Oregon Fishing Forecast - August 9, 2017
Portland/Metro - With the fin-clipped restriction lifted for Columbia River Chinook, anglers in the Portland area anxiously await what is supposed to be a robust run on the mainstem. Action likely won't pick up for 3 more weeks and although effort is low, fish are still being caught. The Bonneville reach remains the best place to intercept in the region, for both bank and boat anglers. Jackson Curran caught a 20-pound Chinook on a Blue Fox spinner in the Bonneville area on August 5.
Summer steelhead anglers on the Clackamas and Sandy Rivers continue to struggle. Low, clear water, inundated with rafters and swimmers will keep fish down for the foreseeable future. Coho won't start to show for another month.
The Tillamook Report - Salmon anglers remain zeroed in on Nehalem Bay, with the summer Chinook run entering peak period here. With stronger tides over the weekend, Chinook should get pushed to Wheeler and Nehalem, where herring and spinner trollers are sure to take a few. Boats strategically anchored using plugs can also produce fair results as well.
Although ocean coho fishing is closed until early September, savvy ocean anglers are already making plans for what should be a productive September out of Garibaldi. The "any salmon" season starts on September 2 south of Cape Falcon. Chinook season remains open in the ocean, but catches are fair at best, likely to improve towards the end of the month.
Steelheaders working the Nestucca and Wilson Rivers remain challenged in the low, clear and warm water scenario. That's not likely to change anytime soon, and swimmers have most of the easy access areas filled.
Sea-run cutthroat trout historically peak at this time. Trollers and flyfishers working the tidewater and lower reaches of any of the major river systems are likely to find some degree of success.
The Astoria area - The lower Columbia now has catchable numbers of Chinook available. Buoy 10 anglers are finding Chinook and an occasional coho on the current big tide exchange. The last hour of outgoing tide, and the incoming are likely to produce the best results. There are more Tule strain Chinook in the estuary this year so know ahead of time as to whether you plan on retaining one before compromising the taking of the fish prior to release. All wild Tules should be returned to the river unharmed, even though the law allows you to harvest them. The anchovies are running large, enticing the bigger Chinook as well as coho. A 40-pound upriver bright was landed on Saturday using a green Fatal Flash spinner.
Following a couple of days of a south wind that scattered ocean fish, the norm has since returned and catches adjacent to the Columbia River mouth are excellent. Chinook are starting to show with more regularity from the ocean fishery, and the Long Beach Peninsula is once again producing well.
Albacore remain oddly elusive. Those targeting tuna are finding they still have to go over 50 miles west and catches remain highly sporadic. August will be a telling month for this fishery.
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!