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Fishing Report: July 22, 2011

COASTWIDE - Small-craft and wind advisories are in effect through Friday, and stiff winds are forecast through the weekend.

Bottomfish anglers must stay within the 20-fathom line to steer clear of yelloweye rockfish, which must be released unharmed. Halibut fishing north of Humbug Mountain is closed until August.

The marine aggregate limit in Oregon is seven rockfish a day, and just one can be a cabezon. The lingcod limit is two a day with a 22-inch minimum. Lingcod are separate from the marine aggregate.

Ocean salmon fishing has been very slow. Coho fishing north of Humbug Mountain is poor, and chinook fishing is below par coastwide as the fish have become tough to find.

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 - Good tuna water can be found about 33 miles west of the port, but it's been a tough run because of weather. 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 remains good outside of the Rogue River jetties and Nesika Beach when the winds die down. Fish during the top of the incoming tide and the first hour of the outgoing tide.

A flurry of chinook are being caught just above tidewater by anglers in anchored boats, and a few fall chinook have been caught in the bay by trollers.

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 and active water conditions. Wind-drifting nightcrawlers in 18 feet of water is very good for perch, largemouth bass and the occasional crappie. The lake is 90 percent full. No gas motors are allowed. Small electric motors are legal.

APPLEGATE - The lake is a hair under full. Trollers and fly-fishers working the Seattle Bar area are doing well for rainbow trout 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 lakewide, 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 fishing well for smallmouth bass, especially as warmer weather moves in. 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 outproduce bank anglers. Success along the jetty near the resort has been improving, as is fishing near Grizzly Campground.

HYATT - The lake is still 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 water, and that means a mix of trolling and still-fishing is working for trout. Trolling F-4 Flatfish or Triple Teasers for trout is very good, while fly-fishers using black or olive leeches are having some very good days in the south end, with mornings and evenings best. Fish mostly between 18 and 20 feet down 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 on 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. The fish was released during a June fishing derby but still hasn't been caught. Check it in at the resort if you catch it.

EXPO - Fishing is fair for stocked rainbow trout with Panther Martin lures, PowerBait and worms under bobbers.

LOST CREEK - The lake's water quality is very good, and trolling for trout is good near the dam and directly across from the marina. Smallmouth bass fishing is very good in the mornings and evenings for jiggers and those casting rubber worms in the weeds.

FISH - A public-health advisory against water contact could be lifted as early as Monday. The lake was stocked this week with 3,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. Before the algae advisory was issued in June, fishing had been best around the resort and the cove near the Forest Service boat ramp with PowerBait, worms and streamer flies. Trollers also have been picking up stocked chinook salmon that are treated legally as trout. They run up to about 11 inches.

FOURMILE - The lake is now accessible, but the campground remains snowed in. Fishing effort has been light.

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.

WILLOW - Fishing is good for legal-sized and larger rainbow trout stocked there earlier this year. Troll deep and slow, or fish PowerBait off the bottom.

ROGUE - The upper Rogue contains a good mix of late-run spring chinook and early summer steelhead, while the lower Rogue is starting to take off for early fall chinook amid 63-degree water, with plenty of big fish in the mix.

That keeps the best bet on the upper Rogue because it has a mixture of chinook and steelhead to stalk now, and Gold Beach is too long of a drive until it gets really hot there.

Another 200 summer steelhead reached Cole Rivers Hatchery this week, including some very large steelhead.

Boat anglers will fare best because water flows are so 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 such as 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 good numbers of spring chinook moving through off and on all day.

All wild chinook must be released when caught 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 finding fall chinook from the old mill site on upstream, fishing as they would for spring chinook. That means anchoring on inside turns and fishing with anchovies with spinner blades or Brad's cut plugs off the bottom in 5 to 7 feet of water. Bay trolling usually is the story for lower Rogue fall chinook in July, but relatively cool water conditions have the fish chugging on up the lower Rogue to the Lobster Creek area. Bank anglers can cast Blue Fox spinners for them, with chartreuse always the best.

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

APPLEGATE - The river is open to trout fishing. All wild trout, including cutthroat, must be released unharmed. It is illegal to target any 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 flows. 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 is working well for cutthroat trout from Ice Box on down, while free-drifted prawns are working in tidewater near high tide.