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  • Outdoor Report 1/18

    FMO pro guide Tyler Courtney and son, Lane showing off a nice hatchery steelhead  caught recently FMO pro guide Tyler Courtney and son, Lane showing off a nice hatchery steelhead caught recently

    Most rivers were in great shape through the majority of last week locally and on the north coast.  However, we are in for another wet weekend.  This next bout of rain will bring the rivers up and blow some of them out.  Deploying high water techniques will be necessary once again.  For those headed to the coast, watch your river graphs closely as a lot of the smaller rivers and creeks will drop into shape quickly.  Mad River pink worms, BnR Scampi tails or bobber and eggs are all great selections for those that want to float fish.  If you would rather drift fish there are a multitude of options that will work for you.  Yarn, eggs, large cheaters, sand shrimp and pink worms are all good offerings for high water steelhead.  Bobberdoggin is a great alternative for those that are going to be towing a drift boat to the river.  You may need to bump up your weight system to slow your presentation down. This will give the fish more time to see your offering.  One thing that doesn’t get much attention when targeting winter steelhead is hardware.  Hardware has a large flashy profile, spinners and spoons are both killer choices to entice high water steelhead into biting.  Blue Fox, Mepps and Rooster Tails are great spinner options, while Little Cleo’s, P-Line Pro Steel and Gibbs Tackle are all great spoon options.

    Catch and release sturgeon fishing has been great lately, with a nice grade of fish being caught.  The lower Willamette in the downtown area has been a hot spot for sturgeon fishing recently.  As the flows slow down a little bit and the water gets cold the sturgeon like to stack up in that area.  Smelt, herring, squid and sand shrimp have all been great bait options.

     

    Jan 18, 2018 | by FMO STAFF, Weekly FMO report
  • Outdoor Report 1/11

    Clients of Fisherman’s Pro Guide Eric Baird with a nice catch of Winter Steelhead in the Willamette valley. Clients of Fisherman’s Pro Guide Eric Baird with a nice catch of Winter Steelhead in the Willamette valley.

    Rain is in the forecast and locally it will be a welcomed occurrence.  With this next high-water event, there should be a new push of wild and hatchery steelhead entering our river systems and at the coast as well.  The rivers will likely get high enough to blow out, but as soon as they come back into shape look for most of the river systems to get good shots of broodstock steelhead.  As soon as the water drops using large profile baits are going to be your best bet.  When the water first comes into shape clusters of eggs, yarnies, corkies, larger size beads, sand shrimp tails and worms are all great choices.  Fishing clear water seams, soft current edges and slow flats are going to be great first choices for high water steelhead.  For the coastal rivers keeping an eye on the tide can be greatly beneficial.  If you’re towing a drift boat to Tillamook and planning on drifting multiple rivers, checking the tide tables will give you a good idea of where to launch first.

    Locally, when the rivers come back into shape the Sandy and Clackamas will both be high and green.  The same techniques apply as mentioned above, however, with both rivers having power boat access side drifting will be a great technique to employ.  Side drifting seams and slow flats with yarnies, eggs and beads will all produce fish.  Another great option is to back troll plugs.  Often overlooked as an “old school” technique, pulling plugs is a great way to target high water steelhead.  Finding a walking speed seam and deploying some trusty K11’s or Hot Shots® will drive any fresh steelhead nuts.

    Winter sturgeon fishing has been very consistent lately.  Squid, sand shrimp, smelt and herring have been great baits.  A quick reminder, when anchoring for sturgeon be mindful of debris coming down the river.  This time of year, high flow can dislodge woody debris so be cautious of what’s coming down river.

