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Willamette Valley/Metro - The cold snap has kept many anglers indoors, but reports are still coming in from all the local rivers. Although pressure is lighter, Willamette River bank fishermen are still getting a few steelhead at Meldrum Bar and the blacktop. Backtrollers here have been almost nonexistent as of lately, but good water conditions warrant the effort. Catch and release sturgeon fishing in the Portland harbor has also produced for the few who brave the cold weather.

The Columbia below Bonneville Dam has for the most part been a ghost town, other than the occasional boat spotted in the Rainier/Kalama vicinity. Cold water temperatures drive sturgeon up into the Willamette that runs a few degrees warmer and anglers best serve themselves by focusing their time there. A few reports of "decent" sturgeon fishing have come in from above Bonneville Dam in the Cascade Locks and Stevenson areas.

The Clackamas has been in great shape and steelhead anglers are getting a few steelhead. Boaters and bank fishermen are both getting their share and some boaters have reported rather good fishing from the stretch between Feldheimers and Carver. Free-drifting roe and yarn as well as bobber and jig are producing. Expect good water conditions through the weekend. Eagle Creek is very low and clear and fishing conditions are poor, expect an improvement after the next rainstorm.

On the Sandy River, steelhead anglers have been busy catching fish. Water conditions were prime over the weekend and prospective anglers should expect lower, clearer conditions for the next several days. Fish are spread through-out the system, but the Dodge to Oxbow and Oxbow to Dabney drifts have been producing the best.

McKenzie levels came up on the 10th of January but have been falling since. It was at 4,000 cfs at Vida earlier this week and should provide a little winter C&R trout fishing for anglers in the area. Steelhead can be found below Leaburg Dam.

There are a few native winters in the Santiams but with only 600 over the Falls, it's not enough to create much of a catch-and-release fishery.

Northwest – With conditions ideal for weekend anglers on the north coast, anglers were out in force despite frigid temperatures. Although several anglers braved the hazardous road conditions in the early morning, anglers reported a fair bite first thing in the morning but action typically picks up better when water and air temperatures come closer together. That’s usually from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Effort and success was likely best on the Wilson and Trask Rivers with the Nestucca starting to kick out more consistent success as well. A mix of both early run fish, both spent and a few fresher as well as broodstock fish are beginning to show. From here on through early April, quality hatchery fish will likely be from the broodstock program prevalent on the Wilson and Nestucca Rivers with every other north coast stream producing a fair return of wild fish and far less crowded conditions.

Smaller systems such as the Necanicum, North Fork Nehalem and Three Rivers largely contain spent early run fish this time of year. Wild fish will return later in the winter but quality fish on these systems will be few and far between for the next several weeks. Rain is once again needed to enhance these now low and clear streams.

Hazardous road conditions are likely to remain through the weekend. Vehicles towing boats over the coastal pass are especially susceptible to dangerous travel conditions. Use extreme caution and consider a later start for safety and improved angling opportunity.

With an east wind influence possible over the weekend, offshore conditions may exist that will allow safe bar crossings and smooth seas. Anglers wishing to take advantage of these potential offshore conditions will likely be rewarded with bountiful catches of seabass and lingcod out of most northern ports. Fair Dungeness crabbing is also a possibility although larger crab seem to move offshore this time of year.

Sturgeon tides are favorable although not below the optimum 0.0 stage. Target the afternoon low tide on Tillamook Bay using sand shrimp for bait in the west or middle channels. Bay crabbing will likely remain poor.

Southwest- With boats able to cross into the ocean over the past weekend, limits of rockfish and lingcod were taken out of central Oregon ports. Bottom fishing is open to all depths through March.

The entire coast remains closed to mussel harvest due to a naturally-occurring toxin. Scallop harvest is allowed but only the abductor mussel should be consumed.

As the mainstem Umpqua drops this week, it should produce winter steelhead although most will be natives requiring release. It's still early to expect the South Umpqua to provide quality fishing for hatchery steelhead.

Coos and Coquille systems are getting too low and clear to fish at their best. West Fork Millicoma anglers are taking a few.
The lower Rogue is predicted to settle in the 5,000 cfs range which is low by winter standards, but still fishable. Steelheaders have been pulling fish out of this stretch regularly. With winters moving into the middle Rogue with regularity, boaters pulling plugs and side-drifters should do well. The lower Applegate has been producing winters. Upper Rogue anglers are still taking a few summers but most are showing signs of too much time in the river.

Water levels at the Chetco are dropping and have turned clear. If the forecast remains accurate, it will be too low to fish well by the weekend to come and this is unfortunate as results have been good. Winter steelhead averaging 10 pounds are distributed throughout the system with the occasional hatchery fish in the 20-pound class.

The Elk and Sixes rivers will be low and clear until the next round of precipitation falls in the southwest.

The ice at Diamond Lake is improving with three inches on the surface and about a foot of compacted snow atop that. Caution is still advised. Fishing is fair but it seems all who have tried it have taken a few fat trout.

Eastern – Redside fishing is fair on the lower Deschutes with tiny BWOs and caddis patterns effective. Steelheading remains very slow.

Generally considered the best winter stream fishing in Oregon, action on the Crooked River is holding up well. Primarily a nymph fishing show, dries are effective when Blue-Winged-Olive hatches occur.

The tricky Metolius has been fishing well for those who know the river and its idiosyncrasies.

SW Washington- The already poor return of hatchery fish on most district streams will further disappoint although the Cowlitz will continue to provide the best opportunity for most district anglers.

Wild fish will begin to enter these systems but numbers won’t improve significantly for several more weeks on the Lewis and Kalama. The Washougal will also produce some wild fish but anglers won’t be overly impressed here.

Sturgeon interest continues to improve although the cold east wind has anglers thinking twice about exposure. Keepers may congregate near the mouth of the Cowlitz in greater numbers in the next several weeks, especially if the smelt run materializes.
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