Fishing report, July 29
COASTWIDE: A small-craft advisory remains in effect through Friday afternoon. Winds are forecast Friday for up to 10 knots and wind waves to 5 feet by the afternoon, followed Saturday by winds up to 15 knots and swells dropping to 4 feet. Sunday’s forecast calls for winds to back down to 5 knots but swells to come out of the Northwest at up to 5 feet.
Ocean salmon fishing has slowed a bit for a mix of chinook and coho salmon off Southern Oregon as currents are shifting. Fish chinook with downriggers 80 to 150 feet down with anchovies. Coho are getting caught higher in the water column and closer to the boat. The season is open seven days a week.
After a short flurry of tuna, no new catches were reported this past week.
Bottomfishing has been excellent for black rockfish, lingcod and halibut when weather permits. Halibut have been found in waters as shallow as 100 feet.
Surfperch fishing is likely to be very good again throughout this weekend as perch move toward rivermouths to spawn and the ocean seems to be lying down. Sandshrimp and mussels are the best baits, with plastic sand worms and shrimp as secondary choices.
Bay clamming should be good, and another set of morning minus tides continuing through Monday abut waning each day. Should be classic bay clamming time.
Razor clam digging is open south of Tillamook Head after domoic acid levels in clams south of Cape Blanco have finally cleared to safe levels. However, Clatsop County beaches are now under the annual conservation closure. Look for good bay clamming on the South Coast, especially around Charleston in Coos Bay. Before digging, call the shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474.
Recreational crabbing is open in the ocean, and catches have been excellent in the ocean and bays such as lower Coos Bay at Charleston. Many Dungeness are starting to firm up after molting. Make sure to cull the soft ones because meat amounts are not ideal.
AGATE: The lake got 4,000 legal-sized trout last month, and trout fishing has been slow. Bass and perch fishing have been very good amid warm weather and warm water. The lake was listed at 66% full Thursday, with turbid water and dropping quickly because of the desire for irrigation water amid triple-digit heat. Electric trolling motors are OK. The park closes at dusk.
APPLEGATE: The Hart Tish Park boat ramp and dock are open, and there is plenty of water for the boat ramps. The lake was last stocked with rainbow trout a month ago. 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 good with plastic worms and grubs fished slowly off the bottom along rocky points and flats on warm days. The lake is dropping quickly now that inflows are fallen off the charts as they normally do in mid-summer. The lake was listed at 27 feet below full, with outflows holding steady a 300 cf. The lake was listed at 66% full Thursday. Remember the 10 mph speed limit on the reservoir.
DIAMOND: The lake is fishing fairly well for rainbow trout, with catches best on the south end near the pizza parlor, in the Silent Creek channel or the lake’s far side near the Scout camp. Most of the action is in shallow water in the mornings and evenings, slowing midday amid warmer temperatures. Fish deep with PowerBait during the day. Mosquitoes are thick along the bank but thin out as you get farther from shore. PowerBait and small leech flies fished slowly will work best, with worms under bobbers close to the bottom another fine bet. All tiger trout must be released unharmed. Some are eclipsing 5 pounds.
EMIGRANT: The lake is down to 24% full as hot weather has increased demand for irrigation water siphoned from the reservoir. Angling activity is primarily for smallmouth and largemouth bass off rocky points with crankbaits and rubber worms worked off the bottom. Very little angling activity for trout. Some bank fishing for catfish with chicken livers has been reported. More boat fishing for bass has occurred during warmer days.
EXPO: State wildlife biologists stocked 1,500 legal-sized rainbow trout here nearly two months ago, and their numbers are now thin. Catch them with Panther Martin lures, single salmon eggs or worms under bobbers. Parking fees are required.
FISH: Fishing for rainbow trout has been best near the springs as irrigation withdrawals have significantly siphoned down the lake to just 33% full. That makes locating the springs that much more important. PowerBait and worms are working best, plus trolling lures that look like small tui chub. Tiger trout must be released unharmed. Some of the most reachable springs are off the Fish Lake Resort marina.
HOWARD PRAIRIE: The lake is open to angling, but water levels are very low, and no legal-sized trout were stocked this spring. There are some holdover trout getting caught by anglers using PowerBait off the bank near the dam. Not much other action. The lake level was holding steady Thursday at 9% full as water is diverted to Emigrant Lake for irrigation use.
