1011090232 OR_Med_steelhead.JPG
A winter steelhead is released on the Rogue River near Shady Cove in April. Mail Tribune / Jamie Lusch

Oct. 26 Fishing report

OCEAN OUTLOOK

COASTWIDE: The weekend starts with a small-craft advisory through this afternoon, with 10-knot winds but swells up to 11 feet. Saturday is forecast to bring 10-knot winds but see the swells die down to 8 feet, then things get uglier Sunday when the winds are forecast to hit 25 knots and crease swells up to 12 feet.

The marine aggregate rockfish daily limit for bottomfishers is five fish. Cabezon must be released unharmed. Rockfish angling is open beyond the 30-fathom line, and it will stay that way for the rest of the year as long as rockfish quotas remain on the table. A descending device to help release rockfish caught in deeper water is mandatory on all boats.

Look for like lingcod catches since most of the fish have moved further offshore and the weather doesn’t look conducive for longer runs.

Surfperch fishing will be questionable through the weekend because of heavy winds and rough surf.

All recreational crabbing is closed south of Cape Blanco, even in bays and estuaries, because of domoic acid levels. North of Cape Blanco sees crabbing allowed only in bays. The ocean is off limits until Dec. 1.open in bays but closed in the open ocean until Dec. 1.

There are no minus day-time tides this week, but some good night tides. Razor clamming is closed from the mouth of the Umpqua River to the California border due to domoic acid levels. Bay clamming is open along the coast, but the recreational harvest of mussels is closed from the Coquille River south jetty to the California border. Before digging, call the shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474.

LAKE OUTLOOK

AGATE: The lake is 7 percent full and holding steady. Cast worms off the dam for crappie and bass. No gas motors are allowed. Electric trolling motors are OK. The park closes at dusk.

APPLEGATE: With only 19 cubic-feet-per-second of water flowing into the lake, the lake level keeps dropping quickly despite releases of only 148 cfs. The lake’s surface temperature continues to drop amid cold nights, and that is improving trout fishing for those getting down to the water. Trout fishing should be picking up, as the lake’s surface temperature has cooled to 60 degrees. The water level is now down to slightly more than 100 feet from full. Not much angling activity at the lake, but those fishing off the bank and along the dam’s face are doing well with worms under bobbers and PowerBait. Many of the lake’s trout are still sporting copapods. The parasites should be scraped off before cooking. Releasing sport-caught trout with copapods allows the parasites to spread.

DIAMOND: Trout fishing remains very good with fewer anglers taking advantage of unseasonably warm and calm weather. Most of the action is on the south end with worms under bobbers in about 15 feet of water. Use a leader length that keeps the worm a little off the top of the weedline. Trollers should start with Wedding Ring lures spiked with a small piece of worm about 4 feet behind a small flasher. Stiffer winds have forced most fly-fishers of the water. All tiger trout must be released unharmed, and they’re pretty easy to catch at the south end.

EMIGRANT: The lake has dropped back again to 12 percent full, and fishing action remains slow. The general public is banned from driving on the lake bed below the high-water mark and it is getting enforced. For those walking to he water, fish crankbaits around submerged rock formations.

EXPO: Trout fishing is poor because of a dearth of fish.

FISH: Larger rainbow trout were stocked recently, and fishing has been very good off the bank or from pontoon boats that must be dragged down to the shore. The lake has risen dramatically to 20 percent full, but still not enough for a workable boat ramp. Water quality has improved a little, but some algae remains. PowerBait has been an excellent bait of choice for a mix of rainbows, landlocked chinook, precocial steelhead and tiger trout, the latter of which must be released unharmed.

HOWARD PRAIRIE: Fishing is good for rainbow trout for still-fishers in deeper water near the dam with PowerBait, and cooling waters have the trout more active now. The lake was listed Thursday at 34 percent full.

HYATT: Access is very poor with no workable ramps. The lake is only 4 percent full. Boat access is limited to small boats that can be launched off the shore or carried to the water. The few people trying are reportedly doing well for rainbow trout on leech and woolly bugger flies or worms or PowerBait.

