Jul 19, 2018

Columbia Gorge Fishing Report 7/19/18


Steelhead: We've been receiving quite a few phone calls lately regarding how the fishing is, or rather will be. My gut feeling is there's a lot worse things we could be spending time doing instead of chasing unicorns in pretty places.

Though I will say the Klickitat's conditions are not exactly optimal right now. Its been colored for a little bit now and looks like it will stay colored for a little longer. Although our forecast does seem to show some marginally cooler weather on the way that could help cycle through some of the glacial till- that's keeping it a grey/brown color. The good news is that Klick fish haven't seen much pressure if you're keen on swinging a fly there, I would fish some larger profile flies into the bank as they will be more comfortable to stay shallow in this water color.

Approximately 6" of visibility on the Klick from the other day...

Over on the Deschutes there might be a couple fish around, however water temps have been topping out near 72 degrees. Some might remember a few years back when ODFW issued afternoon and evening closures on many rivers including the Deschutes. A few reasons why; however a large one is that steelhead just simply do not revive well in warmer waters. Especially after they just ran a marathon, taking you into backing twice as you struggled to reach bankside during a harrowing wade...
Last year when water temps were high and I needed a quick fix after work, a buddy and I clipped the hook points off our flies just past the bend. Lee Spencer-style if you will. Basically, I just wanted that grab... And, sometimes self-regulating our fishing ain't a bad thing. Around the 1st week of August, the Pelton Dam should resume releasing cool water again to keep water fishable from sun up to sun down.

Trout: Fishing up in the lakes has been a nice reprieve lately with this hot weather. It beats hugging the AC unit at home and the dogs like the adventures too. Trout also don't seem to mind interacting either. I haven't been out late into the evening, but the Hex hatch typically starts around mid-July on the Mt. Hood or Adams lakes. Tilt Wing and Cripple Callibaetis, Elk Hair Caddis, Parachute Adams, etc. are still working great up there for dries in the morning and evening. Mid-day subsurface leech patterns on sinking lines will get the job done during the heat of the day. Travis' hot tip is to trim the tails up some and the trout will respond a little better.

Maddie Duddles having a blast on a recent trip.

Over on the Deschutes, Mayflies and Caddis are still producing and we'll see some trout sipping on them during the low light hours. In the afternoon it's turned into largely a subsurface game. Nymphing and especially Euro Nymphing are working, though we also like to throw streamers in search of a some chunky Redsides. Streamer fishing the Deschutes seems to stay off the radar and probably due to the fact that you can't fish from a boat, however at times we'll happily pick up a trout spey and start covering water!

Warmwater: I don't know, it all feels a little warm lately... But, targeting Columbia smallies and carp on the flats has been good. Jacob and the boys have been out almost every evening and finding some great fish around. The carp haven't been easy, but on calmer wind days you should be able to at least spot them easier. Speaking of wind, if its a few miles per hour from the East or just a light West wind, this is a great time to target the Smallmouth Bass out there. Surface action isn't just for the evening now and mid-day can bring some big boys up too. 

 Columbia Gold

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. 



Cody Booth
Gorge Fly Shop | Product Specialist
541.386.6977

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