Oregon Fishing Forecast - November 22, 2018
Portland/Metro - Between the onset of cold weather and a hiatus between fish runs, metro fishing opportunities are limited. Thanksgiving had traditionally been the jump-start of winter steelhead season, and there is rumors of a wild winter steelhead caught and released on the Sandy River. It's not out of the realm of possibility, but with few anglers fishing, chances certainly go down.
Wild coho are also available on the Sandy and Clackamas River but anglers aren't generally enthused about catch and release fishing. The wild fish distribute better throughout the river system, and will be present well into December. Bobber and jigs as well as spinners and spoons will take fish. Summer steelhead, mostly of hatchery origin, are also a late season option, but won't make great table fare this late into the season.
Trout fishing remains a good option if you're prepared for inclement weather, as is the forecast for the next several days. Check the ODF&W web site for the most recent stocking schedule, but Henry Hagg Lake near Forest Grove will remain a best bet.
Anglers often use this time to tie gear in anticipation of the winter steelhead run which will start in earnest by mid-January. The Sandy has seen a good return in previous years and this year should be no different. The Clackamas has struggled recently, but this year should be better on this system as well.
Catch and release sturgeon fishing in the Portland Harbor should stay productive all winter. Fresh sand shrimp or smelt will be consistent producers.
Side note: The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife received its section 120 permit, allowing for the lethal removal of California sea lions from the mouth of the Clackamas River to Willamette Falls. Up to 93 mammals can be removed this year, during the height of the predation, around 40 sea lions are present.
The Tillamook Report - East winds knocked down the ocean swell, making for great ocean opportunity for bottom fish early this week. Large ling cod and exceptional sea bass were taken at Three Arch Rocks near Oceanside for the few that were in pursuit. The lings were taking jigs worked in 130 to 140 foot of water, while sea bass were suspended, also taking "iron" jigs and shrimp fly jigs. Limits were easily had. Dinner reef closer to the north tip of the jetty is also producing good sea bass action.
Halibut and ocean salmon fishing is closed for the year, although one boat released a small feeder Chinook while bottom fishing at Three Arches.
The rivers are bare of driftboats and effort is low on Tillamook for Chinook. There was a rumor of early winter steelhead on the North Fork Nehalem, but action should pick up after Thanksgiving. The North Fork and Three Rivers should provide the best action for early season steelhead, and the Wilson River to a lesser degree.
Lower Columbia River - Crabbing was excellent on the lower Columbia over the weekend. East winds is preventing safe crabbing on some days, but when boats can get out, the action is great.
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!