Jul 9, 2017

Columbia Gorge Fishing Report (7/9/2017)

Summer is in full swing in the Gorge!

Summer in the Gorge

The beautiful summer weather we all wish for is finally here!

There are a lot of excellent fishing opportunities happening right now:

Trout fishing in high elevation lakes is excellent right now and a great way to escape the heat and crowds.  The fish are eating just about everything.  Come on in and get well stocked on buggers/leaches, Callibaetis nymphs/dries, damselfly and dragonfly nymphs and adults as well as some juicy ant patterns.  All have been successful as of late.  Lost lake is a great place to take the family or if you do not have a watercraft, as they rent boats up there. Otherwise get your float tubes out and escape on lakes on both sides of the Gorge.  If you need some help getting into stillwater fishing be sure to check out my Stillwater Gear Roundup and Lake Line Shootout.

Though there haven't been a lot of folks trout fishing on the Deschutes, those that have gone are catching fish early and late in the day on caddis dries and yellow sallies.  The caddis hatches on the Deschutes can be tremendous, and the action can be excellent.  It's a great place to wet wade in the heat of the summer too!

4th of July crush fest with my brother in law!

Bass fishing on the Columbia has been steady.  The river has been dropped and the fish are starting to settle into their summer patterns.  The spawn is over from what I have seen.  The big females are very hard to find right now in their post spawn funk, but the next couple weeks should get them feeding up.  Fishing big shad/smolt streamers on the banks and outside of weed beds has been effective.  We have also had some hit and miss popper action, but if you are there on the right day it can be epic.

Summer steelhead fishing is still pretty quiet, but should be just around the bend.  Both the Deschutes and the Klickitat usually start fishing well towards the middle/end of July and through the rest of the summer.  The counts are improving, but still well under the 10 year average.  Water temps are already hitting 70 degrees in the Deschutes river in the afternoon, so we are asking that folks curtail their afternoon sessions as the already stressed out fish don't need to battle in hot water.

Though the counts are past their peak, there are still a bunch of American Shad coming up river.  I finally got my first on a fly rod, and it pulled like a baby tarpon!  Find a lane they are migrating in, load up a fast sinking line with a small brightly colored fly and swing it deep and you should catch some!
Major fun on a 6 wt!

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

*Add us on Instagram for more fishy content! @gorgeflyshop

Ryan Van Duzor
Gorge Fly Shop | Product Specialist

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