Bob Rees’ Fishing Updates

NW Oregon Fishing Update for March 16

Posted by on Mar 17, 2019 in Fishing Report | 0 comments

Steelheading on the Nestucca and Wilson Rivers remains challenging in the low, clear systems. Flows jumped early in the week, but not significantly. Most steelheaders are waiting for a substantial weather system, but that looks unlikely for the near future.

The mainstem Nehalem should remain a good bet given it’s the largest river system on the north coast. Low flows are ideal for this all-wild steelhead system, but action should be fair for the coming weekend.

The next weather system will produce excellent steelhead catches, if it ever arrives.

Saltwater anglers took advantage of calm seas last week, yielding great catches of large lingcod, yellow tail and other rockfish species. The seasonal deep reef fathom restriction and closure date has been relaxed, anglers can now fish to the 40-fathom line (instead of 30-fathoms) and the all-depth fishery remains open through April 30th instead of March 31st.

Ocean and bay crabbing is fair.

There is always more Oregon fishing information delivered earlier on Bob’s site, The Guide’s Forecast.  You can also sign-up for a free weekly email here.

NW Oregon Fishing Report for March 9th

Posted by on Mar 9, 2019 in Fishing Report | 0 comments

District streams are low and clear and steelheading is challenging. The Nestucca has held up well, but luck and innovative techniques will play a large role in success on this system. The lower reaches of every Tillamook area stream will produce the best and anglers should target tidal fish, washing in on the incoming tide.

The mainstem Nehalem is ideal for steelheading under these conditions, and gets a large return of all wild fish this time of year. Like other systems, fish should be coming in on the incoming tide, and an array of techniques should work. The upper reaches of the Nehalem are treacherous for drift boats and even rafters need to be cautious when navigating.

With the strong east winds whipping up, the ocean swell has been minimal. Bottomfishing has been excellent for sea bass and lingcod. Favorable seas may continue to provide opportunity, but always subject to change.

Ocean crabbing has slowed as adults are beginning to go into the “clutch.” During the mating season, crabs are much less likely to feed so catch rates plummet. Bay crabbing will be challenging too.

Razor clam digging went well on the recent low tide series but diggers all complained about how small of a grade the clams were. Most clams ranged from 3” to 4”, not quite worthy of the effort.

NW Oregon Fishing Report

Posted by on Mar 2, 2019 in Fishing Report | 0 comments

Stable and dropping flows have slowed the steelhead fishing in the Tillamook area, but peak season is upon us, and action should remain consistent for the coming weeks. Flows are dropping and clearing so innovative strategies are important.

The Wilson is low and clear with the trend likely to remain that way. The reach downstream of Sollie Smith Bridge is likely to produce the best biters, shortly after high tide. Plugs may be most effective since fish will likely spot side-drifters and be skittish with approaching watercraft. Cold mornings in the forecast justify a later start when temperatures warm.

The Nestucca is producing fair and consistent results with a fair mix of wild and hatchery broodstock fish falling to anglers this week. Like the Wilson, the lower reaches (downstream of Three Rivers) will likely produce the best results, and anglers will have to deploy innovative techniques to differentiate from the rest of the fleet.

The mainstem Nehalem should be a fair option this week and next. A lack of precipitation puts this system in prime shape during prime season with some large fish showing this time of year. It’s the best option for fly fishermen.

The offshore weather has been favorable for bottom fishers and sport crabbers. The fishing has been better than the crabbing with some dandy lingcod in the mix. There’s been very little effort this wild winter, fish are quite receptive.

There is always more Oregon fishing information delivered earlier on Bob’s site, The Guide’s Forecast.  You can also sign-up for a free weekly email here.

NW Oregon Fishing Report

Posted by on Feb 24, 2019 in Fishing Report | 0 comments

 Coastal streams produced excellent catches late last week for both wild and hatchery fish. The Wilson and produced great fishing on Thursday and Friday, but tapered by the weekend.

