Aug 13, 2016

Columbia Gorge Fishing Report (08/14/2016)

Thank you for reading the weekly fishing report!  A couple of notes here on upcoming events in the area.

We are sponsoring a Hood River Cleanup.  The goal is to remove trash from along the river around the Hood River Powerhouse.  This is a popular area for fishermen, kayakers and general outdoor recreationalists. Unfortunately, there is a lot of trash along the river there.  The event is from 2:00 to 4:00 next Saturday August 20.   There will be a raffle for a couple of prizes donated form our favorite local businesses.  This is part of a wider event called LOVE YOUR COLUMBIA, put on by Columbia Riverkeeper.   More information about LOVE YOU COLUMBIA can be found here.

Please call if you have any questions and see you at the event.

Another event that we are excited for is also put on by Columbia Riverkeeper.  Remember how awfully hot the water was in the Columbia last summer?  Well the impacts on the salmon run was devastating. On August 24, there is an informative talk called Hot Water, Fish Kills, and the Future of Salmon.  It is at Slopeswell Cider and is free to the public.  Please consider attending.  

On to fishing report. 

Ok, so summer steelhead numbers are dismal coming through Bonneville and The Dalles dams.  Less than 2,000 fish a day on average this week through Bonneville when we historically should be passing 5,000-8,000 a day right now.  We might end August with less than 100,000 for the year...

Nick caught this badboy right behind me on an Unconditional
Fishing however, is not bad.  The Klickitat has been producing steelhead for anglers with some consistency.  The Deschutes has been kind of slow and steady.  The problem with the Deschutes is that hundreds of anglers have this skewed perspective that you should be able to go out and hook a dozen fish on dry lines every day this time of year; and that is just a recipe for failure.  The solid anglers around here have been reporting a fish or two a day, and that should be considered a great day of steelheading anywhere.  So many of our anglers are expecting such a high catch rate based on a couple years of phenomenal fishing that they don't believe that hooking a couple of fish a day is good enough.  Water temps are still a factor in the Deschutes as the river has been peaking above 70F the past few days.

Fish are still eager to eat dries on
high mountain streams
The Klickitat was in great shape up until Friday when the heat finally started to cause some minor clarity issues.  It could definitely be in worse shape.  We shall see what the weather has in store for us for this week, but a couple of cool nights would do wonders for the clarity.  Otherwise it has been fishing well.

I fished with Nick for a couple of hours on Wednesday.  He picked my pocket with a Larimer's Unconditional, fished on an OPST Commando Head and an Airflo FLO Tip T-10.  We had both wanted to fish that fly and I gave in and let him fish it...  my mistake.  He landed a nice hatchery steelhead that went right onto the barbecue.

Our high mountain lakes and streams are still fishing very well.  I backpacked into a lake near Mt. St. Helens last weekend and caught a couple of nice brook trout with little effort on my Tenkara Teton Rod Package.  It was great.  I stuck four flies in my hat and my rod into the side of my pack.  Fishing was easy, the mosquitoes were minimal and the views were spectacular.

Bearded Bassmaster with a nice one!
Smallmouth bass fishing has been good on the Columbia lately, although the super hot days are not exactly getting the bass too excited.  Ryan and John were doing better on Friday night dragging drop shots on the bottom than with the fly rods, but there was plenty of action to keep them excited.  The John Day is still fishing very well for bass too.

I spent a few hours searching for carp along the Columbia on Thursday, but only saw one and it was not in a place where I could catch him, so I gave up and went paddle boarding instead.  A good call when it was pushing 100 degrees out.  I did see a few carp around Wells Island when I was on the SUP, but I didn't stop to cast on them.

Lost Lake is a good call for beating the heat this week.  The lake is chilly cold, the fishing has been fantastic and the scenery can't be beat.  Laurance Lake is also a good call.  The fishing is just as good, but the scenery is not like Lost Lake which looms under the eye of Mt. Hood.

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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