    Jan 12, 2018 | by FMO STAFF, Weekly FMO report
  • Outdoor Report 1/4

    Tom Roper caught and released this gorgeous winter steelhead while fishing with Fisherman's Pro Staffer Chris Vertopoulos Tom Roper caught and released this gorgeous winter steelhead while fishing with Fisherman's Pro Staffer Chris Vertopoulos

    Winter steelhead fishing is now officially in full swing!  There has been a decent mix of wild and hatchery steelhead for anglers to target on all local and coastal rivers. Reports say there has also been some very big fish around!  Locally hatchery fish are entering the Sandy and Clackamas Rivers daily and reports have been good. Folks are targeting them with jigs, pink worms, sand shrimp and eggs. Now that the rivers have dropped into shape after the rain, anglers are choosing to cover a lot of water quickly by bobberdoggin’ or side drifting yarnies, eggs, beads and pink worms. It has been paying off for them.  Fish have been caught on a multitude of techniques, so pick your favorite technique and hit the water!

    There has already been a good push of wild and hatchery steelhead at the coast.  Some very nice sized fish have already been caught, there are reports of several 20 lb class steelhead caught in the Tillamook area.  These big fish tend to like larger more obtrusive presentations.  This includes spoons, spinners, large pink worms and plugs, that’s not to say that big steelhead won’t eat small yarnies or beads, but big fish like larger presentations.  The broodstock hatchery steelhead are entering the rivers daily as well.  With the rivers being in prime shape most anglers have been focusing their efforts in the lower sections for that is where the newest fish will be caught.  These aggressive hatchery fish love to eat yarnies, eggs, worms and beads but as the water starts to get lower these fish will start to focus more on jigs, beads and eggs.  With the inevitable aluminum and fiberglass hatch that follows a high-water event, a great option is to backtroll plugs.  When there is a lot of pressure on the river and fish are seeing lots of the same baits backtrolling a small plug into a promising looking run can be extremely effective.  Mag Lips, Tadpollys, K11’s and Wiggle Warts are all great options when it comes to plugging for steelhead.

    As always, be sure to check current regulations at ODFW and WDFW before heading into the field. Find reports and information on the Fisherman's Community page.

    Jan 05, 2018 | by FMO STAFF, Weekly FMO report
  • Outdoor Report 12/28

    Pro Staff Guide, Josiah Darr, has been having a very productive start to his steelhead season. Pro Staff Guide, Josiah Darr, has been having a very productive start to his steelhead season.

    The cold weather this week has brought river temps down as well as made waters clear, steelhead fishing remains consistent and continues to improve daily.  We had reports from most of the north coast streams that they have fresh steelhead in them.  A major portion of these rivers are now implementing a broodstock program for their hatchery steelhead runs, and January is typically the month that these programs kickoff.  Many anglers switch to bait to get the fish to bite when the water is this cold. Eggs, sand shrimp, cocktail shrimp and coon-stripe shrimp are all great baits to use.  Bait is not the only method that will work though.  Jigs, worms and beads are also great options.

    Now with rain in the forecast and the rivers predicted to come up a bit, most all techniques will be productive.  A lot of drift boat anglers will be bobberdoggin as you can cover a lot of water effectively.  Even with bobberdoggin being all the rage, don’t forget about side drifting and pulling plugs.  Both great options when everyone else is using a different technique.  Especially when everyone is bobberdoggin and the fish haven’t seen a hotshot, K11 or 3.5 Mag Lip.  There are times when bringing the plug rods will give you your biggest fish of the trip or that one bite you are needing to round out the boat limit.  Keeping a few techniques on hand can be extremely important, especially if the rivers are busy with lots of drift boat or bank traffic.

    Low tides are coming up at the end of this week and clamming in Oregon is open. Washington will have seasons around the Long Beach Peninsula and other popular Razor Clam beaches starting New Year’s Eve. Find out more here: https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/
    shellfish/razorclams/current.html

    Recently the duck hunting has been productive for those that are putting in their time.  A lot of duck hunters are probably chomping at the bit to have some nasty weather roll in.  And it looks as though we should have some here shortly.  The hunting should continue to get better with the weather getting a little nastier and driving the birds down.

    If you are planning on heading out on the water or in the field next week, be sure you stop by Fisherman’s Marine & Outdoor to get your 2018 licenses and tags. Also before heading out, make sure you check local regulations.

    Happy New Year, tight lines, shoot straight and most of all, be safe out there.

