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March 8, 2012
Rain early this week brought yet another batch of fresh steelhead into the Chetco River, which continues to fish well considering it is now late in the season. We had a few exceptional days in the past week, hooking 12 fish on Friday along with a couple of five-fish days. Steelhead fishing should remain worthwhile on the Chetco for the next few weeks, with a mix of fresh and spawned fish, and hard-fighting blue backs. The lower Rogue is also kicking out fresh steelhead, along with a few springers every day. We will be switching back and forth between the Chetco and Rogue through the end of March, and then focus specifically on spring king salmon in April. I have a few openings left this month and in April if you'd like to get in on the action. To book the ultimate Oregon or Alaska fishing trip, call (206) 388-8988 or e-mail wildriversfishing@yahoo.com.
March 15, 2012
We are finally getting some of that rain we could have used during the peak of the steelhead seasons. The Chetco, Smith, Elk, Sixes and Rogue all blew out overnight and are expected to remain high through the week. When they come down, we should see another shot of fresh steelhead, along with more springers on the Rogue. Despite the high water, I was able to make a drift down the Chetco yesterday. We ended up landing three bright steelhead, which shows the season isn't over yet. The end of this month we'll be switching out focus to Rogue springers. I have some dates still available for the peak season in April. To book the ultimate Oregon or Alaska fishing trip, call (206) 388-8988 or e-mail wildriversfishing@yahoo.com.
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March 28, 2012
The Southern Oregon Coast continues to get hammered with rain and high water. The Chetco has been blown out or barely fishable for the past two weeks. The season closes Saturday night. Right now everyone is focusing on the lower Rogue, but flows there are still too high for springers. After the big rise expected this week, we may start seeing good fishing for spring salmon next week. We are expecting a big springer run this year, and April tends to be a good month for catching hatchery fish. Wild fish can't be kept until June.
Dates have been filling quickly for this fall's salmon fishing on the Chetco and Smith. I still have some good dates available, but call soon if you have a specific date in mind.
To book the ultimate Oregon or Alaska fishing trip, call (206) 388-8988 or e-mail
wildriversfishing@yahoo.com.
Rogue River springer fishing April 2012.
April 15, 2012
Spring salmon fishing on the Rogue River kicked into gear this past week, with most boats getting fish from Tuesday on. Our biggest springer of the week was a beautiful 30-pound chrome-bright hatchery fish, caught by Casey on Saturday (in picture). Flows on the Rogue at the Agness gauge dropped below 10,000 cfs on Saturday, and that has made fishing better. The water temperature also hit 50 degrees this past week, which was a big factor in the good bite on the lower river. We are fishing out of my covered, heated jet boat, anchoring just above tidewater and fishing anchovies with spinner blades in the travel lanes used by the salmon. Fishing should be good well into May. There has been a lot of interest in November's fall king salmon season on the Chetco. Dates are filling quickly, as another big run is expected. I still have Nov. 5, 17, 21, 22, 23, 25, 26, 27 and 28 open, but these won't last long. I also have some dates remaining for the Oct. 1-14 ocean salmon season at the mouth of the Chetco, known as the bubble season. This is often when we get the biggest kings of the year. Dates for September and October peak season salmon fishing on the Coquille River and Coos Bay also are available, but these too will fill quickly. To book the ultimate Oregon or Alaska fishing trip, call (206) 388-8988 or e-mail wildriversfishing@yahoo.com.
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Wild Rivers Fishing
Professional River Guide and Saltwater Capt. Andy Martin
Brookings, Oregon / Gustavus, Alaska
(206) 388-8988 or (541) 813-1082
P.O. Box 1646, Brookings, OR 97415
wildriversfishing@yahoo.com              wildriversfishing.com
(C) Copyright 2012 Andy Martin - All rights reserved.
All photos are the property of Andy Martin and Wild Rivers Fishing and cannot be used for any purpose without expressed written permission. Wild Rivers Fishing is a registered business name and DBA with the Oregon Secretary of State.
April 23, 2012
After a lull in the action the first part of last week, springer fishing on the lower Rogue picked up again just before the weekend. We enjoyed especially good action on Saturday and Sunday, when we boated three to four hatchery salmon a day. Good tides this week should lead to another good week. The springers are good size this year, averaging around 20 pounds. The steelhead action has come to a close on the lower Rogue, but fishing continues to be good in the upper river near Shady Cove. Don't forget to book your fall salmon dates before we fill up. Another big run is expected on the Chetco this fall.  To book the ultimate Oregon or Alaska fishing trip, call (206) 388-8988 or e-mail wildriversfishing@yahoo.com.
Rogue River springer fishing near Gold Beach with guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing.
Rogue River spring salmon fishing near Gold Beach.
April 29, 2012
Spring salmon fishing on the lower Rogue River near Gold Beach, Oregon, continued to be good the beginning of last week, but slowed on Wednesday after increased dam releases and rain. We got four springers on Sunday and four more on Tuesday. On Wednesday, fishing was slow, but we got one hatchery springer. Most boats were blanked.
