In these reports we will be including what general knowledge of catches that I have acquired and what ODFW is reporting for the week. It does take a couple of days to update the website so I will be sure to include dates of catches that I hear about. For a day to day report remember you can follow us on Twitter the address is @chinookbend. This option will give you a up to date report.
The Siletz River offers anglers the opportunity to fish for steelhead year-round. The Siletz has both summer and winter steelhead native runs as well as summer and winter steelhead hatchery programs. Anglers are reminded that only hatchery fish can be retained.
Winter steelhead begin arriving in late November with a peak in January-March. The winter steelhead hatchery program in the Siletz Basin utilizes a wild broodstock and can provide excellent fishing throughout the season. This program has a target release of 50,000 steelhead smolts each spring from the Palmer Creek acclimation facility located across from Moonshine Park.
During peak season drift boat fishing can be very productive but many sections of the river can be busy during favorable flow conditions. Popular techniques used from a drift boat include side drifting, pulling plugs or drifting a bobber and jig. Bank fishing can also be very good in the upper river around Moonshine Park. Effective bank fishing techniques are flow dependent but include swinging spinners and spoons across riffles, drifting a bobber and bait or jig, plunking, and bouncing a corky and bait along the bottom.
The Siletz River also has a native summer steelhead run, the only one in the Oregon Coast Range.
Fishing upstream of the park does require access through the Siletz Gorge Road -- a private logging road open to public vehicle traffic only on the weekends. Bank anglers also plunk with stationary gear in the lower river, especially when river conditions are high with poor visibility. A portion of hatchery fish returning to ODFW fish traps are also recycled to provide additional fishing opportunities. These fish are tagged with a small colored tag near the dorsal fin. Anglers are encouraged to report these tagged recycled fish so that the benefit of the recycling program can be assessed.
A hatchery summer steelhead program with a target smolt release of up to 80,000 fish each spring offers anglers an excellent opportunity to harvest fresh steelhead by early summer. Summer steelhead start arriving in May with a peak in mid-July. A second push of summers arrive with the first fall rains. Most summer steelhead fishing is from the bank starting around Moonshine Park on up to the deadline below Siletz Falls. During the summer flows, fly fishing the gorge area can be very productive by swinging flies across riffles in the early mornings. Other techniques such as casting lures or using a bobber and bait/jig can also produce good results.
Drift Creek-Siletz (located just south of Lincoln City) offers anglers good catch-and-release wild steelhead fishing with the occasional stray hatchery steelhead. A large portion of the fishable river is located within the Siuslaw National Forest with several good hike-in opportunities.