COASTWIDE: Forecasts call for a small-craft advisory through today, followed by decent weather Saturday and more stiff winds Sunday. Today's forecast calls for winds up to 10 knots and 4-foot swells, followed Saturday by 15-knot winds and 4-foot swells. Sunday looks the worst with winds up to 25 knots and 5-foot swells.
Very good to excellent lingcod and black rockfish catches have occurred out of Brookings when the weather has allowed. Blue rockfish catches have been good to very good. The South Coast halibut season is open through Oct. 31, and some very nice fish have been caught when the weather cooperates. Also, the near-shore halibut season resumes Sunday off the central Oregon coast.
Canary rockfish are part of the 2017 seven-fish marine bag limit, and there is no sub-limit on them, so anglers can have canaries make up their entire seven-fish daily limit if they choose. However, anglers can keep no more than six black rockfish. Also, there's a new combined, four-fish sub-limit for a combination of blue/deacon, China, copper and quillback rockfish. There is no change to the two-fish lingcod daily limit. Cabezon are back in the mix for anglers, but catches have been light.
Rockfish anglers still have one month left before they can venture past the 30-fathom line. When they do, they must carry at least one descending device on board each boat and use it when releasing any rockfish caught in 30 fathoms or deeper.
Surfperch fishing is very good to excellent along the south coast, including the sand spit at the Rogue River mouth, Winchuck Beach and Nesika Beach. Berkley Gulp sandshrimp or sand worms work well and stay on hooks. Prawns also work well.
Crabbing is open along the entire Oregon Coast and is picking up in bays as well as the open ocean. A few of the crabs are still with soft shells after molting. Look for crabs to be plenty plump within a few weeks.
Razor clamming is open on beaches from Tillamook Head to Cascade Head. Harvest is closed from Cascade Head south to the California border and from Tillamook Head north to the Columbia River. Bay clams and butter clams are available coastwide, and mussels are open along the southern half of the coast. There are no minus tides over the coming week. Before digging, check the shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474.
AGATE: The lake is down to 34 percent full, the lowest it's been this year. Look for crappie, yellow perch and occasional bass in deeper water and anywhere there's shade. The water is very warm. No gas motors are allowed. Electric trolling motors are OK. The park closes at dusk.
APPLEGATE: Access to the lake remained open Thursday despite area wildfires. Lands south and west of Applegate Lake are closed. Heavy smoke levels have made much of the area intolerable. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has dropped releases to 300 cfs. The lake was listed Thursday at 50 feet from full, down about 5 feet from last week.
DIAMOND: Highway 138 is closed due to wildfires but anglers can access the lake through Roseburg. Smoke was light Thursday after being very dense the previous day. Fishing has been very good for rainbows throughout the lake. Anglers continue to catch plenty of fish between 12 and 17 inches. PowerBait floated off the bottom is out-fishing worms under bobbers, with corn yellow and salmon-egg peach popular, but don't forget the glitter chartreuse. Trollers are getting action on Needlefish and Flat Fish. All tiger trout must be released unharmed.
EMIGRANT: The lake was listed Thursday at 41 percent full, down 6 percent in the past week. Bass fishing is good early and late in the day for those casting a mix of plastic worms and grubs and crankbaits in the early mornings and evenings. Smallmouth are off rocky points, largemouth are largely in the submerged willows. Trolling for trout has slowed in the warm water, with the upper section of the lake near Emigrant Creek best.
EXPO: Fishing is slow in the hot water. No fresh trout have been stocked. Warmwater fish are the best bet. Access the pond through Gate 5 off Peninger Road. Parking fees are required.
FISH: The lake was listed Thursday at 58 percent full, down 3 percent from last week. It is still fishing well for legal-sized rainbows stocked a month ago, with more stocking scheduled for later this month. Air quality most days is very good. Catches have been good with PowerBait, as well as leeches and woolly bugger flies, with most trout congregating around cool underwater springs. Tiger trout must be released unharmed. Some tigers up to 18 inches have been caught and released so far this year.
HOWARD PRAIRIE: Trout fishing is holding its own, largely because high water has kept the trout feeding, cool and in good shape. Fishing is best along the channel straight across from the resort, with trollers using worms and flashers finding decent fish about 30 feet down. Still-fishing with various colors of PowerBait is good in the mornings and evenings, also in deeper water. The lake was listed Thursday at 81 percent full, down just a hair from last week. The lake's surface temperature has dropped below 70 degrees as cooler temperatures hit the mountains.
