Jun 12, 2016

Columbia Gorge Fishing Report (06/12/2016)

Columbia Gorge Fishing Report - 06/12/2016

What a gorgeous weekend we have had here, I hope everyone got out to enjoy the cooler weather and great fishing across the area.  Trout fishing is still fantastic in most of the usual spots, summer steelhead are slowly trickling in and bass fishing is as good as it gets.

I know that many of our Deschutes River rainbow trout anglers are not very familiar with hatch cycles and tactics for trout after the stoneflies have waned, but it is not as difficult as one would imagine.  Throw small mayfly nymphs in the morning, look for a hatch around mid-day into the afternoon (it may or may not bring fish to the surface near riffles), start throwing caddis pupae in the late afternoon or early evening (some people fish them all day) and then move onto caddis dries when the sun is no longer on the water.  You can always fish a general attractor dry like a Royal Wulff or a Madam X, and fish are still looking for yellow sallies opportunistically throughout the day, so that is an option if you are not into changing flies all that much.  It is likely not as productive as nymphing, but it is sure a lot easier to plan for.  Another productive strategy is to toss a dead caddis dry early in the morning before the sun is on the water.

Early season on the Klickitat...
Summer steelhead are starting to trickle into the Gorge tributaries.  Still no word on any action on the Deschutes.  The water temps on the Deschutes already reached 72 degrees last week, but they have dropped back down with the cooler weather this week.  

The White River likely caused the lower Deschutes to muddy up too, but again, no one has told us if that happened, it is just typical when it is hot in the area.  The Klickitat was in poor shape last week after all of the hot weather caused the river to muddy up, but it looks decent today (Sunday).  Not a lot of action reported on the Klick, but there are a few fish around and all I need is one.

While we haven't heard of much happening on the Washougal, it is a favorite June steelhead stream for local anglers.

Jim reported to us from the North Umpqua last week.  He fished a dry all day, all week and had one fish come to his dry in four days; but he was super excited about it even though it didn't stick to the hook.  That is the proper attitude of a dedicated steelhead fisherman.  Thanks for the report Jim.

Smallmouth Bass fishing is nothing short of incredible on the John Day.  Poppers all day long...  The Columbia River has been windy and cold most of last week, so we have heard few reports from the usual anglers, but the fish are still in shallow water from the few guys we have talked with.

High mountain lakes are the only places to find a brownie here
My favorite fishing this time of year is to hit the small mountain lakes as soon as the roads are open to get into them.  There are hundreds in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest and dozens in the Mt Hood National Forest that hold nice trout.  While you are unlikely to find ten pound monster rainbows, you will find solitude, beauty and great fishing at any number of out-of-the-way places.

Lost Lake, Laurance Lake, Goose Lake, Clear Lake and Timothy Lake are all bigger lakes in the forest that have good camping and great fishing.  The rest of them shall remain unnamed on this report, but will be there when you find them.

Small streams are fishing well for trout too!  Eagle Creek has been very good, as well as the upper Clackamas, and Trout Lake Creek.  The East Fork Hood was very muddy last week when I went by, but it has cleared up with this cool weather.

Carpin' is another good option, especially when it is sunny, warm and calm.  With carp, it is more about the presentation than the actual fly as long as the fly is in the right ballpark.  They are in every pond and in the main river all throughout the Gorge. Also, we now have a good selection of carp flies...

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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