    Dec 28, 2017 | by FMO STAFF, Weekly FMO report
  • Outdoor Report 12/21

    Winter steelhead recently caught on Mad River Worm on a jig head fished under a float. Winter steelhead recently caught on Mad River Worm on a jig head fished under a float.

    The water has been low and clear lately so there has been a little less pressure on area rivers.  That doesn’t mean there are not fish around, you just need to alter your tactics a little bit.  When the water gets clear and cold steelhead tend to move to slower water areas to conserve their energy.  It doesn’t mean they aren’t in fast runs, but it means you should also target slower runs.  Hard beads, soft beads, jigs, small egg clusters and sand shrimp are all great options when targeting steelhead in these conditions.  Another technique that can work in cold water is hardware.  Now it may not be the best choice to run through the hole first, but before you leave a spot always throw a spinner or a spoon.  Sometimes there will be a fish that is unwilling to bite traditional offerings but will go out of its way to smash a spoon or spinner.

    With all that being said, we have had some rain this week which brought the local rivers back up.  We should be seeing pushes of brand new steelhead in virtually all the local and coastal rivers.  Jigs, Beads, pink worms and bait are all going to be great options with the rivers at a perfect level.  These fish will be fresh, hot and aggressive, so be ready for a hard fight.

    Catch and release sturgeon has been great for those that have been out targeting them.  Squid, sand shrimp, herring and smelt have all been great baits.  Both the Willamette and Columbia have had plenty of fish to target, so pick your favorite sturgeon spot and go have some fun playing catch and release.

    Reports from Skagit Flats in northern Washington site many new birds migrating into the area. With this current spate of cold weather, expect more birds locally as well. Flocks of both puddlers and divers in the lower Columbia show signs of decoy shyness. Until more fresh birds move into the area, hunting success is very conditional. With the right weather, hunting is good. Calm days make for tough hunting.

    As always check local regulations before heading out.

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

    Dec 21, 2017 | by FMO STAFF
  • Outdoor Report 12/14

    Outdoor report 12_14

     

    Winter steelhead have started to enter virtually all the local and North Coast streams. The smaller creeks like Big Creek, Gnat Creek, Eagle Creek etc, will get the bulk of their hatchery fish returning now through the first few weeks of January. These fish are typically good biters and will eat a wide variety of baits. Pink worms, jigs, yarnies, corkies, beads, eggs and sandshrimp are all great options when targeting these fresh hatchery fish. When the rain comes back the smaller streams will recover the quickest and be your best option to fish first. Currently in the bigger rivers jigs, beads, and bait are all good choices. These more unobtrusive and less flashy offerings can get shy or spooky fish to bite.

    The coastal rivers have winter steelhead entering them daily, so when we get some more rain, there will be no shortage of fish around. Once the rivers do come up a lot of folks will be bobbberdoggin’ bait, yarn, beads or worms. While that is a deadly and effective technique, don’t forget to pull over and drift fish a run, or bust out the plug rods and plug a promising looking run. “Old school” techniques are still just as effective today, as they were years ago. So, bring a full selection of rods with you as you never know what the fish will want on any given day.

    Catch and release sturgeon fishing has been very productive in the Willamette lately. These fish haven’t been picked on very much so they are eager biters, when you find them. Squid, sandshrimp, herring and smelt are all great bait options this time of year.

    Duck hunting has improved in the local area. The Sauvie Island Game Management unit has had some very big days this last week attributed to the freezing temperatures and gusty winds. The GMA reported a season high 3.8 birds per hunter average on Saturday with nearly 1,000 birds harvested.

    A reminder for all of you hunters and fishermen in Oregon, if you plan to hunt or fish after December 31st you will need to make sure you have new licenses and tags. A great gift for the outdoors person is a new hunting or fishing license or you can get gift cards in our stores or online that can be used for licenses as well as merchandise.

    Tight lines, shoot straight and be careful out there.

