River Outlook

ROGUE - Water flows are dropping riverwide, and that is turning all salmon-anglers' eyes to the upper Rogue, which remains the best bet for spring chinook fishing from the bank or boats.

The spring chinook count over Gold Ray Dam has inched up to 5,863 fish, and that has generated a little excitement that's been lost since the ban on killing wild spring chinook went into effect river-wide for the remainder of the season. The majority of the chinook now over Gold Ray Dam are fin-clipped hatchery fish, of which two can be kept daily.

Bank anglers are now elbow-to-elbow at the Hatchery Hole for a reason: guys are catching decent numbers of fish daily. Best catches are at pre-dawn, when glow-in-the-dark corkies are the crowd favorite. But don't pass on green and deep-red beads.

Flows out of Lost Creek Lake were holding steady at 3,203 cubic feet per second, low enough to get springers interested in entering the Cole Rivers Hatchery collection pond.

Boat anglers remain concentrated upstream of Rogue Elk Park. That stretch has the best percentage of hatchery fish in the water. But don't scoff at waters from Dodge Bridge down to Gold Ray Dam. They are consistently coughing up fish, though not in great numbers.

The upper Rogue now has 200 summer steelhead, and a few people are starting to stalk them. They are really aggressive and tend to hold in fast riffles. Catch them with worms, streamer flies, prince nymphs and stonefly imitations, crayfish plugs and even pink plastic worms.

Stable upper Rogue flows also are making for good fly-fishing for rainbow and cutthroat trout.

The middle Rogue is almost dead water at this time of year, with very little spring chinook action and just a few people casting worms for migrating summer steelhead. Focus on the inside turns and bring a dictionary to read between casts.

The lower Rogue has been really hit-or-miss for spring chinook this season, with virtually all the action now between Lobster Creek and Agness. There's been very little activity in the bay this week, with more people casting for surfperch off the sand spit than trolling for springers.

The far upper Rogue in the Union Creek/Prospect areas will be stocked again this week with rainbow trout. Worms, single salmon eggs and most nymph flies are working well.

UMPQUA - Shad fishing has improved greatly. Most of the bank action is around Yellow Creek and Sawyer's Rapids, but driftboaters are finding pockets of fish all over upstream of tidewater. Chartreuse jigs and shad flies are working best. Sturgeon and striped bass fishing remains a hair above slow in the estuary, and effort has waned. Bass are starting to get active in the main-stem, while smallmouth fishing is excellent in the South Umpqua, especially since flows at Riddle are down to 900 cfs this week.

In the North Umpqua, spring chinook fishing remains decent. Most of the catch and effort remains in the Narrows and Swiftwater areas. The North Umpqua is open to catch-and-release trout fishing from the mouth upstream to Soda Springs Dam.

COQUILLE - Some cutthroat trout are being caught in tidewater. Upstream fishing for trout remains slow.

CHETCO - The Chetco River system is open to trout fishing, and some early-season cutthroats have been caught in tidewater free-drifting bait such as sandshrimp or prawns. Look for cutthroat fishing to improve in early June.

APPLEGATE - Anglers are finding some rainbows and cutthroats now that flows have dropped. The flow at Wilderville was down to 412 cfs. All wild trout and cutthroats must be released unharmed.

DESCHUTES - Spring chinook fishing below Sherars Falls has been good for plunkers, with catches improving as water levels drop. Trout fishing is improving on the lower Deschutes upstream from White River with the warmer temperatures. A few salmon flies have been observed in the Maupin area.

KLAMATH - Angling below Keno dam is fair as flows are currently around 1,000 cfs. Lures and flies imitating minnows and leeches work well. Caddis flies and damsel flies are now hatching.

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 fair.

WOOD - Flows are high in the lower Wood. Fishing is slow for brown trout and redband trout. A few salmon flies are hatching.

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