Sept. 28 Mail Tribune Fishing Report


COASTWIDE: Winds up to 10 knots and wind waves of less than 3 feet are forecast for Friday, followed Saturday by winds up to 20 knots and 4-foot swells with a chance of rain. Sunday’s forecast calls for winds backing down to 10 knots and a 2-foot mixed swell.

The marine aggregate rockfish daily limit for bottomfishers is back up to five fish. Cabezon must be released unharmed.

Rockfish angling is open only inside the 30-fathom line for the rest of the month. ODFW plans to go through with the all-depth bottomfish season set to begin Oct. 1. A descending device to help release rockfish caught in deeper water is mandatory on all boats.

Lingcod fishing is very good when anglers can get out.

Surfperch fishing will be questionable through the weekend because of heavy winds and rough surf. When you go, fish with Berkley Gulp sand worms or sandshrimp, as well as lug worms.

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

No minus tides are forecast for clammers 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, check the shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474 before digging.


AGATE: Some perch and crappie fishing is occurring on cooler days. Pressure is light. The lake is just 7 percent full. Wind-drift worms with light weight or just a swivel, or cast small spinners or flies. No gas motors are allowed. Electric trolling motors are OK. The park closes at dusk.

APPLEGATE: The lake is down to more than 75 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. The surface temperature has dropped below 70 degrees. 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 with cooler evenings. 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.

EMIGRANT: The lake is holding steady at 9 percent full, seriously limiting which boats can use the ramp. Larger boats should stay away. Largemouth bass fishing is good with swim baits and plastic worms fished from pontoon boats or float tubes.

EXPO: Trout fishing is poor because of hot water and few fish.

FISH: Larger rainbow trout were stocked recently because quickly dropping water levels meant they needed to be released earlier than planned. The lake is down to just 6 percent full, leaving no workable boat ramps. Water quality has improved a little, but some algae remains and the water quality is somewhat poor. However, 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. The plugs will excite the tiger trout, which are growing quite large.

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 has yet to open, but it could by Monday. If so look for improved fishing along the dam’s face. The lake was listed Thursday at 36 percent full.

HYATT: Access is very poor with no workable ramps because 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.

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 60 feet from full and just a few inches above the normal low-water mark for winter flood control. Outflows are down to 1,200 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 in the warm water.


ROGUE: The lower Rogue Bay has turned into more of a coho show than a chinook show in recent days as anglers are waiting for the Indian Creek chinook to start showing up. The middle Rogue has a mix of steelhead, chinook and now coho salmon, and this is the last weekend to fish for salmon above the Hog Creek boat ramp. The upper Rogue has summer steelhead moving but catches have slowed because of cold water.

That shifts the best bet this weekend to the middle Rogue for one last shot at chinook before Monday’s closure above the Hog Creek ramp. Bank anglers are starting to see more fall chinook at the mouth of the Applegate River, and driftboaters are finding chinook in classic spots such as Hellgate and Taylor Creek canyons, but the pikeminnow are thick there. Cast roe or beads or a combination of them from the banks, and roe-sandshrimp combinations from boats. Driftboaters using purple plugs fished in slow water far from the boat are hitting coho, but all wild coho must be released unharmed.

Anglers using plugs are hitting some summer steelhead and occasional fall chinook 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. Bear Camp Road is closed again, except for those supporting Lower Rogue Canyon floaters.

In the lower Rogue, large schools of wild coho salmon are dominating the catches, and that’s not good because they all have to be released unharmed. Some coho over 10 pounds are also in the mix. Most of the chinook caught recently have been around 15 pounds. Anglers are waiting for the Indian Creek Hatchery chinook to show up, which should start any day now. 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.

The upper Rogue above the Fishers Ferry boat ramp is open for flies only through October, and early catches have been somewhat slow. Water releases from Lost Creek dam have dropped to 1,150 cfs, where they are scheduled to remain through October.

Swinging large streamers is starting to give 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 1,296 cfs and dropping. Flows at the old Gold Ray Dam site were down to 1,268 cfs Thursday and dropping.

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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