HYATT: The lake received 5,100 legal-sized rainbows at the BLM ramp last month, and anglers are catching them with PowerBait or worms under bobbers. Trout fishing should start picking up as water temperatures continue to drop. The fishery remains dominated by smaller largemouth bass that are caught trolling or casting worms and small spinners, especially red ones. The lake continues to drop slowly and is now at 40 percent full.
LOST CREEK: The lake got another 10,000 legal rainbows and 1,500 pound-sized trout a month ago, split between the Takelma and marina boat ramps. The trout have spread out fairly well, with some of the best fishing directly across the lake from the marina and near the dam. The lake was listed Thursday at 59 feet from full, down about 4 feet in the past week. Trolling has been decent near the dam with red or green Wedding Ring lures with a worm. However, anglers need to get deep because the hot surface temperatures are pushing the trout down in the water column. Experiment with varying depths.
LAKE OF THE WOODS: Fishing is good for rainbows in the shallows and farther out in the lake with bait or lures. Some kokanee have been caught in the deeper recesses of the lake.
MEDCO POND: The pond got 1,600 legal-sized rainbows in June and 4,000 legals in May. Fishing is good with PowerBait or worms under bobbers.
WILLOW: The lake got 3,000 legal-sized trout and 1,500 pound-sized trout in early June. Catch them on PowerBait or worms.
ROGUE: The upper Rogue's flies-only summer steelhead season has been slow, thanks largely to heavy smoke on the water, while the middle Rogue is picking up for fall chinook and the lower Rogue Bay has slowed a tad for chinook trollers as cooler river temperatures are coaxing salmon to move upstream.
That still makes the lower Rogue the best bet, with a mix of chinook in the bay as well as steelhead and halfpounders in the lower river collectively providing the best fishing your lungs can take.
In the lower Rogue bay, chinook catches have dropped the past two days after three weeks of red-hot fishing. However, guides are limiting out by noon most days. Heavy fog and cooler temperatures have chinook moving upstream. Fishing is best on the morning incoming tides with anchovies and Rogue bait rigs with copper and chartreuse blades, or Brad's cut-plug herring lures.
Adult summer steelhead and halfpounders are showing up in very good numbers in the Lobster Creek and Quosatana Creek areas, and dropping water has helped boost catches for those casting Panther Martin spinners, worms and corkies, or streamer flies. Flows at Agness were down significantly this week to 2,439 cubic feet per second Thursday, which is the lowest of the year but still a bit high for optimal fly-fishing for steelhead.
In the upper Rogue, it's back to flies only for summer steelhead through October, and fishing should be consistently good through late September and before cold water releases occur out of Lost Creek Lake. However, heavy smoke has kept most driftboaters off the water and relegated bank anglers to short forays of fishing. Too bad, because now is when streamer flies, such as big articulated leeches swung with sink-tip lines, work best, followed up by nymphing with egg flies behind spawning chinook. Spawners are higher up in the reach. Evenings are best, but anytime the air is breathable is a good time in early September.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is starting to walk down the water releases at Lost Creek Lake from 1,700 cfs Thursday to 1,400 cfs Sunday.
Flows at Dodge Bridge were down Thursday to 1,709 cfs. Flows at the old Gold Ray Dam site were down to 1,972 cfs Thursday.
Anglers fishing downstream of Fishers Ferry boat ramp can keep wild chinook as part of their two-chinook limit, with fishing best in the Grants Pass area.
In the middle Rogue, fall chinook are starting to show up regularly in places like Taylor Creek Canyon and around the mouth of the Applegate River, with bankies and boat anglers also flocking to places like Finley Bend and Griffin Park. Boat anglers are fishing with a mix of roe and sandshrimp, along with plugs spiced with sardine or tuna-belly wraps. Bankies are casting a variety of beads and corkies. Guides are reporting large schools of chinook moving through the Lower Rogue Canyon, so look for chinook fishing to turn on over the next few weeks.
Anglers are also targeting summer steelhead in the evenings, with Panther Martin lures or worms and corkies the top offerings. The float from Valley of the Rogue to Chinook Park has been productive for steelheaders.
APPLEGATE: The river is open to trout fishing, but all wild trout must be released unharmed. Most of the trout are actually steelhead pre-smolts.
CHETCO: A few more wash-in fall chinook are getting caught in the estuary, but not at the pace of earlier this month. Lots of anchovies are in the bay.