Gorge Fly Shop Fishing Reports

Weekly Fishing Reports for the surrounding Hood River area and maybe beyond...

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I fished the Klickitat this last Friday. The water was 18” of clarity at the beginning of the day, slowly but steadily decreasing until we took off in the evening. At the takeout, the clarity was less than a foot. In less than a foot of visibility I was watching many, many trout rise to size 18 black flies with no concern for the apparent lack of visibility that kept everyone else at home.

Let’s get out and fish! The Deschutes finally came into great shape this week. While the visibility is poor right at the confluence of the White and the D, it is very fishable on the lower river. It was 2-3’ and a nice olive color on Friday.

August 17th, 2015
Well things didn’t quite go as planned last week. I had hoped that the Klickitat and Deschutes would have stayed in shape, but hotter than expected weather along with a couple of isolated thunderstorms caused our local favorites to be much tougher than expected.  

Smallmouth Bass fishing has been excellent on the John Day River and Columbia River along with many of the impoundments along the freeway on both the WA and OR side of the Gorge. The Columbia came up quite a bit ...

As of today, August 4th, fishing hours return to normal on the Deschutes River . This means that anglers can fish after 2:00 p.m. on the entire length of the river. All other restrictions in the Central Zone remain intact, so fishing ...

A great article appeared in the Seattle Times this weekend about the warm water in the Columbia and the fate of the Sockeye Salmon in the river. Worth the read to keep informed about what is happening here.

However, a Columbia River Compact/Joint State hearing is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 16 via teleconference to discuss curtailment of recreational catch-and-release sturgeon fishing upstream of Bonneville ...

Smallmouth Bass have been hitting topwater poppers on the Columbia River and John Day River. There are lots of fish to be caught, but moving around is key. Earlier in the summer, the fish are congregated in spawning ...

We are now forced to focus on warmwater species until we get some serious relief from this heat. The Columbia River is above 70 degrees in the main current in the Gorge and near 80 in the backwaters. The Deschutes River ...

Some like it hot, hot, hot… A heat wave plagues our region. Rivers are scary low, bathwater warm and summer is just starting. The Columbia was reported to be 76 degrees in the backwaters and hovering around 70 all the ...

American Shad are still moving in the Columbia River right now. Reports are that the fish are deep (up to 30'), making them more difficult to catch on the fly than in years past when they ran in shallower water. Guides have ...

American Shad are running thick on the Columbia River right now. The majority of the action happens below Bonneville Dam, near Beacon Rock, near Cascade Locks and upstream near Rufus. If you can find them you can ...

Most of the streams in both Oregon and Washington are open now for general season trout fishing, so exploring the high mountain streams is an option.  The opportunities for fishing are vast in the gorge right now.  From Shad to Carp to Bass, the Columbia is fishing great. 

Another week marks another change in rules and regulations.  Many rivers in Washington will open on June 1.  Check the regulations, because there are some rivers that don’t open until the first Saturday in June while others open June 1. 




Rainbow Trout on the Deschutes River are still biting and fighting. The Salmonfly hatch has moved past Trout Creek and is approaching Warm Springs if it isn’t already there in full force.


Fly Fishing Reports

May 11, 2015

Fishing continues to be consistent around the area for a variety of species and situations. May is a great time to be out on the water.

Rainbow Trout on the Deschutes River are the primary focus for our area fly anglers right now. This is very typical during the second half of May. The Salmonfly hatch has moved upstream of Maupin now and fish have turned on to the dry flies throughout a large portion of the river. Drowning a rubber-leg nymph under an indicator will produce nice fish early in the morning, but the dry fly action should be good this week through most of the river during the day, with both Golden Stone and Salmonfly patterns. A small caddis pattern should also catch some nice fish in the evenings if they turn off of the stoneflies.

Remember that there is NO FISHING FROM A BOAT ON THE DESCHUTES and also, fishing on the Warm Springs Reservation is highly regulated, so check the regulations before you start fishing on the wrong side… Some sections require a permit and others are prohibited all together.

Spring Chinook are still showing in decent numbers. It is getting to be the mid-point in the run and we are looking at a great year so far. A few guys have picked them up on fly rods, but the best action has been on bait or plugs at Drano Lake and the Wind River, where boat anglers are producing good catch rates and nice bright fish. There are few fish still in the Lower Klickitat and Hood River, (the trap at Lyle Falls on the Klickitat only had one fish per day for several days last week), but both of those rivers historically fish better starting after Mother’s Day. Targeting Chinook on a fly rod is still a frustrating game, but I never underestimate a stubborn man with a good fly rod.

Just a reminder… the Klickitat River is only open below Lyle Falls (mile 1.4) and is only open there on Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays and Wednesdays.... The river above LYLE FALLS is currently closed, and opens for summer steelhead on JUNE 1. Drano Lake is also closed on Wednesdays…

Winter Steelhead fishing has been done for a few weeks now, but historically, there are usually a few early Summer Steelhead in the area this time of year. The Clackamas, Sandy and the Kalama all tend to get an early summer steelhead run, usually starting in May. There is generally very little pressure this time of year for summer steelhead on those rivers. Traditionally, our summer fish don’t start showing up in the Gorge until quite a bit later in the season. There are usually a few (very few) caught early in June on the Klickitat after it opens, but then it is typically pretty tough until mid to late August when temps start to fall and the water clarity cleans up. (The Klickitat and Hood both run very muddy during the summer).

Smallmouth Bass are a really good option right now in the Columbia River, with bigger fish working the shallows aggressively. The level of the Columbia has gone up and down over three feet this past week, which dramatically reduced the productivity of bass fishing last week; but it was just temporarily. Things should level out a bit as the two local dams should be wrapping up their annual high-water push to get the salmon smolt downstream and fishing should return to its near epic levels. The fluctuations of river level move the fish around a lot and make it harder to keep their whereabouts in check. The bass would prefer a steady flow, and we should see more of that coming up soon.

The “smallies” are chowing down on a variety of flies, such as clousers, crayfish and big woolly buggers. A floating or intermediate sinking line will work just fine with an 8-10# leader and a six or seven weight fly rod. A boat is nice, and a float tube works great in a lot of places if the wind is down, but there are plenty of places that one can fish from shore.

The John Day River has also been fishing really well for smallmouth bass. It is a lot easier to access and the fish are very easy to catch. They love topwater poppers, ants, grasshoppers and dragonflies. There are plenty of fish, but the big 3#+ fish are less common than in the Columbia this time of year. It is a great place to take someone new to fishing, or if you have had a rough winter of steelheading and need to get that rod bent with little effort.

Many of our local lakes are fishing well right now for Rainbow, Brown and Brook Trout. Pick a lake and it is likely fishing well. Timothy and Trillium Lakes near Government Camp, OR are both producing some very nice trout as well as Rock Creek Reservoir near Wamic, OR. Lost Lake is always a good spot to catch some fish, but not much in the way of solitude. The same goes for Kingsley Reservoir near Hood River. It’s a good fishery, but it is crowded with all walks of life from four wheelers and motorbikers to drunken twenty-somethings on vinyl alligator pool floats.

Goose Lake near Trout Lake, WA has been excellent for numbers of smaller trout. Rowland, Spearfish and Horsethief Lakes are fishing very well for stocked rainbows, as well as Maryhill Pond on the Washington side of Biggs Junction.

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.


May 3, 2015

It’s a great time of year to be out enjoying the Gorge, the Pacific Northwest and all of the outdoor opportunities that are available. Whatever you like to do, it is likely a great time of year for you; unless that thing is snow skiing…


The Deschutes River is hot right now for Rainbow Trout. Salmonflies are hatching up through Maupin and should be up to Warm Springs any day now. Dry fly fishing is good, but fish do fill up as a Salmonfly contains a lot of calories, so try a Golden Stone, little Yellow Sallie or even a caddis pattern if they are not taking your Salmonfly dry, especially later in the day. I mean I love pepperoni pizza, but sometimes after eating six slices, I don’t want another whole slice of pepperoni, but I might like to snack on something small like a potato chip if presented correctly.
Remember that there is NO FISHING FROM A BOAT ON THE DESCHUTES and also, fishing on the Warm Springs Reservation is highly regulated, so check the regulations before you start fishing on the wrong side… Some sections require a permit and others are prohibited all together.

Fish & Chics!
Smallmouth Bass are definitely on the bite right now in the Columbia River, with bigger fish working the shallows aggressively. They want to chase things right now. My arms hurt from bass fishing on Friday. We caught as many fish as I could ever want to. I had to have Ellie help me land this last nice fish of the day. She looks much better in a picture than I do anyways. The John Day River is also a great bet right now. The size of the average fish is a little smaller, but what they lack in size, they make up for in numbers and aggressiveness.

Spring Chinook are definitely making a splash around here. Drano Lake was as busy as I have ever seen it over the weekend, but I heard that the catch rates were very good there and at the mouth of the Wind River. The Klickitat River and the Hood River are a little later to turn on. With incredible numbers so far, May should be epic for salmon fishing. As of Saturday, 139,000+ salmon had gone through Bonneville Dam, compared to 78,000 at this time last year and our ten year average of 43,000; this is shaping up to be one of the best Springer years in recent history.

Catching them with any consistency on a fly rod is difficult. People keep saying that they are going to “figure it out”, but someone already did that years ago. They figured out that Spring Chinook that are this far from the ocean do not eat swung flies with any consistency. They rarely sit in swingable water and they tend to be very scent-oriented. A guy could grease up a fly with roe scent, but it’s still a frustrating game. Your best bet would be to find a pile of them and make the same cast over and over and over again…

Just a reminder… the Klickitat River is only open below Lyle Falls (mile 1.4) and is only open there on Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays and Wednesdays.... The river above LYLE FALLS is currently closed, and opens for summer steelhead on JUNE 1. Drano Lake is also closed on Wednesdays…

The first of many to come on John Garretts new Sage ONE 7136-4
Winter Steelhead fishing is done, but there are usually some early Summer Steelhead in the area this time of year. The Clackamas, the Sandy and the Kalama all get an early summer steelhead run, usually in May and June, and fishing can be amazing if you hit it right.

Lakes are a good bet right now for Rainbow, Brown and Brook Trout. Pick a lake and it is likely fishing well. Timothy and Trillium Lakes near Government Camp, OR are both producing some very nice trout. Goose Lake near Trout Lake, WA has been good for numbers of smaller fish. Rowland, Spearfish and Horsethief Lakes are fishing very well for stocked rainbows.

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.


Fishing Report:  April 26th, 2015

This weekend marks a change in fishing opportunities in the area. Lowland lakes are open now in Washington along with Oregon’s Laurence Lake and the Deschutes River all the way up to Pelton Dam. This creates more opportunities for catching Rainbow Trout locally. Horsethief Lake, Rowland Lake, and Spearfish Lake are all local Washington trout lakes that will be fishing well and provide anglers with ample opportunity to get out and catch some fish with relative ease. Laurence is now an option for Oregon lake fishers, but tends to fish better a little later in the season because the water is very cold in that lake and it does not get a lot of sun, so bug life tends to be on the later side...

Lost Lake is still fishing well and will continue to fish well for quite a while. Timothy Lake, Clear Lake and Trillium Lake are all fishing well too. Pulling a woolly bugger around drop-offs and ledges is a good bet. Callibaetis should be hatching soon, if not already in many lakes.

Steelhead Redds
Steelhead anglers are mostly wrapping it up for the winter/spring season. There are redds (spawning beds) all over the Hood River (see picture). PLEASE BE AWARE OF REDDS AND DO NOT WADE THROUGH THEM! We want to protect these fish so they can make more fish. Spawning steelhead taste terrible and don’t put up a fight, so please leave them alone.


Spring Chinook numbers are still looking great. The Gorge tributaries are not quite pulling in good numbers yet, but they tend to be more of a May show. The April fish are mostly bound for the upper part of the Columbia and Snake/Salmon systems, with a few local fish trickling into all of our local rivers.

The Gorge tributaries tend to heat up in order of location as you move upstream. The Wind River fishes well for salmon before Drano, and Drano heats up before the Klickitat. There will be fish pouring in soon enough, but despite good numbers, we are still a couple weeks away from consistently good Springer fishing.

Just a reminder… the Klickitat River is only open below Lyle Falls (mile 1.4). The river above LYLE FALLS is currently closed, and opens for summer steelhead on JUNE 1. I fished the lower Klickitat for Spring Chinook this weekend and did not hook up, but we did see a fish roll a couple of times, but I am not entirely certain it wasn’t a sucker. (OK, I’m sure it was a sucker). I just miss the Klick and wanted to spend a few minutes fishing my favorite river with no one else there besides Shane, but I can deal with him…

The Deschutes River is now open all the way to Pelton Dam and should be fishing very well throughout the system for Rainbow Trout. (Steelhead are not really an option until the late summer). Salmon/Stonefly nymphs are the hot fly right now, and should be an integral part of your strategy. We have heard that there are Salmonflies as far up as Sandy Beach right now, so the Maupin area should be doing well by this weekend.

There is a possibility for good dry fly fishing with small, drab caddis patterns late in the day up higher and you can always fish small nymphs with the stonefly, but most of your fish should come to the stonefly nymph. Remember that there is NO FISHING FROM A BOAT ON THE DESCHUTES and also, fishing on the Warm Springs Reservation is highly regulated, so check the regulations before you start fishing on the wrong side… Some sections require a permit and others are prohibited all together.

Smallmouth Bass are hot right now in the Columbia, with bigger fish working the shallows aggressively. This should be a trend for the next month or more. Fishing a crayfish pattern under an indicator, dragging a Mantis Shrimp along the rocks or stripping a big ugly leech are all productive methods of producing good smallmouth bass. They will also take big buggers and small baitfish patterns with gusto.

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.

Fishing Report:  April 19th, 2015

Angler effort towards winter steelhead is definitely slowing down quite a bit on the Hood.  There are still a few guys fishing steadily, but the run has definitely peaked for the year.  There are high hopes for the Spring Chinook run this year and plenty of guys are getting their season started.  Rainbow Trout fishing has been fabulous on many of the area lakes and on the Deschutes River, and Smallmouth Bass fishing has been great on the Columbia and some of the (open) small ponds in the area. 

Spring Chinook numbers are looking great!  I see that we had almost 8000 fish through Bonneville a couple of days ago.  Catching them on the fly is still not a promising proposition, but I would never underestimate a motivated person with a fly rod.  I am getting my gear rods prepped for a morning/evening or two or Springer fishing in the next couple of weeks.  The earliest fish through Bonneville usually bolt for the upper reaches of the Columbia and Snake River systems, but the local Gorge fish should start sticking around soon and pushing up our local streams.  The lower tributaries generally get pushes of fish before the upper ones.  The Wind, Drano and the Klickitat (in WA) usually get their fish in that order, with the Hood getting theirs on the later side too.  Mid-May is usually a good bet around here for Springer fishing.  

Just a reminder… the Klickitat River is only open below Lyle Falls (mile 1.4).  The river above LYLE FALLS is currently closed and opens for summer steelhead on JUNE 1.

I did make it to a lake or two out in the Columbia River Basin this week.  Fishing was absolutely awesome.  Ranging in the realm of “epic” Jon, Ryan and I had multiple doubles and a few triple hookups throughout the trip.  While we did not hook any monster trout, each of us landed between 30-50 trout a day averaging a healthy 15”, with each of us landing a fish or two or three in the 18-20” range.  The great part was that these fish were really mini steelhead.  They had a tendency to go airborne multiple times and fought like they were twice their size.  Several times I thought I had hooked a serious hog only to see a 16” rainbow come to hand.  The fish were in less than two feet of water and eating water-boatmen the first day, which we did not have any patterns for.  Fortunately for us, they were very, very aggressive towards just about any fly that we could throw at them.  We caught fish on a huge variety of flies from streamers, leeches, callibaetis, chironomids, soft hackles and damselfly nymphs.  I will work up a full report with pictures this week (no names or locations of these lakes will be revealed).

LAURENCE LAKE IS CLOSED UNTIL APRIL 25.  Yes, one more week and then everyone can stop fishing illegally up there.  It doesn’t seem to be deterring anyone.  One of my friends camped up there over the weekend and said there were easily a dozen people fishing the lake Saturday…  Horsethief, Spearfish, and Rowland Lake (WA) all open next Saturday along with the Deschutes River above the Northern boundary of the Warm Springs reservation.  

In our area, Lost Lake and Kingsley (Green Point) Reservoir are currently open and have been great for Rainbow Trout.  Both are fishing well for both recently planted rainbows and holdovers from last year.  

The Deschutes is fishing very well for Rainbow Trout.  These feisty trout are eating Stonefly/Salmonfly nymphs along with some smaller grey caddis, and classic mayfly nymph patterns like a pheasant tail and a hare’s ear. 

Smallmouth Bass are very active right now.  Mid-April through mid-May is the best time to catch smallies, as they are in shallow and are very aggressive.  Topwater flies and lures are an option, as well as streamers, crayfish and suspending a fly.  The Columbia has some big smallmouth and they are very willing to eat a fly.  You don’t need a bass boat, but it certainly helps.

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.  

Fishing Report:  April 13th, 2015

Winter Steelhead are in their spawning phase, or getting close to it, and with increasing numbers of salmon, angler effort on many rivers has shifted towards Spring Chinook.  Anglers are also finding success fishing for Rainbow Trout on local lakes and the Deschutes River

There are still a few “fresher” steelhead around, especially at the mouth of the Hood River; however, reports of successful anglers upstream have been non-existent.  In fact, I have not heard of anyone catching a steelhead on a fly upstream of the mouth of the river in quite a while.  While there are quite a few fish in the first 200 yards of the river above the mouth, those steelhead are not moving upstream with much consistency.  Either way, my effort towards catching steelhead has waned significantly lately.  That’s ok since it’s been really, really crowded out there. 

The steelhead run on the Hood is always a little later than some other rivers, possibly due to the cold water temperatures of the river.  So while fish are in full spawning mode in many Northwest rivers, the fish here are just starting to get into the mood.  It is time however, to start keeping an eye out for redds, and watch where you are wading!  It’s also a good idea to think before you cast at fish that you can see.  If you can see steelhead in shallow water, they are probably spawning and should be left alone. 

Spring Chinook numbers are really picking up.  Friday (April 10) was the first day that we have seen 1000+ fish through the dam in one day.  It appears this week is going to signal a start to the salmon season in the Gorge.  The Hood does not open for salmon until Wednesday, April 15, and the run is predicted to be strong this year.  With the Deschutes closed this spring for salmon, the Hood is about to get even more crowded.

I didn’t make it out to the Basin Lakes of Central Washington this last week, but high winds would have made fishing rather difficult anyways.  I did go explore a couple of high mountain lakes and fishing was amazingly good.  There were lots of small Brook Trout, a couple of nice Rainbow Trout and one decent Brown Trout.  The best part was that I had several lakes all to myself.  One other angler managed to find me at a very remote lake, so I left rather quickly and found another lake that I had all to myself.  The biggest problem was that I was running into too much snow while trying to get to the lakes that I really wanted to fish. 

LAURANCE LAKE IS CLOSED UNTIL APRIL 25.  We are still getting phone calls asking what they are biting on up at Laurance.  Rowland, Spearfish, and Horsethief (all in WA) are all also closed until April 25. 

In our area, Lost Lake and Kingsley (Green Point) Reservoir have been great for Rainbow Trout.  Both are fishing well for both recently planted rainbows and holdovers from last year. 

The Deschutes River has been consistent for Rainbow Trout, and is starting to really turn on.  The river is only open downstream of the Warm Springs Reservation Boundary, so your options are limited from the Maupin area downstream to the mouth.  Popular spots like Trout Creek and Mecca Flats are closed until April 25.  The fish are already pretty keyed in on stonefly nymphs, so that makes fly choices pretty easy.  They will also be eating a variety of small nymphs in the #18-#20 range like pheasant tails, hare’s ears and lightning bugs, but I would always trial those behind a rubber leg nymph this time of year.

Smallmouth Bass are biting flies and lures well right now.  They are still not in full spawning shallows, but they are definitely within casting distance of the shore in most of the usual areas.  There are plenty of places on the Columbia that a guy can cast for bass with a fly rod from shore, but bass anglers are a tight lipped crew.  The John Day River is a great place to go catch a handful of smallies, but you are less likely to run into the big mamas that you can find on the Columbia.

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. 



Fishing Report:  April 5th, 2015


For a lot of us, Winter Steelhead season is coming to a halt.  Reports of steelhead on redds across the region signal an end to an obsession, temporarily…  I strongly urge all anglers to leave spawning fish alone.  It is unethical to fish at spawning steelhead.  If they are visible, in less than two feet of water, paired up, or on top of gravel, then they are most likely trying to spawn.  Let them be and move on to other areas.  We want this large class of wild fish to make more fish for us to catch in a couple of years. 

There are still some fresh fish coming in, but these are the last stragglers that are late and more of an exception than a rule.  Folks down at the mouth of the Hood have been doing fairly well early in the mornings, but reports from upstream have been pretty bleak.  It seems that the “fresher” fish are still holding out in the Columbia and are moving into the mouth in the mornings and then back out to the Columbia for the remainder of the day; only to be trickling up the river in small numbers.  I think that I haven’t landed a steelhead since February, but I am ok with that.  Dreams of pig-bellied smallmouth bass and lunker stillwater trout have been keeping my attention as of late far more than dark, low water steelhead. 

Spring Chinook numbers are looking great, but the prospects of catching them on a fly are still pretty poor.  If there was ever a time I get excited to soak some roe, it is in late April for Springers, arguably the most delicious of all salmon.  I wait for numbers to hit about 1000 a day through Bonneville before I will get out there.  We are currently at about 300 a day through the dam.

LAURENCE LAKE IS CLOSED UNTIL APRIL 25.  It is utterly ridiculous how many people have been asking or telling me how its fishing lately.  Just on Saturday alone, I talked to six people that either called or came in prepared to go fish closed waters.  A few of them did not seem very concerned about it and indicated that they were going to go anyways.  I did place a call to the ODFW enforcement hotline, but I am not sure if anything will come of it. 

In our area, Lost Lake is open and so is Kingsley (Green Point) Reservoir for Rainbow Trout.  Both are fishing fairly well for recently planted trout and holdovers from last year.  Rowland, Spearfish, and Horsethief (all in WA) are closed until late April. 

I am heading up towards the Basin Lakes of Central Washington this week.  There are hundreds of lakes that have amazing growth rates and fish extremely well into May for large holdover fish.  These lakes are usually small and shallow, and often there are several lakes in a chain to keep a guy busy.  The bug life is usually very healthy and fish are active and take flies with a vengeance.  Lenice, Nunally, Dry Falls, Seeps Lakes and Quincy Lakes are just some of the beautiful desert lakes with potential for huge trout.  I am prepared to fish chironomids during the day, dries in the evening and buggers early in the morning. 
The Deschutes River is still fishing well for Rainbow Trout, and is going to start heating up even more in the next few weeks.  The river is only open downstream of the Warm Springs Reservation Boundary, so your options are limited from the Maupin area downstream to the mouth.  Popular spots like Trout Creek and Mecca Flats are closed until April 25.  The fish have been eating March Brown Mayflies, but will soon turn their attention towards Stonefly nymphs and perhaps an evening caddis hatch.

