May 15, 2016

Columbia Gorge Fishing Reports (05/15/2016)

What a sunset in the Deschutes River Canyon!  

Local fishing has been superb lately!  Rainbow Trout fishing is still the best bet for a day of great fishing in the area.  The Salmonfly/Stonefly hatch on the Deschutes is going strong from Maupin up to Pelton Dam.
Salmonflies are popping from Maupin to Madras
The bulk of the bugs were up around Trout Creek, but they were flying thick throughout the entire stretch.  I noticed many anglers fishing nymphs under bobbers during my float last week.  I am not sure how they were doing, but I fished a Clark's Stone for three days and had no issues getting fish to come to the surface.  I am heading back out to do Trout Creek to Harpam again this week and planning on fishing all dries again.  I am prepared to fish smaller yellow sallies as they are starting to pop too.  I saw a couple of green drakes, a pile of PMDs, and a huge caddis hatch also, but the fish were sure eager to eat a stonefly all day.  Camping upstream of North Junction on Thursday night, I have never seen so many stoneflies flying at once right before dark.  The sky was nearly black with bugs, birds and bats were happy.  It was definitely very impressive.

Wild Horses rule the Warm Springs Reservation!

Spring Chinook Salmon fishing is still moving along in the Gorge.  There is very little effort from the fly anglers towards salmon.  They are not the most aggressive fish, nor do they tend to sit in spots that are easily accessible for most fly anglers, but they are in the local rivers and plenty of anglers catch them given the time and energy.

Smallmouth Bass fishing has been great too!  The Hood River Marina is a great place to go catch a pile of fish on a lunch break.  Without a boat, bass fishing is a little more difficult, but there are plenty of places in the area to pull off the road and catch some smallies.  Fish are definitely in shallow water, looking to spawn during the full moon this next week.  They turn on to poppers more after the spawn.  I seem to do better right now stripping buggers slower near the bottom for big fish, but if you can find them, they will likely eat a variety of flies throughout the water column moving at various speeds.  

Golden Stones are everywhere on the Deschutes.
Local lakes have been fishing really well too.  Laurence, Lost and Kingsley have all been kicking out loads of fish on dries, nymphs and buggers.  I am sure other lakes are fishing really well too but we haven't heard much from them in the past week or two.  Most anglers are hitting the Deschutes while it is good.  

Shad are starting to pick up.  By the first of June, they should be in the Columbia in catchable numbers.  

Summer Steelhead are starting to trickle in.  There are always early fish in rivers like the Sandy, Clackamas and Kalama, but the big runs of fish in the Deschutes and Klickitat don't start moving in until late July or August.  Westside rivers get more early steelhead than the Eastside rivers. 

Flows:  The USGS sites give us real-time flows, while the NOAA site shows us predictions based on weather patterns.  Both are invaluable tools.

Hood River:



Deschutes near Madras:

Deschutes at the mouth:

Columbia River
Bonneville Dam Water Temps
Columbia @ Hood River (The mouth of the Hood backs up at 75 feet)

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.  541.386.6977

Andrew Perrault
Columbia Gorge Fishing Reports
Gorge Fly Shop | Product Specialist

"Fly Fish the World with Us"

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