The Nestucca produced well over the weekend and flows look to remain stable into this weekend. The Nestucca and Wilson should remain fair options as more broodstock fish enter the system in the coming weeks.

The Trask will have few anglers, but fewer consumptive opportunities too. Wild fish dominate the catch here.

No sign of fair seas for anxious bottomfishers. Spawning lingcod and hungry sea bass await when the next weather window appears.

There is always more Oregon fishing information delivered earlier on Bob’s site, The Guide’s Forecast.  You can also sign-up for a free weekly email here.

NW Oregon Fishing Update for Feb 16th

Posted by on Feb 16, 2019 in Quick Fishing Update | Comments Off on NW Oregon Fishing Update for Feb 16th

Steelheaders on the coast have been challenged by low, clear water conditions on all north coast streams. Furthermore, cold temperatures have kept steelhead down, but the recent rain freshet should reinvigorate the run just in time for the weekend. Most recent results indicate a flush of fish have moved in with good catches reported on the Wilson River Thursday (today). It’s likely the Nestucca fished well today too.

The Wilson and Nestucca should be receiving a good batch of fish for the Free Fishing weekend. All techniques should produce with bobber-dogging and side-drifting eggs and soft beads performing best. Plugs should become effective over the weekend as flows settle down and steelhead grow wary of a consistent offering of real and imitation baits. Pro guide Rob Gerlitz (503-812-4950) tallied 3 keepers for a short morning float on Thursday. I’ve been sworn to secrecy about his innovative technique, you may want to consider booking a trip!

Smaller systems like the Kilchis, upper Trask and Necanicum River should have some fresh wild steelhead available for catch and release fishing, and there is likely to still be spawned out steelhead taken as they make their way downstream back to the ocean.

And speaking of the ocean, it’s forecasted to get big again so bottomfishing and ocean crabbing will be off the table for yet another weekend. Bay crabbing looks to be less than ideal as well, especially with the minus tide series we’re just coming into.

There is always more Oregon fishing information delivered earlier on Bob’s site, The Guide’s Forecast.  You can also sign-up for a free weekly email here.

NW Oregon Fishing Report Feb 2

Posted by on Feb 2, 2019 in Quick Fishing Update | Comments Off on NW Oregon Fishing Report Feb 2

Coastal steelheaders had some good luck late last week, and overall, the season has been fair. Like the inland rivers, the broodstock steelhead of the Wilson and Nestucca systems will produce the best catches of late season hatchery fish, and also draw the largest crowds. Although the overall numbers seem to be down, the quality of fish is excellent. One guide observed few of the 2-salt fish (6 to 8 pound fish), but a fair return of the 3-salt steelhead exceeding 10 pounds in weight. Bobber-dogging beads, yarnies and soft beads remains the ticket, but plugs are also drawing strikes.

The Trask and mainstem Nehalem are good options for wild fish and solitude as catch and release fisheries don’t draw the interest that rivers with hatchery fish offer. The Kilchis is another good wild fish option, but is currently low and clear, making for wary steelhead.

A handful of salty anglers made their way out of north coast ports, finding willing lingcod, sea bass and Dungeness crab. Lingcod fishing has been challenging as we enter spawning season, but when the ocean is friendly, the action is good. Those windows of opportunity have been rare this season however.

Crabbing is fair in Yaquina and Tillamook Bays, and the lower Columbia River.

There is always more Oregon fishing information delivered earlier on Bob’s site, The Guide’s Forecast.  You can also sign-up for a free weekly email here.

NW Oregon Fishing Update for Jan 26th

Posted by on Jan 27, 2019 in Fishing Report | Comments Off on NW Oregon Fishing Update for Jan 26th

Following last weekend’s deluge, the Wilson, Nestucca and Trask came into good shape on Monday, and improved catches ensued. It’s a broodstock show from here on out, making the Wilson and Nestucca the best options well into April, but other systems such as the North Fork Nehalem, Three Rivers near Cloverdale, the Necanicum and district streams near Astoria are over for the season. Spent steelhead may still be available, but make for poor table fare and are experiencing low returns anyway. The Trask River will offer solace from larger numbers of anglers seeking a consumptive opportunity from the adjacent Wilson and Nestucca Rivers.