I leave to Alaska this week to get ready for the halibut and salmon seasons near Glacier Bay. The season is pretty much booked up, although I have a few openings for small groups. I'm also taking bookings for the fall salmon seasons on the Chetco, Smith, Rogue, Coquille and Coos. We are expected big returns this fall on all the rivers. To book the ultimate Oregon or Alaska fishing trip, call (206) 388-8988 or e-mail
wildriversfishing@yahoo.com.
May 6, 2012
I am now in Alaska getting ready for the 2012 halibut and salmon season near Glacier Bay. The photo is from the last leg of my flight from Juneau to Gustavus. I start fishing at the end of the month, but am busy getting boats and fishing gear ready. Should be a great season.
Back in Oregon, the Rogue fished really well for springers the beginning of last week. Some boats landed five to eight fish a day. The ocean opener out of Brookings was slow for salmon, but fishing was pretty good out of Crescent City. Near Bodega Bay and Shelter Cove, the salmon fishing has been really good. That's an indication of the big run of fall salmon expected back to the Rogue, Chetco, Smith and Klamath rivers. If you want to fish this fall, book soon for the best dates. They have filled quickly. Right now I have Nov. 5, 17, 21-23 and 26-28 available for the Chetco. For the October ocean season out of Brookings, I have Oct. 1-5 and 8-14 open. These will fill quickly. I also have some dates still open for Coquille and Rogue Bay kings in mid to late September. To book the ultimate Oregon or Alaska fishing trip, call (206) 388-8988 or e-mail
wildriversfishing@yahoo.com.
May 26, 2012
We've started to catch some really nice eater-size halibut out of Gustavus in Southeast Alaska. No really big fish yet, but the action is steady on the 30- to 45-inch fish, which are perfect for the barbecue and freezer.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife recently released its forecast for the Southern Oregon Coast rivers. The big news is the big return on the Rogue River. ODFW predicts 91,000 fall kings will come back to the Rogue. The past few years, September has been the peak month, but August also can be good. Strong returns also are expected on the Chetco, Elk and Coquille. It looks like the October ocean salmon season at the mouth of the Chetco, known as the bubble season, will be Oct. 1-14. There are still some openings on my boat for this season. The Chetco wil open Nov. 3 above tidewater. We are expecting a great run this fall, and I've lined up some great guides to help out this season since this has become one of our most popular fisheries. Randy Wells will be on the coast running trips for me all of November, and he still has some openings on his boat. I have a few openings as well. Remember, Wild Rivers Fishing is one of the few outfitters with an upper river permit, where we see some of the best fishing on the Chetco, and because it's limited entry, the pressure is light. To book the ultimate Oregon or Alaska fishing trip, call (206) 388-8988 or e-mail
wildriversfishing@yahoo.com.
June 15, 2012
ODFW has set Oct. 1-14 as the trophy ocean salmon season at the mouth of the Chetco. I still have some openings for this great season. This is one of the best chances anywhere at a king over 50 pounds. Fishing in Alaska has improved for both kings and halibut. We are catching limits of halibut everyday from 30 pounds on up, and have released a few dozen over 100 pounds already. The king salmon fishing has been good when the weather allows us to get offshore. Back in Oregon, ocean salmon fishing also has been good. There are a lot of salmon off the Southern Oregon and Northern California coasts right now, and when they return to the rivers we should see excellent runs on the Chetco, Smith, Klamath, Rogue and Coquille rivers. To book the ultimate Oregon or Alaska fishing trip, call (206) 388-8988 or e-mail wildriversfishing@yahoo.com.
July 8, 2012
Steady action for kings and halibut in Alaska. Out of Brookings, on the Southern Oregon Coast, salmon fishing also has been great, which should translate into excellent fishing this fall on the Chetco, Rogue, Smith, Klamath and Coquille rivers. There are still some openings for Rogue Bay salmon in September, Chetco Bay trophy kings in early October, and Smith and Chetco River kings in November.
To book the ultimate Oregon or Alaska fishing trip, call (206) 388-8988 or e-mail
wildriversfishing@yahoo.com.
Aug. 13, 2012
Before I get to the Oregon reports, I wanted to update everyone on the exceptional halibut fishing in Alaska. I've now gotten customers into nine halibut in the 200-plus-pound range, including a 380-pounder, the biggest unloaded at the Gustavus dock so far this season. I have a few more weeks in Alaska, and then back to Oregon for fall salmon on the Rogue, Coquille, Coos and Chetco bays. Right now I have one day left in September, the 28th, for bay salmon fishing, and a few days, Oct. 9, 11, 12, 13 and 14 for the trophy ocean season at the mouth of the Chetco, known as the bubble season. There are a very limited number of dates left as well in November on my boat for the Chetco and Smith rivers for trophy fall kings. This fall Randy Wells will be running trips for me again on the Chetco and Smith, and Rye Phillips also will be available for drift boat trips, so there is still room to fit some groups in for what is expected to be another great fall of salmon fishing on the coast. To book the ultimate Oregon or Alaska fishing trip, call (206) 388-8988 or e-mail wildriversfishing@yahoo.com.
