Mid Summer Trout

NORTH SANTIAM RIVER (Upper)

Normally, I don’t have the opportunity to be on the river at first light, but some time has opened up for me recently and I hatched a plan to head out of town in the eve, camp, and be riverside first thing in the am. So, I had a nice dinner, packed my gear, and rolled out on a solo mission to what has become one my favorite places to be; the Upper section of the N Santiam River.
I arrived past dark, and drove the camp-mobile 1/8 mile down a primitive road and parked in a spot a buddy of mine and I had scouted last time I was there. A couple of beers later, and it was time for lights-out. I’ve never done an over-nighter here, usually I will leave PDX around 6, and am fishing by 8:30 / 9 at the earliest, so I was excited to get up and see what kind of action happens at first light…if anything. I was on the same section of river a few weeks before and we had a great day of fishing, catching numerous rainbow trout on anything from ants along the bank, to golden stones and stimulators in mid-river seams. The river was in good shape that day, but given how dry and hot it has been in Oregon lately, and the horror stories I’d heard, I was worried it would be low, warm and that any fish would be lethargic or would have found cooler water in one of the creeks that run into the main river.

Lights on. Coffee on. Boots and waders on, grabbed the gear and out the door.

The overnight low was forecast to be around 55, and it was definitely chilly morning air. I was on the bank at 6:45, and despite being close to the hwy, the rushing water was the only sound. As the sun started to brighten the sky a bit more, I looked around at the large firs towering overhead, the river and all the boulders dotting the surface and I couldn’t help but think about what and Idyllic setting this was. I was relieved to see the water was in decent shape; the level looked like it might have been down a bit from last time, but the flow was still a nice pace and the temp seemed about what I remembered. I didn’t have a river thermometer, but let’s just say I was glad to have socks and boots on. It was crystal clear and there was great visibility into the water….time to find some fish!
There was not a whole lot of activity that I could see, and aside from an ant or two along the bank, there were only some incredibly small mayflies floating around in some sunny patches that were not getting any rises. So, as I had expected, it was going to be a subsurface game early on. I picked out a few rocks from the water and found a couple of small nymphs, so I started my day with a sz16 pheasant tail and a 16 zebra midge trailing it.
I was psyched to be fishing a new rod / reel I had picked up from NWFFO a few weeks ago; a Sage Response 863-4 and a redington dragless reel. It’s light and smooth-casting but still has some power if you need to cast into a breeze (which I did). It should be a great set-up for this river considering it is not that wide, has a fair bit of pocket water, and the fish I’ve caught here avg. about 10 in.
Fishing was really slow to start. I worked my way downstream as quietly as I could and went through numerous rig changes. I tried zebra midges, various nymphs, and a copper john dropped off a 16 mayfly emerger…all getting no attention. The only thing going on hatch-wise on the surface were these tiny mayflies coming off, but they did not seem to be on the water very long, mostly in the air. I couldn’t get one in my hand to see a color, and of course there were no takes on the surface. I tied on an 18 parachute Adams to see if I could get anything to rise, and trailed an 18 tan elk hair caddis for good measure. I ended up getting a take on the caddis, but it was a miss. It was good to know there were fish around, and after a few more misses (or refusals) I decided to stick to this spot for a bit. I hadn’t been this far downriver before, and I was psyched to find a couple of nice seams, including a deep seam along the bank with a nice tail-out.
It was now 10am and I had very little to show for the time spent already. There is so much fishable water on the upper river, I probably should have moved a while ago, but sometimes I find it fun to focus on a spot if you know there is something there. Considering the success we had last time, I switched to a size 14 stimulator and cast it upstream. within a few casts It got hammered! It was a nice aggressive take, and on the 3wt (along with 6x tippet), it was good fun to bring in a pretty 10 inch rainbow.
I fished that fly, and that section, for the next hour and picked up a handful more fish, some with really distinct red banding on their sides, one of which was close to 13 inches. I decided to move on and worked my way back upriver. That particular fly was beaten up and waterlogged so I switched to a yellow sz 12 stimulator (didn’t have another orange 14), despite not seeing any stoneflies in the air. I decided to work a seam I have fished on a couple of occasions and today it was stacked with fish. It was now 11:30, and sun was on the water but I got plenty of attention with this big bug almost immediately. The water was clear enough that I could see numerous fish rise and give it a look, but then casually say ‘No, thanks’ and turn back down. A few came up from pretty deep and they seemed to be larger than anything I had stuck so far. I had a couple of nips and finally it got hit…unfortunately it was not one of the beasts I had hoped would take it. It pretty much inhaled the fly and even though I pinch my barbs, it still took a few min to get the fly out, and get this fish successfully revived and on it’s way.
Unfortunately this would be my last fish for the day. I tried a few more spots on the way back up and continued to have exactly the same experience despite tying on a few different patterns. Overall, it seemed that the simpler, more natural patterns were working better than anything with flash tied in, etc.
As my window of time was closing due to the 2pm fishing restriction, and considering this area is just a nice place to hang out, I decided to call it a day and head back to van to relax for a bit before making the 2hr drive back to Portland.

