May 29, 2016

Columbia Gorge Fishing Reports (05/29/2016)

Columbia Gorge Fishing Reports (05/29/2016)

Hood River from the Washington side
Fishing is still great throughout the area.  Oregon trout streams are mostly open now as the general trout season started on Saturday, May 28.  This opens the East Fork of the Hood for trout only (it's never open for salmon or steelhead).  Eagle Creek near Bonneville Dam is another nice trout stream that is open near here now.  The West Fork of the Hood is always closed above punchbowl falls...
May and June are the best months to catch a nice brookie!

The Washington small streams are opening either June 1 or the first Saturday in June.  Check the WA regulations.  The Klickitat opens June 1 for trout and steelhead.  Trout Lake Creek is a small trout stream in Washington that is fun to fish and is absolutely gorgeous.  It opens Saturday June 4.

Most area lakes are open now.  Goose Lake, Lost Lake, Laurence Lake, Timothy Lake, Clear Lake and Trillium Lake are some of our local favorites and all are fishing very well right now for rainbow, brown and brook trout (and the occasional cutthroat trout)  There are countless other lakes in the area that are all fishing well now too but not as popular.  Get a map, do some research and get a rod in the water.  A lot of the lakes are inundated with flying ants right now and the fish are gorging on them.  An olive woolly bugger will produce fish all day, as well as Callibaetis nymphs & dries, and some lakes may be holding damselfly nymphs already.

The Deschutes River is still fishing very well for Redband Rainbow Trout.  Just because the salmonflies are done doesnt mean that fishing is any worse than it was when the salmonflies were thick.  It can be very, very good right now.  Anglers just have to change flies, locations and strategies a little more often and they can have just as productive of a day as any.  The strategy starts basically with PMD nymphs in the morning (often doubled with a caddis nymph or stonefly nymph), and the possibility of a hatch late morning in shallow riffles.  Trout are also eating stoneflies, both goldens and yellow sallies opportunistically throughout the day.  They are also eating caddis pupae in the afternoon through evening with a chance at catching fish on caddis dries in the late evening.

Bass fishing is phenomenal right now!
Steelhead fishing is fair to good on the Sandy and the Clackamas, as well as the Kalama.  The Washougal opens June 4 too, and it can be very productive in June.  The Klickitat opens June 1, but is typically not productive until later in the summer.  There are always early fish in all the local rivers, including the Deschutes, but the best strategy for steelhead is to go where the most fish are and right now, the bulk of the summer steelhead are in the lower Columbia tributaries for now.

Smallmouth Bass are biting topwater flies on the Columbia.  Many of the fish in the river spawned recently and are looking for food more than they normally are.  Big fish are still more likely to be caught near the bottom, but fishing is great nonetheless.  The John Day River is fishing well for bass too.  Topwater poppers all day long...

Spring Chinook fishing continues in the area.  The Klickitat, Wind and Hood Rivers are great places to go soak some roe for a fish or two.  Ryan Davey and I spent an hour fishing the other day and got one nice buck that went straight onto the bbq and it was much appreciated by all my neighbors and friends that came over that night.  I fish for salmon for food as it is far, far more productive to use roe than a fly, although fly anglers occasionally catch salmon on the fly around here.

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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