Salmon, steelhead and smallmouth bass offer world-class fishing here year-round. Rainbow trout are stocked in the upper Rogue and in lakes nestled in settings as varied as fir forest and wind-swept dune. Big reservoirs provide fishing for trout and for thriving populations of largemouth bass, catfish, perch and crappie. Coastal bays serve as gateways to rich offshore reef fisheries, and miles of public beach welcome anglers to fish for surfperch against a backdrop of rugged capes.
Part 1: Easy Angling Oregon - An Introduction
Part 2: Easy Angling Oregon - Northwest Zone
Part 3: Easy Angling Oregon - Southwest Zone (you are here)
Part 4: Easy Angling Oregon - Willamette Zone
Part 5: Easy Angling Oregon - Central Zone
Part 6: Easy Angling Oregon - Southeast Zone
Part 7: Easy Angling Oregon - Northeast Zone
Often called the Jewel of the Cascades, Diamond Lake has outstanding fishing in a spectacular setting.
Stocked regularly with rainbow trout, which can grow big and fat. Open for fishing year-round with some of the best fishing in April and May.
Trolling with a variety of spinners and lures – such as Rooster Tails, crocodiles and super dupers – is effective. When anchored near Silent Creek or Lake Creek, use flies (woolly-buggers, black ants) or PowerBait.
The best boat fishing is on the south end of the lake near Silent Creek and on the north end in deep water areas. There is good bank fishing near the resort, near Lake Creek, and throughout the US Forest Service campgrounds.
Diamond Lake Resort
To reach Diamond Lake, follow Hwy 138 east from Roseburg or west from Hwy 97. Turnoffs to the lake are well-signed and easy to find.
A beautiful 160-acre reservoir nestled within a Douglas-fir forest. There’s plenty of good bank access thanks to an easy trail that encircles the lake.
Stocked regularly with rainbow trout from March to May and again in August. Also known for large bass and panfish. Crappie are plentiful in the arms of the lake in spring and early summer.
Fish in Cooper Creek show high mercury levels. Before keeping and consuming fish, anglers should consult the Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations for consumption recommendations.
All standard lake-fishing techniques for trout and warmwater species can be effective.
Cooper Creek County (Douglas) Park:
From Sutherlin go east on Nonpareil Rd for 1.5 miles, turn right on Southside Rd. for two miles to boat ramp at west end of lake. Turn left on Cooper Creek Rd. for 1.4 miles to eastern boat ramp.
Nestled in a beautiful forested setting, the Loon Lake offers good trout fishing in the spring and early summer as well as many other recreational activities such as swimming, water skiing, boating and camping.
Rainbow trout, stocked from March through June, native cutthroat trout, largemouth bass.
All lake fishing techniques can be successful here. Easily fished from a boat, which can be rented at the Lodge.
Loon Lake Lodge and RV Park
BLM Loon Lake Recreation Site
From Reedsport take Hwy 38 west to County Rd 3 (Loon Lake Rd.). Take County Rd. 3 for 6 miles south to Loon Lake.
At the confluence of the North and South Umpqua rivers, this county park on the outskirts of Roseburg offers bank access to a half-mile of excellent water for year-round fishing.
Chinook salmon, summer and winter steelhead, smallmouth bass.
Try casting large spinners for steelhead and salmon. Small spinners or rubber worms off the bottom can work for smallmouth bass.
River Forks County (Douglas) Park
From Roseburg, travel 3 miles west on Garden Valley Blvd. Turn left on Old Garden Valley Rd. for 2 miles then left on River Forks Park Rd.
This county park on the famed North Umpqua offers a mile of good bank fishing for Chinook salmon and steelhead.
Spring Chinook, summer steelhead.
Fish for summer steelhead in July and August and then again in October and November (water temperatures peak in September and fishing usually slows). A simple technique is to cast and retrieve a size 4 spinner through riffles, tailouts and pools. Peak fishing for spring Chinook is May, June and July. You’ll want some heavier gear to throw large spinners.
