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Home arrow Opinion arrow Fishing Report for December 7, 2012


Fishing Report for December 7, 2012


Weekend fishing opportunities

Fishing for summer steelhead is now good on the John Day River.

Two-salt steelhead (larger fish) are making up the majority of the run on the Grande Ronde River.

Approximately 150 trophy-sized rainbow trout have been stocked into Luger Springs Pond for fall fishing.

GRANDE RONDE RIVER: steelhead, trout, whitefish, bass

Angler reports indicate good fishing and improving catch rates around 4.5 hours per fish and catch is split between hatchery and wild fish. Anglers are finding success from Wildcat Creek to the Washington state line. 

A recent pulse of water will have encouraged fish up from Snake and lower river. 

Steelhead are taking diverse gear including various baits, jigs, spinners and swung flies. Nymphing small flies such as glo-bugs and prince nymphs under an indicator can also be a deadly method. With low water temperatures, fish are being found in slow runs and tail outs. 

Steelhead numbers are down this year but angling pressure is too, which leaves plenty of room to find fish. This year’s run consists of a higher percentage of two-salt fish and anglers are catching fair numbers of fish ranging from 27 to 31 inches. Bull trout are present in the system and anglers are required to release them unharmed.

IMNAHA RIVER: steelhead, trout, whitefish

Steelhead are in the system and anglers have had some success this fall. Angling will improve into spring as more fish move into the system. A recent pulse of water will have encouraged fish up from the Snake and fishing should continue to improve. Steelhead are taking a variety of gear from various baits under a float or bounced on the bottom to swung flies. Nymphing small flies including glo-bugs and prince nymphs can be an effective method as well. 

This year’s run of fish is made up of a larger number of two-salt fish (larger fish) which may offer a better workout for your drag. 

Angling for whitefish remains open throughout the steelhead season below the mouth of Big Sheep Creek.

Look for whitefish in deeper runs and holes, and target them using beaded nymphs.

Bull trout are present this time of year and anglers are reminded to handle bull trout carefully and immediately release them.

JOHN DAY RIVER: steelhead

Flows have stabilized near 400 cubic feet per second allowing shallow draft boat navigation.

Steelhead have entered the lower John Day River in good numbers and are being caught up to Cottonwood Bridge. Most are wild and must be released without removing them from the water. Steelhead are being caught on flies, jigs, bait and spinning lures.


Approximately 150 trophy-sized rainbow trout have been stocked into Luger Springs Pond for a great fall fishing opportunity.

MORGAN LAKE: trout, bullhead, bass

Closed to fishing Oct. 31.

OLIVE LAKE: rainbow and kokanee

Fishing is fair for rainbow trout but all large kokanee have spawned and died for this year. The lake should remain unfrozen for at least a few more weeks.

PEACH POND (Ladd Marsh): rainbow trout

The pond was stocked with legal-sized rainbow trout in late September providing a fall fishing opportunity. A parking permit is required to be on the Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area.

ROULET POND: rainbow trout

The pond was stocked with legal-sized rainbow trout in late September providing a fall fishing opportunity.

WALLOWA LAKE: rainbow trout, kokanee, lake trout

There may be some stocked rainbows available near the north and south ends of the lake. These fish can be found on a variety of gear types, and provide some late-season opportunity. For the hearty fisherman, kokanee can be caught at the south end of the lake by jigging deep and can produce if the lake freezes. Boat launching, however, may prove difficult after docks have been removed from the lake.

 WALLOWA RIVER: steelhead, trout, whitefish

Steelhead will move into the Wallowa River as winter progresses and catch rates will improve through spring.

Anglers have found a few early fish above and below Minam and fishing should begin to improve through the first of the year. 

Angling for whitefish remains open with the steelhead season and will produce throughout the winter. Anglers can target whitefish using light tackle, and fly anglers can find success using beaded nymphs in runs and pools.

Snake River Zone

BROWNLEE RESERVOIR: crappie, bass, perch, catfish, bluegill, trout

Current water level is at 2,061 feet. A few bluegill and small crappie are being caught in deeper water. Call the Idaho Power Co. recording at 1-800-422-3143 to get information on access at recreational sites or visit http://www.idahopower.com/OurEnvironment/WaterInformation/Reservoir/.

OXBOW RESERVOIR: trout, crappie, bass, catfish

Trout should be accessible, especially at creek mouths. Additional fingerling steelhead are being stocked for future fishing opportunity. Fishing remains fair for catfish.

HELLS CANYON RESERVOIR: trout, crappie, bass, catfish

Trout should be accessible, especially at creek mouths. Approximately 580 surplus steelhead have been stocked in Hells Canyon reservoir. These fish are considered trout and only one over 20 inches may be taken per day, with two daily limits in possession.

SNAKE RIVER below HELLS CANYON RESERVOIR: trout, salmon, sturgeon

Fall chinook fishing below Hells Canyon dam is closed as of Oct. 31. Steelhead fishing is improving below the dam, and anglers are reporting catch rates around seven hours per fish caught. Water conditions are conducive to catching fish with temps and clarity looking good. Steelhead anglers are reminded that barbless hooks are required. Anglers are also reminded that, new for 2012, only adipose-clipped trout may be kept in the Snake River.

Idaho Power has imposed restrictions on access to the Oregon side of Hells Canyon dam to conduct maintenance on the dam. Anglers should be aware of the closure schedule through Dec. 12: The dam is closed from 8 a.m. to noon, open from noon to 1 p.m., and closed again from 1 p.m. until sunset.

SNAKE RIVER (above Brownlee Reservoir): channel catfish, flathead catfish, smallmouth bass

Fishing is slow. Boaters should continue to use caution on the Snake River. Debris remains in the river.



Weekend fishing opportunities

Haines and North Powder ponds have been stocked with rainbows for a fall fishing

ANTHONY LAKE: hatchery rainbow trout, brook trout

The lake is iced over.

HAINES POND: rainbow

The pond was stocked with legal rainbow trout the week of Sept. 20, providing a fall fishing opportunity.

HWY 203 POND: trout, bass, bluegill

Fishing is fair.

NORTH POWDER POND: rainbow trout, bluegill

The pond was stocked with legal-sized rainbow trout in late September providing a fall fishing opportunity.


The water level is at 38 percent full. Fishing for 8 to 14-inch rainbows is fair. 

 PILCHER RESERVOIR: trout, crappie

Closed for the winter.

POWDER RIVER: trout, spring chinook

Catch-and-release for trout is allowed using flies and lures only from Hughes Lane Bridge in Baker City, upstream to Mason Dam. The remaining portions of the Powder River are closed.


The reservoir is slowly filling but the boat ramp is not in the water yet.

UNITY RESERVOIR: trout, bass, crappie

Water level is very low and folks are catching a few trout. The harvest of bass from Unity Reservoir is prohibited through Dec. 31. This rule is needed to protect bass planted in Unity Reservoir for the purpose of providing a trophy fishery. Low water conditions that currently exist make these rule modifications necessary to protect all year classes of bass found in this reservoir.

WOLF CREEK RESERVOIR: crappie, trout

The concrete ramp is out of the water, so only very small rafts and float tubes are launchable. No recent fishing report but trout fishing should be good.


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