    Dec 15, 2017 | by FMO STAFF, Weekly FMO report
  • Outdoor Report 12/7

    More early winter steelhead are showing up. This one was taken bobberdoggin’ beads and bait over the weekend More early winter steelhead are showing up. This one was taken bobberdoggin’ beads and bait over the weekend

    Winter steelhead are here!  Virtually every river system has had a few winter steelhead caught in them.  The smaller tributaries such as Big Creek, Gnat Creek, North Fork Nehalem and Necanicum River typically have early returning hatchery runs and will see more fish earlier than the rest.  After a lot of rain, the smaller tributaries will be first to get back into shape.  The fish seem to move into the rivers in large schools, so when the water starts to come down you want to think about fishing one of the smaller tributaries first. Some of the most popular techniques to use on these tributaries are fishing bobber and jig or drift fishing eggs, shrimp or beads.

    The Clackamas still has some early fish that show up headed for Eagle Creek.  The run isn’t huge but when they come, they come in groups.  Jigspink worms, yarnies, eggs, sandshrimp and beads are all great options when targeting these early hatchery fish.  However, if we get into a cold snap, as usually happens in December, it can pay off to have a few reaction type techniques.  Spoonsspinners
    and backtrolling plugs are all great techniques to employ when it is really cold.  Sometimes the fish need to be enticed into biting something gaudy and flashy.  The strikes can be vicious, so be prepared for that when using these invasive techniques.

    A lot of the coastal rivers will just continually get better, the closer to the new year we get.  Bobberdoggin’ baits and beads, bobber fishing worms and drift fishing yarn and bait are all great options when fishing coastal waters.  These fish may only be a few hours from salt water so they are typically very good biters, especially if the rivers are running a more steelhead green color.

    Catch and release sturgeon fishing has been productive as well.  As the water in the Willamette and Columbia continue to drop the sturgeon fishing will get better and better. Squid, herring and sandshrimp have been hot baits lately.  As we start seeing smelt in the rivers those will quickly become the go-to bait.

    Oregon’s central coast bays have been reopened down to Bandon for crabbing. That includes Newport and Waldport. The ocean off the entire state and bays south of the north jetty of the Coquille River remain closed. This should be a great weekend for crabbing as it has been dry and there has not been as much fresh water flushing the bays.

    Local duck hunting should improve as the “sheet water” starts to dissipate. The east winds and colder weather should keep the birds close to feed and moving. After dropping to a season low (1.1 birds per hunter) average on the Sauvie Island Game Management Units for Dec 3rd, the harvest rate jumped back up on Dec 5th to 2.4 birds per hunter.

    Before heading out be sure to check local regulations.

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

    Dec 07, 2017 | by FMO STAFF, Weekly FMO report
  • Outdoor Report 11/30

    Happy clients of Josiah Darr with winter chrome from last year. Happy clients of Josiah Darr with winter chrome from last year.

    Looks like we are finally getting a reprieve from the rain this week.  It’s time to start thinking about winter steelhead.  We are getting reports daily of steelhead being caught in most of the local tributaries.  We expect to see an uptick in reports with the water starting to drop into prime shape over the weekend and into next week.  These early fish are caught on a multitude of techniques as some anglers are still targeting chinook and coho.  Anglers will target the late arriving fall Chinook with big chinook plugs or big baits of eggs and shrimp, while anglers who are targeting late run Coho may use twitching jigs or spinners.

    For those that are going to be specifically targeting winter steelhead, bobber and jig or bobber and pink worm are great choices to use when searching for early fish. Great jig choices are Maxi jigs, Aerojigs, Beau Mac jigs and Johns Jigs, while good pink worm choices are Berkley worms, MadRiver worms or B-N-R worms.  With floats, you can effectively fish many types of water and cover a lot of water in a short time.

    Another option is to drift fish for these early winter steelhead.  Bait is always a good option as these early hatchery fish love to scarf up sand shrimp or little baits of eggs.  Drift fishing a sand shrimp tail with a small corkie, cheater, corkie cluster or soft bead is always a great bet, especially if the water has that steelhead green color.  Also, don’t forget to bring along a few spinners and spoons.  Sometimes having a few spoons to throw through a run or two can be the ticket that turns a day from a skunk trip into a limit trip.

