Fishing Report, Friday, Oct. 22
COASTWIDE: It’s a good weekend to watch from high above the shoreline instead of fishing as a heavy storm hits the region. The Friday forecast calls for 20-knot winds and swells up to 17 feet. Saturday calls for winds to 20 knots with swells to 11 feet. Sunday calls for winds up to 20 knots with swells building to 15 feet.
The halibut limit has increased from one to two fish a day from Humbug Mountain south to the California border through October because anglers have not put a very big dent in the halibut quota this year.
The general marine bag limit is five fish in aggregate, with copper, quillback or China rockfish no longer part of the daily limit for boat anglers. Boat anglers can keep one cabezon. The lingcod limit is two fish over 22 inches.
Surfperch fishing will be nonexistent this weekend. Once conditions improve, sandshrimp and mussels are the best baits, with plastic sand worms and shrimp as secondary choices.
Recreational crabbing is open coastwide.
Razor clamming is open from Netarts Bay south to the California border. Clatsop County beaches are open for razor clamming amid some of the best clam populations seen in decades. Before digging, call the shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474.
AGATE: The lake received 2,500 legal-sized rainbow trout in early June. Troll worms or fish worms or PowerBait under bobbers near the county boat ramp. Bank anglers need to stay off the ramp. The lake is 10% full. Electric trolling motors are OK. The park closes at dusk.
APPLEGATE: The Hart Tish Park boat ramp and dock are closed due to low water. The French Gulch and Copper ramps are still usable. Fish for rainbows with PowerBait or worms from the bank or slowly troll Tasmanian Devil lures spiced with a piece of worm. Bass fishing has been fair to good with plastic worms and grubs fished slowly off the bottom along rocky points and flats. The reservoir was 87 feet from full Thursday and dropping steadily. Water releases are holding steady at 130 cfs. Inflows are down to 37 cfs.
DIAMOND: Trout fishing has been best on the south end near the Silent Creek channel for rainbows and tiger trout. Fishing is best with worms under bobbers. All tiger and brown trout must be released unharmed.
EMIGRANT: The lake is down to 2% full, and that has all but shut off angling activity.
EXPO: The pond was last stocked in May with 1,500 legal-sized rainbows. Some bass and panfish are available. Parking fees are required.
FISH: Fishing is good in the open water near the marina for rainbow trout. Boat access is all manual, with bank fishing best around springs near the resort. Use worms or PowerBait. All tiger trout must be released. The lake was listed Thursday at 19% full, a slight upswing thanks to underwater springs.
HOWARD PRAIRIE: The lake is open, but access is very poor. Those able to drag a boat to the water have done very well trolling worms and flashers for rainbows. The lake was stocked with 50,000 fingerling rainbows Oct. 8, and those fish are an investment in next year. The lake is down to 4% full and it appears to have bottomed out there. Fishing access is best near the dam.The no-limit rules expired Oct. 1, so anglers can keep only five trout a day, with just one longer than 20 inches.
HYATT: The lake was down to 1% full Thursday. The no-limit rules expired Oct. 1, so only five trout a day, with no more than one over 20 inches, are allowed. No fingerling trout have been stocked so far this year.
LAKE OF THE WOODS: Trolling for rainbow trout is fair to good with worms behind flashers in the shallows. Go slow. Perch fishing is good near the resort.
LOST CREEK: The lake received 10,000 legal-sized rainbows in mid-June, split between the marina and the Takelma boat ramp, and 7,300 trout were scheduled for the week of Oct. 4-8, including 2,300 trophy trout. Bank fish with PowerBait near the ramp. Wind-drifting worms above Peyton Bridge has been good. The lake Thursday was 51 feet below the normal late-season target for flood control as outflows have steadied at 900 cfs.
MEDCO: The lake was last stocked with 1,100 legal-sized trout in June. Fishing is slow.
SELMAC: The lake was last stocked with 1,000 legal-sized trout in mid-May and that’s it until February. Fish for them with worms or PowerBait. Bass are active. The lake is loaded with algae.
WILLOW: The lake received another 4,000 legal-sized rainbow trout in mid-May and that’s it until next March. Fish them with worms or PowerBait near the county boat ramp and deeper water across the lake.
ROGUE: The first significant storm of the year is going to put the kibosh on most fishing for summer steelhead throughout the Rogue after Saturday afternoon, with the exception of the far upper Rogue upstream of Big Butte Creek.
That makes the far upper Rogue the best bet for late-season summer steelhead fishing. But watch the flows.
The flows out of Lost Creek Lake are down to 900 cubic feet per second, but flows are forecast to more than double from the 1,100 cfs levels Thursday at Dodge Bridge. While the flows are not going to be high, more than 70% of the flows will be tributary flows, meaning there will be more dark water than clean water. Flows are forecast to be almost double that at the former Gold Ray Dam site, with a heavy dose of dirty water from Bear Creek likely roiling the mix.
The upper Rogue remains a flies-only show through October, and out-flows are very cold, so it’s primarily nymphing for late-run steelhead now. Stay near shore and in slower waters as the steelhead will look to sneak out of the tougher flows.
Steelhead migration has slowed amid the cold water flows in the upper Rogue, with fewer than two dozen more steelhead reaching Cole Rivers Hatchery this past week.
In the lower Rogue, large numbers of halfpounder steelhead have moved into the Agness area and throughout the Wild and Scenic Section of the Lower Rogue Canyon. That’s a great sign for fall fishing this year, and for summer steelhead fishing the next two seasons. But that good fishing will likely take at least a week off as flows are forecast to peak at Agness at more than 7,000 cfs mid-week next week.
When fishing resumes for halfpopunders, fish them in the canyon with flies and lures but not bait. Large pods of halfpounders are also reported in the Agness area just downstream of the Wild and Scenic Section. These flows should pull some halfpounders into the Galice area by as early as late next week.
The Rogue is closed for chinook salmon fishing upstream from Hog Creek. No worries, since there’s no action up there.
The Hatchery Hole is open for summer steelhead anglers, and a few fish have been caught by fly-fishers nymphing with Ugly Bugs and single salmon egg point flies. The Hatchery Hole is now permanently closed to all chinook fishing and will remain open only for steelhead.
Anglers can no long keep any wild steelhead Rogue-wide until 2022.
APPLEGATE: The river is open to trout fishing but anglers cannot target steelhead.
CHETCO: The estuary has been good for chinook salmon wash-ins. Troll large anchovies with spinners around high tide. Higher flows mean fishing likely will be poor heading into next week. Those flows should bring a good early shot of chinook into the mainstem river.
ELK/SIXES: The rivers are open but no early chinook salmon have been reported. But look for some early catches next weekend if the flows subside by then.
NORTH UMPQUA: The North Umpqua is closed to steelhead fishing because of low returns.