Whistler’s Bend County (Douglas) Park
15 miles east of Roseburg off Hwy 138.
The 1,858-acre Kenneth Denman Wildlife Management Area is in the heart of the Rogue Valley. Several permanent ponds in the area offer excellent fishing for warmwater species. A map showing the location of all ponds on the Denman Wildlife Area is available at the office. A permit is required to park on the wildlife area.
Largemouth bass, bluegill, black crappie, brown bullhead and common carp
All lake-fishing techniques can be effective. Largemouth bass will strike surface or shallow running lures fished around cover as the water warms in the spring.
Electric motors only.
From I-5 take exit 30 and head north towards White City on Hwy 62. Continue approximately 5 miles north and turn left on Agate Rd. Head north on Agate Rd. for one block and turn left (west) on East Gregory Rd. Continue on East Gregory Rd. approximately 1/2 mile until road makes a sharp left corner. The access to Whetstone Pond is located to the right. For the entrance to Denman Wildlife Area-Rogue District Office, continue straight (do not make sharp left corner) at 1495 East Gregory Rd., Central Point.
Howard Prairie and Hyatt Reservoirs are high elevation lakes near the urban centers of the Rogue Valley and Klamath Falls. Both offer excellent views of Mt. McLoughlin and offer good bank fishing access at the campgrounds.
White pelicans and sandhill crane sightings are common at both lakes.
Both lakes are stocked with rainbow trout, but anglers also can catch warmwater species such as panfish, bass and bullhead catfish.
All lake-fishing techniques for trout and bass will work here.
Howard Prairie Jackson County Parks: Willow Point
Howard Prairie Resort
Hyatt BLM campgrounds: Hyatt Lake
Travel east on Hwy 66 out of Ashland. Turn left on Dead Indian Memorial Rd., follow the signs to mountain lakes. After approximately 17 miles turn right on Hyatt Prairie Rd. Howard Prairie is the first reservoir; Hyatt is a few miles down the road.
Selmac Lake is the largest standing waterbody in Josephine County. Lots of good bank access makes it an excellent place for families with kids.
Heavily stocked with catchable rainbow trout from February through May. Excellent fishing for warmwater species is available summer through the fall. Produces trophy-sized largemouth bass.
All lake-fishing techniques can be effective here. Look for largemouth bass around the stumps and overhanging brush. Black crappie and bluegill can be fished for from the pier and from several dikes located around the lake. Don’t cast too far into the lake; many fish are available close to shore.
Josephine County Park (several locations around lake)
Lake Selmac Resort
From Grants Pass, follow Hwy 199 southwest about 18 miles. South of Selma, turn east on Lakeshore Dr., which reaches Selmac Lake in about 4 miles.
Located near the summit of Hwy 140 between Medford and Klamath Falls, this high elevation lake offers good trout fishing with views of Mt. McLoughlin and Brown Mountain. Fish Lake is open year round, although ice is typically not thick enough for ice fishing until January. In winter a valid Sno-Park permit between is required between Nov. 1 and April 30.
Stocked with rainbow trout from April through July with trophy-sized trout released in September. Brook trout, spring Chinook salmon and tiger trout are also available.
There is good bank fishing access between the resort and Doe Point campground, and boat rentals are available at the resort.
PowerBait is a popular choice for many anglers. Bank anglers can also troll flatfish, wedding ring and worm combinations, or flashers and bait. A single streamer, such as a spruce fly, can be effective when the water is clear. Fall can be a great time to cast flies from a float tube.
Fish Lake Resort
From I-5 take exit 30 (Crater Lake Hwy) go north to Rt. 140, turn right. Go 30 miles then turn right at Fish Lake sign.
Illegally introduced tui chub and fathead minnows have dominated the ecology of Fish Lake for years. However, spring chinook salmon and, most recently, tiger trout are being stocked to feed on the exotic minnows and grow large enough to offer a quality fishing opportunity. Tiger trout must be released unharmed.
