Fishing Report: July 29, 2011

COASTWIDE - Hazardous seas warnings are in effect through tonight, and 20- to 30-knot winds are forecast through the weekend, which could provide seas too rough for the average stomach to handle.

Bottomfish anglers must stay within the 20-fathom line to steer clear of yelloweye rockfish, which must be released unharmed. Halibut fishing north of Humbug Mountain is closed until August.

The marine aggregate limit in Oregon is seven rockfish a day, and only one can be a cabezon. The lingcod limit is two a day with a 22-inch minimum, and that is separate from the marine aggregate.

Ocean salmon fishing has been very slow. Coho fishing north of Humbug Mountain is slow, and chinook fishing is slow coastwide.

Beaches from the mouth of the Columbia River down to Cape Meares are closed to mussel harvest, but the rest of the coast is open.

BROOKINGS - Good tuna water can be found about 30 miles west of port, but it's a tough run because of the wind and waves. Chinook fishing has been poor even when winds allow anglers to get out. Surfperch fishing has been excellent on calm days, with the females spawning near the Winchuck River mouth. Fish with sandshrimp, prawns, mussels, plastic, scented sandshrimp and streamer flies.

NEWPORT - The all-depth halibut season reopens Aug. 5-6, and catches should be excellent if weather permits smaller private boats to get past the 40-fathom line.

CHARLESTON - Anglers taking charter trips for tuna are landing on average close to 10 fish a trip. Coho fishing has picked up, with anglers averaging one fish per trip. Only fin-clipped coho can be kept.

GOLD BEACH - Surfperch fishing remains good outside of the Rogue River jetties and Nesika Beach, when the winds die down, during the top of the incoming tide and the first hour of the outgoing tide. A flurry of chinook salmon are being caught just above tidewater by anglers in anchored boats. A few fall chinook have been caught in the bay by trollers.

ELK - Fishing for surfperch is very good in and near the mouth of the Elk River, with catches best before the winds pick up.

WINCHESTER BAY - Sturgeon fishing is still slow. Crabbing has held steady but the overall Dungeness catch continues to be low in the estuary.

AGATE - Wind-drifting worms from boats remains the best option at the lake, where water temperatures are high and the warmwater bite is good. The lake is 90 percent full. No gas motors are allowed. Small electric motors are legal.

APPLEGATE - Trollers and fly-fishers working the Seattle Bar area are doing well with Wedding Ring lures and Triple Teasers or woolly buggers with sinking fly lines. Smallmouth bass are biting plastic worms and small crankbaits near the dam and off points. The French Gulch and Copper boat ramps are usable. Hart-Tish Park is open. For updates on facilities, call 541-899-9220.

EMIGRANT - Trout fishing is best near the dam and off the county boat ramp for those trolling or wind-drifting worms. Also, the cool in-flows from Emigrant Creek are drawing trout to the creek mouth. Catch them by casting a worm on a hook with no weights. Good water conditions have helped the bass and perch bites lake-wide, with perch fishing best in the willows and bass off rocky points and around Songer Wayside.

A standing public-health advisory continues about eating all but trout from the lake because of elevated mercury levels.

HOWARD PRAIRIE - The lake is fishing fairly well for smallmouth bass, but the lake's water remains quite cool. There are still plenty of 15- to 17-inch trout for anglers fishing deep and in the early mornings and late evenings. Trollers continue to out-produce bank anglers. Success along the jetty near the resort has been improving, as is fishing near Grizzly Campground.

HYATT - Fishing near the dam and around the Orchard has been good with chartreuse or rainbow PowerBait for trout. Largemouth bass fishing is excellent for those wind-drifting worms or casting and retrieving any red spinner or spoon.

DIAMOND - The rainbows are moving into deeper water, and that means a mix of trolling and still-fishing is working for rainbow trout despite a growing algae bloom. Trolling F-4 Flatfish or Triple Teasers for trout is very good, while fly-fishers using black or olive leeches are having some very good days in the south end, with mornings and evenings best. Fish mostly in water 18 to 20 feet. For PowerBaiters, the high weeds are problematic. Float your bait about 4 feet above the bottom for rainbows feeding on insects and freshwater shellfish in the weeds.

The temporary eight-fish limit remains in effect, but only one can be longer than 20 inches. One smaller rainbow with an orange tag in its dorsal fin is worth $500 to whomever catches it. Check it in at the resort if you catch it.

