May 29, 2017

Columbia Gorge Fishing Report (5/29/2017)

Happy Memorial Day to all of you!  We hope you are enjoying this day in the great outdoors, it is certainly a beautiful one here in the Gorge.

A stunner Deschutes Redband!

To the steelhead angler this can be a difficult time of year in the Gorge.  There are a few early summer fish around, but they are far between.  The Klickitat River does open June 1, so those looking for a fix and can get in some swing time or nymph one up

For those of you not looking to beat yourself up not catching steelhead, there is a lot going on!

My Favorite Aquatic Insect Never Fails to Impress!

Deschutes trout fishing is in full swing.  There are still a lot of big stones on the river, especially up higher and on the right day you can certainly find some fish willing to take a chubby or clark stone.  The trout fishing can be excellent for June as well, and the crowds should be dwindling as the big flies dwindle.  There can be excellent hatches all through June, so make sure you have a good selection of flies to cover the options.  I would be stocked up on PMD and PED, caddis, green drakes and yellow sallies, with the nymphs to match.  If you want to have an awesome float and get to water that is hard to access on foot book a day with Sam at Steelhead Outfitters (541-400-0855)!  He can certainly get you on the fish!

Another stillwater mini steelhead in the net!

Lake fishing for trout is excellent this time of year.  Local lakes like Lost, Laurance and Kingsley are producing good numbers of fish and the occasional monster.  Buggers and leeches are a go-to, but chironomid larvae/pupae fished ultra slow or under a bobber can crush them this time of year.  Damsel and dragonfly patterns will also get hot as the water warms and summer sets in.  Be sure to have a few Callibaetis nymphs and dries too, when this hatch kicks off it can be epic!

I got the Gabe on a nice one, but we worked for it!

Bass fishing has been fair to middling.  I have spent a lot of time on the Columbia this month, and have had decent days, but it hasn't been red hot.  I think that the biggest factor is the lack of consistent water and weather conditions.  The high flows, muddy water, and large water temp gradient certainly haven't helped to dial in a pattern.  The same can be said for the John Day.  You will likely catch some fish, but the high flows have made fishing a bit more difficult and have spread the fish out a bit.  Smolt/shad patterns fish fast and crayfish flies are two hot methods.  Look for the popper action to heat up as the fish move into post spawn later in June.

Gabe and I spent some time sight casting at carp in the backwater ponds on the Columbia.  Most of the fish were cruising, but we saw a few eating.  None were interested in our flies, but hopefully, the Columbia will clear a bit and give us some more shots at ole' rubber lips this summer.

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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