Jul 4, 2018

Columbia Gorge Fishing Report (7/4/18)

Happy 4th of July!

Maupin Area Fire update: Central Oregon Fire Information lists the Boxcar and Jack Knife fires to be mostly all contained after burning roughly 115,000 acres. As of July 2nd, another fire around the Mecca Flats on the Deschutes started up, consuming over 500 acres- The cause is currently under investigation. July 4th is here and while fireworks can provide a great spectacle, they're best left to the professionals. We expect a fairly dry season here and I think we call all agree that human-caused wildfires are completely unnecessary, so please be mindful out there!

Steelhead: More and more are trickling in each day and the dam numbers are looking relatively good. For a little while there, we saw a bit of fish moving over the Bonneville Dam but not The Dalles or the John Day. As of lately, The Dalles dam is picking up count numbers and generally by July 4th you might be able to find a fish in the lower 15 miles of the Deschutes. Sam Sickles with Steelhead Outfitters has really figured out the early fishing out there and hoping on a jet boat is an excellent way to cover water. The Moody Gauge on the D is showing temperatures reaching near 69 degrees during the heat of the day. While I personally don't fish for steelhead in those temperatures, I  hope some other anglers will self-regulate there hours too as water warms up. The fish just don't revive well after all the lactic acid buildup from essentially running a marathon after you hook 'em.

The Klickitat has been churning out a bit of color lately though I did float it last week and action was slow. In fact, I've heard its been slow from the gear anglers as well. The good news though is pressure has been fairly light so the fish are more aggressive when you find out where they're hanging.

Trout: If approaching the Deschutes, I would still be fishing below Sherars Falls to avoid some angler riff raff and fire crews working up near the Maupin/Warms Springs area. Caddis flies are still productive and trout are sipping them wherever you find oxygen-rich water. These warm summer days do tend to push the trout a little deeper and it we've got a few awesome nymphs for getting down there such as Silvey's Super Sinker, Rainbow Warrior, etc. The tungsten on these flies allows you to get down quick without the need for split shot.

Tom Larimer with a Deschutes Redside, putting a nice bend in the G. Loomis Asquith 590-4

Stillwater fishing has been good lately and if you are wanting to fish some of the popular lakes, do yourself a favor and head out early. Most folks recreating to these lakes who aren't there for the fishing don't typically show up until later in the day, which can leave the morning open for some great fishing opportunities. Again, later in the evening when most folks are heading out can provide some more great action- Just be sure to bring a headlamp and maybe some mosquito juice to keep the bugs off.

Warmwater: The smallmouth bass fishing has been fantastic lately and the top water action nearer to the evenings is a fun way to see how aggressive these fish can be. Site fishing for carp is always a fun game of cat and mouse when the big guys cruising the shallows- they can be fairly difficult at times but they sure put up a good fight!

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

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