Smallmouth Bass are most definitely in shallower water right now.  I went on Easter Sunday and fishing was good, but not red hot.  Smaller males in the 1-2# range were in 4-6’ of water close to shore, but the females were nowhere to be found for us.  I caught 3 and lost another couple, and Ryan caught 5 with jerkbaits.  Overall I didn’t do so bad considering that I have never actually targeted smallmouth, I was using a 6wt fly rod in high winds, and I was fishing next to a pro Midwestern bass guy throwing a full array of jerkbaits, jigs and spinnerbaits.  Bad weather, high winds and falling temps made it a bit less productive than it should have been.  I imagine that a warm day with less wind could be amazing and it will only get better for the next month or two.  It was fun and very nice to be doing something different than chasing steelhead.


As always, we are happy to talk fishing any time.  Give us a call if you have any specific questions on local rivers, gear, tactics or just want some encouragement to get out of the office. 



Fishing Report:  March 29th, 2015


I took a week off from the fishing report because I was out fishing; more on that later. 

OK, it’s down to the wire here for winter steelhead.  Most people stop fishing for steelhead around April 1, as the run has peaked and most of the fish in the Northwest are on the spawn, so that leaves us one week of fishing before the run really starts to wane.  I just want to get into one or two more fish before I turn my attention towards stillwater fishing for trout, where I can get some peace and quiet for a month or so before the Deschutes gets going for trout and then eventually, steelhead. 

The low and clear conditions are still around the region, but a bit of rain throughout last week helped us out quite a bit to bring the levels up a little.  The mouth of the Hood has been extremely busy.  There were 15 people in one run on Friday morning.  I cannot take part of that mess, but I hear fishing has been pretty good in the mornings. 

My friends and I went zero for three days out on the coast this last week.  We could not have asked for better conditions, yet did not even touch a fish.  I am sure they were there, but just not on the bite.  It’s all part of the reason that I keep swinging for steelhead.  You can do everything right; you can be on the right river in perfect conditions, swinging a good fly through good water for three days and still not touch a fish.  Some people might call that insanity, but spending my free time tromping through the rainforest searching for unicorns helps me keep my life in focus…

The Clackamas and the Sandy were fishing well last week too.  Good clarity on both rivers; the Sandy goes gin clear a lot quicker than the Clack, but there was 3-4’ visibility on the Clackamas, and about 6’ on the Sandy.  Guys that I know are generally picking up a fish or two or three a day on either river.

Trout: 

I honestly was out steelhead fishing for the past two weeks, so I have not heard anything different about the trout fishing.  I would expect that it is still pretty good just about everywhere.  March browns should still be hatching on the Deschutes, chironomids on the lakes, and fish should eat a fairly wide variety of flies this time of year. 

Chironomid fishing is intimidating and some people might find it boring.  The thing is that if you are where the fish are eating chironomid nymphs, the action can be pretty consistent.  I look for muddy bays and flats that are also a little sheltered from the wind, but the fish are generally about a foot to three feet off the bottom when they are feeding, usually between 8-12’ deep.  Try fishing a #12 Ice Cream Cone off of a 6x leader, then add a #14 Bloody Juju Chironomid on some 6x tippet about a foot under the ice cream cone.  Then add an indicator so that the bottom bug is a foot to two feet off the bottom.  The easy way to find the depth is to snap your forceps to your leader and drop it to the bottom.  Find where the slack starts (where your forceps are lifted off the bottom) and then add your indicator about a foot underneath that.  I rarely fish chironomids deeper than 12’, but a full sink line can help you with that if you need to.  The most important thing after you throw your line out there is to give it a “bump” every ten seconds or so.  Just a bump to move the indicator gives the fly a little bit of natural movement and attracts the fish.  90% of the fish I hook grab the fly right after the “bump”.  My advice is to not be intimidated by the early season stillwater fishing, as it can be amazingly productive if you hit it right.  Feel free to give me a call if you have any questions…

Bass:

I talked to the same couple of guys that have been catching bass out from a few local ponds.  They said it was slow last week, but still getting better every week.  The wet weather could slow it down a bit, but it’s an option for you…


As always, we are happy to talk fishing any time.  Give us a call if you have any specific questions on local rivers, gear, tactics or just want some encouragement to get out of the office.  


Fishing Report:  March 15th, 2015

What’s that in the sky?  Is it really raining?  It is about time… local rivers should be popping back into good shape this week, although they may muddy up a bit for a few days.  Fishing should be fair to good just about everywhere.  Keep an eye on the levels and get out there.  

Winter Steelhead:

Fishing should be good this week all across the region.  Its mid-March, so there isn’t much time left for winter steelheading, but the last couple of weeks look promising.  If it’s open and has a winter run, it should be fishing well for the upcoming week barring any blowouts.  I am turning my attention to the coastal streams and should have some reports and maybe some good pictures next week.  

Trout:  
I had Timothy Lake to myself all day on Friday.  I couldn’t have asked for a more peaceful day on the lake.  It was overcast, comfortable temps, no wind, and absolutely not another boat on the lake except one motorboat that made a lap and quickly left (getting the motor prepped for the year I guess).  Fishing was hit and miss; the first four hours only produced two hooked and lost rainbows, although both were incredibly strong fish pushing 20” and going airborne multiple times.  The last hour was great; with many fish coming to hand and several more lost.  

Word is that the Deschutes is still fishing well, and it should continue to produce for the next few months.  This rain is going to help stir things up and move the fish around.  It should also help get some BWOs hatching, which should help get some fish up on the surface.  Fish have been eating Jimmy Leg nymphs very consistently, but also March Brown nymphs and hopefully now they will be eating BWO nymphs and dries.  

Bass:

The Columbia is starting to warm up just a little.  Reports are that a few smallmouth were caught in the Hood River Marina last week, so the big river should start to produce some smallies by the end of the month, which is a bit earlier than normal (but everything is early this year).  I wouldn’t be surprised if guys started catching some smallies out in the John Day anytime now. 

As always, we are happy to talk fishing any time.  Give us a call if you have any specific questions on local rivers, gear, tactics or just want some encouragement to get out of the office.  

541.386.6977
"Fly Fish the World with Us"


The fly tying event at Andrew’s Pizza went very well; better than I expected.  There were 13 or 14 people, most of them brought materials to tie a couple of flies.  Just as I hoped, this was not a class or a clinic, but a fun event where we just tie flies, make friends and share our love for fishing.  Look for another event in early April.  




Fly Tying Night Review

My ultimate fear was that I would be the only person there with a tying kit. I imagined a handful of fishermen I don’t know expecting me to teach them about tying steelhead flies. I was prepared to do a presentation on intruders, but I really, really didn’t want it to go down that way.

To my surprise, it turned out better than I could have hoped, although it started off slow. In true Hood River fashion, most people didn’t show up until 7:00 or later. By 7:30, we were starting to get rowdy.

Tom, Scott, Matt, Ian, Jaime, Gabe, Stan, Brent, Kevin, Jon and I had a blast tying all sorts of flies. Gabe and Tom worked on a smallmouth version of Dave Pinczkowski’s Bad Hair Day, while Jon showed off his favorite composite loops. Jamie and Kevin drank beer and made fun of the rest of us, while Ian and Matt worked on some sweet little secret low water killers. Scott and Brent were the observers, just soaking up the good conversation and enjoying the company of like-minded fishermen. In the end, I can say that a good time was had by all.

We will be expanding this event in the future. Andrew’s Pizza was awesome in giving us the big tables for the evening and allowing us to make a mess in the middle of their dining room. The food was great, the beer was cold and the service was excellent. The next event will be held in early April sometime. I hope to see more of you in the future.

If you are looking for fly-tying lessons, we would be happy to arrange that if you are looking more for a one on one setting. Feel free to give us a call anytime. 541-386-6977

Winter Steelhead:
Low and clear conditions still plague the region.  Our complete lack of snowpack is going to make summer fishing very bad.  High water temps and low flows could have disastrous consequences for the whole west coast.  We can only hope for a wet, mild summer, and the NOAA Climate Prediction Center confirms my pessimistic outlook for the summer: (http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/90day/).

Winter steelheading has been better.  Low river conditions are anything but ideal for swinging a fly (or running a nymph if you’re into that type of thing).  I have pledged not to fish for steelhead until it rains again.  I just feel bad for the fish when conditions are this poor.  It’s been crowded and it’s hard to find any water that has enough flow to fish on the Hood.

There have been a few fish caught here and there across all of the local rivers.  I heard that the lower couple of miles of the Clackamas had a hot couple of days, but there has been little consistency overall across the region.  The Hood is dropping under 700 cfs, entering the realm of “scary low” for March.

The Sandy is too low for most people to float, unless you really like to spend half of your day dragging your raft through boulder gardens.  The bright spot is that Spring Chinook have started coming in already, so the pressure on our steelhead runs should ease up as guys turn their focus on the Willamette and Columbia for delicious spring salmon.

We are looking to get a little bit of rain this week, but as long as the jet stream is well to our North, we are not going to get any steady precipitation, at least enough to make a dent in the drought that is inevitable at this point.  (See the official Scientific Forecaster Discussion here: Click Here

The upcoming rains should be enough to bring the rivers up towards a normal flow for this time of year, but don’t expect any miracles.  The Hood is predicted to get back up to about 1050 cfs, which is still far below the level that we like to fish, but it’s better than the sub-700 cfs flows that we have today.

Trout:  

Reports of some big brookies caught up at Timothy Lake have piqued my curiosity.  My truck broke down and I missed out on a day of fishing on Thursday, but I will be putting Timothy on the short list for this week.  Sinking lines and weighted woolly buggers should do the trick, although I will be prepared with a chironimid rod rigged up with a floating line just in case.

I did manage to get out on the Deschutes for a couple of hours Friday.  March Browns were hatching, as well as some Blue Winged Olives, small caddis and a couple of Skwalas.  The fish were definitely on the March Brown nymphs.  There was no action on the surface, although I did see a couple of fish in shallow water that were likely working the March Brown dries or emergers.  I just didn’t see them or anything else actually working surface bugs.  There was enough action on the nymphs that I didn’t try a dry fly or emerger pattern, although I probably should have thrown one for a few minutes just to see if there were any takers.

We fished above Sherar’s Falls, and saw three other fishermen; which is amazing for how gorgeous it was outside and how thick the hatch was.

I also managed to hook two steelhead on March Brown nymphs (BH Squirrel Nymph #12), but I let them take my fly and 5x tippet instead.  I want no part of trying to land a 26” spawned out steelhead on 5x tippet.  It seems that the chances of that fish surviving a long battle is pretty low (they had both definitely spawned already).   After I hooked the first one, I climbed up the bank a bit and saw that there were at least five or six steelies sitting on this shallow gravel bar, which is typical for downstream (kelt) steelhead to do on their way back towards the ocean.  The second fish was in a different run about a mile upstream of the first.  My fishing partner saw a couple of other steelhead sitting in that same shallow run, so there are definitely quite a few steelhead on their downstream migration already.

As always, we are happy to talk fishing any time.  Give us a call if you have any specific questions on local rivers, gear, tactics or just want some encouragement to get out of the office.  

541.386.6977
"Fly Fish the World with Us" 


Fishing Report:  March 1st, 2015


Come out this week to our second fly-tying night on Wednesday March 4 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Andrew’s Pizza and Skylight Theater. Feel free to stop by and check it out or bring your vise and some materials. We will be tying some late winter steelhead patterns (or whatever you want). Whether you tie flies, like beer or pizza, or just want to meet some local fishermen, this should be a fun event for everyone to enjoy. I do have a few extra vises, tools and materials if you want to jump in for a quick one, and I will trade materials for beer…

Fishing for steelhead has definitely been better in the gorge.  We didn’t get enough rain to make a dent in the flow/levels of the Hood, but the Sandy had a nice little spike and should have fished well Friday and Saturday (before you read this report…).  Trout fishing has been and will continue to be good on the Deschutes and fair to good on a couple of the local lakes.

Winter Steelhead:
Low and clear conditions still plague the region. Summer is going to be rough this year for our local rivers.

The poor conditions finally cleared the people out, sorta. Not many people out fishing during the week. This weekend was a different story. Several of our local fly fishermen have come in with tales of gear fishermen walking into runs and casting across their lines with no regard for river etiquette or respect. It’s a big enough problem that I have really stayed away from the Hood this past month or so. It is sad when you can’t fish the river near your house without having a disrespectful fisherman ruin your day on the river.

Chatting with the creel census, there have been a fish or two caught daily, and pressure is moderate to light. Most success has been with the bobber and egg crew working the couple of deep holes that hold fish in these conditions.

Don’t look for anything to get better before it gets worse. Conditions are predicted to remain to remain low and clear for the foreseeable future. Eventually, the steelhead are going to have to come into the river regardless of levels. Hopefully it starts acting like winter and/or spring in Oregon and dumps some rain before we get to that point.

Trout:  
Trout fishing is great right now on the Deschutes as it has been most of the winter.  March Browns are out and feisty trout are eating both the dries and the nymphs.  The nymphing, for the most part, has been more consistent than the dry fly fishing.  A few Skwalas (little brown stones) have been spotted (I found one on the wall of my house inside Thursday) and the fish should be eating the nymphs.  Skwalas tend to hatch in the dark, so the trout don’t key in on the dries as much as with other stoneflies, but the nymphs are a big, tasty treat that is hard for them to refuse.  

Recommended flies are:

  • Jimmy legs in size #8-12
  • Beadhead Squirrel Nymph #12/14
  • Anato May Hare’s Ear #12/14
  • Pheasant tail #10-18
  • Barr’s BWO Emerger #18
  • Copper John Red #18
  • Parachute March Brown
  • March Brown Dry
  • Compara-Dun March Brown

As always, we are happy to talk fishing any time. Give us a call if you have any specific questions on local rivers, gear, tactics or just want some encouragement to get out of the office.


541.386.6977
"Fly Fish the World with Us" 



Fishing Report:  February 23rd, 2015

Trout fishing has been stellar on the Deschutes and some of the local lakes. John and I did some exploration on some local lakes this weekend. I caught a really beautiful brookie on an olive bugger, but that was the entirety of the action on three lakes. One of them involved dragging float tubes while bushwhacking through the forest. It looked like no one had been in there for quite a while. It was a really nice (and much needed) break from the crowded fast-paced steelhead streams that dominate the fishing scene around here.

I am re-posting info about the Second Fly-tying Night on Wednesday March 4 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Andrew’s Pizza and Skylight Theater. Feel free to stop by and check it out or bring your vise and some materials. We will be tying some late winter steelhead patterns. Whether you tie flies, like beer or pizza, or just want to meet some local fishermen, this should be a fun event for everyone to enjoy. I do have a few extra vises, tools and materials if you want to jump in for a quick one, and I will trade materials for beer…



Winter Steelhead:
Low and clear conditions made steelhead fishing very tough last week. It certainly didn’t stop anyone from getting out on the water, but catch rates were pretty poor on the local rivers. A few fish here and there, but no consistency on any of the local waters. Look for conditions to remain poor for steelheading until the weather changes and river levels bump up… maybe later this week?


Most of the locals have been on the Clackamas or the Sandy. The Clack seems to have been a little better than the Sandy, but neither of them are spectacular right now, and will remain poor until the water comes up (which should be expected when conditions are like this). On an ironic note, most of Portland seems to be fishing on the Hood on any given day, while the local Gorge fishermen are heading towards Portland. There were nine people in the run footbridge run mid-day on Thursday (none of them from Hood River).


This week…
Fishing will remain tough as long as the conditions remain poor. A little bit of rain may be headed our way later in the week. Hopefully the rivers will get back into shape…

Trout:
Trout fishing has been really good. It’s been fairly busy on the Deschutes, which should be expected with how warm the weather has been, and how poor the steelheading conditions are. People are picking up nice fish on a variety of flies, but the guys fishing Jimmy Legs/Restless Stones near the bottom are definitely catching fish more consistently. A small trailer fly that imitates a Blue Winged Olive or small mayfly will improve your success. San Juan worms are also producing fish as well as small egg patterns. Just get your fly down to the bottom until you see fish working dries.

There are plenty of lakes that are accessible right now, which is unusual for this time of year, so take advantage if you can. If you are intimidated by stillwater fishing, please give us a call. It’s not as user-friendly as stream fishing; you need a variety of lines and a float tube and fins, etc… and it does take some tinkering to start consistently producing fish. It is a total blast once you get dialed in. There is very little pressure on a lot of our local lakes, and there are some really nice fish to be caught in relative solitude.
As always, we are happy to talk fishing any time.  Give us a call if you have any specific questions on local rivers, gear, tactics or just want some encouragement to get out of the office.  

541.386.6977
"Fly Fish the World with Us" 


Fishing Report:  February 16th, 2015

Clackamas River
We went from near flood levels to low and clear conditions in less than a week. It’s awfully spring-like out there, and the fishing should match the weather. Trout fishing is going to be and has been pretty epic on some local lakes and on the Deschutes. Steelhead fishing was great for a few days last week, but will be a bit more difficult with the rivers approaching poor conditions and no rain in sight for the next week or more.


I am pleased to announce our second fly-tying night on Wednesday March 4 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Andrew’s Pizza and Skylight Theater. This new location allows us to indulge in beer and pizza while we tie, and gives us plenty of space to work. Feel free to stop by and watch or bring your vise and some materials. We will be tying some late winter steelhead patterns. We do have a few extra vises, tools and materials if you want to jump in for a quick one. I will trade materials for beer…

On to the fishing report

Winter Steelhead:


Jeff, Eric and I fished the Clackamas on Thursday (2/12) and it was pretty good. There were about six jet boats side drifting eggs and we saw two other fly fishermen that had hiked in, but relatively low pressure, good levels and there were definitely some fish around. Took a couple of pictures of a super-hot hatchery buck that Jeff landed in a run that a jet boat had just made six or more passes through with five or six egg rods working the same water… Just goes to show that it doesn’t matter if someone has fished the water first, you can still catch fish anytime.

We also fished the Sandy on Friday along with every other person in Portland. We saw at least 20 other boats from Oxbow to Dabney. There were multiple boats fishing in every run, and there were surprisingly a few fish caught. We saw more caught than I had expected, given the pressure (very high) and the conditions (gin clear).

Jeff | Clackamas River | February 2015

This week…
The smaller rivers will probably be getting terribly low for fishing effectively by the end of the week. I would focus on fishing down low on some of the bigger rivers by next weekend. The old saying is “when the water is low, fish low, when the water is high, fish high.” This refers to the section of river that you should focus on, not the water column or any other obscure reference. Try to find some fresh fish staging down low, waiting for the water to bump up to get them moving. Smaller patterns in more natural colors tend to work better for me in these conditions.

Klickitat:
The Klickitat is still closed and will remain closed above Lyle Falls until June 1. The lower river below the Falls opens on April 1.

Trout:
The line on trout fishing hasn’t moved much since last week, so I am reposting the Deschutes portion with a couple of edits:

Fishing for trout on the Deschutes has been absolutely great for those that have the patience and the skill. It’s not an easy fishery. These are big, feisty, well-educated trout and they rarely take bad presentations. You must be pretty darn close with your fly selection and presentation in order to have a good day. A stonefly nymph with a zebra midge or BWO nymph should work well. A San Juan worm, lightning bug or small pheasant tail should also work in lieu of the midge or BWO.

Dry fly fishing can be productive in the afternoon, although it will be much tougher in these sunny, bright conditions. The fish that are feeding in back-eddies and foam lines are taking BWO dries later in the day, and we saw a March Brown flying around the other day, so that will be an option soon, although the mayflies (March Browns) tend to be out in more traditional riffley water, as opposed to foam lines and eddies, where the BWOs are more likely to congregate.

Rowland Lake (WA) and Kingsley Reservoir are some good stillwater options right now. The weather has been warm enough to keep the road to Kingsley open. Rowland has been stocked with big fish this winter too. I personally love stillwater fishing, especially during the spring when big fish are cruising the shallows and eating with reckless abandon. Its spring-like weather out there, so go get some fat trout. There are also several lakes in Skamania County, WA have also all recently been planted with trout.

As always, we are happy to talk fishing any time. Give us a call if you have any specific questions on local rivers, gear, tactics or just want some encouragement to get out of the office. 


541.386.6977
"Fly Fish the World with Us" 


Fishing Report:  February 9th, 2015

We got the rain we wanted, thankfully.  This will definitely bring some fresh steelhead into the local rivers.  The counts over Bonneville Dam last week were pretty dismal, with a zero fish day and a one fish day.  Now that the water is up, expect a pile of fish to move into all of the local rivers.  


Winter Steelhead:

Check levels of the various rivers and hit them when they are dropping back into shape.  Smaller rivers like the Hood tend to drop back into shape before the bigger rivers, like the Clackamas and the Sandy.  There will be fish in every river around the Northwest that has winter steelhead (which is nearly every river in WA/OR that is not a tributary to the Columbia upstream of the Klickitat).

Some rivers got more rain than others.  Doing a little research on the USGS Real Time Water Data site can be very beneficial.  Just look for rivers to be dropping near “normal” flows and go, go, go.

The Upper Willamette tributaries are starting to get some numbers of fish showing up, and this week should be great up there (no, down there?) once the flows settle a little.

Klickitat: 

The Klickitat is still closed and will remain closed above Lyle Falls until June 1.  The lower river below the Falls opens on April 1.

Trout:  

Fishing for trout on the Deschutes has been absolutely great for those that have the patience and the skill.  It’s not an easy fishery.  These are big, feisty, well-educated trout and they rarely take bad presentations.  You must be pretty darn close with your fly selection and presentation in order to have a good day.  A stonefly nymph with a zebra midge or BWO nymph should work well.  A San Juan worm, lightning bug or small pheasant tail should also work in lieu of the midge or BWO.  Dry fly fishing can be productive in the afternoon.  The fish that are feeding in back-eddies and foam lines are taking BWO dries late and we saw a March Brown flying around the other day, so that will be an option soon, although the true Mayflies tend to be out in riffley water, as opposed to foam lines and eddies, where the BWO baetis congregate.

Rowland Lake (WA) and Kingsley Reservoir are some good stillwater options right now.  The weather has been warm enough to keep the road to Kingsley open.  Rowland has been stocked with big fish this winter too.  I personally love stillwater fishing, especially during the spring when big fish are cruising the shallows and eating with reckless abandon.  Its spring-like weather out there, so go get some fat trout.  Kidney Lake, Little Ashes Lake, and Tunnel Lake in Skamania County have also all recently been planted with trout.

As always, we are happy to talk fishing any time.  Give us a call if you have any specific questions on local rivers, gear, tactics or just want some encouragement to get out of the office.


