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    Fishing Reports

    Icy flows and Buckwheat Zydeco

    Joel La Follette - Wednesday, November 19, 2014

    The great chill down of November has seen cars bouncing off each other, pedestrians losing vertical stability and ice covered trees crashing to the ground. Subfreezing temperatures on the east side funneled high winds through the Columbia gorge, spreading the chill into the valley as winter bullied it’s way in.

    Those hardy souls I mentioned last week were turned away from the John Day River as ice blocked their passage to the water. Only small channels remained flowing as the river turned to solid and hid under a skiff of snow. Water temperatures are, well, pretty near freezing at the moment compounding the problem. With a change in the weather rattling on the evening news we may get another shot at it if things warm up just a tad.

    The Deschutes, while still flowing, was on the chilly side. Snow in the canyon and plenty of deep snow on the plateau made for beautiful images, but skin burning temperatures. Steelhead are still a very real possibility for those willing to layer up. At last check, Gil Muhleman continued to ply his trade hosting anglers seeking hot fish in cold weather. If you would like to test yourself and venture forth into the frosty landscape you will find much more elbow room under these conditions. Call Gil.

    Not that you need a reminder, but extra dry clothes are now a necessity as a watery dunk could turn very serious in a hurry. Be careful out there, Campers.

    Trouters turned to the Crooked River tailwater this week to satisfy their need for action. BWOs and midges will be the game on the surface until spring, with hatches sleeping in until after 10:00. Nymphing will carry you through the down time if the hatch is missing in action. Pairing up a Prince nymph with a Midge Pupa or small Pheasant tail is a great place to start. The infamous Crooked River Scud is also a fly box must.

    The Clackamas is still providing entertainment for those needing to stay close to home. Water temps have dipped into the high 30s, so fish will need to warm up to you. They want to play, you will just need to take the lead. Mix up the speed of your swing until you crack the code. Speed matters. While sink-tips are the logical choice, the river is pretty low and floating lines can still get it done.

    While east side rivers slowed with icy flows, rivers on the south coast bumped up as rain moved onshore. This signaled a call to action for Salmon chasers. I headed to Oregon’s banana belt, dialing in some Buckwheat Zydeco driving tunes and setting my GPS for Port Orford. The Elk and Sixes had peaked and were on the drop when I arrived late Saturday evening. Sunday found the Elk clearing nicely while the Sixes still moved some grit to the sea. Both rivers had plenty of fish in them and plenty of anglers seeking them. It’s a different game down there and not one for the timid, but the chance at a chrome bright Chinook Salmon is very overpowering and a call that needs to be answered. At least once.

    Typhoon Phooey

    Joel La Follette - Thursday, October 16, 2014

    Our weekend typhoon warning fizzled as rain moved in slowly this week and was less than spectacular. The only real event was the large ocean swell and subsequent high surf which made for great storm watching and damp cameras. Coastal streams saw a slight increase in flow, but are transitioning back to a dropping trend. Maybe this little flush will stir things up a bit.

    Action on the Deschutes continues to be as good as fall fishing should be. Trout and Steelhead are offering choices for anglers all the way up to the dam. Mix in a salmon or two and you have plenty of reasons to be there. Rob Crandall and Gil Mulheman, of Water Time Outfitters, have been logging long hours and scoring well for their clients. Rob surfaced briefly this week and sent this report...

    "Fishing has been pretty good.  We've recently seen a good push of B run fish and landed some in the mid-teens.  Each day is a new game as we work down river.  Some days are hot and others is a classic search.  For the Trout hunters the Mahogany dun hatches and spinner falls have been somewhat amazing.  Many times in the afternoon and evening there are literally thousands of bugs in the air.  October Caddis are also getting some Trout to smash the surface and eat them. It's a great time to be on the river."

    Elsewhere on the east side, the the flows on the Crooked have been bumped up slightly, but are still within good fishing levels. Fishing has been good with BWOs and other small table fare enticing the Trout. Same goes on the Metolius were the misc. small Mayfly hatch offers challenges and hope to visiting anglers. Although there is plenty of river to explore, we have limited time left to fish the Camp Sherman area before it closes on the 31st. 

    Closer to home, Coho are still the talk of the Clackamas, but we are seeing an uptick in Steelhead encounters, including some chrome wild fish that look a little wintery. Our sprinklely weather may stir the pot and bring a few fish to a boil. There is still time left for Skaters and dry lines.  


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