-David Roulo

Posted by Jack on 08/11 at 01:05 PM in (0) CommentsPermalink

Summer Run

Time to get out there for the hottest fish of the season. Lots of fish are around right now, and all of them are chrome bright ass kicking, into backing hot rods.

Posted by Jack on 07/29 at 02:48 PM in (0) CommentsPermalink

NW River closures

OREGON CLOSURES

Thursday, July 16, 2015

SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has curtailed fishing hours on most of Oregon’s rivers to avoid additional stress on native fish already suffering from high water temperatures and low stream flows from this year’s drought.

Effective Saturday, July 18, and until further notice, all waterbodies defined as streams in the 2015 Oregon Sportfishing Regulations are closed above tidewater (where applicable) to fishing for trout, salmon, steelhead and sturgeon from 2 p.m. to one hour before sunrise.
Angling for these species will be prohibited at all times in the Willamette River downstream of Willamette Falls, including the Clackamas River up to the Interstate 205 Bridge, the Multnomah Channel and the Gilbert River. The following sections of the John Day River will also have complete closures:  The mainstem of the John Day River above Indian Creek near Prairie City; the Middle Fork of the John Day River above Mosquito Creek near the town of Galena; the North Fork of the John Day River above Desolation Creek and Desolation Creek.

Some streams will remain open for angling under normal hours because they are less prone to high water temperature risks due to springs, tides, cold water releases from some dams and high elevations.
Streams that will remain open for angling under normal hours are:

Northeast Zone:

  The Wallowa River above Sunrise Road; Lostine River above Pole Bridge Campground; Prairie Creek; Hurricane Creek; Spring Creek; and all streams within the Eagle Cap Wilderness Area.

Southeast Zone:

  The Malheur River and its tributaries; the Owyhee River below the Owyhee Reservoir; and the Blitzen River and its tributaries above Page Springs Weir and Bridge Creek.
  The Klamath River and its tributaries.

Central Zone:

  The Deschutes River above Macks Canyon; the Metolius River; the Fall River; the Crooked River (from mouth to Bowman Dam); and Tumalo Creek.
  The Hood River and its tributaries and the White River and its tributaries.

Willamette Zone:

  The McKenzie River and its tributaries; the Middle Fork of the Willamette River below Dexter Dam; the Middle Fork of the Willamette River and its tributaries above Lookout Point Reservoir; and Alton Baker Canoe Canal.
  The mainstem of the South Santiam River below Foster Dam; Quartzville Creek; the North Santiam River above Detroit Lake; and the Breitenbush River.

Southwest Zone:

  The mainstem Rogue River from Fishers Ferry upstream to William Jess Dam and all tributaries upstream of the William Jess Dam and Lost Creek Reservoir.

Angling in the mainstem Columbia River and mainstem Snake River is not affected by today’s action, and angling hours in these areas will remain under normal regulations at this time.  However, a Columbia River Compact/Joint State hearing is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 16 via teleconference to discuss curtailment of recreational catch-and-release sturgeon fishing upstream of Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River.

“Earlier this month, we indicated that if these drought conditions continued, we may have to close or restrict some fisheries,” said Mike Gauvin, ODFW’s recreation fisheries manager. “These are difficult, but necessary actions to protect native fish already suffering from extreme drought conditions.”

