Nov 20, 2016

Columbia Gorge Fishing Report - (11/20/16)

Chinook carcass provide
much needed nutrients for
things willing to eat them
Nothing goes to waste
Summer Steelhead is coming to a close, although there are still a few around for those who are willing to put in the time and pursue them.  This year has been a low numbers year compared to the last ten years or so.  That being said, the crowds have calmed down considerably with so many other things to do this time of year. The Klickitat River has produced some decent late summers lately when the water has been fishable. I recently on Monday Nov 14th, floated the Klickitat and I did fairly well, considering that I swung flies the whole time, targeting steelhead. I ended up hooking two fish, one Coho and a Steelhead, plus I had one other really nice grab but was unable to put a hook in it.  I actually hadn't fished this stretch of the Klickitat in about two years. It is a beautiful stretch with fall colors, eagles, a couple deer and a bunch of dead salmon. As you can see in the photos, nothing goes to waste.

This beautiful late summer steelie
abused my swung reverse marabou
fly swung at an irresistible pace!
Guide "Nymph" fishing the pocket and seems 
I also noticed that a majority of the water was pretty fast and fairly shallow, not really conducive for swinging flies but good water for nymphing in the pockets and seams, which all of the guide boats that I came across were doing.  I got pretty excited when I finally found a piece of water that had some depth and a current speed that was ideal for swinging a fly. Low and behold I hooked this beautiful late summer fish mid run, right where I thought I should have. Just a reminder that the Klickitat closes the end of November to steelhead fishing. With current conditions, if you can get out and go, I would take advantage of the last few days of the open season. It looks like we may see a little rain in the next week and a little spike in the water levels but if it stays in shape you might see me out there for a few last days before its over.

The Deschutes has still been kicking out a few fish, but with the low numbers, as we have seen all season, it has still been pretty quiet.

Trout fishing has been steady on the Deschutes.  Typically the name of the game this time of year is small flies.  BWOs and midges are a good bet.  There are also some small winter stoneflies that I have seen flitting about.  The BWO hatches tend to accelerate during rainy, cold, overcast conditions, which we often see in November.  Check the back eddies for rising fish and nymph with small pheasant tails, hare's ears, copper johns and midge larvae.  As the water cools, and insect activity slows, the trout should start taking swung streamers.  Time to get those sculpins and trout spey ready!  Make sure you keep up on the regulations in both OR and WA as there are many closed bodies of water now.  There is still some pretty decent lake fishing to be had, and as long as the snow doesn't come down, many of the lakes are still accessible.

Bass fishing on the Columbia is still happening, though the fish are tougher to come by and often require fishing deep and slow with streamers or craw patterns.

Flows:  The USGS sites give us real-time flows, while the NOAA site shows us predictions based on weather patterns.  Both are invaluable tools.

Hood River:



Deschutes near Madras:

Deschutes at the mouth:

Columbia River
Bonneville Dam Water Temps
Columbia @ Hood River (The mouth of the Hood backs up at 75 feet)

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

The Gorge Fly Shop Team


"Fly Fish the World with Us"

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