What’s Fishin’ In Oregon (1-19-11)

Postcard from Junction City received at NWS HQ Monday:

Howdy Andy,

Hope you had a good weekend!  Hit the ol’ reliable J.C. Pond this weekend since most creeks, rivers etc…were blown out.  Caught a few hold-over rainbows 1-12″ and my buddy landed this nice brooder bow.



Just had to share.  Later man.


Indeed, there was a wee bit of flooding around the Beaver State this past weekend — I must’ve received between a half dozen and a dozen landslide images from the Oregon State Police — but guys in the know can still make a go of things under those conditions with two items:

1) An internet connection

2) A bookmark on ODFW’s 2011 stocking schedule.

Whopper and stocker rainbows aren’t the only action to be had, of course.

As rivers slide back into shape, steelheading is expected to be good. Our own Larry Ellis of Brookings phoned in yesterday from — oh, damnit, which river was it? — and reported releasing a 10- to 12-pound wild steelhead just a while before.

ODFW’s weekly Recreation Report has a few other ideas as well. To wit:


  • Three Willamette Valley lakes and ponds are scheduled to receive trophy-sized rainbow trout this week from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s brood program at Roaring River fish hatchery. The big rainbows will be released Friday, Jan. 21 at St. Louis Pond #6, Sheridan Pond and Walter Wirth Lake. These fish will average about three pounds apiece.
  • The recent heavy rainfall could prove to be the catalyst that gets steelhead to move upstream in larger numbers. Anglers could potentially find some pretty good winter steelheading in the offing as soon as rivers return to normal flows.


  • There have been some reports of succesful surfperch fishing in the Coos Bay area.


  • Sturgeon angling is good for boat anglers in the Bonneville Pool.  Anglers should be mindful of large woody debris after the recent flooding when anchored for sturgeon.
  • 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.


  • Alsea River: Winter steelhead fishing should be good by late in the week. Recent high flows will likely move fish upstream through the week. Look to fish the upper river when river flows are high. As conditions improve, fish should be spread throughout the basin with good returns expected for the month. The river offers multiple drifting and bank fishing locations.
  • Kilchis River: Winter steelhead angling was fair to good early last week, but high waters slowed the fishery. This river drops and clears quickly, and will be fishable several days sooner than larger streams nearby. Look for fish to be holding in softer seams out of the high flows. Use bright colored lures or baits fished slowly along the bottom for best results.
  • Siletz River: Winter steelhead fishing should pick up by this weekend as river conditions improve following the recent flood event. Fish the upper river during higher murky flows or try plunking mid to lower river when flows are at 8 feet and lower. Bobber and jig or side drifting can be effective steelhead angling tactics. The steelhead run is expected to steadily improve through January.
  • Siuslaw River: Winter steelhead angling is expected to improve through the weekend.  The recent high flow event should stimulate fish movement over the next week.  During higher flows focus on the upper river near release locations or try plunking slower side waters in the lower river.  Side drifting or pulling plugs should be effective as the river level drops this week.
  • Tillamook Bay: Sturgeon fishing is fair. Recent high flows muddied the bay, and should attract more fish into the bay. Effort remains light. Fish sand shrimp on the bottom near the channel edges during the outgoing tide. Move often to find fish if you are not getting bites.
  • Wilson River:Angling for winter steelhead is slow and the river is off color. Good numbers of fish are in the system. Best fishing over the next several days will be in the upper river, from Lee’s Camp to the south fork. The south fork is open for 1 mile upstream, and some hatchery steelhead will be present. Fishing conditions should improve fairly quickly in the south fork compared the mainstem. 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.

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