Sunday, July 31, 2011

Steelheading Has Been Consistant and Steady

Angler With Nice Willamette Valley Summer Steelhead
This is only going to be a brief quick report, and I will have to put a more detailed report up in a couple of days when I have a break from guiding and working at the Orvis Shop. Recently, I have been out guiding a lot, and the fishing has been very steady for summer steelhead. We have been getting fish just about every time out now, and some days are multiple hookup days, and other days are good for one fish. Some of the days, I have been out guiding for both trout and steelhead, and on those days the trout action has been pretty good. Lots of fish are being caught (troutwise), and the average is on the smaller side, but by days end typically there have been several nice trout landed, and the smaller fish are making the catch numbers higher. I will be out on the river, and when I get a break, I will be posting some videos, and I will put up a much more detailed report of the last week's fishing.
Tight Lines!!!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Umpqua Bass Report

Sight Fished Bass Caught on Mr. Wiggles

This past Monday, my friend Brian and I went to the Umpqua for some smallmouth bass action. The weather was cool as can be, and it was cloudy; so it was not the weather I choose for my warm water action. That is mainly because I like to wet wade and get some sunshine while pursuing bass, but I was stoked to be out there. Fishing was slower than normal, but still red hot compared to most smallmouth fisheries. We caught about 80 plus fish each, and many of the fish were on the smaller side. I could tell that the action was off; since you can catch over 100 fish each, and many times you end up catching several trophies over 3 pounds. We did get some nice fish, but most of them were on the smaller side compared to the hot and sunny days; which seem to warm up the water more, and make the fish more aggressive.
Mr. Wiggles pinned in this smallies grill.......

We caught fish on stripped poppers and clouser minnows, and we sight nymphed to many fish also. Sight nymphing was the best for catching the better fish, and the popper action was good, but mainly caught the attention of the smaller fish. It was hard to sight fish; since it was cloudy, but the sun breaks made it easier at times. The wind was blowing on and off, and when the water had some texture; it was much harder to spot the fish for sight fishing.
A nice handsome smallmouth bass......
I am going to be out of town guiding for the next three days, but I am making a video of this wonderful day of bass'n. Keep posted and be patient and I will have it up maybe next Sunday or Monday.
Tight lines!!
Smallmouth bass like steelhead nymphs.......

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Orvis Customer Appreciation Day This Saturday - Come By the Portland Orvis Store

This coming Saturday July 23rd, there will be a customer appreciation day at the Portland Orvis store in Bridgeport Village. There will be presentations, beer tasting, sliders, and a store wide sale too. We are going to have a fun fly casting setup too for playing around in the parking lot. Below is a invitation; so print it out and come by to participate in this fun event.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Nice Deschutes Fish!

Lower Deschutes River Slab of a Rainbow
My friends went to the Deschutes this past weekend, and I was not able to make it out. The fish in the pic is a reminder of that I missed out on. Sunny weather and fat rainbows is always a pleasure to take part in. Way to go Mr. B! Nice rainbow!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Fun Fly Fishing Day In The Oregon Summer Rain - Video From Last Sunday

Willamette Valley Coastal Cutthroat Trout 
Well the weather recently has been a nightmare for a tourist visiting possibly, but heaven for a fly fisher. Rain and clouds always seems to pick up the action when you are out seeking trout and steelhead. This past Sunday was no exception, as we had steady trout action all day, and we had fair action for steelhead too. If we had hooked up with all the steelhead that took our fly, we could have had four. Instead I hooked two brief enough to have the fly line get pulled and both fish boiled up, while Nikki had one swing get yanked tight only to get right off as it happened. She did land her first summer fish (as I mentioned on yesterday's post about the same day). Below is a video of some of the fishing from the day; so you can see more than the steelhead which I posted a video about yesterday. Enjoy the video!

Willamette Valley Hatchery Summer Steelhead

If you would like to go out on a guided trip for fishing like this then email me at or call me at (541)-232-6360.

