Recent Posts


Klickitat Trout Unlimited photography Zombies North Fork Nehalem Trask Clackamas hot water Whitefish Dry Fly Fishing Report Switch Rod Ascension Bay Jeff Helfrich Photo shoot Fly Fishing Class Nick Wheeler Bull Trout Native Trout Carp Elk River Jason Atkinson Simms small creeks Casa Blanca North Coast: Couch Fishing Winter Trout Hosted Trip flies Boston Whaler Waders Salmonfly hatch Goldenstones Snow Skeena Trout-a-Thon Czech Nymphing Crooked River Gil Muhleman Marty Sheppard Deschutes River Alliance #keepemwet Black Friday Fish Fest Oregon Trout Trail Rob Crandall Metolius River Trout Bum Road Trip Summer Steelhead Little Creek Outfitters Clackamas River Caddis NORCAL Maupin Winter Steelhead Brian Silvey Trout North Coast Skagit F.I.S.T. Sage Fly Rods Oregon Sage Shad Salmonfly invasive species OPST Redsides Josh linn Belize Puget Sound McKenzie River Morrish's Fluttering Stone Coastal Streams Oregon Trout Bum Hardy Reel Fishing Skaters Euro Nymphing Nehalem River Big Trout Kenny Morrish Fall River Tarpon Coho Streamers Wilson River Silvey's Super Sinker Spring Trout Rendezvous Scientific Anglers Redband Trout Small Streams Pink Salmon Fly Czar March Browns Deschutes River Salmonflies Keepemwet Fishing Big Bugs Steelhead Wild fish Road Trip Klamath River Sandy River high water Spey BC Instagram Gig Harbor F3T PMDs North Umpqua San Diego Pacific ocean Coho Salmon John Day Reed College Smithers Frank Moore Cutthroat Trout Deschutes West Slope Cutthroat Invasives Mr. Skittles Soft Hackles Sea-run Cutthroat Sea-runs native fish Rainbow Trout G. Loomis Grande Ronde Guided Fishing Bahamas Czech Nymph steelhead flies Bonefish Salmon Makos Springers Montana Brian O'Keefe McKenzie Mako Shark Chinook Salmon Native Fish Society Metolius Brown Trout BWOs John Day River Green Drakes Redside Rainbow Oregon Back Roads Elk & Sixes Salmon Fly Waterdog Black Friday Fish-a-long


Fishing Reports

Hang-on leaves are falling

Joel La Follette - Wednesday, November 12, 2014
The airwaves are buzzing as Snowmageddon blows into the valley today. Some poor rookie on the local news storm team is stuck on the Sylvan overpass wondering if four years in college was worth the rubber snow boots and bad hat. We all expected winter to wrestle fall into submission, but maybe not this soon. Those hang-on leaves are losing their grip and rinsing down the river along with our summer memories. It’s time to bundle up.

There may not be enough layers to block the windchill on the east side. Arctic winds and bone chilling temps have all but the most hardy seeking warmer past times. Those brave souls venturing out have found fish on both the Deschutes and John Day, but they are well earned.

The John Day has been colored up by what has been reported as a mudslide well above Cottonwood. The exact location isn’t clear, but word has it that it make take a spring high water event to fully flush the offending muck from the system. Until then, even small bumps in flow will probably see increased turbidity. Fortunately the slow pace of the John Day allows for sediment to settle fairly quickly as it moves downstream. Corey Koff reported yesterday that the water from Cottonwood down wasn’t perfect, but it was fishable and producing.

The Deschutes has seen anglers moving onto greener pastures, but still has something to contribute to those making the trip. Fishing above Maupin has been good and water conditions favorable. The river guides are mostly done there for the season and are preparing for their winter adventures. As stated, there are still fish to be encountered if you are willing to brave the chill.

Coastal streams are filling with Salmon of all shapes and sizes. Most streams dropped into favorable shape after the last rain and allowed anglers some successes. The annual pilgrimage to rivers on the south coast as begun. There, more rain is needed to spread the love.

Locally, the Clackamas as seen the an early showing of winter fish still mixed in with the summer catch. The traditional winter Steelhead kick off on Thanksgiving may pull a few away from football games if these conditions continue.

