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Willamette Valley/Metro- The Willamette River continues to put out the occasional, early spring chinook despite a slight rise and increased turbidity. Reported catches have come in from the Multnomah Channel all the way up to Oregon City, with Sellwood and Willamette Park being the hot spots. Green label herring is the bait of choice for the majority of anglers, but as you move upriver from Milwaukie, prawns, sand shrimp and cured roe are more prevalent. The random steelhead continues to get caught up at Meldrum Bar and the blacktop, but most anglers here are targeting salmon by now.

Catch and release sturgeon fishing remains good, when anglers put their time in on the outgoing tides. Smelt, herring, sand shrimp and earthworms are the baits that get bites.

McKenzie water levels are variable this week but the river will be productive whenever the water level is dropping. Caddis patterns will be effective for redsides.

The South Santiam is recovering from a spike in the water level, which occurred late last week. Boats are drifting the North Santiam from Mehama to Stayton during which a few steelhead have been caught.

On the Clackamas River, the water conditions are at optimum but the steelhead fishing could be better. Local anglers are getting a few and resident guides are having a hit or miss season, but the river has seen better seasons. Expect water conditions to remain steady through the weekend.

On the Sandy River, steelhead fishermen are enjoying better days despite the fluctuating river levels. This season, the Sandy River could be called NW Oregon's "bright spot" for steelhead. The recent rains brought the river back up to healthy level and good reports have come in since the river began its drop. It’s been a mix of about 50/50 wild fish to hatchery fish and they have been averaging a bit on the large side.

Henry Hagg Lake opens for the season on Saturday, March 2nd. It will be stocked with 18,000 legal-sized trout this week.

Northwest – Despite ideal conditions over the weekend, steelheaders were largely disappointed with the meager showing of what should have been a big kick-off for late season wild and broodstock fish. Despite the disappointment, fair numbers of wild and hatchery fish were taken on the top two favorites; the Wilson and Nestucca with some fish nearing the 20-pound class.

Jamie Duval of Bay City took a 9-pound broodstock fish on the new orange Corkie Cluster on Sunday, drifting from Siskeyville to Mills Bridge on the Wilson River. Side-drifters fared best using small clusters of bait and drift bobbers.

Wild fish should be well distributed in all north coast systems but March will remain the top prospect for those seeking late season steelhead options.

Offshore season setting options will take place for industry stakeholders in Newport on February 28th. With the likelihood of another strong showing of chinook and a rebound of hatchery coho this year, seasons could be generous.

No sign of a calming ocean in the near future so bottomfishing and offshore crabbing remain untapped.

Bay crabbing remains fair at best with better tides anticipated over the weekend. Hopefully, the weather cooperates.

Southwest- Rough ocean conditions this week have prevented effort by charter or recreational anglers and crabbers.

South coast beach casters are taking good numbers of pinkfin perch when the surf is lying down. The best time is two hours before high tide with the bite often continuing into the first hour of the ebb.

Crabbing has been slow to fair at Winchester Bay. The mainstem and North Umpqua are providing decent catch-and-release fishing for native steelhead while pressure for hatchery fish is increasing on the South Umpqua.

Charleston remains the top port for crabbers. Even those crabbing from docks have been doing well here.

How about a great spring chinook run on the Rogue River this season? That's the prediction with the first Rogue springer of 2013 likely to be landed this week. Most anglers are concentrating on winter steelhead now and rightly so, as adults and half-pounders are being landed regularly in the lower river. Side-drifters and plug-pullers in the middle Rogue are taking winters from the Applegate River to Drift Creek. A fresh batch of winters hit the upper Rogue following rain over the past weekend.

Low, clear water that has challenged Chetco steelheaders recently will turn around with rain this week. The river closes at the end of March so anglers are hoping for good water conditions in the coming weeks.

Rain off and on this week in the southwest corner of the state should provide some winter steelheading on the Elk River. Cured eggs or drifted corkies will take fish here. The season ends on March 31st on both the Elk and Sixes with no further opportunities until fall chinook starts in November.

Ice at Diamond Lake is about a foot thick now with several inches of packed snow on the surface. Expect to put in a couple of hours for every trout but they're typically large here.

Eastern – The Deschutes is in good condition and excellent color although there was snow on the banks early this week and it has been windy. Fishing for redsides has been fair with mid-day the best time to try. While a few Skwalas are hatching, trout are not yet keyed on them. Caddis and midge patterns remain the mainstays.

Skwala stoneflies are getting attention from trout on the Metolius where fly fishers are taking redsides on large dries and nymphs.

Lake Billy Chinook is producing kokanee averaging 11 inches for trollers using small hoochies on downriggers in about 70 feet of water.

SW Washington- Most anglers in the district are focusing their efforts on an early spring chinook. Effort and catches should begin to ramp up in the coming weeks, especially if water conditions continue to warm and flows remain stable. Anglers in the Cathlamet area are taking a rare chinook on herring.

Steelheaders in the area are focused on wild fish primarily. Hatchery returns to the Cowlitz, Kalama, Lewis and Washougal remain low. For clarification, only the North Fork of the Lewis from Johnson Creek upstream is closed. The mainstem Lewis remains open.

Klineline Pond was planted with 1,500 rainbows averaging 2/3 pound each Feb. 19 and anglers are catching some.

The Guide’s Forecast
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The Guides Forecast
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