River Outlook

ROGUE - Summer steelhead fishing has slowed in the upper Rogue after a quick burst of decent fishing following last week's rains; steelhead and salmon fishing has slowed in the middle Rogue; and success has dropped to a crawl in the lower Rogue.

That makes the upper Rogue the best bet for the weekend, but more by default. Summer steelhead fishing continues with flies-only through Wednesday. Beginning Nov. 1, anglers can again use artificial flies and lures, and that should start a flurry of action. Side-drifting egg flies should be very good beginning Nov. 1, as will catches of larger steelhead on plugs like the Cop Car and crawfish patterns.

No bait is allowed in the upper Rogue, and no chinook fishing is allowed until Nov. 1.

Water conditions again are a problem, as low and cold flows, with 1,113 cubic feet per second of 41-degree water now released from Lost Creek Lake. That leaves the steelhead sluggish and uninterested at rising to a fly. So fish single egg patterns or Ugly Bugs along the bottom. Summer steelhead are focusing on eating chinook eggs, so fish behind spawning fall chinook river-wide.

Steelhead and coho migrations have remained sluggish. About two dozen steelhead are crossing Gold Ray Dam daily, and that's not good. Also, only 111 coho had crossed the dam through Oct. 18, and that's awfully slow, as well.

The middle Rogue is fair to good for summer steelhead, but the catch and the effort has fallen off this week. Steelhead are still focusing on eggs, so drift-fish with eggs or egg flies downstream of spawning beds without stepping in them. The lower Rogue bay has been slow for coho, but a few of the Indian Creek chinook are staging off the creek's mouth. You can catch these fish with flies or lures cast from the bank. All wild steelhead must be released unharmed river-wide.

ILLINOIS - Fishing for summer steelhead is tapering off as steelhead move out of the river and back into the Rogue. No bait is allowed, just flies, lures or plastic corkies. As water temperatures cool in the Rogue, these steelhead will back out and head up the Rogue.

UMPQUA - In the estuary, fall chinook and coho catches have been spotty below the 101 bridge. Bank anglers are starting to catch a few chinook at Osprey Point and in Winchester Bay. Sturgeon fishing has been slow, but some large green sturgeon are being picked up in the Big Bend area.

In the main-stem, smallmouth fishing has tapered off. Steelhead fishing remains very slow in the fly-only area of the North Umpqua, though fishing picked up a tad this week. Winchester Dam counts show that 6,614 spring chinook and 3,893 summer steelhead have crossed the dam.

COOS - Fall chinook fishing has slowed as water conditions drop. Bank anglers casting spinners are doing fair in Isthmus Slough and around the mouth of Daniel's Creek. In the Dellwood area, chinook were caught this week with eggs and sandshrimp fished under bobbers.

COQUILLE - Fall chinook fishing was slowed for boaters trolling anchovies and spinner blades in tidewater. Some big fish have been caught around Rock Point. Striped bass fishing is fair. Searun cutthroat are in the far upper reaches of the river system.

CHETCO - After a flurry of chinook catches last week, salmon fishing has slowed again amid low and cool water flows. Look for the next freshet to bring in fresh salmon. An ODFW netting crew working the Social Security Hole on Tuesday caught just one salmon.

ELK/SIXES - A few fall chinook have moved into the lower Chetco and Sixes rivers after last week's rains, but low and cool water conditions have put these salmon off the bite.

APPLEGATE - The Applegate is open for trout fishing, but anglers cannot target salmon or steelhead.

WILLIAMSON - Fly-fishing has tapered off in the lower river because of recent storm events.

KLAMATH - Fishing for rainbow and redband trout is good downstream of J.C. Boyle Dam with flies and small spinners. Watch for flow fluctuations. Call 800-547-1501 for updated flow information. Plenty of chinook are available in the area around Hornbrook, but they are in poor condition.

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