Jul 24, 2016

Columbia Gorge Fishing Report - 07/24/2016

Sam knows how to handle 104 degrees on the Klickitat
It's finally starting to look like summer out here in the Gorge.  Warmer weather is upon us and we have finally been able to stay out at night without a jacket.  Weather predictions put us over 100 degrees later in the week, so get prepared for our first real dose of summer.

The Deschutes should start to pick up within the next couple of weeks.  It has been fairly tough fishing for summer steelhead, however anglers are picking up a fish here and there.  I did drive over the mouth of the Deschutes on Sunday morning (07/24).  It did not look as if the White River had caused any significant clarity issues from the rains on Thursday, but it was a quick pass over.

White River Below Tygh Valley

Water temps are likely to become an issue again on the Deschutes.  Releasing fish when water is over 70 degrees is potentially lethal.

You can see water temps on the Deschutes here.

A nice Snake River Cutthroat Trout from Idaho.
Rocky Mountain trout streams are fishing well right now.
It looked as if the Klickitat was in decent shape still despite heavy rains on Thursday.  Again, I was just driving by Saturday evening and Sunday morning, but from across the Columbia it looked great.

I did a quick float with a friend from out of town on Wednesday.  We didn't fish much, he was more interested in the scenery and the beer. I did swing a couple of runs really quick and did not have a grab.  It was really nice to wet wade all day though.

We have heard that fishing for steelhead was good a couple of weeks ago, but seems to have slowed down quite a bit with both fish passage over Lyle Falls and catch rates on the river.  The early push of fish was mostly hatchery origin summer steelhead from the reports we received.  With hotter weather predicted for later this week, clarity will most likely become an issue.  It will be a wait and see game as long as 90+ degree days are in the forecast.

It is time to get your backpacking gear out!!!
The Hood River did spike from the rains Thursday.  It colored in all day on Friday and looks like cement on Saturday.  The East Fork of the Hood is where most of the color tends to come from, so it is usually in worse shape than the main river.  I would bet that trout fishing on the East Fork is going to be tough this next couple of weeks.

The Deschutes has been fishing well for rainbow trout.  Caddis nymphs doubled with larger attractor nymphs like possie buggers or stonefly nymphs will be your best beet.  Caddis dry flies in the evening are producing fish as well.

Small stream trout fishing is good in other places though.  Eagle Creek is fishing well with general attractor dry flies; so is Trout Lake Creek.

Local lakes are fishing very, very well too.  They usually slow down by this time of year, but the cooler weather this summer has kept them in awesome shape.  Lost Lake has been phenomenal from what we hear.  Goose Lake and Laurance Lake are both fishing very well too.  Goose can be quick to slow down when it gets really hot as it is shallower than the other two, but it should hold out this week.  Pulling a bugger or damsel nymph on an intermediate line is a good way to catch a pile of fish.  Morning and evening dry fly hatches are likely, but not a sure thing.

The reward for a 4 mile hike.  Solitude, beauty and brookies.
Backpacking into the high mountain lakes is now a great option.  The mosquitoes are starting to recede and the lakes are fishing well.  There are countless lakes and ponds in the Gifford Pinchot Forest to explore.  A parachute adams is about all anyone would need out there, but having a couple of options is always a good idea.

Smallmouth bass fishing on the John Day is still very good.  A super place to take beginners, kids or anyone that needs to catch a bunch of fish; the John Day is the place to go.  Small popper patterns should get you into fish all day long.  Cottonwood Canyon is the best place to start.

No reports on the Columbia River smallmouth bass fishing lately.  Ryan has been out of town.

Carp fishing has been good too.  Weed growth in the small ponds near hwy 84 has been minimal this year and the carp are in the shallows as thick as peanut butter.

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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