Gorge Fly Shop Fishing Reports

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

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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