As we head into the last weekend of the winter rainbow trout season on the coast, river conditions continue to be less than ideal. Not only for anglers, but also for adult rainbow trout and their future offspring. Since Tuesday, only a few rivers have remained open to fishing. The Smith and Main Stem Eel have been open all season and will likely remain so. The Mad has opened and closed several times lately with the Van Duzen. The culprit has been and continues to be the lack of substantial rainfall. The season looks promising with torrential rains in early January. And the fishing was equally promising with all the rivers full of rainbow trout. But since then, it’s been two and a half months of mostly dry weather. Despite the low water, the fishing was not bad. I don’t have any numbers to back it up, but it does appear that the number of rainbow trout returning this year was above average. And how many more would have come back with extra water? It would certainly have been nice to know that.
The upcoming weather
Dry conditions are expected through Saturday. From Sunday to Monday. there is a chance for light amounts of rain, but nothing that would increase the flow of the rivers or open the rivers for fishing. The next chance for rain is Tuesday, but amounts are uncertain.
Bass Tourney at Ruth Lake on April 2
The Alderpoint Volunteer Fire Department is hosting the inaugural Roger Coleman Sr. Memorial Bass Tournament on Saturday, April 2 at Ruth Lake. Check-in is Friday evenings between 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. or Saturday mornings between 4 and 5:30 a.m. This is a catch-up tournament with a minimum length of 13 inches. Take off is at 7 am or at the first safety light. For more information, call Thomas Bruce at 223-6258 or Roger Coleman Jr. at 223-3858.
Shelter Cove Crab Food Coming April 22
On Friday, April 22, Gyppo Ale Mill is hosting a Crab Food Sale and Silent Auction for the nonprofit Shelter Cove Fishing Preservation. The event runs from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and live music will be provided by The Breakers. The cost is $75 per person. For more information, contact Jake Mitchell at 223-1600.
CPH looking for surfer fishermen/purse seiners
The Department of Cal Poly Humboldt. of Fisheries Biology is looking to hire three students to help collect surfperch hooks and lines from four Humboldt beaches from May to August, four days a month, four hours a day. Candidates must have their own equipment. The Department of Fisheries is also looking to hire college students to help seine the beaches of Northern California from June through early August. To apply for one of these jobs, send resume and cover letter to [email protected] by April 1. Or for more information, visit www.facebook.com/HumboldtFishBio.
The South Fork Eel, Middle Fork Eel and Mattole all remain closed to fishing. On Tuesday, Redwood Creek and Van Duzen were added to the closed list.
According to Justin Kelly of RMI Outdoors, fishing pressure has been light over the past week. “Some downers get caught,” Kelly said. “There are also some fresh fish still coming in.” On Wednesday, flows were just above 200 cfs and it could close before the weekend.
Eel River (main section)
After reaching nearly 2,000 cfs last Thursday, the main eel has continued to decline. By Wednesday, it had fallen to 1,180 cfs. There hasn’t been much fishing pressure as the water is low and clear, and the current points are getting fewer and fewer. There should be a few fish around, the majority of which will likely be downers.
The Smith was flowing at just under 1,400 cubic feet per second on Wednesday. The water is extremely clear and low. Not much fishing pressure, but a few fish are caught.
Southern Oregon Rivers
There seem to be plenty of rainbow trout on the Chetco to make a late season drift worthwhile, reports Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing. He said: “Guides get two to six rainbow trout a day, with a mix of small adults fresh out of the ocean and offspring returning to the salt water. The river gets low and clear, but she is still drifting. Season ends March 31. . Fish are distributed throughout the river. Overall, Chetco’s season was above average, despite low water for much of February The Elk and Sixes also close March 31, but low water will make fishing difficult this week Spring salmon fishing remains slow on the Rogue, but high tides this week could bring in more fish So far only a few springers have been reported.Rainbow trout fishing is slow on the lower Rogue but improving near Grants Pass.
Brookings Ocean Report
According to Martin, lingcod fishing has been good at Brookings when weather conditions cooperate. “Big waves early in the week are keeping most boats closer to port, but calmer weather is expected by the weekend. The herring fishery was wide open at Brookings Harbor last week, but it is now slow. The smelt stays in the port”, says Martine.
Kenny Priest (he/him) operates Fishing the North Coast, a Humboldt fishing guide service specializing in salmon and rainbow trout. Find him on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and www.fishingthenorthcoast.com. For up to date fishing reports and information on the North Coast River email [email protected]