Jan 4, 2016

Columbia Gorge Fishing Report (1.4.16)

Photo courtesy of Sam Sickles - Steelhead Outfitters
Fishing Report

It’s gotten cold, really cold. Water temps in most western rivers are in the mid thirties. Prior to that temps were hovering around forty and we were finding some fish. The last two steelhead I saw caught came on a third pass and a second pass respectively. What that means is, slow down. I generally take three to four steps between casts but right now the fish are glued to the river bottom and don’r want to move, so slow down and be meticulous. If you aren’t hanging a fly here and there you’re probably not close enough to the fish so tip up or fish a weighted fly and a bit longer leader.


The good news is we’ve got a good batch of early steelhead and they are grabby. Here’s a tip; when river temps reach rock bottom (right now) there’s only one way to go and that’s up. I know you’re thinking, Duh! What I mean is it’s tough to fish water temps on the decline, the fish get lethargic. The opposite is true for rising temps even if they are really low, so watch for warmer water temps, even a degree or two and be ready for fish that become a little more aggressive as the days warm up.


For now, heavy tips and heavy flies casting to the deeper slower water. Good luck.

Sandy River Steelhead


Sam Sickles
Steelhead Outfitters


"Fly Fish the World with Us"



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