Jun 8, 2015

Columbia Gorge Fishing Reports (June 8th)

June 6, 2015
Fish Boy Gabe has Mastered Carp Angling
Most of the streams in both Oregon and Washington are open now for general season trout fishing, so exploring the high mountain streams is an option.  The opportunities for fishing are vast in the gorge right now.  From Shad to Carp to Bass, the Columbia is fishing great.  Local tributaries have kicked out a few early steelhead, and there is still a chance for catching a Chinook Salmon or two, but make sure to check the regulations before you head out the door.


John and I did an opening day float on the Klickitat on Monday.  I managed to get one fish to eat early in the day and I lost him at my feet after a quick battle.  It was the first opening day fish I have hooked in the Klick in three or four years now. 

There are thousands of hungry steelhead smolt in the river right now and keeping them off the line is difficult.  There are certain flies and colors that they like and dislike more than others, but its pretty tough to deal with them if you are in the thick of a smolt school.  There was a run where I just had to sit down and wait for John to stop because the smolt were hitting my fly on every cast from the second it hit the water to the second I recast it. 

American Shad are running thick on the Columbia River right now.  The majority of the action happens below Bonneville Dam, near Beacon Rock, near Cascade Locks and upstream near Rufus.  If you can find them you can catch them.  They are hard fighting fish that readily take flies and are tons of fun on a 5 or 6wt fly rod.

Fishboy Gabe has been catching carp on the fly with some consistency lately.  They are in shallow on the Columbia and the impoundments near the highway 84 and feeding late into the evening.  Carp often stop tailing in the shallows in the mid afternoon, making evening fishing hard, but they have been feeding heavily lately all day from sunrise to sunset.

Rainbow Trout on the Deschutes River are still a great option for anglers.  The fishing has not been red hot, but there have been some great days and some bad days out there.  Small dark caddis have been hatching later in the day, while nymphing with a #20 flashback pheasant tail has been the most consistent during the day.  If you get out super early, a spent caddis will work before the sun comes up.  Swinging a soft hackle on a micro spey has been good and streamer fishing has been good in the mornings. 

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. 

Spring Chinook have really shut down in a lot of places.  The Klickitat River has been a bright spot in the area for Chinook.  Anglers have been able to catch a fish or two a day with plugs or drifting bait through the deep holes.  The river below Bonneville Dam has been opened the past few days and rumors of the big “June Hogs” have been circulating though the area. 

The Cowlitz River has been kicking out some summer steelhead already, and is probably the most consistent producer of fish in the Northwest for steelhead through the summer. 

The Klickitat River opened for summer steelhead and Chinook salmon on Monday, June 1.  The action has been good for June.  Typically, the water is high and dirty this time of year and it makes steelhead fishing tough.  With low water conditions, it feels more like fall out there.  There are steelhead in the river, but we are a few months away from consistent fishing. 

Smallmouth Bass have been hitting topwater late in the day on the Columbia River and John Day River. Look for structure near deeper water, but the fish may be in shallow late and early in the day.  There are big fish around, it just takes some searching.

Rainbow, Cutthroat, Brown and Brook Trout have been eating flying ants in the high elevation lakes.  They tend to gorge on them later in the day when the bugs start flying heavily.  Damselfly nymphs and callibaetis are also working well, along with smaller chironomids.  Timothy, Clear, Trillium, Laurence and Lost Lakes are all great Oregon Lakes, while Merrill and Goose Lakes are great choices for Washington anglers.

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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