LAKE OF THE WOODS: The lake is fishing decently for rainbows and perch with worms and PowerBait, while trolling has been fair to good for trout. Brown trout and kokanee fishing have been slow, but that should pick up with cooler evenings.

LOST CREEK: The public access restrictions at Stewart State Park, Takelma boat ramp and bank access on both sides of Lost Creek dam have been lifted, and that’s where most of the action is. Trolling Wedding Ring lures spiced with a worm has been very good, especially when the wind dies down. The lake is down to 64 feet from full and 4 feet below the normal low-water mark for winter flood control. Outflows are holding steady at 1,150 cubic feet per second.

WILLOW: The lake was stocked in late summer with 5,000 legal-sized rainbow trout and 1,500 larger trout. Bass fishing has been popular of late. The lake has more water in it than most in Jackson County.

SELMAC: Public access is allowed again after fire closures. Bass fishing is fair.

RIVER OUTLOOK

ROGUE: The lower Rogue Bay has lost interest to fewer than a half-dozen boats have been on the bay during the day. The middle Rogue has a smattering of adult summer steelhead and starting to see the beginnings of a good halfpounder steelhead run this year. The upper Rogue has been fair to good for steelhead during the flies-only season, which switches over Thursday to bait-fishing upstream of the Shady Cove boat ramp.

And that’s the when and where for the best bet this week. Getting back to bait upstream of the Shady Cove ramp each Nov. 1 always sparks a lot of interest and activity, and look for good fishing through the weekend. Side-drifting roe at the heads of pools and tailouts will be best, since summer steelhead are seriously focused in on eating stray eggs.

Downstream of the Shady Cove ramp is open for artificial flies and lures but no bait. Side-drifting single plastic eggs will not only be good beginning on Thursday, it will be legal. Smaller plugs also will work fine. Until Thursday, the rules remain flies-only with no added weights or attachments.

The nearly 1,000 recycled “retread” steelhead in and around the TouVelle State Recreation Area released three weeks ago haven’t moved appreciably upstream yet, thanks largely to low and cold water conditions. Flows out of Lost Creek Lake remain at 1,150 cfs. Flows at Dodge Bridge Thursday were down to 1,296 cfs, while flows at the old Gold Ray Dam site were down almost 350 cfs to 1,306 cfs Thursday.

In the middle Rogue, chinook fishing is closed upstream of the Hog Creek boat ramp. Wild summer steelhead are around most creek mouths and behind early chinook spawners, but that really won’t get going for another week or two. Halfpounders are starting to show up to join what has been a steelhead catch dominated by smaller fish this year.

Anglers using plugs are hitting some summer steelhead from Valley of the Rogue State Park through Grants Pass. Cop Car and black-and-silver Weewarts are working, as are MagLip lures. Also lots of smaller steelhead are getting caught on worms or Panther Martin lures.

In the lower Rogue, the bay is a bust and the chinook bound for Indian Creek have not materialized. Most of the lower Rogue action is on halfpounders between Lobster Creek and Agness. Fish streamer flies, side-dirft worms or cast black and yellow Panther Martins for these very aggressive fish.

APPLEGATE: The river is open to rainbow trout fishing, and only hatchery trout can be kept. Don’t expect to find them, however, because only fin-clipped winter steelhead are released there, and they are small and should be avoided. All cutthroat must be released. Rainbow trout longer than 16 inches are considered steelhead, and the river is closed to steelhead fishing until Jan. 1.

CHETCO: Trolling the estuary for fall chinook has been fair to occasionally good with anchovies. The upriver fishery doesn’t open for two more weeks.

ELK: Fall chinook moved into tidewater last week, but waters have since dropped. The mouth is open.

NORTH UMPQUA: Steelhead fishing is slow. Angling closes at 2 p.m. daily to protect wild summer steelhead threatened by low and warm conditions. Also, all angling is closed within 200 feet of tributaries between the Scottsburg Bridge and the River Forks boat ramp.

Share This Story