Breathe through your nose, Walgamott.
I’m trying to force myself to calm down, but, damnit, I’m going steelheading tomorrow and can’t wait to get on the water!!!!!!!!!!!!
The report is that fish are in, and — I know I’m going to jinx myself right here — I plan to show up with Christmas Eve Eve dinner in hand when I get to my inlaws’ place on the Oregon Coast.
Put the coffee cup down. Inhale through nostrils, exhale through nostrils.
Indeed, while not much other fishing activity is going on around the Beaver State right now, there are plenty of rivers where you stand a fair to good chance of catching a metalhead. Here are highlights from ODFW’s weekly Recreation Report:
- Alert anglers will be watching water levels and hit the rivers as levels begin to fall.
- Steelhead fishing on the Illinois, Coos and Coquille rivers should be good over the holiday weekend.
- Alsea River: The winter steelhead run is under way with anglers getting into fish throughout the river. Drifting or fishing off the bank should produce fair to good results. Look to fish the upper river when flows are high.
- Lower Columbia tribs: Hatchery winter steelhead are available in Big Creek, Gnat Creek and the North Fork Klaskanine River. Fishing has improved as more fish have moved into the system, and these streams have provided the best fishing conditions recently. Expect the hatchery steelhead run to peak over the next few weeks.
- Necanicum River: Winter steelhead are available in fair to good numbers. Fish will be spread out up to Blacks Bridge and even further upstream. As the river drops into shape, drift fishing slowly along the bottom will produce the best results. Brighter colors will be more productive until the water clears.
- Nehalem River: Winter steelhead are being caught in the north fork. Angling has been good when river conditions allow. Fish are spread out through the north fork up to and above the hatchery (mostly in the first mile or two upstream). Drift fishing natural or artificial baits near the bottom in the slower seams will produce best while the flows are higher. Fishing is slow in the main Nehalem River for winter steelhead. Good numbers of fish won’t be in the river until later in the season.
- Siletz River: Steelhead fishing conditions are looking good for the week. Anglers are having fair success by boat and bank. The steelhead run is just getting going and new fish should be on the move and found throughout most of the main stem below Moonshine Park.
- Most of the region’s steelhead fishing rivers are in great shape and look promising over the next few weeks.
- Santa brought you a new fly rod? Test it out on the Crooked, Fall or Metolius rivers, all of which offer fine winter fly fishing.
- The Ana Rivers offers good trout fishing opportunities throughout the fall and winter.
- Trout fishing is fair on the Klamath River below Keno Dam.
- While high water limited effort on the lower John Day, water levels are dropping so expect the fishing to be good.
- For anglers willing to brave the conditions, steelhead fishing on the Umatilla has been pretty good. High waters should have pushed fish into the Pendleton area.
- Steelhead angling should improve with better water conditions in the John Day Arm.
- Sturgeon retention is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday during Oct. 1 – Dec. 31 from Wauna Powerlines upstream to Bonneville Dam.