Mar 26, 2017

Columbia Gorge Fishing Report (3/26/17)

We have some water that's for sure!

The rivers are full, but if you know where some cleaner water is, there are some steelhead willing to eat!

My cold streak is broken!

I had the pleasure of spending the day floating the Sandy River with Sam Sickles of Steelhead Outfitters.  The water was high, and rising all day, but we had some great action.  We hooked two fish in the first run and had another good grab later in the day.  Sam definitely knows the river, and the first two fish were in strange spots that most people would float on by.  If you are looking for a last good stab at a winter beauty like the one above, give Sam a call and book a day ASAP! (541) 400-0855

I also had the opportunity to finally give the 6129-4 and 7130-4 G Loomis Asquith spey rods a real workout.  I have to say, these rods are astounding!  Incredibly light and balanced, but with enormous power.  I remarked more than once to Sam, that these rods are cannons!  If you have tried it all, or are looking for a next level stick, these rods should definitely be in your purvue.  I will seriously have to fight the urge to buy one myself...

Trout fishing is pretty much a no go on the Deschutes right now.  With flows still at over 12000cfs the river is really unfishable unless you are above the White River where it is fishable, but you are literally fishing in the trees.  The flow is projected to come down into next weekend, and as it does expect fishing to pick up, especially as things settle out and we have some steady weather.  I would be armed with stonefly nymphs and rubberlegs.  I have seen March browns on many of the rivers I have been on, and Sam reported an epic hatch on the Sandy last week.  I would have some pheasant tails and parachute March browns ready to rock just in case.

The Columbia is a high muddy mess right now.  Spring chinook fishing is just around the corner, but with poor returns expected and tough river conditions, it could make for a rough season.  The bass fishing will pick up over the next month, but right now the cold muddy water makes finding the hungry fish difficult.  Get your crayfish and baitfish flies ready for April and May though!  

Carp fishing can be excellent in high water.  If we get a warm/sunny day expect carp to be in the shallowest mud flats and feeding at the bank.  It can be great time to catch carp and they are less wary in the muddy water and they are hungry!

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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