Fishing Report: Oct. 14, 2011
Coastwide - Winds of 15 to 20 knots and swells of 4 to 5 feet are forecast to be the norm through the weekend.
Ocean anglers can venture past the 20-fathom line for the remainder of the season now that bottomfish restrictions to curb the bycatch of yelloweye rockfish have passed. Also, near-shore halibut anglers can fish for and keep bottomfish.
The marine aggregate limit in Oregon is seven rockfish a day. Cabezon are off limits to boat anglers because the quota has been met. The lingcod limit is two a day with a 22-inch minimum, and that is separate from the marine aggregate.
Clatsop County beaches are open to clamming after the seasonal conservation closure there lapsed Saturday.
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 - The ocean salmon season is over, but a few chinook are getting caught by trollers working the lower 2.2 miles of the Chetco River. That's the only open water until November. Rockfish catches have been low because of a lack of effort.
GOLD BEACH - Trolling the bay is still good at times for a relatively thin bay fleet. Look for less effort because of the deer and elk hunting seasons.
COOS BAY - Dungeness crab catches have been excellent off the public docks in Charleston. Good clamming is going on at Clam Island even without a minus tide. Good catches of rockfish have come when anglers have been able to get across the bar.
Trolling the bay for chinook has been good, with chinook starting to stack up near the Indian Creek mouth. Trolling cut-plug herring with a gold spinner has worked. The wild coho season is open and recent fishing good. About 62 percent of the quota was caught as of Saturday.
BANDON - Trolling for chinook remains good to very good with cut-plug herring all the way up to Rocky Point. The wild coho season is closed because the quota has been met.
WINCHESTER BAY - Sturgeon fishing is slow. Chinook catches remain very good for trollers. Wild coho fishing is closed, and anglers are catching and releasing a few dozen wild coho for every hatchery coho they catch. Crabbing has improved for Dungeness.
AGATE - Water levels have dropped quickly recently, with the lake now at 30 percent full. Still, catches of bass and crappie are holding on for those wind-drifting worms or fishing off the dam face. No gas motors are allowed. Small electric motors are legal.
APPLEGATE - The facilities at Hart-Tish Park are closed, but the low-water ramp at French Gulch is open and usable, as is the Copper ramp. The lake received some more legal-sized and lunker trout last week. Catch them trolling Triple Teasers or Wedding Ring lures with worms. Bass fishing is slowing as the water drops and cools.
EMIGRANT - The lake has dropped to about 40 percent of full, and the warmwater bite continues to hang on around submerged willows and points. Lots of yellow perch are in the catches, but enough crappie are still biting to keep things interesting.
A standing public-health advisory continues about eating all but trout from the lake because of elevated mercury levels.
HOWARD PRAIRIE - The lake was stocked with legal-sized and larger trout two weeks ago, just in time for the late-season push through October. The lake is starting to see a better trout bite now that cooler air temperatures have hit the Dead Indian Plateau. Anglers fishing deep and in the early mornings and late evenings along the channel have seen the best success. Success along the jetty near the resort has been spotty, as is fishing near Grizzly Campground. The lake is holding at about 82 percent full.
HYATT - The lake was stocked two weeks ago with legal-sized and larger trout, jump-starting the fall fishery just as the water starts to cool. Fishing near the dam and around the Orchard with chartreuse or rainbow PowerBait has been fair for trout. Late evening has been best. Largemouth bass fishing is excellent for those wind-drifting worms or casting and retrieving any red spinner or spoon. The lake is down a bit, but the 81-percent level for early October is excellent.
DIAMOND - Trout fishing has been excellent for those braving chilly and even snowy conditions. Anchored anglers are faring best in water anywhere from 8 feet deep to 20 feet deep. The trick is to fish amid the pockets of weeds, finding holes in the weeds and casting either PowerBait or worms under bobbers. Try to put the worms a few feet above the weedline. Trollers are using F-4 Flatfish or Triple Teasers, while fly-fishers are using black or olive leeches in the south end, with mornings and evenings best. If you go 15 minutes without a bite, move.
