Welcome to our fishing report. Since we spend over 200 days on the water each year we have a pretty good handle on what's happening in the fisheries we target. For those of you who will be going out with us this season, you can visit this page to follow how those fisheries are stacking up. And for those who may be considering a trip, you'll be able to follow the action and see what you're missing.
**HOT** 2016 Early Fishing Lines - PDF Format
November 13 - It would be nice if the weather forecasts and river predictions were accurate but that's asking a lot! We had some very low conditions through mid-week followed by extreme rain/wind and water. It was supposed to continue through the weekend providing little opportunity to have decent water conditions on the rivers but the storm didn't hit quite as hard so the smaller, northern rivers as well as the Smith had some fishable water albeit big! These were some of the fish caught this past week including the big one shown by Eric Sherwood (far left) that probably pushed the scale toward 50. They let it go make more big fish so they can tell lots of stories about the big one! The water conditions on the Chetco haven't been tremendously different from regular rain storms we have. There were many concerned that the Chetco Bar Fire would lend unfishable conditions and slow clearing but thus far we aren't seeing that. We haven't had a huge rain event with blown out river conditions and they are working hard on stabilization as well as clearing trees for additional access to the upper launches in time for steelhead season. There is still a bit of salmon season left so let us know if you'd like to give the big ones a try. Predictions are for our biggest water of the year later this week; subsiding for Thanksgiving week, rolling into December. We should see a few of the early steelhead show after that!
November 6 - The salmon season has continued to be up and down. The rain has not materialized in the amounts predicted - so far - and the river levels have stayed low, low. Even with the rain yesterday the river dropped right back down today. There were a few opportunities this past weekend but they were vey sparse. Definitely the best day so far has been today. However, the "big" storm hitting mid-week this week could actually push the river up and out. We'll have to wait and see if it materializes. The Smith and Chetco have been the same although the Smith closes during low flow whereas the Chetco just had the bobber only restriction (until Saturday). There were a few people trying the estuary but it was non-productive - really the fish were just waiting to head up and when that rain hit Friday the fish scooted up the river. Good news is the brood stock collection was so successful with just 3 days that all the necessary stock were captured and are waiting at the hatchery for spawning! The smolt are all starting to travel downstream as well. We will wait and see how the weather fares this week.
October 23 - Kind of a crazy time for salmon fishing right now. The final week of the ocean season outside the mouth of the Chetco produced some beauties with bragging rights going to a 50 pounder! WOW. Then there was a bit of a slow down without much action anywhere (thus not much to report last week) and then the rain hit. It started raining, as predicted, on Wednesday afternoon/evening and it didn't stop until early this morning. Boy did it rain, the wind blew and the rivers rose much more than expected! There were a couple opportunities to hit the rivers, especially the Smith River, where some beautiful chinook were caught even though the leaves and debris were competing for the hook. Most of the action was down low but a few of the fish were making their way through so if the flow stays up there may be some opportunity this week. The Chetco didn't look too bad, despite the predictions that it would be black with ash, in fact, it didn't look any worse than on the regular first rain fall every year. However, when it stopped raining the river really dropped fast so there probably won't be quite enough water to drift on Wednesday or Thursday. On Wednesday and Thursday, ODFW, assisted by Oregon South Coast Fishermen, held the first 2 days of the rodeo roundup. The Roundup is the nickname for seigning salmon for the hatchery and it's quite the event. If you've never seen or participated it is something to behold. During the 2 days, over 130 chinook were captured and 70 were delivered to the hatchery for brood stock. The others were released to swim up river - possible for a lucky angler or to spawn. Currently the upper launches on the Chetco are closed to public assess. We are being reassured, by the US Forest Service, Gold Beach Ranger District, that they are working hard to clear the road and open Nook Bar. After Nook is open (the deadline for salmon fishing) they will continue up river to get Redwood and the South Fork available for steelhead season. Just a reminder, the Chetco is still under the bobber only rule until November 4th when all methods, all means (legal) will open.
October 9 - The Rogue has slowed a bit on the red hot action from this summer and fall but there are a few silvers as well as Indian Creek fish showing so action is still around. The Lobster Creek fish also seem a bit more prevalent than the Q-Creek fish so most of the upriver action is close to Lobster at this time. The Chetco Bubble fishery opened for the first opportunity to fish the ocean for salmon this summer. The boat traffic was tremendous on Saturday (first day) but the catching action wasn't that good so Sunday the boat traffic reduced, significantly, and the catch went up a bit. There were also some fish in the 30 pound class so we know a few big ones are coming. Several fish were released due to the 28" size restriction for the ocean season. The top picture is Jeff Taylor who went fishing out of his buddy's boat and had good success (but a few of the undersided fish). The bottom picture is Ronnie Richardson fishing with Gary. The other 2 images are Waldo Lake in central Oregon where Val had a Marine Board meeting this week. Waldo Lake is the cleanest water in the United States where you can see to the bottom in over 70 feet of water. It's just fun to see something different once in a while! Salmon season for the river is coming ... get your dates.
