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Fishing Reports

Cold and Clear

Joel La Follette - Thursday, December 07, 2017

Bright skies and clear waters are the rule across the state as an unusually dry weather pattern sits over us for at least another week. The east wind has made its winter return putting a premium on warm layers for those who do venture out to take in the sunshine. Our local Steelhead streams are plummeting to summer levels with no measurable precipitation in the forecast to stop the drop.

There are still opportunities to cast a fly if your Christmas shopping is done and you just need to get on the water. Bundle up and take a drive.

The Clackamas is probably your best local Steelhead option as it is running at the perfect level for fly swingers. The Crandall collection of winter patterns is a good place to start when choosing what fly to offer up. If you need a refresher in winter tactics, Rob will be in the shop on the 16th to enlighten you.

I grabbed a couple Micro Speys and my camera gear and headed to the Deschutes on Monday. The Steelhead game is over, but Trout still need to eat. The river was cold and crystal clear. A 180 degree change from the Black Friday conditions.

Armed with a box of streamers I pretty much had the river to myself with only a couple hardy souls braving the warmish sunny conditions. BWOs made a fleeting appearance in the sunshine, so I wouldn't count on a bunch of winter dry fly action until we get a few clouds. Nymphs and Streamers should pay out depending on your effort. I was drawn away to photograph eagles so my success was measured accordingly.

Just make sure you are prepared for winter conditions when heading out. An extra set of warm dry clothes is not a bad idea anytime, but is required during this chilly time of year. Be careful!

Streamer Eaters

Joel La Follette - Thursday, February 09, 2017

Steelhead waters are re-carving landscapes across the state as a hard cold rain drives in from the Pacific. The chances of finding fishable water by the weekend will require creativity and lengthy travel. The best bet is to forego the Steelhead gear, grab some Trout stuff and head east. Even then you may be dealing with water conditions that are less than ideal.

Last week I chatted with Brian Silvey who was going a bit stir-crazy from cabin fever as he remains snowbound in Maupin. The bombardment of winter weather has limited his water time on the Sandy River and added to his time at the tying bench. The upside is with his Steelhead boxes full he has turned to tying big Trout streamers and that is a very timely topic. Now, his creations aren’t yet ready for primetime yet as Brian likes to thoroughly field test new patterns before springing them on the world, but this does allow me a wonderful segue into this topic.

Streamers are the feast that hungry Trout are looking for during the lean times of winter. It’s important for feeding fish to acquire more calories in a meal than they expend in acquiring said meal. Sipping BWOs may keep the hunger pains away, but chomping down on a fat Sculpin puts meat on the bones much faster.

While streamer fishing has remained popular in some circles, it seemed to fall out of favor with the general populace who turned to nymphing to fulfill their subsurface angling requirements. Yet, tossing streamers is experiencing a resurgence here in the Northwest partly due to traveling anglers bringing their flies and techniques back home from streamer friendly locations and anglers looking for another arrow to add to their quiver.

No one is more into this Streamer resurgence than the staff here at Royal Treatment, especially our Fly Czar, Josh Linn. Check out some of the Streamer weapons he’s added to the fly bins just this week. Then grab a Trout stick and hit the water. There’s a big fish out there with your name on it, you two should meet.

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