River Outlook

ROGUE - Spring chinook fishing closes tonight in the upper Rogue, becoming an all-steelhead show until November. The middle Rogue remains slow for summer steelhead and early fall chinook, while the lower Rogue is shifting into the new regulations for fall chinook fishing that curbs the season limit to a maximum of 10.

The best bet will be the upper Rogue today, the last day to do a combo salmon-steelhead trip. After that, the decent early returns of summer steelhead should keep evening anglers busy. As of July 23, 2,066 summer steelhead have been counted over Gold Ray Dam. That's a decent early start. Most of these fish are under 20 inches long, an indicator of decent ocean conditions.

These aggressive fish are biting crayfish plugs, streamer flies, nymphs, worms, small spinners and even pink rubber worms. Most of the better fish have been taken at dusk and in faster water, which has more oxygen. The hour before dusk is best.

Flows out of Lost Creek Lake were a hair under 1,400 cubic feet per second Wednesday, which has improved plug fishing for steelhead because driftboaters don't have to row as hard as they did last week.

The middle Rogue remains slow for summer steelhead and early fall chinook. Beginning Friday, anglers will be limited to no more than 10 wild fall chinook from Gold Ray Dam to the ocean. That area remains open for wild chinook. Fish moving over Gold Ray Dam through Aug. 15 will be considered spring chinook. Recent counts at Gold Ray Dam have tapered off and the count through July 23 was 11,110 chinook.

The lower Rogue continues to be decent for those trolling the bay, with a good number of 40-plus pounders already in the mix. Pressure is surprisingly light so far, with guides out-producing private boats more than 2-to-1. Anchovies with a spinner blade work best, with most of the catches downstream from the Highway 101 bridge. Evenings recently have been best because morning minus tides appear to be drawing chinook out of the bay.

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

UMPQUA - In the mainstem, shad fishing is falling off. Smallmouth bass fishing is picking 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. 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.

COQUILLE - Cutthroat trout are well dispersed within the system. Upstream fishing for trout remains slow. A few sturgeon were caught last week in tidewater. Striped bass fishing is slow.

CHETCO - The Chetco River system is open to trout fishing, and cutthroat trout are getting far in both the lower and far upper areas. Flows remain low and warm, with just 71 cfs of water logged Wednesday at the river gauge.

APPLEGATE - The river is open to trout fishing, and anglers are finding some rainbows and cutthroat. The out-flows from the reservoir were at 310 cfs Wednesday. All wild trout and all cutthroats must be released unharmed.

DESCHUTES - Trout fishing is good on the lower Deschutes upstream from White River with the warmer temperatures and lower water flows helping anglers. 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.

Lures and flies imitating minnows and leeches work well.

WILLIAMSON - Flows are dropping and fish are moving into the mouth area from the lake. Fishing for redband trout is fair in the upper end.

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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