COASTWIDE: A small-craft advisory is in effect through tonight. Winds today will be kicking up from 10 knots in the morning to 15 knots in the evening, with swells up to 6 feet. Saturday’s forecast calls for winds up to 20 knots and wind waves up to 4 feet. Sunday looks like much of the same, but the wind waves are forecast to grow to 6 feet.
Lingcod fishing has been excellent when anglers can get out, particularly out of Brookings.
The ocean chinook salmon season opened Saturday off Southern Oregon and was a bit slow as anglers wait for schools of Rogue-bound chinook to reach Southern Oregon. The season runs uninterrupted through Aug. 26. Troll deep and slow with large herring or anchovies, which are present in decent numbers off the coast.
Surfperch fishing should be very good Saturday at places such as Nesika and Winchuck Beach, as well as Cape Blanco, particularly near the mouth of Elk River. Fish with Berkley Gulp sand worms or sandshrimp as well as lug worms.
Commercial and recreational crabbing is open coast-wide, but ocean and dock crabbing in Charleston have slowed.
Another nice stretch of morning minus tides begins Sunday and runs through the rest of the week, nadiring out with a minus-1.0 low tide at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday off Brookings. That makes for another nice week for summer clamming. Razor clamming has been very good in the open stretch from the Columbia River to Cascade Head, including the clam-rich Clatsop County beaches. That open area was extended this week all the way to the Yachats River thanks to decreased levels of domoic acid in Dungeness tested in that zone. That joined the recent opening for razor clams on beaches from the Umpqua River’s south jetty to Cape Arago south of Coos bay. The rest of the coast is closed to razors because of elevated levels of domoic acid. Bay clamming and the recreational harvest of mussels is open along the entire coast, but that can change quickly, so check the shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474 before digging.
AGATE: The lake was stocked last month with 350 larger-sized rainbow trout to go along with trout stocked in early winter. Fishing for them has been pretty good with PowerBait or worms under bobbers, but that will start to wane as water temperatures start to rise and really turn this into a warmwater fish show. The lake is down to 93 percent full. Fish for bass and panfish around the submerged willows. No gas motors are allowed. Electric trolling motors are OK. The park closes at dusk.
APPLEGATE: The lake is just a few inches from full. Another 10,000 legal-sized trout and 800 larger trout were stocked there last month. The Seattle Bar area has been popular, with trolling woolly buggers or tossing small spinners from float tubes working well. The rest of the lake has been tough fishing off the bank. Slow trolling of Flatfish or Wedding Ring lures could be good, and still-fishing in the French Gulch cove with PowerBait should be good. The surface temperature was up to 66 degrees this week.
DIAMOND: The lake’s rainbows remain very active, and catches continue to be excellent, with most anglers getting their five-trout limit with a little effort. Still-fishers and fly-fishers working the south side, the shrimp beds, and the old cheese hole have done very well. The water is warming, and conditions are close to ideal. Fish worms about 5 feet under bobbers and PowerBait off the bottom, as well as chironomid flies stripped slowly in the bottom half of the water column. All tiger trout must be released unharmed.
EMIGRANT: The lake is down just a hair to 76 percent full. The lake was stocked last week with 1,000 rainbow trout at the county boat ramp, and that’s where the action is for bait fishers using PowerBait or worms under bobbers. Trollers should use Flatfish or Wedding Ring lures with worms, with or without dodgers. Bass fishing has been good with plastic worms and grubs fished slowly, and with crankbaits deep. The county boat ramp is open during daylight hours.
EXPO: The pond will be stocked with another 1,000 legal-sized rainbow trout next week in preparation for Free Fishing Day. That’s atop the 3,000 fish stocked over the past two weeks, so the pond is loaded now. Look for the action to be excellent with worms, PowerBait and small spinners. There is a $4 day-use parking fee off Gate 5.
FISH: The lake is set to get another 3,500 legal-sized trout next week in preparation for Free Fishing Weekend. That’s on top of 4,500 legal-sized rainbows and 500 trophy rainbows stocked there two weeks ago. Look for good fishing in the marina area with PowerBait, worms and small spinners. The lake actually rose a tad to 83 percent full. Streamer flies and small Rapala plugs that look like tui chubs will start working for bigger rainbows and brown trout now that the water is warming.