Check Out the Latest Issue of Northwest Sportsman Magazine

July Northwest Sportsman Magazine
This month in Northwest Sportsman, there is article featuring an interview with me about fly fishing for carp around the Portland, Oregon area. It is written very well, and is worth picking up. I was interviewed by Terry Otto, and he puts his spin onto the article through the interview, and I can say that I enjoyed reading it. Many times in the past, when I have been interviewed, the articles or stories, got twisted to a point where it seems like nothing that I ever said. As an example, I can say that I do not think carp fight like bonefish, but they are something that a flats fly fisher could really enjoy if they live in Portland. In this article, Terry wrote a lot of what I said, and made his points clear. We have a fishery out there that not many people take advantage of. I can say that I am really into carp fly fishing, and it is something I look forward to doing. I would take a day of good carp fishing over a marginal day of steelheading anytime, but I do not want to fish for carp over everything. I just loving fishing for all sorts of fish species. The article makes a wonderful point, in the case of this past spring. When everyone was hunkered down with high water complaining about high water, I was out enjoying banner days of carp fly fishing. We have a wonderful unexploited fishery that is fun, challenging, and super enjoyable. Why not take advantage of something that can provide you with giant grins and laughs.
Portland Area Carp Flats Fly Fishing
Sauvie Island Carp Near Portland Oregon

Monday, July 18, 2011

First Summer Steelhead

Summer Steelhead Taken on Switch Rod
This past Sunday Nikki and I went out fishing for fun in the Willamette Valley. We fished for both trout and steelhead, but the main focus was to get Nikki into her first summer steelhead. We have gotten out together once before for summer fish, and I hooked one, and she never got a pull that day. This time however, the planets lined up, and her swing's call was answered by the steelhead phone. She was fishing a switch rod (and doing an awesome job on it - might I say), and a heavy poly leader with a marabou string leech that was purple with pink. The fish took the fly and went nuts jumping and tearing line off the reel, but I did not get that part on video. I ended up filming the final portion of the battle, but it was an awesome moment to see her first steelhead. Luckily it was a chrome hatchery fish too; so we took it home to enjoy this evening.

We ended up having a wonderful day out there; despite the rain and cool weather that should not be hitting us this time of the year. Cutthroats were all over stripped muddler minnows, and the dry fly and dropper nymph was also very productive out there. I hooked up with two steelhead in one spot, but the battles were short lived. I did get to see both of the fish boil up while they were tearing line, but then they unbuttoned. Nikki had one other quick hookup as well, but the fish did not lock onto the end of the line the way that it needed to in order to stick. 
Cutthroat Trout on Possie Bugger Nymph

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Friday Carp Fishing Report

This past Friday, I drove up the Columbia River Gorge in search of the big ones. I popped by one of the spots I can usually get into some larger carp at, and they were there. I fished to them, and at first it was tough to get them interested, but after a while I figured out the presentation they were looking for. Then after that I started to fish into the weeds, and the fish were grabbing the flies, and fighting them was quite the challenge. You would have to put steady pressure on them, and had to essentially have your tippet cut through the weeds in order to land the beasts.

Check out the video clip; so you can see some of the action that I encountered out there. I spent a lot of the day exploring new spots; so my fishing was semi brief, but filled with action.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Fun Two Handed Casting Strokes on a Switch Rod

Check out this short clip of two handed fishing on a switch rod. My friend Clay and I went fishing on Monday, and I filmed him casting on his switch rod. The rods are fun; since you can apply two handed or single handed techniques to them. This is some NW two handed style fishing displayed in the video clip.
For those of you who do not own a switch rod; I highly recommend getting one. It is an awesome piece of equipment to use, and to have in your arsenal. Both Clay and I were saying how you can get a switch rod as your primary steelhead fly fishing rod, and it would be a wonderful choice. Many people think a two handed/spey rod is all you need nowadays, but with a switch rod; you still have many properties of a single hander. You can do what a spey rod does and also what a single handed rod will do, and all in one rod. Hard to find a rod that will do everything, but you can really do a lot of fly fishing applications with a switch rod.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Trout and Steelhead Action: Satisfying Day Off Playing

My friend and I fished in the upper Willamette Valley yesterday for trout and steelhead. I managed to hook up with a steelhead on a long cast with my brand new switch rod while swinging a long purple and pink marabou string leech. The fish totally crushed my daylights leaping a 3 plus foot air, and then tail walked for 30 feet, and then sprinting into the backing on one solid sturdy run. Then it came towards me full throttle, and it became unpinned while I was frantically stripping it back in; in attempts to keep up with it. Bummer!