EXPO - Fishing is fair for stocked rainbow trout with Panther Martin lures, PowerBait and worms under bobbers.

LOST CREEK - The lake's water quality is very good, and trolling for trout is good near the dam and directly across from the marina. Smallmouth bass fishing is very good in the mornings and evenings for jiggers and those casting rubber worms in the weeds.

FISH - The lake's public-health advisory has been lifted, and fishing is good with PowerBait or worms for rainbow trout near the center of the lake. The lake was stocked last week with another 3,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. Fishing has been best for them around the resort and the cove near the Forest Service boat ramp with PowerBait, worms and streamer flies. Trollers also are picking up stocked chinook salmon that are treated legally as trout. They run to about 11 inches.

FOURMILE - The lake is accessible but the campground remains snowed in. Fishing effort has been light.

LEMOLO - Trolling for big brown trout is good, and fly-fishers using woolly buggers or leeches are finding a mix of rainbows and browns. Fish are more active in the mornings and evenings.

WILLOW - Fishing is good for legal-sized and larger rainbow trout stocked there earlier this year. Troll deep and slow, or fish PowerBait off the bottom.

ROGUE - The upper Rogue's spring chinook salmon season is approaching its traditional closure Sunday night, while summer steelhead anglers are getting cranked up for a good early season there. The middle Rogue is starting to boil with fresh, early-run fall chinook that no one has been fishing for yet, and the lower Rogue has been great for fall chinook — except when the wind roars like it has most of this week.

That keeps the best bet the upper Rogue, strictly because it has a mixture of chinook and steelhead to stalk.

Waters upstream of Dodge Bridge close to spring chinook fishing Sunday night, but water downstream of Dodge Bridge will remain open for wild and hatchery chinook for the next month. Late-run springers are starting to get a little dark, but a few fresh fish are in the mix. Kwikfish wrapped with sardine fillets and divers with roe are tops, but the persistent weeds continue to clog lures.

More than 500 summer steelhead have reached Cole Rivers Hatchery so far, indicating there should be plenty of fish scattered among the riffles and pocket water of the upper Rogue.

Boat anglers will fare best because water flows are high, with 3,100 cubic feet per second of water coming out of Lost Creek Lake this week. That's 100 cfs less than last week, but not enough drop to tell a difference.

K-11 Kwikfish plugs, streamer flies and stonefly nymphs with Prince nymph point flies are all great choices for boat anglers, while side-drifting worms or roe are good secondary choices. Pink rubber worms rock it, too. Fish riffles, tail-outs and inside corners around boulders. As the water warms, they will move toward more aerated water.

Bank anglers will struggle with water conditions for summer steelhead, but casting worms and Panther Martin lures will work well in areas like TouVelle State Park and the water between Casey State Park and the Hatchery Hole. All wild steelhead must be released unharmed.

In the lower Rogue, stiff winds have blown most anglers off the water after very good fishing last Friday through Sunday. A few anglers are braving the winds and running into a few fall chinook in the bay, while some guides continue to work the holes upstream of tidewater. When the winds die down, look to intercept chinook in migration lanes. That means anchoring on inside turns and fishing with anchovies with spinner blades or Brad's cut plugs off the bottom in 5 to 7 feet of water. Very few of the big early-run summer steelhead have showed themselves in the lower Rogue and halfpounder catches remain very light so far, largely because of the very high flows.

In the middle Rogue, fall chinook are showing up in canyons downstream of Grants Pass, so look for some higher effort and success there this weekend. Most of the catches come on Kwikfish because pikeminnows are thick and stealing roe when fished.

APPLEGATE - The river is open to trout fishing. All wild trout, including cutthroat, must be released unharmed. It is illegal to target spawning winter steelhead in the Applegate.

UMPQUA - Summer steelhead catches are very good in the lower North Umpqua, where all wild steelhead must be released unharmed. Shad are in, but they are tough to catch amid high-water conditions. The South Umpqua is excellent for smallmouth bass in the Elkton area. South Umpqua flows have been dropping consistently, and that has helped for bass catches on rubber worms and crayfish flies.

CHETCO - Side-drifting worms or tiny roe clusters is working well for cutthroat trout from Ice Box on down, and free-drifted prawns are catching fish in tidewater near high tide.

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