May 17, 2014

Fishing Report May 17

Deschutes: It’s as good as it gets right now. Big bugs are out all the way from Warm Springs down through Mack’s Canyon. Mostly Golden Stones below Maupin and Salmonflies up higher on the river. Fishing has been consistent and some big fish have been reported. Clark’s Golden, Clark’s Stone, Henry’s Fork Salmon or Stone, Chubby Chernobyls and stimulators have been great on the surface. Jimmy Legs, prince nymphs and trout retrievers have been good subsurface flies. Nymphing or a dry/dropper will produce more fish than going with all surface presentations, but many of us would prefer to catch a few less fish on the surface than put on a nymph when avoidable. Look for the fishing to be good for the next week as no major temperature drops or sustained torrential rains are expected. It will be very crowded Memorial Day weekend, as some limited sections have almost sold out of boater passes as of 5/15. Remember, all boaters need to obtain a pass at before going on to the river. It’s also a good way to see how crowded it will be on each section, as the number of permits sold and available is posted on the calendar.

Hood: Very limited effort has been seen, but the Columbia is still fluctuating between high and really high, backing up the run at the mouth occasionally. There are definitely Spring Chinook and Steelhead in the river. I saw a few fish at Punchbowl Falls on a little morel mushroom hunt last week. Give us a call if you need more info on fishing the Hood.

Wind River/Drano Lake/Klickitat River: Reports have been fair to good for Spring Chinook, especially at the mouth of the Wind and in Drano. The Klick has been a bit slow from the reports. The upper Klickitat is STILL CLOSED and will open JUNE 1. Only the mile or so below Lyle Falls is open (and only select days, check your regs) and has virtually no fly water. The Wind has a bit more water open for a motivated guy with a fly rod and a hankering for a Chinook, but it is still very tough access and fishing. Trolling flies near the bottom of Drano Lake in a float tube could produce Chinook, but little to no effort has been reported by fly guys.

Local Lakes: Lost Lake has been producing quite a few nice fish. It was heavily stocked last week and fishing has been really good for both recent planters and bigger “holdovers”. Laurence and Kingsley Lakes have also been kicking out some good fish. Olive and wine colored buggers, carey specials, hare’s ear nymphs and parachute adams have all been productive, as well as chironomids if you like staring at bobbers. There has been a good black carpenter ant hatch at higher elevations, as well as some nice damsels in the lower lakes such as Rowland and Spearfish. If you find yourself at a lake where they are keyed in on ants and you don’t have any, you might as well go home, so get some bigger black flying ant patterns…

Goose Lake: Heard that the road opened late last week from Trout Lake, but it is still snowed in from Carson. Fishing should be good this week. I was going to go up there Friday, but 30+ mph winds deterred me into doing some fly tying… Same as the other lakes hatchwise, although I wouldn’t expect the damsel hatch to be strong yet. A couple more weeks before the damsels and dragons really get moving up there.

Bass: Our own Greg Darling won the Kayak Shed’s bass tournament on Saturday in the Columbia. Fishboy Gabe Cunningham got 4th place. I hear that fishing wasn’t red hot, and Greg’s 20” smallmouth was enough for a first place finish. It is lots of fun if you have the ability to get out on the main river in a kayak or small boat. Focus on rocks, drop-offs, structure, and wood. Streamers have been more productive than topwater in the “Big C”. I am sure that Greg will be posting more on his experience with the bass tourney in the days to come.

Bass fishing on the John Day has been reportedly very good, with big fish and decent numbers. Overall numbers will increase and average size will decrease as it continues to warm up. I have received mixed reports on the topwater action. I have heard from a few guys that it has been good and a couple of guys have told me that they had to get fairly deep with buggers. I think it depends on the section you are fishing and the time of day. Early June is usually lights out for topwater action if you are going to plan a trip out there.

Shad: We got our first push of shad for the year. Fishing for them is tons of fun. Get a small, bright fly down deep in slower water around the mouths of the tributaries. Give it a couple of weeks for the numbers to improve, but it should be a good run. Mid-June is the best time to do it, but there should be fishable numbers within a few weeks.

If you ever have anything to add to the fishing report or have any questions about our local waters, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.

Sunset at Kingsley Lake

Chris Scott is at it again. Crushing bigguns is his thing…. He knows the Deschutes as well as anyone.

The Gorge Fly Shop Team

"Fly Fish the World with Us"

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