The trout limit is eight, but only one can be longer than 20 inches. One rainbow left over from a June trout derby is still swimming around with an orange tag in its dorsal fin and is worth $500 to whomever lands it. Check it in at the resort if you catch it.
EXPO - Fishing remains fair for stocked rainbow trout with Panther Martin lures, PowerBait and worms under bobbers.
LOST CREEK - The lake remains under a voluntary advisory against water contact due to a bloom of blue-green algae. Fishing effort has dropped substantially. The boat ramp at Stewart State Park is all but unusable, but the Takelma ramp near the dam is operable at all water levels. Effort has been extremely light. The lake is down four feet below its normal level.
FISH - The lake was stocked two weeks ago with big rainbow trout averaging more than a pound apiece, and trollers have been going after them with Triple Teasers, Tasmanian Devils and Wedding Rings with worms. Lots of the smaller chinook salmon have been caught and anglers need to be careful when releasing them so they can survive and grow to legal size.
LEMOLO - A voluntary advisory against water contact has been lifted. Trolling for big brown trout should be good, and fly-fishers using woolly buggers or leeches were finding a mix of rainbows and browns.
WILLOW - Fishing is fair 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 is flowing low and in good shape to fish egg flies behind chinook for steelhead, while the middle Rogue around Indian Mary Park has turned chinook fishermen into steelhead fishermen now that most of the fish are getting dark, and the lower river has been pretty good for a mix of chinook and summer steelhead.
That shifts the best bet back to the upper Rogue, where this week's elk season means fewer anglers on the water chasing adult steelhead staging downstream of chinook redds and picking off the loose eggs.
In the upper Rogue, it's flies-only now through October from the Hatchery Hole down to the old Gold Ray Dam site. Anglers can use up to three flies and a bubble regardless of what kind of rod or reel is used. However, there no added weights or attachments are allowed.
Flows out of Lost Creek Lake are a fly-fisher-friendly 1,100 cubic feet per second. Look to fish egg patterns below spawning beds. Catches have picked up a little bit this week, but look for steelheading to improve even more.
Swinging flies is becoming less effective now that water temperatures are getting lower, but swingers should use large leech patterns in black, olive or purple.
All wild steelhead must be released unharmed.
In the middle Rogue, anglers are getting good catches of smallish summer steelhead — mostly wild ones — by side-drifting roe or worms. Streamer flies are working well for summer steelhead in Grants Pass, as well as places such as the upper end of Ennis Riffle and Carpenter's Island. Side-drifting roe for steelhead also is good in the Gold Hill to Rogue River run, with almost all of them also wild.
Flyfishing for halfpounders and adult steelhead has picked up some in the Agness area, where the flows Thursday were 2,376 cfs — the exact flow registered there a week ago Thursday. Swinging flies or twitching flies from driftboats works great for halfpounders, with the occasional adult in the mix.
The Agness area has been good also for chinook on Kwikfish and summer steelhead with Panther Martin lures, crayfish plugs, worms and roe. The halfpounder run has been small, so the ratio of halfpounders to adults is pretty high. Evenings and first light is best.
In the lower Rogue bay, fall chinook fishing has been pretty solid this week for the 20 to 25 boats fishing there daily. The bay has seen a mix of chinook and coho, but only one in 10 coho was a hatchery fish. A couple 40-pound chinook were caught Wednesday, despite a rough bar.
Anglers are trolling primarily straight anchovies for chinook and adding orange and pink blades for coho. Wild coho must be released unharmed.
APPLEGATE - The river is open for trout fishing. All wild trout, including cutthroat, must be released unharmed. It is illegal to target spawning winter steelhead in the Applegate.
UMPQUA - Excellent catches of chinook and coho are reported in the lower end of the mainstem river. Summer steelhead catches remain low in the lower North Umpqua, where all wild steelhead must be released unharmed.
COOS - Jigging and trolling for chinook has been good, as is coho fishing. The bay's wild coho season remains on.