“This doesn’t mean that all fishing has to stop.” According to Gauvin, most streams will still be open in the early hours when water temperatures are cool, and there are many great fishing opportunities in lakes, reservoirs for hatchery stocked rainbow trout, warmwater fish like, smallmouth bass or crappie, as well as all of the ocean fisheries.

“As extreme weather events become more frequent due to climate change, we need to be prepared for the stress these conditions will have on fish, wildlife and their habitats,” Ed Bowles, Fish Division Administrator said. “Planning for the effects of these changing climatic conditions presents a unique challenge for us, yet we are committed to doing our best to enhance resiliency to climate change and avoid significant impacts on our natural resources.”

ODFW already implemented emergency regulations on several other rivers. In addition, trout stocking schedules and locations have been adjusted and some hatchery fish have been released early as a result of high water temperatures. Elevated water temperatures have led to salmon, steelhead, and sturgeon deaths in several rivers.
Gauvin encourages the public to report sightings of stranded fish, or other wildlife distressed by drought, to the department and to take precautions when fishing during these drought conditions.

On days when temperatures soar, anglers can do their part to reduce the stress on fish by adopting the following measures:

  Fish early in day when water temperatures are cooler.
  Use a thermometer to check water temperatures frequently. Stop fishing when temperatures exceed 70 degrees.
  Consider changing locations to high elevation lakes or shaded streams near headwaters. These places are often cooler.
  Use barbless hooks so you can release fish easily without harming them.
  Use the appropriate gear and land fish quickly. The longer the fight, the less likely the fish will survive.
  Keep the fish in the water when you unhook it and cradle the fish upright until it revives enough to swim away.
  Use your judgement. If conditions where you want to fish seem especially severe (low, hot water), consider fishing somewhere else where water conditions are better.
  Check the regulation update pages on the ODFW website before you head out to make sure temporary emergency regulations have not been put in place for the waters you want to fish.

Gauvin recommends anglers check the weekly Recreation Report on the ODFW website for updates on stocking, water conditions and boating access.

In addition to fish and fishing related actions, the dry, warm weather could increase the danger of wildfires. Wildland fires can destroy hundreds, sometimes thousands, of acres of habitat. Late season fires may also affect hunting season dates, hunting opportunities and the condition of winter range for deer, elk and other species. Fewer water holes means wildlife will have to travel farther for water. Leave wildlife access to water by not camping at water sources.

Less water will also increase competition for placement of hunting blinds amongst hunters. Setting up a blind at a water hole is a common and lawful practice but hunters are asked to be extra considerate of other hunters and wildlife this year. Also, follow land manager’s regulations and don’t set up blinds too early or leave them indefinitely. BLM allows hunting blinds to be up for 10 days. U.S. Forest Service requires a permit and also has a time limitation.
The Bureau of Land Management does not allow camping within 300 feet of water sources; U.S. Forest Service rules vary by forest and area.
See the Oregon Department of Forestry’s webpage for latest fire restrictions and check their Corporate Closure page for information about access to private timberland, or call the landowner.

In the effort to raise awareness of the dire conditions that Oregon faces this summer, Governor Brown’s office has created a website for more information,www.drought.oregon.gov, and launched the “#ORdrought” campaign.

WASHINGTON CLOSURES

Drought conditions prompt fishing
closures, restrictions on numerous rivers

OLYMPIA – State fishery managers are closing or restricting fishing on more than 30 rivers throughout Washington to help protect fish in areas where drought conditions have reduced flows and increased water temperatures. 

The closures and restrictions take effect Saturday (July 18) at 12:01 a.m. The changes will remain in effect until further notice.

Fishing will be closed in some waters, and limited in others each day to the hours between midnight and 2 p.m. These “hoot-owl” restrictions will go into effect on rivers where fishery managers want to reduce stress on fish during the hottest time of day.

