May 10, 2014

Fishing Report: May 10th, 2014 (+ Special Deschutes Report)

The weather last week was the biggest factor that affected the fishing last week. It was warm, then it rained, then it was warm, then it got really, really windy, then it rained again and then it got crappy…. If the weather can stay consistent for a few days, it will really help out the fishing. 

Chris Scott of Portland with a beautiful redside from the Deschutes May 7, 2014
Hood River: The Hood has been kicking out a few Steelhead and Chinook Salmon. Same problem as always… very little access available.

The Columbia is very high and has backed up the lower runs on the Hood River, leaving a lake where the most productive water is. A shot of rain on Thursday and Friday brought the Hood up to over 2500 cfs and should bring some fish in if anglers are willing to do a little exploring and walking. It drops quick this time of year and should be low and clear again within a day or two. Typically, 1200-1800 cfs at the Tucker Park gauge is a good level.

Fishing should be fair for early summer and late winter steelhead through May. Fishing for Chinook should continue to improve as water temps rise in the Hood and more fish show up. As always, catching Spring Chinook on the fly is not an easy task. If you are ever down for breaking out the spawn sacks, casting rods and bobbers, now is the time.

Other Lower Columbia Tributaries: The Wind, Drano Lake and the Lower Klickitat: The hatchery on the Wind River saw its first couple of fish last week, the hatchery on Drano had 242 fish as of May 6, and is expecting over 13,000, so get out there. Catching has been inconsistent. I trolled some plugs around Drano Lake for three hours and didn’t even see a hook up between the 20-30 boats circling around that evening; however, several people said that fishing had been really good in the morning. (You should have been here earlier!!!)

The Klickitat has been slow, hearing about a few caught in the Pine Tree Hole, fishing should really pick up this week. Another friendly reminder that it is only open on selected days below Lyle Falls, so DO NOT fish the upper river. There have been several reports of people fishing upstream. Please read the regulations and follow the rules so that everyone has the chance to enjoy. The rest of the river (up to the Yakama Nation Boundary) opens June 1 and should have a few steelhead and springers around when it does. The bulk of the steelhead won’t show up until August or September, and the run is predicted to be good this year.

Deschutes: Reports have been good. Salmonflies all the way up to Trout Creek. Fish were on dries down low. From Buckhollow to Beavertail on Friday, a single M’s Fluttering Salmonfly was all that was needed to consistently catch fish. Golden Stones were out too, along with some PMDs, Drakes, and Caddis, depending on the weather that hour…

Fish were not quite on the big dries up high, but its about to happen any second…. A friend of mine caught a bright steelhead way up high on a Jimmy Legs last week which made for a nice surprise. Fishing should be great for the next two weeks or so, although the crowds can get bad up above Maupin.

Sam Sickles Reports from the Deschutes

CFS 4350, water temps, well let's just say if you dont' like the water in Central Oregon then wait five minutes.  Rain, Sleet, hail, gail force winds, and yes calm and sunny, that's what yesterday was like.  This was my first trip on the upper Deschutes this season.  Got to the boat ramp early, put my rods together, double checked everything, loaded my boat and was so bored I asked Johnny Law for a safety inspection so I could get my sticker.

My guys showed up about fifteen minutes early, wadered up and after a brief lisence check by John Law we were off.  Did I mention we were the only boat launching from Warm Springs, crazy, I know!  Being that I hadn't been on the day stretch this year I figure it'd be a bit before we got dialed in on what the fish were eating.  First stop, nodda, second spot nodda...see where I'm going with this?  Well not so fast!

Three sticks fishing six bugs in the water we finally got our first fish about 11:AM.  This fish was extraordinary in it's proportions and skipped my first anglers set up and then crushed angler number two's jimmy legs nymph.  This is how it went most of the day, wide open river, slow fishing and all fish coming on the big rubber legged jimmy legs.  All told I think we landed ten or twelve really nice redsides, all on the big bug.  Did not hook a single whitefish which is odd givven the small beadheads we trailed behind Jimmy all day.
Salmonfly 5-9-14 (photo credit: Andrew Perrault - Gorge Fly Shop)
Here's what I know.  The adult Salmonflies and Golden Stones are present all the way up river to Warm Springs.  The fish are not keyed in on the adults yet.  Every fish we caught ate a stone immitation and every fish was gorged beyond belief.

Golden Stone 5-9-14 (photo credit: Andrew Perrault - Gorge Fly Shop)
Here's what I think.  As soon as there are more adults around than nymphs this thing is gonna bust wide open, probably next week when it warms up again.

My guys were fishing 590 and 690 Winston B3X's, Airflow Exceed lines, Sage Click reels.  I took the leaders down to 7.5 3x for the chuck and duck we were doing, definately easier to pitch than the standard 9 footers.

On a side note the access road down to TC boat ramp is in great shape!  Next week.

Sam Sickles
Steelhead Outfitters


Fishing has been good on Laurence, Rowland, Horsethief and Kingsley Lakes. Trolling/stripping a woolly bugger or hare’s ear nymphs, or throwing a parachute adams when a callibaetis hatch goes off in the evening has been productive. Chironomid fishing should be successful on lakes.

Lost Lake was stocked on Thursday the 8th and catching has been good according to a quick call to Lost Lake Resort.

Goose Lake should be accessible within the next week or so as snow has been melting rapidly with this warmer weather. Expect good fishing when it becomes accessible.

Big Black Carpenter Ants should be flying with the first good heat of the year. Make sure you get a handful of patterns if you plan on hitting the higher elevation lakes like Lost, Laurence or Goose. Fish can go nuts on them when they are around. It’s a good option for an angler that may want to avoid the crowds on the Deschutes.

Bass fishing: Smallmouth fishing has been fair in the area although the Columbia River has been really high. Late May into Mid-June is the best time for a guy with a fly rod to catch some nice smallies from the shore of the Columbia. Reports of big smallies (is that an oxymoron?) on topwater in the John Day…. Big fish are around now, and fishing will get better. Average size will decline, but numbers will increase.

Give us a shout if you have any questions, need some fly recommendations or want more specific details about any of our local waters. 

Gorge Fly Shop Team

541 386-6977

"Fly Fish the World with Us"

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