Oct 22, 2016

Columbia Gorge Fishing Reports (10/21/2016)

A rainbow just before the storm on Laurance Lake on Tuesday (10/18/2016)

Important Note: the Columbia River is now closed to all salmon and steelhead fishing due to lower than expected returns.  Read about the closure and sign up for the Columbia Basin Bulletin, it's very informative.

The weather is starting to settle down, and the rivers are hovering around fishable.  Summer Steelhead fishing is about a month from over in the Gorge.  The Klickitat and the Hood are both brown as of Friday, but surprisingly there was 18"-24" of decent visibility on the Klickitat on Thursday.  Sometimes the color can be deceiving.  We could easily see our boots at knee deep despite what appeared to be terrible visibility... and fishing was decent.  Conditions worsened as rains Thursday night added more color to the river.  We should see improvement in the rivers throughout the week although unsettled weather patterns could put a hamper on that with one good shot of rain.
Fall colors distract Sam Sickles on the Klickitat

The Deschutes has been a little colorful, but it's the water level that is the issue for many anglers.  It is much higher than normal due to increased flows from Pelton Dam, along with the tributaries being high.  It's not unfishable by any means, but its higher than many anglers are familiar with this time of year.  This isn't terribly bad, it really just pushes the fish closer to shore and makes the wading a little more hairy than it normally is.  Steelheading on the Deschutes was far from stellar this year, but it has been consistent in that fishing is just as good (or bad) now as it was a month ago.  Lots of open water and very little pressure, and yes, there are steelhead in the river.

Conditions are not ideal anywhere, but there are plenty of options in the area right now, so get out there while you can.  There isn't much time left for quality summer steelheading in our area.

Brown water w/ 2' of vis on the Klick
Fishing on Laurance Lake was good this week, despite the wind and rain... I wouldn't hesitate to get in one last trip to the lake (it closes Oct. 31).  I had one really big rainbow chasing an olive bugger around for a few minutes.  He grabbed it several times and was even on for a second and still wanted to eat it again.  All very visual as the lake was very clear and the fish were very colorful.  It was like watching golden submarines coming out of the depth.  I think we would have done very well if we hadn't been blown off the lake by heavy winds and sideways rain an hour after arriving.

Many of our small streams and lakes will close on Halloween, so get in your trout fishing while you can, and be sure to check the regulations before venturing into a new area in the next few weeks.  This is an excellent time of year to explore lakes and streams because fishing is great and there are very few people out.

Rainbow Trout fishing on the Deschutes has been superb as of late.  There are Mahogany mayflies, Caddis galore and Blue Wing Olives on cold, dreary days.  Fish are also very actively chasing streamers and are being aggressive in general.  I'd stick to the upper part of the river above the White, but White should start to clean up as our weather improves, but nights are colder on the glacier, which will open up some options for anglers.

Customer photo of the week:  Rob caught this beauty of a fish on the last day of a six day float in BC.  Just wanted to share an actual fish picture... blurry and soaking wet or not, its a  good pic, a great fish and it looked like a fun trip.  Thanks for sharing!

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 there 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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