HYATT: The lake was holding steady at a woeful 4% full as it is being drawn down to feed Emigrant Lake for irrigation purposes. Some fishing remains in the dam area for trout. The limit is five trout a day, with just one over 20 inches. No fingerling trout were stocked last year, so trout numbers are very low. Some warmwater fish, such as black crappie, are showing up in the catch.
LAKE OF THE WOODS: The lake continues to fish well for holdover rainbow trout in shallower water. Lots of perch are getting caught just outside of the resort ramp.
LOST CREEK: The lake got a new complement of catchable, legal-sized rainbow trout again late last month at the Takelma ramp. Inflows are dropping, and releases remain at 1,700 cfs, so the lake is dropping rather rapidly for the first time this year. Bank-fish with PowerBait near the Takelma ramp or at the Medco access point off Highway 62. Wind-drifting worms above Peyton Bridge has been good. Bass fishing has been good near rocky outcroppings of late, with crankbaits and rubber worms the top offerings. The lake was listed Thursday at 68% full, which is good for this time of year amid drought.
MEDCO: The lake was stocked last month with 2,000 legal-sized trout. Catch them on PowerBait or worms.
SELMAC: The lake was stocked with 1,000 legal-sized trout again about a month ago, and that’s it for the season. Fish for them with worms or PowerBait.
WILLOW: The lake received another 2,000 legal-sized rainbow trout late last month. Catch them with worms or PowerBait near the county boat ramp, where the fish were released.
ROGUE: Despite hot air temperatures that are driving daytime anglers away this week, the upper Rogue is seeing a continuation of a good combo bite for spring chinook and summer steelhead while the middle Rogue is still experiencing a few steelhead slowing down to bite there in the evenings. The lower Rogue Bay has seen some increased catches of fall chinook — some big ones, too — as hot freshwater levels are trapping chinook in the bay and not interesting them in moving upstream.
That keeps this week’s best bet at the upper Rogue, where water conditions are helping the chinook and steelhead bite.
Fish returns to Cole Rivers Hatchery continue to be encouraging, for a change. Hatchery technicians last Wednesday collected 192 spring chinook to boost the numbers to 3,897 fish — the best to date since 2015. Also, another 301 summer steelhead made it to the hatchery, boosting those numbers to 1,626 fish. That’s the best since at least 1993, the last year records were available. This week’s collections were not available Thursday.
Boat anglers are running into some big spring chinook in the upper Rogue, downstream of Dodge Bridge, mostly back-bouncing roe and sandshrimp or running plugs from driftboats. Steelheaders are using everything from worms and pink plastic worms to various plugs and an array of flies, ranging from streamers to ugly bugs and prince nymphs. Early steelhead are aggressive, so open up the fly and tackle boxes for these guys.
Flows at Dodge Bridge were down to 1,883 cfs Thursday and are set to drop slightly each day throughout the week as tributary inflows are falling off the charts. All of the chinook fishing is from Dodge Bridge down to Fishers Ferry because anglers can keep either wild or hatchery spring chinook in that zone. The rest of the upper Rogue up to Cole Rivers Hatchery is open only for hatchery chinook, and that closes Sunday night to all chinook fishing.
Fishing for summer steelhead is open year-round, but all wild steelhead must now be released unharmed through the remainder of the year riverwide. Steelhead are biting everything from worms and small clusters of salmon eggs to nymph flies and an assortment of smaller plugs. The best include pink, black and/or silver.
In the middle Rogue, a few summer steelhead are getting caught on worms and corkies as they work their way to the upper Rogue. Some of these early fish can be in the 10-pound range.
The Hatchery Hole is closed to all angling from April 1 to July 31 and permanently closed to all chinook fishing.
Lower Rogue fishing for early fall chinook has slowly picked up this week under air temperatures in the low 60s. Troll anchovies with chartreuse and copper blades or other combinations of chartreuse, yellow and bronze. Look for catches to improve as more fish will start moving into the bay.
High inland air temperatures will lead to warmer Rogue freshwater flows, and this will trigger that summertime thermal barrier that will entice fall chinook to remain in the bay. Lots of smaller chinook this year, and get used to it because the run is forecast to be dominated by 3-year-old fish in the 14-pound range.
The estuary also is loaded with perch, and their taste for anchovies can be frustrating. For those targeting perch, use perch flies, sandshrimp or anchovy pieces.