Oregon Fishing Forecast - November 9, 2017
Portland/Metro - With the Chinook fishery wound down, and sturgeon off the table, Columbia River fishers don't have much to look forward to for the next several months. The spring Chinook prediction typically comes out around mid-December and anglers always remain hopeful for a bountiful return. We're still many months away from a productive fishery, but it's the most anticipated prediction of the year.
Willamette River anglers are still doing well in the catch and release sturgeon fishery, it typically stays good through the winter months.
The bulk of the coho run has passed through the Sandy and Clackamas systems, but anglers are finding willing wild fish, with action likely to last through Thanksgiving. The Sandy hatchery is predicting a fairly good return, upwards of 3,000 returning adults. Eagle Creek still has fish as well, but most hatchery fish are well past their prime condition.
Organized anglers will start to prepare for winter steelhead by tying leaders and building rags and slinky weights. It's also a good time of year to weatherize your boat, including draining your wash down pumps and adding stabilizer to your fuel. Refer to your owner's manual for proper treatment.
The Tillamook Report - Chinook action in Tillamook has remained subdued in recent days. Trollers are still working the Ghost Hole, Bay City and the West Channel on the incoming and high tides. The bite has switched over to herring in the colder water, and will stay that way until the fishery fades.
Anglers have been focusing on the Trask and Nestucca Rivers, which are still putting out fair numbers of fish following the high water event over the weekend. The Wilson is still fishing only mediocre, but Chinook will run well into December here. As flows drop on these systems, anglers should focus their efforts on the lower reaches. Plugs become more effective in the dropping flows, especially if anglers can work them in the deeper holes where Chinook congregate when flows drop. Backbouncing eggs can be effective as well.
Another weather system is expected to bump flows again this weekend; it may put the more productive systems on hold until early next week. The Nestucca should fade, but the Trask, Wilson and Kilchis should continue to produce Chinook.
A hatchery steelhead was reported last week from the Wilson River, hopefully an indicator for a productive season.
Tides will soften this weekend, making estuary crabbing a good option if the bay doesn't get inundated with fresh water. The fall high water events haven't seemed to effect success rates in recent weeks.
The Astoria area - The lower Columbia River out of Hammond will be the place to be for fall crabbing. Success should be great for the entire month of November, especially during low tide exchanges such as the one coming this weekend. Fresh water doesn't seem to effect success on this major river system. Be prepared to cook your own crab and bring your own crab bait as local area stores that frequently service day crabbers are hit-and-miss this time of year. Call ahead to find out if they are open for business.
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!