The Smith River had some pretty good fishing days early in the week, while the Chetco Estuary started to pick up a little bit of steam heading into the weekend, but both river systems are still awaiting a little more rain to raise flows and usher more salmon into the system.
Meanwhile, bottomfishing has been a little bit hit or miss depending on the weather, but there were opportunities to land some rockfish and lingcod on both sides of the border throughout the week.
The Rogue River run is on its last legs. Fishing in the Rogue Bay has been slow for some time, but anglers were able to follow the fish upriver for a few more weeks of solid fishing.
Joe Martin of Rogue Coast Sportfishing said there are still a few jacks and some coho salmon hanging around up the Rogue River, but they are becoming fairly difficult to find. Martin said he and many of the other guides in the area are now just waiting for a little more rain before either fishing some of the smaller streams in the area or heading south to the Chetco.
Both the Smith and Chetco rivers have been producing salmon throughout the week, though river levels are running low.
The Smith River is still subject to a low flow closure, which looks like it will stay in place throughout most of next week. Rain in the forecast late in the week looks to be the river’s best bet to rise in the near future.
In the meantime, anglers have been able to nab fish below Rowdy Creek. Fishing guide Mike Coopman said anglers have been catching a few fish per day for most of the week, but the bite seemed to back off a little bit on Friday. Coopman said there have been a lot of anglers on the banks early in the morning, but it has been less crowded in the afternoon.
Up on the Chetco River there is no low flow closure, but fishing guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing said the river has gotten low enough that drift boats are running aground a little too often. Oregon anglers have instead been fishing for salmon in the estuary, which Martin said was particularly good late in the week on Thursday and Friday.
On the ocean
It has been a solid, if unspectacular, week of fishing for ocean anglers on the Wild Rivers Coast.
Despite lots of rough weather on the ocean throughout the week, anglers reported hauling in some nice lingcod when conditions allowed for bottomfishing.
Down in Crescent City Capt. Craig Strickhouser of Tally Ho II Sportfishing said it took a while for his clients to nab a couple lingcod, but the rockfish were biting well. Stickhouser said they were able to haul in limits of rockfish.
Although limits of three black rockfish per day are fairly common out of Crescent City, Strickhouser said his clients hauled in lots of other varieties of bottomfish to reach the 10-rockfish per day bag limit.
Although Strickhouser said he hasn’t seen a full bag limit of rockfish in a while, he also noted that bottomfishing is generally closed this time of year in Crescent City but will remain open this year until the end of the year.
Fishing contacts: Jim Mitchell of Gotcha Hooked Fish Trips at 464-8482; Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing at 206-388-8988; Dave Castellanos of Brookings River & Ocean Fishing at 541-698-7029; Chetco Outdoor Store at 541-469-9151; Englund Marine Supply Company at 464-32306.
Reach Michael Zogg at firstname.lastname@example.org .