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.