What’s Fishin’ In Oregon (1-13-11)

Sometimes the term “steelheading” just doesn’t match the conventional definition of steelheading: i.e., side-drifting/plugging/drift-fishing a fair-sized, cobble-bottomed stream.

Take steelheading on the concrete at Cascade Locks on the Columbia, for example.

That’s where you would have found Kirby Cannon recently.

Coming back from a little sturgeon angling between Hood River and Moser, he stopped off and caught himself a nice winter fish.

KIRBY CANNON WITH A WINTER STEELIE CAUGHT AT CASCADE LOCKS. (LAZER SHARP PHOTO CONTEST)

Cannon regulates summer-runs at the locks in June, July and August with the deadly “Kirby Blade,” a spinner in very limited release, but apparently winter fish hit it too.

Elsewhere in Oregon, you’ll find fresh stocker trout, lings moving in close, sturgeon on the prowl and the start of the big Portland Boat Show this weekend.

Here are highlights from ODFW’s weekly Recreation Report:

SOUTHWEST ZONE

  • Good numbers of steelhead are available in many area rivers but low, clear water has prompted many anglers to switch to lighter leaders and smaller lures.
  • Winter trout fishing continues to be good on the Applegate and Lost Creek reservoirs.
  • At the beach, lingcod are moving in closer to shore in anticipation of spawning. Anglers without a boat can target jetties and other rocky structure.

NORTHWEST ZONE

  • Coffenbury Lake. Lost lake, Vernonia Pond, and Town Lake have been stocked with surplus hatchery winter steelhead at various times over the last month or so.

WILLAMETTE ZONE

  • Winter steelhead are now widely distributed through the Clackamas and Sandy Rivers, where some good catches are being reported. Crossings over Willamette Falls into the upper Willamette and its tributaries have been increasing and means improved prospects for anglers in these areas.
  • The trout stocking program for 2011 is now underway, with the first batches of fish going to Huddleston Pond, Junction City Pond, Walling Pond and Walter Wirth Lake, which were all stocked the week of Jan. 10.

CENTRAL ZONE

  • Anglers are catching winter steelhead on the Hood River.
  • Summer steelhead can still be found in good numbers in the Deschutes River from the Columbia upstream to the reservation boundary.

NORTHEAST ZONE

  • Cold weather has put the damper on winter steelhead fishing, but there are fish available when the weather and water conditions cooperate.
  • For those willing to brave the weather, trout fishing on Wallowa Lake has been fair, and a few kokanee have been caught as well. Think deep.

COLUMBIA ZONE

  • Sturgeon angling is good for boat anglers in the Bonneville Pool.
  • Steelhead angling is fair to good in the Bonneville, The Dalles and John Day pools.  Some winter steelhead should be available from beaches on the lower Columbia for anglers willing to brave the elements.
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