Oct 6, 2015

Columbia Gorge Fishing Report (October 6th)

It's that time of year again... cool mornings followed by late burn offs as the days get shorter and warmer temps become fewer and fewer. 

Fishing Report

Fishing continues to be stellar across the region as we leave Fishtember and enter into Fishtober. 

Chinook Salmon are still thick throughout the region, but brighter fish will soon become outnumbered by colored up pre-spawn fish.  This clears out a bit of room for steelhead in the runs as the salmon move towards shallower spawning areas.  We are still a few weeks away from the bulk of spawning activity, but the salmon are getting ready.  We have nearly surpassed the record runs of the past few years.  1.24 million total Chinook for the year is an all time record and 865,000 Fall Chinook is a close second to the epic run of 953,000 in 2013 with a few weeks to go!  These are numbers going through Bonneville Dam, so the run was much bigger as commercial fishermen and lower Columbia tributaries account for a good number of fish too.  While we lost a significant number of our early season spring and summer salmon due to hot and low rivers, the fall numbers are hopefully making up for it and will produce strong runs in the next few years. 

This also marks the time of year that Chinook start to “bed up” on their spawning gravel, otherwise known as redds.  Please respect the incredibly long and difficult journey that these fish have made and avoid walking through spawning areas or fishing at spawning salmon.  They have made it this far, so let’s allow them to spawn and die in peace so that we can have more salmon in a couple of years.  If you see dark colored salmon in shallow water, they are likely trying to spawn.  A spawning Chinook does not put up much of a fight and you are taking away the last reserves of energy that it has left for its final act.  If you see someone fishing at spawning salmon, please respectfully say something and suggest that they move on to better water.  We don’t need any confrontation, just education.  Thank you so much and fish on!

Coho Salmon are soon to follow the Chinook and are expected to also produce large numbers here in the Gorge, although they are way behind last year’s numbers so far...  The “ocean abundance” (total run) last year was predicted at 950,000 and this year s predicted to be down 20% at 777,000.  http://wdfw.wa.gov/news/mar0215a/  Coho are typically more dependent on rains to get moving, so I expect that the lateness of the run is due to the lack of rain than anything, but we shall wait and see…

Coho are a bit more fun on the fly and are a little easier to catch.  While most of the fish stay below Bonneville, we do get great opportunities here, mostly on the lower Klickitat.  Give it two weeks and the numbers should start to jump up to good, catchable numbers. 

Summer Steelhead are in the rivers in good numbers now.  Dry line fishing is the prime technique on the Deschutes, while guys on the Klickitat tend to fish more with sink tips and bigger flies.  The clarity on the Deschutes is still great.  The reports are varied, but overall, people are reporting good fishing throughout the region.

The Hood River is still awfully low and colored up.  There are a few die-hards that fish the run at the mouth when the Columbia is low enough to provide good flow down there, but there has been little to report in the way of catching steelhead.  (The Columbia has been too high and that run is under water and not moving much lately).  What they have told me is that a number of anglers are intentionally snagging the Chinook that are waiting to spawn in the lowest 200 yards of the river when there is any current.  Targeting Chinook in the Hood River is prohibited after June 15.

Lost Lake, Trillium Lake and Timothy Lake are still fishing really well.  Trout are up in the water column and eating dries when hatches are prevalent.  The big trout are always eating an olive woolly bugger.  October is one of the best months to get out on the lakes.  Several of them close at the end of the month, so get it in while you can. 
Smallmouth Bass fishing has been good.  Fish are really active and eating a variety of lures, flies and baits.  Finding good numbers of fish without a boat is tough.  Advice for the month: make friends with people that own bass boats.    

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