Oregon Fishing Forecast - October 12, 2017
Portland/Metro - Chinook, coho and steelhead counts at Bonneville have now dropped below a thousand fish per day for each species. Mid-October often signifies the drastic slow-down of mainstem Columbia River fishing, but another month of tributary fishing, primarily targeting coho salmon, will take place in metro tributaries.
Catch and release sturgeon will remain an option, with the best action taking place near the mouth of the Willamette during the fall months. A decision on a retention season for metro area anglers took place yesterday. We'll report on that next week.
Coho are present in good number on both the Sandy and Clackamas Rivers. Low flows have fish in lockjaw mode however, they are very challenging to entice. Unsettled weather will be a welcome change, but twitching jigs and spinner fishing may prove to be the best options when conditions improve.
Henry Hagg Lake near Forest Grove received 8,000 rainbow trout in late September and will get another 8,000 fish next week as well. Fall fishing can be fantastic with little competition even though the lake is now open year-round.
The Tillamook Report - Several teams participated in the Association of Northwest Steelheader's Salmon Hog Open Tournament with Tim Lenihan's team of three inking over 90 pounds of Chinook for the 2-day event. Bobber fishing the upper bay and the Trask tidewater proved the most fruitful, but there are fish in the Tillamook River tidewater as well.
Trollers have adopted the Pro Troll and spinner technique on Tillamook Bay now. It's proving effective in all depths of water and given the downturn in Chinook numbers, "Pro-trollers" are taking impressive numbers of fish. Plug cut herring are also taking fish, but this new technique is over-shadowing long-standing techniques that anglers have had a long history employing.
The Nehalem has slowed although good numbers of wild coho remain in the system. They of course must be released unharmed if intercepted.
Driftboaters are anxious to get onto Tillamook area streams, but even with the precipitation forecasted for this week, rivers will remain low. That will keep fish in tidewater, where boats continue to have the best access.
The long-leader bottomfishing season is open and quite productive. The daily bag limit jumped to 10 fish per angler and action has been good when seas allow.
The ocean will likely remain unsettled for the remainder of the ocean sport-crabbing season. It closes after October 15. Bay crabbing has been excellent however tides will be improving over the weekend.
The Astoria area - Second-run coho should start to show in the lower Columbia River. The run forecast for these later returning fish was not as large as the abundant September run, but it may still be worth pursuing. Chinook are now allowed in the daily bag limit, but remain scarce in the Buoy 10 fishery.
Lower Columbia River crabbing will be remarkable this weekend. Crab below Hammond for best results.
As predicted, razor clam digging along Clatsop beaches was challenging last weekend. Digs taking place at night, require diggers to be more careful, especially in the high surf.
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!