Jun 19, 2018

Columbia Gorge Fishing Report 6/19/2018

Driving along the upper Klick looking South.

Steelhead- Numbers over Bonneville are slowly increasing and we still haven't had a big push of fish yet. However, looking upstream a bit it appears that a good chunk of fish that have passed over Bonneville haven't passed over The Dalles Dam yet. So they must be in some of the tributaries and/or waiting for conditions to trigger them upstream on their journey more.

 Count numbers over Bonneville, The Dalles Dam, and John Day

The Klick has been low and clear for the start of the season, however that may change soon as the high country might see a little rain followed by some nice warm weather. A rising river from rain or snow melt will color things up a bit and get fish moving throughout the system and will be a welcomed change. We are also in the Columbia Gorge and it gets windy here at times... When that is the case I will quickly take my scandi head off and put an Airflo Rage on instead. If you're unfamiliar with this line than it might be time to explore it's benefits! Larger flies or light sinking polyleaders will work on it, but I utilize it most for its ability to cast into the wind when my scandi falls apart mid-cast. While it doesn't present itself as nicely as a scandi, it still does all the same touch-and-go casts and is simply just a versatile line.  

 This fish took a Grease Liner about 3ft into the air on the take, but steelhead won't eat dry flies...

Trout- Deschutes action isn't really slowing down, however the angler pressure has been. It seems folks come out of the woodwork for the Salmon/Stonefly hatch for a couple weeks and then tend to avoid the river until next season. Meanwhile hatches occur year round and the Yellow Sallies have been popping off for a few weeks now.  Pale Morning and Pale Evening Duns are out overcast days certainly seem to turn on the mayfly fishing. Also, don't forget your Caddis flies and we just got stocked up on the smaller sizes that tend to work best out there. 

Small stream trout never seem to disappoint!

Small streams are fishing well and as I've said before, those trout aren't too particularly picky when it comes to eating. One thing I tried recently that I usually reserved for larger waters, was swinging soft hackles into seams on these small creeks... turns out it works great here too! In our mountain lakes, the nighttime temperatures have kept water cool and fish have been sticking closer to the shore until we start to get into the heat of summer. 

Warmwater species- Bass fishing has been great lately for those in pursuit! The John Day provides non-stop action and the bass aren't to particular their either. On the Columbia, the big boys seem to want the big stuff and a 7wt rod is ideal for throwing it to them. The top water action has been picking up and is a exciting visual seeing some predator fish chase down its "prey." Finding a carp flat can be a fun alternative to bass and these brutes will make you work for it, and the reward is high. Carp tend to average around 10lbs, with plenty of bigger ones available too. Carp can be picky though, and stealthiness is crucial. We just got a few new flies in that work pretty good for carp so if you're up to the challenge, come see us!

 Yes, we love two-handers! Even when fishing poppers for Smallies...

As always, we are happy to talk fishing anytime. 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. 
-Cody

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