Oregon Fishing Forecast - March 8, 2018
Portland/Metro - With the Willamette River going off-color late last week, trollers river-wide have hung it up for a while, although turbidity levels are improving, but may go out again by the weekend. Spring Chinook action is on hold.
Effort has shifted to the Columbia, but with the water temperature a few degrees colder than the Willamette, fish seem quite lethargic and unwilling to bite. Passage at Bonneville Dam remains what it was since early January, just two Chinook so far. Anchor anglers are working plugs in 10 to 12 foot of water, but it's like finding a needle in a haystack right now.
I'll be presenting spring Chinook tactics to the Tualatin Valley Chapter of the Northwest Steelheaders on Thursday, March 8, at the Meriwether National Golf Club in Hillsboro starting at 7:00 p.m. Come get your questions answered about this year's run and techniques.
Action on the Sandy River is starting to slow for winter steelhead. It's been a fairly good season here this year but the wild run will start to dominate this system, well into early April. The river was low early in the week, but a warming trend will send the river up and it will likely color up when the low-level snow begins to melt.
Clackamas River anglers will face the same challenge by the weekend, when warmer weather begins to melt low-level snow pack, causing the river to rise and turn a bit off-color. It is peak season here however so targeting the slower water with bigger, brighter colors, especially if you're plunking, could pay dividends. Action here should stretch well into April.
Trout stocking in local area lakes will begin to ramp up for spring break just a few weeks away. Trout are already going into some of the Northwest Regional lakes so check the ODF&W web site for more detailed stocking schedules.
The Tillamook Report - Despite ideal river conditions this weekend, Tillamook area streams produced just mediocre fishing results. Back to back freshets likely caused fish to run upstream last weekend as guides and anglers found it to be challenging fishing on the Wilson, Trask and Nestucca systems last weekend. We are in peak season however so fishing is likely to improve.
Smaller streams such as the North Fork Nehalem and Necanicum Rivers continue to put out late season wild fish, but with the hatchery run over on these systems for now, almost all fish caught will require release due to the likelihood they are wild and not fin-clipped.
Tillamook area streams are forecast to be in good shape for weekend anglers, the run should be improving this week.
Bottomfish anglers may get out on the water this week as the ocean swell and wind wave prediction looks to be favorable for those not getting enough white fish in their diets. Fresh Dungeness crab should also be readily available.
Tides moderate this weekend, making estuary crabbing a fair option although with all the fresh water this spring, most may be out to sea.
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!