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  • Outdoor Report 2/23

    FMO Tigard employee Brian Portwood with a recently caught Surf Perch FMO Tigard employee Brian Portwood with a recently caught Surf Perch

    Once again we are faced with high water this week, which seems to have been the trend the last couple of months.  Rivers are in optimal shape for 2-3 days and then boom, the faucet is turned on again and we wait a few days for another chance at steelhead green water.  One thing that has been pretty consistent this winter, has been drift fishing.  Folks that are willing to break down and go "old school" have been paid dividends in the form of chrome.  Don't be afraid to go larger than normal, when dragging the bottom.  Going with larger size corkies , size 8-10, paired with a quality bait have been producing well.  Sandshrimp, Coon Stripe shrimp, prawns and eggs all have been helping hatchery steelhead find their way into anglers fish bags.  Remember that when using these larger corkies, and especially with a healthy chunk of bait attached, you would do well to up your hook size.  Bumping up to a 1/0 or 2/0 hook will help you find the soft spots in a steelheads mouth, especially with your bigger offering.  Another great offering to drift fish is a pink worm.  B-N-R, Mad River, Berkeley and Aerojig all make great worms that you can either drift fish or float fish.  When drift fishing a worm we suggest you thread the worm onto your line, on top of a size 10 corkie.  Pair that with a 1/0 hook and you will be set to get the attention of any angry steelhead.  Don't be shy with scent or size of bait when the water is high and off color, because steelhead won't be shy either.

    The same thing can be said about spring chinook when the water is high.  Don't be afraid to give your bait a good shot of your favorite scent.  Spring chinook, especially in high water, won't be shy and typically will attack bright, loud offerings with reckless abandon.  Pay attention to the tides, as early spring chinook will definitely be effected by them.  When you have an incoming tide, troll herring with your favorite flasher and then as the tide flips, you will be able to see a good number of fish taken on anchor.  Kwikfish, flatfish and Maglips will all have their day.  So be sure to have a few of each in your box.  Once March first rolls around the chinook reports will become a lot steadier and more reliable. We will keep you up to date on what we hear.

    On other fronts, Surf Perch fishing on the coast is picking up. Fishing with sandshrimp, clam necks or Berkley Gulp Sandworms should keep you in action. Reports from above Bonneville have the Walleye fishing starting for those that are willing to brave the cold. In cooler water fishing a jig tipped with a night crawler over structure seems to be the ticket.

    18,000 legal sized trout are scheduled to be stocked next week at Henry Hagg lake. Check the stocking schedule for other popular winter/spring stocking locations by clicking here.

    WDFW has opened a 1 day Smelt dipping season for this Saturday, Feb 25th on the Cowlitz river. For more deatails go to the WDFW website by clicking here.

    Before heading out on any outdoor adventures be sure to check regulations.

    Tight lines, shoot straight and most importantly, stay safe.

    Feb 23, 2017 | by FMO STAFF, Weekly FMO report
  • Northwest Winter Chrome

    Chrome Bright Winter Steelhead from Northwest River Chrome Bright Winter Steelhead from Northwest River

     

    After a long grueling summer, and a fall that never seems to end, December is finally here! Whacking kings and Coho in Astoria all through September was a blast and beer can sized bobbers draining on the coastal rivers after every storm was good times in the fall. But the truth is, all that fishing is really just something to pass the time until December rolls around and the holy ones begin to show.

    For a tried and true, dyed in the wool winter steelhead fishermen, December is the beginning of something magical. Like the first day of baseball practice in the spring, it’s the start of another season of loaded with expectations. You have dreams and goals. There were expectations last year never reached, leaving a bitter taste in your mouth. All those wrongs can now be rectified. You have another four months to reach for that one fish that’s been dancing though your mind behind closed eyes since you fell in love with the pursuit.

    As for this winter, there’s nothing. There’s a clean slate.  Simply a blank snow white canvas you’re longing to cover in the most beautiful portrait. There’s nothing out there between you and the steelhead season of your dreams other than your responsibilities as a dad, husband, sister, friend or what have you. But when the calendar turns to December and the temperature stays low, you know it’s only a matter of time before the thirst for the dream fish will get a grip on your heart and the rest of your daily routine will become trivial.

