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Fishing Reports

Say Good-bye to Big Bug Love

Joel La Follette - Thursday, June 07, 2018

Big bug love is winding down on the Deschutes, but there are a few pockets of activity still drawing interest from gorging Redsides. This annual feeding frenzy finishes up much earlier than in pre-tower times yet, there seemed to be some areas that showed more of an abundance than in recent memory. A welcome change for sure, but the hatch remained relatively inconsistent throughout the lower river compared to pre-tower emergences. Smaller offerings and our favorite Purple Chubby are still producing as the hatch fades into memory.

Green Drakes will continue to make appearances for the next few weeks if conditions are right. With clouds in the forecast a collection of these big Mayflies would be a good bet. Pay attention to the waters below faster riffles where Trout gather to intercept this delicacy. As mentioned in previous reports, Seagulls sometimes will announce the presence of Drakes with their aerial displays over the river.

PMDs, Yellow Sallies, Caddis and smaller insects now take center stage as we progress into summer. Mornings and mid-day find us seeking surface takers in riffles and shaded back eddies until the sun dips below the canyon walls. The now famous Hopper/Dropper combo is a good option until a hatch is observed. Evenings become our focus as these insects draw fish to the surface in the fading light of day. Wise anglers will pace themselves in the well heated canyon and do their work when the temperature moderates. Soft-hackles on the swing are a good pre-hatch choice when the sun leaves the water.

On the Metolius, Green Drakes have made brief appearances when conditions are right. PMDs have been more dependable and the fish seem to respond to them. Personal observation this past Monday did not log a single Drake encounter. Sunshine and blue sky kept the big Mayflies grounded all day and into the evening. PMDs were sporadic throughout the day and pulled the occasional fish to the surface. Caddis flitted about, but didn’t draw much attention from the local residents.

Steelhead swingers are still connecting on the Clackamas when cooler temps keep the rubber boat hatch at bay. Rain in the forecast this weekend will draw in fresh fish, keep the pool toys beached and offers a great option if you need a Steelhead fix. There are some Springers still around too.

I fully expected a page long Shad report to ping my inbox this morning, but it seems the Shad Prince has focused his attention on irrigation installation this week. My reliable sources report numbers climbing on the Columbia and Willamette and fishing has been good. Shad Skittles seem to still be the go-to fly here on the Willamette.

Not to downplay this popular invasive fishery, but I’m passing up on a trip to the falls next week in favor of a short flight to San Diego. Mako sharks are staging in the warming waters of SoCal, and I feel like tugging on a real big fish. Stay tuned.


The Return of the Shad Prince

Joel La Follette - Thursday, May 31, 2018

It truly blows me away is how many people are asking about Shad this early in the run. Fortunately, the Shad Prince is in the shop everyday and he loves to talk about “the poor mans tarpon”. If you want to know more about the history of Shad, how to catch a Shad, what to do with a Shad once you've caught one or why you should even care about Shad, Nick has three presentations scheduled over the next few of weeks. The first one will be this Saturday here in the shop at 10:30.

Speaking of invasive species, bass fishing is warming up and carp fishing has been off the hook lately in some of the backwaters. I’m sure the Columbia and Willamette rivers being flooded by runoff keep the fish in the shallow side sloughs where they are easier to catch.

The Deschutes has still been the place to be and the big bugs continue to be the focus. I talked to Brian Silvey the other day and this is what he had to say:

“Stoneflies are going strong in Maupin today. We probably have a few more days until they are all gone. Green Drakes have been hatching almost every day, but not much action on the surface. We've been getting them on Drake nymphs or emergers.”

I would think the Salmonfly hatch will be going on for about another week or so in the Warm Springs area if the weather stays as forecast. If you haven’t hit it yet you still have time to get in on the action.

If the Salmonfly madness isn’t your thing, the Green Drake hatch on the Metolius should be on the upswing. These big Mayflies typically make their appearance around mid-day and the show will be especially good if there is some cloud cover. PMDs and Caddis are keeping things interesting until the Drakes take the stage.

Reliable sources report that the Cascade Lakes have been fishing very very well and offer plenty of opportunities for solitude if you get away from the big campgrounds. Some kind of leech or bugger pattern is a great choice. If you've not tried our Royal Treatment exclusive, the Double-Bug, check it out. It's a Mitch Moyer pattern that has been lighting it up on stillwaters across the Northwest.

If you just can’t put down your the two-handed rods or you’ve got that Steelhead urge there are fresh summer Steelhead entering the Clack and Sandy as well as a few spring Chinook. Some guys have even been getting them on floating lines with smaller summer patterns, but Skagits with winter stuff are still working as shown by the photo above. That's our friend Rob Crandall who took a "busman's holiday" between Salmonfly trips and scored this hot summer fish.

Hopefully, you get a chance to get out to fish this weekend. If not stop by the shop, have some homemade cookies, check out all the cool outdoor gear and listen to Nick wax poetic about Shad. Maybe you’ll catch the bug too.

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