Willamette Valley/Metro- Columbia Rivertrollers remain perplexed as to why their efforts continue to go unrewarded.Cold water temperatures and high flows are the likely cause for all thefrustration. Although springers seem to be present, action will likely remainsubdued until water temperatures rise into the higher 40’s. With catch ratespoorer than expected, anglers are hopeful for an extension past the proposedApril 6th closure. Recent test-netting results indicate there are alot of steelhead in the mainstem Columbiawith a high percentage of them being hatchery fish.
Sturgeoneffort remains low as spring chinook interest grows. An occasional keeper iscoming from the Portland to Longviewstretch but the best catch and release opportunities continue to come from thelower Willamette River.
Willamette level and flow peaked over thepast weekend and has started to moderate although water temperatures remain lowfor best results with spring chinook. The "Spring Fishing Classic"annual salmon derby takes place March 31st regardless of water conditions.Register at Fisherman's Marine.
McKenzielevels will be dropping this week and it may fish if the water clears.
North Santiam levels are forecast to bemoderating later this week with wild steelhead in the river.
A fewsteelhead were taken on the Clackamas this week before the water came up. It isdropping and may fish late in the weekend.
Steelheadinghas been good at times on the Sandybut winter has been slow to lose its grip as snow fell on the banks early thisweek. Fish should be well distributed throughout the system with bobber and jigfishers more likely to work the upper reaches near Marmot.
Northwest – Steelheadersremain hampered by high, cold water and inclement weather. Snow continues tocreate hazardous traveling conditions but numbers remain strong when anglerscan fish. The Wilson River began fishing againon Monday with a good bite coming at the acclimation pond near Donaldson’s.Good numbers of wild and hatchery fish will be available into mid-April.
With other systemsstill too high over the weekend, the Kilchis fished great in the clearingconditions. Sidedrifters did exceptional over the weekend. The Necanicum wasanother good option recently although wind-blown debris makes this river morehazardous to float. This will be the last full week of targeted steelheadfishing on some north coast streams so check regulations before heading out inearly April.
Another hydrographbump mid-week may put the bigger systems like the Nestucca and Wilson off untilthe weekend. When temperatures do warm and river levels stabilize, the fishingshould be excellent. The mainstem Nehalem has been too high for most of theseason.
Many coastal lakeshave been stocked with trout in preparation of spring break week. Lake Lytleand Cape MearesLake should offer up good opportunityfor Tillamook County anglers. Bait fished from shoreor trolled flashers and worms will likely produce the best results.
Southwest – Whileocean conditions have kept boats at bay much of the season so far this year,now that spring is here, wind and wave action will allow additionalopportunities. Lingcod fishing in particular will be rewarding through Apriland May. Rough seas are forecast until Sunday, March 25th.
Manyoffshore recreational boaters as well as commercial charters are lookingforward to the ocean salmon season as it is expected to be a very good one thisseason. Offshore salmon fishing opened March 15th off the central coast whilethe south coast ocean troll fishery will open in May for an estimated 2.4million Klamath and Sacramento River bound chinook.
Crabbinghas slowed with fresh water washing into Winchester Bay.The Umpqua system is likely to crest on Fridaythis week then begin dropping and clearing into the weekend.
This week'sfreshet comes just as steelheading is winding down on the lower Rogue but it willalso bring in fresh spring chinook which will be the primary focus of anglersas river conditions improve. While the Rogue is spewing mud out into the oceanat this time, it is predicted to be recovering by the weekend to come. UpperRogue steelheaders deploying plugs in migration lanes will have a decentprospect for winter steelhead.
Droppingearly this week, the Chetco will rise to blow-out level by the coming weekendalthough it is forecast to drop once again and may fish by Sunday,
As waterdrops and clears, expect good results from the Elk and Sixes river through theend of the month.
Eastern – Various bugs are showing on the Metolius withnymphing effective between hatches while bull trout are inhaling streamers.
Trollers working Lake Billy Chinook are stillcatching some quality lake trout and bull trout as well. The season is waninghowever as anglers refocus their efforts on trout in the coming months.
The Crooked River, while running low,has continued to fish well with nymphs effective in the morning and matchingthe Blue-Winged Olive hatch taking trout in the afternoons.
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SW Washington – Steelheaders are still findingfish on the Cowlitz and Kalama Rivers with some hatcheryfish still available. The Lewis will continue to have a fair wild run for a fewmore weeks. Spring chinook should start trickling into these lower Columbia tributaries inthe coming weeks although peak season is still a few weeks away.
Effort continues toincrease for spring chinook despite inclement weather and poor catch rates.That should change dramatically when water temperatures climb.
Brown trout have beenplanted in Lacamas Lake and Klineline Pondin anticipation of upcoming spring break. More rainbow plants are likely indistrict lakes prior to the start of spring break.