May 18, 2015

Columbia Gorge Fishing Reports

Deschutes (May 16th)

May 17, 2015

Rainbow Trout on the Deschutes River are still biting and fighting.  The Salmonfly hatch has moved past Trout Creek and is approaching Warm Springs if it isn’t already there in full force.  Fishing was very good above Whitehorse Rapids this past week and should remain excellent for a while longer.  Fish are eating a variety of big bugs.  I fished a Chernobyl for three days and had little thought of changing.  Near the end, there were more refusals, but overall the action was consistent from start to finish.  Look for fish at the tail end of the hatch to like bugs that don’t ride as high on the water, like a Clark’s Stone or a Stimulator.  I saw no sign of the elusive Green Drake hatch, but the PMD hatch was excellent and there were definitely fish eating them along with the occasional stonefly. 

Stones Out

Remember that there is NO FISHING FROM A BOAT ON THE DESCHUTES and also, fishing on the Warm Springs Reservation is highly regulated, so check the regulations before you start fishing on the wrong side… Some sections require a permit and others are prohibited all together. 

Deschutes - Echo Glass

Spring Chinook are still coming though in decent numbers.  It looks like we are having a great run.  The action is good on bait and plugs at Drano Lake and the Wind River, where boat anglers are still producing good catch rates and nice bright fish.  The Klickitat has been good below Lyle Falls and should remain consistent this week.  

Just a reminder… the Klickitat River is only open below Lyle Falls (mile 1.4) and is only open there on Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays and Wednesdays....  The river above LYLE FALLS is currently closed, and opens for summer steelhead on JUNE 1.  Drano Lake is also closed on Wednesdays…

The Clackamas, Sandy and the Kalama all tend to get a few early summer steelhead, usually starting in May.  There is generally very little pressure this time of year for summer steelhead on those rivers.  Traditionally, our summer fish don’t start showing up in the Gorge until quite a bit later in the season.  There are usually a few (very few) caught early in June on the Klickitat after it opens, but then it is typically pretty tough until mid to late August when temps start to fall and the water clarity cleans up.  (The Klickitat and Hood both run very muddy during the summer).

Smallmouth Bass are still biting on the Columbia River and fishing should be really good if the wind is ever calm enough to get a cast or two in.  There are some big fish around in shallow water and they are a blast to catch on a fly rod.  The “smallies” are chowing down on a variety of flies, such as clousers, crayfish and big woolly buggers.  A floating or intermediate sinking line will work just fine with an 8-10# leader and a six or seven weight fly rod.  A boat is nice, and a float tube works great in a lot of places if the wind is down, but there are plenty of places that one can fish from shore. 

The John Day River has also been fishing really well for Smallmouth Bass.  It is a lot easier to access and the fish are very easy to catch.  They love topwater poppers, ants, grasshoppers and dragonflies.  There are plenty of fish, but the big 3#+ fish are less common than in the Columbia this time of year.  It is a great place to take someone new to fishing, or if you have had a rough winter of steelheading and need to get that rod bent with little effort. 

Not much has changed on our lakes, so the report is the same…  Many of our local lakes are still fishing well right now for Rainbow, Brown and Brook Trout.  Pick a lake and it is likely fishing well.  Timothy and Trillium Lakes near Government Camp, OR are both producing some very nice trout as well as Rock Creek Reservoir near Wamic, OR.  Lost Lake is always a good spot to catch some fish, but not much in the way of solitude. The same goes for Kingsley Reservoir near Hood River.  It’s a good fishery, but it is crowded with all walks of life from four wheelers and motorbikers to drunken twenty-somethings on vinyl alligator pool floats. 


Goose Lake near Trout Lake, WA has been excellent for numbers of smaller trout.  Rowland, Spearfish and Horsethief Lakes are fishing very well for stocked rainbows, as well as Maryhill Pond on the Washington side of Biggs Junction. 

As always, we are happy to talk fishing any time.  Give us a call if you have any specific questions on local rivers, gear, and tactics, or if you just want some encouragement to get out of the office. 

"Fly Fish the World with Us"

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