BC and Deschutes Steelhead take to flight...

Joel La Follette - Thursday, November 06, 2014
I'm going to start this week's fishing report off with a photo of my good friend Stefan and a very nice BC Steelhead. Stefan checked in last Saturday on his way home to Germany and reported some fantastic fishing, after dealing with a little rain. By the way, he's not a morning person. In fact, he normally adds a scoop or two of instant coffee to the coffee that's been brewing in the pot for a few hours. What he doesn't drink the city of Smithers uses to patch potholes....

Now to the local reports...Once again, my phone binged late last night with a message from the Water Time Outfitters dynamic duo, Rob Crandall and Gil Muhleman. Both of these hard working guides are putting the finishing touches on their Deschutes season, but have a few days open before the curtain falls. I know Rob has a some spots open for this weekend. Contact him if you are interested.

Rob's report translated to something like "Fishing is very good and we're encountering good numbers of larger fish with some of the B-run variety reaching into the mid teens. Most of these fish are taking on their fall colors and look splendid, but are full of flight. Water temps on the D have been slowly dropping, but we are still in the low 50s."

"As for Trout fishing, we've had a bit of tunnel vision focusing on the Steelhead, but there have been some days with decent surface action. As it gets colder these days seem to be a little more sporadic. We are still seeing some Mahogany Duns, Caddis, October Caddis and Blue Winged Olives. There has been a fair number of Stonefly nymphs wiggling around on the bottom of my Clackacraft. They seem to be grabbing a ride on my Korker boots and landing in the boat. These hitchhikers are most likely Goldenstone Nymphs as they are a brown coloration with a lighter cream belly. They are averaging about 1-1/4" or so in length."

Gil backed up Rob's report with his version of the week..."Rob and I just finished a three day float. This trip was as productive as any trip all season. The two gentlemen in my boat were infected with the Steelhead craze after their first of several Steelhead on swung flies. Everyone caught good numbers of fish as there are a LOT of fish just above Maupin. We are also finding a ton of Round Butte hatchery fish between Warm Springs and Trout Creek. I'm about done for the season, but looking for anglers to extend it a little because of the unseasonably warm weather and great fishing. If anyone is interested have them email me. There are a lot of the fish in the river and they are gorgeous... Bright, perfect fins and LARGE."

Over on the John Day, we did see a bump up in the water levels with the rain and that colored up the river a little on Sunday. Conditions improved as the week went on. This is the peak time on the John Day if you're thinking about it. It is still a dry line show.

The Clackamas increased it's pace to the sea this week, but not enough to dampen the spirits of a few fly fingers. Coho are still entering the river and we're seeing a few winter Steelhead in the mix of summer fish being caught. Our dampish October/November has had benefits.

Salmon fishing on the coast was slightly derailed by rising rivers last week. Conditions are looking better for this weekend, depending on how much rain falls today. Clear skies ahead? We'll see.

Yo-Yoing Water Levels

Joel La Follette - Saturday, November 01, 2014
Wind, rain and the occasional flash of lightening have made for an interesting week to say the least. Water levels are yo-yoing up and down, trees are tipping over and there's that feeling of change in the air. We're slowly losing our grip on fall as winter rolls in with each passing day. Time to layer up and head out.

The Deschutes is sending mixed reports from both Steelhead chasers and Trout guys. Maybe it's a skill thing, but I'm getting a different story from everyone that has made the trip in the last week. It could have been a bump in river levels that mixed up the fish for a day or two. Flows jumped slightly with dam releases, but look to have stabilized for the weekend. Remember that Trout fishing closes from the Pelton Dam to Two Springs Ranch on Friday. Steelheading remains open in that area until the end of the year. The river remains open from Two Springs to the mouth throughout the year.

Moments ago I got smoke signals from Gil and Rob of Water Time Outfitters. I must admit they were brief and fairly cryptic, but the gist of it was they've managed a few nice fish on larger patterns over the past week. It sounded like fishing was good, but those willing to put in the time reaped bigger dividends. Although Gil just texted something about 5 fish in 5 hours yesterday. Hopefully, after they clean up a bit we can get an in-depth report.

