NW Oregon Fishing Report for January 5

Some fine broodstock steelhead showed up for a few select anglers on the Wilson River on recently. Water conditions were ideal and fish into the mid-teens were caught. It’s a good sign for this early in the season as interest and success will grow into late February here. Pro guide Rob Gerlitz (503-812-4950) is averaging 2 to 4 chances on every trip, bobber-dogging soft beads for winter steelhead. Here is one of Rob’s clients with a Wilson River broodstock fish from January 3rd:

Don Van Wormer of Portland with a Wilson River broodstock steelhead from 1/3/19

The Nestucca wasn’t as productive, but both broodstock steelhead destined for the upper reaches of the Nestucca, and early season returnees headed for Three Rivers make the Nestucca a fair bet over the holiday break too.

Early season favorites such as the North Fork Nehalem remain disappointing. Hatchery workers have only seen around 100 fish to the trap so far this year. We’re in peak season for this system, so it’s as good as it’s going to get for fresh fish anyway.

Seas remain too rough for a bottomfishing option and the commercial crabbing fleet has dropped their gear for the season opener. Bottomfishing will be excellent when seas subside.

Whale watching is in full bloom right now. It’s a magnificent time of the year to visit the ocean beaches.

Lower Columbia River – Crabbing remains excellent if you get to the middle of the Columbia north of the buoy line on Desdemona Sands. That may change when the commercial crabbers drop pots in just a few days.

Steelheading in Clatsop County remains poor.

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