Apr 8, 2017

Columbia Gorge Fishing Report (4/8/2017)

Beautiful day to get skunked!

“Look to the seasons when choosing your cures” –Hippocrates 

Indeed, seasons are changing and excitement is in the air!

On the winter steelhead front, Wednesday I was able to get my boat out to the Clackamas for a nice “springy” day. We spotted a few fish but no tugs to report. We did come across a sea lion that pulled out a nice fish out of our run, which was only slightly disenchanting. As we creep into spring it’s important to remain mindful of spawning fish and to stay clear of redds. If your favorite river is about done for the season, venturing out as a simple spectator can provide great entertainment- polarized binoculars can also work wonders!
If you’re still keen on fishing for winter-run fish there have been a couple reports of a late push of wilds on the coast, however I would probably target rivers more inland and/or northern. A report also just came in of the first summer-run steelhead caught on the Clackamas. This run begins to trickle in this month on the Clackamas and Sandy, but May is generally when the push comes. Spring Chinook should also provide a little action soon too, but with low numbers projected, and their typical  unwillingness to bite a fly, they’ll definitely make you work for it.

Chelsey enjoying a nice day swinging flies on the Clackamas.
Trout reports have been few and far between, but some insects have been waking up! The Deschutes has come down some to 9,100cfs, although it has been a little warm/wet up on Mt. Hood so fishing above White River may provide some better clarity.  Nymphing will be your best bet and I would be sure to pack some stonefly nymphs, pheasant tails, and maybe some San Juan worms as well.  We have had some excellent reports from the lake fishing locals.  If you can get to the a lake that has trout in it and the season is open, you will likely be treated to some stellar fishing!

The Columbia is still high but finally dropping and clearing up quite a bit.  For the fly angler, April and May on the Columbia are definitely the best times to access smallmouth.  Clouser’s and other baitfish flies, as well as heavy crayfish flies work well early in the spring.  Fish them on a full sinking, intermediate or floating line based on where the fish seem to be staged.  As mentioned last week, carp fishing can be great in high water when they are less skittish. If you’ve never caught one on the fly, they are quite fun!

**Friendly reminder** WA fishing licenses expired on 3/31, so make sure you get a new one if you are headed out!
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
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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