High water temperatures can be deadly for fish, such as trout, while diminished stream flows can strand migrating salmon and steelhead, said Craig Burley, fish program manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

“With such extreme drought conditions in several areas of the state, we needed to take these steps to help protect vulnerable fish in waters where we have concerns,” Burley said. “We’ll continue monitoring stream conditions throughout Washington this summer and take additional actions if necessary.”

For details on the closures and restrictions, check the emergency regulations, which will be posted tomorrow on WDFW’s webpage at https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/.

Fishing closures and restrictions are listed by region below. Today’s action does not include any rivers in Region 6 (South Sound/Olympic Peninsula). However, earlier this summer, the department closed fishing on a section of the Sol Duc River to protect returning chinook during drought conditions.

Region 1 – Eastern Washington

Closed to fishing:

  North Fork Touchet River above Spangler Creek.
  South Fork Touchet River from the mouth to Griffen Fork and above Griffen Fork.
  Wolf Fork Touchet River from the mouth to Coates Creek and Robinson Fork.
  Asotin Creek and tributaries (Asotin Co.) from the mouth to headwaters.
  Kettle River and all tributaries (Ferry Co.) from the Barstow Bridge to the headwaters, all portions contained within Washington.

Hoot-owl restrictions:

  Walla Walla River (Walla Walla Co.) from McDonald Road Bridge to the Oregon State Boundary.
  Touchet River (Columbia/Walla Walla Co.) from the mouth to the confluence of the North and South forks.
  North Fork Touchet River from the mouth to Spangler Creek.
  Tucannon River (Columbia/Garfield Co.) From the Highway 12 Bridge to Cow Camp Bridge.
  Spokane River (Spokane/Lincoln Co.) from upstream boundary at Plese Flats Day Use Area to the Idaho State Boundary.
  Spokane River tributaries, including Little Spokane River and tributaries (Spokane/Pend Oreille/Stevens Counties) from the State Route 25 Bridge upstream to Monroe Street Dam.
  Colville River and all tributaries (Stevens Co.) from the mouth to the headwaters.
  Sullivan Creek and all tributaries (Pend Oreille Co.) from the mouth to the headwaters.

Region 2 – North Central Washington

Closed to fishing:

  Wenatchee River (Chelan Co.) from the mouth to the Icicle River Road Bridge.
  Icicle River (Chelan Co.) from the mouth to 500 feet downstream of the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery Barrier Dam.
  Lake Wenatchee (Chelan Co.)
  Okanogan River from the Hwy 97 bridge upstream to Zosel Dam, except open to game fish fishing.
  Similkameen River from the mouth upstream to Enloe Dam.

Region 3 – South Central Washington

Closed to fishing:

  Ahtanum Creek, including the north and middle forks
  Little Naches River
  Teanaway River, including west, middle and north forks

Hoot-owl restrictions:

  Naches River from Tieton River to Bumping River/Little Naches River
  Rattlesnake Creek

Region 4 – North Puget Sound

Closed to fishing:

  Raging River (King Co.) from the mouth upstream.
  Skykomish River (Snohomish Co.) from the mouth upstream closed to all fishing, except the section around Reiter Ponds remains open from the Gold Bar/Big Eddy Access (Hwy. 2 Bridge) upstream to the confluence of the North and South forks.
  Wallace River (Snohomish Co.). From the mouth upstream including all tributaries.
  Stillaguamish River (Skagit/Snohomish Co.) From Marine Drive upstream including the North and South forks and all tributaries.
  South Fork Nooksack (Whatcom Co.) From the mouth to Skookum Creek, and from Wanlick Creek to headwaters including Wanlick and all tributaries.
  Suiattle River (Skagit Co.) Tributaries Buck, Downey and Sulpher Creeks.

Hoot-owl restrictions:

  North Fork Skykomish River (Snohomish Co.) From the mouth upstream including all tributaries.
  South Fork Skykomish River (Snohomish/King Co.) From Sunset Falls upstream and all tributaries, including the Beckler, Foss, Miller and Rapid rivers and their tributaries.
  Sauk River (Skagit/Snohomish Co.) Above the Suiattle River including the North Fork to the falls and the South Fork to headwaters.
  Samish River (Skagit Co.) From I-5 to headwaters, and Friday Creek upstream.

