Though the Rogue River has had a fairly good run of Springers, fishing on the lower river near Gold Beach is now very slow. Meanwhile, fishermen working the Middle Rogue near Grants Pass and even higher up near Shadey Cove are having good success on sardine-wrapped plugs. On the Umpqua, some Spring Chinook are still being caught near Elkton, but the action has heated up nicely from Amacher Park down to River Forks. A very strong push of Spring Chinook has entered Tillamook Bay, with reports of good fishing up high near the mouths of the tributaries. With the ice melting in our high lakes, trout effort has begun. Crane Prairie reports some very large trout succumbing to trolled and stripped leach patterns.
By Memorial Weekend, the fish counts at Willamette Falls showed over 17,000 Springers and more than 6600 Summer Steelhead headed to the tributaries. With high flow rates and low water temperatures, fish counts remain less than half of the numbers posted last season at this same time of year. Though traditionally, the bulk of our local Spring Chinook navigate Willamette Falls in May, fish managers remain confident that most of this year's run is yet to come. Last week, fishermen working the water from Lebanon down to Jefferson found decent success on the Santiam system. The McKenzie and Middle Fork Willamette continue to very slowly improve each week for steelhead and salmon fishermen. High water levels and heavy flows dictate caution for boaters and bank fishermen alike. The upper McKenzie was planted last week with 9200 trout, 2250 of which were large fish. People will have an opportunity to enjoy the newly developed boat ramp below Goodpasture Bridge.