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Home arrow Opinion arrow Fishing Report for October 19, 2012


Fishing Report for October 19, 2012


Weekend fishing

Fishing for smallmouth bass and channel catfish is good on the John Day.

Steelhead fishing is starting to pick up on the Grande Ronde River; trout fishing also has improved with the onset of cooler temperatures.

Peach (Ladd Marsh) and Roulet Ponds have been stocked with rainbows for a fall fishing opportunity.

Rain and cooler temperatures have increased steelhead and salmon numbers moving up the Umatilla River.

Cooler mornings have revitalized the trout fishing on the Wallowa River.

GRANDE RONDE RIVER: steelhead, trout, whitefish, bass

Steelhead fishing on the Grande Ronde River is


slowly picking up, anglers are reporting catch rates around 14 hours per fish caught. Catch is balanced between hatchery and wild fish. The river remains close to base flows, so we expect fishing to improve with a bump in flow. 

Those steelhead in the Grande Ronde are active, and taking a diverse amount of gear including shrimp and swung flies.

Now is also the time to skate dry flies and fish spinners. Cooler weather is also bringing the trout bite back, and anglers are catching several nice trout in the lower Grande Ronde. 

Warm days and low flows continue to produce a good smallmouth bass bite as well.  Bass can be caught on light spinners and jigs tipped with rubber grub tails. 

Fly fisherman can have banner days targeting bass on woolly buggers, other small streamers, and surface poppers.

IMNAHA RIVER: steelhead, trout, whitefish

Fishing is fair for trout, and good for mountain whitefish. Look for whitefish in deeper runs and holes, and target them using beaded nymphs. Bull trout are also present this time of year, and anglers are reminded to handle these fish carefully and immediately release them. Steelhead season also opened in the Imnaha River on Sept. 1, and some fish will pull into the Imnaha with cooler weather and increased flows.

MORGAN LAKE: trout, bullheads, bass

Morgan Lake has been stocked with 400 trophy rainbow trout for additional opportunity through Oct. 31.

OLIVE LAKE: rainbow and kokanee

Fishing is good for rainbow trout. It is also good for kokanee congregating near the inlet to spawn.

PEACH POND (Ladd Marsh): rainbow trout

The pond was stocked with legal rainbow trout the week of Sept. 20, providing a fall fishing opportunity. As of Jan. 1, a parking permit is required to be on the Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area.

ROULET POND: rainbow trout

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

JOHN DAY RIVER: smallmouth bass and channel catfish

Smallmouth bass and channel catfish fishing is good. Flows remain too low for driftboats. No steelhead have entered the lower John Day river due to the extremely low flows. Trout fishing is available on the North and Middle Forks of the John Day River and tributaries until the upper river closes on Oct. 31.


Access is limited to walk-in only. Fishing is good for rainbow trout. The lake has been stocked with legal and trophy-sized fish.

WALLOWA LAKE: rainbow trout, kokanee, lake trout

Kokanee are still spawning in the river delta and near campgrounds, and provide a unique and amazing viewing opportunity. Please don’t disturb spawning fish, and keep dogs on a leash. Anglers are also reminded the Wallowa River above the lake closed to fishing Aug. 31. 

Stocked rainbows near the north and south ends of the lake can be found on a variety of gear types, and provide a great day of fishing for the entire family.

 WALLOWA RIVER: steelhead, trout

October is a great month to fish the Wallowa River for trout and whitefish. Flows still remain low, but fishing for trout and whitefish remains good especially in the morning or evening hours. 

Anglers can target trout and whitefish using a variety of light tackle, and fly anglers can find success using a variety of nymphs and dry flies. 

Whitefish can be consistently caught with beaded nymphs in runs and pools. Anglers should also be on the lookout for early caddis hatches. Steelhead season opened Sept. 1, although few steelhead are caught during these early fall months.



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

Current water level is at 2,048 feet.The only ramps that are useable are Hewitt Park and Woodhead. Fishing for smallmouth bass was very good but has slowed some.  Channel cats are being picked up at the mouth of the Powder River Arm in shallow water. Perch are spotty but can be caught on worms or cutbait on the bottom in 20’ of water.   Crappie fishing is still poor.  Call the Idaho Power Co. recording at 1-800-422-3143 to get information on access at recreational sites.

OXBOW RESERVOIR: trout, crappie, bass, catfish

Fishing remains fair for smallmouth bass and channel catfish, but slow for crappie.  

HELLS CANYON RESERVOIR: trout, crappie, bass, catfish

Fishing remains fair for smallmouth bass and channel catfish, but slow for crappie.

The Idaho Power Co. has announced temporary road closures across Hells
Canyon Dam in October and November.

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

A few fall chinook are now being caught near Hells Canyon dam, although the best catch rates remain near the Oregon/Washington border. Steelhead season is currently open, and anglers are starting to find fish above the Salmon River confluence. Fishing also remains good for smallmouth bass. Anglers are also reminded that new for 2012, only adipose-clipped trout may be kept in the Snake River.

Idaho Power will be restricting access to the Oregon side of Hells Canyon dam starting on Oct. 8 to conduct maintence on the dam. Anglers should be aware of the closure schedule below:

• Oct. 18-Nov. 9 — no access restrictions

• Nov. 10-Dec. 12 — same schedule as above for Oct 8-17, except for Thanksgiving and the Friday following.

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

Fishing for catfish is fair to good. Angling for smallmouth is fair due to weed growth in the river. Flows at the Nyssa gauge averaged 9,298 cubic feet per second and flows at the Weiser gauge averaged 11,584 cubic feet per second (Oct. 14).  Water temperature of the Snake River near Weiser continues to cool; it was 59˚F on Oct. 14. Boaters should continue to use caution on the Snake River. Debris remains in the river.



ANTHONY LAKE: hatchery rainbow trout, brook trout

The lake has been stocked with trophy-sized rainbow trout. Fishing is good. From the bank try PowerBait along shoreline where water is deeper or try trolling spinners from a boat.

EAGLE CREEK: hatchery rainbow trout, brook trout

Eagle Creek has been stocked with legal-sized rainbow trout. Fishing is fair.

FISH LAKE (Wallowa Mountains): rainbow trout, brook trout

The lake has been stocked with legal and trophy-sized rainbow trout. Water is very low.

HAINES POND: rainbow

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

NORTH POWDER POND: rainbow trout, bluegill

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


The water level is at 38 percent full. Fishing for 8 to 14-inch rainbows was good earlier in the summer. 

 PILCHER RESERVOIR: trout, crappie

The low water boat ramp is still operable. Trout fishing and bullhead fishing is good.

POWDER RIVER: trout, spring chinook

The section below Mason Dam has been stocked with legal rainbows and the fishing is good. This is a good opportunity for mid-summer trout fishing as water released out of Phillips Reservoir is cold.


The reservoir has been completely drained.

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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