    Thank you December. Thank you for finally getting here. Thank you for being so special. Thank you for kicking off winter steelhead season and most of all, thank you for bringing them to us. We’ve been waiting patiently, knowing we couldn’t ever repay you for the joy December bring us.

    Feb 22, 2017 | by Josiah Darr
  • Outdoor Report 2/16

    Tigard FMO employee Connor Taplan and his girl friend Brianna had some fun catch and releasing Sturgeon in Portland Harbor this week, Tigard FMO employee Connor Taplan and his girl friend Brianna had  fun catching and releasing Sturgeon in Portland Harbor this week,

    The local and coastal rivers are finally dropping into good fishable levels, just in time for another round of heavy rain.  After taking a peak at the graphs, it looks like most of the rivers should be back into shape around the beginning of next week.  For those of you that really need to scratch that steelhead itch, we suggest that you look for small clear creeks that will create a clean water seam in the high off color main current.  Plunking with Yakima bait spin-n-glow's in bright colors like pinks, oranges and even chartreuse will be your best option.  Hanging a coon shrimp, sand shrimp or bait of eggs off of your spin-n-glow will greatly increase your odds.  These fish will more than likely smell your offering before seeing it, so scent will play a huge role in your success.

    Once the rivers clean up, larger profile baits will again be your go to option.  Plugs, hardware, large plastics should round out your high water arsenal.  As the water starts to clear up look for jigs and floats to start performing well.  Aerojigs, Maxijigs, B-N-R soft beads and small egg clusters, fished under your favorite brand of float, will all catch fish.  Focus on covering water thoroughly, from the top of the run to the bottom.  When the water is up and green these slippery little critters could be anywhere.  So really breaking down each run, focusing on where the fish might be traveling will pay big dividends throughout the course of a day.

    If the high water has you off your steelhead game, yet you still need to get out and fish.  Chasing sturgeon is a great way to pass the day.  These fish are actively feeding on smelt as they come up the river, so obviously smelt will be a go to.  However mixing up your baits with roll mop, squid or sand shrimp has, in the past, been a game changer when chasing these spiny dinosaurs.  Be careful out there anchoring as debris will more than likely be coming down river.  Finding an off channel, slow seem or the bottom end of a back eddy will keep you out of the way of debris and put you in a great place for sturgeon to find your baits.

    A few more reports have surfaced of some spring chinook being caught in the lower Columbia.  Rumors have it that a few have been caught trolling herring, as well as a few taken by the bank guys plunking for winter steelhead.   As we near closer to March, look for the spring chinook reports to get more and more reliable.

    Feb 16, 2017 | by FMO STAFF, Weekly FMO report
  • Outdoor Report 2/9

    Fisherman's Customer won the FMO Winter Steelhead Derby while fishing with FMO Pro Staff Guide David Johnson Fisherman's customer Rick King won the FMO Winter Steelhead Derby for last week with the pictured fish he caught while fishing with FMO Pro Staff Guide David Johnson

    Outdoor Report for 2/9

    With all of the recent low level snow accumulation as well as the monsoon we had mid-week, most rivers have gone just above optimal fishing levels. As the rivers start coming back into shape, focus on the upper stretches first, as they will be the first to get clear and fishable. Choose large profile baits such as B-N-R Shrimp Scampis, Mad River Pink Worm's and hardware.

    As the lower stretches of the rivers start to clear up, around the beginning of next week, Look for traditional baits such as yarn balls, eggs, shrimp or beads to become more effective.  Once the river starts clearing up is a great time for the plug pulling crowd to slide their drift boats down their favorite boat launch.  Maglip 3.5, Wiggle Warts and k11 kwikfish will all produce well.

    For the North Coast, look for the Wilson and Nestucca to be the best bet for hard fighting, fresh from the ocean hatchery steelhead.  And as you move South the Alsea and Siletz should be great options as well.

