03/16/2018 - Fishing Report

Anglers hoping for clearer water to boost winter steelhead prospects (Fishing report)

Fishing action on the Rogue River has been quiet for most of the week due to muddy water and poor weather conditions.

Local fishing guide Troy Whitaker of U-Save Gas and Tackle hopes the water will clear up by this weekend so anglers can cast out for winter steelhead, which are swimming through the area in greater numbers of late.

Turbidity had dropped from 18 to 9 in Grants Pass this morning, so it's fishable now.

"We had a couple of good days earlier this week with the water down a bit lower," Whitaker said. "We were out last weekend and there were fish there, we just had dirty water. We could see them swirling around, they just didn't want to bite."

Some anglers are putting down side-planers with plugs near the banks of Rand Park and Griffin Park. Whitaker said it might be worth trying that tactic or using dark yarn balls or side-drifting puff balls with roe.

Darker colors will work better on both fronts. Metallic colors should stay in tackle boxes for the time being.

Anglers may see spring chinook swim through before the end of the month. Whitaker has heard reports of them being caught in the Gold Beach area.

APPLEGATE RESERVOIR. The reservoir has begun refilling. Bank fishing can be difficult at Applegate due to the steep shoreline, but the upper end should have some access and there has been recent success by bank anglers at the creek mouths.

APPLEGATE RIVER. The river has been low all season, but it's moved up to a respectable 500 cubic feet per second at Fish Hatchery Park. Prospects are good, and the river fished well last weekend, according to ODFW. Reports indicate fish being caught (including some hatchery fish) throughout the river but the catch rate is still highest around and downstream of Murphy.

Fish should be spread out after the higher flows this week. Cleos, pink rubber worms and fly-fishing all work well on the Applegate.

A lot of the fish being caught are wild fish and must be released unharmed. Only hatchery steelhead may be retained. See 2018 sport fishing regulations for more information.

DIAMOND LAKE. Fishing has come to a halt with a lot of snow and very thin ice on the lake. Before venturing out on the ice, consider these ice guidelines and safety tips.

Make sure to contact Diamond Lake Lodge for up-to-date conditions. Anglers can check fishing and water conditions at Diamond Lake on the Diamond Lake Resort website, or call their toll free number at 1-800-733-7593, ext. 5 for updates.

Diamond Lake is open year-round. Anglers should also check with the Umpqua National Forest (541-498-2531) for information on seasonal camp and ramp closures.

ILLINOIS RIVER. The Illinois will likely become unfishable for a few days with the rain this week but should be in great shape in a few days. Fishing has been good for those putting in the effort. Only hatchery trout may be retained. Wild steelhead over 24-inches may be harvested at a rate of one per day and five per year. See 2018 fishing regulations for more information.

LOST CREEK RESERVOIR. Lost Creek Reservoir is a winter trout fishing hot spot in the Rogue Valley, with the vast majority of water users being anglers this time of year. Approximately 2,000 larger-size trout were stocked in February.

Boat anglers can have success trolling along the dam, around the exposed island near the Takelma boat ramp, and shallower areas of the main reservoir. Bank anglers have good success on either side of the dam, but are reminded to not block access to the Takelma boat ramp.

Both the Takelma boat ramp and Marina boat ramps are available. For the most current Lost Creek Reservoir information, call 1-800-472-2434.

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