River Outlook

ROGUE - Fall chinook salmon are thick in the middle Rogue but more steelhead are getting caught now than salmon there, while the lower Rogue Bay has come alive for chinook and coho this week, and the upper Rogue should see a rebound in summer steelhead nymphing thanks to a serious drop in water releases at Lost Creek dam.

That means the best bet is anyplace downstream of Agness on the lower Rogue.

Trollers in the bay are doing very well on big chinook, chinook jacks and the first good showing of cohos in the river so far this year. Anything pink — like pink Roostertail lures or anchovies with a pink blade in front of them — is best for coho, and the chinook are taking a few of them as well. The water from the bridge to the power lines usually is best for coho, while chinook catches often are best near the sand spit.

The lower Rogue's halfpounder run continues to be very good. The most recent estimate of halfpounders in the lower Rogue is 120,000, the best in at least five years. Casting spinners, worms and streamer flies for halfpounders, adults and chinook jacks is good throughout the day, with all the classic riffles fishing well at times. These steelhead and halfpounders are all on the move, so catches usually come in waves regardless of the time of day, though dusk is best.

The Lower Rogue Canyon is awash in a mix of chinook, halfpounders and adult steelhead. Crayfish lures and spinners are better than flies, but look for good fly-fishing for halfpounders and steelhead with the water releases down to 1,049 cubic feet per second out of Lost Creek dam. No bait is allowed in the canyon through October.

In the upper Rogue, it remains flies-only through October. There, 2,988 summer steelhead have been counted over Gold Ray Dam as of Sept. 18, the last counting date available from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. The run has trickled to just a few a day over the dam, but it will pick up later. The 51-degree water released from the dam means nymphing is much better now than swinging streamers.

Fish a heavy Ugly Bug as the dropper and a single egg at the point. Spin-casting with bobbers is legal, provided there are no added weights or attachments like swivels. The fish are spread out so be mobile, with driftboaters still focusing on fast water and pockets near boulders.

The middle Rogue has been slow for chinook, though there are a lot of fish rolling in the canyons and at Rainie Falls. Steelhead fishing is better, with roe or worms out-producing plugs. Some halfpounders already have made it to the Galice area.

UMPQUA - In the estuary, sturgeon and striped bass fishing have been slow. Smallmouth bass are slowing down, but fishing is still good in the upper end of the mainstem. Good numbers of chinook and coho have been caught off Osprey Point and Half Moon Bay by bank anglers.

In the North Umpqua, steelhead fishing is good in the flies-only section as good weather and water conditions are helping anglers. The South Umpqua is closed to all angling.

All wild steelhead throughout the system now must be released unharmed.

APPLEGATE - The river is open to trout fishing, and anglers are finding some rainbows and cutthroat. The out-flows from the reservoir continued to hover at 260 cfs Wednesday. A few summer steelhead have hit the lower section, and fishing pressure on them is light. All wild trout and all cutthroats must be released unharmed.

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.

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