COASTWIDE: Forecasts call for improving weather through the weekend after a gale warning scheduled to run into this morning dissipates. Forecasts call for winds up to 10 knots and wind waves of up to 8 feet today, followed Saturday by 5-knot winds and and wind waves up to 5 feet. Sunday looks best, with 5-knot winds and 2-foot wind waves.
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 can now venture past the 30-fathom line. But those who do 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 38 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 that have put Upper Applegate Road residents on notice for possible evacuation, but that could change at any moment. 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 330 cfs. The lake was listed Thursday at 44.5 feet from full, down more than 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 poor 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 45 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 is 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 61 percent full, down a hair from last week. It is still fishing well for legal-sized rainbows stocked a month ago, with more stocking scheduled for later this month. 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 82 percent full. The lake's surface temperature has dropped slightly to 70 degrees. A fair amount of algae is present in the water.
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. However, with a 70-degree surface temperature, trout fishing has slowed and lots of smaller largemouth bass are getting caught. The lake continues to drop and is now at 41 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 55.5 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 chinook salmon season is closed but steelhead fishing is ramping up for the flies-only season, while the middle Rogue is about a week away from being really good for fall chinook. The lower Rogue Bay is loaded with chinook and no smoke, so that makes it the best bet for angling — as well as public-health — for the long Labor Day weekend.
In the lower Rogue bay, catches continue to be solid amid clear, smokeless skies, with temperatures in the 70s and the nasty wind of previous days pretty calm for Gold Beach. 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 up a tad to 2,751 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. Now is when streamer flies like 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 sunrise floats are getting rewarded with nice-sized summer steelhead.
Flows at Dodge Bridge were down to 2,112 cfs Thursday and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was scheduled to drop Lost Creek Lake releases today to 2,000 cfs and then to 1,500 cfs Wednesday. Flows Thursday at the old Gold Ray Dam site were down to 2,350 cfs Thursday.
Anglers fishing downstream of Fishers Ferry boat ramp can keep wild springers 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.
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.