    Closer to Portland, the Sandy and Clackamas will both have ample opportunity for Brood stock hatchery steelhead.  Float fishing jigs, side drifting eggs/beads and traditional drift fishing, are all great ways to target these elusive creatures.

    Tip : If you’re having trouble getting steelhead to snap, remember adding some shrimp Smelly Jelly or your favorite Pro-Cure scent can turn your day around in a hurry!

    Also, a few reports of some early spring chinook have been making their rounds in the social media world. It's been reported that a few Cowlitz River anglers, while targeting winter steelhead, have been lucky enough to harvest a couple of purple backed springers.  There have also been a couple reports of some lower Columbia River springers, that were caught last week by some anchor fisherman.  We know it's early, but be thinking about your spring chinook tackle needs as the season is rapidly approaching.  And with over 220,000 spring chinook returning to the Columbia this year there will definitely be some early ones picked off.

    Portland area sturgeon fishing has been great so far this year.  Although this is a catch and release fishery, it is a great way to get today's youth outside, enjoying our resources.  Shrimp, squid, roll mop, or smelt have all been great baits.  With smelt taking the cake as the number one bait of choice.

    This week and next, there will be a number of North Coast lakes stocked with thousands of legal sized trout as well as hundreds of trophy sized fish.

    The 3rd and final period of the NW permit Goose season is open now until March 10th and there are piles of (wary) geese in the valley.

    As always check your local regulations before heading into the field

    Tight lines, shoot straight and be safe.

     

    Feb 10, 2017 | by FMO STAFF, Weekly FMO report
  • David Johnson's Winter Steelhead Seminar

    David Johnson doing a Winter Steelhead seminar in our Tigard location David Johnson doing a Winter Steelhead seminar in our Tigard location

    Click here for David Johnson's Facebook Live video on steelhead strategies and techniques

    Last Wednesday 2/1 David Johnson did seminar in our Tigard store and was carried on Facebook Live. David is a Fisherman's Marine and Outdoor Pro Staff Guide and one of the best in the Northwest.  Follow Fisherman's Marine and Outdoor on Facebook for future seminars and reports including Facebook live seminar broadcasts.

    Feb 03, 2017 | by David Johnson, FMO STAFF
  • Outdoor Report 2/2

    Fisherman's Employee Tim Rooney and FMO Pro Staff Chris Vertopolous show of a recently caught Winter Steelhead Fisherman's Employee Tim Rooney and FMO Pro Staff Chris Vertopoulos show of a recently caught Winter Steelhead

    A recent report from Fisherman's Pro Staff Guide, Chris Vertopoulos.

    "Fishing on the Tillamook area rivers has slowed since the water has dropped below optimum levels. But fish are still available if you work for them. Bobber and jig, pulling plugs and side drifting or bobber dogging smaller egg presentations will take fish. Focus on the lower sections of rivers as the tides will push fish up into the first few riffles."

    WDFW has opened three beaches for Razor Clamming for next weeks good series of tides. Long Beach still remains closed.

    For more information visit WDFW's website.

    Duck season closed last weekend but Saturday February 4th will be the reopening of the NW Permit Goose Season which will run through March 10th.

    Catch and release Sturgeon fishing can provide some good tugs in the Willamette.

    The Pacific Northwest Sportsman's Show show starts Wednesday February 8th at the Portland Expo Building. Be sure to visit the Fisherman's Marine and Outdoor's booth for great deals!

    As always, check regulations for current updates and be safe.

    Tight lines and shoot straight!

    Feb 03, 2017 | by FMO STAFF
  • Outdoor Report 1/26

    FMO Pro Staff Guide Chris Vertopoulos with a recently caught winter steelhead which he released FMO Pro Staff Guide Chris Vertopoulos with a recently caught winter steelhead which he released

    As January comes to an end, along with the end of the freezing, snowy weather (hopefully), the rivers dropped from recent highs and Winter Chrome were again showing up in Coastal and Valley River catches. Expect rivers to get low again with a continued dry spell forecast through the end of the month. As the rivers drop, the same techniques - Bobber Doggin, Bobber and Jig/Worm, and plugging will still be productive but you may want to down size some of your beads, jigs and plugs.