HOWARD PRAIRIE: The lake is fishing well for rainbow trout for still-fishers with PowerBait in the shallows in the morning, and for trollers working the lake’s far-side channel with Wedding Ring or Tasmanian Devil lures. All of the resort facilities are open, but the campground is completely booked for Memorial Day weekend. The lake was stocked earlier this month with 7,500 legal-sized rainbows. The lake was listed Thursday at 62 percent full, down a hair from last week.
HYATT: The lake is set to receive another 7,450 legal-sized trout next week in preparation for Free Fishing Weekend. The BLM’s campground and Mountain View boat ramp are open, and the lake level is at 41 percent full. That likely will work for most trailered ramps, but be sure to scout it closely before launching. Trolling and still-fishing for trout have been very good near the dam, in the Orchard area and along the creek channel. Trollers should work the shorelines and the old creek channel.
LAKE OF THE WOODS: The lake is fishing well for rainbows and perch with worms and PowerBait, while trolling Tasmanian Devils has been good for trout as well. Brown trout fishing and kokanee catches have been slow.
LOST CREEK: Another 10,000 legal-sized rainbow trout and 1,500 larger trout were stocked this past week, making this weekend likely the best fishing weekend at the lake so far this year. Fishing is best near the Takelma ramp, around the island and trolling the far portion of the dam’s face. Flows out of Lost Creek will be holding steady at 2,250 cubic feet per second through the weekend as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has the lake hovering just under full. Bank anglers using PowerBait at either side of the dam also are faring well.
WILLOW: The lake was stocked this week with 5,000 legal-sized rainbow trout and 1,500 larger trout in time for Memorial Day Weekend and the upcoming Free Fishing Weekend. Catch them near the county boat ramp and straight out in the lake from there. Bass fishing is picking up. The lake was listed this week at 99 percent full.
SELMAC: The lake received another 3,000 legal-sized rainbow trout last week and that has jump-started what had been a lack-luster trout fishery. Another 1,000 legals will be added next week in preparation for Free Fishing Weekend. Catch them on PowerBait, small spinners and woolly bugger flies.
ROGUE: Chinook salmon fishing is picking up thanks to better numbers of fish in the upper Rogue, where early summer steelhead are starting to show in good enough numbers to consider fishing for them. The middle Rogue is slow for chinook, as is expected, and the lower Rogue remains plagued with a dearth of springers this season.
That makes the upper Rogue the best bet on this long holiday weekend, and expect things to stay that way until fall chinook move into the bay. Cole Rivers Hatchery technicians collected another 378 spring chinook this week at the hatchery collection pond, upping the previously anemic counts to 858 springers. That’s the best in three years and just shy of the 10-year running average of 898 chinook. Upper Rogue catches have been reflecting that, for both bankies and boat anglers. Bank anglers are consistently getting spring chinook early in the morning at the Hatchery Hole, while driftboaters are doing best upstream of Shady Cove. Fish by back-bouncing roe and sandshrimp combinations or use MagLip 3.5 or 3.0 plugs scented, but don’t abandon the smaller Kwikfish wrapped with sardines.
Already 32 summer steelhead have reached Cole Rivers Hatchery, and that’s an all-time high for this time of year. They’ll hit everything, and they range from under 20 inches to 12 pounds. But be wary, late-run or spawned-out winter steelhead can look bright, but their meat will be of poor quality and should be released. Regardless, all wild steelhead must be released unharmed river-wide for the remainder of the year.
Flows Thursday at Dodge Bridge rose steadily after Wednesday’s rains and were at 2,379 cfs and forecast to hold through the long weekend. Flows at the old Gold Ray Dam site were at 2,617 cfs Thursday.
In the middle Rogue, bank anglers are either pounding Hayes or Rainie falls or heading upriver. A few springers have come to driftboat anglers between Rogue River and Grants Pass on roe or plugs. Flows Thursday at Grants Pass were pretty low at 2,571 cfs Thursday.
In the lower Rogue, the spring chinook bite has improved some, but there still are a dearth of springers down there.
In the far upper Rogue, trout are stocked weekly, and fishing for them is consistently good with worms and single salmon eggs at places like Union Creek Campground.