541.386.6977
"Fly Fish the World with Us"


Fishing Report:  February 1st, 2015

Our fly-tying event went well.  Jaime, Jon, Gabe, Kevin and I tied a couple of our favorite winter patterns and had a great time discussing fishing and life in general.  We will be scheduling another event really soon, and we will be moving it over to Andrew’s Pizza.  There is a private dining area above the kitchen that will be great for us, plus their beer and pizza is far better than the chips and soda that we have at the shop…

Anyways, fishing was a bit tough last week, but overall the fishing is still better than it was for most of last winter, even in less than ideal conditions.  A little shot of rain, or a big one, will be very helpful in getting levels up and getting fish to move into the rivers again.  Look for fishing to be good by the end of the week, barring any major blowouts.

Deschutes:
I almost went trout fishing.  Almost… Instead, I went hiking on Thursday.  From what I have heard, the fishing has been consistent and good.  Unlike the previous couple of weeks, we have had reports from people that have been fishing.  When the rivers get low and clear, steelhead fishing is not all that great, but trout fishing can be really stellar.  Rubber leg nymphs, blue wing nymphs, midges, san juans, and a variety of smaller mayfly nymphs (like #18-20 hare’s ear, or pheasant tails) are all producing fish, with a little window of dry fly fishing in the afternoon.

I have been asked a few times this month, and there is no winter run of steelhead in the Deschutes.  The Hood is as far up the Columbia that winter steelhead travel.  Well technically, they go into the Klickitat (which is closed) in small numbers and maybe Fifteenmile Creek near the Dalles Dam, but the Hood is as far upstream as we can go to chase them…

Rowland Lake:  
Rowland Lake will close February 28 this year and re-open in late April.  Fishing has been really good there.  Pressure is light, catching has been good.  The ‘jumbo sized’ rainbow trout are not very deep, and they are big and hungry, just the way we like them.  It’s a great option for anyone looking to get away from the crowds and catch some big fish in a low-pressure setting.

Klickitat:
The Klickitat is closed, and will remain closed for steelhead until the June 1 opener.

Hood:  
The Hood is currently pretty low, but not too low for fishing.  It’s just nowhere near ideal for winter steelhead right now; however, a nice shot of rain is on the way (and has already started.  The rain will help out tremendously everywhere.  It has been very, very crowded on the river (still), especially with the bobber and egg crowd (still).  I don’t know where they all appeared from, but it has been incredibly difficult to swing a fly without seeing a glob of eggs come flying out of nowhere while you are trying to work a run.

Clackamas:
The Clack and the Sandy both dropped into the “low and clear” side of flows this last week.  Fishing progressively got tougher as the week went on.  There are a few fish around, as there should be, but we are going to need to see some more rain before we get the next push of fish in the system.  Fishing should be more consistent after this rain that is headed our way.

Sandy:  
See above…

SW WA:
It is really the same story everywhere for winter steelhead.  They appear when the water goes up, and then slowly disperse as the water levels drop.  The next push of water brings in the next pod of fish.  It shouldn’t matter really what river you go to, but keep an eye on the levels as some rivers come into shape quicker than others after a rain.  If it stays low and clear, pick a bigger river where the flows stay up and the fish will keep moving.  Smaller rivers tend to drop into shape quicker, so if you keep an eye on the flows, you can usually find something that is in perfect shape after a high water event, and you can move from river to river as they drop in shape.

Coast:
Many of the coastal rivers are too low for productive fishing as of Sunday, Feb 1.  For example, the Nestucca is at 830 cfs right now, and we like fishing it at twice that flow or more.  A nice steady week of rain should get everything back to a more reasonable level.    Let’s hope that we get the moisture (or more) that is in the forecast.

As always, we are happy to talk fishing any time.  Give us a call if you have any specific questions on local rivers, gear, tactics, or you just want some encouragement to get out of the office.  


541.386.6977
"Fly Fish the World with Us" 


Fishing Report:  January 26th, 2015

Join us for our fly tying event on Tuesday, Jan 27 from 6:00 to 7:30.  We will be discussing winter steelhead flies and some tips and tricks to help us all become better tiers.  This event is open to all, whether you tie or not.  Basically, we just want to get together and BS for a few hours while we tie.  Bring your vise and materials to tie your favorite fly or two.  

Learn More: Fly-Tying Event

Jeff, Ryan and I went out exploring this last week.  We were on a different stream than we normally fish in a different area than we normally end up in.  Jeff hooked up with a hatchery fish early in the first run we hit and then I hit a super hot native buck later in the day.  The rains came in the next day and we only had a couple of grabs with nothing stuck.  There were a lot of coastal cutties in the river which gave us a nice break from the empty swings…



Jeff was fishing a Redington Dually 7130-4, a Sage 2210 reel and a Rio Skagit i-Flight 475 head for most of last week.  We have both been quite impressed with the Dually.  The action is a little slower than most of the rods out there, but it’s a great rod to learn on and fun to cast because it’s lightweight and smooth.  For the money, it’s really hard to beat.  He bought it as a back-up rod, but it fishes really well and it’s nice to change it up from the Sage Method 7126-4 that we have both been fishing for a year now.  Having a couple of rods to fish keeps it interesting because your casting stroke has to change with each rod and it forces you to focus on the little changes that will ultimately make your casting better overall.  If you just fish one rod and line all the time, then your stroke gets stuck and you don’t find where the weakness in your stroke (or your rod) is.

Deschutes:
This is one of the best times of year to fish the Deschutes for trout.  Although reports are sparse and tight-lipped, I imagine that the few guys that are fishing are doing really well and keeping their mouths shut about it. I would nymph deep with a big fly and a small trailer fly in slow steady moving water.  Big flies can include woolly buggers, possie buggers, stonefly nymphs and big prince nymphs.  San juan worms, small pheasant tails, lightning bugs, Barr’s BWO emergers, and zebra midges are some of my favorite trailer patterns this time of year.

I have been asked a few times this month, and there is no winter run of steelhead in the Deschutes.  The Hood is as far up the Columbia that winter steelhead travel.  Well technically, they go into the Klickitat (which is closed) in small numbers and maybe Fifteenmile Creek near the Dalles Dam, but the Hood is as far upstream as we go to chase them…

Rowland Lake:  
Gabe and Matt did great fishing Rowland last week for jumbo trout.  They were finding them in shallower water not too far from the ramp, as they were recently stocked and have not had enough pressure to push them out into the deeper parts of the lake yet.  Mostly, they are waiting for someone to bring them some food… feed them your favorite woolly bugger.

Klickitat: 
The Klickitat is closed, and will remain closed for steelhead until the June 1 opener.

Hood:
The Hood is in shape right now and pressure has been high, especially with bait fishermen.  The good weather over the weekend made it look like September on the Deschutes out there.  There have been fish caught here and there, but fishing has not been terribly consistent for most.  The water is high enough that pods of fish are coming in and pushing through fairly quickly and a few guys have managed to find them when they move through.  Overall, it’s much better than last year as far as numbers through Bonneville Dam, but the run is much stronger overall across the entire region.

The river tends to drop quickly during this type of weather.  Expect the flows to be below ideal conditions by mid-week.  Fish tend to push their way upstream when they feel the flows dropping out and fresh fish will wait to enter the system until the next rain event.  That being said, there is “no normal” for steelhead and they can be caught in far less-than-ideal conditions, so don’t let low and clear flows stop you. I just wouldn’t drive all that far to chase steelhead when conditions are not great.

Clackamas:
The Clack and the Sandy were both in good shape for the latter part of last week.  It looks like the rivers are going to drop throughout the week and may be low and clear before the week is over.  We are going to be wishing for some rain before the next week, but the fishing should be fair for the first part of the week as the water is still within a “normal” flow for now.    

Sandy:
See above…

SW WA:
The bigger rivers should stay in shape longer than the smaller ones as we set up for some high and dry weather which will make the rivers flow low and clear.  The Cowlitz and main Lewis are both big enough, and dam controlled, so they hold their flows for a while during this high pressure event we are having here…  The Wynoochee can also kick out some decent flows from the dam as other rivers drop too low.

Coast:
I would imagine that a bunch of the coastal rivers are going to drop a bit lower than we like to see them this time of year, especially since they drain from much lower elevations than the Cascade Range rivers.  It’s still early in the season for a big push of native fish to show, but it’s going to happen in the not-so-distant future.  Low and clear conditions are not ideal for traveling far to fish.  If you want my opinion on fishing during this type of good weather; keep it local on the big rivers that are holding their flows up, and save your travel for when the coastal rivers are in prime shape.


As always, we are happy to talk fishing any time.  Give us a call if you have any specific questions on local rivers, gear, tactics, or you just want some encouragement to get out of the office.

Fishing Report:  January 19th, 2015

This is just another friendly reminder to get your 2015 Oregon fishing license.  New licensing year began on Jan 1. The Washington licensing year begins on April 1 (see links above).  

I have to make a correction on last week’s report I made a typo twice and called my new Echo Glass a 7127-4, when in reality, it’s a 7129-4, 12’9” 7wt. I did manage to land a steelhead finally, although it took writing an article about my struggles before I got one.


Adrews Steelhead!
Deschutes:
People keep talking about how they are going to go trout fishing out there but I still haven’t heard of anyone doing it.  The lower river is blown out as of Sunday, and the upper river above White River is high, but fishable.  They should both come into shape within a few days and the fishing should be good.  I still would be nymphing a stonefly nymph and san juan worm deep or working the back eddies and foam lines with a hare’s ear and a Barr’s BWO emerger.

Rowland Lake:  
This lake was just planted again with jumbo sized rainbow trout.  Matt and Gabe are out fishing it right now, but I haven’t heard the final report.  Gabe is fishing a Rio InTouch Deep V WF5S5 full sinking line with a #8 thin mint.  

Klickitat: 
The Klickitat is closed, and will remain closed for steelhead and salmon until the June 1 opener.  

Andrews Steelhead
Hood:  
The Hood is blown out as of Sunday morning.  It will be out for a few days...  The river peaked at just under 8000 cfs Saturday night.  Looks like a chocolate milkshake right now.

Clackamas:
I fished the Clack on Thursday for four hours or so before the wind and rain forced me off the river.  It was swinging great and I only saw two boats float by the whole morning.  It is at 15,200 cfs Sunday morning, which is about 10,000 cfs more than I want to fish it at.   

Sandy:  
I haven’t heard anything about the Sandy last week, but it’s a bit high right now (12,200 cfs).  Should be fishable late in the week

SW WA:
Everything is going to be fishable later in the week and there shouldn’t be a bad choice by the weekend.  Any river that has a run of winter steelhead is going to be giving up fish as soon as it is fishable this week.   Again, there is no bad choice if the flows are within reason.  Pick your favorite river and go. 
Coast:
The coast should be fishing really well this week.  Some rivers are going to come into shape quicker than others and if you had the whole week to fish, you could probably line it up so that you hit a different river every day right as its dropping into prime shape.  

As always, we are happy to talk fishing any time. Give us a call if you have any specific questions on local rivers, gear, tactics or just want some encouragement to get out of the office.


Fishing Report:  January 12th, 2015

This is just another friendly reminder to get your 2015 Oregon fishing license.  New licensing year began on Jan 1. The Washington licensing year begins on April 1. (Links above) 

Fly tying event at the Gorge Fly Shop

Fishing seems to have been pretty good everywhere last week; well good considering that we are chasing winter steelhead, which is about the hardest thing to do with a fly rod around here.   Numbers have been good and the rivers that were in shape were kicking out some fish.  


MINI - ECHO GLASS REVIEW
I fished my new Echo Glass Spey 7127-4 on the coast over the weekend.  I only got a nice cutthroat, which would have been the trout of the year for many trout fishermen in this country.  It reminds me of how lucky we are to be able to catch a big, wild, cutthroat that has never seen a fly before, and still not even give it a second thought.  Being able to go fly fishing for steelhead year round is a truly special thing for us to experience and we are so lucky to be where we are.  It’s worth the struggles, slumps, bad days and tough conditions to be able to catch a fish every once in a while.  Just remember, we could be in Iowa and dreaming of that once in a lifetime 19 inch trout that I just shook off my fly, slightly upset that it may have spooked any steelhead that were in that run.

Anyways, the Echo Glass Spey 7127-4 casts like a dream with an Airflo Skagit Switch 510 on it.  I will be experimenting with a Skagit Compact 510 this week.  I am sure that the additional couple of feet will give me more room to create a bigger D-loop, and ultimately, longer, more powerful casts with the deep load of this rod.  A 10’ Airflo T-10 FLO tip and a weighted bunny leech swam great through the water I fished, but it didn’t give me a steelhead.  Jeff got the lucky draw and nailed a nice native coastal buck on a pink bunny.  

Deschutes:
I still haven’t had any reports from anyone trout fishing on the D this last week.  I know it’s hard to go trout fishing when there are steelhead around, but it’s probably really good and not crowded at all.  The fishing should be steady until the March Browns start to come out and we can get some truly magic days.  The river is closed for trout fishing upstream of the Northern Boundary of the Warm Springs Reservation from Nov 1 to April 24.

Rowland Lake:  
This lake should be productive until it closes March 1.  It receives healthy plants of catchable and jumbo sized rainbow trout.  Not much pressure, I mean zero pressure, yet the potential for some nice fish is really good.  Pull some woolly buggers on a deep, full sinking line for best results.

Klickitat: 
The Klickitat is closed, and will remain closed for steelhead and salmon until the June 1 opener.

Hood:
I ignored the Hood almost all last week; although I did put in an hour in the morning one day last week, but still haven’t hooked a fish this season down there.  On a plus side, it’s one of the first times I have fished in the morning this winter and haven’t had someone step out in front of (low-hole) me when the water was in good shape.  It’s looking like a low and clear week on the river, fishing probably won’t be too stellar, but the low water will probably keep fish from blasting upstream so quickly.  It’s nice to explore the river when the water is a bit lower so that you know what the structure looks like when the water comes up and the fish are thicker.

Clackamas:
The Clack is definitely fishing right now about as well as it ever does.  It is bigger and its dam controlled, so there is enough flow to keep bringing fish in and moving them around. But in the end, it’s just like any other river.  When people call asking for a fishing report, they often ask what to expect when you go to the _____ river.  You have a chance at catching a fish, but should not expect to catch one.  It’s out of the ordinary to hit a bunch of fish, but it’s not unheard of to have a multiple fish day out there.  Any river you go to this time of year should be about the same as far as expectations.  It’s just a matter of luck if you pick the right stretch of the right river on the right day and hit a nice pod of fish.

Sandy:
There were definitely a few fish caught on the Sandy last week.  It dropped into good shape and a couple of guys hit it right and ran into some fresh steelhead.  The river is probably going to clear up a little bit more and drop into the low side of fishable before we get more rain, hopefully late in the week.

SW WA:
With low and clear conditions setting in for the week, the bigger rivers in SW should be a good bet.  The main Lewis and the Cowlitz are big enough to still be bringing in fresh fish, while smaller rivers could drop enough that new fish won’t be moving into the system until it rains hard and the levels bump up.  I would be putting the Cow on my short list for fishing this week if I was in Southwest WA.

Willamette Zone - North Santiam:
Mike the Webmaster ventured out to the North Santiam over the weekend, first time on the river and fished below Packsaddle Park. Steelhead aren't quite running, should start to turn on by February - early March. No luck on the river, but lucky to be on the river.


Below Packsaddle County Park, North Santiam (January 10th)

Coast:
My coastal trip was awesome.  Thursday, we did a little whitewater exploration on a small stream.  The water was up a little high for swinging, and my friends mostly threw beads under a bobber (yes, it’s a bobber, not an indicator) while I rowed the boat.  We did swing a couple of runs and T got a brief hookup on the swing.  I did run a bead for a little while, but I felt dirty afterwards… I know that I am becoming one dimensional, but I don’t really enjoy bead fishing or bobbers if I have any say in the matter.  I can do it once in a while, maybe as a “slumpbuster”, but it’s not as fun as it used to be for me.

Jeff Heiskell with a wild coastal buck steelhead

We swung pretty hard on day two on a river that has no hatchery, therefore, fewer early fish, but little pressure.  We saw one bank fisherman plunking and a boat float by with some bobber and jiggers. Jeff got one on the swing and that one fish was well worth the trip.  I will be spending much more time out on the coast in the next three months.  It shouldn’t really matter what river you are on if it is somewhere between the Rogue and the Sol Duc (that’s about all of Washington and Oregon) and has a run of steelhead.

As always, we are happy to talk fishing any time.  Give us a call if you have any specific questions on local rivers, gear, tactics or just want some encouragement to get out of the office.  

541.386.6977
"Fly Fish the World with Us" 


Fishing Report:  January 4th, 2015

Happy New Years!  Lets hope that 2015 brings us more fishing time, improved casting and that fish of a lifetime.   

Oregon fishing licenses expired on Jan 1.  Remember to pick up your new fishing license before you get a costly ticket.  In the Hood River area, a Columbia Basin Endorsement and a Combined Angling Tag (catch card) is required along with your fishing license to fish for steelhead or salmon, but is NOT required to fish for trout, bass or other non-migratory fish.  

Deschutes:
I honestly haven’t heard any reports from the Deschutes last week, although I spent much of the week sick at home.  I would imagine that the trout fishing is still fairly consistent, with more predictable hatches and feeding patterns.  Fishing during the warmest part of the day is a good idea, as the BWO hatch happens during that warm period of the day if it happens at all.  I would still be fishing a stonefly nymph trailed by one or two of the following:  san juan worm, barrs beadhead emerger, beadhead pheasant tail #18, zebra midge, red or silver lighting bug #18, or a small cheesy yellow egg pattern (whitefish spawn in the winter).

Stripping streamers very slowly can have productive windows during the day, but is more hit and miss.  Streamers work better when the water is warming up, even if it’s a minimal warming trend. Trout tend to pod up in slower water in the winter, so when you find one, there should be more in the area.  The river is closed for trout fishing upstream of the Northern Boundary of the Warm Springs Reservation from Nov 1 to April 24.

Rowland Lake:  
This lake should be productive until it closes March 1.  It receives healthy plants of catchable and jumbo sized rainbow trout.  Not much pressure, I mean zero pressure, yet the potential for some nice fish is really good.  Pull some woolly buggers on a deep, full sinking line for best results.

Klickitat: 
The Klickitat is closed, and will remain closed for steelhead and salmon until the June 1 opener.

Hood:  
Not much happening on the Hood.  I have fished it now 15 or so days this winter, some quick sessions before work and a few full days when I can’t get out somewhere more productive.  Haven’t even touched a fish yet…  There has been a lot of pressure as the word got out of a small push of fish that came through with that last high water event. The main problem with the Hood is that there is only limited access to the lowest 1.5 miles of river.  Winter steelhead move upstream very quickly on high water events and the pod of fish we got two weeks ago has moved upstream into the depths of the canyon which there is no safe or legal access to.  The lack of access puts tons of fishing pressure down low, and there are slim pickings for fish and good swinging water in the lower section now.

Clackamas:
The Clack is in great shape right now.  We might get a push of water here this week which will bring in some fresh fish, but fishing has been fair for the past week or two.   Numbers are still improving, and the river will be getting better by the week.  The Clack fishes well at high water levels in back channels and the long flat runs, while other rivers are murky and moving too quick at high water.

Sandy:  
The Sandy is looking really good right now.  The water is still dropping, which is good for the fishing.  The east wind appears to be, for now, a non-factor this week, although we might get some rain this week.  Keep an eye on the level, but I am going to plan on fishing the Sandy on Thursday or Friday, as long as it’s not too high or the east wind is not kicking up.

SW WA:
I haven’t heard of any reports from the SW rivers, at least any reports of fish caught.  There have been plenty of fish moving through the Cowlitz system, as is normal for this time of year.  I keep trying to get up there, but life often gets in the way of fishing plans.  There is plenty of water that is fishing well now.  Basically, most tributaries downstream of Bonneville Dam should have steelhead in them.  Pick a river and go…

Coast:
I am getting pretty freakin excited to get out to the coast.  I usually make a trip or two out there in January to catch the back half of the hatchery run and the beginning of the wild run.  There can be some truly epic fishing out there this month if you can hit it right.  Otherwise, it’s a nice place to explore and learn some water for when the fish show.

As always, we are happy to talk fishing any time.  Give us a call if you have any specific questions on local rivers, gear, tactics or just want some encouragement to get out of the office.  


Fishing Report:  December 29th, 2014

I hope that everyone had a merry Christmas and got some new fishing gear that needs to be tried out.  Give us a call if you need any help or advice setting up the new gear that you picked up over the holidays.  

Remember that Oregon fishing licenses expire on December 31, so come in and get your new license before you go fishing after the New Year.

Deschutes:
This will be the last post about steelhead fishing until summertime.  You can still pick up a fish or two if you put in the time for a little while, either on the swing or with nymphs.  Trout fishing is a more productive way to spend your time out there, and the trout are going to put up more of a fight this time of year.  Deschutes steelhead have been around for a while and are pretty exhausted at this point.  They just want to spawn now and they would appreciate it if they could do it without too much trouble.

Trout fishing is still great. The primary food source is the Blue Wing Olive baetis; mostly nymphs with a possible window for dry fly fishing in the early afternoon.  1:00-3:00 is usually the best window for fishing this time of year.

Nymphing egg patterns, san juan worms, rubber leg stonefly nymphs and small pheasant tails under an indicator will also produce fish all winter.  Any small (#18 or smaller) nymph has a chance of producing nice trout.  Zebra midges are a good choice too.

Stripping streamers can have productive windows during the day, but is more hit and miss.  Trout tend to pod up in slower water in the winter, so when you find one, there should be more in the area.  The river is closed for trout fishing upstream of the Northern Boundary of the Warm Springs Reservation from Nov 1 to April 24.

Skagit:  Just throwing this out there because I put in a few hours on Christmas Day.  It was in great shape above the Baker, and I really thought it would give up a fish for me.  If I had a couple more hours, I am sure that I could have turned a fish or two.

Rowland Lake:
This lake should be productive until it closes March 1.  It receives healthy plants of catchable and jumbo sized rainbow trout.  Not much pressure, yet the potential for some nice fish is really good.

Klickitat: 
The Klickitat is closed above Fisher Hill at mile 1.4, and will remain closed for steelhead and salmon until the June 1 opener.  The lower river is closed on Jan 1.

Hood River Weather
Hood:
Not much happening on the Hood.  We had a small, early push of steelhead a few weeks ago, but that seems to be gone now.  Most of us locals focus on the Sandy or the Clack when we have the time, and hit the Hood just to get some casting in when we can’t go somewhere more productive this time of year.

Clackamas:
The Clack is in good shape this week.  We are looking at some east winds this week that make the Sandy and the Hood difficult to fish, but the Clack rarely has problems with them.  It’s a top choice this week for local steelheaders.

Sandy:  
If the east winds really kick up, then life can be difficult on the Sandy, but if it stays calm this week, then the Sandy should be in great shape and fishing well.

