already have been recycled amid the spring chinook recycling efforts of the past few weeks. And six of those already have made it back to the hatchery.

That should tell you the steelhead numbers are excellent for mid-July in the upper Rogue. Boat anglers will fare best because water flows are high, with 3,200 cubic feet per second of water coming out of Lost Creek Lake.

K-11 Kwikfish plugs, streamer flies and stonefly nymphs with Prince nymph point flies are all great choices for boat anglers, while side-drifting worms or roe are good secondary choices. Pink rubber worms rock it, too. Fish riffles, tail-outs and inside corners around boulders. As the water warms, they will move toward more aerated water.

Bank anglers will struggle with water conditions for summer steelhead, but casting worms and Panther Martin lures will work well in areas like TouVelle State Park and the water between Casey State Park and the Hatchery Hole. All wild steelhead must be released unharmed.

Bank anglers at Casey State Park, the Slide Hole and the Hatchery Hole are still finding fair to good numbers of fish moving through off and on all day.

All wild chinook must be released upstream of Dodge Bridge, but anglers can keep wild chinook downstream of Dodge Bridge. That puts more people fishing the Denman Wildlife Area waters.

In the lower Rogue, a few guides are still catching spring chinook that are stacked up near the Ferry Hole, and trollers fishing between the jetties had great success Wednesday and Thursday for chinook with anchovies and spinners. These fish are acting like fall chinook, but they look like spring chinook. Expect catches and pressure to skyrocket within the week as word spreads of more chinook in the bay.

Very few of the big, early-run summer steelhead have showed themselves in the lower Rogue, and halfpounder catches remain very light so far.

APPLEGATE - The river is open to trout fishing. All wild trout, including cutthroat, must be released unharmed. It is illegal to target spawning winter steelhead in the Applegate.

UMPQUA - Summer steelhead catches are very good in the lower North Umpqua, where all wild steelhead must be released unharmed. Shad are in, but they are tough to catch amid high-water conditions. The South Umpqua is excellent for smallmouth bass in the Elkton area. South Umpqua flows have been dropping consistently, and that has helped for bass catches on rubber worms and crayfish flies.

CHETCO - Side-drifting worms or tiny roe clusters are working well for cutthroat trout from Ice Box, as well as prawns free-drifted in tidewater near high tide.