Coquille River fall salmon fishing trips with Wild Rivers Fishing. Salmon caught trolling plug-cut herring with Fish Flash flashers with Wright & McGill plug rods.
Sept. 25, 2012
Since returning from Alaska in early September I've been fishing the Rogue Bay, lower Coquille River and Coos Bay for fall salmon. All through have salmon, but right now the Rogue Bay is fishing best. There are a lot of Indian Creek hatchery kings, some silvers, and kings headed to the Middle Rogue in the bay right now. The Coquille has been fair for salmon, but excellent for crabbing. We got easy limits several days last week. The Coos has a lot of salmon, and should be better with a little rain. Randy Wells is on the scene on the Upper Klamath and is getting limits there. Remember, this year you can keep four salmon per person on the Klamath. Randy still has some dates open for peak season in early October. The fall salmon forecast for the Chetco and Smith is excellent and there are still some dates available in late October and early November. I have two other guides running trips for me in October and November to accommodate larger groups, and people wanting to get in on the action when my boat is booked. If you'd like to fish with me, I still have Oct. 15, 17, 18, 21 and 24 open, and Nov. 22, 23, 25, 27 and 28 open. Randy and Rye have some other dates open as well. Call if you want to fish this fall, because the remaining dates will fill fast. To book the ultimate Oregon or Alaska fishing trip, call (206) 388-8988 or e-mail wildriversfishing@yahoo.com.
Oct. 1, 2012
Salmon are now being caught in decent numbers in the lower Chetco River. Fishing should continue to pick up through October and into the peak season in November. I ran my first Chetco trip of the season on Friday and we landed three kings. On Sunday we hooked seven kings at the mouth of the Chetco and landed four, including the 35-pound chromer pictured at the far left. The bubble season opened today, with fishing on the slow side. My clients landed three salmon today, including the 20-pounder pictured, but overall not a whole lot of fish came back to the dock. As is typical with the bubble season, fishing can bust open any day. To book the ultimate Oregon or Alaska fishing trip, call (206) 388-8988 or e-mail wildriversfishing@yahoo.com.
Oct. 7, 2012
Fall king salmon are now stacking up at the mouth of the Chetco River in good numbers, Today, during the bubble season, we hooked 10 fish, and landed 7. The last few days has seen an increased number of bigger fish. With the salmon now staging at the mouth, we should see a lot of fish in the Chetco estuary soon, as well as the lower Smith River. There are a few open dates for October to get in on the action at the mouth of the Chetco and the Sand Hole and lower Smith River.  To book the ultimate Oregon or Alaska fishing trip, call (206) 388-8988 or e-mail wildriversfishing@yahoo.com.
Nov. 17, 2012
Sorry for the lack of reports. I've been fishing nearly every day, mainly on the Chetco, but also on the Smith. The Chetco opened above tidewater on Oct. 30, and the fishing was wide open. We've had some really good days the past few weeks, along with some slow ones. Overall, the rivers have been low and clear, and not a lot of new fish have been moving in. That changed today, with heavy rain last night and again today. More rain is expected Sunday through Tuesday, which will likely blow the Chetco out for a few days, but bring in some new fish. It will also bring the Elk and Sixes into play, and give the Smith a boost as well. There is still plenty of time to catch fall kings. We'll be targeting them through mid-December before switching over to steelhead. I've already seen a few steelhead in the Chetco, and my clients have caught a released several half pounders in recent days, a good sign for the upcoming steelhead season. We should see enough steelhead in the Smith to target them beginning the first week of December. The Chetco usually has enough steelhead to target them from mid December on. Until we switch completely over to steelhead, we'll spend some time targeting salmon and steelhead during the same trip.
Before the Chetco opener, I was focusing on the Smith River, which has been open since mid October. We enjoyed a couple of week of good fishing, even with the low, clear water. The plug bite was excellent the first week of the season, and then we had another good week of fishing back-bouncing roe. November, however, has been tough on the Smith, so we've been focusing on the Chetco. With this weekend's rain, the Smith should have plenty of water for good fishing well after Thanksgiving. The bulk of the Rowdy Creek Hatchery fish are yet to come in.
There are still a few dates available for fall kings, and room to get on the calendar for winter steelhead. To book the ultimate Oregon or Alaska fishing trip, call (206) 388-8988 or e-mail
wildriversfishing@yahoo.com.
Oct. 20, 2012
This year's season at the mouth of the Chetco River was one of the best in years. While the ocean bubble season was average at best, we found great fishing in the Chetco estuary, trolling plug-cut herring for chrome bright kings. The action was good until rains drew a lot of the salmon that were stacking up in the estuary up river. We got into nice kings every day from the last week of September through mid October. Lots of jacks and nice adults made of some of the best trolling action in Southern Oregon. To book the ultimate Oregon or Alaska fishing trip, call (206) 388-8988 or e-mail wildriversfishing@yahoo.com.
