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Mail Tribune Oct. 5 Fishing Report


COASTWIDE: Winds up to 10 knots and swells up to 6 feet are forecast for Friday, followed Saturday by winds up to 20 knots and 5-foot wind waves with a slight chance of showers all day. Sunday calls for winds up to 25 knots with 8-foot swells.

The marine aggregate rockfish daily limit for bottomfishers is five fish. Cabezon must be released unharmed. Rockfish angling is open beyond the 30-fathom line and it will stay that way for the rest of the year as long as rockfish quotas remain on the table. A descending device to help release rockfish caught in deeper water is mandatory on all boats.

Look for good deep-water angling for lingcod as most of the fish have moved into deeper water.

Surfperch fishing will be questionable through the weekend because of heavy winds and rough surf.

Recreational crabbing is open coastwide, and ocean and dock crabbing in the Charleston area is improving.

For clammers, the best minus tide of the week is forecast to hit at 6:45 p.m. Tuesday. The rest of the low tides are in darkness.

Razor clamming is closed from the mouth of the Umpqua River to the California border. Bay clamming is open along the coast, but the recreational harvest of mussels is closed from the Coquille River south jetty to the California border. Before digging, check the shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474 before digging.


AGATE: The lake is 7 percent full. Cast worms off the dam for crappie and bass. No gas motors are allowed. Electric trolling motors are OK. The park closes at dusk.

APPLEGATE: The lake is down to more than 82 feet from full. Not much angling activity at the lake, but those fishing deep are getting into rainbow trout with worms or Wedding Ring lures spiced with a worm. Copper and French Gulch are the only usable ramps. Many of the lake’s trout are sporting copapods. The parasites should be scraped off before cooking. Releasing sport-caught trout with copapods allows the parasites to spread.

DIAMOND: Trout fishing is picking up. Most of the action is on the south end with worms under bobbers in about 15 feet of water. Use a leader length that keeps the worm a little off the top of the weedline. Trollers should start with Wedding Ring lures spiked with a small piece of worm about 4 feet behind a small flasher. Fly-fishers can use chironomid flies stripped slowly in the bottom half of the water column. All tiger trout must be released unharmed, and they’re pretty easy to catch at the south end.

EMIGRANT: The lake bumped up a hair to 11 percent full, but it’s still too low to launch a real boat. Largemouth bass fishing is fair with swim baits and plastic worms fished from pontoon boats or float tubes. Trout fishing is slow.

EXPO: Trout fishing is poor because of a dearth of fish.

FISH: Larger rainbow trout were stocked recently. The lake also received a nice complement of fingerling rainbow that should be good to go next spring. The lake is 6 percent full, leaving no workable boat ramps. Water quality has improved a little, but some algae remains. Those fishing from shore or from kayaks or float tubes are doing well for trout, particularly near submerged springs. Use streamer flies and small Rapala plugs that look like tui chubs for tiger trout.

HOWARD PRAIRIE: Fishing is good for rainbow trout for still-fishers in deeper water near the dam with PowerBait, but warm water has the trout less active. Access to the gravel ramp near the dam had yet to open this week despite Bureau of Reclamation announcements that it should have been open by Sept. 17. When it opens, look for improved fishing along the dam face. The lake was listed Thursday at 35 percent full.

HYATT: Access is very poor with no workable ramps. The lake is only 4 percent full. Boat access is limited to small boats that can be launched off the shore or carried to the water. The few people trying are reportedly doing well for rainbow trout on leech and woolly bugger flies or worms or PowerBait.

LAKE OF THE WOODS: The lake is fishing decently for rainbows and perch with worms and PowerBait, while trolling has been fair to good for trout. Brown trout and kokanee fishing have been slow, but that should pick up with cooler evenings.

LOST CREEK: Stewart State Park and the marina are open, but U.S. Army Corps of Engineers facilities are closed due to wildfires. Bank access around the dam and the Takelma ramp are also closed. Most of the action is out of boats in the lower 20 percent of the lake, which is down to 61 feet from full and almost a foot below the normal low-water mark for winter flood control. Outflows are down to 1,150 cubic feet per second.

WILLOW: The lake was stocked in late summer with 5,000 legal-sized rainbow trout and 1,500 larger trout. Bass fishing has been popular of late. The lake has more water in it than most in Jackson County.

SELMAC: Public access is allowed again after fire closures. Bass fishing is fair.


ROGUE: The lower Rogue Bay has started to empty of chinook and was down to fewer than two dozen boats, while the middle Rogue has been fair for steelhead. The upper Rogue remains flies-only, and cold water releases from Lost Creek dam have slowed migration, but Cole Rivers Hatchery planned to recycle close to 1,000 summer steelhead Friday.

If that happens, the best bet goes back to the upper Rogue during what so far has been a pretty underwelming flies-only season. Cold water and releases of just 1,150 cfs of water has slowed summer steelhead movement in the upper Rogue. Just 57 new summer steelhead reached Cole Rivers Hatchery this week. However, look for waters downstream of Dodge Bridge to start getting a lot of interest once those retread steelhead are split between the Denman Wildlife Area’s Modoc Unit and TouVelle State Park.

The upper Rogue above the Fishers Ferry boat ramp is open for flies only through October.

Swinging large streamers has given way to nymphing with ugly bugs and single-egg flies. Molded plastic eggs aren’t flies. Fishing with spinning rods and plastic floats should be good in the deeper runs. No added weights or attachments are allowed.

Flows at Dodge Bridge Thursday were at 1,265 cfs and likely to increase slightly through the weekend if the rains show up as forecast. Flows at the old Gold Ray Dam site were down to 1,363 cfs Thursday.

In the middle Rogue, chinook fishing is closed upstream of the Hog Creek boat ramp. Wild summer steelhead are around most creek mouths and behind early chinook spawners, but that really won’t get going for another week or two.

Anglers using plugs are hitting some summer steelhead from Valley of the Rogue State Park through Grants Pass. Cop Car and black-and-silver Weewarts are working, as are MagLip lures. Also lots of smaller steelhead are getting caught on worms or Panther Martin lures.

In the lower Rogue, many of the chinook have been moving upstream, and the Indian Creek-bound chinook haven’t arrived yet. That leaves the bay a coho salmon show, with most anglers leaving to fish for chinook in Coos Bay and the Chetco estuary.

Fish have been biting best early and on the high end of the incoming tide. Troll anchovies with a variety of blade colors. Green-on-green and chartreuse-and-green are good bets, with some decent catches coming on anchovies without blades.

Excellent numbers of adult and halfpounder summer steelhead are moving through the lower Rogue, and halfpounder catches are starting to pick up from Agness down. Fall chinook are getting caught by back-bouncing eggs and sandshrimp from Foster Bar down to Quosatana.

APPLEGATE: The river is open to rainbow trout fishing, and only hatchery trout can be kept. Don’t expect to find them, however, because only fin-clipped winter steelhead are released there, and they are small and should be avoided. All cutthroat must be released. Rainbow trout longer than 16 inches are considered steelhead, and the river is closed to steelhead fishing until Jan. 1.

CHETCO: The river is open to trout angling, and sea-run cutthroat trout should be present in the lower river and estuary.

NORTH UMPQUA: Steelhead fishing is slow. Angling closes at 2 p.m. daily to protect wild summer steelhead threatened by low and warm conditions. Also, all angling is closed within 200 feet of tributaries between the Scottsburg Bridge and the River Forks boat ramp.

A redband rainbow trout fell for a golden stone fly imitation on the Metolius River near Camp Sherman.