COASTWIDE: This is not the weekend to be on the water. Forecasts call for 17-foot swells today followed Saturday by 50-knot winds and 16-foot seas off Brookings, which will be one of the more calm areas along the Oregon Coast. Sunday calls for winds to back down to 25 knots, but 16-foot swells will remain.
The salmon season out of Brookings is over now that the Chetco bubble fishery finished Sunday. Fishing in the Chetco estuary is open and will be good once the storm eases.
Rockfish anglers can now venture past the 20-fathom line, but that probably won't happen until midweek at the earliest. Anglers can keep one cabezon a day along with their seven-fish aggregate limit.
The ocean and bays are open to crabbing coastwide, and crabbing in Coos Bay has been very good. However, the heavy influx of fresh water from the current storms will push Dungeness out. Ocean crabbing also has been very good, but ocean crabbing ends Saturday night until December.
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. This storm, however, could change the acid levels. Before digging, check the shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474.
AGATE: The lake was listed Thursday at 15 percent full and finally steady, 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 17 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 up to 21 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. Tiger trout as big as 18 inches have been caught, but they must be released unharmed.
HOWARD PRAIRIE: Fishing should be good after the current spate of storms move through and the weather steadies. Holdover trout in the 14- to 19-inch range are being caught. The lake has dropped slightly to 46 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 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 come up next week if the reservoir captures enough water to get the surface elevation above 1,812 feet. Before the storm Thursday, the reservoir level was at 1,809.4 feet above sea level. 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 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.
ROGUE: The upper Rogue is going through its first appreciable rise in water, and steelhead fishing should be fair when it drops, especially for those fishing just downstream from spawning fall chinook salmon. The middle Rogue continues to be slow for summer steelhead and fall chinook where allowed, and the lower Rogue is slow for everything amid heavy winds and rising water.
That makes the upper Rogue the best bet, because it really is the only game in town now.
Flows in the upper Rogue out of Lost Creek were holding at 1,150 cfs, and look for those to pump up next week if the reservoir level rises more than 3 feet during the current spate of storms. Flows at Dodge Bridge were forecast to peak around 2,300 cfs Sunday, but that seems low considering rainfall estimates for inland valleys. Flows at the old Gold Ray Dam site are forecast to peak Sunday at 5,600 cfs. The best fishing is with egg patterns below spawning chinook, so the heads of riffles will hold the most fish. Fishing remains flies-only through October, with bobbers allowed but no other added weights or attachments. That includes swivels. The water is very cool, so swinging leeches or traditional streamers is slow. Be careful not to wade in redds.
Middle Rogue anglers were hitting a few very late-run and dark fall chinook downstream of Hog Creek by back-bouncing roe, but this storm should put that show out of business. Summer steelhead fishing with worms or flies is also slow because of a lack of fish. Flows at Grants Pass were up and forecast to peak Sunday at 7,000 cfs.
Fly and bait fishing for halfpounders and adult summer steelhead was fairly good in the Agness area, but flows there are forecast to peak Monday at 13,000 cfs. Look for high flows to cancel out angling deep into next week.
High winds will keep trollers off the bay for the end of the fall chinook and coho seasons there.
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 but decent for fall chinook, but storm conditions likely will keep anglers off the water this weekend.