Nov. 25, 2012
Almost a week after heavy rains increased flows on the Chetco to over 60,000 cfs and put it at flood stage, the river is still high and muddy. The Smith, however, has been fishing since Thanksgiving. We've found a mix of late salmon and early steelhead, but overall are at the in between season as salmon winds down and steelhead begin to show up. The Elk River is now in play, and fishing well. I had four guides on the water today, three on the Smith and one on the Elk. The guide on the Elk landed eight kings today. We'll be on the Elk and Sixes for the next several days, and then switch over to steelhead on the Chetco and Smith. To book the ultimate Oregon or Alaska fishing trip, call (206) 388-8988 or e-mail wildriversfishing@yahoo.com.
Dec. 15, 2012
Steelhead season is now in full swing on the Chetco and Smith rivers. Considering its only mid December, fishing has been great. We've been getting anywhere from two to seven steelhead a day, with a couple more chances. There also are still some salmon in the rivers. On Dec. 11, one of my customers, Brian from Ferndale, landed a 54-pound king on the Chetco. Making the catch even more remarkable is it was caught on a small steelhead plug and a steelhead rod. The fish took nearly two hours to land. Last Saturday, I fished the Elk River, where we landed four kings. I switched to the Chetco last Sunday, as the river finally got into shape, and Benjamin and Brian landed four steelhead. Randy Wells took a couple of my customers down the Chetco yesterday, and they hooked 10 steelhead and landed eight. We should see even better steelhead fishing after the river drops back into shape following the latest series of storms that arrived today. I have a few openings left this month and a few in January on my boat, but also have room with the other guides I work with. Looks like a great steelhead run this season. To book the ultimate Oregon or Alaska fishing trip, call (206) 388-8988 or e-mail wildriversfishing@yahoo.com.
Dec. 21, 2012
First off, Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas. 2012 has been a great year for Wild Rivers Fishing because of the truly great people I've been able to take fishing this year. My family and I thank everyone who booked trips this past year. All the rivers are currently blown out, but with snow falling in the hills, and freezing weather inland, they will fall back into shape quicker, possibly by early next week. There are already a lot of steelhead in the Chetco, and the Smith has been fishing decently as well, so we expect really good fishing when the rivers are fishable again. There are a few openings left in January, and a number in February if you still need to schedule a trip for steelhead. Dates also are beginning to fill in for springers on the lower Rogue starting in April. I noticed I wasn't getting any Internet inquiries the past few weeks, and fixed a glitch on the "Book A Trip" link. If you made an inquiry and didn't get a response, I apologize. The request form is working now. Now is the time to reserve your winter steelhead and spring salmon dates.  To book the ultimate Oregon or Alaska fishing trip, call (206) 388-8988 or e-mail wildriversfishing@yahoo.com.
Jan. 9, 2013
For the past two weeks we've enjoyed excellent water conditions, and excellent steelhead fishing on the Chetco River. I've been on the river everyday since just after Christmas and we've been finding from two to 10 steelhead a day. On average, we've been hooking six and landing four fish a day. Yesterday we got seven. Even better, the size of the fish is bigger than average this season. We've seen a lot of fish, both hatchery and wild, over 10 pounds. The big news is from Saturday, when Emma, fishing with her father Orie, landed a 21-pound hatchery steelhead on my boat. They are in the photo to the left. A few days earlier, Kenny, in the picture below Emma, caught a 19-pound hatchery steelhead. We've seen a lot of fish in the 14 to 15 pound range. Yesterday, John and Bob, enjoyed an epic day on the upper river. We hooked three steelhead on our first three passes. Then, downriver a little, we got a double while running plugs. We got more action downriver. I had several customers catch their first steelhead ever. It rained today and the river is rising again. That's good news for the next week, as the river was just starting to get clear and low yesterday. To accommodate more people this season, I have Randy Wells and Rye Phillips running trips for me. Randy also has an Upper Chetco permit. I have openings in my boat in February and March. To book the ultimate Oregon or Alaska fishing trip, call (206) 388-8988 or e-mail wildriversfishing@yahoo.com.
"Andy, I had a truly great time fishing with you on the Chetco. Thank you. I'm no officianado of guided fishing trips, but I can't imagine there is a better one, anywhere. The river and fish were both beautiful and you were a terrific guide: put us where the fish were, instructed us in how to catch them, and gave us the opportunity to do it. Extremely high marks. If I have a chance to do it again, I'll call you without hesitation. Our friends enjoyed fishing with Randy, too."
        - Paul Nordstrom
        Las Vegas, Nevada
Feb. 3, 2013
We've been catching steelhead every day for the past three weeks, but it hasn't always been easy. First we had low, clear conditions, then after some rain in mid January it seemed a lot of the fish moved upstream and not a lot of new ones came in. To get into fish, we've been bouncing around from the Chetco, to the Elk, and to the Sixes. The Chetco has been the most consistent producer, especially up high. We had a few days were my clients landed 10 to 12 fish a day, and many where it was three to five a day. A few days we only got one. Rain is in the forecast Tuesday and Thursday, which is expected to give the rivers a boost in flows and should bring in more fish. Peak season is about to arrive for the Elk and Sixes, and the Chetco should fish well into March.
Some of the highlights were an 18-pound hatchery fish, and a couple of doubles near the South Fork on the Chetco. We also had a day where we hooked 10 fish in 10 passes in a riffle on the upper river.
