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Fishing Reports

A Quick Trip Around the State

Joel La Follette - Thursday, September 20, 2018

There is a sense of urgency from our patrons in the shop as anglers rush to cram as much as they can into the fleeting days of this shoulder season. There is still a touch of summer in the air, but fall has let us know that those warm days with soon be just a memory. This is the season we wait for all year long and it is here. The only problem is we have far too many angling choices and not enough time to enjoy them all.

While the Deschutes is still the number one destination for Trout and Steelhead anglers at the moment, there are other fisheries calling for our attention. Let's just take a quick tour of the state...


Down in Southern Oregon the Rogue River has been the highlight with Steelhead returns well above average. Half-pounders and adults are drawing fly swingers including yours truly. I fished with a friend above Gold Hill and swung up this feisty native on last week's Fly of the Week, the Green Butt Silver Hilton. I'm heading back this weekend. Trout fishing on the Rogue would be a good option too as Rainbows and Cutthroat were hard to keep off my Steelhead flies.

Marlon RampyMy buddy, Marlon Rampy continues to score monster Rainbows in the Williamson River down near Chiloquin. These Steelhead size Trout are an impressive opponent on 6 weight rods. If you have never tested this fishery, now is a good time. Goat leaches, Damsel nymphs, soft-hackles and sparsely tyed Woolly Buggers should be in your box and an intermediate sinking line on your reel.

Over on the coast, Salmon are nosing into tidewater and making their way upriver on many of the North Coast streams. I battled a dandy on Monday until she sliced through my tippet with her pearly whites. Seeing 20 pounds of chrome take to the air is a thrill for sure! Sea-run Cuttys are following the herd and I saw several chasing bait on the surface. Streamers on a fast swing will insight hard grabs from these migratory Trout. I also like to skid a fall Caddis imitation across the surface of faster tail-outs to pull the action to the top. Give it a try.

Closer to home, the Clackamas is seeing a fairly healthy return of Coho Salmon this year. While our local fly guys are just starting to take notice, there have been more than a few taken on feathers. We can give you some pointers when you stop in for flies. Ask the Fly Czar for his secret weapon.

Green Drakes, or at least the fall version of this legendary hatch have been the talk of Metolius anglers over the last few weeks. Bull Trout are also getting some attention as they await the passing of returning Kokanee. I'm scheduled to be on the Met at the end of the month for some silly photo shoot and will have a better report then.

Back on the Deschutes it's business as usual. While Columbia basin Steelhead numbers are down, fly swingers are still hooking some impressive fish in the Deschutes. You may have to cover some water, but there are fish to be found. While some have resorted to sink-tips and winter patterns, true believers are still scoring on dry line presentations of artful traditionals.

Trout fishing on the D continues to be good, but most anglers are chasing the migratory versions. Watch for hatches of misc Mayflies to bring back-eddies alive with gorging Redsides.

This cornucopia of opportunities won't last forever. Get out and enjoy some of the best fishing of the season, right now.


Things are looking up

Joel La Follette - Thursday, January 26, 2017

Opportunities abound as we are enjoying some of the best water conditions of the winter season. Reports are flooding in from all corners of the state as anglers break the bonds of cabin fever and venture out. Our forecasted flood waters receded quickly and most area rivers fell into shape as predicted. The Sandy never really went up and out as freezing levels dropped saving us from a potential torrent. We are looking at very little change as stable weather conditions move in until late next week.

Road conditions have improved on the east side, but there is still snow on the ground. Trout chasers are setting aside the chips and guacamole long enough to break free of the couch and hit the water. Midges, BWOs and Little Black Stones are offering up winter snacks for the residents of the Crooked, Deschutes and Metolius rivers. Getting down and funky with your standard nymphs is always an option if the surface party fails to excite. Bull Trout are chomping streamers on our favorite spring creek for those braving the streamside snow.

For an on-the-water report we turn now to our Fly Czar, Josh Linn...

