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Fishing Reports

Riding the Heat Wave

Joel La Follette - Thursday, July 12, 2018
Nick Wheeler Photo
We're heading into a warm spell this week that will make standing waist deep in a cool stream sound like heaven right here on planet earth. As long as you're wet you might as well make a few casts. You just might have to think outside the box to find water void of swimmers, floaters and stick chasing canines, but there are options.

First on the hit parade is our favorite spring creek, the Metolius. Running at a chilly 48 degrees most of the year the Metolius is consistently inconsistent when it comes to fishing, but with a little leg work and some patience it can pay off with fat Rainbows and broad shouldered Bull Trout.

I found myself boots wet on the Met this past Monday and would gladly repeat the adventure even with the lack of measurable success. PMDs and misc. small Mayflies failed to draw much attention, but stories of bent rods filtered through the smoke in the filled campgrounds. Look for Mayfly hatches from 11ish into the evening. From the Gorge Campground upriver Goldenstones are crawling out on the bushes and getting fish and anglers excited. Old school Clark's Stones are getting it done pushing popular foam creations to plan B status. Bull Trout are present and taking nymphs and streamers much to the surprise of light tackle Trouters sharing the tales in those smokey camps.

Mr. Silvey rang me up the other day from his ranch near Maupin with a favorable report from the Deschutes. It seems the dry fly action has been good most mornings and that has recently extended into the early afternoon before the hot sun drives everyone including the fish into the shade. Evenings have been very good if the wind doesn't kick up. Misc. Mayflies, Caddis and Craneflies have been giving glimpses of what's possible with cooler river temps. So far, the Deschutes has been running slightly cooler than last year at this time. Brian does have some availability this month and reported that the fishing pressure has been light. Give him a call at 800-510-1702 to get in on the action. I find that Brian takes it to another level if you bring cookies. Just say'n.

Higher elevations offer another escape from the heat as the Callibeatus hatch kicks into high gear on our Cascade lakes. Clouds of these Mayflies are pulling timid lake residents to the surface on Mt Hood impoundments and Central Oregon lakes. My buddy, Jeff Perin from the Fly Fisher's Place in Sisters has threaten to take me out in his aluminum yacht to sample the action first hand. If I can free up some space on the calendar that might be a very interesting trip.

The last time we fished together I learned a new hook setting technique that involve not letting the fish know it was hooked. It's very effective for releasing the fish closer to where he was feeding and follows the #keepemwet mantra nicely. No, Jeff, I'm not going to forget the Sister's hook set.

For those ready to swing flies for summer Steelhead there have been confirmed encounters in the lower Deschutes. Floating lines, your favorite fly and a sack full of optimism is required. Fish numbers over the dams are optimistically creeping up.

Locally, it's going to be tough sledding on the Clackamas with the warmer temps and the rubber boat hatch in full swing. If you can pull yourself out of bed in the dark and be on the water when the sun pops up you have a chance at some fresh summer chrome, but note the river is already warm enough for a morning swim. It's not impossible, but maybe the mouth of the Deschutes or Klickatat is a better option.
Mitch Moyer Photo
Last, but surely not least is our theater of operations for this weekend's outing on Puget Sound. Reports filtering out of the Evergreen State have been exceptional and we're hoping for a repeat of last year's success for our group of adventurous anglers. Baitfish are plentiful and the resident Coho and Sea-run Cutthroat has been feasting on the abundance. The tides are identical to our last visit so our hopes are high. In any case, there will be S'mores involved.

It's Going to Get Chilly

Joel La Follette - Thursday, November 02, 2017

Once again I'm relinquishing the pen to Josh Linn for this weeks fishing report. Since joining our family, Josh has proven he can pick up the slack when I'm faced with other distractions. Like prepping for a 3 day drift trip on the John Day River. While I figure out how to avoid frostbite next week, I'll leave it to Josh to help you make your angling plans...

Fishing report, how about a fishing forecast? This weekend the time changes and so does the weather. Rain is in the forecast and possibly snow on the valley floor east of the Cascades. It could get very interesting for our fearless leader and his party.

A long long time ago, on one of the first adventures I made out to the Grande Ronde for a multi day steelhead trip we had one of those epic cold snaps. Ever since then I’ve gone out of my way to be overly prepared. I had guided out there for a few seasons and couldn’t wait to get out there and do a float on my own. We had been planning this trip for a couple of months and were scheduled to leave the day after Halloween. We launched early, the skies were crystal clear and the air temps were cold. It continued to get colder and the river started to freeze. The water had turned slushy and by the end of the trip the river had frozen over. Well, suffice it to say the fishing was not very good. We did end up catching a few fish, but in the end it isn’t the fishing that I’ll remember about that trip. The hardships make the adventure. It’s called type three fun.

That’s not the only cold trip I’ve been on and I’m sure it won’t be the last. If you fish in the fall you’re pretty much guaranteed to run into that kind of weather sooner or later. Now, it’s not gonna be that cold this week, but it is going to be cold enough and that makes for some great fall fishing.