    Those that are going to be fishing from a drift boat have a few other options as far as techniques are concerned.  Back trolling smaller plugs such as Mag Lip 3.5, Hotshots, x11 Kwikfish or Wiggle Warts is a terrific way to get into some fish and get younger generations into fish without making them cast floats or drift fish.

    Bobberdogging is all the rage these days and for good reason: bobberdogging is a great option to cover water when fishing from a drift boat because with multiple anglers in your boat you can cover every run thoroughly in just a few passes.  Eggs, yarnies, corkies, beads and pink worms are all utilized when bobberdogging for steelhead.  For those new to bobberdogging, Fisherman’s Pro Staff Guide, Josiah Darr, will be conducting a seminar at the Tigard store on December 5th at 6:30.  Josiah will break bobberdogging down so that even a beginner can go out and utilize this technique.

    Don’t forget that we will be having our Winter Steelhead Derby once again this year.  The derby will start on December 1st and run through March 31st.  Only bright hatchery fin- clipped steelhead may be entered and anybody, except guides, can enter a fish.  Fish must be gutted, gills are optional.  Inquire at the stores or visit our website for more details.

    Catch and release sturgeon fishing has been very productive in the Willamette for those that have been out targeting them.  Squid, sand shrimp and smelt have been the most popular baits recently, however don’t over look herring this time of year.  These fish have been feeding on all the cut-plug baits throughout the fall, so they are used to eating herring.

    Razor clam digging in the Long Beach area is opened this weekend with digs Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday evenings. You can get details by visiting http://wdfw.wa.gov
    /fishing/shellfish/
    razorclams/current.html
    .

    As a reminder, Oregon is open every day and with good tides coming up this weekend, it should make for excellent digging on the Clatsop Spit beaches. All good tides will be evening tides so make sure you take a powerful headlamp or gas lantern to help find the “shows”.

    With the warmer weather, duck hunting has slowed in local hunting areas. Good shooting is pretty much dictated by the weather at this point. When conditions get nasty, the otherwise savvy local birds drop their guard. If mild weather conditions persist, it makes it tough.

    While duck shooting has slowed, goose shooting has improved. There are a lot of Canada geese in the local area. For those with Northwest Goose Season permits, populations of geese look good in the Willamette Valley and in the Columbia River and should provide great shooting for those who have the permit. If you don’t have one and would like one, you can find the details by visiting http://www.dfw.state.or.
    us/resources/hunting/
    waterfowl/#

    As always be sure to check local regulations before heading out.

    Shoot straight, tight lines and most of all, be safe out there.

    Dec 01, 2017 | by FMO STAFF, Weekly FMO report
  • Outdoor Report 11/24

    A nice limit of Razors from the Long Beach Peninsula last summer. A nice limit of Razors from the Long Beach Peninsula last summer.

    Rain, rain, rain, that has been the name of the game these last few weeks. It is getting late in the season, but anglers that are still in search of fall chinook can find them in most of the Tillamook area rivers.  While there may not be the high numbers of fish that we had in October, this time of year can yield some extremely nice quality fish.  Typically, these fish are brand new, fresh from the salt and on a one-way mission to the spawning grounds.  A lot of anglers have great luck fishing large plugs in the high off-color water we have had due to all the rain.  Mag Lip 5.0Hawgnose FlatfishK16 Kwikfish and KF16 Killerfish are all great choices. Wrapping them with your favorite bait fish and sending them down a promising looking run, can be one of the most exciting ways to catch these late fall chinook.  Don’t be surprised if a scrappy winter steelhead latches onto those big plugs as well.  A lot of the first few winter steelhead are caught on big plugs by anglers targeting fall chinook.

    Speaking of steelhead, Thanksgiving weekend is here and that typically marks the kick off for anglers targeting winter steelhead.  A lot of anglers have a tradition of making their first winter Steelhead trip at the end of November.  There are several great techniques to use to catch these early fish, however, there are a few that you will most likely see being deployed.  Bobber and jigpink worm or bead will be the most popular techniques, and using them enables you to cover a lot of water quickly and attract the most aggressive fish in the run.  Another option is to drift fish.  Fishing homemade yarnballs, corkies or bait will all be productive options when choosing your drift fishing gear.  While fishing these baits you may also encounter a fall chinook or late run coho; see you never really know what you may hook!