The Little Creek Outfitters crew has shifted from the Grande Ronde to the John Day if Instagram photos and Facebook posts can be believed. Not dependable cell service there so reports have been sketchy. Anglers hitting the "Ronde" did fairly well last week with Steelhead, Trout and Bull Trout in the catch. The John Day is still a little light on water, but it looks to be in line to receive a little in the next week. Conditions should still make for some great dry line action. Think skaters.

On the Clackamas, the remains of the Coho run are making their way to the grand finale. The river barely peaked at the 13 foot mark even with the storm we had. We may see slight bumps with each passing squall, but that should serve to improve fishing. A few winter Steelhead have been making early returns and there are plenty of hatchery summer fish in the system that need to be harvested. Floating lines are still getting it done. 

With changing river levels and weather, the Current Conditions page can help you plan your trip.

Pineapple Express

Joel La Follette - Thursday, October 23, 2014

Rain tapped on the skylight throughout the night and as you can see by the graph, bumped the Clackamas above 12 feet this morning for the first time in a long while.  This moisture started heading our way from the warmer waters near Hawaii and is rolling ashore in what's called a Pineapple Express. Now, I love pineapples and we need the rain, but I'm hoping we don't rinse away our fall fishing in the process. Our local river had been doing a fair job of keeping fly tossers out of sports bars and shopping malls by providing enough action to make it interesting. While the forecast calls for a crest at over 13 feet, many rivers on the coast have already started to drop. We are slated to receive less than 1/2 inch of rain today with rainfall only slightly diminishing through the weekend. Keep an eye on the levels and embrace a falling river. Our Current Conditions page can help. 

Over on the Deschutes we'll be seeing rain through the weekend, but not in great amounts. Steelheading fishing has remained solid with plenty of B-run fish in the mix. Our good friend, Rob Crandall, sent along this photo with a note to encourage those thinking about heading over not to delay. Fishing is good! Dry lines and traditional flies are getting it done, but follow up with a sink tip and something slightly bigger on the second pass.

The John Day and Grande Ronde are also fishing very well. I hear the word "Skaters" more often in those reports. Water levels have been low, so any rain that does make it over may be a good thing. Take your GORETEX and enjoy fall in Oregon.

Typhoon Phooey

Joel La Follette - Thursday, October 16, 2014

Our weekend typhoon warning fizzled as rain moved in slowly this week and was less than spectacular. The only real event was the large ocean swell and subsequent high surf which made for great storm watching and damp cameras. Coastal streams saw a slight increase in flow, but are transitioning back to a dropping trend. Maybe this little flush will stir things up a bit.

Action on the Deschutes continues to be as good as fall fishing should be. Trout and Steelhead are offering choices for anglers all the way up to the dam. Mix in a salmon or two and you have plenty of reasons to be there. Rob Crandall and Gil Mulheman, of Water Time Outfitters, have been logging long hours and scoring well for their clients. Rob surfaced briefly this week and sent this report...

"Fishing has been pretty good.  We've recently seen a good push of B run fish and landed some in the mid-teens.  Each day is a new game as we work down river.  Some days are hot and others is a classic search.  For the Trout hunters the Mahogany dun hatches and spinner falls have been somewhat amazing.  Many times in the afternoon and evening there are literally thousands of bugs in the air.  October Caddis are also getting some Trout to smash the surface and eat them. It's a great time to be on the river."

Elsewhere on the east side, the the flows on the Crooked have been bumped up slightly, but are still within good fishing levels. Fishing has been good with BWOs and other small table fare enticing the Trout. Same goes on the Metolius were the misc. small Mayfly hatch offers challenges and hope to visiting anglers. Although there is plenty of river to explore, we have limited time left to fish the Camp Sherman area before it closes on the 31st. 

Closer to home, Coho are still the talk of the Clackamas, but we are seeing an uptick in Steelhead encounters, including some chrome wild fish that look a little wintery. Our sprinklely weather may stir the pot and bring a few fish to a boil. There is still time left for Skaters and dry lines.  

