Oregon Fishing Forecast - October 11, 2018
Portland/Metro - With little to fish for in the Portland area, anglers are hinging their bets on a brighter future for salmon. Dam passage at Bonneville remains uninspiring, but jack coho counts are tracking above the 10-year average, indicating a much better year, next year. Chinook jack counts may indicate another down year for Chinook in 2019. Much of the blame rests with what scientists term "The Warm Water Blob," an anomaly never before observed, at least in this magnitude, in the Pacific Ocean. It appears the blob has receded, hopefully bringing back some normalcy to future returns of salmon. Steelhead have suffered too, as the river-wide closure for all salmon and steelhead remains in effect. Catch and release sturgeon fishing in the lower Willamette remains a fair option.
Anglers working the Clackamas River are finding an occasional coho downstream of Eagle Creek. Recent precipitation has improved catches, but action is far from consistent. Spinners and casted jigs will likely continue to produce the best results as we enter peak season for this fishery.
Sandy River anglers are finding some hatchery coho downstream of Cedar Creek. Fish are beginning to congregate in higher numbers at the popular creek mouth, awaiting a better flush of rain to bring them up to the hatchery. Early mornings are best, fish become timid after the morning bite.
Canby Pond is slated for trout stocking this week, and Henry Hagg Lake should continue to be a good bet through October.
The Tillamook Report - Chinook fishing in Tillamook Bay has remained challenging as last weekend's SHOT tournament held by the Association of Northwest Steelheaders yielded just 5 fish for 40 anglers over a 2-day period. The largest fish tipped the scales at just over 18 pounds.
The stronger tide series brought about abundant amounts of seaweed, further impeding success for the fall run fish. Wild coho seem to be as plentiful as Chinook this season, but must be released unharmed. The Ghost Hole, Bay City and the Coast Guard Station in front of Garibaldi are producing the most consistent success, at high tide when the seaweed and eelgrass are less of a problem.
Mid-October produced some of the season's best catches last year, anglers are holding out hope. Chinook jacks are more prevalent in this year's catches too, hopefully indicating a stronger return of 4-year olds next year.
Tidewater bobber fishers remain perplexed with the lack of fish lately, but the Wilson, Trask and Tillamook tidewater reaches should all have some fish available.
The ocean swell may be subsiding over the weekend. Bottom fishers are anxious as the deep-reef fishery produced some monster lingcod prior to the current rough ocean conditions. Large canary and yellow tail rockfish hit the decks as well.
Other north coast estuaries are under-performing as well, including the Nehalem. The North Fork hatchery did report some dark coho being taken on eggs over the weekend however.
Astoria area - Despite big tide exchanges, crabbing has been good on the lower Columbia River. Afternoon tides this weekend should yield good results too.
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!