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Willamette Valley/Metro- After a slight lull in the spring chinook fishing, the pace has picked up again and reports of decent fishing are coming in from St. Helens all the way up to Milwaukie. After a jump from last week’s rain, the turbidity is clearing and the catching is only going to improve. Oregon City is getting a few fish, but the peak of action there is still three weeks away. Multnomah Channel salmon fishermen are picking up fish at Coon Island and Santosh. As usual, green label plug cut herring or cured pawns are the favorite baits for March spring chinook.

Sturgeon are thick in the lower Willamette River. Long shoremen and early morning anglers are reporting schools of sturgeon jumping and rolling in the vicinity of Swan Island. Also spotted are the California and Stellar sea lions working the sturgeon school, tearing up and tossing them around like rag dolls. Few anglers are interested in catch and release sturgeon fishing when spring chinook are present, but those that take interest will likely do well.

On the McKenzie, March Browns are taking to the wing between 1 PM and 4 PM daily with dries and emerges effective during hatch periods. Water levels have been dropping over the past week and water conditions are expected to be good for the coming weekend.

Fishing is slow on the Santiams with numbers low and the water too cold to entice steelhead upstream.

The Clackamas is at premium fishing level and late winter steelhead are present in good numbers. Also present are a few early summer steelhead and successful anglers are occasionally rewarded with the hottest, brightest steelhead available. The water has been running on the clearer side all season long and fishermen are adjusting their tactics accordingly. Bank fishermen are doing best between Rivermill Dam and Barton, at all the popular access points, while boat fishermen are scoring best between Barton and Riverside parks. Expect the run to hold up through mid-April.

Sandy River regulars are still scoring with late winter and early summer steelhead. Drift boaters and bank anglers are doing best between Oxbow Park and Dabney Park. The water is on a slow drop and running clear so lighter leaders and subdued presentations are called for. Drift boats pulling plugs have been scoring well as do float fishers, fishing jigs. Smelt are thick in the lower river and have been spotted up to Dabney Park. River smelt are now federally protected and harvesting them is restricted.

The ODFW will host a family fishing Event at Canby Pond on Saturday, March 30th from 9 AM to 2 PM. Volunteers will be on hand to provide equipment and tips to youngsters.

Northwest – Steelheaders on the north coast are readying for a mediocre season to complete. Action should remain consistently challenging on the Wilson, Nestucca, Trask and Nehalem Rivers with the smaller streams a poor option in the dropping flows. Some summer steelhead may begin to show on the Wilson and Nestucca and the district’s spring chinook season opens on April 1st. No sign of spring chinook yet and we’re still 6 weeks away from consistent fishing.

With spring break upon us, area lakes have been amply stocked with trout for catch and keep fisheries. Conditions are good and so are the catches.

Calm seas produced excellent catches of bottomfish, both lingcod and sea bass out of all northern ports. Depoe Bay and the south jetty out of the Columbia River have been very consistent with fair catches of ocean crab available too.

It’s still a bit early for good catches of ocean chinook south of Cape Falcon but the season is open. Catches are likely to improve in the coming weeks. A large chinook forecast should make for a productive ocean fishery.

Razor clam digging should be excellent over the weekend on many Clatsop area beaches.

Southwest- Boats launching out of central Oregon ports have been taking limits of lingcod but the clock is running out for deep water opportunities. The ocean closes beyond the 30-fathom line on April 1st. Nearshore reefs will continue to produce good catches of rockfish.

Offshore conditions are forecast to be favorable for ocean launches this week.

Winchester Bay crabbing is slow although fishing from the South Jetty has been productive. A few anglers are trying for sturgeon but results have been poor. Starting April 1, two legal sturgeon may be kept for the year. The Umpqua mainstem has dropped to normal seasonal flows following the freshet late last week. Spring chinook fishing is slow although steelheaders have taken a few large fish. All natives must be released river-wide. steelheading has been worthwhile on the South Umpqua although the water is getting a little low.

Coos Bay crabbing is good and improving. Late-season steelheading is spotty on the Coos system although the West and East Fork Millicoma and South Coos are producing a few fish.

When boats have been able to cross the bar out of Gold Beach, bottom fishing has produced limits of rockfish, lingcod and a few crab. Spring chinook fishing turned on in the lower Rogue following the rise in water levels Thursday last week. The first two hours of the incoming tide and an hour after it turns have been most productive. Steelheaders on the middle Rogue are doing fair. Winter fish are being taken on the upper river as well and while the first springer of the year was taken on March 7th at the Hatchery Hole, none have entered the hatchery facility yet.

Only the occasional bright winter steelhead is being caught on the Chetco as most are spawned out or dark this late in the season.

Elk River anglers took a few late-winter steelhead as the river dropped following rainfall last week but the level is getting too low to fish well.

SW Washington- With steelhead catches still low in the district’s rivers, anglers are maintaining their focus on spring chinook. Mainstem sportfishers saw a bump in upper Columbia bound fish indicating the run is starting to peak, although still weeks away.

Passage at Bonneville continues to improve but still hasn’t topped 150 fish. When several hundred salmon a day begin to move, the Drano Lake fishery should kick in. That’s still likely a few weeks away.

Eastern – March Browns are hatching on the lower Deschutes but not in impressive number. Take Blue-winged-Olive, stonefly, caddis and midge patterns for success with the redsides.

Fly casters on the Metolius are taking fish on nymphs with only occasional light hatches occurring.

Green Peter is producing fair catches of kokanee but far short of the 25-per-day limit.

Steelhead fishing this week in the Grande Ronde in southeast Washington has been stellar. The state creel from last week tallied less than 3 hours per fish.
The Guides Forecast
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