Aug 10, 2015

Columbia Gorge Fishing Report (August 10th)

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Fishing Report

Fishing has really picked up on the Deschutes and is primed for some good days on the Klickitat this week.  Get out and fish!  The 2:00 restrictions have been lifted for the Deschutes, but most others remain in place.  Please check with us, Washington or Oregon Fish and Game Departments before fishing if you are not sure about the current regulations. 

Summer Steelhead is generally the fish of choice for most of the hard-core anglers in the area and prospects for a fabulous day on the river are looking really good.  We heard fabulous reports from the Deschutes River last week and expect it to be good this week and next week too.  The White was spilling dirty water for a few days, but it did not stop the fish from snapping.  The dirty water usually just prevents anglers from getting out.  I love fishing when the clarity is 1’- 3’ because the fish tend to be in closer to shore and you can typically fish a light tip as they are sitting in the shallower water than typical. 

The Klickitat River has been fluctuating clarity from around 1’ to 3’ or so (and we love it).  It never quite got to that “steelhead green” color that everyone else likes, but it has been fishing pretty well nonetheless.  The clarity hasn’t seemed to match the temperature as much as typical.  I believe (and I am usually wrong) that the “in-river” work that has been going on is affecting clarity as some natural settling of the dirt is throwing some sediment into the river that wouldn’t be there otherwise.  The work that I am talking about is the removal of an old road above where the Little Klickitat comes in.  This work is a good thing.  Improvement of habitat and returning portions of the river that were altered back into a natural state is one thing that we should all be able to agree on, even if it causes a little extra sediment to flow down the river.  So that being said, the clarity should get better, but I love fishing with it hovering about 1.5’ because I can go wherever I want; there is no one to compete with and there are just as many fish around as when the river is clear. 

Smallmouth Bass fishing has been excellent on the John Day River and Columbia River along with many of the impoundments along the freeway on both the WA and OR side of the Gorge.  The Columbia came up quite a bit as the powers that be have been pushing water downstream in a successful attempt to cool down the big river.  It should finally drop below 70 this week for the first time in two months.  This should get the smallies moving and opens up a bit of water as the weeds have not been able to grow up to the surface yet in a lot of spots that have otherwise been really weedy this summer. 

Carp fishing has been good this past week as the rising flow in the Columbia has moved fish into some new flats that are relatively weed-free right now and holding quite a few fish. 

Trout fishing has been great in most places this past week.  Unfortunately for you trout guys, the reports on trout fishing tend to get pretty sparse as soon as the steelhead start to show up.  As soon as one guy says “steelhead”, everyone seems to forget about the trout fishing.  I would bet that the Crooked, McKenzie, Metolius and Upper Deschutes are all fishing really well.  The upper part of the Lower Deschutes (near Warm Springs) has also been great lately with both Slate Wing Duns and a few early Mahogany Mayflies hatching that have been getting some attention as well as the evening caddis hatch just before dark. 

Lost Lake is still fishing very well, and trout have been coming up to the surface early and late to eat Callibaetis, Grasshoppers and Carpenter Ants, as well as just about anything else including beetles, damselflies and maybe some early caddis. 

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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