Best bets for weekend fishing
Winter showed up with an attitude on the North Coast, and while we are back above freezing the wind and rain are here now. Most of the rivers are on the rise today and will probably blow out by this afternoon. Once the rivers come back in shape, whenever that is, we expect to see decent winter steelhead fishing throughout the district. The Nestucca, Wilson, North Fork Nehalem and Necanicum rivers as well as the Lower Columbia tributaries (Big Cr, Gnat Cr and Klaskanine River) will be the best chances to catch hatchery fish.
Surplus hatchery winter steelhead were recently planted in Coffenbury Lake. Catching a steelhead out of still water can be a fun and unique experience and may be a good option while the rivers are blown out.
As water levels fluctuate most of the Mid Coast basins have had a few days scattered around where the steelhead bite has been hot!
With the rains we have received, please be wary of the many downed logs that have been washed into systems. Floats you may have done earlier in the season may now prove hazardous as water levels drop and reveal additional downed trees. If you have questions, call your local ODFW office for additional information.
Additionally, as we move into colder weather, please be wary of icy road conditions. The coast tends to be a bit warmer than the coast range and valley, and as you move further east the temps drops and roads stay icy. Stay safe out there!
The 2024 regulation book has been published and you should be able to find it at most stores that sell fishing/hunting licenses- pick one up before heading out after the new year.
As a reminder 2023 licenses will expire on December 31, 2023, so moving into the New Year you will need to purchase a 2024 license.
SALMON RIVER: steelhead
Early winter steelhead have been entering the system though the bite still hasn't picked up yet. With the rains coming in, the fishery has set up similarly to the Alsea where those early fish coming in went high into the system quickly. As the river levels drop and clear out, fishing conditions should be excellent moving into further January. As long as the temps hold out the next few weeks and the water doesn't get too cold, we should see some excellent winter steelhead conditions.
Check your regulations before you head out. Last updated 1/17/24.
SILETZ RIVER: winter steelhead
Like the Salmon and Alsea rivers, the first few winter steelhead are beginning to enter the Siletz Basin. The Siletz also has a hatchery component to its steelhead run and provides a great opportunity early in the season for steelhead retention. Most of the early component fish have shot up and are likely hanging around in the upper Siletz Gorge. The Gorge provides excellent bank fishing opportunity but as winter flows settle in be mindful of traversing the river at higher flows.
The bite has been steady over the holiday weeks, but moving into January has definitely slowed down. With the amount of rain, we have seen we should start to see those January fish moving around in the system up in the Gorge.
Trout fishing closed Oct. 31. Last updated 1/17/24.
For more information: https://myodfw.com/recreation-report/fishing-report/northwest-zone