What’s Fishin’ In Oregon (12-28-10)

Surf perch join the range of fishing opportunities to be had in Oregon as 2010 draws to a close.

But there’s also steelhead and fat broodstock trout on the prowl.

True, fishing may not be at its hottest right now in the Beaver State — “Slow fishing and hunting now usually means they will both turn on hot and heavy at the same time, more than likely when I’m stuck at work!” notes one of my writers — but here are highlights ripped straight from ODFW’s weekly Recreation Report:

SOUTHWEST ZONE

  • Alert anglers will be watching water levels and hit the rivers as levels begin to fall.
  • The Applegate River will open to fin-clipped steelhead on Jan. 1.
  • Lost Creek Reservoir is stocked with rainbow trout and should provide some good winter trout fishing.
  • Steelhead are moving into the middle and upper Rogue River; fishing on the lower Rogue has been excellent, when water conditions permit.
  • The South Jetty and Triangle Area in Winchester Bay have been offering good rockfish and surfperch fishing.
  • Ocean bottom fishing opens to all depths on Jan. 1.

NORTHWEST ZONE

  • Alsea River: Winter steelhead fishing is picking up with anglers catching fish from the hatchery down to the lower river. Drifting or fishing off the bank can produce good results during the right river conditions.  Look to fish the upper river when flows are high or try plunking in the mid to lower river when flows are around 6 to 8 feet on the river gauge.
  • Nestucca River: The river is dropping into shape and fishing is improving in the mainstem Nestucca River. Best fishing is likely to be in the lower river below Beaver, with some fish beginning to move further upstream. Three Rivers has been steadily producing fish. Best fishing for winter steelhead is below the hatchery. Plunking just below the mouth of Three Rivers has been fairly productive lately. Drifting natural and artificial baits along the bottom has also worked well.
  • Wilson River: Angling conditions have improved. The river is a decent fishable green color at this time. Increasing numbers of winter steelhead are available, and fish are spread out up the river. Angling has been fair, with some good catches mixed in. Drift fishing or side drifting bright colored lures/baits near the bottom will produce the most fish while the river still has some color. Anglers should be aware that an active slide is affecting a tributary to the Wilson River around milepost 20. Another slide is active in the Ben Smith Creek drainage. Water clarity may be impacted by runoff after rain events. Check river conditions before you fish.

WILLAMETTE ZONE

  • Steelhead are now crossing Willamette Falls in increasing numbers. Area streams could be very productive as soon as high waters begin to subside.
  • Trophy-sized rainbow trout are being released this week in Junction City Pond and Timber Linn Lake near Albany. These fish range in size from 7 to 15 pounds.

ONE OF SEVERAL STEELHEAD THAT LEONARD SCOTT LANDED ON A GOOD DAY ON THE SANDY RECENTLY. (LAZER SHARP PHOTO CONTEST)

SOUTHEAST ZONE

  • The Ana Rivers offers good trout fishing opportunities throughout the fall and winter.
  • Trout fishing is fair on the Klamath River below Keno Dam.
  • Much of Klamath Lake and Lake of the Woods are ice-free and fishing has been fair.
  • Ice is forming on many lakes and reservoirs in the Southeast Zone, but conditions vary greatly. Anglers should exercise caution before venturing out on the ice.

NORTHEAST ZONE

  • There are still steelhead available in the Grande Ronde, Imnaha, John Day and Umatilla rivers; alert anglers will be watching water conditions and hitting the rivers as flows drop.
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