Fishing Report: Friday, Oct. 7

OCEAN OUTLOOK

COASTWIDE: Good weather is expected on the South Coast this week after rain and wind last weekend. Forecasts call for 10-knot winds and six-foot seas today, followed by five-knot winds and four-foot swells Saturday. Sunday looks best with 10-knot winds but only two-foot wind waves.

The Chetco bubble fishery is open Saturday and Sunday in near-shore waters. Last weekend's three-day opener was generally somewhat slow but some boats found good success trolling Sporthaven Beach just past the surf line and others fared OK near the whistle buoy. The limit remains two chinook a day, but only one can be wild.

Rockfish anglers can now venture past the 20-fathom line, and that should spawn more interest in fall rockfish jigging, particularly off the mouth of the Chetco after a morning of salmon fishing. Anglers also can still keep one cabezon a day.

The ocean and bays are open to crabbing coastwide, and crabbing in Coos Bay has been very good. Ocean crabbing also has been very good.

Razor clamming remains 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.

LAKE OUTLOOK

AGATE: The lake was listed Thursday at 15 percent full and dropping, with little angling interest. 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, and 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 was listed at 83 feet shy of full Thursday, down five feet in the past week, due to very little inflow. The Copper boat ramp is usable.

DIAMOND: The lake is fishing better during the day as the weather cools. PowerBait and worms are out-fishing trolling. Fly-fishing chironomid patterns with long leaders is working well, especially on cloudy days. PowerBait and worms under bobbers are working, as 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 and dropping, with little open water and no vegetation. 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 17 percent full Thursday and fishing fairly well for what's left of the 900 trophy trout stocked at the Forest Service boat ramp in late September. The Forest Service ramp is no longer usable, but the resort ramp is OK for smaller boats. Lots of visible and shallow stumps to watch for. Fish worms under bobbers or use PowerBait. Watch for exposed stumps in low water. Tiger trout as big as 18 inches have been caught, but they must be released unharmed.

HOWARD PRAIRIE: Fishing is starting to pick up a bit as cooler evenings help cool the water to more trout-friendly temperatures. Holdover trout in the 14- to 19-inch range are being caught. The lake has dropped slightly to 47 percent full.

HYATT: Trout fishing has slowed, and bass fishing is good. 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 40 percent full.

LOST CREEK: The lake is dropping more slowly now, with outflows holding steady at 1,150 cubic feet per second, and flows could drop next week. The better fishing for trout is 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 in October. Landlocked salmon have been holding deeper than the trout. Fish for largemouth in the submerged willows and for smallmouth off rocky points. The lake was listed Thursday at 62 feet below full pool, which is two feet lower than the normal fall low pool.

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 has slowed for the mix of legal-sized and pounder rainbows stocked in July at the county boat ramp. The lake is very low, but water clarity is good.

EXPO: The pond got 1,000 legal-sized trout in June, and that was the last stocking for this year. Fishing is poor.

RIVER OUTLOOK

ROGUE: The upper Rogue is slowing for summer steelhead as cooler water releases reduce their activity, while the middle Rogue is slow for steelhead and chinook that are still legal to catch below the Hog Creek boat ramp. Cooler water has slowed action in the Rogue bay, but fishing upstream is better for chinook and summer steelhead from Lobster Creek to Agness.

That bounces the lower Rogue out of the best bet and shifts it back to the upper Rogue for no other reason than proximity.

In the upper Rogue, it's artificial flies only from the Fishers Ferry boat ramp all the way to the deadline at Cole Rivers Hatchery. That means traditional fly gear or spinning rods with flies and bobbers, but no added weights or attachments. That includes swivels. Cooling water and spawning chinook mean nymphing egg patterns will be far more effective than swinging big leeches or traditional Rogue streamers. Most fly-fishers are using a combination of an ugly bug dropper and an egg fly fished downstream of spawning chinook. Be careful not to wade in redds.

Flows in the upper Rogue out of Lost Creek were holding at 1,150 cfs and were scheduled to hover there through Thursday, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Flows at Dodge Bridge were a skinny 1,290 cfs, and were up to 1,608 cfs at the old Gold Ray Dam site. Only eight new steelhead reached Cole Rivers Hatchery this past week. Not good.

Middle Rogue anglers are hitting some late-run and dark fall chinook downstream of Hog Creek back-bouncing roe. Summer steelhead fishing with worms or flies is also slow because of a lack of fish. Flows at Grants Pass were up a hair Thursday to 1,576 cfs.

Fly and bait fishing for halfpounders and adult summer steelhead is pretty good as fresh fish move into the lower Rogue canyon daily. The flow at Agness was up a hair to 1,603 cfs, and that's excellent for swinging streamers for halfpounders.

In the bay, some trollers are still catching fall chinook around the mouth of Indian Creek, but three inches of rain this past week has coaxed most of the upriver fish out of the bay. A few coho remain, with one in five a keeper hatchery fish. Better fall chinook fishing is available for boat and bank anglers around Lobster Creek and up to the Agness area, where flows Thursday were up to 2,131 cfs.

APPLEGATE: The river is open to trout fishing. All wild trout must be released unharmed. No fin-clipped rainbows are stocked there.

CHETCO: The estuary has been spotty for fall chinook, but look for catches to improve off the mouth Saturday and Sunday during the ocean bubble fishery.

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