Reports_3

Recent Posts


Tags

Sea-run Cutthroat steelhead flies Black Friday Fish Fest Coho Salmon Waders Skeena Rainbow Trout Pacific ocean Gig Harbor North Umpqua Gil Muhleman Fishing Report Klamath River Salmon Fly Czech Nymph Brian O'Keefe McKenzie invasive species West Slope Cutthroat Fall River Josh linn Reed College Cutthroat Trout NORCAL small creeks flies Makos Wild fish Chinook Salmon San Diego Deschutes River Oregon Trout Trail Tarpon Green Drakes hot water Bull Trout Steelhead PMDs Black Friday Fish-a-long Casa Blanca Elk & Sixes Sandy River Smithers Photo shoot Nehalem River Instagram Nick Wheeler Bonefish Sage Little Creek Outfitters G. Loomis Trout Zombies Guided Fishing Rob Crandall Fishing Skaters Winter Trout Deschutes Spey Metolius River Soft Hackles Morrish's Fluttering Stone Hosted Trip Oregon Back Roads Crooked River Whitefish F3T Springers Trout Unlimited Summer Steelhead Fly Czar Czech Nymphing Marty Sheppard Coastal Streams John Day River Native Fish Society Salmonflies McKenzie River Salmonfly #keepemwet Big Bugs Clackamas John Day Deschutes River Alliance Salmon high water OPST Montana Coho Grande Ronde Sea-runs Kenny Morrish Elk River Bahamas native fish Switch Rod Jeff Helfrich photography Trout-a-Thon Mr. Skittles Puget Sound Mako Shark Metolius Carp North Fork Nehalem Simms Big Trout Oregon Trout Bum Frank Moore March Browns Ascension Bay Scientific Anglers Maupin Streamers Silvey's Super Sinker Shad Euro Nymphing Native Trout Redband Trout Small Streams Sage Fly Rods Salmonfly hatch Dry Fly Wilson River Brian Silvey Oregon Pink Salmon Couch Fishing Clackamas River BWOs North Coast: Road Trip Winter Steelhead Boston Whaler Caddis North Coast Belize Waterdog BC Jason Atkinson Trask Redsides Snow Fly Fishing Class Skagit F.I.S.T. Keepemwet Fishing Trout Bum Road Trip Brown Trout Invasives Hardy Reel Klickitat Spring Trout Rendezvous Goldenstones Redside Rainbow

Archive

Fishing Reports

Last Cast Native Trout-a-thon Report

Joel La Follette - Thursday, November 01, 2018
This week the fishing report is being preempted by a travel log of my efforts on the Last Cast Native Trout-a-thon. As I never was much of a runner or jogger, an actual marathon would never be on my list of things to do. A Trout Bum road trip, on the other hand, is right in my wheelhouse and I took on the challenge of the Trout-a-thon with a focus garnered from years of planning such an adventure.

First, you should know the idea for this event came to me at 3:30 in the morning as most of my silly ideas do. I got up, wrote out the concept, and sent it to several of my friends at Trout Unlimited and the Native Fish Society at that very early hour. The plan was simple:
  • Bring awareness to the general population of the importance of wild native Trout to our society and our world. 
  • Challenge local anglers to discover native Trout species they may not have known about. 
  • Encourage local anglers to explore more of their state and its waterways. 
  • Raise money for restoration projects to benefit native Trout.
  • Have fun.

Since I wanted to participate and not oversee this event I passed the idea off to TU and NFS and acted as a consultant. Then I started making my plan.

The first order of business was to choose the species and their home-water that would score the most points. Then I determined the best driving route to be on location at the optimal time thus maximizing my success. Understanding the odds and setting a time limit on the effort for each location would hopefully lead to accumulating enough points to take home the title. After several revisions, I made a plan and fished the plan.


Appropriately, my day started at 3:30 on Saturday morning when I got up, tossed a few extras into the 4Runner and headed to the Deschutes.

The number one target on my list was a wild native Steelhead and the 15 points it would tally. It was also the species I was most concerned about. Given the current state of the Steelhead population in the Columbia basin, finding and landing a wild Steelhead on demand would be only slightly more likely than finding a hundred-dollar bill in the couch cushions at a Motel 6. Add to the fact that the Deschutes has a larger population of hatchery fish and you can see why I was concerned.

The odds of scoring a wild fish would have been better on the John Day, but the chance to add a Redband Rainbow and Whitefish, both 10 points, made the choice of starting this adventure on the Deschutes easy. The Deschutes was a target rich environment; if I didn't score a Steelhead, I could always focus on Redsides and Whiteys. At least I'd score points.