SW Washington: 
The Cowlitz is again looking really good.  I love fishing big water, even if there are a lot of people to deal with.  It’s nowhere near as crowded as in the summer, but there is more pressure than many of us want to deal with.  Great water, lots of steelhead just starting to show up.

Coast:
The coastal streams should have plenty of fish, especially the ones that receive early returning hatchery steelhead plants.  Rivers that are a wild-only run should be starting to see some fish trickle in, but less pressure.

As always, we are happy to talk fishing any time.  Give us a call if you have any specific questions on local rivers, gear, tactics or just want some encouragement to get out of the office.  

541.386.6977
"Fly Fish the World with Us" 


Fishing Report:  December 22nd, 2014

Steelheading was pretty tough last week on most of our rivers, trout fishing was great on the Deschutes. With potential flooding this week, things could get a little dicey. We won’t know how long the rivers will be unfishable, but it looks as most of them hit or were near flood stage on Sunday morning.

Oregon fishing licenses expire on Dec 31. This is just a friendly reminder to get your new license before you get out after the New Year; and they make great last minute Christmas gifts…




Deschutes:
It’s the bottom of the ninth inning for steelheading on the Deschutes.  This week probably wont provide much but high, dirtywater, with predictions up to 20,000 cfs at Moody.  It might drop back into shape by Christmas, but it could remain dirty for a few days longer as the high water will pick up a lot of silt and dirt which could take a while to settle out.  

Trout fishing is still great, and will be really good again when the river comes back into shape.  The main attraction is BWO nymphs, with a possible window for dry fly fishing in the early afternoon.  Nymphing egg patterns, san juan worms, rubber leg stonefly nymphs and small pheasant tails under an indicator will also produce fish all winter.  Eggs and san juan worms are very good choices after a high water event… 

Stripping streamers can have productive windows during the day, but is more hit and miss.  Trout tend to pod up in slower water in the winter, so when you find one, there should be more in the area.  The river is closed for trout fishing upstream of the Northern Boundary of the Warm Springs Reservation from Nov 1 to April 24.  

Rowland Lake:  
We haven’t heard of anyone fishing Rowland this last week, but there are some big hog rainbows in there and little to no pressure.  With all this rain and potential flooding, the lake is looking like a good option for fishing this week.  

Klickitat: 
The Klickitat is closed above Fisher Hill at mile 1.4, and will remain closed for steelhead and salmon until the June 1 opener.  The lower mile is open until the end of the month and has one place that you could fish with a fly rod if there were no gear guys in there.

Hood:  
Fishing was pretty poor on the Hood last week.  I talked with our local creel checker and he had only reported a couple fish all week, yet the river was overrun with fishermen.  I have rarely, if ever, seen it that crowded.  There are certainly a couple of much better options for steelheading this time of year.

I went to a spot that is not well known, very long or very productive (a solid B- run).  It had five people fishing and one guy waiting in line to step in.  This was mid afternoon, mid-week.  I then sat in my car and cried while wondering if my golf clubs were still in the garage.  

Luckily, the 10,400 cfs we saw Sunday morning will change the river structure on the Hood.  Rocks are moving around, runs are forming and moving, and it is going to take some exploration to figure out how and where it’s going to be productive again.  

Clackamas:
The Clackamas will be a very good place to be after the water comes down.  It wasn’t very productivelast week when the water was low, but this high water should really get the season going.  The river should hopefully be in good shape by Christmas.  

Sandy:  
The Sandy should also be fishing well when the high water subsides.  Things could get pushed around a bit.  There could be some runs that are completely different after this water.  Some exploration could be necessary.  

SW Washington: 
The Cowlitz will be loaded with fish by Christmas and should be in good shape by then.  The water is currently at 15’, which is a couple of feet higher than is preferable, but it should really be in great shape quickly.  Due to the dam, it often comes into shape before other (undammed) rivers.  

Coast:
Same story as every other system around here; the coastal streams should be full of fish when they drop into shape.  Some come into shape quicker than others, but all of them should have at least a few, if not more, fresh steelhead in them.  

As always, we are happy to talk fishing any time.  Give us a call if you have any specific questions on local rivers, gear, tactics or just want some encouragement to get out of the office.  

541.386.6977
"Fly Fish the World with Us" 


Fishing Report:  December 15th, 2014

Winter steelheading season seems to be off to a good start.  We have heard of fish caught in our area rivers.  Many of the fish caught are actually late summer fish, but there have definitely been a few early winters hooked.  

Deschutes:
A couple of guys got out to the D last week and caught some steelhead (late summer fish).  The river should consistently give up steelhead into January, and there is little to no pressure on the river right now.  Fish can be caught anywhere in the river from the mouth to Warm Springs on the swing or on nymphs, but be aware that the water upstream of the Warm Spring Reservation boundary closes for steelhead on Dec 31.

Trout fishing has been great lately.  Same program as before; BWO nymphs (and occasionally dries), zebra midges, and san juan worms are my first choices.  Stonefly nymphs, and egg patterns are also on the menu.  Trout tend to pod up in slower water in the winter, so when you find one, there should be more in the area.  The river is closed for trout fishing upstream of the Northern Boundary of the Warm Springs Reservation from Nov 1 to April 24.

Rowland Lake:  
A couple of regulars have been catching some hogs out of Rowland in their float tubes.  The big rainbows, some over ten pounds, have been eating small olive and wine colored leeches on full sinking lines.  The weather looks decent enough this week for some float tube fishing.

Klickitat: 
The Klickitat is closed above Fisher Hill at mile 1.4, and will remain closed for steelhead and salmon until the June 1 opener.  The lower mile is open until the end of the month and has one place that you could fish with a fly rod if there were no gear guys in there.

Hood:  
Fishing has been hit and miss on the Hood.  There has been plenty of pressure; I counted seven people fishing in one run the other day.  A few fish hooked here and there, mostly summer steelhead.  The levels are dropping and it looks like they will be continuing to drop throughout the week.

Clackamas:
The Clackamas should be starting to heat up for winter steelhead.  It’s still early in the run, but there are fresh fish entering the river every day.

Sandy:  
The Sandy looks great this weekend.  The level is dropping and there is just a bit of color.  I wish that I could spend a day or two over there this week.  There isn’t a ton of walk-in access, but there are a couple of great floats and plenty of A+ swinging water.

SW Washington: 
The Cowlitz is just about to start fishing really well.  We have heard that fishing has been fair, but is improving day by day.  There were 71 winter steelhead (and 3200 coho) trapped at Barrier Dam last week.  The steelhead numbers should go way, way up in the next two weeks.

The Kalama and East Fork of the Lewis are also on the radar if you are in SW Washington and looking for some smaller water to fish.  These two rivers have much easier bank access than the Cowlitz, and can produce some nice fish in December.

Coast:
The spike in water last week really got fish moving into the coastal streams, some more than others.  I heard reports of all types; caught some fish, hooked a couple, and no grabs at all.  It is still really early on some rivers, while prime time for others is coming up shortly for a couple streams.

John Day River:
The John Day has summer steelhead in it right now.  The catch rates have been decent, and fish will continue to be catchable for some time to come.

East of the Gorge:
Fishing on small, Eastside streams that are open should be productive as most of the viable streams near the Snake or Columbia that can get steelhead in them probably have steelhead in them right now.

As always, we are happy to talk fishing any time.  Give us a call if you have any specific questions on local rivers, gear, tactics or just want some encouragement to get out of the office.  

541.386.6977

"Fly Fish the World with Us"


Fishing Report:  December 8th, 2014

Fishpond Sushi
Conditions flirted with “pretty good” this week. Most of the rivers levels went way up and then creeped down into decent, but the weather was poor. There was snow, ice, sleet, freezing rain, and an east wind. 

The weather doesn’t look all that much better this week, but there should be some opportunities for good fishing, especially if you don’t mind the rain. Keep an eye on the USGS river gauges (http://waterdata.usgs.gov/or/nwis/rt), fishing after a spike in water is a good bet, and we could see a good spike this week on some of our rivers. 

Deschutes:
We have heard of little to no effort last week on the D. The levels were dropping all week and now the river looks much better than it did last week. Last week we had high water and some mighty cold east winds. The forecast doesn’t appear to be all that much better than last week, but at least the water is in better shape.


Trout fishing should continue to be good on the Deschutes. While the fish are not as active as they are in the spring, it’s a lot easier to figure out: zebra midges, BWOs, san juan worms, stonefly nymphs and maybe an egg pattern… fish a couple of those patterns deep under an indicator in some softer water and you should be able to find some nice trout throughout the winter.

Rowland Lake: 
This small lake between Lyle and Bingen, WA continues to produce some hefty stocked trout. It was planted around Thanksgiving with fish in the ten+ pound range and receives little pressure after Thanksgiving weekend when it was planted.

Klickitat: 
The Klickitat is closed above Fisher Hill at mile 1.4, and will remain closed for steelhead and salmon until the June 1 opener. There are still some Coho around down low below the falls, but I imagine that you would have to catch a few dark fish before you found one that was worthy of taking home.

Hood: 
There has been mixed results on the Hood River last week. The water temps are really low (36.5F Thursday), and there has been quite a bit of pressure at the mouth. That being said, a couple of guys caught a couple of fish last week, not by me though. I put in a full day Thursday without a tug. Our early winter fishing has been a bit better than it was last year, but that is not saying much with how rough it was last winter.

Clackamas:
I fished the Clackamas with Tom and Dan on Friday last week. It was beautiful out there, the water was a little on the high side, but very fishy. I had a fish take a foot of line off the reel but it didn’t stick. Tom then went through the spot, had the fish roll on his fly on one cast and then it grabbed it hard on the next cast but didn’t stick it either. That was the extent of the action for us, but it will steadily improve over the next couple of weeks. Remember, it is still pretty early in the winter season, but you can catch a fish nearly any day of the year on the Clack.

Sandy: 
The Sandy was plagued by terrible east winds last week, which makes for miserable, cold conditions. When the winds blow from the east, the Sandy is a bad place to be. When we drove to the Clackamas, there was a steady 15-20 mph wind through Troutdale, but it was calm on the Clack. The winds should be shifting and calming down over there, so it could be a really good place to be this week. There are definitely fresh winter fish in the Sandy right now…

SW Washington: 
The Cowlitz typically gets a large return of early winter steelhead which peaks around Christmas. Fishing can be very consistent between Blue Creek and Spencer. I would put that float at or near the top of my Christmas list. Big water, long casts, loads of people, but the possibilities for an epic day are very real. Remember, jet boats may be loud and annoying if you aren’t in one, but they do move the steelhead around and get them all riled up and aggressive, often pushing them closer to shore and making them easier to catch.

The Kalama and East Fork of the Lewis are also on the radar if you are in SW Washington and looking for some smaller water to fish. These two rivers have much easier bank access than the Cowlitz, and can produce some nice fish in December. The Washougal is also an option, although word on the streets is that it hasn’t been producing as well for early fish in the past couple of years as it did “back in the day”. Access is limited and good swinging water is sparse, but it’s a gorgeous river that receives limited pressure.

Coast:
We have finally heard of some success out on the Coast for fresh winter steelhead. I am not telling where, but the usual rivers that get early fish have started getting some more consistent catch rates just over the latter part of last week.

John Day River:
There was a bit of high, off-color water in the John Day last week. Same story as the Sandy, the east wind is bitter cold and makes for tough conditions. There was a lot of ice on the banks, and it made wading difficult. Basically, last week was not the most ideal time to be on the JD, despite the weather forecast suggesting otherwise the week before. I wouldn’t hesitate to get out there this week, but just be prepared to get wet.

East of the Gorge:
Fishing on small, Eastside streams that are open should be productive as most of the viable streams near the Snake or Columbia that can get steelhead in them probably have steelhead in them right now.

As always, we are happy to talk fishing any time. Give us a call if you have any specific questions on local rivers, gear, tactics or just want some encouragement to get out of the office. 

541.386.6977
"Fly Fish the World with Us"


Fishing Report:  December 1st, 2014

There was quite a bit of rain that fell last week and blew out many of our local waters. The dramatic increase in river levels was a bit more than expected. This week is looking better for levels as a cold and somewhat dry weather pattern is setting up to produce some better conditions.

I was very excited to fish the Skagit with some old fishing buddies that I haven’t seen in years. The conditions did not quite line up for us, as the river was eager to meet us at the road above the boat ramp. The Skagit (and the other streams in the North Sound area) reached flood stage just as I arrived in the area. See the picture from the Conway Boat Ramp on the Skagit from Friday morning. Fishing should be great there by mid-week now that I am 250 miles away…


Deschutes:

The river is at 7500 cfs at the mouth on Saturday, November 29, which is higher than we like fishing; quite a bit higher. We prefer flows under 6000 cfs, but that doesn’t mean that fishing is impossible; it’s just that the cards are stacked against you there. The outflow of Pelton Dam is 5700 cfs, which is do-able but still pretty high for the upper part of the “lower” river. Conditions should improve quickly as temps are expected to plummet and flows should decrease also. If I had my heart set on the Deschutes, I would be up pretty high in the system.

Trout:

Trout fishing should be great once the flows drop a little. Swinging streamers slow and deep or nymphing a couple of bead-heads should produce some good action and also a chance at a steelhead. There could be some BWO hatches in the foam lines and eddies, but this type of up and down weather and flows can make for unpredictable hatches. There should be some trout keyed in on eggs and flesh from the salmon spawn that is still going on. Glo-bugs and beads would be a solid choice for flies for the next couple of weeks.

Rowland Lake:

This small lake on the WA side of the gorge was planted with 10+ pound trout this week and is open through the winter. Get your float tube, and some buggers and get out there.

Klickitat:

I was really hoping to get one last day of swinging on the Klick before it closed, but high flows and bad clarity put a stop to that. The river is closed above Fisher Hill Bridge (River Mile 1.6) from December 1 to May 31 for steelhead, salmon and trout fishing. There are still plenty of fresh Coho down low at the Pine Tree Hole, which is below Fisher Hill, but it’s a bait/gear show. Not that there is anything wrong with that. Get some fish for the freezer before they are gone.
It was a great year on the Klickitat for many of us. There were plenty of steelhead and they seemed to be on the bite really well throughout the season. Let’s hope that next year will bring plenty of chrome on the swing for all of us on the Klick.

Hood:

There have been a few fish caught on the Hood despite poor conditions and timing. It is generally not all that productive in late November, but it’s always worth a few hours if you have time and are here, but can’t get out anywhere that is more productive. I mean, what else are you going to do this time of year?

Coastal Steelhead

Coho are still pouring into the coastal streams, along with some (few) early winter steelhead. It looks like conditions are going to be pretty good out there this week, although the levels will be a bit high on many streams for a few days early. Cold and clear conditions are expected, so flows should drop and fish should be eager to comply later in the week.

John Day River

There looks like a shot of high water is heading towards the lower part of the John Day; but as of Saturday, conditions are perfect at Cottonwood Canyon. It’s a mighty long and slow river, so when the gauge at Service Creek is reading 1000cfs and the gauge 160 miles downstream at MacDonald Ferry reads 400cfs, it can be several days before that water reaches the lower gauge. A bump of water would ultimately do some good, as it has been pretty low all throughout this season.

East of the Gorge

Fishing on small Eastside streams that are open should be productive as most of the viable streams near the Snake or Columbia that can get steelhead in them probably have steelhead in them right now.

As always, we are happy to talk fishing any time. Give us a call if you have any specific questions on local rivers, gear, tactics or just want some encouragement to get out of the office.

541.386.6977
"Fly Fish the World with Us"


Fishing Report: November 25th, 2014

I hope that you got to venture out in the winter wonderland last week and explore some icy waters. Fishing wasn’t too bad last week for those brave souls that took on the snow and ice. For those that are travelling a bit for Thanksgiving, take a rod and go fish some water that you don’t get to fish all that often. I am looking forward to swinging the Skagit for the first time in about ten years (hard to believe that it’s been that long).

Deschutes:
Fishing tends to be fairly good for steelhead all throughout the river into December, although we didn’t hear all that many reports last week. I did talk to a couple of guys that did very well swinging near the mouth. This is still the time of year that big fish are caught down low. You give up numbers for larger fish this late in the season. There should be plenty of fish stacked up in the Warm Springs to Mecca Flats area.

Trout: Trout fishing can be truly epic this time of year on the Deschutes. The steelhead fishing is going to wane a bit, and then get pretty darn tough for a while, but the trout on the D (and the Yak) are hungry and eager most of the winter. The best part is that there is virtually no one out there fishing.

When the water comes up (the D popped up to nearly 6500 cfs Saturday), try throwing a san juan worm and an egg pattern deep under an indicator and it should clean up. BWO nymphs, zebra midges or small stoneflies can be easily substituted for either pattern; however, I would probably stick to the san juan as a lead fly as I know how deadly it can be after the water comes up, even just a little bit. Fishing two san juan worms in tandem (don’t knock it till you’ve tried it) in off-color water has been the key to some of my best days of trout fishing ever. When it clears up, I would go with a zebra midge, WD-40 or RS-2 with my san juan worm. Go deep and slow when its cold out.

Klickitat:
I fished the Klickitat Thursday and Friday this week. The fishing was pretty good, but not red hot like it had been earlier this fall... I briefly hooked one nice steelhead on the swing on Thursday and then caught two salmon on Friday, including one Chinook that was in absolutely great shape. Jon T hooked a really nice steelhead on Friday, but it popped off while performing some sort of advanced airborne acrobatic maneuver. So there are definitely some big fish in the river right now and there is only one week left to go before we get to talk about how great it was last year on the Klick…

Hood:
This is definitely the one of the least productive times of year to fish the Hood for steelhead. That doesn’t mean that there are no fish, it can give up fish any day of the year, but there are not a lot of fish moving up the river towards spawning grounds. We typically get a small push of winter steelhead sometime in mid to late December, but the bulk of our winter fish really don’t show up until the springtime. Trout fishing is not currently open on the Hood.

Coastal Steelhead
The North Fork Nehalem got its first winter hatchery steelhead back to the trap a week ago. Expectations are high for the winter hatchery returns along the coast this year. There are plenty of rivers that receive healthy hatchery plants and should get good returns this winter, especially over the next couple of weeks. The bulk of the runs usually enter the rivers between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and the fish tend to move very quickly through the system. Most of the action occurs near the hatcheries for that reason. These fish tend to head straight for the hatchery with little holding in between. There are plenty of rivers on the WA and OR coast that get these early return steelhead. The rest of them are easy enough to find info on, but I have been sworn to secrecy on even mentioning names at this point.

John Day River
Fishing should be pretty decent this week on the Day. The temps are warm enough to prevent the river from freezing over. The John Day moves slow enough that it tends to build up ice in the long pools that hold fish when the temps are cold. The action around Cottonwood Canyon State Park should be a good bet if you can get out there.

East of the Gorge
The fishing on the Snake between Lewiston and the mouth of the Grande Ronde should be productive. The water temps are good and there are usually plenty of fish around this time of year. Lots of big water swinging options and you can still usually use the scandi lines and small flies if you want.

The Salmon River around Riggins, Idaho is another good option, along with the Imnaha, Clearwater and even the Columbia in the Hanford Reach area. Basically, any stream upstream of the Columbia Gorge should have plenty of steelhead in it right now. There are countless small streams around that get fished very little. The Walla Walla, Touchet, Tucannon, Umatilla and Wallowa are just a few of the small, eastside streams that should have steelhead in them. Always check the current state fishing regulations before heading to new water.

As always, we are happy to talk fishing any time. Give us a call if you have any specific questions on local rivers, gear, tactics or just want some encouragement to get out of the office.

541.386.6977
"Fly Fish the World with Us"

Fishing Report: November 16th, 2014

Wow, I am not sure what to say about the fishing last week. Cold, windy, cold, snowy.
Weekly Fishing Reports of the Gorge and surrounding area.

Deschutes:

We have heard of a few fish being caught up high in the system, and a few down low. At least the water coming out of Pelton Dam is a reasonable temperature (50 degrees as of Saturday). If I really needed a steelhead fix in the worst way, I would head up high on the Deschutes right now. The air temps down low flirted with negative numbers this weekend so that surely put the kibosh on fishing down low. I am sure glad that we did not launch at Beavertail on Thursday as planned. I may be hardcore about steelheading, but I am not stupid.

Trout: Trout should be eating midges down low, and there are probably still plenty of BWO baetis around in the upper reaches (unconfirmed). Nymphing is the name of the game in trout fishing for the next little while, although there may be some decent BWO dry fly action in the right place/time.

Klickitat:

Fishing action dropped as quickly as the temps did. We heard of a few fish caught before the snow came in, but nothing since. Josh and I fished all day on Friday without so much as a single little grab. Water temps were around 36, air temps were a little colder. We swung the slowest, juiciest, deepest runs on the lower river, but got no love. Typically, fish tend to move into slow, deep holes when the temps get that low, although that is not always the case. There are definitely fish around still, but getting them to move to a fly is not easy right now. I don’t like moving much when its this cold either.

Hood:

The Hood has been pretty darn unproductive as of late. Even the regulars are having a hard time hooking any steelhead. The water is low, clear and cold; not ideal steelhead conditions. There are still loads of salmon spawning pretty much everywhere, and a few fresh Coho milling about. Please be careful when walking near spawning beds. Look for clean gravel when you wade, and stay out of the water as much as possible when moving between spots Eggs need to stay under the gravel and not get squished until they hatch in January.

Lake fishing

I would bet that most of the upland lakes that are open are completely frozen over today. Lake fishing is probably a bad idea right now. Maybe later in the week things could improve

John Day River

Ice has spread across many of the pools on the John Day. This is not good for swinging a fly. I would personally wait until it warms up to hit the Day, but if fishing in icy slush flows is your thing…

Grande Ronde

The upper part of the river surely has a lot of ice, but the lower part of the river shouldn’t be too bad later this week. I know a couple of guys that are headed out there that know the river pretty well and they believe that conditions will be good enough.

Snake

One place I would definitely consider fishing if I had the time this week would be the Snake just downstream of the mouth of the Grande Ronde. With icy temperatures across the region, the Snake probably has the most ideal water temperatures and it should have plenty of fish stacked up out there.

Clearwater

The Clearwater basin is just as cold, if not colder than anywhere else around here, but I bet fishing is going to be great once it warms up out there.



As always, we are happy to talk fishing any time. Give us a call if you have any specific questions on local rivers, gear, tactics or just want some encouragement to get out of the office.


541.386.6977
"Fly Fish the World with Us"


Fishing Report: November 4th, 2014

I am sure that there were plenty of fish caught last week in the area, but none by me or my friends. Thursday, a big front pushed in and the wind kicked up on the Deschutes. This dumped a massive quantity of leaves in the river and really turned the fish off (for us). On Friday, the Klickitat looked beautiful. We floated from town down and swung all of the A+ water. Josh managed to hook a trout on the first five second after pulling out of the ramp on a bead, then caught another one two casts later. Trout fishing was awesome, but between two very competent anglers, we couldn’t even buy a steelhead, or even an old Coho. We did have the river to ourselves, so that was nice.

