Oregon Fishing Forecast - August 15, 2017
Portland/Metro - The "A" run steelhead return is worse than originally anticipated. Although no further management restrictions are in the queue just yet, fishery managers are worried that escapement goals may not be met. The "B" run fish, which are now entering the river are likely to be severely compromised as well.
Fall Chinook are starting to cross Bonneville Dam and passage should continue to build until peak passage around mid-September. Managers are anticipating another good year and have been spot on with spring and summer salmon predictions. This will be the first week anglers have a legitimate chance at catching early run fall Chinook. Historically, anglers have used wobblers on anchor, but in recent years, Pro Trolls and Brad's lures or small size 3.5 Colorado blades have been effective. Target Chinook in the deep water, where fish are more likely to travel due to cooler temperatures.
The Willamette, Sandy and Clackamas are still weeks away from getting coho. The first fish should start to show around Labor Day, and spinners are likely to produce the best results.
The Tillamook Report - Although still a bit early for fall Chinook in the district, fish are likely starting to enter the Tillamook, Nestucca and Nehalem systems. The current soft tide series will keep most fish and anglers in the lower estuary and the ocean adjacent to the bay entrances, but more productive fishing is not far away. Some of the largest fish of the season are often taken during the front part of the run.
Wild coho won't be allowed in any district river or estuary systems, but hatchery coho in the Nehalem and Tillamook Bays will be. Check permanent regulations for details.
There will however be an "any salmon" season beginning September 2 in the ocean from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain. The action should be good given the number of wild coho released in the ocean fisheries.
The Nehalem summer Chinook season should be peaking right now. Low tide exchanges dictate lower bay effort and although action isn't likely to be red-hot, it should be worthwhile. Herring is often key in this fishery.
The port of Newport railed in the halibut on the early August opener, but just over 50% of the quota remains for the August 18 and 19 opener. If ocean weather cooperates, action should be excellent. Garibaldi and Pacific City remain fair options as well.
Crabbing remains excellent in the ocean and is good in Tillamook and Nestucca Bays as well. Most crab remain in a soft-shell state, but should be improving next month.
The Astoria area - The Buoy 10 fishery is well underway with Chinook catches consistently good around high slack and the first part of outgoing tide. A fair number of high-quality Rogue strain fish are being caught, and tules are fairly prevalent as well. Fresh anchovies and plug-cut herring are consistently taking fish, and spinners are responsible for good catches as well. This fishery is peaking right now.
The ocean has been too rough for pleasurable fishing but when boats are getting out, coho remain fairly easy targets. Wild fish, requiring release, are abundant however.
For a more detailed report, go to www.TheGuidesForecast.com
Bob Rees is a sixth generation Oregonian and a 20-year veteran fishing guide of Oregon's Northwest region. Bob Rees' column, The Guide's Forecast, has been a trusted fishing resource for over 16 years and will appear in the Thursday edition of the Portland Tribune. He welcomes the opportunity to partner with the Portland Tribune to bring the sport fishing community timely and accurate fishing information so you can catch more fish!