Pete Heley Outdoors 5 / 27 / 2015

Lots of varied outdoor opportunities for people living on or visiting the southern coast. Most of the smaller to mid-sized streams opened last Saturday (May 23rd). Our area has two wonderful streams suitable for half-day float trips using such small craft as kayaks, canoes, pontoon boats and float tubes.

The most productive regarding fish numbers is Tenmile Creek. The usual float runs from the bridge at Hilltop Drive in Lakeside, but could also start at the County Park in Lakeside. The bottom end of the float is the Old Highway 101 Bridge just upstream of where Eel Creek enters Tenmile Creek. This stream junction is always worth checking out for both bass and trout and I once caught a jack salmon on a plastic worm on August 1st while bassfishing this spot. To reach your vehicle, simply walk the railroad tracks the one mile back to your car.

The most often caught fish in Tenmile Creek are largemouth bass with much smaller numbers of yellow perch, bluegills, brown bullheads, rainbow and cutthroat trout.

The Siltcoos River can’t match Tenmile Creek for numbers of fish, but it has bigger ones and almost nobody floating the river is actually fishing. They are almost always sight-seeing or bird watching. Just because the stream is a nationally known scenic waterway, doesn’t mean it’s not worth fishing. There are cutthroat trout to three pounds, rainbows to five pounds and largemouth bass to six pounds. The river has fair numbers of yellow perch and brown bullheads. There a small population of northern pike minnows near the small dam located about three miles below the lake. Since the dam has a slide adjacent to its north edge, small craft have access to the river below the dam.

A number of Chinook salmon were caught last week by anglers trolling herring out of Winchester Bay. Most of these fish were feeder chinook, but there are undoutedly a few springers that have yet to enter the river. Once they do, warm river temperatures may keep them from biting. However, Kelly Blair landed several springers last week to nearly 30 pounds while casting spinners in Half Moon Bay.

The hottest, most consistent Umpqua River fishery is for smallmouth bass above Scottsburg. The next best fishery is for shad immediately below Sawyers Rapids and to a lesser degree near Yellow Creek. At this point in time the most popular Umpqua River fishery is for female redtailed surfperch in the two mile stretch of river immediately above Winchester Bay. Ironically, the bite from the male redtailed surfperch along area beaches seems to peak about the same time that the female perch enter the Umpqua River.
The largemouth bass haven’t finished spawning in some lakes such as Eel Lake and many of the deeper Florence-area lakes. There can be widely varying spawning cycles in the same lake, as well. A good example is Loon Lake where the bass at the lower end of the lake opposite the road spawn a couple of weeks later than they do at the lake’s upper end.

It seems that the lone orca that entered the lower Umpqua River last week revisited the river this week with some some of its pod mates. Obviously the earlier visitor, featured on Youtube.com under ‘Umpqua Orca” viewed the feeding possibilities as promising.

About Pete Heley

Writes and self-publishes Oregon and Washington fishing books.
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