Deschutes:

Like I said, the front that came through certainly put the fish down on Thursday. Conditions should be good for the first few days this week before this “Polar Vortex” sets in Wednesday. The highs for Maupin might not get above freezing between Wednesday and Friday, so that could put a hamper on effort and motivation, but fishing really could be just fine if you were to put the effort in.

Trout fishing should be good. Caddis and Blue Wing Olives should be the preferred fare, with potential for good dry fly action. Blue Wing Olives (BWOs) love to pop in the back eddies and foam lines when the weather gets ugly and fish absolutely love both the nymphs and the dries, so keep an -eye out for a good hatch.

Klickitat:

Clarity was 2’ with brown tint on Friday and 43.6 degrees F. Water was up around 1100 cfs, which is about double what it has been over the past couple of months. Some of the gravel bars were under water and the runs that we usually fish are quite fast at the head where we normally start our swing, but moving well at the end where the swing usually gets too slow at low flows. Fish should be up in the shallower water with the brown tint, high flows and cold water. This is really ideal conditions, so I am chalking our lack of success on Friday to operator error…

Hood:

The Hood is absolutely loaded with spawning Chinook right now. Please be very aware of them. There have been several people that have called or come in talking about fishermen stomping up and down the spawning beds and foul-hooking fish, holding the up for pictures. Please just be careful and remember that targeting spawning Chinook in the Hood is illegal. I would suggest giving the Hood some time to flush the Chinook out. The eggs won’t hatch until January, so the beds and spawning areas are sensitive even after the fish die.

Lake fishing

Lost Lake is still open for fishing and is really good right now. Big bows cruising the shorelines are looking for big meals before the water temps drop and all activity slows down.

John Day River

The flows just crossed 350 cfs at MacDonald Ferry. We would love to see 500 cfs, but that seems unlikely anytime soon. There are plenty of fish in, especially down low, but I don’t have the attention span to wait for my fly to take 47 seconds to swing across a pool.

Grande Ronde

Fishing is still killer out there. It usually fishes well all the way into December, but with this arctic cold coming our way, it might get mighty chilly down that direction.

Clearwater

The Clearwater is still kicking out some beauties. We have heard from several people that the run is great this year, and lots of bigguns. Same story, it might be awful cold up there by the end of the week…

Hanford Reach

Swinging the Columbia for steelhead? Yes it’s possible and totally productive. There is not much of the Columbia that is free-flowing, but the area around Hanford is. It doesn’t flow very fast, but the steelhead are fairly accessible from shore and plentiful. Use marabou patterns that flutter well in slow current on light sink tips. It tends to fish well throughout the winter.

As always, we are happy to talk fishing any time.  Give us a call if you have any specific questions on local rivers, gear, tactics or just want some encouragement to get out of the office.  

541.386.6977
"Fly Fish the World with Us"


Fishing Report: November 4th, 2014


Fishtober wrapped up with a heck of a lot of rain. That made conditions tough on the Klick and the Hood, but the Deschutes was stellar. We needed it really bad, so while it may have put a kink in some fishing plans, it was a positive event for the overall health of the river systems. Weather like this has inspired many of us to start tying some big ugly winter steelhead patterns.
John Garrett on the Deschutes

Deschutes:

The Deschutes fished great last week. There are still plenty of fresh fish around, even in the lower couple of miles. John Garrett and I had a great day fishing with Sam Sickles of www.steelheadoutfitters.com on Monday. There are very few people on the river and several eager fish. The steelhead were eating both a purple and a black ice-dub #8 Doc Spratley in the morning on a Scandi line and a purple bunny leech on a Skagit line w/sink tip during the day. John got a beauty of a fish on a bigger, natural-colored olive/peach Mojo Tube, and also attempted to pull one up on a dry fly. Unfortunately, he was not successful skating a dry.

The flows out of Pelton Dam went up and down a bit last week, which can have a negative effect on the fishing. Fishing on or right after the flows drop is usually more productive than fishing during a rise in flows.

Fishing has been good all the way up to Warm Springs. Fish in the upper portion of the river tend to be more apt towards taking a nymph over a swung fly, but the die-hard swingers should not have too much of a problem taking fish all the way up the river.

Klickitat:

The rains last week put the river up and out a couple of times. It dropped into fishable shape a couple of times for a day or so, but quickly popped back out of shape. As of Sunday morning (11/02), there is about a foot of clarity and we should be fine until the rains come back on Tuesday, then it will take a few days to clear. When it drops back into shape, fishing should be great. Reports are that the river is absolutely loaded with Coho right now. Steelhead are still scattered throughout the river, and some runs hold them when the salmon are in. Some of the traditional steelhead runs can be tough to find the chrome in when the salmon are thick. Just poke around and find out for yourself.

Hood:

The Hood goes up and down quicker than the Klickitat. This can be beneficial because it can be in shape a day or two before the Klick, but it also blows out pretty darn quick when nothing else seems to spike. It doesn’t take much rain to put it out of shape. Keep an eye on the gauge and be prepared to fish some off-color water this time of year. http://waterdata.usgs.gov/or/nwis/uv?site_no=14120000

Lake fishing:

Most of the lakes in the area are closed, but those that are open should be fishing really well. Pulling buggers or soft hackles is very productive on an intermediate line. Big trout are in shallow and not very picky this time of year.

John Day River

Yes, there are some steelhead in the John Day River... That is all.

Grande Ronde

Fish are all the way up to Minam and beyond. The float from Minam to Troy is one of the most beautiful anywhere. If you have the chance to do it, I suggest that you make it happen. If you can’t do it this year, start planning it for November next year. There are still plenty of fish in the Washington sections, and the river will fish well all the way into March.


Clearwater

The B-run hogs are in the Clearwater right now. Go swing a big marabou and hook up with the fish of a lifetime. It’s absolutely worth the drive. I would still be focusing on water within 20 miles of Orofino, but I am sure that there are some fish throughout the whole system.

Hanford Reach

Swinging the Columbia for steelhead? Yes it’s possible and totally productive. There is not much of the Columbia that is free-flowing, but the area around Hanford is. It doesn’t flow very fast, but the steelhead are fairly accessible from shore and plentiful. Use marabou patterns that flutter well in slow current on light sink tips. It tends to fish well throughout the winter.

Secret Salmon Spawning Location
As always, we are happy to talk fishing any time. Give us a call if you have any specific questions on local rivers, gear, tactics or just want some encouragement to get out of the office.

541.386.6977
"Fly Fish the World with Us"



Fishing Report: October 24th, 2014

Fishing report is coming early this week due to some upcoming elk hunting excursions. Fishing is pretty tough right now, mostly due to fluctuations in the river levels, rain and wind. For those that have ventured out, fishing has been pretty good. The rain pushed a whole bunch of coho into the rivers. It also moved the steelhead around and in general, got them on the bite.

Deschutes:

As of Wednesday, October 22, 2014, the river is in decent shape below the confluence with the White River. We don’t expect it to last, but how bad the clarity gets will be anyone’s guess. If it goes out, it could be a day to a week before it cleans up. I feel good with two feet of visibility. The rains haven’t shown up in full force yet, so we will wait and see. Above Maupin, the fishing should be great. There isn’t much up there that would blow out the river and make it unfishable, so if everything else around here goes out…. There is your best bet.

Trout fishing has been remarkably awesome. Fish are eating prince nymphs with gusto, as well as most other general attractor nymphs and beadhead caddis pupa. Caddis dries in the evening have been a good bet, but have heard of some guys doing well with your standard old parachute adams.

Klickitat:

With the bulk of the rain still to come, the river may or may not be fishable by Monday (when John and I are floating). The river looks like it will bump up quite a bit on Thursday/Friday, but if the freezing level drops over the weekend, it could clean up quickly. With an uncertain weather pattern ahead, we will just have to play it one day at a time.

Hood:

The Hood has been fishing well, but it looks like it is going to get pretty high pretty quickly. I have caught fish above 3200 cfs, but that is when it had been a sustained high water level and the clarity was fairly good. The clarity is dropping by the minute as I write this, but sometime next week it should be fishing well. Just keep an eye on the gauge. http://waterdata.usgs.gov/or/nwis/uv?site_no=14120000

Lake fishing

Lake fishing is still very good. Buggers, leeches, hare’s ear nymphs, pheasant tails, etc… Get out there one more time before it closes. Steelhead will be around all winter, but most of the lakes won’t be open again until the spring.

As always, we are happy to talk fishing any time.  Give us a call if you have any specific questions on local rivers, gear, tactics or just want some encouragement to get out of the office.  


541.386.6977
"Fly Fish the World with Us"
Winston MicroSpey Rod Review and Adventure

Fishing Report: October 19th, 2014


We finally got our first rains of the fall. I don’t know about you, but that gets me really excited for the fishing to get really good. No major floods happened, but a couple of the rivers colored up pretty well. Fishing should be pretty darn good everywhere when and where the visibility allows. The Chinook are in as thick as they are going to be, so the steelhead are definitely pushed into shallow lies and in close to shore.


Deschutes:
The Deschutes has been good.  The White River didn’t add a whole lot of color to the river from initial reports.  Fish are still being caught all the way from the mouth up past Maupin.  As we progress through the season, the fish tend to like smaller, natural, buggy patterns as opposed to the big and bright flies that worked well earlier.  A Hartwick’s Tiny Dancer October Caddis or a Steelhead Brassie would be a great choice,.  Sink tips are a good idea during the day, especially if it is sunny out, but dry lines during the morning and evening are still productive.  



Trout fishing has been great.  The cool, wet weather should produce some blue wing olives baetis, and caddis should be hatching pretty well throughout the river too.  I would fish small nymphs during the day and either a BWO dry, an Elk Hair Caddis or both during the evening.  

Klickitat: 

It appears that the Klickitat is blown as of Saturday 10/18.  It may take a day or two or four to clear up.  It’s never too certain, but fishing should be great when it does clear up to two feet or more of visibility.  The spike in water certainly got fish moving and probably pulled a bunch more Coho into the river.  The Chinook are getting pretty ripe; it will be difficult to find (m)any in good enough shape for the dinner table.  The egg/bead bite should be pretty good for steelhead when it clears as the Chinook are getting their spawn on.  

Hood:  

The Hood has been fishing decently for how low it’s been.  The level bumped up a couple of times last week and brought some fish into the system.  I fished Saturday morning and there was less than 8” of visibility.  By Saturday afternoon, the clarity had improved to 18” or so.  Sunday morning was about the same, but with a couple of fish hooked before work.  It should be good this week depending on the day of the week, time of day and amount of rain we have or haven’t had.  Sometimes you show up to this river and the conditions are poor and other times the conditions are good.  You really have to put the time in and find out.  If you wait to find out if its good, you have probably missed it already. 

East Side:

The Grande Ronde has been fishing well in Washington, as well as the Clearwater and Salmon in Idaho.  Most of the fish on the Ronde have been caught down low (in Washington), but are starting to show in the Oregon section.  The Clearwater is the same.  Most of the fish are still down low, around and below Orofino, but can be found really anywhere at this point.  


Some early winter steelhead will start showing up any time between now and mid-November, especially earlier if we continue to get some wet weather.  If you want to get away from the crowds, go poke around on the coastal streams and see if any super bright steelhead have showed up yet.  

As always, we are happy to talk fishing any time.  Give us a call if you have any specific questions on local rivers, gear, tactics or just want some encouragement to get out of the office.  

541.386.6977
"Fly Fish the World with Us"

Fishing Report: October 12th, 2014

October is going very well so far. Fishing has been good pretty much everywhere around here minus the Hood which has been awfully low. Steelhead are spread out throughout most of our local rivers, Chinook are doing their thing, digging redds or prepping to do so. Coho are stacked up off the mouths of the river and trickling in, but mostly waiting for a spike in water levels. Speaking of which, it looks like we are in store for some much needed rain this week. Hopefully, we don’t get too much, but we need it really bad either way.

Klickitat steelhead from Thursday 10/09

Deschutes:

The mouth of the river has slowed down a bit, but the action seems to be getting better farther upriver. Buckhollow to Mack’s Canyon has been kicking out some fish, as well as the water around Maupin. There are still plenty of fish around the mouth, but it’s not red hot like it was about four or five weeks ago. There are a lot of B-run fish that are heading towards Idaho in the lower couple of miles that pop into the Deschutes for a little while. They don’t go very far upriver, and this is the time of year that big fish are caught in the lower couple of miles of river.

Trout fishing is still very good on the river. Cool evenings have produced some good hatches and the fish are very active on attractor dries in the evening and small nymphs during the day. Hiking around the Trout Creek area would be a great idea this week if you have the time and are looking for some good trout fishing.

Klickitat:
Fishing was good last week on the Klickitat. I floated Thursday and Friday. Thursday was great, fish were eating swung flies. On Friday, the wind picked up and started dropping piles of leaves into the river. Swinging flies became difficult because each swing produced several leaves attached securely to my fly. We saw very few Chinook in the tailouts and shallow runs. There were even a few redds that didn’t have any fish on them that had been holding several fish the day before. I still managed to hook a nice Chinook Friday, but with how hard we fished, I expected more love.

Hood:
The Hood is now cycling up and down with the fresh rains. Because the river is short and drops quickly from high elevations, it goes up and down very quickly after rain storms. It went up from under 400 cfs on Saturday to just under 600 cfs on Sunday morning from a couple hours of rain Saturday. On Sunday morning, it’s dropping back down into the mid 400’s. That doesn’t seem like much, but it was a 50% increase in flow in just a few hours. Keep and eye on the river and try to hit it as its dropping, although the visibility gets really poor during storm cycles…

Lake fishing
There are only a couple of weeks left to get some action in most of the local lakes. Many of the lakes close on Halloween. The fishing is generally smoking hot right now in most lakes as the fish are fattening up for a long winter. Stripping leech patterns is a very productive method. With the rain coming, there could be some good post-rain callibaetis or stillwater caddis hatches in between rain events. I always take two rods (or more) on the lakes; one rod rigged with a dry and one with a leech on a Rio Intouch intermediate line. The intermediate gets most of the play unless I see some fish rising.

Other Options
The Snake River Tributaries should start producing some great fishing opportunities in Eastern Oregon, Eastern Washington and Idaho. The Clearwater around Orofino and the Salmon around Riggins usually fish well around mid-October. I have had luck with dark blue and black marabou patterns on those rivers. The fish move farther up the systems through October and November, but for now, focusing on the lower reaches will be your best bet.

The Grande Ronde should be starting to produce some steelhead in the Washington sections, with fish pushing up into Oregon in good numbers within a few weeks. Any rain we get will definitely help get the fish up the river sooner. The Ronde fish tend to be more apt towards surface and near-surface flies. Traditional hairwing patterns work great until it starts getting super-cold, then throwing a marabou or bunny intruder on a sink tip is a more productive option.

The Coho fishing is still very good in the estuaries, lower river areas and coastal tributaries. The Coho are pretty much in every river from the Deschutes to the coast, although most will be found down low in the coastal rivers, in the estuaries, and off the mouth of the Columbia tributaries in the big river. If we get some good rain this week and the rivers spike, then the Coho should push up and fill rivers.

As always, we are happy to talk fishing any time.  Give us a call if you have any specific questions on local rivers, gear, tactics or just want some encouragement to get out of the office.  


541.386.6977
"Fly Fish the World with Us"




Fishing Report: October 6th, 2014

October seems to be off to a great start.  The weather has been fabulous, the fishing is great.  The rivers are low and clear, which is the only downside to fishing right now, but we will take it however we can get it this time of year.  Pressure seems to be lessening in the area as hunting season is open in most places now and lots of guys are out looking for deer and elk instead of salmon. 

A very wise man once told me that there are only two answers to the question “How’s fishing?”  You can say “we did well” or “we had a great time”.  I would like to pass that advice on to everyone else because it’s not about numbers or inflating your ego/deflating others… its about having fun and hopefully doing well on the river.  

One person’s version of doing well is different than another’s.  I have talked to many people that don’t want to go to the river unless they are guaranteed to catch X number of steelhead.  Then there is that guy’s cousin who immediately implies that they are a better angler than you because they always catch at least ___ per day when they go out…   Remember, its always fun no matter what you catch or how many.  I just seriously enjoy the process of fishing: the o’dark thirty hike, watching the sunrise, listening to the babble of the stream, and hopefully, catching a fish or two.  So sometimes I do well, but I always have fun.  

Deschutes:

Fishing has been pretty good this past week for most.  We have heard some conflicting reports though where some guys are just having a fun time while others are doing well.  Time and location seems to play a big factor in success.  Early in the morning has generally been very good.  The river seems to be a little inconsistent, but the lower river seems to still be the most consistent area, although people are picking up fish all the way up to Maupin and above.  Typically, anglers seem to start focusing above Sherar’s Falls in October, but the fishing has, from what we have heard, been spotty above Mack’s Canyon.  That should improve in the next few weeks, but I would still be working the lower river if I was out there this week.  It doesn’t seem to be red hot any more down low, but there are still tons of fish around all through the system.

Trout fishing has been fabulous on the Deschutes.  Caddis have been popping in a variety of sizes and colors, while lots of fish are also taking small mayfly nymphs.  I would be nymphing a possie bugger size #8 with a pheasant tail #18 trailer during the day and then a double caddis dry rig in the evening with a larger October Caddis in the front with a tan or grey Elk Hair Caddis #14 in the evening unless I saw evidence of fish keying in on something different.  

Klickitat: 

The Klickitat has been fishing well, but there have definitely been some off days and off times.  Chinook and steelhead have been taking a variety of flies, with some coho starting to show up.  I floated with Travis Wallace of Western Waters Guides (westernwatersguides.com) on Friday and we did very well in the morning, and then it was a ghost town after 1:00 pm.  That’s the Klick in a nutshell.  If you are there when it’s on, then you have a really good chance of catching some fish, but if they turn off...  It’s a great place to work on your cast.   

Hood:  

The Hood is still very low, but has bumped up a little with some of the irrigation water no longer being diverted away from the river.  The flows increased from 350 cfs to just over 400.  Not much of an improvement, but any little bit helps.  I like fishing the river around 1200-2000 cfs, all the way up to 3200 cfs, so we have a ways to go to get there.  I really don’t put much effort until I see the river up around 800 cfs.  There has not been much pressure lately, besides a few regulars fishing at the mouth, so we haven’t had too many reports of fish being caught.  Remember, targeting or retaining Fall Chinook is not allowed on the Hood.  (http://waterdata.usgs.gov/or/nwis/uv?site_no=14120000)

Lake fishing

The lake fishing has been really good lately.  There is very little pressure on the lakes when the steelhead are in, which makes for a good bite and some solitude.  Fish are eating stillwater caddis and leeches.  This is the time of year that they will gorge on a variety of food trying to fatten up for the winter.  Stripping a big woolly bugger on a sink tip or full sink line around drop offs and rock piles should be very rewarding.  There are many, many lakes up near Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams are loaded with fish and ready for your fly.   

Other Options

The Yakima has been fishing well for trout lately and should be very good for the remainder of October.  There is relatively little pressure with many of the Yak guides working on the Klickitat for steelhead into November.  The trout fishing is fabulous in October, especially if we get some cooler nights and overcast skies…  although the weather doesn’t seem to have any in store this next week.

The Cowlitz continues to pump out a bunch of steelhead and Coho on the Washington side of the Columbia.  I really like that stream.  It is a huge fish factory and its fun to swing.  Big water, lots of people, but there are fish everywhere.  Finding those little spots where the fish stack up is a lot of fun for me.  I don’t mind the jet boats because they push the fish around and fish that have just moved around are usually aggressive.  

The coastal streams are loaded up with coho, and chrome bright coho just out of the ocean are mighty fun fish to catch.  The Alsea and Siuslaw (these are the streams I had first-hand reports on this last week) along with many other coastal Oregon streams should be fishing very well around tidewater. 

As always, we are happy to talk fishing any time.  Give us a call if you have any specific questions on local rivers, gear, tactics or just want some encouragement to get out of the office.  


541.386.6977
"Fly Fish the World with Us"




Fishing Report: September 28th, 2014

Fishtember is quickly drawing to a close, but Fishtober holds the promise of lunkers and chromers to be caught. We finally got our first rains of the fall, but it wasn’t enough to do a whole lot in the grand scheme of things. Most of the local rivers have returned to a low and soon-to-be-clear status. The rains did probably move a whole lot of fish around and finally pulled the bulk of the Chinook into the Columbia tributaries. There are plenty of salmon hanging in the Columbia, but the party is winding down and there isn’t much time left; soon we will be talking about how sweet it was…

Deschutes:

The lower river below where the White meets the D got a bit of color in it from the rains this last week, but is in great shape today. It caused plenty of people to focus up above the confluence, but the Deschutes still fishes great with little visibility. Most local fishermen would scoff at fishing 2’ of visibility on the Deschutes while at the same time saying that fishing is great on the Klickitat with 2’ of visibility. People only say that the D doesn’t fish well when it’s colored up because no one fishes it when it’s colored up. The only problem with fishing the Deschutes in dirty water is that it is hard enough to wade in clear water; the chances of swimming in colored water go up dramatically. Just fish your Skagit tactics, sink tips and black leeches.

Things look good for this week as the river is in great shape and the weather looks like another sunny and clear pattern is setting in for a while.

The steelhead tend to move in closer to shore when the river loads up with Chinook. Don’t wade so far out there, and be sure to let your fly hang down for a few extra seconds before your next cast. In fact, it can be beneficial to take a step downstream while your fly is hanging directly below you, as you might run into a fish that followed your fly into really shallow water and is just sitting below it watching it. Take a step down with your fly hanging there and drop it into that fish’s face.

Trout fishing has been great and getting better. Fish are eating caddis and a wide variety of standard nymphs. Size 18 copper johns, flashback pheasant tails and soft hackles should do the trick during the day, with Elk Hair Caddis (or many other caddis) dries the evening. October Caddis should be working their way towards the shore really soon. The new Winston Micro Spey 11’0” 4wt would be absolutely killer out there right now swinging soft hackles in the late afternoon…

Klickitat:

The river colored up pretty good early last week and is just coming into shape over the weekend here. Unless something has magically changed about anadromous fish behavior, the higher water should push the steelhead around into new areas and move Chinook upstream into more of the river, as they were pretty concentrated in the lower river before last week. No matter what, it should be a great week to get out on the Klickitat. Same with the Deschutes, the steelhead tend to find smaller water to hang out in when the salmon are around. Small buckets, riffles and trouty pockets tend to be rewarding this time of year. Fish tend to be less apt to the swing and really start liking the egg patterns as soon as the salmon start bedding up. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t swing, but that the egg pattern guys start doing really well and the swing guys seem to have a harder time, although it’s never really easy to swing the Klickitat. I will still be swinging hard through October (and November), but I know that some guys do very well this time of year with the bobber set-ups.

