Aug 7, 2012

Fishing Report - Columbia River Gorge and Beyond

Report for August 7th, 2012
Theresa Medici at home on her favorite Columbia River Trib

Since the advent of the new current management system up at Round-Butte Dam, water temps in the Deschutes have been high in July, with daytime highs pushing up over 70 degrees. These temps are pretty unhealthy for both trout and steelhead. The powers that be, the folks in the know, have stated that these are the traditional temps for the river for this time of year, which they are trying to mimic by blending top water spill over the dam with a bottom release. August is the month that we should see temps starting to drop in the river, but this has not happened. If anything, temps have been on the incline over the past week with temps peaking at 72 degrees at Moody yesterday evening and a starting temp of 65 degrees this morning. But hey, these folks know what they’re doing, we hope, so all we can do is get up early, fish until the mercury reads 68 and hope for better days ahead.

That said, the dry line bite has been fair and at times, great, in the lower 12 miles of the river. One of the benefits of fishing this time of year, is not only the chance to leave the waders at home, but the agile nature of these early steelhead. They are wound pretty tight so to say. They’ll travel to take a fly and they’ll travel, often furiously, once you pin one in the mouth. It’s tough to beat the Deschutes in the early morning shade. The sun comes fast this time of year and when she does try switching over to a type 6 sink tip or 10-12 feet of T-11 (medium MOW). If there are gear anglers around, try to pay careful attention to what they are using and their level of success. They can be a pretty good indicator of the amount of fish around. Some days, flash wins out, so if they are banging fish on spinners, tie on the flashiest fly you have in your box and give it a whirl.

The Klickitat is behaving pretty typical for this time of year. There’s a bunch of steelhead in her, but whether or not the river has enough visibility to fish, is more the question. When she is clay color, your time is best spent elsewhere. Look for the green tint. If you’re up high looking at the river, find a rock and see how deep into the river the outline of the rock goes. Visibility between 3 – 5 feet is really nice, but even if you only have a foot to 2 feet, fish on. Flies stand out a lot better when looking up from below than from above. When there is a lot of color in the water, you’d be surprised to know how close to you these fish really are. You can find them in a foot of water. Don’t overcast into the brunt of the current. Furthermore, make sure you fish tailouts completely – all the way to the lip of the riffle where the river is shallow, yet possibly soft or has obvious signs of boulders.

The trout in the area are keying on various bugs depending on where you’re at. On the Deschutes, it’s mainly Caddis and their look a likes, the Aquatic Moth. For dry fly activity, it’s all about the shade right now. As the sun begins to rise, chase those shade lines around under overhanging vegetation. If you are planning to fish the latter half of the day, it’s best to stay until dark for the biggest flurry of surface activity. Having different colors of Elk Hair Caddis in sizes 14-18 should pretty well cover you. If they are on the moths, dig out a cream colored Elk hair. If they are not on the dries and there are no shadows around, these fish are likely in the faster current seams and slots. Dig out your nymphs and drop em down into the cooler, well-oxygenated areas of the river.

On the area lakes, pay careful attention to any rise forms on the surface. This time of year, be thinking Calibaeitis Mayfly adults and spinners, Caddis Flies – both adult and spent, Midge clusters, Flying Ants and Beatles. If nothings doing on top, try getting deep with some leech patterns or try a slow, creep retrieve with some nymphs. Also, fishing midge patterns suspended under an indicator can be particularly effective depending on the day. The key is to be flexible. You can’t really force feed them.

The Bass bite on the Columbia has been somewhat tough lately, however, I did manage to hook a handful last week on a rust-colored Clauser Minnow. All fish came to the fly in depths ranging from 3 – 8 feet after getting some sink and starting a fairly aggressive strip retrieve. In case you missed it, hit Good Morning Columbia River Bass for a somewhat meandering post about our day.

Have a good time,

1 comment :

  1. I wanna know where SHE'S fishing!


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