I’m going to pack my cold weather gear when I head east this weekend. Zero degree sleeping bag, wool blankets, Simms down stream jacket, and of course my bootfoot waders.

So where am I gonna go? So many choices and only so many days. I’m going east to chase steelhead. I know that all the places I usually fish have been fishing good. There are steelhead spread throughout the Columbia river and its tributaries. Rob and the Water Time Outfitters gang have been doing well in the stretch from Warm Springs to Maupin and the Mack’s Canyon area and below is still producing fish.

The Klickitat is still going strong and is open till the end of the November. Fish are spread throughout the river, I would expect to do better higher up in the system.

Marty, Brian, and Corey have been on the Grande Ronde and doing well. I’m sure with that last rain there are fish everywhere in that system. If you want to venture even further the Snake and the Clearwater have been fishing great. So, where am I going to go? Well, I can’t give away all of my secrets.

My forecast is for cold weather, good fishing and the end of daylight savings. I’ll wait to hear your fishing report when you stop in next week.


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. 

Best, Worst Year Ever!

Info Fly fishing - Wednesday, October 18, 2017


Joel is out of town for the week chasing Trout in Montana and he left the inmates to run the asylum, meaning Josh and Nick are in charge. Since Joel’s out this week I (Josh) will be giving you the fishing debriefing. 

I don’t know if any of you have noticed, but fall is definitely here! October and November are two of my favorite fishing months. There are so many fishing opportunities it’s hard to know what to do. This time of year I personally am focusing on steelhead fishing east of the cascades, typically the Deschutes, Klickitat, Snake and Grande Ronde. 

Our scouts have been reporting back to us with success stories of Green Drakes on the Metolius, coho in the local rivers, Rob and the Water Time Outfitters crew have been having great success on the upper Deschutes for both trout and steelhead, and I just got a fresh report from Tracy that she finally landed he first Deschutes steelhead! Those are just a few of the reports that we have received. Don’t forget about lake fishing, steelhead in the far eastern corner out our state like the Grande Ronde steelhead, Clearwater, and Snake. Also at the end of this month a lot of fisheries will be closing down like Sea-run Cutthroat fishing on the coast and general trout fishing. So now’s the time to get your last casts in before they're gone till next year.

Now I’m sure that everyone has heard about the poor returns to the upper Columbia river basin this year and it’s probably even affected your fishing. This year there has been a lot of talk of how poor the returns are. The ten year average for steelhead passage over Bonneville Dam is around 330,000. This year we will be around 116,000. So yeah fifty percent of average is pretty bad. Now if we didn’t actually have dams in the river counting fish we wouldn’t know how bad the returns are and we would just go fishing anyway. This era of internet fishing reports has kind of made us less dedicated to fishing. One of the things that I am constantly telling people is to forget the fishing report and to go out and make their own.

Nick and I have been making a lot of fishing reports lately, honestly I’m surprised he puts up with me. We’re a pretty good combo, Nick eats tons of candy and sugary snacks and I yell at him to quit bouncing around like a Mexican Jumping Bean. 

The week before last we ran up from the mouth of the Deschutes with Tom Larimer and tested out a bunch of new G Loomis IMX Pro Short Speys. They are pretty amazing! If you haven’t touched or seen one, come by the shop. That day we touched a lot of fish but had a hard time sealing the deal. Sadly to say our landing ratio was low maybe 30%. 

This week Dave Hendrie joined our party and we headed east to the Klickitat. This was the first time all of us had fished together and I’m sure it won’t be our last. Part of the reason for that might be the great fishing we had or that we all get along really well. Anyway, did I mention that we had a great fishing this trip? Our landing ratio was much better, at 80%. Unfortunately, Nick is the reason we weren’t batting 1000 as he lost his only fish. Losing that fish didn’t phase him. It just gave him another excuse to eat some more candy and tie on a different fly. Nick is always in good spirits and makes fishing fun!

We did end up hooking fish with both floating lines and sink tips. We fished T-11 2.5Fx7.5S MOW tips and a new Scientific angler dual density tip that sinks a little slower. Both of those match up well with the OPST Commando heads. My typical fall setup is some sort of short 5 or 6 wt spey rod. I especially like the G Loomis NRX 12’6wt switch rod. I match it up with a Hardy Perfect Taupo and a 375gr OPST commando head. Whichever sink tip you like and you’re ready for anything. Our most productive fly was a Klamath Intruder. It didn’t really matter what color it was they all were working, but our favorites were the Pink, Red and orange, and black and blue.

Personally, I don’t specifically go fishing to catch fish, although that is important. I go for many reasons like my mental health and trying new tackle. Our fishing outings have not reflected the poor fish returns of the Columbia River. Honestly it’s been the best worst year I can remember. What we have noticed is that the rivers are less crowded and we are still catching fish.

REMEMBER NOT EVERYTHING YOU READ ON THE INTERNET IS TRUE. Take it with a grain of salt and discover for yourself what’s going on out there. I expect you to report back to me next week with stories of fishing success.


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