Fishing Report: Friday, Oct. 28

OCEAN OUTLOOK

COASTWIDE: Forecasts call for 10-knot winds and four-foot swells today, followed by winds up to 15 knots and 11-foot swells with rain Saturday. Sunday's forecast calls for winds up to 15 knots and nine-foot swells. That's not very promising for bottomfishers knocking up on the end of halibut fishing.

Rockfish anglers can now 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 along with their seven-fish aggregate limit.

Only bays are open to crabbing coast-wide, and catches have been 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 along the entire coast because of domoic acid. Before digging, check the shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474.

The all-depth halibut season out of Newport is open today and Saturday and that's it for the season regardless of whether any of the quota remains. That's likely because of continued bad weather keeping halibut anglers at bay.

The South Coast halibut quota is also far from used up, and the season closes Monday evening. Expect to leave plenty of halibut poundage on the table.

LAKE OUTLOOK

AGATE: The lake was listed Thursday at 18 percent full and up slightly, 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 improved slightly, especially in the morning. Fish stocked earlier this year are putting on some size. Some anglers are catching rainbows up to 18 inches by trolling deep higher in the reservoir and off points. Bass fishing is best off points and near submerged trees. The lake continues to rise from recent rains and it was listed Thursday at 72 feet from full. The Copper, Hart-Tish and French Gulch ramps are all usable.

DIAMOND: The lake is fishing fairly well between rainstorms. PowerBait and worms are out-fishing trolling, but trollers using small lures like Triple Teasers are doing well. The rainbows are spread out. The 300,000 fingerlings stocked last spring are starting to reach 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 up to 28 percent full Thursday and slowly rising. Fishing remains pretty good for what's left of the 900 trophy trout stocked at the Forest Service boat ramp in late September. The Forest Service ramp is now back in play and usable for most trailered boats. The resort is closed. There are still lots of visible and shallow stumps to watch for. 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 continues to be good and should remain so this weekend after the lake rose slightly from recent storms. Holdover trout in the 14- to 19-inch range are being caught on a somewhat regular basis by trollers using Tasmanian Devils or Wedding Rings with small pieces of worm. The lake was listed Thursday at 47 percent full.

HYATT: Trout fishing has slowed, and bass fishing has tapered off with the colder weather. Anything red works for bass, especially around the Orchard and in the bay near the BLM ramp. Not much size to the largemouth, though. The lake is holding steady at 42 percent full.

LOST CREEK: The lake has held fairly steady now that inflows have ebbed, but the latest storm should change that. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has held the releases steady at 1,500 cubic feet per second. The yoyoing reservoir levels will put the trout and bass bites off for a bit. Also, as the water comes up, boaters should watch for more floating debris. The better fishing for trout remains upstream of Peyton Bridge, where water temperatures are more favorable. Fishing is fair to good for 10,000 legal-sized trout and 1,075 trophy trout stocked there in August. Another fall stocking is set for later this month. Landlocked salmon have been holding deeper than the trout. Fish for largemouth in the submerged willows and for smallmouth off rocky points.

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 last week. 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 last week of 100 one-pound trout and 250 legal-sized trout, and fishing for them is good with worms and bobbers or small spinners.

RIVER OUTLOOK

ROGUE: The upper Rogue will see bouncing flows during the end of the flies-only season followed by a drop in flow just in time for Tuesday's return of bait and lure fishing in different parts of the stretch. The middle Rogue continues to be somewhat slow for summer steelhead, and the lower Rogue is slow for chinook and steelhead amid high flows.

That makes the upper Rogue the best bet for steelhead fishing, provided you wait until Tuesday to partake. It's flies-only until then, and the water will be on the rise until Monday, so that won't help late-season fly-fishing. Beginning Tuesday, bait-fishing resumes upstream of the Shady Cove boat ramp, and that will draw a pretty good slug of driftboaters side-drifting roe for steelhead. It always does, and it should be very good for at least a few days. Downstream of Shady Cove will open Tuesday to lures and artificials, but not bait. That means plugs and hard-plastic, single-egg baits are legal, as is yarn soaked in anise. Catches should be good in that stretch, but not nearly as popular as upstream of Shady Cove.

Flows out of Lost Creek Lake Thursday were at 1,500 cfs. Flows at Dodge Bridge were at 1,737 cfs and rising Thursday and forecast to peak Monday at 3,000 before dropping. The gauge at the old Gold Ray Dam site read 2,100 cfs and rising Thursday, forecast to peak Monday at about 4,000 cfs before dropping fairly quickly. That will change if the Corps increases outflows next week to shave some water off Lost Creek Lake, because we're entering the flood-control period.

In the middle Rogue, summer steelhead are really keying in on eggs, so if you're not fishing below spawners you're not fishing on steelhead. But spawners are waning, and there is more action inside Grants Pass city limits than farther downstream. Single-egg flies or roe clusters are working best. Flows Thursday in Grants Pass were at 2,260 cfs and rising, with forecasts calling for it to peak there Monday at about 4,400 cfs. More important will be how well the color holds out.

Fly and bait fishing for halfpounders and adult summer steelhead was blown out this week in the Agness area. Flows were listed at about 10,100 cfs  and rising Thursday.

APPLEGATE: The river closes to all fishing Monday evening. Until then it is open for trout, but not even catch-and-release fishing on summer steelhead. All wild trout must be released unharmed. No fin-clipped rainbows are stocked there.

CHETCO: The river was at 10,737 cfs and rising Thursday, forecast to peak today and then start dropping fairly quickly. That should make for excellent fall chinook salmon fishing this weekend, as long as the river's color holds out. Chinook already are river-wide. Bobber regulations remain in place upstream of river mile 2.2 until Nov. 4. It is legal to fish a Kwikfish with one single-point hook and a sliding bobber on the running line, provided the leader is no longer than three feet. That rigging is working best as the water starts to drop and clear.

ELK: The river was way up and out of shape Thursday for fishing. The gauge at the hatchery read 8.6 feet after rising more than four feet in the previous 24 hours. Water was muddy and fast. When it drops, look for excellent catches of chinook river-wide, with most of the action happening upstream of tidewater. Plugs fished in migration lanes will be best once conditions improve.

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