Dec 11, 2016

Columbia Gorge Fishing Report- (12/11/16)

Well winter has officially arrived in the Gorge!
Winter wonderland in the Gorge

We have been hit with a bunch of snow, ice and rain mixed in for good measure.  Road conditions have improved, but with colder weather on the way it could get icy out there.

Winter Steelhead are starting to move in the area, though it is still a bit early for the major push.  Coastal rivers in OR and WA typically get earlier fish after big rain events.  If you can time it right, hit those coastal rivers as they are on the drop.  The key is keeping an eye on river flows and having the flexibility to go when the conditions are right.

There are still some summer fish kicking around, and some even in good shape.  The Klickitat is now closed above the Fisher Hill Bridge for trout, salmon and steelhead.  There is a winter whitefish season, but make sure you follow the special gear restrictions for whitefish.  The John Day can produce some great action throughout the winter and an occasional fish is hooked on the Deschutes throughout the winter.

My last hurrah of summer steelhead

Trout fishing has been pretty darn good on the Deschutes.  If you can get out there on a decent day, when the wind isn't ripping and conditions are steady for a few days it can be pretty epic.  Most of the fish are being taken on nymphs.  As I mentioned in the last report, typically the name of the game this time of year is small flies.  Blue Wing Olives and midges are a good bet.   The BWO hatches tend to accelerate during rainy, cold, overcast conditions..  Check the back eddies for rising fish and nymph with small pheasant tails, hare's ears, copper johns and midge larvae. Don't just go out there dredging with heavy split and flies though.  If you aren't getting bites, try shallow nymph presentations right near the bank or riffle edges.  Move your indicator around till you find the water column the fish are feeding in.

If you do venture out in this weather, please keep an eye on road conditions and closures and most importantly drive safely and carry emergency supplies and tire chains with you.

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

Ryan Van Duzor
Gorge Fly Shop | Product Specialist

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