October 2 - Seems like time just slips away with all the fishing and other fall activities happening. The Rogue has been very good with the bay and upriver a bit. I'm sure you can tell the difference in days from the photos here - Linda and KC went through the gamet of weather options. One day was so hot that we were all melting! The next day the exact opposite. Some fun times on the water though. The Chetco bay also saw a bit of action with some cooler weather coming through. This weekend is the first for the October "Bubble" fishery and the first time the ocean will be open for salmon fishing along the south coast out of Brookings. Hopefully the water conditions will cooperate and the air is wonderful now that the Chetco Bar Fire has been brought 97% under control. We don't know what will happen with the water conditions on the Chetco once the rains begin but the fish will come regardless. We're looking forward to salmon season so let us know if you need some dates on the calendar.
September 18 - The Rogue has been incredible this fall. Not only did it start early but it's continued to produce fish and now the big ones are starting to show up. Tyson has been fishing virtually every day and have a great percentage of success. The Coos and Coquille have also been seeing quite a few jacks so the big adults should be showing there shortly. In addition there are a few people starting to troll the Chetco estuary and a few fish have been caught. Mostly jacks but it's a beginning. The ocean sportfishing season has been closed for all fish except flatfish (halibut, sand dabs, flounder, sole) as of this morning. With the salmon season closure this summer a lot more people have been out catching whatever they can and the sport fish quota was reached a bit earlier than usual. We've been lucky to have a bit of rain hit the region too so the fire is starting to get under control. Currently the awesome fire fighters and support staff have brought 53% of the fire into containment - we are so, incredibly, grateful for these fire fighters but also for the support staff that is here with them - National Guard, Air Force, volunteers, Curry County Sheriff's department - everyone who've helped to tame this beast for the past month. We will see burned areas this winter but there will also be green so don't let it discourage you from making your reservations for salmon or steelhead fishing. We're ready when the river is flowing!
September 11 - The wildfire in Oregon is not any more contained (still 5%) and it's grown considerably but we've been fishing! The Rogue has been really good in the bay - the top right has fog; not smoke - and the stretch upstream has had some good days as well. We officially finished off our Alaska season 2017 - the last year of guiding in Alaska on the Kenai/Kasilof River - and enjoyed some great silver fishing. While the weather hasn't been terrific this summer we were treated to a couple days of bright sunshine to finish up the season during the Kenai River Sportfishing Women's Classic. The ladies all appreciated the wonderful weather too! We had a little rain in Oregon which helped to suppress the fires for a few days - giving the fire fighters a much needed helping hand. We are so grateful for all the help in our area - national guard, fire fighters from all over the United States, all the support staff necessary to run the logistics of a huge fire fighting effort. So far we are okay at our house and the river is good in some places but we'll see the effects of this fire throughout the salmon and steelhead season this year.
August 28 - And just like that we're looking at the "unofficial" end of summer with Labor Day approaching. We are also transitioning from Alaska to Oregon so the report shows some silvers (courtesy of our friends Eric and Teresa Cook) as well as some Rogue Chinook courtesy of Tyson Crumley Guide Service. The Kenai has been good this year for silvers with some nice sized fish showing up - if only the weather would cooperate and give us more than one day of sunshine a week! I'm sure it will be a beautiful fall season with some crisp mornings and northern lights to entertain. Meanwhile the Rogue has been stellar this summer. It started earlier than normal and it's been a good catching show. Lots of beautiful, plump chinook to play with down in the bay as well as upriver a bit. This should continue with some silvers starting to show shortly. Some of the other Oregon rivers are also enjoying a good fall season - Coos, Coquille, Umpqua and Buoy 10 on the Columbia is off the charts this year. Awesome to see such great fishing. The national news hasn't reported it much but there is a fire along the Chetco River (it's named the Chetco Bar Fire) and it is currently 108,000 acres with 0 containment. We've been in a variety of evacuation levels along the southern Oregon coast since the 20th of August. Later this fall and into the winter we'll get to see the aftermath of this very active fire. We are certainly grateful for all the fabulous firefighters here battling this blaze. Currently there are over 1300 fire fighters trying to tame this monster. Keep the folks in the Brookings-Harbor area in your thoughts and prayers that this fire starts calming down.
