Jul 16, 2016

Columbia Gorge Fishing Report - (07/17/2016)

Gorgeous sunrise on the lower Deschutes
Fishing remains fantastic throughout the area.  The local rivers have stayed in decent shape considering it is mid July and the Hood, Klickitat and White Rivers will all typically be flowing dirty this time of year.  However, cooler weather has kept them all in good shape so far this month.

Apologies for the lack of reports weekly, the Sage closeout sale has been keeping us all very busy.  We also received our first shipment of Tom Larimer's new casting DVD: Skagit Revolution.  It is a very good video that breaks down spey casting and gives you everything from the basics to some advanced techniques.  It is very clear and easy to understand as Tom is a great instructor, plus the Gorge Fly Shop is a sponsor of the video.  Pick it up while its hot!

Trout Lake Creek is one of the hidden gems of our area.
On to the fishing:  Ryan and I went up to Trout Lake Creek last week with a couple of Tenkara rods.  We caught a couple dozen little trout on a good variety of attractor dry flies like stimulators, hoppers and royal trudes.  It is a fun creek to spend a day chasing small rainbow trout.  While you won't run into any monsters in our small creeks, the scenery, abundance of trout and remoteness make it a little gem in our backyard.

Chris and I also spent a day fishing the lower part of the Deschutes for summer steelhead.  Conditions were great on the river, although it was bright and sunny.  We swung flies all day and all that we caught were a handful of smallmouth bass!  This was very surprising considering the first bass we caught was 8 miles upstream.  That is a considerable amount of whitewater for a bass to navigate in order to end up that far from the Columbia.  We also caught another one over 6 miles from the mouth of the river...  No steelhead landed, but there was one brief hookup on a small purple leechy pattern.  The Klickitat and the Hood are still in decent shape and there are a few steelhead showing up.  As long as we stay under 90 degrees, our local rivers should stay in shape.  The Hood doesn't get a ton of summer fish, but it is an option when there is decent visibility.

Lake fishing for trout has been absolutely phenomenal.  Damselfly and dragonfly nymphs are a huge food source for trout in most lakes this time of year.  Trolling a Carey Special, ultra damsel nymph or even a woolly bugger should get you some nice fish in our local lakes.  Lost Lake has been fishing very well from what we have heard, as well as Laurance, Goose (WA), Timothy and Clear Lake.

Smallmouth Bass are snapping on the John Day (as well as the Deschutes apparently, LOL!).  They are eating everything you can throw at them.  Most anglers prefer to use a small bass popper, but grasshopper patterns, streamers and nymphs work just as well.  Cottonwood Canyon is a great place to get started on the JD.

The Columbia River has been a bit windy this past week, which hampers bass and carp fishing out there, but the fishing has been good when we get a break from the wind. The wind can dirty up the river, so having a full day where it is not "nuclear" out there would be preferable...

The Deschutes has not been fabulous for trout fishing, but it hasn't been awful.  The caddis hatches have not been prolific recently.  Cooler, inconsistent weather has led to smaller hatches, but the trout are still eating...

Flows:  The USGS sites give us real-time flows, while the NOAA site shows us predictions based on weather patterns.  Both are invaluable tools.  You can also check water temps here too...

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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