I fished the Clackamas with Tom Larimer and Jake Zirkle from G Loomis over the weekend. We tested out a bunch of new rods from Loomis including the much talked about Asquith, and a new series that will be debuting soon that will be awesome. The river was in great shape having dropped quickly. We put in a little late and the boat traffic was light. We were able to pretty much fish everything we wanted. There is still a bunch of snow in Hood River and Tom wasn't able to get his jet sled dug out, so we piled into his drift boat. 

This was the first time I have fished with either of these guys and one of the things I noticed was Tom changes sink tips and flies for almost every run we fished. Now, we were testing a bunch of rods so I'm sure that was part of it, but I would have been more content to fish the same tip most of the time, probably 10 or 12' of t-11. This was my first time really fishing the 13' 7wt Asquith and boy is that rod something else. It was loaded with a 540gr Skagit Switch G2 from Airflo and that stick is a real winner. It casts far, throws big flies with ease and is as light as a feather. If you're in the market for a new rod, that would definitely be one to look at. While inventory is limited on all Asquith rods, we do have a few demos rotating through the shop. Call me and I'll hook you up for a test drive. 

As you can see from the photo above, it's a fish catcher too.
 


Black Friday Fish Fest Fishing Report

Joel La Follette - Thursday, December 01, 2016



In spite of having his fishing prowess called into question a few weeks ago by one Marty Sheppard, our Fly Czar, Josh Linn, successfully connected Royal Treatment’s Youth Ambassador Ian Wildermuth into this beautiful Deschutes fish during the Black Friday Fish Fest. This is two years in a row that Josh has coached Deschutes Steelhead newbies into their first Deschutes fish. While this fish was landed and released last Friday, Ian’s smile has not faded. I understand that completely. Well done, Mr. Linn. What say you Mr. Sheppard?

Conditions on the Deschutes are as close to perfect as they can be, yet angling pressure is very light. The dismal Steelhead return this year has anglers looking elsewhere for the tug as this season fades. Trout chasers have been getting more instant gratification as midges and BWOs bring feeders into range. Winter tactics will come into play as temperatures drop this week. Dress for success and be careful when wading. It’s going to get chilly and you don’t do that Popsicle impression very well.

The John Day River is still on the lips of the faithful. Marty Sheppard and Brian Silvey both eluded to a fairly productive week on that desert stream. The fish are beautiful and the success has been much more memorable than that of the Deschutes. There is still time to convince these guys to get you into a fish, but that window is fading. Call Little Creek Outfitters today, operators are standing by.

If the east side temps give you a brain freeze just thinking about it, the west side has already seen action on the Sandy and Clackamas rivers. It is early, but the precipitation we’ve endured has called a few fish home. It comes down to those windows of opportunity when rivers are on the drop between weather systems. Looking ahead at the river forecast reminds one of a tumultuous week on the stock market with plenty of ups and downs. Tye flies on the ups and fish on the downs. Be safe.


Kick Starter

Joel La Follette - Thursday, February 25, 2016
Brian O'Keefe Photo

Warmer weather across the state kick started hatches of BWOs and March Browns. Success is a timing thing unless you are retired to the river's edge and are able to wait for the perfect conditions. Clouds help, but just being there when everything lines up can make a big difference. My adventure to the Metolius last we had plenty of clouds, but also driving rain, snow and sleet. It was interesting. I maybe jumped the gun a little on that one.

Steelhead are still the main focus and are providing pretty good action on the Clackamas when the water allows. A Spey student even had a good grab on a piece of yarn this past weekend while learning the double spey. Anglers using hooks were even more successful. The river has been at full bank, but the color has remained good.

The Sandy River has stayed in pretty good shape, however it would benefit from a bit of fresh water. We are scheduled to receive that delivery this weekend. It should stay in fishable shape as it rises a little with the coming rain.

The north coast is the place to be if you can find a place to be. A report was sent to me last evening from a very small watershed chronicling an angler's best day ever of winter Steelheading. You will have to figure the rest out yourself.

Go find your secret spot and have a great day on the water. Be safe.

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