Aug 7, 2018

Columbia Gorge Fishing Report 8/7/18

This little hen missed my muddler 3 times before finally committing... All Hail The Muddler!

Steelhead: Pressure is starting to pick up on the rivers. Chelsey made it out to the Klickitat Sunday morning before work to find about a foot of visibility and anglers in almost every spot below town. Even though clarity is only marginally better, I guess people (myself included) are just jonesing to fish the Klick as its been out of shape for most of the season so far.

A little look at some of the damage caused by fires on the lower Deschutes.

The lower Deschutes is also seeing more and more pressure as people walk/bike up from the mouth, jet up/float down, or are using the access road above Macks Canyon. The lower sections of the river were burned pretty bad in a series of nasty fires. I hopped in Fish The Swing's jet boat with Captain Curtis Ciszek and Little Creek Outfitters, Marty Sheppard to go have a look at the water and see what the fires had done. Some of the riparian zones survived and animals (though they're looking very stressed) are seeking refuge by the water and what little shade is left. The water is still very warm over there from afternoon through evening and I am surprised ODFW hasn't implemented a Hoot Owl closure with these warmer temperatures. My suggestion is to keep a thermometer handy and self-regulate fishing once water temps reach the upper 60's to help protect our native fish.

Trout: During this mid-summer heat I prefer the cool water up in the high country and wet wading or floating around some lake. There have been some excellent callibaetis hatches lately, and though the Hex flies have been a little hit and miss at times we're still seeing them.

A nice vista on the way to a cold lake up near Mt. Hood

Trout over on the Deschutes are slowly being overlooked as more anglers are targeting the few early run steelhead that have made it up. Caddis and mayflies are still showing up daily, though with the warmer water nymphing has been producing the best results.

Warmwater: Not a whole lot has changed as far as targeting warmwater species. The bass are out and about, happy and aggressive to various baitfish patterns and topwater poppers- White, chartreuse, yellow, black, orange are all common bass colors work well on the Columbia. John Day bass take a variety of stuff that's usually on the smaller side, but one of my favorites is just a simple black leach with a little red bead head. Columbia Carp are still eating nymphs such as the Carey Special and Dragon Nealley's, along with Carp Crawlers and Bonefish Worms. If the carp are out sunbathing its usually a little tougher to get them to cooperate than if they're tailing and actively feeding.

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Cody Booth
Gorge Fly Shop | Product Specialist

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