Fishing Report: Sept. 25, 2011

Coastwide - Rain and swells 7 to 9 feet tall are forecast for the weekend, and that might scare bottomfishers and Brookings salmon fishermen away.

The ocean coho season is over coastwide in the open ocean, but anglers are still fishing in some bays, such as the Coos, Coquille and Rogue, for them.

Bottomfish anglers must stay within the 20-fathom line to steer clear of yelloweye rockfish, which must be released unharmed. Halibut anglers cannot fish for bottomfish while halibut fishing. The marine aggregate limit in Oregon is seven rockfish a day. Cabezon can no longer be kept by boat anglers because the quota has been met. The lingcod limit is two a day with a 22-inch minimum, and that is separate from the marine aggregate.

Clatsop beaches will reopen to clamming Saturday, Oct. 1. The next minus tide series starts Sunday for clammers statewide.

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 - The ocean salmon season reopens Saturday, Oct. 1, off the Chetco mouth and stays open through Oct. 12. Bottomfishing has been fair to good. A few chinook are getting caught daily by anglers trolling cut-plug herring in the bay, but no big chinook have been caught yet.

CHARLESTON - Coho fishing has closed for the season in the ocean, and the bay opened for wild and hatchery coho Wednesday. Fishing for coho and chinook have been very good in the bay this past week, with great catches near the jetties, off the public dock in Coos Bay and at the mouth of Daniel's Creek. Trolling cut-plug herring behind flashers work best.

GOLD BEACH - Surfperch fishing has slowed amid choppy seas. Trolling anchovies with spinner blades was fabulous for fall chinook Monday but tapered off in recent days. A few coho are starting to show up in the bay, while the first few Indian Creek-bound chinook were caught this week. Water conditions are improving.

BANDON - Trolling for chinook remains good to very good with cut-plug herring all the way up to Rocky Point.

WINCHESTER BAY - Sturgeon fishing is slow. Chinook catches have been very good for trollers. Wild coho fishing is open. Early catches of coho have been good and it will get even better. Crabbing has been steady but the overall Dungeness catch has been low in the estuary.

AGATE - Water levels have dropped quickly recently, with the lake now at 40 percent full. Cooling temperatures have not helped restart the trout fishery, but good catches of bass and crappie continue on nightcrawlers or plastic worms. No gas motors are allowed. Small electric motors are legal.

APPLEGATE - Trout anglers are still getting fish by trolling worms with flashers or Triple Teasers off points. Look for improved trout catches with the cooler water. 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 - The lake has warmed and dropped significantly recently, and the lake is now only half full. Trout fishing is slow, but it is best in the cooler waters in the Emigrant Arm. 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 starting to see a better trout bite now that cooler air temperatures have hit the Dead Indian Plateau. Anglers fishing deep and in the early mornings and late evenings along the channel have seen the best success. Success along the jetty near the resort has been spotty, as is fishing near Grizzly Campground. The lake is holding at about 80 percent full.

HYATT - Fishing near the dam and around the Orchard has been fair for trout with chartreuse or rainbow PowerBait. Late evening has been best. Largemouth bass fishing is excellent for those wind-drifting worms or casting and retrieving any red spinner or spoon. The lake is 86 percent full.

DIAMOND - The lake continues to show good water quality and clarity. Trollers and anchored anglers are doing very well for trout up to 25 inches on F-4 Flatfish or Triple Teasers. Fly-fishers are using black or olive leeches in the south end, with mornings and evenings best. Fish mostly in water 18 to 20 feet now until cool weather returns. For PowerBaiters, float your bait about 4 feet above the bottom for rainbows feeding on insects and freshwater shellfish on the weeds. If you go 15 minutes without a bite, move.

The trout limit is eight, 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 remains fair for stocked rainbow trout with Panther Martin lures, PowerBait and worms under bobbers.

LOST CREEK - The lake's water quality remains 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. The lake is four feet below its normal September level. The Stewart State Park boat ramp is inoperable for all but car-topper boats.

FISH - The lake's water quality is good, and fishing is fair to good with PowerBait or worms for rainbow trout near the center of the lake. Trollers are also picking up stocked chinook salmon, which are treated legally as trout. They run up to about 11 inches.

LEMOLO - A voluntary advisory against water contact has been lifted. Trolling for big brown trout should be good, and fly-fishers using woolly buggers or leeches were finding a mix of rainbows and browns.

WILLOW - Fishing is fair 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 is flowing low and in good shape to fish egg flies behind chinook for steelhead, while the middle Rogue around Robertson Bridge has been pretty hot for fall chinook. After a torrid bite in the lower Rogue bay, fall chinook fishing has tapered back the past two days, and coho are starting to show there as well.

That shifts the best bet to the middle Rogue, where anglers using Kwikfish wrapped with sardine filets are finding good numbers of big fall chinook. This might be the last good weekend for middle Rogue chinook because these fish can turn dark quickly in the warm waters. Bank anglers are also finding some chinook with beads and corkies in Finley Bend.

With the flows down, a few people are starting to fly-fish or cast spinners for summer steelhead near the mouth of the Applegate River, Robertson Bridge and at places like Ennis Riffle and Carpenter's Island. Catches have been so-so. Flows at Grants Pass were down to 1,290 cubic feet per second.

In the lower Rogue, the chinook bite was hot through Tuesday but it died down over the past two days thanks largely to falling water flows. Plenty of chinook were seen in the bay, but they weren't biting. Some coho are starting to show, and a big influx of coho should start moving into the bay in about 10 days or so. Chinook fishing upstream of tidewater has been slow, but summer steelhead and halfpounder fishing are starting to pick up now that the flows are down.

The flows at Agness were down to 1,290 cfs Thursday, and that's ideal for swinging streamer flies for halfpounders and adult steelhead with sink-tip lines during mornings and evenings.

In the upper Rogue, it's flies-only now through October from the Hatchery Hole down to the old Gold Ray Dam site. Anglers can use up to three flies and a bubble regardless of what kind of rod or reel is used. However, there are no added weights or attachments, and that includes swivels.

Flows out of Lost Creek Lake are a fly-fisher-friendly 1,147 cfs now. Look to fish egg patterns below spawning beds. Catches have been a bit slow this past week, but look for steelheading to rebound once outflows stabilize at these rates.

Now is also the time to swing streamers with sink-tip lines in riffles and tail-outs before water temperatures drop and the steelhead get less active. Bank anglers can use spinning rods, ugly bugs and prince nymphs. All wild steelhead must be released unharmed.

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 - Excellent catches of chinook and coho are reported in the lower end of the mainstem river. Summer steelhead catches remain low in the lower North Umpqua, where all wild steelhead must be released unharmed. The South Umpqua remains 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.

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