Coastal Salmon Following the Rain

The first major rainstorm of the season just hit Southern Oregon, and the coastal rivers are starting to drop into perfect shape for fall salmon. The Elk and Smith (n. California) Rivers were the first to clear enough for anglers to venture out, and those who did found fish both yesterday and today. Other coastal rivers like the Chetco should be in shape either tomorrow or Friday.

Coastal River salmon caught with guide Andy Martin
A coastal fall salmon caught with guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing on Tuesday.

Fishing with large Kwikfish or 5.0 Maglips wrapped with sardines has been best so far with the higher water, but as the rivers continue to recede expect the egg bite to turn on. Anglers are reminded of the special bobber regulations that are in affect for the Chetco River until Nov. 4th*.

Forecasts are calling for more rain starting Saturday afternoon and lasting tell Wednesday. This could blow some of the rivers out by Monday, but will also help to keep them fishing for the following weekend.

This years fall salmon run has been poor up and down the west coast, and fishing may not be spectacular for our late returns either. However, even with numbers down, this is still the best chance at catching a salmon of a lifetime weighing more than 50 pounds. With the down year, releasing those trophies after snapping a few quick pictures is highly recommended to make sure as many of those big fish make it onto the spawning grounds.

* Bobber angling gear must include a bobber and a leader no longer than 36 inches. Only 1 single point hook may be used. The leader must remain suspended and may not rest on the bottom. Any weight may be no more than 36 inches from the hook when hanging vertically.

– On the Chetco anglers may only keep 1 adult wild salmon a day and 5 a year as part of their 2 fish daily limit.

– On the Elk, Sixes, & Floras/New Rivers anglers may keep 1 adult wild salmon and 10 a year as part of their 2 fish daily limit.

Chetco River Flows and Flow predictions


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