Fishing Report: Friday, Nov. 11

OCEAN OUTLOOK

COASTWIDE: A small-craft advisory was issued through this evening, with winds up to 15 knots and swells to nine feet. Forecasts call for five-knot winds and 11-foot swells Saturday, followed Sunday by winds up to 20 knots and swells up to 11 feet.

Rockfish anglers can venture past the 20-fathom line, but there is not much need to because lingcod and rockfish catches have been good close in when anglers can get out. Anglers can keep one cabezon a day as part of their seven-fish aggregate limit.

Halibut fishing is over across the Oregon Coast, with 95 percent of the recreational quota taken collectively in the various Oregon fisheries. A few pounds of the quota were left on the table this year because of weather and effort.

Only bays are open to crabbing coastwide, and catches have been very good in Coos and Winchester bays between rain storms. The ocean is closed to crabbing until Dec. 1.

Razor clamming is closed along the entire coast because of domoic acid levels. Bay clams and butter clams are available coastwide, but mussels are off limits coastwide because of domoic acid. Before digging, check the shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474.

LAKE OUTLOOK

AGATE: The lake was listed Thursday at 21 percent full, though there's been little angling interest of late. Fishing is fair at best for a mix of bass, crappie and perch. No trout stockings are planned this year. No gas motors are allowed. Electric trolling motors are OK.

APPLEGATE: Trolling for rainbows has been good when the wind is down. Fish stocked earlier this year are putting on some size. Anglers are catching rainbows up to 18 inches by trolling higher in the water column now that the reservoir has cooled. Outflows of 1,800 cubic feet per second this week are drawing down the reservoir, which was 5 feet above the elevation targeted for Nov. 15 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Bass fishing has slowed. The Copper, Hart-Tish and French Gulch ramps are usable. While the Hart-Tish ramp remains open, the campground is closed.

DIAMOND: The lake is fishing well between rainstorms. PowerBait and worms are out-fishing trolling, but trollers using small lures such as Triple Teasers are doing well. Rainbows are spread out. The 300,000 fingerlings stocked last spring have reached legal size. All tiger trout must be released.

EMIGRANT: The lake was listed Thursday at 18 percent full, with little open water and no submerged vegetation. Fishing is a bust. Trout and bass are in the deeper sections of what's left of the lake. The county boat ramp is not usable, and that has severely limited interest.

FISH: The lake was 33 percent full Thursday and still slowly rising, with the water still cloudy from algae. Fishing remains pretty good for what's left of the 900 trophy trout stocked at the Forest Service boat ramp in late September. The ramp is usable for most trailered boats. The resort is closed. Watch for stumps in the water. Fish worms under bobbers or use PowerBait. Tiger trout as big as 18 inches have been caught, but they must be released unharmed.

HOWARD PRAIRIE: Fishing is fair to good, but there has been little activity. The resort is closed, but other ramps are open. Holdover trout in the 14- to 19-inch range are being caught by trollers using Tasmanian Devils or Wedding Rings with small pieces of worm. Morning trolling is best. The lake was stocked last month with seven-inch and five-inch rainbows that should be eight- to 10-inchers by spring. The lake was listed Thursday at 48 percent full.

HYATT: Trout fishing has slowed, and bass fishing has tapered off. The lake is holding steady at 43 percent full.

LOST CREEK: The lake has fished very well for rainbows by trolling Wedding Ring lures with small pieces of worm near the dam or upstream of Peyton Bridge. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers held the releases steady at 1,800 cubic feet per second until Thursday, when it was dropped to 1,400 cfs. It was listed Thursday as nine inches shy of low pool. Trolling is best near the dam. Landlocked salmon have been holding deeper than the trout. Bass fishing remains slow.

LAKE OF THE WOODS: The lake is fishing fair to good for a mix of rainbows, brown trout and perch near the resort for anglers using worms under bobbers or PowerBait off the bottom. Fishing is best at dawn and dusk.

WILLOW: Trout fishing improved after 450 one-pound trout were released at the county boat ramp late last month. The lake remains low, but fishing is best with worms under bobbers or PowerBait directly out past the ramp.

EXPO: The pond got a bonus stocking late last month of 100 one-pound trout and 250 legal-sized trout.

RIVER OUTLOOK

ROGUE: The upper Rogue has been very good for a mix of summer steelhead and coho salmon in both bait and plug waters. The middle Rogue has been spotty for summer steelhead, and the lower Rogue has seen some chinook in the bay around Indian Creek but not much other action.

That keeps the upper Rogue as the best bet for steelhead, with where to go dependent upon how you want to fish. Upstream of the Shady Cove boat ramp is open for all things steelhead, with side-drifting roe most popular and effective since the flies-only season ended Nov. 1. Catches have been best with roe or roe-soaked yarn balls side-drifted from driftboats. Those fishing plugs such as Mag Lip 3.0 or crayfish plugs were also running into some nice steelhead and even some surprisingly bright hatchery coho salmon. Wild coho and chinook must be released unharmed.

Downstream of the Shady Cove ramp is open for all artificials but not bait. Effort there has been lighter than upstream of Shady Cove, and there definitely are fewer steelhead down lower than higher up. Plug fishing has been good when the sun is off the water. Fishing deeper, somewhat slower runs has been most effective, as fall chinook are no longer spawning, so it's not as simple as fishing below spawners. Plastic egg flies or juiced-up egg balls are also working well for side-drifters.

Flows out of Lost Creek Lake that were holding steady at 1,800 cfs this week were dropped to 1,400 cfs Thursday and will drop another 100 cfs each today and tomorrow before leveling off at 1,200 cfs. Flows at Dodge Bridge were down to 1,614 cfs Thursday. The flows at the old Gold Ray Dam site were down to 1,912 cfs Thursday. But rains are coming and the river is expected to spike Monday and peak Tuesday, so early next week could be slow because steelhead don't bite well as flows rise.

In the middle Rogue, summer steelhead fishing is spotty but best around creek mouths and behind fall chinook redds. Steelhead are still keying on loose eggs floating out of redds, and they are receptive to single-egg fly patterns. Worm fishing with watermelon corkies will work during and right after rain, particularly off creek mouths. Plug fishing is a bit slow, but some nice coho are hitting purple plugs fished far below driftboats in slower, deeper water. Flows at Grants Pass were down to 2,040 cfs Thursday and forecast to bump up Monday and Tuesday before dropping again.

In the lower Rogue, chucking spinners off the mouth of Indian Creek is the best game in town for bank anglers.

APPLEGATE: The river is open for trout fishing but closed for steelhead and salmon, both of which are present now. All wild trout must be released unharmed. No fin-clipped rainbows are stocked there.

CHETCO: After a week of very good fall chinook fishing, the river was down to 1,826 cfs, with chinook spread out riverwide. Flows will be on the rise after weekend rains, and the forecast so far is to see it peak just under 6,000 cfs Monday before dropping. Fishing should be good if the water retains its color, and it should be great with plugs as it drops next week.

ELK: The river was down to 3.4 feet and clear at the hatchery Thursday, making for tough conditions for fall chinook anglers floating the river. However, a little bump in the flows are forecast for Saturday, and that should help things before high water hits midweek next week. Fall chinook are not holding much in the estuary, so the vast majority of effort remains in freshwater.

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