the film

The Guide's Forecast: Aug. 4-10

by Bill Monroe
The Oregonian, August 4, 2011

Through Wednesday

Willamette Valley/Metro:
Steelheaders working the river below Bonneville continue to produce great catches of summer steelhead with more hatchery keepers in the mix this week. Boaters continue to do the best but bank anglers held their own in what is usually past the peak season. With passage behind schedule, action should remain good through the month of August if water temperatures don't warm much more. Anglers are allowed to retain chinook whether they are fin-clipped or not. The limit is one chinook per day. Regulations vary by section so check carefully.

Sturgeon fishing from Buoy 10 to Bonneville Dam is now closed to retention but remains open for catch and release. The popular fall fishery from Wauna Powerlines to Bonneville Dam will reopen in early October with fair fishing expected when water temperatures cool again.

Chinook passage was good as steelhead numbers continued to wane on the last week of July at Willamette Falls. Water temperatures in the lower river have topped 70 degrees.

Summer steelhead fishing has been fair to good on the McKenzie River. Trout fishing has also been producing good catches. The McKenzie rose from 3.65 feet to over 5 feet and from 970 cfs to about 2,800 cfs below Leaburg Dam in a matter of a few hours on Monday night. Power canal work was being performed.

North Santiam levels have dropped. Steelhead are available while chinook are showing some color.

Previous weeks on the Clackamas were producing fair results for lower river anglers but warmer temperatures and rafting traffic has slowed the bite. Action will remain best in the early morning hours with fish distributed well into McIver Park.

Chinook have been hooked over the past week above Cedar Creek on the Sandy River but steelhead will remain the focus for most through this month. An average run of coho is expected later in the fall.

The Buoy 10 opener was less than impressive but the best tide was later in the day when most anglers had folded up their effort. Success rates will likely remain subdued this week. Gillnets are scheduled to fish for nine hours beginning at 9 tonight. It is the only scheduled opener for the river downstream of the Kalama this summer.

Catch and keep sturgeon fishing is now closed but anglers experienced one of the best years in recent memory. Quality sized keepers fell in good numbers for the whole month of July.

Offshore anglers are just now getting back to work after a long week of onshore flow, keeping the ocean lumpy. Coho success remains low with not even a third of the quota taken. The fishery will last through Aug. 13, even though anglers will fall far short of the 15,000 allowable catch. The first non-selective ocean coho season in nearly two decades will occur in early September.

Rough weather and shifting temperatures disappointed albacore anglers for much of the week. Improving conditions should excite tuna chasers once again but anglers will still have to expect a long run west to run into qualifying temperatures. Live bait becomes more popular this time of the year but fish should still respond to trolled clones and cedar plugs. Some larger fish should begin to show in the catches.

Although effort remains light, some chinook are starting to show in the Nehalem system. Anglers will still have to know the detailed regulations, and softer tides this week may stall the bite at Wheeler or Nehalem. Fall regulations for chinook and coho are relaxed from last year.

District rivers remain low and clear, challenging steelheaders on the Wilson and Nestucca rivers. Trout fishing should be a strong option in the estuaries and tidewater sections of most north coast watersheds with tides playing a crucial role in the lower reaches and early mornings producing the best results higher up.

Coho catches off the central Oregon coast were warm one day, cold the next over the past week. Bottom fishing inside the 20-fathom line was also spotty. Boats are landing fair to good numbers of albacore. All-depth halibut re-opens Friday and Saturday.

Chinook catches near the bar at Winchester Bay have been good at times with some days producing multiple hookups. Crabbing is slow to fair in the bay. Smallmouth bass fishing is good in the South Umpqua. Summer steelhead catches are fair to good in the North Umpqua.

Charter boats out of Charleston have seen an improvement in coho hookups and success with albacore when offshore conditions have allowed.

Surf perch fishing from south coast beaches has been very good with many anglers bagging 15-fish limits.

Offshore trips out of Gold Beach were rare over much of the past week, with high offshore winds preventing boats from crossing to the ocean. Local reports indicate chinook starting to stack up in Rogue Bay which means the troll fishery should improving soon. Chinook catches are gradually improving in the middle river. The upper Rogue is closed to chinook above Dodge Bridge where anglers continue to do well for summer steelhead.

Tuna are about a 30-mile trip out of Brookings, but ocean conditions have prevented boats from trying recently. Crabbing from the public pier in the harbor has been excellent.

Southwest Washington: The Cowlitz remains the best option for tributary anglers below Bonneville Dam with the Lewis and Kalama rivers still down in returning hatchery adults. The Washougal River is a rare bright spot in the district.

Drano Lake and the Klickitat River fisheries should be going full speed right now. Passage at Bonneville is peaking, fueling good opportunity for these summer favorites.

Steelhead and chinook passage has been slow but steady on the Deschutes according to counts at Sherars Falls.

Green Peter is producing fair to good catches of mixed-size kokanee.

Although slowing, the Wallowa River closes after Sunday for spring chinook.

John Day smallmouth fishing is excellent for sheer quantity. River flows are around 1600 cfs with the river remaining most navigable above 1000 cfs.

For more, visit

Bill Monroe
The Guide's Forecast: Aug. 4-10
The Oregonian, August 4, 2011

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