On the Sixes yesterday, a client hooked a steelhead that was at least 20 pounds and after a long battle, the hook popped out right in front of us. Still a great fight, and we got to see the trophy fish several times.
I still have openings in my boat in February and March. There also are a handful of prime dates left in April for spring king salmon fishing on the lower Rogue River out of the new jet boat. To book the ultimate Oregon or Alaska fishing trip, call (206) 388-8988 or e-mail
wildriversfishing@yahoo.com.
Feb. 12, 2013
Steelhead fishing is fair right now on the Chetco and Smith. There are plenty of fish around, but the water is low and clear. Looks like some rain on the way this weekend and early next week, which should bring in more fish, and improve fishing conditions. I have some openings the last two weeks of this month and in February. I also have a few springer openings remaining for the lower Rogue River in April. Call (206) 388-8988 or e-mail wildriversfishing@yahoo.com.
March 3, 2013
After three weeks with minimal rain, we finally saw a big enough rise in water levels to get the Chetco back to a good level for steelhead fishing the past few days. Another storm is expected this week, which should create perfect flows by this weekend. Before the rain, I'd been fishing the Umpqua and Rogue with good results. Spring salmon fishing is just around the corner. We could see decent fishing on the lower Rogue River by the last week of March. I still have some openings for March and early April on the Rogue. I also have a handful of openings left for the October trophy ocean salmon season at the mouth of the Chetco. This year's season is Oct. 1-13. Call (206) 388-8988 or e-mail wildriversfishing@yahoo.com.
Trophy Oregon coast lingcod fishing out of Brookings with Wild Rivers Fishing.
Rockfish and lingcod combo charter boat trips out of Port of Brookings Harbor.
Lingcod fishing out of Brookings with Wild Rivers Fishing
March 13, 2013
We ran our first lingcod and bottom fish trip of the season out of Brookings this week and caught limits of black rockfish and several lings. The lingcod are close to shore spawning now and the action is good. The biggest was close to 20 pounds. There are seats available throughout the second half of March and first of April if you want to get in on the great bottom fish action out of Brookings. Some steelhead are still being caught on the Chetco. We found some bright fish last week, and a lot of downers. The first two spring salmon also have been caught on the lower Rogue River. Lots of options this time of year for a good ocean, steelhead or spring salmon trip.  Call (206) 388-8988 or e-mail wildriversfishing@yahoo.com.
March 20, 2013
Lingcod fishing continues to be wide open out of Brookings, with limits or near limits every day. We had perfect weather conditions last week, and then strong winds and a storm the beginning of this week has kept us off the water. On the lower Rogue River near Gold Beach, meanwhile, several hatchery spring salmon have now been caught. We will be going back and forth between the Rogue for springers and Brookings for lingcod and bottom fish in the coming weeks. Seats are available for the river salmon and ocean lingcod and rockfish trips. There have been a number of salmon caught and released by bottom fish anglers out of Brookings as well in the last week, an indication we will see strong ocean salmon seasons this summer. We caught and released our first incidental king on the ocean on Sunday.   Call (206) 388-8988 or e-mail wildriversfishing@yahoo.com.
Brookings Oregon lingcod and rockfish charter fishing charter boats.
Limit of lingcod out of Brookings Oregon with Wild Rivers Fishing.
Brookings deep sea charters.
Rogue River spring salmon springer fishing near Gold Beach Oregon with Wild Rivers Fishing guide Andy Martin.
Springer fishing on the lower Rogue River with guide Andy Martin.
Brookings Oregon lingcod fishing charters.
Brookings Oregon black rockfish charters.
April 6, 2013
Bottom fishing and lingcod action has been good to excellent out of Brookings, while springers are now being caught daily on the lower Rogue River near Gold Beach. Dan Linville from Chico caught the first springer of the season on my boat in late March, a beautiful 20-pound hatchery chromer. My customers have been catching limits of lingcod out of Brookings, with a nice grade of black rockfish. While a few of the lingcod have been over 20 pounds, most are in the 23 to 25 inch range. I'll be focusing on springers for the next few weeks, as the Rogue will be in perfect shape this coming week thanks to lots of rain the last several days. It's not too early to book those fall salmon trips on the Chetco and Smith. Dates have been filling quickly. Call (206) 388-8988 or e-mail wildriversfishing@yahoo.com.
April 17, 2013
After a slow start last week, spring salmon fishing on the lower Rogue River improved for the weekend, with a good bite Saturday and Sunday in the lower river. River levels were prefect, and there seemed to be decent numbers of hatchery fish moving through. High winds have kept anglers off the ocean, but conditions looks to be better this week for lingcod and rockfish. Don't forget to book your fall salmon dates before the calendar fills up. Call (206) 388-8988 or e-mail wildriversfishing@yahoo.com.
