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The Guide's Forecast: July 7-13

by Bill Monroe
The Oregonian, July 7, 2011

Through Wednesday

Willamette Valley/Metro: Salmon counts at Bonneville remain strong with the official start of the summer chinook run beginning June 16. Willamette Valley/Metro: After a short flurry of chinook success, Bonneville has slowed despite good water conditions and plentiful numbers. Boats anchored with plugs still are taking a few fish, but steelhead numbers should begin to swell in the coming weeks.

Sturgeon anglers working the Gorge are few and far between, but an occasional keeper and a fair number of oversize fish are still falling to fresh shad for bait. Action likely won't be good again until late September.

Water temperature is in the 60s and clear in the lower Willamette. Chinook and steelhead passage has remained fair but steady. Shad fishing is slow to good depending on location and technique. Trout fishing has been good on the middle fork. The Willamette remains closed at Interstate 5 in Springfield through October for bridge construction.

The McKenzie River has been fishing well for trout, and summer steelhead action has picked up recently in the Eugene stretch.

Clackamas fishing has been very slow while Sandy results have been fair. Steelhead catches will begin to dominate the creel, with the mouth of Cedar Creek the best option.

South Santiam springer fishing is fair but crowded with bank fishers at times.

Northwest: Sturgeon anglers taking advantage of the extension in the lower Columbia are producing fair results for keepers and oversize fish. Sturgeon are still keyed into sand shrimp for bait but that may change as anchovies are likely to make a showing in the coming weeks. On July 4, Jorren Vanderzanden of Atlanta took a 52-inch keeper just downstream of the Astoria Bridge on sand shrimp. The catch and keep season is expected to last until the end of July.

Salmon and steelhead anglers working the lower beaches had fair success on the last tide series, but steelhead should begin to make up the bulk of the catch into July. Like most runs this year, this one is tracking late, too.

A rough ocean kept most salmon effort at bay last week. Salmon remain available both north and south of the mouth of the Columbia but anglers will have to wade through lots of throw-backs in order to take a limit.

Salmon success out of Garibaldi was also sporadic but crabbing has picked up in recent days.

Nearshore halibut fishing closed abruptly yesterday. Success rates were better this year than last. Anglers will have another chance for the flatfish when the all-depth fishery opens again on Aug. 5.

Hatchery spring chinook were still being taken late last week on Tillamook Bay. It's about over now but chinook remain available in the Trask, Wilson and Nestucca rivers. Trout fishing has been good on these systems as well but be mindful of regulations.

Southwest: The all-depth halibut season starting Aug. 5 will allow fishing two days a week for a quota of 44,288 pounds, which includes rollover from the spring fishery. All but 322 pounds of the 13,800-pound quota caught in the nearshore fishery as of the last week in June.

Tuna have been caught offshore from Newport to Brookings mostly around the 125 line. That's 20 to 30 miles out depending on the port. Results will improve when warm water moves inshore.

Ocean coho fishing has been slow to fair but offshore crabbing has improved over the past week.

Coho are being taken out of Winchester Bay but chinook have been too deep recently for recreational boats to fish.

Springers are being taken on the mainstem Umpqua near Elkton and into the North Umpqua. Shad fishing has been fair at best. Smallmouth fishing is good and improving on the South Umpqua where levels are dropping and the water is warming.

Tuna have been taken over the past week out of Charleston when boats have been able to cross the bar.

Bottom fishing has been good for rockfish out of Gold Beach, fair for lingcod. While the lower Rogue chinook bite turned on early last week due to lower water temperatures and precipitation, it died off when the water warmed again. Late in the weekend, trollers started to pick up chinook in Rogue Bay. The high waters of the upper Rogue have continued to produce springers.

Boats launching out of Brookings have enjoyed good nearshore results for rockfish and lingcod. Albacore have also been caught farther out. Ocean salmon fishing has been mostly unrewarding. Dock crabbing is fair in Brookings Harbor. Area beaches are producing surf perch. The Chetco River is good for cutthroat.

Diamond Lake results have been fair with catches expected to improve as hatches taper off. Prepare for troublesome midges (gnats) and mosquitoes.

Southwest Washington: The spring chinook season was a bust for district anglers. Steelhead numbers seem to be down as well although most anglers are abandoning tributary systems to target both species along the banks of the Columbia River.

Bright colored spin-n-glos tipped with striped coon shrimp should produce good results when tides turn favorable again. High flows, however, should keep fish migrating close to shore. Tributary mouths begin to produce good results this time of year when, traditionally, mainstem temperatures begin to rise. Columbia River temperatures are hovering around 62 degrees.

Eastern: Lower Deschutes fishing has been very good with trout responding to evening hatches of Duns and Caddis. The challenging Metolius has been fishing very well. Nymphs will produce in the absence of hatches.

Trout fishing is fair at Crane Prairie while bass fishing has been good.

Kokanee fishing has been slow at Green Peter, although fish are tightly schooled. Jigs are taking a few but trolling has been most effective late in the day.

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Bill Monroe
The Guide's Forecast: July 7-13
The Oregonian, July 7, 2011

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