The first winter steelhead of the year are being caught in several coastal rivers. If you’re hoping for a successful steelhead season, we’ve got some winter steelhead fishing tips that just might help.
Here are this week’s best bets for weekend fishing.
• Nehalem hatchery released 60 surplus winter steelhead into Coffenbury Lake recently and another 150 into Vernonia Pond last week.
• On the North Coast, anglers continue to catch hatchery winter steelhead on the North Fork Nehalem, Necanicum and the Lower Columbia tribs (NF Klaskanine River, Big Creek and Gnat Creek). Water conditions are good but dropping and will probably get low and clear with the cold weather predicted.
• While the Alsea is currently the best spot on the mid-coast to target early winter steelhead, the Siletz and Siuslaw should also be seeing their first steelhead soon — if they haven’t already.
• In the lower Rogue River, anglers are regularly catching steelhead. They’re mostly wild fish but the hatchery run should be picking up soon.
• Steelhead anglers are catching hatchery steelhead in the East Fork and West Fork Millicoma rivers in the Coos Basin even with high muddy water.
• Chinook anglers on the Chetco, Elk, Pistol, Sixes and Winchuck rivers are turning their attention to steelhead as the first fish of the season begin to arrive.
• Anglers should keep an eye on water levels in the Sandy, Clackamas and Eagle Creek rivers. There are steelhead around and anglers should be ready to hit the water once high flows start to drop.
• Several area lakes and ponds have been stocked with one-pound trout just in time for some holiday fishing. Look for them in Alton Baker Canoe Canal, Cottage Grove Pond, Junction City Pond, Walling Pond and Waverly Lake.
• Winter is a great time to target redband trout in the Blitzen River.
Sturgeon retention on the Columbia River above Bonneville Dam opens Jan. 1. Check for season details.
Report your hunt
Just a reminder that all big game and turkey hunters who bought a tag need to report their hunt, even if they didn’t hunt or take an animal. Also a reminder that reporting early will help you avoid the last minute crush of procrastinators. Learn more about how to report.
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