May 7, 2013
I've wrapped up my 2013 spring salmon season on the Rogue and am now in Alaska until early September. The springer fishing on the Rogue had slowed in the past week, although we ended our season with a couple of good days. Low water conditions and no rain have made the fishing tough. The ocean salmon season is now open, and the good fishing from Eureka south is a strong indicator of what's to come this fall in the Smith and Chetco rivers. We are expecting a large run this fall. Dates have filled quickly, but I do have a few openings left in late September, mid October and late November. Rye and Randy also have several openings left in their boats, but book soon to get in on this fall's action on the Chetco, Smith, Rogue, Elk, Sixes, Coquille and Coos systems.  Call (206) 388-8988 or e-mail wildriversfishing@yahoo.com.
October 6, 2013
I've been back from Alaska since the middle of September, and have been fishing the Coos River, Rogue Bay, Smith River and most recently the bubble season at the mouth of the Chetco River in Southern Oregon. The bubble season, where we can fish the ocean and lower portion of the Chetco, has been good. There are a lot of salmon staging at the mouth of the Chetco right now. We received a bunch of rain last weekend, which brought the Chetco and Smith up to their winter time levels for a few days. The increase in flows allowed for an opener on the Smith, which was good on Tuesday, Oct. 1. Bob, pictured to the right, caught a beautiful 30-plus-pound chromer on a T50 FlatFish. The next day the Smith had dropped and was slow. The rain also brought a bunch of salmon into the Chetco, but the river remains closed until Nov. 2 above tidewater. With the Chetco at a much higher flow than normal for this time of year, I didn't expect the bubble season in the ocean out of Brookings to be very good. I had anticipated many of the salmon would shoot upriver. But on Thursday, Oct. 3, I was pleasantly surprised. I had Don and Dan and we got into a double in the ocean between the red buoy and whistle buoy right off the bat and got both fish in. After the ocean limit we got a nice bright king in the Chetco estuary. We got more nice salmon Friday, Saturday and today and lost a big fish that was at least 50 pounds. The derby leader as of today is 48 pounds.
Before fishing the Smith and Chetco bubble I was on the Coos, where fishing was good last week. We got limits several days, with fish running 10 to 20 pounds. The Coos has been Oregon's best bay salmon fishing this year with a huge run. Hopefully that is an indicator of what is still to come on the Chetco and Smith. I have some other guides running trips for me this fall on the ocean and in the rivers and have room to fit you in if you haven't made a reservation yet. We are looking at strong runs in the coming weeks on the Chetco, Smith, Elk and Sixes.  Call (206) 388-8988 or e-mail
wildriversfishing@yahoo.com.
October 18, 2013
The bubble season at the mouth of the Chetco closed Sunday with a derby winner of 50 pounds, 6 ounces. We managed to get a few fish over 30 pounds during the trophy ocean salmon season, and several fish over 20 pounds. For the past week I've been on the Rogue Bay, where there have been good numbers of wild coho and a few hatchery coho. Today we also got a nice king. The Chetco estuary was slow this past week, but the biggest tides of the month, happening right now, may bring in some fresh kings to the lower Chetco and Smith rivers. There are still dates available for fall salmon drift boat trips on the Chetco, Smith, Elk and Sixes rivers. Call (206) 388-8988 or e-mail wildriversfishing@yahoo.com.
December 8, 2013
Steelhead fishing is off to a great start on the Chetco River, where we are already catching a mix of hatchery and wild adults and quite a few halfpounders. The adults are running 8 to 12 pounds, with some already in the mid teens. At the beginning of December we were catching as many as a dozen halfpounders, running around 20 inches, a day. This is the kind of action we normally don't see until around Christmas, so it appears we are in for a great steelhead season on the Chetco and other South Coast rivers. Steelhead fishing also has gotten off to a good start on the lower Umpqua near Elkton. We should start seeing six to eight hookups a day on the Chetco with the next rain. Currently, the river is low and clear, with extremely cold temperatures. Snow covers the banks of the river from Nook Bar upstream. Rain is in the forecast for Thursday night. If it brings the Chetco to 2,000 cfs or more, expect very good conditions for steelhead, and good numbers of fish. I have a few days left in December, and a handful of dates in January. You will want to get in on the action this steelhead season. Call (206) 388-8988 or e-mail wildriversfishing@yahoo.com.
Nov. 30, 2013
I've wrapped up my 2013 fall salmon seasons, which overall turned out to be a disappointment. When all was said and done, there were a lot of salmon in the Chetco, but conditions were less than ideal almost the entire season, mainly because of the lack of rain. We received a major rain in late September, which apparently brought in about half of the entire run several weeks early. Instead of stacking up in the estuary, the early salmon all shot upstream, and then got held up in the deeper pools waiting for another rain. The entire month of October went by with zero rain. Then in November, we only got one significant storm. The result was low, clear water for much of the season, which made pulling plugs or back-bouncing roe extremely nearly impossible. We did catch plenty of fish, however, some trolling the estuary, some fishing roe and sand shrimp below bobbers, and some drift fishing small roe clusters in the deeper slots with current. The biggest king on my boat was a 47.5 incher caught by longtime customer Bruce Beck. The nearly 50 pounder was released by Bruce. Several of my customers got a chance to fish bobbers and eggs for the first time, and we enjoyed some decent success, especially in the upper section of the Chetco between Ice Box and Nook Bar, where I am one of the few guides with a special limited entry Forest Service permit. With little pressure in that section of the river, we caught some nice kings without the crowds of the lower river. After rain in mid November, there was some decent action on plugs and divers and bait. Some of my customers got a chance to fish with Rye Phillips, who runs overflow trips for me. Rye did an exceptional job on the lower river and produced nice kings while many other guides struggled. It's not too early to book next year's bubble season as well as the upcoming steelhead season. Call (206) 388-8988 or e-mail wildriversfishing@yahoo.com.
