May 9, 2018

Columbia Gorge Fishing Report 5/9/18


Steelhead: The winter-run fishing is all but done with the exception of a few fashionably late fish. The good news is that summer fish are on their way, and so far I’ve heard some good predictions for the Columbia returns (fingers crossed!). Personally, I love fishing dryline and dry flies for summer fish, so I've been anxiously awaiting summer-runs. Though it's still a little ways still before I swap out my skagit lines. Over on the Sandy and Clackamas, folks have been finding a few summer steelhead already. Both these rivers host an artificial/hatchery summer-run with no native summer-run fish that are perfect for the dinner table! A couple weeks back I got a last minute opportunity to venture up to the Skagit/Sauk for the opening after a 10-year closure for their true spring-run of brutes. Luckily, we had a great tour guide, an old timer who used to live on the river and still had access to many private runs. It’s amazing country and we were able to find a few fish too that made the trip all that much more memorable. Hopefully, with responsible angler stewardship that watershed will remain open for future seasons.

One of my favorite parts of fishing is just observing.

Salmon: Numbers are picking up over Bonneville and I’ve been seeing quite a few boats out on the Columbia or at Drano chasing them around. However, I haven’t heard much reported yet from the tributaries of guys catching them on flies.

Of course I saw a snake while at Rattlesnake Canyon.

Trout: It’s that time of year again where many of us get excited for the Deschutes’ Salmonfly Hatch! I was out last week on the “middle-lowers” and saw a handful of adults flying around, though the trout weren’t quite queued into them at the time. Since then it sounds as though the fish have been paying more attention to the big bugs up top, along with some quality fish being caught. Last year I decided to get creative and bring out the trout spey to skate and dead drift some salmon flies, and it was a blast! I love how versatile those rods are. If venturing out to the mighty Deschutes I would certainly bring an assortment of Salmon/Stonefly dries and nymphs along with some standard Deschutes dry flies such as BWO’s, Caddis, midges, etc., just in case. Along with your favorite go-to nymphs and streamers. If you’re ever curious what to bring, give us a shout and we can tell you what’s been working well for us.

Bass: Bass fishing has turned on lately with this warmer weather and some big boys eagerly moving to the largest flies you can throw. Top water action hasn’t quite begun yet, but I would think with some warmer weather coming after the weekend it will be picking up shortly thereafter!

A hefty smallmouth putting a bend in a 7wt.  

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. 

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