This large reservoir just 5 miles from Ashland offers swimming, fishing, boating, picnicking and camping. Anglers might also encounter local rowing clubs that practice at the lake.
Stocked with trout in cooler months and warmwater fish (bass, crappie and yellow perch) are available year-round.
All lake-fishing techniques can be effective here. Trout fishing is best in spring and fall; try the Emigrant Creek inlet and around the county park. In spring, fish the flooded willows in the Emigrant and Hill Creek arms for black crappie and largemouth bass. The dam face and dike structures can also be productive. Rocky shorelines can be good places to target smallmouth bass in the spring and early summer.
Emigrant Lake County (Jackson) Park
From Ashland, follow Hwy 66 directly to the lake, about 5 miles
Fish, other than trout, in Emigrant Lake show high mercury levels. Before keeping and consuming fish, anglers should consult the Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations for consumption recommendations.
The Rogue River above Lost Creek Reservoir is stocked with rainbow trout weekly between Memorial Day and Labor Day. High in the Cascade Mountains, this is a great place to escape the summer heat of the Rogue Valley on a swift flowing, cascading stream with crystal clear water.
Stocked rainbow trout in the mainstem Rogue; naturally reproducing brook, rainbow, brown and some cutthroat trout in the tributaries.
Focus on campgrounds and other public access sites where trout are stocked. Use light gear to fish with night crawlers, salmon eggs, small spinners or flies.
Natural Bridge, Union Creek, Farewell Bend, River Bridge
Follow Hwy 62 north out of Medford past Lost Creek Lake. Above the lake Hwy 62 parallels the river with access a several campgrounds and pullouts.
This large scenic reservoir 45 minutes north of Medford is a good family vacation spot with fishing, boating, hiking, biking and swimming. Lots of bank fishing at several campgrounds and picnic areas. Trout fishing remains very good into the fall and winter at this reservoir.
Rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, brown bullhead, bluegill, black crappie, some brown trout and cutthroat trout. Spring Chinook salmon are also stocked in this reservoir to enhance the trout fishery. They count as part of your trout bag limit.
Trout anglers fishing from the bank use either floating bait (like PowerBait) or worms. Boat anglers use a wide variety of techniques, often trolling wedding ring and night crawler combinations behind a weight. Fly anglers can catch fish both trolling and casting.
Joseph H. Stewart State Recreation Area
Takelma County (Jackson) Park
Lost Creek Marina
Take Hwy 62 north out of Medford.
North and South Tenmile lakes combine to create one of the premier largemouth bass fisheries in the state. Miles of intricate shoreline and shallow bays offer plenty of places to explore. The two lakes are connected by a canal.
Stocked with catchable rainbow trout from March to early June. Excellent fishing for warmwater species, including largemouth bass that can reach up to 8 pounds.
Standard lake-fishing techniques will work here. Best fishing is in the late spring/early summer before heavy weed growth develops. The fishing dock at the County Park offers lots of action for kids fishing schools of small bluegill and yellow perch. To catch holdover trout, boaters troll spinners or spoons tipped with night crawler on a leader behind an attraction flasher. Anglers can also cast to rising trout when an insect hatch is on.
Tenmile Lakes County (Coos) Park
Other services available in Lakeside.
Located just east of Hwy 101 approximately 8 miles north of Coos Bay/North Bend.
Saunders Lake is an easily-accessed, pleasant place to take the family, have a picnic, and fish for trout and warmwater species.
Stocked with rainbow trout from March through early June, and again in fall. Largemouth bass and bluegill also are available.
Standard lake-fishing techniques will work here. Target bluegill with a crappie jig tipped with a tiny piece of night crawler, under the smallest bobber you can find. To catch trout, boaters troll spinners or spoons tipped with night crawler on a leader behind an attraction flasher to catch trout. Anglers can cast to rising trout when an insect hatch is on.
Jack Ripper County (Coos) Park and Boat Ramp
On the west side of Hwy 101, approximately five miles north of North Bend.