B-Runs and Dory Daze

Joel La Follette - Thursday, September 18, 2014

It's hard not to lead off with a report on the Deschutes this time of year because it seems to be the center of our fly fishing universe. Everyone stopping by the shop wants to know what's going on there. Well, the best way to fill the information void is to go right to one of the guys putting people into hot summer Steelhead, Rob Crandall of Water Time Outfitters. Rob came up for air this week and fired off this report...

"I'm just back from the Deschutes below Max Canyon.  I had a great session down there and survived the nasty wind we had last week.  Fishing was really fairly good the whole time.  We had a few tough days, but overall we mostly had multiple fish days and some of them were pretty good ones.  We fished dry lines in the shade with most of the traditional stuff working great.  We also had some great fishing in full sun using a T-11 tip and a few of my new patterns that Spirit River will be bringing to market soon.  Kind of fun when you can double your numbers by fishing mid-day!  

There seems to be fish spread throughout the system now with pods moving through.  Both hatchery and wild fish are in the mix with some big B-run fish around to test your backing quality.  These fish are hot and often present the classic "V" formation, ripping into the backing downstream and then racing upstream. Often you'll see them jumping right in front of you while you are still looking 100 yards downstream!  This is where many of these fish are lost unless a quick thinking angler lifts the rod to get the line out of the water to stay attached to this leaping chrome bullet. Hopefully there will be plenty of that kind of action in the coming weeks.

Also, the Max Canyon boat ramp is getting closer to being finished, but please advise folks that parking is closed in certain places as they finalize their efforts there. Watch for signs indicating closed areas so construction can go on as scheduled. Tight Lines, Rob" 

While large numbers of Salmon are moving up the Columbia River system, elsewhere in Oregon the migration is just staging. We're all hoping for a little rain to get things rolling. The weather system that was forecast for this week seems to have weakened and hot weather is returning for the weekend. Not good. Pray for a little more rain. 

The ocean Salmon season is winding down, but there are still plenty of fish out there. I was treated to an afternoon of dory fishing out of Pacific City with Rob and Erin Perkins this past week. A very adventuresome way to chase Salmon for sure. While "Bucktailing" is not traditional fly fishing in the strictest sense, it has it's own traditions that go back to the early days of Salmon fishing. No herring or anchovies were involved in the capture of the fish that joined us for future dinner plans. Thanks for the great afternoon, my friends! 

On a side note, I have found that Salmon fishing regulations here in Oregon are as confusing as assembly instructions for a nuclear sub. I received a special email update from our friends at ODFW this week regarding Salmon retention limits. After reading all the regs and jumping back and forth through several pages on their speedy website I think you can only barbecue left handed fish. On Mondays. Please check the regulations before fishing on weekends or weekdays.

Trout chasers are sneaking off to hit favorite spots while the world is focused on Steelhead and Salmon. Those few rebels are armed with the standard fare, but they're tossing in a few meaty morsels for the monsters looking to fatten up before the snow flies. We're talking streamers here, Campers. Pizza on a hook. Fall is a great time to tempt larger fish with larger meals so don't leave home without something that looks like your neighbor's cat. Yes, the one you hit with that toy helicopter. 


Deschutes and McKenzie Report

Joel La Follette - Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Deschutes Salmon flies are still on the minds of anglers and Trout alike as we head into the holiday weekend. While much of the big bug action in the Maupin area has slowed dramatically, there are plenty of Mayflies and other Trout treats to keep the fish and fishermen happy. Pale Morning Duns, Caddis, Little Yellow Sallies and even an early Green Drake or two will have you sampling your fly box throughout the day. There will still be remnants of the Salmon Fly hatch as late emergers flit about laying eggs before crashing to a watery finish. This can provide some epic action if you hit it just right. Don't give up on the Chubbys yet, but tye on a Silvey's Caddis Pupa as a dropper to cover your bases. Trust me on this one. It's also a good idea to do a little change-up on your big fly if it is not pulling the lunkers off the bottom. Try a scaling down in size, or going old school with a Clark's Stone or Norm Woods.
Further up the creek the big bugs are the main event and the talk of the town. Mix in a few Yellow Sallies, Little Green Stones, misc. Mayflies and Caddis and you have yourself the makings of a lovely day on the water. Water temps have risen rapidly this year so things are happening fast on the Deschutes. Insects normally seen in June have already made cameo appearances. When it comes to your fly selection, bring it all. With all the commotion floating overhead you may find fly selection is critical if you want to score. Look for places of refuge that may hide that trophy Trout. Don't pass up on heavy turbulent water, it takes a big fish to make a living in those places.