(541) 813-1082 or (206) 388-8988
Chetco, Smith, Rogue, Umpqua, Elk, Sixes,
Coos and Coquille Rivers at their Best!
January 4, 2014
Happy New Year! For the past month, we have been waiting for significant rain, and for the past month we've received almost nothing. This week it finally appears the weather pattern is going to change. We are expecting rain on the Southern Oregon and Northern California coast from Tuesday through the weekend. Within a few days steelhead fishing should finally be in full swing on the Chetco, Smith, Elk, Sixes and Coquille rivers. For the past week, I've been running ocean charters, and the fishing has been good. We've been catching limits of lingcod and rockfish. In fact, the lingcod fishing is currently as good as it usually is in March, April and May, the peak season for lings out of Brookings. Large numbers of lings have already moved into shallow water to spawn. We've been targeting them in 50 feet of water, using lead jigs, small grubs and whole herring and anchovies. Now that rain is in the forecast, we'll switch gears back to drift boat fishing for steelhead on the Chetco and Smith rivers. For a couple weeks in December, right up to Christmas, the steelhead fishing on the Chetco was good. Despite low, clear conditions, hundreds of steelhead had stacked up in the lower river, from near the North Fork to Social Security Bar. We had about 10 days of wide open fishing, mainly because the other guides, along with the bank anglers, didn't realize there were so many fish in the river. We had it to ourselves. There were several days when we landed upwards of 20 steelhead, and hooked almost as many more. In 25 years of fishing the Chetco, I've never seen such good steelhead fishing. There also were quite a few bright kings still in the river the last two weeks of December. The steelhead are still there, but the river is now so low it's extremely difficult to fish. There just isn't much water, and the fish are spooky and difficult to trick into biting. That will change with this week's rain. Expect superb fishing for steelhead from this weekend on.
Aside from the fish in the Chetco, the Umpqua has been fishing well the last couple of weeks. Unlike most rivers, the Umpqua seems to fish best during low water conditions. It's a big river and still has plenty of water for steelhead to migrate upstream. The downside is the Umpqua has been crowded. We ran a few trips there, but returned back to Brookings to focus on lingcod and rockfish because the weather has been so nice and the ocean has been flat.
Now that we are about to get a major change in the weather, back to the normal wet pattern for this time of year, the Chetco and Smith will be the place to be. There are still some openings for the rest of January, February and March, both on my boat and the guides who run trips for me.
Also start thinking about dates if you want to fish the Rogue for springers in April, and to reserve dates for the bubble season at the mouth of the Chetco in October, as well as Coos Bay salmon this fall, and the Chetco and Smith fall salmon drift boat season. Call (206) 388-8988 or e-mail
wildriversfishing@yahoo.com.
January 10, 2014
Rain has finally arrived and the Chetco and Smith rivers both saw a good increase in flows. Both rivers are expected to begin dropping tomorrow and will be in excellent shape early this week. Fishing should be great. On Thursday and Friday, I had two boats on the Chetco and everyone limited out both days. The biggest steelhead was a 15-pounder caught by Kenny. Chuck and Val, meanwhile, caught a double on plugs on Friday en route to their limit. On Thursday, we landed a dozen steelhead. We are in the middle of an above average steelhead run on the Chetco. A few days are still available. Call (206) 388-8988 or e-mail wildriversfishing@yahoo.com.
January 21, 2014
We had a great week of steelhead fishing last week on the Chetco River. Rains brought the river to 3,500 cfs early in the week, and the fishing was solid all week. We landed several fish each day, even though the river was crowded on the lower end with both drift boats and bank anglers. Now the river is low and clear again, but there are a lot of fish around. I will be fishing the Umpqua for a few days this week, as it is in perfect shape now near Elkton. We may get another good shot of rain to begin next week, and if that's the case, look for steelhead fishing to be wide open again on the Chetco and Smith. A lot of customers last week were return customers, and they enjoyed solid fishing. A few new customers caught their first steelhead ever, which is always great to see. We also caught a few fish on plugs. Those who have fished with me before know how much I like to get at least a fish or two a day on plugs. With this year's big run of steelhead, we expecting solid acion well into March. I still have some dates open on my boat, and Rye, Mark and Randy have some openings as well, so there is still plenty of time to get in on this year's great steelhead run. Hopefully there will be more rain for the second half of the season. Dates are beginning to fill for spring salmon fishing on the lower Rogue. Call now if you want fish in April, the peak month for hatchery springers on the lower river near Gold Beach. These are hard fighting, great tasting king salmon.
Call (206) 388-8988 or e-mail
wildriversfishing@yahoo.com.
