Gorge Fly Shop Fishing Reports

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


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



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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