The salmon bite has picked up a little bit over the last week on both the Smith and Cheto rivers, but with both streams running a little on the low side anglers are still awaiting a significant rain to help usher some prime fishing.

Meanwhile, the ocean has been pretty rough throughout the week with big swells and some small craft advisories. There are still lots of bottomfish on both sides of the California-Oregon border whenever anglers are able to get out, however, and Oregon sportfishermen are still hauling in Pafici halibut when conditions allow.

River fishing

Anglers have been waiting for a big storm to usher in runs on both the Smith and Cheto rivers this week. Although there has been rain several days throughout the week, it hasn’t yielded enough precipitation to have much of an effect on either river.

Even so, the salmon bite has seen an uptick throughout the week.

Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing said the Sand Hole is started to get crowded with anglers casting from the bank, with lots of jacks and some adult salmon being hauled in.

Martin said a few drift boats are also getting in on the action trolling bait early and switching to bobbers later in the day, though they must stay below Rowdy Creek until the low flow closure is lifted. Martin said he is certain that there are salmon already in the system above Rowdy Creek, though, which is a good sign for the river if more rain falls.

Up on the Chetco River anglers are also getting a few salmon, especially on the lower river, despite the low water conditions.

The Klamath River still has some salmon in the river, but with adult salmon now off limits, fishing pressure and catches have dropped off quickly over the last three weeks. Although the salmon quota has now been met on the Upper Klamath, the Lower Klamath, and the Trinity River, it has reportedly been a good year for steelhead fishing, especially on the Upper Klamath between Highway 196 and Happy Camp.

On the ocean

It has been a rough week for sportfishermen on the ocean, with large swells throughout the week that are expected to continue into next week.

When anglers have been able to get out the bottomfishing has been strong, with lots of rockfish and lingcod biting. That is expected to continue whenever the ocean calms back down.

Pacific halibut are also still being hauled in out of Brookings when conditions allow. The halibut season is already closed in California, however.

Fishing contacts: Chetco Outdoor Store at 541-469-9151; Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing at 206-388-8988; Englund Marine Supply Company at 464-32306.

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