The Fish Sniffer - Steelhead Catch Spotty, Trout Consistent, Salmon Coming…. - Southern Oregon Roundup
Steelhead Catch Spotty, Trout Consistent, Salmon Coming…. - Southern Oregon Roundup

Written By: Cal Kellogg, April 17, 2013
Species: Steelhead Trout
Location: Rogue River, Umpqua River,

(Roseburg) It’s that time of the year in southwest Oregon when things are in flux. Winter steelhead fishing remains an option, yet most anglers have given up on metalheads.

While some anglers have turned their attention to trout fishing, river anglers are anxiously awaiting the arrival of robust numbers of spring kings. At this point kings are showing in the Umpqua, Rogue and other rivers, but the best action likely won’t kick in until mid-April.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife reports that steelheading effort has been slow on Tenmile Creek and Eel Creek but anglers have been picking up a few steelhead. Steelhead fishing is open in Tenmile Creek and Eel Creek until April 30.

Bass anglers are starting to catch a few bass in Tenmile Lakes but overall fishing is fairly slow. The lake water temperature is in the low 50s. Anglers looking to target bass should use slower moving lures/baits at this time of the year.

Steelhead are in the Smith River. There is no hatchery program up the Smith River so the angling opportunity will primarily be catch-and-release of wild steelhead. This is the time that anglers also target striped bass in the tide waters. As the weather warms the bass should get more active in feeding as they prepare for spawning.

Steelhead fishing is open in the North Fork, East Fork, Middle Fork, and South Fork Coquille rivers until April 30. Anglers still fishing for steelhead will catch a mixture of spawned out steelhead, dark steelhead, and an occasional bright, fresh steelhead.

Steelhead fishing has been decent on the South Fork Coquille River this past week with anglers catching mostly wild steelhead with an occasional hatchery fish. Anglers fishing from drift boats were have the best success but bank fishing on the river near Powers has been decent. Anglers were having success catching fish by drifting eggs or corkies along the bottom or by fishing a jig under a bobber.

Steelhead fishing in the West Fork Millicoma, East Fork Millicoma, and South Coos rivers is open until April 30. Most steelhead anglers have put away there steelhead fishing equipment for the year but a few anglers are reporting they are still catching steelhead.

Bradley Lake, Empire Lakes, Johnson Mill Pond, and Powers Pond were all stocked last week with larger “trophy” trout. Mingus Park Pond, Butterfield Lake, Empire Lakes, Saunders Lake, Powers Pond, Johnson Mill Pond, and Bradley Lake have all been stocked in the last month with legal-sized trout. Anglers are catching trout on small spoons, spinners, or bait fished near the bottom. Fishing for warm water fish species, like largemouth bass and bluegills, will be slow until the water temperatures start to warm up.

Emigrant Reservoir was stocked with 3,500 legal size rainbow trout last week. Additionally,
Emigrant received 351 summer steelhead that were released into the reservoir and are available for harvest. Fishing at the upstream end of the reservoir should provide the best opportunity to harvest these fish. Fishing success for warmwater species should start increasing as the weather warms.

At Diamond Lake most anglers have been fishing in front of the resort and the North Boat Ramp. PowerBait is the most commonly used bait. Vary your fishing depth until you find the fish. Since the trout aren’t real active during the winter, use a small presentation and expect very light biting.

Lots of trout are swimming around and some are pretty big. Arizona Pond is pretty hard to beat when it comes to kid friendly and good fishing. Lots of wildlife viewing and if the wind is not blowing the ocean beach is only a few hundred yards away.  ODFW will be stocking the lake almost weekly through the month with a variety of legal-size to trophy trout. The pond is managed by Oregon State Parks and is open only to youth 17 and under.

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