Oregon Fishing Forecast - June 20, 2019
Portland/Metro - The doldrums of summer are setting in for metro area rivers. The Willamette continues to produce mediocre late-season spring Chinook fishing in the Portland Harbor and effort for salmon saw a jump at Willamette Falls as well. Counts at Willamette Falls remain depressed, not even half of the pre-season prediction has bypassed Willamette Falls to date, but we're not far off of last year's total run size, which ended up at just over 24,000 adults over Willamette Falls. Summer steelhead counts to date however are about half of last year's total for the same time period. Steelhead have clearly had some tough years recently, we're in the midst of realizing that again this year.
Shad fishers are still putting in time downstream of the I-205 Bridge although catches aren't as robust as they were a few weeks ago. It's always a surprise when a Chinook hits shad gear, it may be good to be prepared for such "luck." Shad aren't leader-shy.
Sturgeon anglers are having a harder time finding larger fish as many have migrated downstream to the estuary for their summer feeding program; anchovies are on the menu. Not so coincidentally, frozen anchovies produced fair catches late last week for shakers in the Portland Harbor.
With next to non-existent catches of spring Chinook, and a depressed return of summer steelhead, anglers have largely written off the Clackamas River. Soon, rafters will out-number anglers so only early morning anglers will stand a chance. The Clackamas hatchery is making some significant upgrades which should provide better opportunity in the future, but it's been a long dry spell for a once significant fishery.
The Sandy River is only producing slightly better. Spring Chinook catches are still weak, but at least there's hope for a modest return this year. Summer steelhead action is better on the Sandy system as well, but anglers are still having to endure the raft hatch so fish early here too.
The Tillamook Report - Spring Chinook action remains challenging for Tillamook Bay anglers. We're still in the window of peak opportunity and in recent years, this time of the season has produced some surprisingly fair fishing. It's a mediocre tide swing this weekend, which should produce catches for trollers in the upper bay in the morning, and the lower estuary late in the afternoon. We're approaching the longest day of the year, spring Chinook anglers should take advantage of it.
Managers tacked on an additional 6 days due to unmet quota in the south of Cape Falcon halibut fishery. The first 3-day set started Thursday, June 20, and runs through the June 22. Pacific City and Garibaldi should produce fair catches.
The much anticipated mark select coho fishery starts south of Cape Falcon on Saturday. It's likely to be the highlight of the year. Liberal quotas will offer up ample opportunity for high quality ocean coho for the next several months. Chinook are allowed for retention as well, but read regulations carefully.
Nearshore bottomfishing for sea bass remains excellent.
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!
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