Willamette Valley/Metro- Spring salmonanglers on the mainstem Columbia are witnessing better results for theirefforts this week. Although far from peak season success, catches should beginto ramp up in the coming two weeks depending on water conditions. Anglers arelaying blame on cold water, not likely to improve much in the coming week.
Similarto a few years ago, it appears a good population of sturgeon are plying theshallow waters in the gorge. Anglers are theorizing they are avoiding sea lionpredation around Bonneville, still happening at an alarming rate. Enforcementwill be monitoring the area for poaching.
As ofMarch 5th, the Willamette River flow was moderating with the temperature inmid-40s and rising. Spring chinook fishing will improve when the water temptops 50 degrees. Recent turbidity has stalled the bite at Sellwood but it couldpick back up again by the weekend. Summer and winter steelhead are crossing thefalls daily but only one springer has made the trip upstream so far thisseason.
Leveland flow at the McKenzie spiked on Monday this week but has been moderatingsince. It has been muddy.
A fewfresh steelhead have been landed on the South Santiam this week.
Steelheadare scattered but some are being caught on the Clackamas. Sidedrifters workingdownstream and upstream of Barton Park are starting to see some broodstock fishenter, with a nice grade of fish being reported. Bait will continue to producethe best results until flows drop; that’s when plugs become a viable option.Eagle Creek has been virtually devoid of fish recently.
Fishinghas been fair on the sandy but it's the best bet in the valley to land asteelhead. Sidedrifting here has also produced the best results. Wild and somehatchery fish should be well distributed to the Marmot area, especially withthe recent rise in river levels.
Northwest – Steelheaders aregreeting another high water event on the north coast. Numbers continue toimpress anglers and biologists but the rivers are definitely fishing betterunder high water conditions. The current high water event should provide thebest opportunity prior to the weekend. The Wilson and Nestucca are seeingfantastic returns of hatchery steelhead right now but anglers should focusefforts in the lowest reaches, including downstream of Sollie Smith Bridge onthe Wilson for the best chance at producing.
The Trask isbeginning to receive a good influx of wild fish with the upper reachesproducing best in higher water conditions. Drifted bait attracts the aggressivenative fish but plugs will become more effective as flows drop.
Savvy steelheadersare taking advantage of low water conditions on smaller streams such as theKilchis River. These wild steelhead rivers don’t draw the attention that thehatchery options do but anglers can find productive results in solitude if theyapproach their quarry in a stealthy manner.
Crabbing has slowedin Tillamook Bay but Netarts remains a fair option. A few rockfish are beingtaken off the jetty. The offshore forecast for tomorrow looks favorable forbottomfishers and ocean crabbers. Weather is subject to change at a moment’snotice however so proceed with extreme caution.
Southwest – Chartersdid well for lingcod over the past weekend with most anglers taking two-fishlimits. Catches of rockfish have been slow, however.
Sturgeonfishing is slow at Winchester Bay but crabbing has been fair to good.Steelheading has been fair to good on the North Umpqua and reliably productiveon the South Umpqua.
Crabbinghas been good from boats in Coos Bay and from Charleston docks with Dungenessin excellent condition.
A fewspring chinook are being caught by anglers anchored on the lower Rogue but it'sslow this early in the run. On most years, the first springer isn’t caughtuntil mid-March. Water is forecast to be dropping over the coming weekend. Lowwater has resulted in slow fishing on the middle Rogue for a mix of spawned-outsummers and fresh winters. The upper Rogue has been spotty at best.
Wintersteelheading has been very good on the Chetco and at the rate fresh fish areentering the system the run has yet to show sign of waning. The water levelwill be dropping this week but is forecast to start rising with precipitationover the weekend to come.
Dryweather this week will result in the Elk and Sixes Rivers being too low to fishwell.
Eastern – Trout fishing is fair to good on the lowerDeschutes with Caddis, BWOs and midges hatching mid-day. Summer steelhead areon the spawning beds and shouldn't be targeted.
Despite low, clear water conditions, fly fishingremains excellent on the Crooked River. It's best when the weather is warm.
The challenging Metolius is giving up afew bull trout to fly anglers throwing nymphs and streamers.
Soapbox Update: Are youinterested in learning the upper reaches of Tillamook Bay when targeting fallchinook this year? Are you also an advocate for a good forest management planon the Tillamook State Forest to grow more wild fish for you to catch? Pro guide Bob Rees is offering a FREE 3 to 4 hour on-the-waterseminar in early September for the first 6 to 12 anglers that sign up totestify in support of sound forest policy for a July 26th Board ofForestry meeting in Tillamook this summer. Just email Bob at email@example.com or call (503) 812-9036to sign up today. You can learn more about the work we’re doing on behalf ofthe Association of NW Steelheaders and the Wild Salmon Center here: http://www.thetillamook.net/. You’lllearn the guide secrets of the upper bay while advocating for good forestmanagement that will grow more fish for all of us. Sign up NOW!
SW Washington – Serious anglers are beginning tofocus their efforts on mainstem spring chinook but steelhead remain a goodoption on the Kalama, Cowlitz and Lewis Rivers. Some quality sized wild fishbegin to show on the Lewis this time of year.
This will be the last fullopen week for some steelhead streams in the district. Check local listing forclosures that start on March 15th.