Hood:

The Hood is a great river. Love it. Wish it had more access. There is thirteen miles of beautiful water that is virtually (I mean literally) inaccessible. Also wish the Columbia would drop a bit because swinging water is pretty minimal right now. The clarity is so-so this weekend but that shouldn’t stop a guy from fishing… We always say that the Hood is great to poke around for a few hours, but if you want to do some serious fishing, there are definitely more productive options around the area.

Lake fishing

I heard a few guys hitting up some of the lakes near Mt. Adams and doing very, very well. Stripping buggers was great, along with some good dry fly action with a #16 parachute adams. Its such a nice time to be out on a lake with the fall colors and the lack of pressure. Plus the trout are as fat as they are going to get before winter puts them on a weight loss program…

Other Options

There are so many good options right now. Really, there shouldn’t be too many bad choices to wet a line this time of year. This next weekend, just go to your favorite piece of water, wherever it is (within a reasonable drive) and catch a lunker.


As always, we are happy to talk fishing any time.  Give us a call if you have any specific questions on local rivers, gear, tactics or just want some encouragement to get out of the office.  


541.386.6977
"Fly Fish the World with Us"


Fishing Report: September 21st, 2014

September is rolling right along, and as expected, fishing continues to be pretty darn good. The steelhead fishing has been great on the Deschutes, and fair on the Klickitat and the Hood. Salmon runs are still going strong, and we could definitely use some rain to bring the river levels up as flows are definitely well below ideal conditions.

Deschutes:

If you are going to fish the Deschutes for steelhead, now is the time. It doesn’t get much better and the weather is great, however it looks as if the weather is going to turn on us sometime soon. So if you want bluebird summer steelheading, it better happen in the next few days. The rest of us have been waiting for some cool, crappy weather to disperse the fair-weather fishermen. Colder nights and a little rain should definitely improve the fishing, although it’s pretty darn good already. Rain and cold weather will at least get the fish moving around and on the bite during the day when finding players can be a little bit more difficult during sunny, hot days.
Trout fishing has been phenomenal on the Deschutes, even down at the mouth. There are a lot of small, tan caddis, and some smaller size 20 or so mayflies, possibly BWO or trico. I haven’t been out to see for myself this week, but that is what the guides are saying. We have had a couple of regulars that even swung into some 20”+ trout while steelheading this past week. October caddis should be coming out soon. The Klickitat and the Hood have had great evening hatches of the big orange caddis this week.

Klickitat:

The Chinook are really concentrated in the lower river. We didn’t see any tailouts filled with fish above mile 6 or 7, but below that, most of the runs had plenty of visible fish stacked in them. Above mile 7, there were still plenty of fish, I got a nice Chinook on a Scandi Line and a small purple fly, but didn’t touch a steelhead, although I swore that Chinook was a huge steelhead for about two minutes. Water temp was a perfect 54.7 degrees at mile 10 mid-afternoon. If you want to skate a dry fly on the Klick, now is the time, water temps are perfect and the October Caddis are popping.

The river has colored up with this summer-like weather we have had; 2 feet of visibility and that sweet “steelhead green” that we like so much. It may get worse before it gets better, but it may clear up with colder weather on tap. It also may blow out if we get the rain that is predicted for later in the week. Either way, we need to add some volume to that river to get the fish moving, as it is getting late in the game and the salmon need to get moving upstream soon. This low water has really kept the fish in the lower river or out in the Columbia. Rain will certainly pull a bunch of Coho into all of the rivers too.

Hood:

The Hood is really low, but it has bumped up a little over the past few days, possibly due to irrigation slowly ceasing for the winter. Fishing is totally hit and miss on the Hood. One day can be good, but the next, it is a ghost town. I spent an hour or two poking around on Thursday before stepping on a hornet’s nest and getting pummeled by those little… I did get a nice grab from a fish before meeting up with the hornets, but I certainly imagine (or hope) that it was a nice steelhead. There was no one else on the river, which is exactly why I didn’t go to the Deschutes.

There is one run that we like to swing right at the mouth of the river, but the Columbia has been really high and has backed water up, creating a small lake at the mouth of the river. We definitely need more rain to get the river up and moving as well as a drop in the Columbia in order to create more ideal conditions for the Hood. While conditions may improve this week, they may also get worse with the weather. It’s a wait and see game, and the Hood is super finicky if you have never noticed.

Lake fishing

Lake fishing for trout has been wonderful. I heard a report from Goose Lake near Trout Lake, WA. Tons of nice cutthroat, brookies and a few browns to hand with no one else on the lake. Just the way I like it. Trillium Lake, Clear Lake and Timothy Lake near Mt. Hood have all been fishing well as the trout are moving back up the water column to more manageable depths with the decrease in water temps.

Other Options
The Crooked and the Metolius have been fishing really well for trout over the past couple of weeks. I am not sure of the hatches that are currently happening, but I have heard from a few regulars that there have been some big fish on the bite. Typically, Blue Wing Olives, small tan or grey caddis and larger October Caddis are the featured entrĂ©es for trout this time of year, but each river is unique and has its own timing and succession of hatches. We are always interested in hearing from our customers about hatches that they are encountering on area’s rivers. If you have been out there lately and are knowledgeable on the hatches, feel free to shoot us an email or a phone call.

As always, we are happy to talk fishing any time. Give us a call if you have any specific questions on local rivers, gear, tactics or just want some encouragement to get out of the office. 

541.386.6977
"Fly Fish the World with Us"


Fishing Report: September 15th, 2014

Its Fishtember, soon to be followed by Fishtober. Steelhead are just about everywhere that they should be and Chinook are certainly making a statement. While numbers of Chinook that were predicted to be records are falling short, it is still a huge run. As of Sunday, there have been 520,000 Fall Chinook through Bonneville, compared to 620,000 at this time last year. While that is a bit short of predictions, 520,000 is still bigger than most years total numbers from the 1990s and earlier. We could use some rain to bring river levels up a bit and get fish moving. There are a lot of fish hanging in the Columbia waiting for some fresh water to make a push. That being said, there are still plenty of fish around our local rivers.



Deschutes:


Fishing has been good.  Have had lots of reports of nice fish being caught all the way up past Mack’s Canyon to Buckhollow.  Small traditional patterns are the standard right now, but a wide variety of flies will certainly work fine.  The water is a bit lower than normal, which means most people size down a little and focus more on drab, natural colors, but small, bright flies seem to work fine during these bright days too.  

Trout fishing has been really good on the Deschutes around Warm Springs down to Maupin.  Fish are still on Caddis and we should see some big October Caddis moving soon if the cool nights continue.  It is productive to nymph a double rig, with a bigger fly (like the possie bugger) in front and a smaller caddis nymph or pheasant tail behind it. Switch over to a dry in the late afternoon and work that through the evening.  

Klickitat: 


The Chinook certainly showed up last week. There were a couple of days that the Chinook were rolling as much as I have ever seen down low. A few steelhead have been caught on dries recently, but fishing for steelhead often gets tough when the salmon are this thick. Focus on riffles up ahead of the salmon or off to the sides in shallow pockets. Some of the biggest steelhead will sit right with the salmon, but it takes some dedication to swing steelhead flies through a run choked with Chinook.

Hood:  


The Hood is really low. This can really put a damper on fishing for steelhead as the runs we like to fish are barely moving and full of shallow rocks right now. There are plenty of Chinook in the river, but it is not legal to target or retain them. It has been somewhat busy down on the river, but catch rates don’t seem to be that great right now.

Lake fishing for trout has been fabulous. The weather has been great for lake fishing. Cool nights and calm winds (mostly) have provided some great fishing opportunities. Lost Lake has been fishing really well along with Laurence Lake near Parkdale.

Bass/warmwater species:  Probably the last post about bass fishing around here for the year. It has been good lately. I have seen some bass boats pounding the shorelines of the Columbia the past few mornings and even saw one hook up just above town here. It is an underrated, fun fishery that has a lot of potential.

Other options:
Photo is from a fresh January Coho Andrew caught last year, Picture courtesy of Ryan Davey at Primal Angler.
Coho numbers have been great. There are quite a few places to get into them. Look for slower pools out of the main current, usually in the lower portions of the river. Strip a heavier, colorful leech pattern on a floating line fairly slowly, or run one under an indicator. If you can find them, the fishing for them can be lights out, and the run is really just starting. Fishing can be good all the way through October, with some rivers getting fresh Coho through January (See photo above).

As always, we are happy to talk fishing any time. Give us a call (541.386.6977) if you have any specific questions on local rivers, gear, tactics or just want some encouragement to get out of the office.


"Fly Fish the World with Us - Make your own report!"


 Fishing Report: September 7/8th, 2014

This should be a really short fishing report.  Its time to get out there, fishing is good all around the area and will continue to improve.  The Chinook are here and poised to shatter single-day passage records (yeah, the one set last fall) at Bonneville Dam.  The steelhead are really starting to get moving as the Columbia is finally starting to cool down.  Again, get out there….


Deschutes:

Fishing has been pretty consistent.  Fish are eating a wide variety of flies.  I got one on Thursday on a micro purple and pink bunny leech on a light sink tip and promptly left in order to get in a nap before the Seahawks game.  

The guides are saying that the fish are all over the lower river and eating all sorts of flies.  As the Chinook start to really pile in, it can push the steelhead into shallower water near the edges of the river, so don’t wade out too deep and definitely let your swing finish out into the shallow water and hang down for a second or two before moving.\

Trout fishing has been really good on the Deschutes around Warm Springs down to Maupin.  Caddisflies are hatching and the fish are definitely eating them.  Double nymph rigs are the ticket most of the day with a small Elk Hair Caddis in the evenings.  If you fish down near Maupin, you have a decent chance of hooking up with a steelhead if you are using a nymph bigger than a size 14 or so.  


Klickitat: 

The Klickitat has been, well, it has been the Klickitat.  Some guys are catching steelhead, plenty of people aren’t.  There are lots of fish around, but they are not always easy to find or catch.  The Chinook are really going to push the steelhead into riffles, pockets and tail-outs.  They will also bring out a lot of bait fishermen, so there may be some searching for good water and do not expect to have any piece of water to yourself for any amount of time until November…

Hood:  

We still have a few weeks to go until they stop pulling water out of the river for irrigation.  It’s pretty low right now, but there are a few fish around.  Just remember that it is not legal to target Chinook in the Hood River no matter how many are pouring into the river…  Steelhead are fair game, but the Hood only opens up for Chinook targeting/retention during the spring.  

Lake fishing for trout has been great.  If you want peace on the water, hit one of the lakes. There shouldn’t be too many people at any given lake, and there are a bunch of lakes that get planted with “jumbo” rainbows every fall.  Both Washington and Oregon have easily accessible planting reports on their respective fish and game websites.  

Bass/warmwater species:  I would imagine that bass fishing is still great, although I haven’t received any local reports for a while.  Gabe and Greg floated the lower Umpqua last week and put a hurting on the bass down there and hooked into a steelhead or two also.  

Other options: The Snohomish system is fabulous this time of year.  The Coho are coming in, and the sea-run cutthroat fishing is really amazing.  That system has incredible amounts of good water for silvers and cutties and it can be epic this time of year.  Get up there if you have a chance.  

As always, we are happy to talk fishing any time.  Give us a call if you have any specific questions on local rivers, gear, tactics or just want some encouragement to get out of the office.  



WOMEN'S FALL RUN JACKET
"QUILTED WARMTH THAT WON’T QUIT"

Fishing Report: August 31st, 2014


Well its Labor Day already and that means that its time to start getting serious about the fall fishing here.  The Chinook are finally starting to show in good numbers and the steelhead are definitely spread out across the region’s rivers.  

Trout fishing will soon be improving again and the fishing opportunities are nearly endless around here until Halloween when some of the local waters start to close for the winter. 

Deschutes:



Fishing has been good on the Deschutes this past week.  Hot weather followed by a few really windy days did not make for ideal conditions, but the guys that stuck it out were generally rewarded.  Even Travis got out for a few days on the D and got into some fish.  

We have had a bit of rain that has given the White River some color.  The Deschutes has dirtied up a bit from Sherar’s down, but it seems to be fluctuating within fishable levels.  

The standard set-up is a floating/scandi line in the mornings and evenings with small traditional hairwing patterns.  Our best selling flies for the morning/evening bite on the Deschutes this season (and last) have been:
  
  • Tom Larimer’s Brazilian
  • Steelhead Coachman
  • Lady Caroline
  • Green Butt Skunk


Once the sun comes out, most guys switch over to a Skagit line with a sink tip.  Sam Sickles of steelheadoutfitters.com likes using a Rio 12.5’ T-8 MOW Tip on a Skagit line during the day with an orange or black marabou pattern.  

Fish are definitely starting to move up the river past Mack’s Canyon, although most focus is still on the lower couple of miles.  The fishing is generally better down there because upstream fish going to Idaho or the upper Columbia tend to “dip in” to the Deschutes and run up a mile or two before turning around and continuing their upstream migration on the Columbia, resulting in many fish caught in the Deschutes that really aren’t Deschutes River steelhead.  

Trout:  The trout fishing should really start to get good on the Deschutes around Warm Spring and Trout Creek soon.  The fish are on caddis and the hatches should be pretty good with the overcast weather that we have had.  Water temps are starting to come back down and not many people have been fishing for trout lately so they are not too wary.  

Hood: Visibility was good, then it was bad, then it cleared up and now it’s very poor again.  It’s such a temperamental river with such great potential, but its really hard to predict whether it will be fishable on any given day this time of year.  Give us a call if you want the up to the minute report on clarity as we can see the mouth of the river from the shop; and Jon or I generally try to get some first-hand intel on the conditions a few times a week before work.

Klickitat:  The Klickitat makes me want to cry.  Seriously.  It was in great shape all week and then I went to fish it on Thursday and the clarity was down to about 1.5’.  Fishing was tough… I swung about 6 different runs with not so much as a grab.  It was busy.  I saw 7 other boats.  I talked with a guide that had caught one, but no one else had even hooked a fish that day.  The air pressure had changed and put the fish down Wednesday and Thursday, but seems to have leveled off and fishing seems to be decent again. 

Expect it to get really busy down low as the salmon are starting to pour into the river and the bait guys will soon be on every available rock.  There will still be plenty of opportunity to fish for steelhead because most guys will be down low in the big deep salmon holes, hopefully leaving the rest of us a little bit of peaceful swinging water.  

Eastern Oregon Steelhead:  We tend to get a few phone calls this time of year asking how the Grande Ronde, Imnaha, Clearwater or other upstream rivers are doing for steelhead.  Generally, the steelhead don’t start pushing into those tributaries until early October, with fishing being good through October into November.  It’s still quite early there, so keep your focus on the Deschutes, Klickitat, Cowlitz, and Lewis Rivers for another month before you head east.  

Lake fishing for trout should be starting to turn around as the hottest weather of the year is behind us and cool evenings are going to start bringing down the water temps to a reasonable level.  That should bring some nice trout back up in the water column to fishable depths.  Several of the local lakes get plants of jumbo trophy trout this time of year.  If you want some peace and quiet and nice fat rainbows, there are a lot of options coming up throughout September.  Trillium Lake is one local lake that is well-known for getting September jumbo trout plants.   

Bass/warmwater species:  So every week we try to update people on the bass fishing around here, but honestly, it’s been weeks since we have heard of anyone besides Fishboy Gabe doing any bass fishing.  I am sure that there is still plenty of potential for great bass fishing in the area, but without anyone going out to do it, we don’t know too much about how the actual fishing is going.  Someone please go out and catch some bass and tell us how it’s been…

Other options:  With the Chinook showing up right now, it’s a great time to put the fly rod away and go on a meat hunt.  I know that my family would disown me if I showed up for Thanksgiving without smoked salmon.  So two or three times every fall, I take my raft out to Drano on a calm day and either pull some kwikfish or drown some roe on my baitcasting rods.  I know that some will turn their noses up at the suggestion, but when in Rome…  


As always, we are happy to talk fishing any time.  Give us a call if you have any specific questions on local rivers, gear, tactics or just want some encouragement to get out of the office.  



Fishing Report: August 24th, 2014


Steelhead have been consistently coming upriver through Bonneville Dam, spreading plenty of fish around the tributaries of the Columbia River Gorge. Chinook are just starting to build up their numbers and are just starting to show in the local tribs. While we are still three weeks from big numbers, there are some people catching Chinook already, and the early fall fish are fairly aggressive and will take a well-presented fly.

Deschutes:

Fishing has been good on the Deschutes, but it has been crowded. The bulk of the fish, are the fisherman have been concentrated in the lower 7 miles of water. Most people have been parking at the State Park at the mouth of the river and biking or hiking up the trail on the east side. If you want to avoid the crowds, you can try driving in at Sherar’s Falls and working the water from the road between Buckhollow and Mack’s Canyon. There will certainly be less people there, although the bulk of the fish seem to be downstream of Mack’s Canyon. That doesn’t mean that there are no fish up there… I know of steelhead caught up by Warm Springs as early as May this year, so there are fish throughout the entire system.
Sam Sickles - Steelhead Outfitters Fishing the D.
When you find a run that should have fish in it, try working it through a couple of times. Finding water that you have all to yourself is a rare thing on the D, so if you have a good run, hang on to it. Never leave fish to find fish. Try throwing a Scandi/Dry line early and late in the day with a smaller, traditional pattern. Then go to a Skagit line with a sink tip and a bigger fly during the brightest hours of the day. However, don’t be afraid to switch it up early and often. Work each run with different tips, heads and flies until you have been successful or you really have to leave.

Most fish and fishermen tend to gravitate towards bright flies early in the season, and then move to more natural colors as the season progresses. It is still early in the run, so fish tend to be more aggressive and will hit big and bright flies, where they tend to like smaller flies in more subtle colors in October. That is not a rule, but more of a trend. Again, don’t be afraid to experiment when you find water that looks promising.

Hood: After the rains last week that bumped up the river level a bit, we heard of a few steelhead being caught on the Hood. The river quickly dropped back to 300-400 cfs, which is awfully low, but the bump helped pull a few fish in. The clarity is still poor, but it is fishable. It is always worth an hour or two, but not many people will spend a full day working the Hood until later in the fall when the Klickitat and the Deschutes are so close.

Klickitat:

The Klickitat is finally in good shape as of Saturday. Clarity is 2-3 feet and it has that sweet “steelhead green” tint to it. It has been a while since we have seen conditions this good, but don’t expect it to last. A couple of days over 90 degrees will most likely color up the Klick by the end of the week. It may or may not stay in fishable shape, but there will probably not be the near ideal conditions that we have right now. There are definitely fish in the river, both Chinook and Steelhead, and they have seen relatively little pressure lately. Don’t expect that to last either, as we get closer to September, when you have to bring your own rock to stand on during the peak of the Chinook run. 


Herman Creek and Drano: Fishing is still pretty darn good out in the backwaters for steelhead out of a float tube. Just like fishing for big trout in a shallow lake, strip a bugger really slowly. Look for water in the 10-15 foot depth in Drano and fish your fly 4-6 feet down. Go slow, or you might end up foul hooking fish. Herman Creek is pretty straightforward, when you get there, you will figure out the program pretty quickly. Just remember to steer clear of the gear guys, as this is the time of year that people get really aggressive and just downright mean about fishing. I have witnessed two near fist fights and got one real mean “talking to” from a dude that didn’t want me near his boat. Don’t let bullies push you around, you have every right to be there too.

Low and middle elevation lake fishing for trout is at the low point of the summer as the water is warm and the fish are generally pretty deep. They will come up for dries really early and really late in the day, but otherwise are probably cruising down farther than most of us want to work a fly. Lost Lake and Laurence are pretty deep and stay cold enough for some decent fishing, but it may be a little tougher than other times of the year. Having a boat or float tube will help you out tremendously. Having a full sinking type III or type IV line will help you out even more. The higher in elevation you can get, the better the fishing will be.

High mountain lakes should be fishing well. It’s a great time to backpack into the Indian Heaven Wilderness as the mosquitoes are starting to dwindle and the huckleberries are coming on strong. Hiking around Mt. Hood will also get you into some nice lakes that have little pressure. The high-country fish are not smart and love dry flies, just the type of fish I like.

Bass/warmwater species: Bass fishing has been great locally in the Gorge the past month or so. Not many people fish for them around here on a regular basis. It seems to be more of a novelty, once a summer thing. Warm air and water temps have helped out a lot to get the fish active. There are many lakes around here that hold nice bass populations, crappie, walleye, etc… Give us a call if you need some help finding a place to catch some spiny-rays.

Other options: Fishing at Buoy 10 on the Columbia is absolutely epic right now. It’s not fly fishing, its not even fishing, its catching; its filling the freezer with delicious salmon. If you can jump on a charter boat from Astoria, I suggest that you do it. The fishing is really good up through Cathlamet, and the fish will be working their way upstream in the next few weeks.

As always, we are happy to talk fishing any time. Give us a call if you have any specific questions on local rivers, gear, tactics or just want some encouragement to get out of the office. 541.386.6977


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Fishing Report: August 17th, 2014


Everything looked like it was going to be perfect for my days off. Temps were down, clouds were prevalent, and some rain had bumped up the cfs just a little bit at the mouth. What I didn’t count on was that the rain up on Mt. Hood had blown out the White River, which in turn blew out the Deschutes. 

Photo provided by Sam Sickles - Steelhead Outfitters

We biked in on Wednesday after dark and didn’t realize that the visibility was down below a foot until we got to camp. The camping was great, the whiskey was delicious, but the fishing in the morning was not ideal, although I had one fish on for a minute and Jon had a grab before he took a nasty swim in his waders and we decided to grab a burger and a shake at Big Jim’s.

The river is clearing up and fishing should be getting back into shape. Most people are walking or biking in from the mouth, but there is road access down below Sherar’s Falls to Mack’s Canyon and generally fewer people this time of year.

Hood: The Hood also blew out with the rains last week and is still questionably dirty as of Sunday.
Again, the Hood is more of a spring and fall fishery as irrigation draws out a lot of water and we don’t fish much before they stop pulling water out. Always worth poking around, but most locals don’t get too serious about the Hood until it starts getting cold out and the water comes up.

Klickitat: Following a trend, the Klickitat blew out last week with the rain (surprise). Visibility is improving and looks fishable as of Sunday. It doesn’t look like it is going to be as hot this week as previous weeks, so the river might hold out and be fishable for more than a few hours at a time, which is awful nice for those of us that need some redemption on that river.

Herman Creek and Drano: If you ever wanted to catch a steelhead out of a float tube, now is a great time to visit Drano Lake or the Herman Creek Estuary. It is crowded with the bait and bobber crew, but there is still plenty of room for a guy on a tube to get a line wet without upsetting too many people… Speaking of which: I still don’t understand how some people can get so aggressive over fishing, but make sure to give our baitfishing friends plenty of room of you could get an earful which definitely a damper on everyone’s mood.

Lake fishing for trout is hitting the low point of the summer as the water is warm and the fish are generally pretty deep. They will come up for dries really early and really late in the day, but otherwise are probably cruising down farther than most of us want to work a fly. Lost Lake and Laurence are pretty deep and stay cold enough for some decent fishing, but it may be a little tougher than other times of the year. Having a boat or float tube will help you out tremendously.