August 21 - It's been a very rainy, foggy silver season this year - as you can see from the photos. We had some good silver fishing this past week though and the kids trip on Wednesday was a good one with a break in the weather until the boat ride back up the river! Nice sized silvers are showing up too. We are hoping for a little break in the weather action this week. One of the pictures here shows a double in the net. It's always a great way to end a limit when you only need 2 fish and they both come at the same time! Such fun too. Halibut fishing and salt water salmon also has been very good although water conditions are a little marginal at times. Seward Silver Salmon Derby is wrapping up so we'll see some winners from that event. As August come to a close, soon, we'll start shifting our efforts to Oregon where the Rogue has been very good. Let us know if you need a fishing fix.
August 14 - Sorry for missing last week's report. It was a pretty quiet first week of August although we had long time friends, Steve and Tami, get married and the Wounded Heroes Event took place where the troops were treated to a couple days of salmon fishing. This past week we really saw the silver action improve (although not the weather most of the time as evidenced by the foggy pictures). It was great to see some good sized silvers show up. Gary had one tip the scales at 13 pounds on Sunday. It has also been a time when we are starting to downsize our Alaska boats and equipment; preparing for the end of guiding in Alaska on the Kenai and Kasilof River. As such, we said good-bye to drift boat #99. #99 has been a lot of different boats for Val but this will be the last boat #99 seen on the water in Alaska. Boat numbers under 100 will be taken out of circulation to avoid people trying to buy lower numbers, according to Parks. The end of a journey that began many years ago. #99 fished a lot of people and taught David and Morgan how to row a boat too. It's bittersweet but time. In the meantime, we have some great silver action to look forward to for the rest of the month as well as incredible fishing on the Rogue River happening right now. If you want to get out on the Rogue let us know and we'll set you up or we may be doing a southern swing, since we are back and forth this summer, and be able to take you ourselves.
July 31 - The king season for the Kenai will end tonight but guided fishing on the Kenai ended Saturday as only private boats (all kinds) and private drift boats were allowed Sunday and Monday. It was a great last week for the king fishing (except the weather - sorry about the blurry pictures). There were a variety of fish caught, kept, released. AND the sockeye showed up in great numbers finally. With the extra sockeye though came the re-establishment of commercial fishing times. The commercial fleet is now back to their normal Monday/Thursday schedule with additional fishing time added in. Hopefully we'll see some silvers start to enter the river despite the extra fishing times. The Kasilof also enjoyed great fishing for the last week of July with a bump in sockeye fishing as well. We'll move onto reds, silvers and trout now that the big guys are done. Meanwhile, in Oregon the Rogue bay has continued to produce fish - while not red hot, per se, it is still good fishing. The bay has warmed up (water temps) considerably so that may be pushing those fish back into the cooler ocean waters for now. After the heat wave this week things are supposed to start cooling down a bit. Great fishing everywhere with the last official month of summer upon us - get out and wet a line!
July 24 - The Kenai king fishing this past week had some great activity - at times! Not a lot of consistency but there were some great fighting fish between 15 and 45 pounds. A few bigger ones were also boated with a few being released to go spawn. Sockeye fishing did pick up a bit but, again, not much consistency with good for a few hours then not a fish in sight for the next few hours. Lots of angler time being put on the water though and the commercial fleet has been sitting due to the lack of sockeye in the river to make escapement goals. We aren't sure if/when that will change at this point. The Kasilof has also been producing some nice kings with less pressure than the Kenai. We're into the last week of king fishing now with silvers up on the agenda next. Halibut fishing as well as silver fishing (out of Seward) has been very good with many people filling a box for the freezer.
July 17 - Hard to believe the month is half over - summer goes so quickly! The Kenai has been okay for kings this year and while it's not super red hot there are opportunities. A slight setback at the week's end from thunder, lightening and rain produced some tough conditions Saturday morning but the river was clearing (and dropping) by Sunday so the coming week should see some action. The Kasilof also has been producing some big kings but the sockeye fishing has been slow in both rivers. The red counts are below the "normal" from the past few years but this is the week that should change as well. Seward has some awesome silver fishing happening and silvers are also showing on some of the fly-out trips. Halibut fishing has been very consistent this year with plenty of fish in the 100 pound range. Down south there are also good fish showing on the Rogue with a bit of action still in the mouth of the Chetco with all the anchovies around. Some of those anchovies have been dying off so the smell is a bit much but the fish don't care. Lots of opportunity so take advantage of the summer and wet a line!
July 10 - We hope everyone had a safe and happy 4th of July celebration. Seems the holiday is a great time to celebrate with friends and family and some of these pictures are just that. The one on the far right is our friend, fellow guide, Mark Glassmaker, with his father, showing off a fish they released. Also shown is a great tide fish caught by another guide friend. We're starting to see more fish for the July run on the Kenai with some good reports from Sunday (no guides) and today for drift boat Monday. There are also more sockeye showing in the Kenai with a few reports of limits. The Kasilof has also had some good days (first picture is sockeye fishing on the Kasilof) but with the commercial nets hitting that district hard it really helps to watch the tides and counts. We should see the king counts in both rivers keep rising. Meanwhile, on the Rogue, in Oregon, Tyson has been trolling the bay of the Rogue and catching fish. Additionally, the anchovies are still roaming in and out of the Chetco so there are also salmon being caught there. Bottom fishing in both Oregon and Alaska has been good for halibut, rock fish and more. Tuna have also been intercepted close off the Oregon coast (not Alaska though!).