    Late run coho are still around, we should be getting a few more pushes of brand new fish as the rivers start dropping back into shape.  Twitching jigs, casting plugs or swinging spinners are all great techniques to use while searching for these fish.  Bobber or drift fishing eggs is another great option as you may also pick up a winter steelhead while fishing bait.

    Razor clam digging in the Long Beach area is tentatively scheduled for the first week in December. You can get details by visiting http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/
    shellfish/razorclams/current.html
    . As a reminder, Oregon is open every day and with good tides coming up the first week of December, it should make for excellent digging on the Clatsop Spit beaches.

    With the warmer weather, duck hunting has slowed in local hunting areas. The Sauvie Island Game Management area harvest showed a dip in the birds per hunter average to 1.9 for Tuesday the 21st.

    The second period Northwest Permit Goose season opened last Saturday the 18th and runs through January 7th. Populations of geese look good in the Willamette Valley and should provide great shooting for those who have the permit. If you don’t have one and would like one you can find the details by visiting http://www.dfw.state.or.us/
    resources/hunting/waterfowl/#

    As always be sure to check local regulations before heading out.

    Shoot straight, tight lines and most of all, be safe out there.

    Nov 22, 2017 | by FMO STAFF, Weekly FMO report
  • Outdoor Report 11/16

    Sean from our Oregon City store, a recent transplant from Minnesota is checking new species off his list in the Pacific Northwest! He caught and released this nice wild coho on the Clackamas River last week. Sean from our Oregon City store, a recent transplant from Minnesota is checking new species off his list in the Pacific Northwest! He caught and released this nice wild coho on the Clackamas River last week.

    A lot of the chinook have moved into the rivers now, but you can still find fall chinook at the coast. The rivers will continue to fish for the next few weeks, as the water level starts to go down plug fishing will be the go-to. When backtrolling using larger plugs like Kwikfish and Killerfish in size 16, or large Hawgnose Flatfish will help shake off the leaves that are still in the water.  After the water drops even more bobber fishing will be a better choice, as the water should be clearer, and then shrimp and eggs will be the go-to.

    There are fish to be caught in Tillamook Bay, however the fishing will start to drastically taper off in the next few weeks.  Anglers in the bay are still fishing herring and spinners, but more and more are starting to fish 360° flashers and small 3.5 spinners.  These late run Tillamook fish can be some of the biggest of the year, while there may not be the numbers that the early season has, the size of these fish can make up for it.

    The Cowlitz and Lewis Rivers are both right in the middle of their second run of coho. These fish are big, bright and aggressive.  Techniques such as twitching jigs, spinners and casting wiggle warts will be among the top producers.  Eggs are always effective for coho but if you’re looking at a fishery to conserve your bait, this can be one of those.  These fish are typically aggressive enough that jigs, spinners and plugs will be sufficient for bringing home some fish for the grill.

    Winter steelhead are starting to poke their heads into the tributaries.  We have had reports from nearly every local river that there have been steelhead caught.  Not huge numbers by any means, however for this early in November, we have had enough reports to start talking about them.  These early fish are usually caught by anglers targeting late run coho.  Spinners, jigs and bait are all great options if you’re looking to target both species.  If you’re going out to specifically target winter steelhead, then fishing jigs or pink worms under a float work great, as well as your typical drift fishing rig.  Small hand tied yarnies, corkies and beads are all great choices to drift fish for these early fish.

    Ducks have been spread out with the sheet water created by recent rains, but we are in for a drying trend that should move the birds into more consistent bodies of water later this week. Some big storms earlier in the week on the coast should have moved some widgeon ducks inland a bit. This typically is the week water fowlers have a good chance to see some major migrations of Mallards in Western Oregon and Washington. Keep your eyes peeled.

    The average “ducks per hunter” number on the Sauvie Island management unit jumped to 2.9 on Monday.

    Before heading out make sure to check local regulations.

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

     

     

    Nov 16, 2017 | by FMO STAFF, Weekly FMO report