Having swung flies on the Deschutes since the 70s I have a few places up and down the river that stick out when it comes to encounters with Steelhead. I needed a place I could get to by first light and close enough to the highway as to allow a timely transition to my next target watershed. I picked the spot and hoped that no one else had the same idea.

Daylight came slowly as clouds prolonged the night. At 6:51 AM the phone in my backpack buzzed with a “Good Luck!!” text message from Tracy at the Native Fish Society. I thanked her and slipped the phone back in the pack and waited for enough light to fish.
My first cast touched the water a few minutes after 7:00, but I didn’t work down the run until I could see the line clearly on the surface. Keeping close to the bank to maximize the swing I worked down to where I expected the fish to be. When the fly swung through my perceived bucket there was a light tug on the fly, followed by another. The fly continued swinging but was intercepted again, this time a little more enthusiastically. One last jolting grab and the game was on.

From the hook set, it was obvious that this was the holy grail of Trout-a-thon fish, a wild native Steelhead. The fish ran frantically for the tail-out, but I was able to turn it back by easing on additional pressure. It then turned and charged straight at me, breaking the surface in an aerial display that gave me a brief glimpse of its adipose fin as it reentered the water. Now I was nervous.

After a few tense minutes, I was finally able to slide the fish towards shore and slip my net under its powerful body. A quick photograph to record the catch and prove its wild origins, then a gentle release to continue on its journey.
 


I must have looked crazy to the unknowing observer as I tossed my Spey rod into the grass and sprinted for my Trout rod as the Steelhead made its way back into the current. I dropped in at the head of the run and start to cover the water with a Silvey’s Super Sinker and a Perdigone dropper tied by Mike McCoy. Recent Czech nymphing experiences have increased my faith in this technique to produce quick results. In a few casts, a scrappy Redside lay in my net followed minutes later by a chunky Whitefish. It was time to move on to the next target. I checked my watch, and it was 8:30 by the time I was out of my waders and heading up Hwy 197 towards Antelope.



A couple years ago I had been infatuated with the idea of finding a healthy population of West Slope Cutthroat in Oregon. I spent hours pouring over maps and documents before settling on two watersheds to investigate. During an unusually good water year, I mounted an expedition to see if my research was correct and check a West Slope Cutty off my list of Oregon species. I found a short section of stream in one watershed where the gradient allowed for pools and riffles. There I found my Cutthroat living happily as they had for hundreds of years. I was now counting on them to still be there.

After hours on winding back roads and highways, I made my way up the rough trail to my destination. As I approach the stream I rolled down the window to listen for the sound of water. All was silent. I worried that my efforts would be met with a dry creek bed and a very long drive to the Metolius. I continued on and finally arrived at the GPS coordinates I had saved only to find my worst fears had come true. The creek was a shadow of its former self and trickled through the rocks and boulders without much fanfare. I was deflated.

Rain wept from the low-hanging clouds that encircled the mountaintop. I grabbed a jacket and headed into the brush to see if there was a pool or riffle that might hold a fish. I hiked upstream only to find my path blocked by a downed tree, its branches making an impenetrable barrier to any progress in that direction. I turned and headed downstream, quickening my pace as I saw my efforts slipping away. Suddenly ahead I could hear the sound of water falling into a plunge pool. I pushed through the brush and came upon a Cutthroat oasis in the middle of a dry landscape.

Back at the 4Runner I pulled my vintage Winston 4 wt. from the rod rack and grabbed my net, camera and a box of flies. Retracing my steps I once again pushed through the brush and took a position below the pool. There was no room to cast and only a small part of the pool that could offer any cover for a hungry Trout. With the fly in my left hand, I bent the rod back and fired a “bow and arrow” cast to the head of the pool. The little foam Humpy drifted about a foot and was engulfed by a fat West Slope Cutty. He knew his home waters well and raced for the cover of an exposed tree root. Carefully I guided him through the tangles and into my net. A quick photo and he was gently released, no worse for the experience.



I broke down my rod as I made my way back to the truck, arriving slightly damp from rain and perspiration. I peeled off my jacket and made a sandwich to fortify me for the long drive ahead. I now had 55 points on the board and over a three-hour drive to figure out my next move.

Night had descended on Sisters and a much-needed rain was dampening the streets. I fueled up the rig at the Chevron station and pulled into a parking lot to file an email report with my sponsors and post a few photos to my Instagram account. I would be out of communication once I made the turn to Camp Sherman, so I checked in at home and headed down the highway. It was now time to find a camp spot on the Metolius and get some rest.

