Oregon Fishing Forecast - May 23, 2019
Portland/Metro - It appears as if the spring Chinook run on the Willamette River is not over. Throughout the river, from the Portland Harbor to Oregon City, anglers witnessed improved catches from the previous weeks, when hot, sunny weather seemed to quell the bite. We're still in stable flows and water clarity, while still in peak season for this fishery.
Flow in Oregon City is very low so trollers have taken over the scene there. Pro Trolls and spinners are taking sporadic catches, every day is different despite fair numbers of fish in the area. Sellwood has produced fair catches recently with most fish falling to Pro Trolls and spinners as well. Once the water temperatures exceeds 60 degrees, hardware is a good strategy.
Cooler and cloudy weather has been an added benefit lately and anglers should take advantage of these conditions. This weather pattern isn't good for shad fishing, and shad are in the Oregon City area in fair numbers.
Tributary fisheries remain disappointing. The Clackamas River remains void of spring Chinook and summer steelheading has remained challenging despite favorable water conditions. The upper reaches are holding some willing steelhead, but angling success remains low. The Sandy River is only slightly better with a stronger run of spring Chinook, and fair-at-best summer steelhead fishing right now. Both runs should be improving in the coming weeks. Remember that hatchery spring Chinook on the Sandy are most prevalent downstream of the Bull Run River near Dodge Park.
Shad are present in fair numbers in the Willamette, but it's best to choose a sunny day when you decide to take part in this fishery.
Jack counts at Bonneville Dam has taken a turn for the better. It seems as if we may have hit the bottom of the decline on the mainstem Columbia this year if jacks continue upward momentum.
A robust trout stocking schedule continues for Willamette Valley lakes, rivers and reservoirs. Check the ODF&W listings for the systems in your geographic area. Lake conditions are ideal for trout and kokanee.
The Tillamook Report - There was sporadic spring Chinook success in upper Tillamook Bay about ten days ago. Trollers working the Memaloose area did well early last week. Tides soften this weekend however, making the lower bay around the inside of the north jetty the better option during what has historically been peak season on the bay. Troll herring near the bay bottom on the last half of outgoing tide and high tide on the bay. Bay and ocean crabbing should also be a good option on this tide series.
Summer steelhead should be available in fair numbers on the Nestucca and Wilson, as well as Siletz River systems. Trout season on the coastal systems opened May 22.
Seas have been a bit too rough for fun halibut fishing. Essential trade winds will likely keep the ocean sloppy into the weekend. Newport remains the most productive, but experienced captains are doing well out of Garibaldi.
Sturgeon fishing has remained challenging out of Astoria ever since the opener (May 13th), which proved the most productive to date.
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!