Oregon Fishing Report for the week of March 3rd

Willamette Valley/Metro – Another week of high water and low probability for spring Chinook in the Portland metro area. A lone Chinook remains the sole celebrity on the Columbia River system at Bonneville to date. Water forecasts on the Willamette, where the bulk of the early running springers tend to return to, is calling for another rise this weekend.

At two feet of visibility, the lower Willamette may just be as clear as it’s been all winter. Still, this has done little to boost fish counts and no harvest cards were defaced with lower Willamette springers.

McKenzie River conditions are fair but levels will increase with rain over the next several days.

The Santiam system will be increasing in level and flow over the weekend. A rising river is the least productive, generally.

While this has not been a banner year for Clackamas winter steelhead, the water has been high much of the time.

Sandy River level, flow and even clarity are less subject to change from rainfall and far more effected by the freezing level, which is high and forecast to remain that way. The Sandy should fish and there are fish in the Sandy.

Northwest – The Hook, Line and Sinker tournament happens this weekend in Tillamook. There’s still time to sign up by calling the Hook, Line and Sinker Tavern in Tillamook at (503) 322-2020. You can register through Friday night (3/3). More info can be found here.

Tillamook fishing itself has been fair. With good water conditions and peak season upon us, it’s time to fish! Boaters that fished the Wilson, Trask and Nestucca have been producing results and big fish are fairly common this winter. There have been several fish in the high teens and a handful over 20 pounds, including one that tipped the scales at an estimated 26 pounds! The other item of interest that anglers are talking about is that there are a lot of people working the water. Interest is running high these days, must be peak season for winter steelhead!

Smaller systems have been low and clear, and not producing all that well, but not surprisingly, there are fish present and willing if you approach stealthily. The Kilchis, Necanicum and North Fork Nehalem are fair options this time of year, especially if you catch one of these systems on a moderate rise, or just after a high water event.

Bottom line, it’s peak steelhead season, you won’t have much more of a chance than now, through the 3rd week of March.

Other, more salty options will remain limited this weekend. Rough seas and strong early morning run-outs won’t make for good bay crabbing or bar crossings. Desperate crabbers do have a nice soft incoming tide in the afternoons that they can explore however.

Still no sign of a razor clam opener. You can check the toxicity status by clicking here.

Southwest – The entire Oregon coast is closed to harvesting razor clams. Oceans and bays coast-wide are open for crabbing.

Living in Roseburg, Pete Heley has first-hand knowledge of the Umpqua and tells us the entire river below Roseburg and the South Umpqua to above Canyonville have been high and muddy and fishing has been terrible. A few spring Chinook should be entering the river, but there will be no way to know for certain until the river drops into shape and people start fishing it.

Heley also tells a story about three people from Eugene who dealt with muddy water in the Lower Umpqua by dragging their small boat into the “Triangle”. When they quit an hour later, they had 22 legal crabs and said the only reason they quit was the wind.

When you’re in Winchester Bay on a weekend, stop in at Stockade Market and Tackle where Pete Heley will be delighted to swap fishing stories.

Rogue River winter steelheaders have been challenged. It’s difficult enough to figure out which part of the river will be most productive (but not for TGF readers, of course) but high water has been a problem much of the season. And it ain’t over as the next storm front will hit over the coming weekend.

Winter steelheaders have been reporting decent action on the Chetco this season although the report is academic as the water level will start to rise on Friday this week.

According to late reports this week, the surface at Diamond Lake is safe for ice fishers but don’t take our word – call the resort to be certain!

The Fly Tying and Fly Fishing Expo will be held on March 10th and 11th at the Linn County Expo Center in Reedsport. It bills itself as the largest fly tying event west of the Mississippi. Admission is free for adults and for youngsters accompanied by an adult.

Eastern – When heading to Oregon, even in March, it’s common to run into snow. Check the road conditions before you launch, er, drive.

Conditions are such on the Deschutes River that the trout fishing is expected to be quite good over the weekend to come and beyond.

Winter rivers are those which fish well in what might be considered the ‘off season.’ So it is with the Metolius, a spring-fed stream providing habitat for both fish and abundant insect life.

Another of the Rivers which will continue to fish well through cold weather is the Fall River. Fishing here has been decent for fly anglers.

SW Washington – Winter steelhead are starting to show with more regularity. The Cowlitz is putting out a few more fish, and of quality size. We’re still a few weeks away from peak period, but this system is finally worthy of putting some effort into it. Some spring Chinook are also falling, albeit a bit of a rare catch still. That too should change, as the Cowlitz is expecting a good return this year.

The Kalama is closed to spring Chinook fishing, but anglers can still pursue and retain hatchery steelhead. It’s go so bad here, that there is an extensive safe zone at the mouth of the Kalama for mainstem Columbia trollers. You can find the closed river section at the bottom of this web page.

As most people have heard by now, the smelt dipping season was a bust. It’s unknown if there will be another sport opportunity in the near future. Much of it depends on how the commercial catch fares. Does anyone else NOT get that?

Always more fishing information on The Guide’s Forecast‘s site.

from Oregon Fishing http://ift.tt/2lC4pYG

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