The rain had splattered on the roof of my tent during the night, but the morning was dry and overcast. I broke camp, slid into my waders and grabbed my Bull Trout rod. The prize was in sight. I would score quickly and head toward the coast. I would be casting for Sea-runs before mid-afternoon and dining on clam chowder as the sun set in the west to mark the end of this adventure.

About this time the wheels came off the bus. I hiked upriver and down, unable to find a fish willing to grab my feathery offerings. I switched to a hunting mode and stalked the shore looking for targets in the cold clear water. All of my unusual spots were empty, and others held fish that charged the fly but backed off and lost interest. Two large fish connected briefly, but retired deeper into the pool, refusing to be tempted again. I watched one fish charge at my fly only to veer off at the last second and destroy a floating Kokanee carcass. Leaving a cloud of fleshy debris to drift off, adding decomposing nutrients to the river. The giant satisfied now settle into his place in the pool and ignored my offerings.

Bent, but not broken I changed my tactics and went to focus on improving my Redband and Whitey score by finding a couple of bigger fish. I ran into an old friend that I hadn’t seen in years and we stopped and visited for a while. It was clear that a Bull Trout was not to be, so I relaxed and took in the beauty of the river, and enjoyed a conversation with a friend. Soon we parted, and I grabbed my Trout rod and stepped into the pool. Two casts and the line twitched, and I set the hook. Expecting a large Whitefish to break the surface, imagine my surprise to see a foot long Bull Trout putting the bend in my rod. The net flashed, and a photo was quickly taken. The little Bull Trout rejoined the rest of the fish in the pool and I headed to the truck. 



Time was no longer on my side. My watch told me I wouldn’t be able to make it to the coast, and even a shot at the Santiam was in question. A traffic jam on the pass ended those hopes so I head home and pulled into my driveway 42 hours from when I left. I had driven 651 miles, caught 5 different species of native salmonids, scored 70 points and had a fairly dirty ride to show for my efforts. Was it worth it? Yup. I’m already making plans for next year. You should join me.

UPDATED!!!
I'm happy to report that in this past weekend's Last Cast Native Trout-a-thon yours truly cleaned up in the prize department taking top honors for most points, biggest fish and most money raised. This is great news for all of you who sponsored my efforts and donated $3885 to the North Creek Campaign through the Native Fish Society. I'll be raffling off all the prizes and adding a hosted trip on the Metolius to the collection.  Of course, after reading the report of the adventure above you might want to rethink spending the day on the river with me.

In any case, once all the donations have been gathered I'll be holding a raffle and announcing the winners here in the newsletter and on Facebook/Instagram. The prizes to be raffled off include:
  • Guided trip with Kyle Smith on the McKenzie.  WINNER:  JK Hussa
  • Guided trip for two with Mark Sherwood on the Rogue. WINNER: Rocky Dixon
  • A hosted trip on the Metolius with Joel La Follette (includes lunch) WINNER: Jeff Evershed
  • YETI Cooler WINNER: Michael Gentry
  • YETI Growler WINNER: Jeff Howard

Ode to Smelly Cat

Joel La Follette - Thursday, September 27, 2018

Kinetic Type // Smelly Cat // Final Iteration from Emma Thompson on Vimeo.

Report by Josh Linn, the Fly Czar

I spent another weekend floating the familiar water of the Deschutes from Mack’s Canyon to the mouth. I first started making this trip nearly 20-years ago. Every year new stories layer on making it more and more special. Sadly, this year the lower 24 miles was ravaged by fires from canyon rim to canyon rim all the way to the water. I’ve seen fires down there before, but nothing like this. To add insult to injury the run is at an all-time low. Now that sounds ominous, but the only way to catch a Steelhead is to actually go fishing, and I want to catch a Steelhead.

So we packed up the truck and made a mad dash to the river after work. We pulled at sunset, packed the boat, and pushed off from the boat launch in the dark, heading for our first night's camp. It was cloudy and warm making me suspect that fishing had been good earlier in the day.

We made our meager little camp of a couple of cots and chairs and were all set. A small camp that’s fast and light is the best way when you are on a Steelhead mission. You can be out of camp at first light, no dishes and very little packing to do. If you fish with me there aren’t going to be many luxuries. I come to fish, not camp.

