Fishing report, Sept. 9
COASTWIDE: A gale warning is in effect through Friday night, with winds up to 35 knots and combined surf and wind waves forecast to hit 13 feet. Saturday’s forecast calls for winds to back down to 15 knots and swells to drop to 7 feet. Sunday looks much the same, except with some drizzle likely.
Ocean salmon fishing is closed for all species off Southern Oregon. Tuna anglers are finding fish about 50 miles offshore from Brookings, and that’s a deal-breaker for most ocean anglers. This weekend does not look good for long-range running after tuna.
Bottomfishing has been excellent for black rockfish, lingcod and halibut when weather permits. The bottomfish limit is down from five to four. Halibut have been found in waters as shallow as 100 feet, mostly north of Brookings. The halibut limit is up to two fish per day off Southern Oregon.
Surfperch fishing is likely to be a bit sketchy through the weekend thanks to stiff coastal winds. Look for catches to pick up two days after the winds subside.
Bay clamming should be good despite a lack of morning minus tides that have been very helpful the past two weeks.
Razor clam digging is open south of Tillamook Head after domoic acid levels in clams south of Cape Blanco finally cleared to safe levels. However, Clatsop County beaches are now under the annual conservation closure. Razor clam digging has been poor on the South Coast, but 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 has not seen a new infusion of trout since June. Bass and perch fishing have been good amid hot weather and warm water. The lake was listed at 23% full Thursday, with turbid water and dropping quickly. 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 in June. 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. The lake was listed Thursday at 40% full, with outflows holding steady at 300 cf. The lake has a 10 mph speed limit.
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. Cooling conditions forecast for next week should improve fly-fishing. Until then, 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 5% full. 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.
EXPO: State wildlife biologists stocked 1,500 legal-sized rainbow trout here more than 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. The lake was down to 12% full Thursday, which 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 stabilized briefly this week at 6% full.
HYATT: The lake was holding steady at a woeful 2% full. 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. Water conditions remain excellent.
LOST CREEK: The lake got its last complement of catchable, legal-sized rainbow trout in late June at the Takelma ramp. Those fish are well-dispersed, inflows are dropping and releases are up now to 2,100 cfs, so the lake is dropping rapidly. 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 44% full and 59 feet from full, which is less than 2 feet from the normal late-season minimum pool. Water quality remains a bit suspect.
MEDCO: The lake was stocked in June with 2,000 legal-sized trout. Catch them on PowerBait or worms.
SELMAC: The lake was stocked with 1,000 legal-sized trout again more than 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 in late June. Catch them with worms or PowerBait near the county boat ramp, where the fish were released.
ROGUE: The upper Rogue is deep in the midst of the two-month flies-only season, and early caches have been pretty decent on prince nymphs and some egg flies while the middle Rogue remains mired with some major closures due to the Rum Creek Fire near Rainie Falls, and the lower Rogue has been good for fall chinook with coho salmon starting to show up in the mix.
That makes the upper Rogue the best bet of the weekend, but the popularity of flies-only season coupled with a good showing of summer steelhead this year have made for a busy river.
Anglers can use up to three flies. The use of strike indicators and even bobbers cast with spinning rods are legal, but no other added weights or attachments are allowed. That means no weights or swivels.
Fly-fishing is good now, either swinging big streamers through riffles or nymphing with a combination of a stonefly nymph for weight and a point fly that is either a prince nymph or a single salmon egg. Plastic eggs also are illegal. Scents are legal.
So are spinning rods and floats with flies, but no plastic worms. The chinook season between Dodge Bridge and Fishers Ferry is closed for the season.
Fish returns to Cole Rivers Hatchery continue to be encouraging. Another 77 fresh summer steelhead and 13 previously recycled “retread” steelhead were captured this week at the hatchery intake, boosting the run to 2,413 steelhead. That’s not as robust as earlier but still the best since 2012.
Flows out of Lost Creek Lake are down to 1,630 cfs. That has dropped flows at Dodge Bridge to 1,725 cfs, and they are likely to stay within a few cfs of that at least through next week.
Fishing for summer steelhead is open year-round, but all wild steelhead must now be released unharmed through the remainder of the year riverwide.
Downstream of Fishers Ferry, 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.
The Hatchery Hole is open for steelhead fishing from the bank and wading. There is no fishing from boats there. All wild steelhead must be released unharmed riverwide.
Lower Rogue fishing for early fall chinook has held on pretty steady despite winds and warm freshwater flows. Along with chinook, look for hatchery coho salmon now. 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.
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. But there’s still going to be a nice showing of very large chinook.
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.
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 halfpounder steelhead have yet to show up in the Lower Rogue River Canyon.
The Galice Road is closed downstream of Hog Creek because of the Rum Creek Fire, and river access is closed there. However, those with permits to launch into the Lower Rogue River Canyon are allowed in, but no new permits will be offered. These conditions can change daily. Updates on whether the Lower Rogue Canyon is open for boating will be posted by 6 a.m. daily at facebook.com/rumcreekfire2022.