Aug 27, 2012

Fishing Report - Columbia River Gorge and Beyond

Report For August 27th, 2012

Klickitat Color - Photo: John Garrett

Steelhead fishing is picking up steam. Finally, air and water temps have dropped to comfortable levels helping to elongate the bite through afternoon into evening on the Deschutes. Fishing swaths of shade with dry lines and traditional hair wing flies continues to rule the day, however sink-tip fishing has picked up significantly over the past week. As many of you know, these fish can be a temperamental lot. At times they just zip those mouths up and there is little you can do. Although you might have fished a particularly notorious piece of water, and you fished it well with no bumps, don’t be discouraged. Try a sink tip the next time through. Try a different fly, or simply keep moving onto the next piece of water. With all the mystery surrounding these fish – their nack of simply turning off, their travel patterns, or here one day and gone the next – one thing is certain: the more your fly is in the water the better. Keep rolling and keep fishing and eventually, sometimes when you least expect it, you will get ripped and your world will get altered. One more thing, don’t be afraid to prospect new water. Locating a fish in a new hold is always very refreshing!

The Klickitat has been kind lately. Plenty of visibility, coupled with a healthy grip of fish, has kept this river in fine shape. Long time Klick guide and GFS shop employee, John Garret, has had some good days out here recently with dry lines and light sink tips. Of course, in a river like the Klickitat where holds can be very specific, 20 years of knowledge certainly helps. But then, all it takes is one cast… This time of year as the river continues to drop many of the holds on the opposite side of the river become accessible. Keep your eyes peeled for boulders that break the current and lay at the edges of the lower third of the run. Fish will tuck up into these areas, but to fish these spots effectively, a long downstream cast is often necessary. Try to keep your fly swinging softly in these areas by kicking a big upstream mend and lifting your line up high over the main current. By elongating your drift in these areas you have a better chance of initializing a follow before your fly rips out across the current. If I have the time, I’ll fish through with a short line and then I’ll fish it long, especially if there are nice holds on the opposite bank.

John and Company

Trout on the Deschutes continue to pick off Caddis, Aquatic Moths and Crane flies but they can occasionally be taken on flying ants and beetles this time of year. As we get deeper into September and the weather becomes noticeably cooler, keep your eyes out for Blue Wing Olive Mayflies. When these start to pop, fish go nuts. In fact, all those big fish that have kept a low profile since the Salmon Fly Hatch will start to break the surface - so it’s a good idea to have a few of these patterns (Szs 18-20) handy as time goes on.

For creeks, like the East Fork of the Hood or Trout lake Creek, you should be good to go with some small hoppers, beetles flying ants, Caddis, Stimulators, and Parachute Adams Sz’s 10 – 14. If you are out on the lakes be thinking flying ants, Calibaetis, Caddis, suspended midge nymphs or stripping buggers on full-sink lines.

Have a good time,


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