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Oct. 12 Fishing Report

OCEAN OUTLOOK

COASTWIDE: A small-craft advisory is in effect through Saturday evening, and that’s definitely gumming up the works for the final Chetco Bubble fishery out of Brookings. Winds up to 10 knots and wind waves up to 7 feet are forecast for Friday, followed Saturday by winds up to 15 knots and 8-foot wind waves. Sunday calls for winds up to 15 knots, with swells dropping to 4 feet.

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, there are no minus tides this week.

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, call the shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474.

LAKE OUTLOOK

AGATE: The lake is 7 percent full and holding steady. 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: Trout fishing should be picking up, as the lake’s surface temperature has cooled to 63 degrees. The water level is down to 89 feet from full, so only the low-water ramp at French Gulch is usable. 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. Many of the lake’s trout are still 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 has risen a hair and is up to 12 percent full, but fishing action remains slow. Fish crank baits off points for bass. The trout continue to hang out around the springs, where the fishing is best. No boat launching is available, but some anglers are dragging canoes or pontoon boats for access.

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 has risen dramatically to 15 percent full, but still not enough for a workable boat ramp. 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. PowerBait has been best for 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 would be open by Sept. 17. When it opens, look for improved fishing along the dam face. The lake was listed Thursday at 34 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: The public access restrictions at Stewart State Park, Takelma boat ramp and bank access on both sides of Lost Creek dam have been lifted, and that’s where most of the action is. The lake is down to 62 feet from full and 2 feet below the normal low-water mark for winter flood control. Outflows are holding steady at 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.

RIVER OUTLOOK

ROGUE: The lower Rogue Bay has held on for coho salmon and jack chinook salmon, with few of the big Indian Creek fish showing up yet. The middle Rogue has been fair to decent for summer steelhead and fresh halfpounders. The upper Rogue remains flies-only, and cold water releases from Lost Creek dam have slowed migration, but Cole Rivers Hatchery workers released almost 1,000 summer steelhead last Friday. And that’s what makes the upper Rogue the best bet despite a somewhat 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 15 new summer steelhead reached Cole Rivers Hatchery this week, by far the worst showing of the run. However, the water downstream of Dodge Bridge has started getting a lot of interest thanks to those retread steelhead that were 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 1,255 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 1,306 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. Halfpounders are starting to show up to join what has been a steelhead catch dominated by smaller fish this year.

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.

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