    Portland area catch and release Sturgeon has been very good this winter and many behemoth Sturgeon have been spotted in the Willamette from the Oregon City area down to the Multnomah Channel.

    The drying trend should also help with the crabbing. Bay clamming is open in Oregon but razor clamming is still closed. Washington has approved a five-day Razor Clam opening beginning Jan. 27 at Copalis beach, overlapping with three days of digging at Mocrocks. For more information, go to WDFW’s site.

    This weekend also marks the last weekend of duck season for the area. The season’s final day will be Sunday the 29th. Northwest Permit Goose season will reopen on February 4th and is scheduled to run through March 10th.

    A reminder that any big game tags purchased in Oregon, need to have your results reported by the end of the month.

    As always, check local regulations before heading into the field

    Tight lines, shoot straight and most of all, be safe.

    Jan 26, 2017 | by FMO STAFF, Weekly FMO report
  • Outdoor Report 1/19

    Black Chrome Winter Steelhead Black Chrome Winter Steelhead

    Well, It appears that old man winter has finally unlocked us from the snowy, icy grip we’ve been in the last couple of weeks. Of course now, with rising temperatures and rain, we are experiencing flooding. The good news is that a drying trend is on the way and, as the rivers drop, fresh Steelhead will be showing. According to NOAA forecasts, some North Coast Rivers could be fishable by as early as this weekend. Whether or not that happens, we should see mostly fishable conditions around the area by mid next week. Keep your fingers crossed.

    Razor Clamming is still closed in Oregon but bay clams and crabbing are open.

    There are still plenty of trout available in a number of the waters that ODFW planted with legal and trophy size trout earlier in the month. For more info click here.

    Waterfowl season is winding down and as ponds and lakes start to thaw and rivers flood, birds will again be spread out. The Columbia River east of the mountains has experienced some great hunting but had very limited, and at times, treacherous access as ice has caused the closing of both I-84 and Hwy 14. If you intend to head east be sure to check for reports from ODOT. Although there have been some awesome recent reports coming from private hunting areas on Sauvie Island, the ice and snow has seen low hunter effort on the WMA

    A couple of deadlines approaching for Big Game Hunters:

    January 31st 2017 is the deadline for any hunters who purchased a big game tag in Oregon to report the results of their hunts. For more info click here

    February 10, 2017 is the application deadline to hunt spring bear. According to ODFW, just over half of the 1stcome, 1st serve SW Oregon spring bear tags had been sold out as of last week.

    Before heading out, always make sure to check your states regulations.

    Tight lines, shoot straight and as always be safe!

    Jan 20, 2017 | by FMO STAFF
  • Outdoor Report for 1/12

    Oregon City Store Manager Robert Campbell and new FMO Pro Staffer Ted Teufel with a beautiful Winter Steelhead from the Coast. Oregon City Store Manager Robert Campbell and new FMO Pro Staffer Ted Teufel with a beautiful Winter Steelhead from the Coast.

    Now that things are settling down from Snowmageddon II, it’s time to carefully make your way to the Coast or, in some cases, the local rivers. Those who were brave enough to head over to the coast range earlier this week, were rewarded with some great Steelhead fishing. If you haven’t had the time to learn about the new “bobber doggin” technique for Steelhead fishing, head into one of our stores and have one of our fishing department employees show you what you need. It is an extremely effective way to catch Steelhead.

    Duck hunters who were brave enough to get out into the field during the front end of Snowmageddon II, where also rewarded with the opportunity to shoot limits of birds. With the “icebox” weather we are in now, you definitely want to hit the river. The Columbia from Astoria to Priest Rapids should provide lots of Greenheads to those willing to get out in the cold. Although Sauvie Island harvest numbers declined on Wednesday to a 1.2 bird per hunter average, it had come down from a season high of 3.2 on Monday the 9th.

    ODFW’s recreation report found here mentioned ice fishing opportunities at Diamond Lake and a number of others spread around the colder spots of the state.

    Be sure to always check the regulations before heading out, dress warm and most of all be safe.

    Jan 13, 2017 | by FMO STAFF, Weekly FMO report