Down in the valley the McKenzie River offers a pleasant distraction for those interested in avoiding the brush banging beat of the Deschutes. Caddis and Mayflies make up the menu and the kitchen has been very busy. Warm weather combined with a little cloud cover is a match made in Trout fishers' heaven as clouds of insects take to wing. 
While larger Caddis patterns seem to take center stage on the McKenzie, PMDs, Yellow Sallies, and other misc. Mayflies keep it interesting. Fishing with Jeff Helfrich, of Tight Lines Outfitters, this past Monday Nick and I were reacquainted with the old McKenzie "refloat" technique as we drifted from Hendricks to Hayden. Lifting the rod tip and refloating the tandem Caddis patterns keeps them from knitting your leader into a sweater. While that works just fine, I'll admit I preferred to fish a single Caddis and pop it into fishy looking spots. We encountered no other fly anglers on Monday, which is in sharp contrast to my normal haunts. If you haven't sampled this famous Trout fishery, contact Jeff and get it on your schedule. 
Steelhead fishing in the local area has taken a back seat to all things Trouty. There is still plenty of opportunity for those wanting to swing a fly. The Clackamas has kicked out a few nice summer fish and the same goes for the Sandy River. Spey Geeks gathering at Oxbow 
this past weekend reported a few nice Steelhead and Springers grabbing flies. You don't have to convert to the Trout side just yet.

Veterans Day on the Elk River

Joel La Follette - Tuesday, November 12, 2013
This past Monday was Veterans Day, a day set aside to honor all of those who have served our country in uniform. Flags were flown, parades were marched, jets rumbled through the sky and heads were bowed in solemn remembrance. Many enjoyed the freedom earned by those we honored by spending the day in favorite pursuits. I was no different; I went fishing.


Standing in the Elk River near Port Orford, Oregon, optimistically casting for fresh Chinook Salmon, my focus was derailed when someone called out, "Joel, you're doing that wrong!" The familiar voice brought a smile to my face. I turned to see my favorite WWII veteran, Frank Moore, standing near a well used blue pickup truck with my host for the day, Dean Finnerty. I headed up the bank to greet my old friend and was introduced to his son, Frankie. Soon I was locked into the world famous Frank Moore handshake/hug, which is something you must experience to believe. 
Once air returned to my lungs we all visited a bit, then Frank and Frankie readied their tackle while Dean and I returned to fishing. A few minutes after stepping into the pool a bright Salmon broke the surface with a silver flash. "There's a fresh one, Joel! Catch that one!" Frank hollered from the truck. Three casts later my line went tight and the silver flash was streaking for freedom. The battle won, Dean pulled himself away from his fishing to tail the fish and snap a few photos. Then the wild fish was released to finish its journey.
Dean, Frank, Frankie and I continued to fish through the pool until my silly cell phone went off signaling the arrival of my slightly tardy fishing partner for the day, Jason Atkinson. Dean was very gracious, volunteering to retrieve my wandering friend so I could keep fishing. Soon the five of us were reunited on the banks of the Elk. Some of us old friends, some of us good friends that just met, but to a man, all of us friends of wild fish and the places they live.
There are days on the water that live with you forever. Some are marked by encounters with the creatures we pursue, a special place discovered or the chance meeting of an old friend. As we add to the years those memories weave into the fabric that keeps us warm and dry on those less memorable days. Those days when the rain blows sideways and fish seem to have vanished on the wind. There are some who will never make it past those days. They will miss out on watching a Salmon slipping over the sand to find its way home. They will not feel the solid pull of a big fish and feel its heart pumping through the line. They will not have the chance to greet an old friend stream side and thank him for his service to our country so many years ago. A sacrifice that allows us all to have those days that are so memorable.  