We fished our camp water at first light and were running and gunning all day. There were very few other boaters around and we had our choice of prime water. We cover about 10 miles of water by the time we got to camp with zero fish to hand. By mid-afternoon, the wind was howling and I wondered if the evening fishing was even going to be a possibility.

We made camp at the Corral, in prime Steelhead territory. In years gone by I’ve guided quite a few people into steelhead there and even caught some myself. Sadly, this wasn't going to be one of those times.

The next morning we pushed away from Camp at first light and rowed for one of my favorite spots, a steep ledgy run right at the bottom of a hard corner. I let Eric fish the run first last time so this time it was mine. I had been fishing a Green Ant for the past few days with no success and decided it was time for a change. I don’t carry a lot of flies so the choice was pretty easy. I pull out a size 5 Smelly Cat, my purple and chartreuse go-to fly.


I started by fishing short making every cast count. I got to about 10 strips of line and start working my way down the run. I came to a small boulder section about halfway down the run. I know this spot to be one of the buckets, I started fishing more intensely. If it’s going to happen, now would be the time. At that moment I felt it, that familiar feeling. A little tug, not hard, but I knew it was a fish. It kept pulling slowly. I’m not 100% confident it’s on, so I don’t set the hook, I keep waiting. All of a sudden it jumped out of the water. Woo-ha! Fish on. It made a few more jumps and a couple of hard runs but in the end, I won the battle. We snapped a couple of pictures and sent her back on her way. 



We finished up and pushed off in search of more fish. By the time we got to the boat launch we had put three on the beach and I’m feeling like we had a successful trip. Fishing might be tough right now, but they are harder to catch from the couch.




Mr. Skittle's Birthday Adventure

Joel La Follette - Thursday, September 13, 2018
Nick's birthday was this past Tuesday and to celebrate we spent a couple of days on the Deschutes. If you’ve ever been into the shop and interacted with us you’ve seen the Laurel and Hardy routine play out in front of your own eyes. Well, on this fishing adventure we had a third person our great friend Eric Gunter. Because of the antics we knew would ensue we asked him to offer his unbiased third person account of this adventure.



By Eric Gunter

I haven’t spent many days on the water this year. I make the typical excuses: time, money, girlfriend, too hot/cold/wet/windy, etc. Overnight river trips I cherish and take advantage of them when I can.

I’ve learned much about navigating a boat/raft on moving water from one person. He has been generous with experience and has displayed great patience with me while I ask endless questions, many multiple times. This last weekend we were floating from Mack’s Canyon to Heritage Landing. The second boat in our party was being skippered by a virgin to the lower river.

New adventures should always include the pucker factor. Preparations need to be made. Shuttles need to be called in. The appropriate ratio of foods to sugars need to be purchased and properly hidden, all portioned for the days that lay ahead. A checklist of items needed on the boat: life Jackets, anchor, oars, straps, ropes, stoves, utensils, etc. has been gone over at least 3 times and you’re still confirming you have it all.

New water raises questions. And some people, in particular, ask a lot of questions. Are there any waterfalls, side channels or braids I should avoid taking my boat over, down or through? What are my emergency egress options? How many river miles? How many days do you have to float those miles?  Where do I fish? Can my boat survive its maiden voyage? What do I do about power boats? What do I do about a shuttle? All great questions. All questions and their answers are preferably known by all individuals in the party and should be confidently confirmed. We are talking about navigating a section of moving water with a long, well-documented history hoping for a prime camp that will afford you opportunities that evening and at first light.

Now, one of the benefits of being friends with an experienced oarsman and fly fisher, I get to sit in the front of the boat while he maneuvers us through the incredibly beautiful Deschutes River Canyon. Placing me in all of the best places to swing flies for wild steelhead. I get to enjoy the flow of the river, watch for Osprey, Bighorn Sheep, and all of the amazing creatures that inhabit the canyon.

Seeing firsthand the remarkable comeback of riverside vegetation after two fires burned much of the lower rivers landscape. Rowing downriver, well trying anyway, through gusting/sustained winds for hours making little progress while the topsoil from the farm fields above the canyon walls blows into the canyon obscuring our visibility while I sit in the front of the boat happy that I am not wearing contact lenses. I still have dirt exiting the pores of my body.

Another benefit of being with an experienced person is that they have the ability to give very precise and direct instructions/responses to these questions that should be asked. If you're not listening, you will find yourself needing to ask again. This is typically greeted with even more precise and direct instructions. Finding yourself now with less information than you received from the initial response. So having a question that you are pretty sure you already know the answer to is met with something like “What’s the question? To which the response is “Where are we camping when we get there? Now, this causes pause to allow a well-crafted answer.