June 26 - We're still putting out some dual reports with help from Tyson in Oregon. A bit of action in the bay this past week due to the warmer water conditions holding fish down low. There are still fish being caught upriver - both in the Gold Beach/Agness area and up to Medford. Brookings is seeing a huge influx of anchovies in the harbor and the Chetco mouth. Tuna are following these small fish in closer to shore and are being caught about 30 miles offshore right now. The pictures here show the Cook Inlet and a great day of halibut fishing. Just goes to show how beautiful it can be on the inlet when the weather and water cooperate. Salmon fishing on the rivers, Kenai and Kasilof, has been consistent with numbers good enough on the Kenai, according to the management plan, to open bait this past week. The bait opener, as in years past, was not as red hot as many expected but as the month closes out we should see more of the second run kings hit the river. The Russian River also opens in the santuary this week - and the limit was increased to 6! Good fishing in areas and others are combat fishing.
June 18 - Happy Father's Day to all those fathers, or soon to be fathers. I am grateful for my father who taught me to row and opened up a huge world of possibilities! At 85 he's still rowing a boat. I'm also grateful for my best friend and partner, Gary, who has been a fabulous father - setting by example always. These pictures are from friends who were able to take a little time to enjoy their families on Father's Day - doing what they love to do. The top two are on the Rogue (from Tyson) and show the beautiful spring salmon still heading up river. The bottom ones are from Alaska where Coop is with 2 of his kids, releasing a great king. During the fight they were also lucky enough to capture the spectacular jump. Awesome way to celebrate fatherhood. Both areas are fishing with Oregon, Rogue springers being a bit up and down. Just when it seems there is consistency something changes. There were a few fish caught trolling in the bay though so that part of the summer fishery should heat up soon. In Alaska, the Kasilof has a good number of wild and hatchery fin-clipped fish this year. The pressure can be high but stay away from the crowd and there is fun to be had. The sockeye have also been rolling through the Kenai (already at the Russian) and in the upper Kasilof. Both these runs should improve over the next 10 days. Get out there and enjoy!
June 5 - A few pictures borrowed from friends to wet the appetite for fishing. The first is from the Rogue - fishing with Tyson - a beautiful springer that was a keeper as the 1st of June allowed the harvest of all fish; clipped or not clipped. The next photo is a great picture of a halibut in Cook Inlet coming to the Charter boat of Mike Wheat. It's very hard to get a perspective on how big that fish is because there aren't any "markers" showing something else. It was a very large halibut though! Finally, Nolan Davis, who Gary fished with one day in Oregon and who bought a power boat and drift boat from us in Alaska, took a day off on the Kenai to fish "Drift Boat Monday" and landed this beautiful hen (released). The rivers in both states are producing fish but the effort is a bit on the high side at times. It's just getting started in Alaska but the run strength is improving compared to the past few years. Should be an okay season, we'll be there to see how it all shakes out too.
Memorial Day 2017 - Thank you to all those who've served, and are serving, to protect our way of life. We always remember and we are grateful. Virtually everyone has a relative who was part of this effort to defend us and that defense includes the families. Never forget! Always be proud!
Salmon fishing on the Rogue has picked up a bit. These fish are courtesy of Tyson Crumley as he's been hitting the river regularly and the success rate has increased; including hatchery clipped fish. Starting Thursday all fish can be kept. In Alaska the Kenai is enjoying a better start to the fish counts than in many recent years. The Kasilof is also seeing a stronger run and while there are still some issues in a few of the fisheries the salt and these 2 rivers are doing better this year. We'll try to do a better job of getting the weekly reports on here now that we're doing the dual reports!
May 15 - Hard to believe that spring is moving so quickly. In Alaska this past week the kids were out cleaning up the Kenai with the Annual Spring Cleanup. Great job and lots of beautiful sunshine for the days work. There are a few fish starting to move but most of the good Alaska action is in the salt water where feeder king seem to be biting, biting, biting! We know one boat that limited out in just over an hour with 6 beauties. In Oregon on the Rogue the action is good but the keeper percentage has dropped a bit. That changes at the end of the month when June 1st arrives and keepers are any fish! Still some of the best eating fish so there will be opportunities to get some for the barbecue. We'll try to keep up a little better with weekly reports over the next few weeks as the action in both places starts to really move.