Dear Jason Harris’ Boss,
I, Dr. Steelhead, have excused Mr. Harris from work this week. I have determined that he suffers from a kind of symptom which I’d rather not get into detail about at the moment, but in my expert opinion, I think it would be best to keep him out of the office.
In fact, I have quarantined Mr. Harris at a remote location on the Oregon coast — in the vicinity of Hebo if you must know — until a later date.
It is my hope that the salt air and dairy fumes the region is known for helps keep his symptoms at bay and the rest of us safe from his perilous condition.
This has absolutely nothing to do with the 31 1/2-inch, near-12-pound winter-run he landed last weekend, the other steelhead he lost, or the fact that the Nestucca has dropped to 6 feet and greened up.
I repeat, nothing at all.
Feel free to copy and paste this note and present it to your boss, because there’s a wee bit of fishing to be done this weekend around the Beaver State, according to ODFW’s weekly Recreation Report. To wit:
- With dropping water levels, steelhead fishing conditions have improved on several rivers in the Southwest Zone including the Umpqua, Lower Rogue, Coos, Coquille and Chetco.
- Trout anglers should take advantage of the good weather and visit Applegate Reservoir, Garrison Lake and Lost Creek Reservoir where fishing has been good.
- Young anglers (age 17 and younger) have been enjoying the warm sunny days and good trout fishing at Arizona Pond.
- 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.
- 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.
- Wilson River: Angling for winter steelhead should be fair to good when conditions allow. Good numbers of fish are in the system. The slide at MP 6 on Hwy 6 has been keeping the lower river dirty. Above that point the river was clearing up nicely last weekend. Until the slide stabilizes, the best fishing conditions and the best fishing will likely be the upper river.
- Seventy-five large brood trout will be released at EE Wilson for its fishing season opener on Feb. 1. Additionally, three other Willamette Valley lakes and ponds received similarly sized rainbow trout this last week. The big rainbows were released Jan. 21 at St. Louis Pond #6, Sheridan Pond and Walter Wirth Lake. These fish 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.
- Trout fishing has been fair to good in Haystack and Prineville reservoirs.
- Water levels remain high on the Deschutes River, but anglers fishing close to the bank have been having some success.
- The Fall, Metolius and Crooked rivers offer some great winter fly fishing.
- Steelhead fishing has improved as river flows have declined. Anglers report good fishing on the Wallowa and Imnaha rivers, and look for conditions to be good this weekend on the lower Grande Ronde and Umatilla this weekend.
- Sturgeon angling is excellent for boat and bank anglers in the Bonneville Pool. Sturgeon anglers in The Dalles and John Day Pools are also catching some fish. Anglers should be mindful of large woody debris after the recent flooding when anchored for sturgeon.
- Steelhead angling was fair and effort was light 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.