High mountain lakes should be fishing well. It’s a great time to backpack into the Indian Heaven Wilderness as the mosquitoes are starting to dwindle and the huckleberries are coming on strong. The fish are not smart and love dry flies, and there are dozens of lakes out there to explore.

Bass/warmwater species: Fishboy Gabe caught a couple of nice smallies right off the shore here in Hood River last week, so if Gabe can catch them, then fishing must be pretty easy… Just kidding, Gabe is pretty darn good, but fishing for bass is also pretty darn good right now. Going down the Columbia in a float tube pounding the shore would be a good idea if the winds stay calm enough to keep the swells down.

Other options: Salmon have really started coming into the Columbia for the epic fall run that has been predicted. Fishing in the big river is really good down low in the Cathlamet area all the way down to the mouth. Coho and Chinook are both biting well, although catching them on a fly rod is a different ball game than what they do down there. I’m not saying that you can’t do it, but that not many people give it the time to get it dialed in, especially when they have the bait fishery figured out.

As always, we are happy to talk fishing any time. Give us a call if you have any specific questions on local rivers, gear, tactics or just want some encouragement to get out of the office. 541.386.6977




Fishing Report: August 11th, 2014

Deschutes:


Water temperatures have been good this week as we finally got some relief from the heat wave that has plagued the west this summer.  The weather looks like it might heat back up a bit early this week before cooling off again later in the week… but do  you really trust the weather report that far out?

Fishing has been good on the Deschutes down in the lower few miles of the river.  Haven’t heard of much action above Mack’s Canyon, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any fish up there yet, just not a lot of people fishing for them.  

Sam Sickles of Steelhead Outfitters recommends a Lady Caroline, Brazilian or Undertaker early in the morning and late in the day on a Scandi head, and switching over to a Skagit head with a sink tip and a Hobo Spey in orange/pink or a Reverse Marabou Tube in Orange during the day when the sun is bright.  

Hood: The Hood is finally looking like its in good enough shape to fish, but we haven’t heard of any pressure on the river recently.  The water is low, but there is enough clarity to get a fly within sight of a fish.  There are plenty of people intertubing the lower mile, but not many fishermen.  The clarity may or may not hold this week depending on the weather, but it is nice to see the river in good shape, even if it’s just for a day or two.

Klickitat:  Clarity has improved slightly in the past few days, but it is still borderline.  For the hardcore fisherman, the river is definitely fishable.  For those of us that have some confidence issues with the Klickitat, the river is still a bit off-color.  We may or may not see some improvement in conditions this week, as both warmer and cooler weather are predicted.

Cowlitz and Lewis Rivers:  Still hearing great news from the Cow and the Lewis. Fishing should be great for steelhead through August.  If you get a chance to get out that way, it seems like it would be worth it.  It is definitely better than mowing the lawn or sitting in the office, and both are relatively close to Portland, although you will miss out on visiting us here in the shop.

Lake fishing is still good up high in the mountains, although it is not near as good as it was a month or two ago.  Fish are deep and generally only coming up for the morning and evening callibaetis hatches.  Trolling a bugger or dragonfly nymph is still fairly productive.  This is the time of year to hit some of the Central Oregon Lakes like East Lake, Davis, Hosmer and Crane Prarie.   

Bass/warmwater species:  Heard a few good reports about bass fishing from Horsethief Lake at Columbia Hills State Park in Washington.  Smallie fishing has been great with minimal pressure.  Lots of fish with a few nice bass in the 17”+ range have been reported.  Topwater poppers work well in the evening in the shallow end of the lake and up near the weeds and over the drop-offs, while working bigger buggers and clousers around the drop-offs is more productive during the day. .  

Carp:  OK so after hearing great reports of carp fishing lately, I went out exploring and did not see one carp tailing in four different ponds.  I am sure that I was late to the dance as fish tend to work the flats during the heat of the day and I wasn’t able to get out until about 5:00 in the evening.  I talked to a few guys that didn’t do so well and a few that caught quite a few.  Try the first big pond on HWY 14 just west of Lyle near the mouth of the Klickitat.  That seems to have some nice water to work.  The weeds are growing up pretty tall in a lot of places and that really hampers your ability to fish effectively.  

Other options:  Fishing in the saltwater is still epic.  The Fall Chinook and Coho are just starting to show up and stage off the mouths of the rivers.  We have even had a few Coho through Bonneville Dam already, which is incredibly early, but with record runs of Coho and Fall Chinook expected, it is probably more of a trend than an exception.  It’s a great time to be out in a big boat on the big river near the big ocean.  

As always, we are happy to talk fishing any time.  Give us a call if you have any specific questions on local rivers, gear, tactics or just want some encouragement to get out of the office.  



Fishing Report: August 4th, 2014

Deschutes River:
Water temperatures once again rose above 70 degrees on Friday. We cannot emphasize enough how bad it is for fish in water this warm. On the plus side, as of Saturday, August 2, it appears as if water from Pelton Dam has been coming out colder than in July, so that should keep the river in a safe temperature zone for the rest of the summer (hopefully).
Fishing has been decent in the Deschutes. There are definitely steelhead scattered throughout the lower river below Shearar’s Falls. There are not huge numbers yet, but the fish in the system seem to be biting well. August is the month in which the peak of the steelhead enter the Columbia system, so things should pick up soon

Our counts at Bonneville Dam are now (111,000) slightly below the ten year average (114,000). If you consider that there have been several hatchery programs suspended in the last ten year period, our numbers are great. The numbers of wild steelhead (56,000) are well above the ten year averages (49,000) so the removal of hatchery stock are affecting overall numbers, but the numbers of wild stock are looking great. We will save the politics of hatcheries for another post, but you can see how the overall counts are going so far this year. We are far above last year’s counts (72,000) so that is getting people pretty excited for a good fall.

Hood River: There has been little to no clarity on the river and little to no effort. As long as it remains very hot out, the clarity on the river will continue to be poor. There are probably a few steelhead around as the river is cold and gets a run of summer fish, but finding them and getting them to take a fly is a whole other story. Trout fishing is possible up in the East Fork, but clarity is poor there too and will definitely affect success. Just a reminder that the West Fork of the Hood is always closed upstream of the angling deadline, which is 200’ below Punchbowl Falls.

Klickitat River: Visibility is generally poor right now… but fishing can be pretty decent if you can hit it when it has a little bit of clarity. On July 27, the water temperature was 67 degrees about 4 miles upstream at 6:30 in the evening with about 18” of visibility. Visibility fluctuates on the river throughout the day, and windows of fishable visibility are definitely possible; but how much it will clear up on any give day is very unpredictable. Pressure has been low with the poor conditions, so you should have a good choice of water if you venture that way.

Cowlitz and Lewis Rivers: We keep hearing great reports from the Cowlitz and the Lewis. Big fish are being caught on the Lewis and good numbers of fish are being caught on the Cowlitz. Get up there if you have a chance. These are definitely your best options for catching steelhead right now.

Clackamas and Sandy: If you are going to fish for summer steelhead on the Clack or the Sandy, now is the time. The rivers are in good shape and there are definitely decent numbers of fish in both systems. Pressure has been fairly light lately for their proximity to the city, but soon the Chinook will be around and it will be tough to find any kind of solitude on those rivers.

Lake fishing is still great in most of the high mountain lakes. Getting deep with a type IV sinking line is producing more fish that the floating line game, at least during the hot part of the day in most lakes. Slow trolling a dragonfly nymph, woolly bugger or damsel nymph is productive in most lakes right now, with a decent chance of an afternoon callibaetis hatch and evening spinnerfall. Throwing dry flies should raise fish in most lakes early and late. Most of the high mountain lakes do not have huge fish, but are filled with hungry (not picky) eager fish that are really willing to take a large variety of flies.

Bass/warmwater species: Warmwater fishing has been outstanding lately. Bass fishing in the big river has been great if you can get a calm day out there (those are few and far between). There are dozens of sloughs and small ponds along the Columbia on I-84 or HWY 14 that have great smallmouth fishing. Some of the ponds have largemouth, walleye, yellow perch, bluegill and most of them have carp. Finding one that is not covered in weeds is difficult, but if you do, then fishing should be great.

Carp: Carp fishing is great right now. Calm days on the Columbia keep the water calm. Try crayfish patterns on the flats out in front of Hood River or Mosier, or try the Mosier pond.

Other options: Fishing in the saltwater is epic right now. The Fall Chinook and Coho are just starting to show up and stage off the mouths of the rivers. Catching has been phenomenal. Getting yourself onto a charter boat out of one of the coastal towns would definitely be advantageous. If you can get out there without a charter boat, even better.

As always, we are happy to talk fishing any time. Give us a call if you have any specific questions on local rivers, gear, tactics or just want some encouragement to get out of the office.

Fishing Report: July 27th,  2014


A couple days of heavy rains came through our area this last week. It reduced clarity on the Klickitat and the Hood, right as those rivers were starting to get back into shape. This week may or may not show some improvements. We shall see as air temps creep back up to the 90s or hotter.

Deschutes:
Water temps were good this last week and fishing was pretty good for July, despite some heavy rains. There were reports of steelhead being caught from the mouth up to Pine Tree. There have not been a lot of fish moving through the fish trap at Sherar’s Falls, so they seem to be staying in the lower river for now.

Counts at the dams are good, but don’t let dam counts rule your life. Just because fish are moving through the dams doesn’t mean that those fish are moving into the Deschutes, or that they are “players”. You only need one fish to have a good day. Some of the best fishing has happened during years with poor counts. We are just above the ten year average, but almost twice the fish that we had last year at this time, so people are getting pretty excited.

Anyways, the counts have been good, but the thing we really have to keep an eye on is the water temp at the mouth. It looks like another hot week in front of us, so if water temps start to reach 70 degrees, the fish seriously stress out and there is an ethical dilemma on whether you should be out there fishing for them. If it reaches 70, we highly suggest going somewhere that you can work fish that are far less stressed. Keep an eye on the water temps here:


Hood: The rains last week really put the river in bad shape as it looked like concrete pouring out of the mouth for a few days. As of Saturday, July 26, the river is finally looking better, but we expect clarity to drop again as high air temps will cause more dirty water to come down off the glacier. No reports of anyone fishing for steelhead, but a few people have had some luck fishing for trout recently up on the East Fork off of HWY 35, around Toll Bridge Park and Tucker Park. Trout in the Hood are generally small and hungry. Attractor dries work well. Access is otherwise difficult to non-existent.

The run at the mouth of the Hood is a finicky place. When the water from the Columbia backs up the Hood, it tends to dump a bunch of silt and sand in that run and fills it in, covering the structure and making it a sub-par run . Now that the Columbia is a bit lower, we need some serious rains to get the Hood moving enough to push that silt out of the lower part of the river. We usually don’t get that type of rain until the fall. Its always worth a shot, but the general consensus is that we need some good high water to flush out the sediment that has built up down there.


Klickitat:  Visibility….  Just as the river was starting to get back into shape, some serious rain caused a little blowout and clarity was back to nil.  Clarity is creeping back to a fishable level (just over a foot on Sunday morning), but temperatures are expected to be hot enough this week to cause glacial melt to reduce clarity again…   You don’t need much clarity to fish, but you do need to be familiar with the runs, their structure and depth in order to present the fly right in a steelhead’s face.  Use big flies and a variety of sink tips to find the zone.  It’s a frustrating game that we play with the Klick this time of year.  

Cowlitz:  Heard a few more good reports from the Cow this week.  This river is a juggernaut and can produce an unreal number of steelhead during this time of year.  Great swinging water, lots of people, but plenty of opportunity if you can stand the crowds.  Taking a boat from Barrier Dam to Blue Creek is my favorite float and you should have no problems finding enough water to keep you busy for a day.  The water is low right now, but that just makes it easier for fly fishermen to read the water.  

Lake fishing is still great in most of the high mountain lakes.  Getting deep with a type IV sinking line is producing more fish that the floating line game, at least during the hot part of the day in most lakes.  Slow trolling a dragonfly nymph, woolly bugger or damsel nymph is productive in most lakes right now, with a decent chance of an afternoon callibaetis hatch and evening spinnerfall.  

Lost Lake and Laurence Lake have been fishing well as they tend to do all summer. The rock wall on the south end of Lost Lake has been producing some nice fish. Laurence lake tends to put out a lot of fish in the 9-12” range just off the dropoffs around the shore. Work your flies back and forth across the edges to find out how far off shore the fish are working. All of the local lakes will continue to warm and fishing will most likely deteriorate with more 90 degree weather.

Bass/warmwater species:  Warmwater fishing has been outstanding lately.  Bass fishing in the big river has been great if you can get a calm day out there (those are few and far between).  Try Horsethief Lake or Icehouse Lake in Washington; both of those lakes have a variety of warmwater options.  If you are up for a drive, go hit up Davis Lake in Central Oregon.  The largemouth fishing is great there right now.    

Carp:  There are tons of opportunities to catch carp on the fly here.  Does it help if I call them “Freshwater Bonefish”?  I use the same flies, rods and lines as I do when I am in the Bahamas.  A stout 6wt, floating line (tropical lines and trout lines both work fine in 70 degree water) with a Crazy Charlie….  Try it out.  You don’t have to tell your friends, and no one here will give you any grief for asking about bonefishing (err, I mean carp fishing).

Other options: Several of the coastal rivers should have the bulk of their summer steelhead showing up now. There should be enough fish around for any given coastal river in Washington or Oregon to have a shot at a steelhead. I have heard good reports from the Olympic Peninsula, the Skykomish, and the Lewis. (I lived in Washington, so most of my reports come from friends up there). So if steelhead are your game, it’s a great time to get out there, all up and down the coast. Tons of options in the high-mountain game too. It’s really a great time to go fishing. If you have any questions or need some suggestions, give us a call. We are always happy to talk fishing.


Chris Scott of Portland with a nice July rainbow

Fishing Report: July 20th,  2014

Well we didn’t quite get as hot this week as originally predicted; however, it was hot enough to really put a damper on the fishing. Some of our local rivers colored up too dirty for fishing due to the glacial melt. A few rivers got too warm for well-being of the trout and steelhead, and some of the lakes heated up and pushed the trout down to the deepest parts of the water column. A bright spot is that the warm-water fishing has been fabulous. Carp, bass, walleye and bluegill have been biting well.

Deschutes:

Water temps are currently coming out of Pelton Dam between 56 and 59 degrees F.  As we are cooling off, the temps are coming down both from the dam releases and down near the mouth.  

Generally, trout and steelhead really struggle when the water temp gets near 70.  Sustained periods of 70+ degree water temps lead to fish kills, and the chances of fish surviving a release at that temperature decreases.  

If we are going to continue seeing 90+ degree days in Hood River (that’s usually 100+ on the Deschutes), please be aware of the river temperatures, and fish in the morning when it’s coldest.  You can check the temps here:  http://waterdata.usgs.gov/or/nwis/uv?site_no=14103000

On another note, the steelhead have been trickling into the river, but fishing has been poor for steelhead this past week.  

Check the status of the river and get you boating pass here:  www.boaterpass.com

Hood: The visibility has been pretty bad this week due to glacial melt. I haven’t heard of anyone fishing with any success this week. A few guys have been trout fishing up higher on the East Fork, which has been very colored also. Fishing for trout should be good when the water clears up and the fish can see surface flies a little better.

Trout Lake Creek is fishing well.  It is a slow, meandering creek that has good access, easy wading and hungry trout.  Attractor dries like grasshoppers, stimulators, elk hair caddis and parachutes adams work great.  We have had some good reports from up there, although fishing has been tough in the hottest part of the day

Klickitat:  Visibility is very, very poor on the Klick.  It has been less than a foot all week (yeah, maybe 3 inches on average), but should get a little bit better this next week.  We only heard of a few guys fishing it last week and no reports of any catching going on there.  We are unsure of how it will improve, as there is a lot of room to go before the visibility is decent.  

If you really need to go fish the Klick, pick a run you know and work it a few times with different tips and big flies.  Think dirty winter tactics.  If you don’t really know the river well, find somewhere else to fish that you are more familiar with, as fishing in no visibility is frustrating and can crush your confidence quickly

Cowlitz:  This is the time of year that fishing for steelhead picks up on the Cowlitz. There are a ton of fishermen, but it also has a ton of fish. The float from Barrier Dam to Blue Creek has miles of great spey water to swing, as long as you can deal with the jet boats and gear fishermen. Solitude is not something that you will find there. Walk-in access is limited but there is enough to keep a guy busy for a day. This river puts out an unreal number of summer steelhead, so keep it on the radar.

Lake fishing is slowing down a little bit in some of the local lakes, but holding steady in some others.  Lowland lakes like Spearfish and Rowland have been far too warm for trout fishing, but the warmwater species have been fishing well in these lowland lakes.  

Lost Lake and Laurence Lake have been fishing well as they tend to do all summer. Due to geography, they do not warm up all that much and the fish stay in relatively shallow water during the summer. Other lakes that are more exposed to the sun and don’t have strong, cold inflows have been warming up quite a bit. The fishing can still be great, but you should break out that type IV sinking line in order to get down to the fish, which can be more than 20’ deep this time of year.

Bass/warmwater species:  Bass, walleye and bluegill fishing has been good in the small ponds and sloughs off the big river.  Get a fly down deep near the bottom or up the weeds, there is probably a bass waiting for you there.  

Carp: If the wind dies down for a day or so, “the hook” is a great place to go target some carp. They are stacked up in there pretty thick right now. When it’s windy, the waves tend to kick up sediment that makes it difficult to see the fish. 


Fishing Report: July 14th,  2014

Some Like it Hot Hot Hot!
With our warmest temperatures of the year, and possibly the warmest temperatures ever recorded in this area coming up, fishing is a little limited and a bit more difficult than it was a few weeks ago. This warm water stresses out our trout and steelhead and reduces clarity on a couple of our favorite rivers. It could be time to start thinking about targeting some warm-water species.



Deschutes:

Water temps are currently coming out of Pelton Dam between 57 and 58 degrees F. That is not too warm for fish, but down at the mouth, the temperatures have been topping 72 degrees F, and will most likely increase with this record hot weather. Fish in that situation will be experiencing some stress. In Montana, for example, several of the rivers close to fishing when temperatures hit 70 degrees. If you really want to fish the Deschutes down in the lower sections, do it in the morning when water temps are at the lowest. When the temps rise mid-day, those fish will probably either move out or lay low and struggle. My suggestion is to go rafting in the afternoon. The Harpam Flat to Sandy Beach section is one of my absolute favorite places to be in 100 degree weather

Hood: The visibility on the Hood is mediocre to poor depending on the time of day and the location. With this warm weather, the glacial melt increases and the visibility decreases. If the river has a green tint, then you are good to go. Try nymphing or swinging for steelhead down on the lower sections near town. If it is chocolate milk, then it is probably too hot to go fishing, try a soak in the swimming hole at Tucker Park. The water is usually very cold and very refreshing on a 100 degree day

If the water is not too murky, you can try trout fishing on the East Fork of the Hood. There are small trout in there and it is a fun place to cast a line. It’s not the friendliest river to wade around in. There are lots of boulders and uneven ground, but those boulders make some great little pockets and provide oxygen for hungry trout. Attractor dries like stimulators, adams and Chernobyl ants should do the trick.

Trout Lake Creek is fishing well. It is a slow, meandering creek that has good access, easy wading and hungry trout. Again, attractor dries should work great. Unlike the Hood or the Klickitat, visibility in Trout Lake Creek is not generally a problem in hot weather.

Klickitat: 

Visibility is poor on the Klick with this weather. It tends to fluctuate during the day, so changing locations might give you a better shot at finding some fishable water. There are fish in the river; not in any huge numbers, but enough that people are catching them here and there. Swinging bigger flies on sink tips is definitely a must in these conditions, however, the fish tend to hold in shallower water, so changing your tips out and working a run multiple times with different tips and flies can be advantageous.

Lake fishing is definitely a bit more difficult as many of the local lakes have warmed significantly this past week with the hot weather. Timothy Lake and Clear Lake were 70 degrees in the top water column over the weekend. The Hex hatch came and went on most of the lakes, so the focus will be on damselflies, dragonflies and callibaetis for a little while. Getting really deep with a type III or type IV sinking line is a good idea. I caught many fish at Timothy Lake off of one of the points about 20-25’ deep with a damselfly nymph.

Lost Lake and Laurence Lake tend to stay a bit colder than some of the other lakes in the area. Lost is incredibly deep and Laurence has two very cold creeks dumping into it to keep it cool, as well as its geography prevents it from receiving a tone of sun. They are both very nice places to spend the day when it is hot. Fishing has still been very good on these lakes. Using a bugger, leech pattern, damselfly nymph, carey special or dragonfly nymph in the day and callibaetis spinner dry in the evening. Lost Lake has boat rentals too which is a good idea if you have no way to get out from shore.

Bass/warmwater species: Smallie fishing has been good in most places. The John Day is getting a bit warm, but the fishing is still good. There are countless ponds and sloughs in the area that hold smallmouth, as well as yellow perch and walleye. There are even a few places with some good largemouth fishing. The Walleye bite has been good in a few of the sloughs and lakes around here. Getting a streamer down to the bottom of a deeper lake will probably be rewarded with some kind of warm-water species around here.

Carp: Carp fishing has been good lately. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea; the fish are challenging to catch, they are big, make long runs, and fight hard. I am just fine with that. In the main Columbia there are plenty of spots, as well as in the ponds and sloughs around the gorge. The best part is that carp aren’t as sensitive to the hot weather and increasing water temps. So I would say it’s a good choice this time of year. Get out and try something different this week. 

"Fly Fish the World with Us"


Fishing Report: July 6th,  2014


Deschutes: I have heard that trout fishing around Warm Springs has been good. The water has been coming out of Pelton Dam around 55 degrees F, but has topped 68 degrees F near the mouth. With the water level dropping and the temps increasing, it should make fishing tough, especially if you want to fish the lower river. Fish on the upper river are eating a variety of bugs; but caddis first and foremost. PMDs, yellow sallies, hoppers are all hatching too, and it shouldn’t be long before we get a decent mahogany dun hatch.

So after all of this talk about how the warm water is terrible for the fish and it won’t bring any steelhead into the river this time of year; we have heard of a few steelhead caught down low. I don’t know why they entered the river when it’s so warm, but they did… and there apparently there are enough fish around for a dedicated angler to have a shot.

Hood: The river has finally got its glacial green color, and that means its officially summer here in the Hood. While visibility is low, the water temps are also low. This should be good for any steelhead that want to pop in for a minute and cool down. The Columbia has been dropping in front of town here, which opens up the run at the mouth for some swinging; the Columbia covers it up when it’s high in the springtime. The mouth of the hood is a nice place to swing for an hour before work, and the potential for hooking a fish exists any day of the year that you can safely get a fly to swing there. . The low water limits holding water and fishable runs upstream, and access upstream of town remains difficult to nonexistent, but there is enough water around town to keep a guy busy for a day.