February 16, 2014
We have finally received enough rain to blow out the Chetco and Smith. In fact, pretty much every steelhead river in Oregon and Northern California has been blown out for the past few days. When the Chetco falls back into shape later this week, look for excellent steelhead catches. Fishing was good just before the rivers blew out. We received enough rain to bring flows up high enough to side drift, and found fish throughout the Smith and Chetco early last week. Before the rains, Paul LeFebvre, fishing with Bruce Beck, caught the first 20-pounder of the season from the Chetco. The 39 1/2 inch steelhead was released. Justin Hoy caught another trophy steelhead with me last week, in the mid to upper teens. I ran a few trips on the Umpqua in January before the rains and catches were good, but the river was crowded. We will continue to fish the Chetco for steelhead through March, but also spend some time chasing lingcod and rockfish out of Brookings. Call if you want to get on the ocean charter call list. Also still some springer spots left in April.
Call (206) 388-8988 or e-mail
wildriversfishing@yahoo.com.
April 9, 2014
Spring king salmon fishing is now in full swing on the lower Rogue River near Gold Beach, Oregon. We have landed numerous hatchery fish already this season, and released some dandy wild springers as well. A good tide cycle begins next week, which has us excited about what is yet to come. Conditions have been perfect the past week, and there have been a decent number of fish moving into the lower Rogue. We are anchoring from my 24-foot jet boat and running anchovies with spinner blades, or spinners. As you can see, these are chrome bright, hard fighting, great tasting fish. The ocean out of Brookings has been fishable a few days this month, but overall the offshore weather has been windy. Lingcod are being caught on the nice days, along with limits of black rockfish. Dates are starting to fill in for this fall's salmon seasons on the Chetco, Rogue, Smith, Coos, Coquille, Elk and Sixes rivers. The northern rivers (the Elk, Sixes, Coos and Coquille) all are expecting very large runs this fall. Coos Bay in September will be perhaps the best fishery on the entire West Coast. Book now if you want to get in on the action. Call (206) 388-8988 or e-mail wildriversfishing@yahoo.com.
April 1, 2014
Steelhead season is now closed on the Chetco, but remains open on the Smith and Rogue rivers. We are now focusing on spring salmon fishing on the lower Rogue River and lingcod and rockfish out of the Port of Brookings. Saltwater fishing has been excellent out of Brookings when the weather cooperates. We've found limits of lingcod and plenty of black rockfish as well. Springer season is just getting going on the Rogue. Despite somewhat poor conditions, this year's steelhead season on the Chetco was one of the best in recent memory. My customers landed hundreds of steelhead this year, with a couple topping 20 pounds.
May 15, 2014
I've wrapped up my spring salmon season on the lower Rogue River and am now in Alaska. I start trophy halibut and salmon charters the first of June. The springer season on the Rogue this year was only fair, mainly because of marginal water conditions. We had low, clear conditions for much of the run. There were good numbers of fish, but the bite was mainly first thing, or right at the head of the bay when the tide was right.
Offshore from Brookings, king salmon fishing has already picked up. Looks like a good season is in store for anglers this summer. Some halibut are being caught as well.
The fall king salmon runs in Oregon look to be very good this year. More than 1.6 million kings are expected back to the Columbia, and other rivers, including the Coos and Coquille should see strong returns this year. ODFW also is predicting above-average king runs on the Chetco and Rogue. In fact, for the first time in many years, we may be able to keep two kings a day (only one wild a day) during the bubble season at the mouth of the Chetco. We also may have an opportunity to fish for king in the Chetco above tidewater in October using bobbers and eggs. I have a few openings still for the Coos, Rogue Bay and Chetco estuary in September and October.
Book now if you want to get in on the action. Call (206) 388-8988 or e-mail
wildriversfishing@yahoo.com.
Oct. 12, 2014
We just finished the 2014 October ocean salmon season at the mouth of the Chetco, and it produced plenty of bright kings, although we didn't land any over 40 pounds (although we had two big ones on that we lost close to the boat). An angler on another boat brought in a 55-pounder. The last two days of the season were hampered by huge swells, but the first 10 days saw flat seas and almost no wind - perfect weather. As you can see from the photos, we caught a very good grade of kings. With rain now in the forecast, we are switching gears to the Chetco and Smith rivers upstream. We'll be bobber fishing on the Chetco, and running plugs and back-bouncing roe on the Smith as soon as it opens after this coming rain. I have some good dates still open with Rye, Travis and Mark (good local guides who work with me).
Book now if you want to get in on the action. Call (206) 388-8988 or e-mail
wildriversfishing@yahoo.com.
Oct. 1, 2014
I returned from Alaska in mid September and have been on the Coos for the past two weeks. Once again, the Coos River and Bay has had an exceptional fall salmon run. There were a ton of jacks this season, and plenty of adults. Most days we landed at least half a dozen kings. The ocean salmon season at the mouth of the Chetco opens today, and I'll be there for the next two weeks, then turn my attention to drift boat trips on the Chetco and Smith Rivers. We have a few dates left for the drift boat season. Book now if you want to get in on the action. Call (206) 388-8988 or e-mail wildriversfishing@yahoo.com.