Larry Ellis, fishing columnist

Fishing report for

October 28- November 3

Based on National Weather Service forecasts of impending cold fronts due to hit the southern Oregon coast, the Chetco River above river mile 2.2 and the Winchuck River main stem will open today for the retention of salmon and steelhead as scheduled.

"The meteorologists over in Medford are confident that by next week we're going to be turned around into a pretty good weather pattern," said district fisheries biologist Todd Confer on Thursday. "So we should start seeing flows come up."

Granted, the ground will probably soak up some of the precipitation at first, but here's what the National Weather Service is predicting for the forthcoming week, starting today: Saturday andndash; Rain! Saturday night andndash; Rain! Sunday andndash; Rain likely!

The rest of the week's forecast through Wednesday predicts showers or a chance of showers. Then the coast is supposed to get hit with another cold front.

"Next week it sounds like there's going to be some more storms coming through as well," adds Confer.

Of course everybody knows that being a meteorologist is the only job in the world where you can be wrong 60-percent of the time and still hold your job. But being an optimist, I'd put my money on the National Weather Service.

The eastern Pacific water vapor loop looked pretty nasty Thursday evening. It showed more fronts forming than there were spaces between them. If you would like to look at the same satellite images I am referring to, just type in this link in the address bar of your computer: http://www.

Here's a quick lesson in how to read the satellite images. I learned this from a college course I took back at Cal State Fullerton and from courses taken from the National Weather Service to qualify as a weather spotter.

Fronts can be low pressure or high pressure. Looking down from the satellite toward land, a high-pressure front will rotate clockwise in the northern hemisphere. Low-pressure fronts are the opposite andndash; they rotate counter-clockwise.

The water vapor loop consists of eight satellite images taken from several minutes to an hour apart. When the computer plays these frames consecutively it looks like a movie, and you can see various fronts beginning to form or taking an obvious shape.

Sometimes fronts will collide with each other and cause changes to occur. For example, a very weak low-pressure front can collide with a very robust high-pressure front. The collision can often cause the low-pressure front to spin faster, like a top. When this happens, and if the cold front is heading in our direction, you can usually expect to get hit with a storm.

By looking at this satellite image you can be your own meteorologist. You'll be surprised how often your predictions will come to fruition. Don't forget to right-click on your mouse and click the "refresh" tab every once in a while because a new image will often be displayed while you're having fun predicting the weather.

Here's what's probably going to happen this weekend. Rain from Wednesday night probably triggered more salmon to enter the estuary, and most likely they made tracks for one of the three staging areas: Morris Hole, Tide Rock or Social Security Bar. Therefore, most of the fishing this weekend will probably take place in lower tidewater; that is, until we get enough rain to raise the river upward toward 1,000 cubic feet per second (cfs).

On the USGS Chetco River site, the Advanced Hydrological Prediction Service's web page is predicting that the Chetco may rise to 2.47 feet on Sunday/Monday. That's equivalent to approximately 915 cubic feet per second. If that happens, the river will have risen sufficiently to move some of those fish out of Social Security Bar into the upper river.

What I'm hoping is that, with more rain in the forecast, the river level will rise even more, creating a scenario where back-bouncing roe from a drift boat, or side-drifting roe from the bank will be the go-to techniques that rule the Chetco.

However, in case the river does not rise much, I suggest throwing Kastmasters, Little Cleos or Blue Fox Spinners from one hour before sunrise to 45 minutes after sunrise, and be sure that your lures have glow-in-the-dark tape on them. Be sure to shine a bright flashlight on the tape before you cast.

After there is light on the water, then I would heartily suggest tossing bobbers-and-sand shrimp, bobbers-and-roe or shrimp cocktails, which is a bobber with a combination of roe and sand shrimp.

You can also try tossing bobbers-and-anchovies, or bobbers-and-anchovy tails. If the fish have seen too many of the same thing, throw them a changeup and throw a bobber with a crawdad tail or a bobber with a piece of raw shrimp.

Also, if the river does not raise much, the estuary fishery should still be semi-productive for boats trolling whole or cut-plug herring.

Bank anglers should consider throwing glow-in-the-dark Kastmasters, Little Cleos, Krocodiles or Blue Fox Spinners. You'll want to use these things during the magic hour. The magic hour isn't a precise hour at all, but actually consists of two different 100-minute periods. The first period lasts from one hour before sunrise to 40 minutes after sunrise. The second period lasts from one hour before sunset to 40 minutes after sunset. These are the periods when most of the Chinook have been hooked from various jetties last week.

Dan Ambrose caught his 43 1/2-pound king during the latter magic hour earlier in the week while another angler caught another 50-pound monster Chinook on Thursday during the latter magic hour as well. The fish may have been over 50-pounds because it bottomed out everyone's 50-pound scales.

Precise sunrise and sunset times can be found on the website: http://www.tides This site also sports a calendar that shows, according to its author, when the best fishing times and dates are.

If the river rises between 1,000 and 2,000 cfs, the estuary fishery and jetty fishery will probably be over and done with.

Tight lines!