COASTWIDE: Forecasts have the weekend starting out today with a small-craft advisory until nightfall, with 5-knot winds and 6-foot swells. Saturday looks similar, with winds up to 20 knots and 7-foot swells. Sunday is the best, with 15-knot winds and 6-foot swells.
The Chetco Bubble fishery off the mouth of the Chetco River reopens Saturday and Sunday, and that will be it for the year for offshore salmon fishing. Last week anglers battled winds and came out with an average of one chinook per five anglers. This weekend’s winds look very similar to last weekend, except there might be some rain. Look for decent opportunities for success slowly trolling herring or anchovies off the surf at Sporthaven Beach and along kelp lines close to the mouth. The limit is one chinook a day over 28 inches. Barbless hooks are required.
Ocean bottomfishing is open outside the 40-fathom line after being closed last month. Thirty-foot leaders and floats are required to keep baits off the bottom and focused on midwater rockfish species such as quillbacks. No lingcod, cabezon or other bottomfish can be targeted, even from jetties. However, flatfish such as in-season halibut and sanddab are legal, as are surfperch.
Halibut fishing remains open off the South Coast through Oct. 31.
Surfperch fishing remains good along the south coast, including the sand spit at the Rogue River mouth, Winchuck Beach and Nesika Beach.
Bay crabbing has been very good to excellent in Coos Bay and Winchester Bay. Most of the crabs have recovered from molting, and the meat quality is very good. Ocean crabbing is open through Sunday, then closed Monday through Nov. 30. Bay crabbing will remain open during the ocean closure.
The recreational harvest of razor clams is closed from Cascade Head to the California border for elevated levels of domoic acid. This includes all beaches and all bays. Before digging, check the shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474.
AGATE: The lake is up a hair to 22 percent full. Look for isolated catches of yellow perch and bass around structure and near the dam face. No gas motors are allowed. Electric trolling motors are OK.
APPLEGATE: Fishing pressure is very light, with some catches of rainbow trout for those trolling near the mouth of Carberry Creek or fishing worms or PowerBait from the far bank. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has held releases steady at 240 cfs. The lake was listed Thursday at 67½ feet from full.
DIAMOND: Catches are averaging 15 inches, with anglers averaging 3½ trout per trip and about one trout an hour. PowerBait floated off the bottom is out-fishing worms under bobbers, with corn yellow and salmon-egg peach popular, but don’t forget the glitter chartreuse. Trollers are getting action on Needlefish and Flat Fish. Fly-fishers are doing very well off the south end with leeches or woolly buggers fished with an intermediate sink line.
EMIGRANT: The lake was listed Thursday at 26 percent full, down 2 percent in the past week. Fishing pressure is extremely light. Bass fishing is decent but slowing down. Slowly fish plastic worms, grubs and crankbaits near structure. Smallmouth are off rocky points, largemouth are largely in the submerged willows.
EXPO: Fishing is slow but it will pick up next week when 500 legal-sized trout and 100 trout each about 12 inches will be stocked. Catch them on PowerBait, worms and bobbers or small spinners like Panther Martins.
FISH: The lake was listed Thursday at 52 percent full, down 2 percent from last week. Another 900 trophy trout were stocked three weeks ago at the Forest Service ramp, and that has garnered interest in the cove near the ramp. Use worms or PowerBait, or strip leeches or woolly buggers. Tiger trout must be released unharmed.
HOWARD PRAIRIE: Trout fishing is good, but interest has been light in the cold weather. Fishing is best along the channel straight across from the resort, with trollers using worms and flashers finding decent fish about 30 feet down. Still-fishing with various colors of PowerBait is good in the mornings and evenings, also in deeper water. The lake was listed Thursday at 75 percent full, down a sliver from last week.
HYATT: The Bureau of Land Management has closed the boat ramps at its recreation area. The lake remains at 40 percent full, where it has been held steady since summer for repairs to Hyatt Dam.
LOST CREEK: The lake got another 5,000 legal-sized trout, 10,000 fingerling and 2,300 trophy trout about 15 inches apiece last week, stocked about evenly between the Takelma boat ramp and the marina. The trout have yet to spread out much, so fishing at the Takelma access area with worms or PowerBait should be good this weekend. Trollers using Wedding Rings spiced with a piece of worm should do well in those areas. The lake was listed Thursday at 58 feet from full.
LAKE OF THE WOODS: Fishing is good for rainbows in the shallows and farther out in the lake with bait or lures. Some kokanee have been caught in the deeper parts of the lake.
WILLOW: The lake got 3,000 legal-sized trout and 1,500 pound-sized trout in early June. Catch them on PowerBait or worms.
ROGUE: The upper Rogue’s flies-only summer steelhead season is holding its own for nymphers tossing single salmon-egg flies behind spawning spring chinook, while middle Rogue anglers are doing well on summer steelhead with worms and corkies. The lower Rogue Bay is starting to wane for fall chinook, but lower Rogue riffles are full of migrating summer steelhead and halfpounders bending rods for those willing to make the time commitment to get there.
That keeps the lower Rogue as the best bet, but more for the steelhead now than the salmon.
Adult summer steelhead and halfpounders are showing up in very good numbers in the lower 30 miles of freshwater. Cast Panther Martin spinners, worms and corkies or swing streamer flies. Flows at Agness were down to 1,966 cubic feet per second and forecast to tick up a hair Saturday from rains forecast for today. When those flows start to drop Saturday afternoon, look for the steelhead bite to turn on. For fly-fishers, swing traditional steelhead flies like red ants, green-butt skunks and buck-tail Coachmans. Side-drifting worms and corkies from boats or the bank is also a great bet. Try Quosatana Creek, Lobster Creek and Cole Riffle.
In the lower Rogue bay, chinook catches have been slowing down for those trolling anchovies with Rogue bait rigs. Gold and chartreuse blades are best. More coho are starting to show up in the daily catch. Fishing is best on the morning incoming tides. All wild coho must be released unharmed.
In the upper Rogue, it’s still flies only for summer steelhead through October, and fishing and outflows continue to be at 1,200 cfs out of Lost Creek Lake. However, the water releases are cold and have slowed steelhead, so streamer flies aren’t working quite as well as earlier in the season. Most anglers are fishing egg flies on their point to go with an ugly bug as a dropper. Focus on the heads of riffles just downstream of salmon-spawning flats, and avoid wading in the redds.
Spincasters can use flies and a bobber, but no added weights or attachments. That includes bobber stoppers and swivels. These rules remain in effect through Oct. 31.
Flows at Dodge Bridge were up Thursday to 1,307 cfs. That has left some spots very skinny for driftboaters. Flows at the old Gold Ray Dam site were up to 1,528 cfs Thursday.
All chinook salmon fishing is now closed upstream of the Hog Creek boat ramp near Galice.
In the middle Rogue, anglers are reporting good catches of summer steelhead with worms and corkies off the bank or side-drifting from driftboats. Flows at Grants Pass were up to 1,510 cfs.