Best Fishing in August | Oregon

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Northwest Zone

Salmon

The earliest arriving fall Chinook should be available in several bays, with the Alsea, Nehalem and Siuslaw among top choices for early catches.

Big Creek on the lower Columbia River can be very good for Chinook in August (and closes during September).

Trout

Lake and pond stocking is over, but searun cutthroat trout are in tidewater areas and perhaps working their way back into coastal streams. Bait is restricted in some rivers, but small spinners and flies are effective as well.

Steelhead

Summer steelhead fishing tends to hit the doldrums in August, but you can still catch them in the Nestucca and Siletz rivers, plus a modest number in the Wilson River.

Most of the summer-run fish will be high in the systems, looking for cooler water. Fishing very early or late can improve your odds.

Bass and Panfish

Fish might be a little more sluggish in warm weather, but fish early and late for some very good action.

Southwest Zone

Salmon

Winchester Bay (Umpqua River) really can get hot for Chinook (plus a few coho) as August goes along.

Rogue Bay and lower Rogue River Chinook numbers also should continue to build, and the first decent numbers of Chinook also should appear in the Coos and Coquille bays.

Steelhead

Summer steelhead are well-dispersed and less inclined to bite during the dog days of summer, but the best numbers will like come from the upper Rogue River (below Lost Creek Dam), with a handful also taken on the North Umpqua River.

Trout

Trout fishing can hit a lull in hot weather in many places, but this is a great month to fish high-mountain lakes and creeks, with much of the snow gone.

At the coast, searun cutthroat trout will be available in estuaries and lower rivers.

While much lake and pond stocking is on a deep-summer break, some of the lakes and reservoirs in the Umpqua River drainage will be stocked, possibly with extra-large fish.

And find plenty of legal-sized stocked trout planted every week in the Rogue River above Lost Creek Lake.

See ODFW’s stocking schedule (linked below) for details.

Bass and Panfish

Hot summer bassing continues on the Umpqua River.

Willamette Zone

Trout

Trout stocking slows a bit in August, but fresh fish continue to be delivered to several spots, including the McKenzie River and Leaburg Lake near Springfield.

Also possibly on trout-stocking routes this month are several Clackamas River drainage areas southeast of Portland, including North Fork Reservoir and Trillium Lake.

Steelhead

Steelhead fishing in major Willamette River tributaries, plus the Sandy and Clackamas rivers near Portland, usually falls off significantly with warm, low water conditions, but catches can still be fair or even good.

Top hot-weather steelheading choices are the Middle Fork Willamette and South Santiam rivers.

Kokanee

Green Peter Reservoir kokanee might be very deep, but if you have a fish-finder, a downrigger and tackle box well-stocked with dodgers and lures, there are days you can put GP’s 25-kokanee limit to the test in August.

Central Zone

Steelhead

The best summer steelheading in the state this month is often in the cool waters of the lower reaches of the Deschutes River, just up from the much-warmer Columbia. But watch for rules that may create a no-fishing sanctuary area below Moody Rapids during the prime season, and be prepared to move upriver.

As long as the run is decent, a couple thousand fish likely will be landed in the river below Sherar’s Falls, with most of them taken in the lowest reaches.

The mouth of Herman Creek near Cascade Locks is a small but potentially productive alternative.

Trout

Near Bend, cooler waters such as Devils Lake, Walton Lake and a section of the Fall River are likely to either be stocked this month or still have fish left from July plantings.

Kokanee

Kokanee fishing can still be good, although in some spots the largest landlocked kokanee are changing for their spawning migration into tributaries.

Odell Lake is a good late-summer kokanee fishery because the plentiful fish here tend to hold off on spawning until fall.

Southeast Zone

Trout

The lower Williamson River has some of the western United States’ largest native rainbow trout, which come up from Upper Klamath Lake during the summer.

Summer into early fall is a good time to go after these redbands, which occasionally top 10 pounds. The neighboring Wood River also gets big redbands, but a better option there may be casting grasshopper imitations to big brown trout.

Northeast Zone

Bass and Panfish

Both the smallmouth bass fishing and the weather will be red hot on the John Day River.

Trout

High-mountain lakes and streams are a good late-summer option for brookies and rainbows.

Snake River Zone

Bass and Panfish

Catfish angling will be good in places like Brownlee Reservoir, especially at night, but scorching daytime temperatures may make you wish you were in the water with them.

While you’re at it (if you have a two-rod license), draw some nighttime crappie close with a light hanging over the side of a boat.

Columbia River Zone

Salmon

August is the busiest month to be fishing the Buoy 10 salmon fishing area, especially during the second half of the month when the Chinook salmon run is good and coho numbers are building fast.

Above Tongue Point, the lower Columbia River also gets better and better for Chinook as the month progresses, with hot spots at the mouth of the Cowlitz River at Longview, Washington (across from Rainier, Oregon) and up at the mouth of the Lewis River.

The Buoy 10 area (up to Tongue Point) and river upstream from there are typically open for Chinook fishing from Aug. 1 into late August or early September, then again after October 1. Look for the best Chinook fishing in a couple of weeks before the first closure.

Fishing for fin-clipped coho stays open longer and usually peaks in the estuary from late August into mid-September. Coho bite far better in the estuary then upriver.

Steelhead

Summer steelhead fishing is very good in August, especially from beaches near Portland, in the Columbia River Gorge below Bonneville Dam, and in the Bonneville Pool at several tributary mouths.

Bass and Panfish

Smallmouth bass are more likely to be holding in deeper water this time of year.

Walleye fishing often starts out good in August, but it can get tougher as shad fry begin migrating and fill up the fish.

Marine Zone

Salmon

Fishing should be going strong out of Oregon ports, during good run years when angling is less restricted, and also picking up steam in several bays. See zone reports for bays.

Tuna

Albacore are typically schooling offshore, often 20 to 40 miles from just about any Oregon port.

Halibut

A handful of summer all-depth halibut fishing days are typically allowed in August. Oregon’s best halibut fishing is during precious days when deepwater halibut angling is allowed off the central coast.

Crabbing

You will still find softshell Dungeness crabs, but increasing numbers of crabs will be in ideal shape as the largest specimens recover from a summer molt and join the keeper class.

Razor clamming is closed on Clatsop County beaches north of Tillamook Head.

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Oregon Resources

ODFW trout stocking schedule
ODFW weekly recreation report and regulation updates
ODFW annual fishing regulations
National Weather Service forecasts