Fishing Report: Friday, Dec. 9

OCEAN OUTLOOK

COASTWIDE: Heavy winds, rain and seven-foot wind waves will await ocean anglers trying to get a trip offshore today, with 25-knot winds forecast to put an end to that notion. Saturday looks a bit better with the wind, but 15-foot swells will put the kibosh on crossing the bar, and things aren't much better Sunday, with 10-knot winds and nine-foot swells.

Rockfish anglers can venture past the 20-fathom line, but lingcod and rockfish catches have been good close in. Anglers can keep one cabezon a day as part of their seven-fish aggregate limit. Look for that aggregate limit to change for 2017.

Recreational crabbing is open along the Southern Oregon from Floras Creek (just north of Port Orford) to the California border. Razor clamming is closed along the coast because of domoic acid. Bay clams and butter clams are available coastwide, and mussels are finally open coastwide. Before digging, check the shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474.

LAKE OUTLOOK

AGATE: The lake was listed Wednesday at 28 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 gas motors are allowed. Electric trolling motors are OK.

APPLEGATE: Trolling for rainbows has been good when the wind is down, yet effort has been light due largely to cold and windy weather. Anglers were catching rainbows up to 18 inches by trolling higher in the water column. Last week's outflows held steady at 500 cubic feet per second, but look for a spike in inflows from the new wave of rainstorms moving through the region. Bass fishing has slowed. The French Gulch ramp is now the only usable ramp at the lake.

DIAMOND: The lake started to ice over after temperatures dropped to zero there earlier this week, and that is chasing most anglers away. With the cold water, fishing will be best with worms or PowerBait fished in shallower water when temperatures warm during the day. 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 25 percent full, and the county boat ramp is usable again, but fishing is a bust.

FISH: The lake was up to 43 percent full Wednesday, but ice is starting to form. Fishing is fair for what's left of the 900 trophy trout stocked at the 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: The water is starting to freeze in spots, and anglers likely will be see lots of snow if they venture toward the banks. Angling activity is very limited. The resort is closed, but other ramps are open. Holdover trout in the 14- to 19-inch range are being caught by trollers. Morning trolling is best. The lake was stocked last month with 7-inch and 5-inch rainbows that should be 8- to 10-inchers by spring. The lake was listed Wednesday at 48 percent full. Bank fishers should stake out deeper water near the dam. Look for snow this weekend.

HYATT: Trout and bass fishing have slowed to a crawl. The lake is 46 percent full. Expect snow this weekend. Bank access is best near the dam.

LOST CREEK: The lake has fished fairly 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 1,700 cubic feet per second this week. It was listed Thursday as a foot above the normal low-pool level of 1,812 feet above sea level. However, outflows could change depending upon how much rain comes with incoming storms. Trolling is best near the dam. Landlocked salmon have been holding deeper than the trout. Bass fishing is slow.

LAKE OF THE WOODS: The lake is starting to ice up, but still-fishing OK 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 leveled off since anglers picked through many of the 450 one-pound trout released at the county boat ramp late last month. The lake remains low, and fishing is best with worms under bobbers or PowerBait directly out past the ramp.

EXPO: Fishing in the pond at the amphitheater is still decent for the 1,500 one-pound trout stocked for Thanksgiving weekend. Catch them with bobbers and worms or PowerBait. Access the pond through Gate 1.5 off Peninger Road. No boats or float tubes are allowed.

RIVER OUTLOOK

ROGUE: The upper Rogue has been decent for a mix of summer steelhead and coho salmon in both bait and plug waters, but look for that to disappear when rains spike upper and middle Rogue flows and likely dirty the water. The middle Rogue has been kicking out summer steelhead for the few anglers who are targeting them, but that should disappear this weekend.

That keeps the best bet on the upper Rogue, which has consistently produced mixes of steelhead and coho, particularly for those fishing plugs in the cold water. The decider on exactly how far upriver anglers should go will be turbidity.

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 some surprisingly bright hatchery coho salmon. Wild coho and chinook must be released unharmed.

Downstream of the Shady Cove ramp is open for artificial lures but not bait. Effort there has been lighter than upstream of Shady Cove, and there definitely are fewer steelhead down lower than higher up. Fishing deeper, somewhat slower runs has been most effective. 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 at Dodge Bridge were hovering around 3,025 cfs this week but they are forecast to climb steadily beginning today and peak around 4,000 cfs Sunday afternoon. If the clarity holds up, it could be good for steelhead once flows start to drop. Another pulse of rain is forecast to send flows even higher next week.

Flows were at about 2,600 cfs at the old Gold Ray Dam site and forecast to peak late Sunday around 5,600 cfs — iffy on the turbidity there because the main difference in flows from Dodge to Gold Ray are the muddy Little Butte and Bear creeks.

In the middle Rogue, summer steelhead fishing was good this week with plugs from the city of Grants Pass on down. Flows at Grants Pass were down to about 2,700 cfs Thursday and are forecast to jump up 6,500 cfs by early Monday.

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: The river started rising Thursday and flows are forecast to peak around 6,000 cfs Sunday afternoon. As the flows drop and clear, look for some excellent winter steelhead catches while side-drifting roe and corkies with Bouncing Betties.

ELK: The river was low and clear Thursday and should start to rise, although not a lot of rain is forecast to hit the Port Orford area. When conditions improve, look for a mix of decent late-run chinook in the lower river and fresh winter steelhead spread out.

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