Jun 29, 2015

Columbia Gorge Fishing Reports (June 29th)

Fishing Report
Sweeet Release!
Some like it hot, hot, hot… A heat wave plagues our region.  Rivers are scary low, bathwater warm and summer is just starting.  The Columbia was reported to be 76 degrees in the backwaters and hovering around 70 all the way down to Astoria in the main channel.

Water temp at the Dalles Dam:

Water temp at Bonneville Dam: 

Water temp at Astoria:

The Deschutes was at 74 degrees on Friday, over 74 on Saturday, but the worst part is that it only cooled down to 69.5 on Saturday night.  http://www.nwrfc.noaa.gov/station/flowplot/hydroPlot.php?id=MODO3&pe=TW&v=1435429823

American Shad are starting to stall out a bit.  We will probably not hit 2 million fish this year, and the fish are still reported to be pretty deep and hard to find, but anglers have reported that up near Rufus, the fish are in shallower water and easier to catch. 

Carp fishing is really the best thing going when the water temps are this warm.  Find them tailing early in the day, and they have been on the bite pretty consistently throughout the day.  “The Hook” is a good spot near Hood River, Government Cove near Cascade Locks, and in Ashes Lake near Stevenson have great places with lots of fish stacked up.  I like really any bonefish fly, but dark and drab colors seem to work better.   

Rainbow Trout fishing on the Deschutes River has been good, but I would highly recommend not fishing the lower river (below Sherar’s Falls), as water temps on the lower end of the river have been far too warm for the ensured survival of fish (74 on Friday).  I went on Tuesday evening (June 23) and the water was nearing 70.  I saw several trout sitting in shallow water that appeared to be struggling.  They were not moving out of the way as I walked near them.  I could have reached down and picked up a fat 16” trout that would not move as I waded.  I will not be returning to the Deschutes below Maupin until this heat wave has waned.  Again, water temps over 70 are fatal to trout, steelhead and salmon, especially over long periods of time.  This is not only bad for the adult fish, the juvenile fish from the last two years’ record salmon runs are in jeopardy. 

Chinook fishing has been decent below Bonneville Dam.  Numbers are great for summer fish.  Summer Chinook are traditionally headed for the uppermost tributaries of the Columbia, Snake and Salmon Rivers, but we can catch them as they go through the area.  Check the Regulations before you go out bank fishing for salmon around here as many areas are closed to fishing right now. 

The Sockeye Salmon run is approaching record numbers, but the odds are stacked against you as sockeye are definitely not into taking flies.  Sockeye are headed for the uppermost reaches of the Columbia River Basin.

Summer steelhead numbers are starting to pick up, however, water temps and levels are not looking good.  There are not a lot of rivers that have fish, low water temps and enough flow to fish… The Cowlitz River has been flowing around 3000 cfs (typically 6000), but water temps on the Cowlitz have been topping out in the low 60s in the lower reaches of the river…  The Klickitat River is very low (835 cfs), but still fishable (typically 1500 cfs).  The water temp was 67 degrees on Friday and the clarity was not terrible.  It tends to muddy up in hot water, but the clarity cycles up and down during the day.  I would not hesitate to fish it this week, but try to get out in the mornings as temps might push over seventy in the afternoons this week. 

The Hood River actually bumped up from under 300 cfs to over 440 as the heat wave started really melting the little bit of glacier that we have left to feed the river.  It is very muddy as of Sunday morning (June 28), but you can get some trout fishing in if you really want to.  It’s the same story here too; try to get your fishing done in the morning before water temperatures reach their maximum in the late afternoon.  The trout are not picky in the river.  They will eat just about any well-presented fly, dry or wet.  You just have to get it in front of them.  Clarity should be better early in the day.  The East Fork Hood River is open for trout fishing, as well as the main branch of the river.  The West Fork Hood River is always closed to fishing, except for the 100 yards or so between the confluence of the East Fork and Punchbowl Falls

Smallmouth Bass have been hitting topwater poppers on the Columbia River and John Day River. There are lots of fish to be caught, but moving around is key.  They are either in the area or not and you might have to try multiple spots before you find fish.  Try stripping a big baitfish pattern really quickly over rocky areas for the best chance at catching a big one. 

Rainbow, Cutthroat, Brown and Brook Trout fishing should be great this week in the evenings as the Hexagenia Mayfly hatch is primed to get going.  Bigger lakes have better hatches.  Timothy Lake has a great hatch.  Merrill Lake in Washington is well-known for the Hex hatch.  Goose Lake near Trout Lake, WA should also be a solid choice.  The bugs hatch at night, so showing up at the lake at 7:00 pm or 4:00 am is not a bad idea. 

Eagle Creek near Bonneville Dam is a great place to spend the day fishing for cutthroat trout.  Much like the Hood River, the fish are small and hungry, but the scenery is beautiful, and the water is cold.  It is a little bit easier to wade than the Hood, but you are in a canyon and there are not many spots to get on or off the trail down to the river.  Once you are on the creek, it is fairly easy to get around.  


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"


No comments :

Post a Comment

Stay up to date: Free Newsletter Sign Up

  © 'and' Steelhead.com Mike Prine 2009-2014

Back to TOP