The Empire Lakes (lower and middle lakes), within the city limits of Coos Bay, offer great fishing without even leaving town. An extensive forested trail system around and between the lakes will help you forget you’re in the middle of the city.
Rainbow trout are stocked regularly from March to early June. Bluegill and yellow perch also available.
In the late springtime, small bluegill and yellow perch can keep young anglers busy. Try fishing a tiny crappie jig tipped with a piece of night crawler, under the smallest bobber you can find. Good lakes for small, “cartop” boats, kayaks, canoes and pontoon boats -- electric motors only. Boaters troll spinners or spoons, or fly cast to rising trout.
John Topits City Park
From Hwy 101 through North Bend and Coos Bay, take Newmark Ave. west 1.5 miles. The middle lake entrance to John Topits Park is a few blocks past the entrance for Southwestern Oregon Community College. Stay on Newmark Ave. another ¼ mile to the lower lake entrance.
Located right next to the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, the best access to this small lake north of Coos Bay is through Coos County’s Riley Ranch Park.
Stocked regularly with rainbow trout; largemouth bass also are available. Anglers at Butterfield Lake might also hook into a warmouth – an unusual fish that looks like crappie with a bass head. Anglers report the warmouth can be quite “scrappy” on the end of a fishing line.
Standard lake-fishing techniques for trout and bass can be effective. Good lake for canoes, kayaks and “cartop” boats that can be launched by hand. Restricted to electric motors only.
Riley Ranch Park
Located just west of Hwy 101 six miles north of Coos Bay/ North Bend.
A unique opportunity to bank fish for Chinook salmon in downtown Coos Bay. Students from Blossom Gulch Elementary School raise and release young Chinook smolts into Blossom Gulch that flows under the streets of Coos Bay. Adult salmon returning to the Gulch congregate at the tidegate where the piped stream flows into the bay.
Fall Chinook salmon, late August through October. An occasional passing coho salmon, headed further up the bay.
Use large bobbers with bait (salmon roe clusters and/or sand shrimp) or cast large spinners to catch these fish. You’ll need a large dipnet to land them.
Downtown restaurants, shops, motels and grocery stores are nearby. The Coos Bay Area Visitor’s Center is across the street from the Boardwalk, and has public restrooms.
The Boardwalk is in downtown Coos Bay, at the foot of Anderson and Central Avenues, next to the northbound lane of Hwy 101.
Located approximately 15 miles north of Gold Beach at Arizona State Recreation Area, Arizona Pond is managed by Oregon State Parks and is open to anglers 17-years-old and younger.
Stocked with rainbow trout in the spring and early summer. Open to fishing year-around, but the pond is lowered in the fall to help control aquatic vegetation.
Standard lake-fishing techniques will work here. The pond is small with good bank access. The most successful anglers move around trying several spots until they find the fish.
Arizona Beach State Recreation Area
From Gold Beach, drive 15 miles north on Hwy 101 to Arizona State Park Recreation Area. From Port Orford, drive approximately 15 miles south on Hwy 101.
This scenic lake located in the town of Port Orford offers good boat fishing with some bank fishing in the spring.
Rainbow trout are stocked in the spring and fall with large carry over fish in early spring. Cutthroat trout and largemouth bass also are available.
Standard lake-fishing techniques will work here. Best fishing is in the spring to early summer and fall/winter when aquatic vegetation is not as thick. Boat fishing is usually the best, but bank anglers can do pretty well in the spring before the aquatic vegetation gets bad. Good bank access at Tseriadum State Recreation Area.
12th Street Access
Tseridaum State Recreation Area
In the town of Port Orford turn west on 12th St. and drive approximately 1 mile to the lake.
Header photo by Kathy Munsel
If you’re just getting started fishing, or you want to try a new kind of fishing, you’ll need a rod,...
Known for its high desert climate, sage-covered canyons, glacial peaks and mountain lakes, this zone is defined by the reach...