River Outlook

ROGUE - Water flows are holding steady and that has put the skids to spring chinook salmon migration in the upper Rogue, while a decent early showing of summer steelhead has some anglers busy and early fall chinook salmon are still getting caught at a decent rate for mid-July in the lower Rogue bay.

The combination of springers and early-run summer steelhead make the upper Rogue the best bet this weekend, but keep an eye on the lower Rogue bay as early fall chinook fishing really kicks in once the baitfish enter the estuary.

But the upper Rogue is now the spot worth the price of Medford gas. Through July 1 — the most updated count available from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, 9,423 spring chinook have crossed Gold Ray Dam. That alone is nothing to cheer about, but the flow of fish through the counting station has been steady though not overwhelming. But flows of 2,700 cubic feet per second out of Lost Creek dam and the hot weather have slowed chinook movement once they reach the upper Rogue. Bank fishing is slow at the Hatchery Hole, and few fish are entering the Cole Rivers Hatchery collection pond this past week.

Still, the best bet for upper Rogue spring chinook fishing remains driftboat fishing upstream of Rogue Elk Park, where catches are equally fair to good on roe and Kwikfish.

Evening fishing for summer steelhead is picking up as well, now that 1,124 steelhead have been counted over Gold Ray Dam as of July 1. Only 134 have been reported at the hatchery so far, so most of those are in the river. Steelhead prefer the fast, oxygen-laced waters. They're hitting crayfish plugs, small Kwikfish, worms, roe and even the occasional streamer fly.

Summer steelhead fishing is light in the middle Rogue, where evening fly-casters can work Merlin-area riffles with streamers and sink-tip lines.

In the lower Rogue, encouragingly decent early trolling for fall chinook continued this week, but the warm river water has discouraged the chinook from moving upstream. About a dozen fish are getting caught daily sprinkled among a bay fleet of about 20 boats per day at the heaviest. Some fish already have eclipsed 45 pounds. Trolling large anchovies with blades are the offerings of choice among successful trollers.

The far upper Rogue's regular trout-stocking is close to normal, but downed trees continue to make stocking Hamaker impossible this week. Worms, single salmon eggs and most nymph flies are working well for the stocked trout.

UMPQUA - In the main stem, shad fishing is starting to peter out, though lower water conditions have made shad accessible for bank anglers at hot spots like Sawyers Rapids and Yellow Creek. Smallmouth bass fishing is starting to pick up from Scottsburg up to the forks. Sturgeon fishing is slow in the bay.

The North Umpqua remains fair to good for spring chinook and early-run summer steelhead. Into early July, the Winchester Dam counting station has seen about 6,000 spring chinook and about 2,700 summer steelhead. Remember that only adipose fin-clipped steelhead can be kept on the North Umpqua. The North Umpqua is open to catch and release trout fishing from the mouth upstream to Soda Springs Dam. Fishing is fair.

Smallmouth bass fishing is very good in the South Umpqua, with plugs and flies working well in the warming waters.

COQUILLE - Some cutthroat trout are getting caught in tidewater. Upstream fishing for trout remains slow. A few sturgeon were caught this past week in tidewater.

CHETCO - The Chetco River system is open to trout fishing, and cutthroat trout are getting far in the lower part of the river as well as the far upper area. Flows remain low and warm.

APPLEGATE - The river is open to trout fishing, and anglers are finding some rainbows and cutthroats now that flows have steadied at a hair above 300 cfs out of the reservoir. All wild trout and all cutthroats must be released unharmed.

DESCHUTES - Trout fishing is improving on the lower Deschutes upstream from White River with the warmer temperatures, but high water levels continue to hamper success. Salmonflies have been observed from Warm Springs downstream. Trout anglers should be successful using nymphs along with salmonflies, but anglers should also be watchful for mid-day hatches.

Spring chinook fishing below Sherars Falls has been good when water conditions permit. Anglers are being most successful fishing the plunking holes. As the water level drops angling should continue to be consistently good.

KLAMATH - The Klamath River from J.C. Boyle Dam to the J.C. Boyle Powerhouse is very good for catching redband trout. Most redband trout in this section range from 6-12 inches. The Klamath River below the Powerhouse is fair for redband trout 10-14 inches in length.

Lures and flies imitating minnows and leeches work well.

WILLIAMSON - Flows are high and fishing for redband trout is slow in the upper end, while fishing for rainbow trout in the lower end is improving now that more fish are moving into the river from Klamath Lake.

WOOD - Flows are dropping in the lower Wood and that's helping improve fishing for brown trout and Klamath Lake trout now moving into the lower river. Chub-looking plugs and flies are working best.

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