Oregon Fishing Forecast - March 14, 2019
Portland/Metro - Continued cold, dry weather is still hampering steelhead success on the Clackamas and Sandy Rivers. It's a bit past peak on the Sandy, but hatchery fish should still be available, and Clackamas River anglers are still struggling for consistent success, but we're just now entering peak season.
Sandy River anglers are catching more wild fish than hatchery, but action should remain strong for the next several weeks. Fish are well distributed throughout the system, but those wishing to target a take-home fish should be spending most of their time around the mouth of Cedar Creek at the hatchery. Fish are pooling up there, waiting for the next rain freshet to send them up the tributary and into the hatchery facility itself.
Clackamas River anglers have been out and trying with some degree of success still coming from the lower reaches where fresh winter steelhead are entering with some regularity. It's still challenging fishing however and the recent rise in river levels should motivate fresh fish to enter. The reach from Feldheimer's to Carver should prove the most productive. Warmer water temperatures should help.
The Willamette is drawing more interest and Saturday was rumored to be good at Sellwood Bridge. Spring Chinook are still falling to trolled herring, some would say in surprising numbers. Sea lions moved into the area by Sunday however and fishing drastically tapered. Effort remains strongest from Sellwood to Milwaukie, but one boat fishing Oregon City was rumored to have taken one summer and one winter steelhead, along with a spring Chinook over the weekend. Sand shrimp is not a bad choice for both species this time of year. There are eight fewer California sea lions to intercept the depleted wild winter steelhead trying to navigate the falls right now.
Sturgeon fishing remains fair in the Willamette, from Milwaukie to the head of the Multnomah Channel.
As of Monday, still no spring Chinook tallied at Bonneville Dam, but a sport caught spring Chinook was reported at the I-5 Bridge over the weekend, a wild one anyway. We're still weeks away from productive fishing on the mainstem Columbia.
The Tillamook Report - Steelheading on the Nestucca and Wilson Rivers remains challenging in the low, clear systems. Flows jumped early in the week, but not significantly. Most steelheaders are waiting for a substantial weather system, but that looks unlikely for the near future.
The mainstem Nehalem should remain a good bet given it's the largest river system on the north coast. Low flows are ideal for this all-wild steelhead system, but action should be fair for the coming weekend. The next weather system will produce excellent steelhead catches, if it ever arrives.
Saltwater anglers took advantage of calm seas last week, yielding great catches of large lingcod, yellow tail and other rockfish species. The seasonal deep reef fathom restriction and closure date has been relaxed, anglers can now fish to the 40-fathom line (instead of 30-fathoms) and the all-depth fishery remains open through April 30 instead of March 31.
Ocean and bay crabbing is fair.
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!