Rough seas remain in the forecast so offshore bottomfishing doesn’t look to be an option for the foreseeable future. When seas do subside, lingcod and sea bass fishing should be excellent. Bay crabbing should remain fair in Tillamook and Netarts estuaries, but slow elsewhere.

Surplus hatchery steelhead have recently been released into Town Lake, Coffenbury Lake and Vernonia Pond. These fish can recover quickly and become a prize for any anglers to catch.

NW Oregon Fishing Update for Jan 19th

Posted by on Jan 19, 2019 in Fishing Report | Comments Off on NW Oregon Fishing Update for Jan 19th

Tillamook has been slow as of late. Dropping flows and cold weather has slowed the bite on most river systems, even as we enter peak season. Of the few fish being caught right now, they are of quality size, mostly 3-salt returnees often tipping the scales at 12 pounds or better.

The Trask, Wilson, and Nestucca have been the best prospects this week, but all have produced fair-at-best catches under the current weather pattern.

The Nehalem River often produces fair catches under these conditions. The big river clears up and steelhead feel more secure in such a larger river system that they are more apt to bite. Hardware and bobber and jigs or BnR Scampi can provide good sport under these conditions. The opportunity won’t last long however. The North Fork remains dismal.
Crabbing has been surprisingly good in Tillamook Bay recently.

There is always more Oregon fishing information delivered earlier on Bob’s site, The Guide’s Forecast.  You can also sign-up for a free weekly email here.

NW Oregon Fishing Report for Jan 12

Posted by on Jan 12, 2019 in North Coast Fishing Report | Comments Off on NW Oregon Fishing Report for Jan 12

Despite some early hiccups, the online licensing system seems to be functional at the moment. Convenience is certainly a nice feature, as I had the pleasure of tagging my first steelhead of the year, a 10-pound hatchery hen taken from the Wilson River on Saturday. The fish took a yarnie and small egg cluster just downstream of the Wilson River RV Park in ideal (but cold) conditions in the late morning. There was surprisingly few boats on the river for a Saturday.

Bob Rees with a Wilson > River hen from Saturday, January 5th

Bob Rees with a Wilson River hen from Saturday, January 5th

Effort on the Nestucca jumped last weekend, with numerous boats in pursuit of that river’s hatchery quarry, but success didn’t quite justify the effort although conditions were ideal for a float here as well. Quality hatchery fish are being caught on both the Wilson and Nestucca systems, but better success rates are just around the corner.

The Trask is also putting out a few fish, mostly wild, for those willing to work for them. Higher flows justify a float higher in the system, such as Stone’s Camp to the upper Peninsula drift, but it’s highly advisable that first timers go with someone in the know before attempting this float on your own. You’ll find fewer people fishing here, but far fewer hatchery opportunities as well.

Hatchery workers continue to report low run sizes for early season streams such as the North Fork Nehalem and Three Rivers systems. Steelhead in these systems will start to be more interested in the spawning cycle than feeding, further compromising catch rates. In another few weeks, they’ll be more “bitey,” but they won’t be a high quality eating fish as most of their energy will go toward gonad production. Late-spawning bright hens are often caught without any eggs, but their flesh is still orange however.

Crabbing remains fair in Netarts Bay, more challenging in other estuaries as fresh water inundates the larger river fed waterbodies.

No sign of subsiding seas, where ample numbers of lingcod and sea bass await motivated anglers. Commercial crab gear is now officially deployed and the fleet is picking their bounty. Early indicators show slower catches than last year, not a big surprise.

There is always more Oregon fishing information delivered earlier on Bob’s site, The Guide’s Forecast.  You can also sign-up for a free weekly email here.

NW Oregon Fishing Report for January 5

Posted by on Jan 6, 2019 in Fishing Report | Comments Off on 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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