Sounds like Pink

Joel La Follette - Monday, August 12, 2013

Pink Salmon, or Humpies, as they are commonly referred to, have gotten a bad rap over the years. Their value as a food fish was far less than their more popular brethren the Chinook and Coho Salmon. Even the Dog Salmon, or Chum, ranks higher in the Salmon world. This diminutive Salmon has gotten very little respect, often finding their end along the banks of rivers in Alaska and Canada, adding to the nutrients, feeding the wildlife and generally stinking up the place. Sometimes they end up in tiny dusty cans on the top shelf of the supermarket with a very unflattering likeness on the label.

Chrome Bright PinkWell Campers, give the little guy a break. I found out this week that behind that position at the bottom of the Salmon food chain lies the heart of a fighter. I mean a real scrapper. I'm talking chrome bright, fresh from the ocean, looking to pick a fight and put some serious bend in a fly rod scrapper. I found a new respect for Pinks, and a bunch of them.  With an estimated 6 million Pink Salmon forecast to return to Puget Sound this year, you are fairly likely to run into some over the next few weeks if you head that direction.


I started my adventure in Gig Harbor after a few weeks of research, google mapping and web surfing for current fishing reports. I need to give a shout out to two guys that really helped fill in the blanks by providing some charted fishing spots, fly tips and tackle suggestions for this fishery. To protect their identity and harbor them from retribution from the locals I will simply refer to them as the Monkey Skull Guys. They truly know this game and play it very well.


Now, before you native Alaskans chime in on Pinks, Emily, put your hand down and let me finish, you need to know I'm not talking about those silly looking fish you find clogging up gravel bars in Alaska looking like a Tim Burton designed nightmare. I'm referring to the Dr. Jekyll version before the hump. These are chrome bright ocean travelers that take a fly nicely and fight you right to the boat. What they lack in size, they make up for in heart. A very fun gamefish indeed. At times I thought that someone had painted an Orca on the bottom of my Whaler the way these little guys fought to avoid capture.

Predator at anchorOn returning to Puget Sound, Pinks will occasionally venture into the shallow bays and coves of the numerous islands that dot the Sound before heading up their home rivers. That's where the fly angler has a chance. If you cruise the shoreline and look for fish frolicking on the surface you can slide in and make a few casts before they move on. Many anglers target them from the public beaches along their travel path and fishing from shore can be quite successful. Much of the time you'll be the only angler on the beach. Of course, that depends on the beach. It can also be a community thing. Think I-5 Seattle at 4:00PM. A boat or other floating devise will get you away from any crowds and help you intercept moving fish. Just watch the tides and currents if you head out in anything without a motor attached or we'll see a helicopter shot of you bobbing off Tacoma somewhere on the 5 o'clock news.


Once you have figured out the where part, now it's time for the how. Fly lines from floating to fast sinking can be required, but an intermediate sinking line will probably get the most use. Match that to a 9' 7wt. rod and you have the perfect set up for the Sound. There are some that tout a 6wt. for these mini Salmon, but after tugging on over 40 Pinks in two days, I'll stick with the 7wt. 

Chart and FliesI'm not an expert on this fishery, but the flies were the easy part, anything fluorescent pink/fuchsia and white. I really can't comment on other patterns yet because I haven't used any. You see, for my little salty adventure I tyed on a fluorescent fuchsia and white Clousery looking thingy that I whipped up the day before leaving, and left it tyed on the whole time. The fish seemed to like it. A lot. The fly is still in fishable shape and could probably pop another 40 fish before needing a refit.


To round out your fly box and to prepare for the other species of Salmonids that call Puget Sound home, I would mix in a few baitfish patterns, shrimp patterns and some of your favorite Searun Cutthroat flies. The Sound is teaming with a variety of Salmon table fare from plump Anchovies to nearly invisible Shrimp. Your fly box should reflect that menu. Just make sure you have plenty of pink.



Previous 1 .. 7 8 9 10 11
Contact Us

21570 Willamette Drive West Linn, OR 97068

2014 Royal Treatment Fly Fishing
Privacy | Legal