I’ve never really tried to learn the names of all the runs to fish and rapids to run. This, unfortunately, does not mean that I do not ask…. I try to focus on the geography and geology and how centuries of time have passed while this canyon remains beautiful to this day. Having an experienced friend really helps with this process. History becomes more important with this documented region of Oregon. So knowing the names of some of the side canyons and the folks that traveled down them to create homesteads and live a life of self-sufficiency, railroad construction and devastation does garner knowledge.

The first night we arrived at the boat launch late, just before dark. We packed the boats and launched in the pitch black. This is a thing we’ve done many times before but raises questions from someone less experienced. We floated a mile or so to our first camp, navigating by the stars.


By this time the birthday boy is deep into his first bag of skittles and is contemplating what other sugary snacks he might have.


That first night is spent photographing the stars and anticipating an exciting hopefully fishy trip.


We are up early the next morning. We spread out in front of Camp and get to fishing. Nick is the last man fishing and is deep into the run. On what seems like should be his last cast he hooks a hot, hot fish. Before we have time to react we can see it cartwheeling off in the distance. After a long hard fight, Nick wins his birthday battle and his first gift is in hand, a 4 or 5 pound wild little net runner. The fish is a perfect specimen and after a couple of pictures, the little beauty is set free.


We push down the river looking for new water, more fish, and our next camp. The river is surprisingly quiet. Brian Silvey and his group of anglers are out and we hopscotch with them. We arrive at our next camp at around 2:00. Sadly we didn’t hook any more fish but we had a great time.

Shortly after we arrive at camp Nicks curiosity gets the best of him and the questions begin.


What were the names of those runs, where did we camp, where is Silvey camped? Zappy’s, Zapperinos, Ned Flanders, Trans Silvey Ania, Austin Millbarge, Nick’s Fish Hole. Where is that next run? Wrong Turn at Albuquerque? What is the name of that camp?

The further along we get in the day the bigger Nicks antics became. “I’m going to have Mac and Cheese if I can find my blue bamboo spoon. Along with German Chocolate Cake and a few other sugar food groups.”

Nick, “While you were asleep some guy walked into the top of the run in front of camp.”
Josh, “ Oh yeah? What did the guy look like?”
Nick, “He wasn’t wearing a shirt but did have on a gray Simms fishing vest, carried a Spey rod and he might have had a prosthetic arm.”
Josh, “Oh yeah? Hmm?
Nick, “Or did he have a white long sleeve shirt on? Or was he just wearing a dark tee shirt tucked into his waders? I don’t know, I wasn’t wearing my glasses at the time and just saw this blur of a guy walking down the trail.”

For Nick, giving up the tent was a big step. Sleeping under the Milky Way framed perfectly between the canyon walls on a cot was an acceptable 2nd choice. The second night’s camp, a day closer to his Birthday, was greeted with a hammock hung across the entrance to the camp. Thus began the evening's discussion of being either duct taped or cargo strapped inside of the hammock along with a few rocks would really teach him how to navigate the river.


Having a healthy sense of fear is paramount to having an enjoyable time on the water. Respect must be given and patience and relaxation should be employed. Pay attention to your gut. Trust your instincts. Listen to your friend with the ability to safely pilot you down the waterway.

Happy Birthday, Nick!
It was a pleasure spending time on the water with you and I hope we do it again soon. I am glad you caught the only fish of the trip…not really.


Fishing with Worms

Joel La Follette - Thursday, November 09, 2017

By Josh Linn

Photos by Corey Koff, Nick Wheeler and Josh Linn



While Joel has been on a three day trip to the John Day with Marty and Brian, Nick and I have been out causing trouble and chasing steelhead. As Nick and I are reporting back on our fishing adventures for the week, I ponder what lessons might have been learned or any insights gained. I ask him if he has gleaned any little nuggets or had some tidbit for me. He tells me sadly, “The early bird doesn’t always get the worm.” 




We were on separate outings, but on Sunday morning I saw Nick, along with Rob and Erin Perkin at the boat launch. We had a quick talk and I told Nick I had heard there were some people camping where he wanted to fish. Apparently, he didn’t believe me because he hiked straight out to the spot. It's always better to see for yourself, and he was sorely surprised when he saw that there actually was a boat camped in there. He was sure that because there weren’t any cars in the parking lot that he was going to have his pick of spots. In a daze Nick came up with a new plan. They moved on to his second choice of runs and again, there were anglers in that piece of water. It was a little confusing considering there wasn’t a single car in the parking lot. By the end of the day they had found some good water and Nick and his companions did end up landing a couple of fish. Really his nugget was; "Be flexible and always have a backup plan or expect the unexpected.... 