Region 5 – Southwest Washington

Closed to fishing:

  East Fork Lewis River from Lewisville Park downstream.
  Washougal River from Mt. Norway Bridge downstream.

Hoot-owl restrictions:

  East Fork Lewis River from Lewisville Park upstream.
  Washougal River from Mt. Norway Bridge upstream.

WDFW has also closed fishing for spring chinook on the Grande Ronde River in eastern Washington due to low river flows.

For more information about drought’s impact on fish and wildlife, visit WDFW’s drought webpage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/drought/.

Posted by Jack on 07/17 at 01:48 PM in (0) CommentsPermalink

Intro to Pro Classic Tubing

A quick intro on the Pro Classic Tubing System.

Posted by Jack on 06/27 at 07:48 AM in Bugs and Tying • (0) CommentsPermalink

Tying The Purple Haze

One of the best dry flies around, don’t be caught without a few of these this summer.

Posted by Jack on 06/27 at 07:47 AM in Bugs and Tying • (0) CommentsPermalink

Queen Of Igiugig

You all my not know Rita personally, but without a doubt you know of her. She is the master baker behind all of our cookies and treats on Saturday’s and events. Well, she and her husband, Doug, decided to take a week off and fly North for a weeks fishing on the Kvichak. From the looks of things, we’re not sure if we’ll get them back. Here’s Rita with the big fish of the trip so far, a perfect 27” Bow taken on a Loop Leech. Congrats Rita!!!

Posted by Jack on 06/11 at 02:26 PM in (0) CommentsPermalink

Tying The Classic Intruder

Posted by Jack on 06/03 at 09:54 AM in (0) CommentsPermalink

Introducing Blayke Jones

Introducing:
Blayke Jones

    As odd as it might seem for a fly shop, we are now a sponsor of Blayke Jones, and avid 7 year old motorcycle racer. You can find him most Thursday nights at Portland International Raceway at Thursday Night MX.  Blayke is an easygoing, usually quiet young man that has recently discovered racing a motorcycle is exactly why he was put on this earth. . While Blayke is not the fastest person in his class (yet), we don’t think anybody could enjoy it more. This is, of course, the highlight of his life and he is quite an enthusiastic competitor.
  Why would a fly fishing shop sponsor a motorcross racer? It’s like swinging for a steelhead or casting a dry fly to a rising trout. It’s about feeling good.  He (like most kids) deserves to have someone standing behind them simply helping out, and, well, it feels good to do just that.
Thanks for letting us help, Blayke
http://www.thursdaynightmotocross.com

Posted by Jack on 05/27 at 02:51 PM in (0) CommentsPermalink

News From Neely’s Boat

From the boat of Ted Neely
Ted Neely Fly Fishing
http://www.tedsflyfishing.com/index.php

Deschutes Salmon Flies are moving, everything from Warm Springs to Shears Falls. Having fished from Warm Springs to Maupin, then through
the town to Sandy Beach in the last week, I have found the fishing very good. With a assortment of Salmon flies, Green Drakes, Yellow Salllies you will be successful, and it’s always good to carry PMD’s and Caddis with you.

Posted by Jack on 05/23 at 10:08 AM in (0) CommentsPermalink

Catching More Steelhead

Posted by Jack on 05/07 at 11:18 AM in (0) CommentsPermalink

Tying the Pro Stone (PNW Style)

Posted by Jack on 04/24 at 09:16 AM in Bugs and Tying • (0) CommentsPermalink

Are there still Steelhead around?

Yes! Mr. Wise took a few days off from the PGA tour and found this beauity. We’re not going to tell you where, but this is a Pacific Northwest Fish.

Posted by Jack on 04/10 at 09:22 AM in (0) CommentsPermalink

Hardy Score

We have (3) 3-1/4 vintage Hardy perfects for sale. For pricing, inquire with Jack…..can anyone say Winston Micro Spey?

Posted by Jack on 04/01 at 03:07 PM in (0) CommentsPermalink

The Lady Gaga

Posted by Jack on 03/18 at 12:42 PM in (0) CommentsPermalink

Project: Prawn

Posted by Jack on 03/18 at 12:41 PM in (0) CommentsPermalink
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