Trout fishing in the Hood River is generally not productive. It is still a popular place to wet a line, but the steep and quick nature of this glacial river provides little food for trout to grow to any size or exist in any significant numbers. Most trout in this river go to the ocean where food is more plentiful. For the few trout that reside year round here, the East Fork of the Hood River has the highest concentration that you can fish to. They will eat standard attractor dries. Access exists all along HWY 35, but the river is steep and it is not a friendly place to wade. Have fun, but be prepared for some tough wading.

Trout Lake Creek on the Washington side is a better option this time of year for small stream trout fishing. There are plenty of hungry trout that are eager to hit attractor dries. The river is a slow meandering creek with easy access and good fishing.

Klickitat: Just as predicted, the river cleared up in the middle of last week only to have visibility drop again to about a foot on the Fourth. The visibility will probably remain poor as long as it is hot out here, especially since it has not been cooling off much at night. There are still fish in the river, as there are every other day of the year there, but catching them may have gotten more difficult for people that are not really familiar with the layout of their favorite runs.

As stated last week, the lake fishing is incredible right now, especially the high mountain lakes. Steelheading is poor at best right now, but far more people are fishing the Klickitat than most of the lakes around here. There are dozens, if not hundreds of lakes around Mt. Adams, Mt Hood and Mt. St. Helens to go explore. I fished a series of hike-in lakes last week and found some more near-trophy sized brookies, and the best part was not finding any garbage or sign of any humans. No footprints, fire rings, worm containers, monofilament or cigarette butts. Perfection… An amazing callibaetis hatch actually made fishing a little tough for a while as it was hard to even find my fly on the water in the mass of bugs. We saw plenty of damsel flies, but no adult dragons at the 4000-5000 foot level. They still ate an olive bugger before and after the hatch as they always do.

Lost Lake has been fishing well, along with Kingsley and Laurence Lakes. Lost Lake has rental boats to make access easier and there is no more beautiful place to spend a day. The Hex hatch has been reported to be happening at the lakes where they exist, but tight-lipped anglers rarely give up any more info than that. Go fish the Hex hatch near sundown. The potential is there for an epic evening.

Bass fishing: Smallie fishing has been good. I have heard that Rowland Lake has been fishing really well. The John Day is also a good bet. Smallies should eat a streamer just fine and topwater flies early and late in the day.

Shad: The shad season is about over. We hit 2.58 million fish as of Saturday, July 5. Still haven’t talked to anyone that caught any on the fly in this section of the Columbia. Maybe it will catch on next year….


 Fishing Report: June 29th,  2014

Callibaetis Spinner
Deschutes: Trout fishing on the D has been fair. We have had some decent reports and some pretty bleak report. It seems that the guys and gals that can really work the water effectively are picking up fish while the guys that aren’t quite dialed in are having a hard time. Caddisflies remain the primary hatch, while PMDs and Yellow Sallies are getting a little playing time too. Start with an elk hair caddis in a size 16 tan or grey, then be prepared to switch flies early and often until you find what the fish are really looking for without spooking them.

The Fourth of July traditionally kicks off the steelhead season on the D, however, the warm water conditions will probably prevent a number of fish from moving into the river. We could really use some cooler water as we enter the warmest part of the year.


Hood: We did get a nice shot of rain Friday which pushed the Hood over 1000 cfs, which is a nice bump for this time of year. The water clarity on the Hood and the Klick are poor as of Sunday, but should clear up soon. I would expect that the rain would bring in a couple of fish. It wasn’t much of a spike in water, but it should be enough to pull a few steelhead into the system. We have heard of a few steelhead caught throughout the system, and there have recently been a few Chinook caught around Punchbowl Falls.

Trout fishing in the Hood River is generally not productive, however, we have heard of at least five brown trout caught in the river in the past year. These probably escaped from Lost Lake and have made residence in the river.

East Fork of the Hood River has a few rainbow trout in it. There is quite a bit of road access off of HWY 35, and some nice little pockets to fish, although mostly the river is fast and turbulent with tough wading and treacherous approaches. The river has a lot of steelhead smolt in it, so be aware of what you are catching. The fish in the East Fork should be eager to hit stimulators, hoppers and most other standard attractor dry flies.

Trout Lake Creek on the Washington side is a good option this time of year. There are plenty of small hungry trout that are eager to hit attractor dries. The river is a slow meandering creek with easy access and good fishing.

The Klickitat has about one foot of visibility as of Sunday morning 6/29. Rains over the weekend cut down the clarity. It should improve a little over the next few days, but if we really hit 90 degrees on Thursday, then the glacial melt could bring clarity back to “poor”.

So right now, the lake fishing is incredible. We sell very little lake gear compared to steelhead gear. This is sad because steelheading is poor right now and lake fishing is red hot. I don’t mind knowing that I will have a lake to myself because someone heard that someone caught a steelhead on the Klickitat so everyone has to go over there... There are dozens, if not hundreds of lakes around Mt. Adams, Mt Hood and Mt. St. Helens to go explore. There are lakes with big fish, lakes with lots of fish, lakes with no fish, but there are so many that you can knock out a couple each day and find out for yourself.

The colder weather the past few days really brought out the callibaetis and chironomids, but it put down the damselflies and carpenter ants. The warm weather that is expected this week should really get the damsel, dragon and ant hatch moving, as well as the Hexagenia hatch. Merrill Lake in Washington and Lost Lake in Oregon both have good hex hatches and you can catch some big trout in shallow water when these bugs show.

Bass fishing: Smallmouth fishing has been very good. I heard that the topwater action on the John Day has slowed down, but throwing a bugger is still producing a lot of fish. There are countless ponds and sloughs around here that have smallies, as well as the main Columbia. On a calmer day, there are a lot of places to explore on the Columbia if you have a boat or are willing to do some bushwhacking. There are some largemouth bass in this general area too and the fishing for them should be good. Hagg Lake near Portland and Davis Lake near Bend are both well known largemouth fisheries. There are also some super secret ponds around Stevenson that have some bucketmouths.

Carp: Saw a few nice carp caught last week including a 30+ pounder that True C. caught on a crayfish pattern. There are numerous muddy flats that hold plenty of carp around here in both the Columbia and the ponds on the side of the river.

Shad: The shad season is winding down. We may hit 3 million through Bonneville and I still haven’t talked to anyone that consistently fishes them with a fly rod between Bonneville and the Dalles Dams. An untouched fishery goes another whole season with nearly zero pressure.




Fishing Report: June 23rd,  2014

Deschutes: Trout fishing seems to have had one last decent week of fishing. The consensus seems to be that fishing is about done. Water temps are rising again and the fish are not as active or eager to take a fly. Temps topped 66F near the mouth last week. There are still fish to be caught and anyone can show up and have a great day, but the bite is considerably inconsistent during this time of year.

The Fourth of July traditionally kicks off the steelhead season on the D, however, the warm water conditions will probably prevent a number of fish from moving into the river. We could really use some cooler water as we enter the warmest part of the year.

Hood: Low water is hampering any effort and success with steelheading on the Hood. There has been little effort seen, although the level of the Columbia has dropped enough to make the lower runs on the Hood fishable . I swung a couple of runs on Thursdaynight with no grabs, but I did see a beaver and a badger on my hike, so that made up for the lack of success.

East Fork of the Hood River has a few trout in it. There is quite a bit of road access off of HWY 35, and some nice little pockets to fish, although mostly the river is fast and turbulent with tough wading and treacherous approaches. The river has a lot of steelhead smolt in it, so be aware of what you are catching. The fish in the East Fork should be eager to hit stimulators, hoppers and most other standard attractor dry flies.

June is a great time for sturgeon fishing if you have a desire to catch a monster fish. They are very willing to eat shad if you can find the shad and then the sturgeon.

Clackamas and the Sandy Rivers have had some decent reports of some steelhead caught up higher. We also heard of a couple of reports of steelhead caught on the Washougal, Kalama and the Cowlitz, so I would say that the Lower Columbia tributaries are fishing pretty well.

The Klickitat is open for steelhead. There were reports of a few caught around the opener on June 1, but success seems to have waned a little as June has progressed. I am personally 0 for 4 days fished this summer on the Klick, but I keep going back because I have faith that there is a fish or two around.

Lakes: Fishing is still good on most of the local lakes. Olallie, Timothy, Trillium and Lost have all been producing nice trout around Mt. Hood. The lower elevation lakes like Rowland and Horsethief are fishing better for bass and perch right now as they have warmed up quite a bit. Damselflies are prevalent and dragonflies are just starting to show on some lakes. The Hexagenia hatch is getting ready to start on some of the lakes around here. It is an amazing hatch that brings big fish into shallow water eating big dries, but only happens on a few lakes. The bugs should be moving in the next two weeks.

Bass fishing: Smallmouth fishing has been good in the area. There are numerous lakes, slough and impoundments that hold smallmouth bass. If you think that there might be bass in there, you are probably right. It’s a great time of year to throw topwater poppers. Big buggers and clousers will get you bigger fish on average, but less in numbers.

Carp: Have had a few guys coming in to the shop recently that have been doing well carp fishing out in front of town here. A variety of beadhead nymphs work well. A good presentation is the key to carp fishing. Carp spook very easily, and generally only eat flies when they are tailing like bonefish. A laid-up carp will very rarely eat a fly. Find them in shallow, muddy areas where they are digging around for food; then get a fly just a few feet in front of them and hold on…

Shad: There are literally a million shad between Bonneville and the Dalles dams right now and no one fly fishing for them. For a hot, strong fish that is very willing to eat a fly; it seems a little crazy that no one fishes for them. Find a current seam near shore(that’s the difficult part). They seem to like depths of about 12’. Just some chartreuse thread wrapped on a #6 or #8 hook with some bead-chain eyes should work just fine.


Fishing Report: June 15,  2014

Deschutes: A tale of two weeks: Last week trout fishing seemed to have dropped off. There were still some nice trout to be caught, but overall, the fishing seemed to have peaked for the spring. I floated three days from Trout Creek to Maupin and caught few fish, but also put forth little effort, as the fish were definitely not actively crushing my flies as they had the past few times I had been out. Caddis, PMDs, Mahogany Dun Spinners and Yellow Sallies were all out, but not in huge numbers. It was really hot and very windy. Water temps were in the mid 60s near the mouth, although the cold front that pushed in on Friday brought the temps back down to a reasonable 58. This colder weather could get some good hatches going again, and maybe get some trout feeding. If it remains cold and cloudy, then fishing could actually be pretty good this week. So… just as we thought that the river was done fishing for the summer, some classic Oregon weather throws us a curveball.

Hood: The bulk of the Spring Chinook have come and gone on the Hood, as well as the other lower Columbia River tributaries. There are still fish around, but the run has definitely peaked for the spring. There are a few steelhead around, but low water flows limit good accessible water. There just really aren’t a lot of great swinging runs on the Hood, and few that fish well at low water. Nymphing an egg pattern and/or stonefly nymph in bouldery pockets would be your best bet if you wanted to fish the Hood for steelhead. The run at the mouth has been backed up for quite a while, but as of Saturday, June 14, there appears to be a little less water in the Columbia. If the Columbia drops another foot or two, then the run at the mouth will be fishable.

East Fork of the Hood River: Has a few trout in it. It has been getting fished quite a bit by campers in the campgrounds on HWY 35. The river has a lot of steelhead smolt in it, so be aware of what you are catching. The fish in the East Fork should be eager to hit stimulators, hoppers and most other standard attractor dry flies. 


Wind River and Drano Lake: The Wind and Drano have seen good Spring Chinook runs this year, but the majority of the fish have already passed. Drano sees fish all summer long, but effort and catch rates are pretty light right now. The Wind is pretty much done until the Fall Chinook show up again in late August.

June is a great time for sturgeon fishing if you have a desire to catch a monster fish. They are very willing to eat shad if you can find the shad and then the sturgeon.

The Klickitat opened on June 1: We have heard of a few steelhead caught, but overall light effort and catch rates. There are always a few early fish in all the rivers around here, but don’t expect any stellar fishing until the bulk of the run shows in August or September. With a huge run of Fall Chinook expected this year, the steelhead fishing might not be good until the Chinook run dwindles in late October, as they push the steelhead out of classic holding water.

Lakes: Fishing has been good on most of the lakes around here. The stocked lakes generally receive another planting in early June, so there should be some eager fresh trout in a lot of the lakes. Damselfly nymphs are good most everywhere right now. Most (not all) lakes in the area are open (clear of snow) now. There are dozens of lakes around Mt. Hood that have great fishing. As far as flies go, olive Woolley Buggers are my favorite, but a variety of leeches, damselfly nymphs, callibaetis nymphs/dries and really any general attractor patterns should work on the higher elevation lakes. The fish up high are hungry and willing, just the way I like them.

Bass fishing: Smallmouth fishing has been good in the area. Impoundments on the side of the Columbia are a little warmer than the main river and the fish in them are more active, although fishing in the Columbia has been reported to be pretty darn good. You will find some bigger fish in the Columbia. Big buggers or baitfish flies down near structure or topwater poppers should bring fish to hand if you are in the right area. The John Day is an excellent place to catch smallies; lots and lots of smallies.
Carp: Have had a few guys coming in to the shop recently that have been doing well carp fishing out in front of town here. A variety of beadhead nymphs work well. A good presentation is the key to carp fishing. Carp spook very easily, and generally only eat flies when they are tailing like bonefish. A laid-up carp will very rarely eat a fly. Find them in shallow, muddy areas where they are digging around for food; then get a fly just a few feet in front of them and hold on…

Shad: There are literally a million shad between Bonneville and the Dalles dams right now and no one fly fishing for them. For a hot, strong fish that is very willing to eat a fly; it seems a little crazy that no one fishes for them. Find a current seam near shore (that’s the difficult part). They seem to like depths of about 12’. Just some chartreuse thread wrapped on a #6 or #8 hook with some bead-chain eyes should work just fine.


Fishing Report: June 8th, 2014

Deschutes: Fishing is good on the Deschutes. The big bugs are about gone, but the fish are still eating a variety of flies including caddis and PMDs. Pressure has eased a little bit, but with water temps topping 66 degrees last week at Moody near Biggs, the fishing might slow down soon.

Hood: With the Columbia still backing up the lower part of the Hood, there has been little pressure on the most popular part of the river. There have been reports of good Chinook fishing near Punchbowl Falls by the bobber and egg crew, but not a lot of effort by fly fishermen. The bait guys said that it is slowing down up there, but there are fish around.

The East Fork of the Hood has a few trout in it, but is also loaded with steelhead smolt. Please be aware of what you are catching and try a different location or technique if you are catching smolt. There is quite a bit of access and small trout are spread through the river. They are not picky and will eat most standard trout nymphs, such as Stimulators, Adams, Chernobyl Ants and Dave’s Hoppers.

Wind River/Drano Lake/Klickitat River: The Klickitat opened on June 1st, and there have been a few reports of some early steelhead being caught. The bulk of the fish don’t show up until the fall, but a small number of early summer steelhead are spread out in all of the local rivers. We floated the lower Klickitat and swung some nice water but had no love besides a decent rainbow on a rubber leg nymph. Pressure has slowed a bit on the wind and Drano, but there are still plenty of Chinook crossing Bonneville Dam.

See Bonneville Dam Counts: http://www.fpc.org/currentdaily/HistFishTwo_7day-ytd_Adults.htm

See Bonneville Fish Window: http://www.nwp.usace.army.mil/Missions/Environment/Fish/Cameras.aspx


Local Lakes: Fishing has been very good in the local lakes. There are numerous lakes around here and are mostly all fishing very well right now. Rowland, Little Ashes, Spearfish, and Horsethief are all on the Washington side and are considered “low elevation”. There should be damsel flies, dragonflies, leeches, chironomids and evening callibaetis hatches that can keep an angler busy. Lost, Trillium, Goose, Kingsley, Laurence and a few dozen other lakes are higher in elevation and are also fishing very well. Damsels have started showing up in the higher elevations, and fish have noticed. A carey special is a good choice this time of year. Starting prepping for the Hex hatch on Lost and Merrill lakes (and a few other secrets…) we should start seeing hex nymph movement around the last week of June.

Bass: Fishing has been good in the Columbia and the impoundments on the side of the river for smallmouth, although high winds have hampered effort and success. (Are you saying it gets windy in the gorge?) The John Day has been good from most reports, although the small ones are starting to get really active, so using a big Beldar’s Rubber Leg Bugger or a jawbreaker to get down near the structure on the bottom should get you a bigger fish or two if you are encountering mostly small fish.

Shad: Shad fishing is a good option right now. Finding a place to go is the difficult part. It’s still a relatively untouched fishery, and there are plenty of good spots yet to be discovered. You just have to find a seam where the fish run and then get a small bright fly in front of them. A 9’ 5 or 6 wt is perfect. I tried swinging a 6wt spey the other day for about 20 minutes with nothing to hand. Just below Bonneville on the WA side, and below the Dalles Dam, are both popular spots, along with the Rufus area.

 

Fishing Report: June 1st, 2014

Deschutes: Fishing is still very good on the Deschutes. As the season goes on and pressure is still high, the fish are getting a bit picky; lots of rejections, short strikes and good presentations that go untouched. It becomes more important to find water that hasn’t been pounded day in and day out during this point in the season. It becomes even more important to make a good presentation. Fish will be put down very quickly. I put a cast or two on a fish and then rest it 5-10 minutes before coming back with a new fly if I am rejected at first. No need to put 30 casts over a fish. Green Drakes were spotted around Trout Creek over the weekend and should signal a shift soon for trout feeding behavior as the big bugs are starting to wane. Big Golden Stones, Green Drakes, PMDs, Yellow Sallies, and Caddis are present these first few weeks of June, as well as a few Salmonflies still scattered around up high.

Hood: Very limited effort has been seen, but the Columbia is still fluctuating between high and really high, backing up the runs near the mouth. There are both steelhead and Chinook salmon around. Different week, same problems; limited access and a lack of good fly water plagues the Hood River, but a motivated guy can find a little solitude and a run or two to fish. Visibility is good and water temps are conducive to getting a steelhead or two to eat a fly.

The East Fork of the Hood has a few trout in it, but mostly has steelhead smolt. Please be aware of what you are catching and try a different location or technique if you are catching smolt.

Wind River/Drano Lake/Klickitat River: Fishing is still reported to be good to fair for Spring Chinook on the Washington side of the river. Numbers are good through Bonneville Dam, water temps are right, so if you want to catch a springer, the next few weeks should be good. Again, fly fishing is tough over there with limited access and plenty of competition from the bait guys.

Local Lakes: Fishing has been very, very good in the local lakes. There are numerous lakes around here and are mostly all fishing very well right now. Rowland, Little Ashes, Spearfish, and Horsethief are all on the Washington side and are considered “low elevation”. There should be damsel flies, dragonflies, leeches, chironomids and evening callibaetis hatches that can keep an angler busy. Lost, Trillium, Goose, Kingsley, Laurence and a few dozen other lakes are higher in elevation and are fishing very well. Not a lot of damsel or dragon fly action yet, but still very productive for anglers with a float tube or small boat. Buggers/leeches are generally the best bet, but a variety of nymphs and dries also will work at the right time.

Bass: Fishing has been good in the Columbia and the impoundments on the side of the river for smallmouth. The John Day is a little high (2900 cfs) but the fish are around. Reports that the small ones are starting to get really active, so using a big Beldar’s Rubber Leg Bugger down near the rocks should get you a bigger fish or two if you are encountering mostly small fish. The river is very long and fishing reports vary from section to section, so reports can differ greatly from the higher and lower sections.

Shad: Shad fishing is a good option right now. Finding a place to go is the difficult part. It’s still a relatively untouched fishery, and there are plenty of good spots yet to be discovered. You just have to find a seam where the fish run and then get a small bright fly in front of them. A 9’ 5 or 6 wt is perfect. I tried swinging a 6wt spey the other day for about 20 minutes with nothing to hand. Just below Bonneville on the WA side, and below the Dalles Dam, are both popular spots, along with the Rufus area.

Fishing Report: May 25th, 2014

Deschutes: The big bugs are starting to taper off even up near Warm Springs and Trout Creek. The fishing is still excellent, but you have to bring a little more variety in the fly box for the next few weeks. Expect Pale Morning Duns (PMDs) in the morning, yellow sallies and maybe some big golden stones in day and caddis in the evening. We should see some green drakes this week, and the fish will really key in on them when they show, so be prepared. Flies of choice are Parachute PMD, Hot Butt Garcia, yellow and olive stimulators, Larimer’s Yellow Sally, pheasant tail nymphs, hare’s ear nymphs, chubby goldens, X-Caddis. Keep a few Green Para-Green Drakes around just in case you run into that mysterious Green Drake hatch.

Hood: Very limited effort has been seen, but the Columbia is still fluctuating between high and really high, backing up the runs near the mouth. Fishboy Gabe caught four springers and lost a few more last week in the lower river on roe, but we haven’t heard too much about people fly fishing down there lately. A couple of guys have run into a springer or two, but pressure and catch rates have been light.

The East Fork of the Hood opened for trout on Saturday, and fishing for trout is an option. Most of the fish are steelhead smolt, but there are a few cutthroat trout available. I would highly suggest hitting the Deschutes if you really want to catch trout in moving water. If you are catching lots of small rainbow trout, with many missing an adipose fin, go somewhere else. There are better things to do than harass steelhead smolt. Let them go to the ocean and back before you catch them.

Wind River/Drano Lake/Klickitat River: Fishing is still reported to be good to fair for Spring Chinook on the Washington side of the river. Numbers are good through Bonneville Dam, water temps are right, so if you want to catch a springer, the next few weeks should be good. Again, fly fishing is tough over there with limited access and plenty of competition from the bait guys.

Local Lakes: Fishing has been very, very good in the local lakes. Lost lake and Kingsley especially have been producing a large number of fish from all accounts. Rowland, Spearfish and Horsethief Lakes in Washington has been very good too, as well as Goose Lake. Olive buggers and wine leeches are still the most productive flies for the lakes, but fish are hungry and not too picky, so there are lots of options like hare’s ears, chironomids, and callibaetis nymphs and dries in the evening. One fisherman I ran into had forgot his trout box and was doing well with a steelhead polar shrimp.

Bass: Minimal reports last week, but fishing should be excellent with water temperatures looking good. The main river is good if you have a boat, otherwise try some of the impoundments on the side of the river. The same trout lakes like Spearfish and Horsethief have great trout fishing. We have heard that Little Ashes Lake and Icehouse Lake near Stevenson have been good for Largemouth and Smallmouth bass.

Bass fishing on the John Day has been reportedly very good, and should continue to be productive through most of June. Fish should be active on topwater on poppers.

Shad: Numbers of shad are picking up and should be an option very soon. Get your smaller bright fly down near the bottom of the river near the mouths of tributaries in slow, but moving water.

The Gorge Fly Shop Team


Fishing Report: May 17th, 2014


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