What’s Fishin’ In Oregon

While Chinook fishing’s going off on the Coos and Coquille systems and is improving on North Coast bays, you can add another fishery to the mix starting this Friday.

October 1 is when the 12-day “bubble” off the mouth of the Chetco River opens, and guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing (206-388-8988) expects good things on the ocean.

“The Chetco is low right now, around 150 cfs, so those salmon are going to be holding off of the mouth in the ocean waiting for rains,” he said earlier this week. “During the typical October bubble season, we catch them from the mouth out to the red can and whistle buoy. That’s where they like to stage waiting for fall rains to begin their spawning run.”

The “bay” was closed last year, but yielded 250 or so salmon in 2008. This year a “larger-than-average” run of fall kings is expected.

“The Chetco has a large percentage of 4-year-old salmon, so we see lots of 30- and 40-pounders and the occasional 50,” Martin says.

“I like to troll plug-cut herring, but I’ll also be dragging some purple or cop-car flashers with purple haze hoochies this fall,” he says. “I stagger the baits, from 35 feet to 115 feet with the downriggers. Usually they are closer to the surface at dawn and then go deep around midmorning.”

Harvey Young and David Castellanos also guide the fishery, he says.

But if you’re looking for other things to do this weekend in Oregon, may these highlights from ODFW’s weekly Recreation Report be your guide:

SOUTHWEST ZONE

  • Chinook fishing continues to be very good in both Coos and Winchester Bays.
  • Anglers have been landing chinook and coho on the Coquille River.
  • Trout fishing continues to be very good in several area lakes and reservoirs.
  • Trout fishing also has been good on the Rogue River above Lost Creek Reservoir.

NORTHWEST ZONE

  • Siletz River: Fall chinook angling is picking up with fish being caught from the mouth up through tidewater. Recent rains moved new fish in. The wild adult coho fishery is starting to produce more consistent catch rates. Steelhead fishing is fair to good in the upper river. Cutthroat trout fishing is fair with sea-runs found from the bay to upper river.
  • Tillamook Bay: Angling for chinook is fair to good. Fish are being caught throughout the bay. Trolling herring on the incoming tide in the lower bay is a good bet during soft tide series. Or try trolling spinners in the upper bay on larger tide swings. Hatchery coho are moving through the bay quickly, especially after recent rains. Best action will be in tidewater areas or the upper bay. Chinook are being caught trolling herring near the bottom in the terminal area just outside the bay. The ocean, including the terminal area, is closed for coho.
  • Yaquina Bay: Chinook fishing has picked up and producing fair to good catch rates. Anglers are getting into fish from the lower bay to upper tide water fishing the incoming tide. Cutthroat trout angling remains good.

WILLAMETTE ZONE

  • Coho are moving into the Willamette River and its tributaries in good numbers and recent rains have improved conditions.
  • The first of two major trout releases will take place this week at Henry Hagg Lake near Forest Grove.

CENTRAL ZONE

  • Trout fishing on the Crooked River has been excellent.
  • On the lower Deschutes River, there are good numbers of summer steelhead from the mouth of the Columbia to the locked gate above Maupin.
  • With the cooler fall weather,  fishing has been good in several area lakes including trout fishing on Clear, Big Lava and Paulina; Atlantic salmon on Homser; and kokanee on the Metolius arm of Lake Billy Chinook.
  • Insect hatches on the Fall and Metolius rivers have been prolific, creating good dry fly fishing opportunities.

SOUTHEAST ZONE

  • Anglers have been catching HUGE trout on both Deadhorse and Slide lakes.
  • Rainbow and brown trout fishing have been very good on Miller Lake. Miller is one of the few places in Oregon anglers can target big browns after dark.
  • Brook trout fishing has been excellent in several Cascade mountain lakes.
  • Approximately 500 legal and 100 one-pound rainbows have been stocked in Haines Pond to add some fall fishing opportunities.

NORTHEAST ZONE

  • With the onset of cooler temperatures, steelhead fishing has been good on the lower Umatilla River.
  • Trout fishing in many area lakes also has improved as with cooler weather.
  • Crappie and bass fishing has been good in McKay Reservoir.
  • Legal-sized and one-pound rainbow trout have been stocked in Peach and Roulet ponds for some extra fall fishing opportunities.

COLUMBIA ZONE

  • Walleye fishing is excellent in Troutdale.
  • Fall chinook angling is still good between Warrior Rock and Bonneville Dam, with an average of 9,348 passing through the Bonneville ladder daily.
  • Sturgeon retention opens Friday, Oct. 1 from Wauna Powerlines upstream to Bonneville Dam.
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