I came back with a different lesson in mind. I floated on both of my days off. It was cold and and awesome! I love the fall I like the crisp cold days. The beauty of the hills with their fall colors reds, greens, and yellows is breath taking. The weather had changed as promised. There was snow a little further to the NE and it was raining extremely hard to the West. We were in a little pocket that was cold and cloudy between the two fronts. Daylight savings had moved our start time up an hour earlier, to a 4:30 a.m. wake up call. We were on the water shortly after sunrise, and ready to fish. Our last couple of outings had been really good and we had high expectations. Immediately upon stepping into the water we could feel that the water temperatures had dropped. We could feel the chilly water through our waders. I was dressed how I would typically dress for winter steelheading but you tend to forget that the fall has its own unique cold. Its dry and cold with icy biting winds. In the winter it’s typically rainy so it’s almost always in the 40’s. I’m longing for that weather and it’s coming soon enough.


We fished a ton of prime water on our float. Runs that we have caught fish in in the past, but this time it seemed like no one was home. Had the fish pushed through? Was it so cold that they were deeper in the tanky water? Or were they just glued to the bottom unwilling to eat? Without being able to communicate with the fish it’s hard to know exactly what was going on. What I do know was that we weren’t moving any fish. 

We weren’t losing hope and we were still fishing hard. We got to our last run of the day. It was getting late and had about 45 minutes to an hour left of fishing. This was quite possibly the best run on the river, this thing is a Mecca for steelhead. Eric steps in first and starts more towards the middle of the run. After a few casts I see Eric has hung up on the bottom. I toss out a sarcastic, yet comical remark, and he gets his fly free and is back to fishing. About two casts later I glance down just in time to see his rod start to bounce from the pull of a steelhead and then go limp. Sometimes you get a strong pull and it doesn’t connect. He makes a few more casts from the same station before moving and about 5 steps down to where he gets another good grab. Again I see the rod buck from the hard grab and the fish pulls a little line and then slack. Eric is dumbfounded. He strips in his fly and finds that his hook had broken off when he was hung on the bottom. He ties on a new fly and gets back to fishing. He makes it all the way to the end of the pool and literally on his last cast I look down to see where he’s at and I hear him saying, "Eat it, eat it, eat it," and after the third eat it he drives the hook home. The fish comes flying out of the water. Redemption! That was a sight to see. 




Typically when I’m fishing or guiding I am always resolute in checking my leader for wind knots if I make a bad cast or to check my hook if I hang up on the bottom. Eric had made a quick visual survey to see that he still had the fly but didn’t check the hook and that’s what I probably would have done too. So my lesson or though is don’t get complacent with your tackle. Inspect. Inspect. Inspect. If you have something happen, a bad cast, or tick the bottom, or something else check your gear to make sure it’s all in perfect working order.

Nick and I have been finding fish lately, and all of them have come on the same basic tackle setup. We have both been using lighter rods, I don’t really think it matters too much as long as you can cast it and fight a fish quickly with it. Seemingly the key to our success has been a 2.5’ Floating x7.5’ sinking t-11 MOW tip and a fly that is about 1-1.5” long. We have been fishing mostly Klamath intruders. This sink tip seems to get this smaller lighter fly down to the right depth and still swing into the soft water where fish seem to be holding.



As far as other fish reports go I haven’t heard back from a lot of people, so I don’t have a lot to report, but here is what I’ve heard.

I got a report via Satellite from Joel on the upper John Day. It’s been pretty cold, but his group has gotten into a few fish. Fish were taken on Purple Muddlers, Silveynators and Klamath Intruders.

Rob and the Water Time Outfitters gang are on their last camp trip of the season and they are still hitting good numbers of fish between Warm Springs and Maupin.

I talked with Jake from G Loomis. They were on the Deschutes and ran up from the mouth in a jet boat and they did quite well.

Seems like the Deschutes really got a late start but is fishing good right now. The secret is to cover as much water as possible.

A couple of different friends of ours were out on the Klickitat and they both said it was extremely cold and sadly no fish.

If you are planning on heading east prepare for cold weather and the possibility of snow.


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.


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.


1
Contact Us

21570 Willamette Drive West Linn, OR 97068
503.850.4397

2014 Royal Treatment Fly Fishing
Privacy | Legal