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Fishing Reports

Floodwaters Receding

Joel La Follette - Thursday, October 26, 2017

My Trout Bum Road Trip turned into four days of photographing animals sprinkled with a few hours of chasing Trout. Yellowstone National Park is a wondrous place in the late season before the snow falls closing it for the winter to wheeled vehicles. The tourists are gone, the animals are everywhere and the rivers are uncrowded. Having no real plans I ended up staying a few extra days in the Park and explored places I hadn't seen before.

I was able to fish the Lamar, Gibbon, Firehole and Madison rivers while dodging snow storms and hurricane winds during my visit. Brown Trout seemed the most willing to grab my streamer selection, while Rainbows preferred my go-to Silvey's Super Sinker. A Sunday morning blizzard finally chased me to the west and home.

Meanwhile here in Oregon, Trouters are lamenting the passing of the general Trout season this coming weekend, but there are still plenty of target rich environs to explore all across the state. Our popular east side streams host the dedicated all winter long so there is no need to sell off the tackle bag just yet. Layer up and get after it. What are you, a mouse?

Speaking of "mouses," my friend and fellow fly shop owner, Jeff Perin, is waging a battle royal with the mouse population around the old homestead in Sisters. I'm hoping that he can break away from the frontlines for a little angling on our favorite spring creek this weekend. Reports from that local have been favorable and demand further investigation. Besides, the dude owes me a burger and shake.

Just up the road, the Deschutes has been blessing anglers with a mix of migratory and resident Rainbows willing to play according to our Fly Czar. Since he covered the fishing report last week and did such an awesome job I've asked him to fill in the blanks for me again this week. Take it away Josh!



Not sure if you guys looked outside or saw the weather this past weekend, but it rained a lot. Like flood level rains. I’m guessing the only way you missed it is if you were in another state, like Montana or Wyoming... 

High water and big rain storms are to be expected this time of year and sadly it takes a little longer for rivers to clear. The ground is super dry, the roads have lots of dirt on them and everything washes into the rivers. Not to mention all the leaves that are falling off of the trees non stop. When the rivers finally drop and clear the fishing will be good!

I’m already planning my next couple of days of fishing and counting down the days till winter fishing starts. I’m thinking the Klickitat would be a good choice or maybe the Deschutes. Both will have lots of Steelhead and should fish good this weekend.

In anticipation of winter fishing I’ve already put my floating lines away, dusted off my skagit lines and sink tips and I’m looking for my boxes of big flies. It’s no secret that I love fishing sink tips and every day I’m thinking about fishing bigger tips and bigger flies. Right now I’m reaching for MOW tips like the medium 5x5 and the 2.5x7.5 sink. Those tips produce really well on those east side rivers like the Klickitat, Deschutes, and Grand Ronde. The flies I’m choosing are 1.5”-2.5” long, typically Black or Red. I like little rabbit tube flies like the Silveynator or mini Klamath Intruders. When I’m fishing these flies I’m typically casting them to the far bank if it’s a smaller river and letting them hang in the deeper water till the current pulls them out. A lot of the time you get the takes when the fly starts to rise up and pull into the current. Don’t be afraid to fish deep into the run where it transitions from the fishy water to the deeper un-fishable tanky stuff. As it gets colder the fish will be holding deeper and deeper.

As I sit here I’m looking at the river gauges thinking about where I should go fish. Deschutes? Klickitat? What will it be? All the rivers are quickly dropping into shape. The Deschutes at Warm Springs is almost back to normal flows. The Deschutes below White River is still pretty big. The Klickitat is up and slowly dropping, but should be in good fishable shape this weekend.

If you’re not interested in Steelhead or you want to stay a little closer there should be plenty of fresh Coho in both the Sandy and the Clack and probably a few Steelhead as well. If you want to chase Trout this is the last weekend before the general trout season closes, and with that closure comes the end of Sea-Run Cutthroat fishing.

Whatever you decide to do this weekend get out there and make your own fishing report. 

Fall/Winter Transition ~ We're Entering the Chill Zone

Joel La Follette - Thursday, November 12, 2015
Cooler weather has slipped into the Great Northwest forcing those favorite flip flops to the back of the closet and sending that lefthand grove or single warm sock into hiding. Rain is bumping the rivers up just enough to wet our appetite for winter fishing, but we still have a little time before that ramps up. Meanwhile the east side of the state has fish now and conditions are looking pretty good.

This transition period from fall into winter focuses the attention of Steelhead anglers on the Deschutes, John Day and Grande Ronde rivers. While some give up on the Deschutes, it still has plenty to offer to both Steelhead and Trout chasers. The crowds have thinned a little as the temps drop into the chilly zone leaving you the chance to fish favorite waters without being low-holed. Cloudy days can bring hatches of BWOs and the opportunity to perhaps break in a new bamboo rod hunting redsided sippers in back eddies. No, don’t give up on the D just yet.

Over on the John Day the defining line between flowing river and solid ice is still many weeks away, but veterans of frosty camp mornings know the importance of being prepared for the changing conditions. The weather forecast looks to be offering up those changes as we move through the weekend into next week. We’ll start off wet and warm then dive into nearly frozen by the time the following weekend rolls around. River flows are supposed to remain good for the next few weeks and that should continue to improve the fishing. Nick Wheeler and the Lost Boys Angling Club ventured out this past weekend and reported that while only one fish fell victim to a swung fly, the team refrained from bobbers and beads. Well done, gentlemen. Floating lines are the rule, with intermediate tips or Polyleaders and your favorite fly. Have faith, Campers, the swing is the thing.

Our newest shop guy, Josh Linn, has just returned from a week on the Ronde having avoided frostbite and bear attack. Fishing was good and should remain so for the near future. Josh can be bribed into revealing details and his secrets if you put him on the spot. I left my wallet at home yesterday and thus couldn’t afford the ransom. I do have it under good authority though that the Dolly Lama rocks the Ronde if you want to double down on Steelhead and Bulls. Olive and white seem to have the right aura.

Close to home the Clackamas is still surprising fly swingers and getting very little attention. The bad news is we’re about to see it blast off and hit 14 feet by the weekend. My Rivercast app has it staying up over 13 for at least a week. Look ahead to a dropping river and perhaps a few winter fish for your efforts in the coming weeks.

Don’t forget we’re all getting together for a Black Friday Fish Fest on the Deschutes, get signed up to join us!

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