The trout fishing was stellar, and we got into cutthroats and some rainbows while fishing a Chubby Chernobyl Norm with a size 14 possie bugger dropped off of it. A super fast sinking poly leader off of the 6wt with a muddler caught a lot of fish while short stripping it back on a broadside swing. Softhackles swinging on a downstream 45 degree down and across were the ticket in a few spots also. The dry and dropper took the most fish, and the muddler was the second best producer, and the swung wets were only good here and there. Sometimes it can be the exact opposite, but that is what makes it interesting. We caught many fish, and most were on the smaller side on this day, but we did catch several fish that were looking fat and had some shoulders on them. The nice thing was that the trout were everywhere they should have been, and they were taking the presentations that we showed to them. You cannot control whether it'll be a big fish day or a small fish day, but it still is nice to see the target species responding to what you are giving them.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Late Lava Lake Fly Fishing Report

This is a report from last week, but I wanted to let you know about it regardless. We went up to Lava Lake for a little while, and got to wet a line for some trout. We started out going deeper with a bugger pattern, and a nymph dropped off of it, and had some follows, but it was not the ticket to catch fish when we were out there. I then started to throw a double wet fly rig towards the bank, and I stripped the flies back with quick finger retrieves. Right away a very nice rainbow came up from the depths and crushed the fly. Basically we were stripping damsel like nymph patterns and the fish were keyed on that.
Lava Lake
We caught a several fish, and enjoyed our short float while visiting Lava Lake. The best ticket for the day was stripping the flies shallow in the water column, and it was interesting that the fish took the damsel pattern every time. When you cut off the other fly, the presentation was ignored, but with two flies on the action was consistent.  The average fish were decent in size, and had very nice body shape and coloration, and they were very healthy fish. A fun way to spend a lazy afternoon!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Summer Steelhead Whooping! Check this out!

A few days ago, I ended up getting a call from Orvis, letting me know that if I wanted the day off, then I could go for it. I opted for it; since I had a bender of guiding and working for days on end. Nikki and I ended up going fishing late afternoon for summer steelhead on the McKenzie River. We got out there, and there were a lot of people being that it was the Saturday for the 4th of July weekend. Nonetheless, I ended up sticking a crazy steelhead in the very first spot that I decided to swing my blue and black moal leech. Unfortunately, the battle was very short lived, but it was super exciting. I got my butt kicked by that steelhead, and happened to make a little film clip of it. Somehow, Nikki caught the craziness on film, and also some foul language due to the battle going haywire. You'll notice some bleeps on the audio, and that is to make it clean. Too bad you could not hear the live version! Enjoy the video clip!

McKenzie River Fly Fishing Report 7/7/2011

The McKenzie River was pretty good yesterday, with fish taking golden stone dries occasionally and eating subsurface beadhead nymphs like a flashback pheasant tails and possie buggers. We got lots of nice fish and a several fish breached the 16 inch mark; with one fish being a real beast. The fish pictured below literally had a 6 inch trout juvenile hanging out of its mouth when we landed it. I aided the fish by pulling the fish out of its mouth, since it seemed like it was trying to get rid of it during the fight when we caught it. I though I caught the whole thing on video, but somehow I ended up not recording it. Bummer, since you never would imaging seeing such a large piece of food hanging out of  trout's mouth.
Nice Native Wild McKenzie River Rainbow Trout
Most of the fish during the day took either the flashback pheasant tail #12 or a possie bugger #12, but we did have several fish take the Chubby Chernobyl Norm, and it is always awesome seeing a trout come from the depths in the clear water to smash your dry. There were not many bugs out, but we did see some green drakes still straggling around and a few golden stones also.
McKenzie River Fly Fishing

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Washington County Fly Fishers - Guest Speaker Presentation

Washington County Fly Fishers Meeting
Brian Marz - Guest Speaker  

This evening from 7:30 to 8:30, I will be doing a presentation for the Washington County Fly Fishers on the McKenzie River and Fly Fishing Opportunities Within Driving Distance of Portland Oregon. Click here to see more.....

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Ideas For Holiday Weekend Fishing

Water levels are nice and stable with plenty of places to get out and fish at. You can go summer steelheading on the Clackamas, Santiams, McKenzie, or Willamette. You can trout fish anywhere on the McKenzie or upper Willamette, or upper Willamette tributaries like Salmon Creek, Salt Creek, or North Fork or the Willamette. Smallmouth Bass in the Columbia Sloughs on the side of the river, or carp in the same spots. Smallies on the main Umpqua River would be a red hot choice also. Deschutes trout fishing would be red hot, and other rivers like the Crooked or Metolius would all be worth checking out. It is prime time out there!

Have a wonderful 4th of July Weekend!!!

Friday, July 1, 2011

McKenzie Trout Fishing Was as Good As It Gets! 6/29/2011

McKenzie River Rainbow Trout - Taken on Dry and Dropper - June 2011
This past Wednesday, I was running a "Split Full Day Special", and the first part of the trip was for steelhead, and the second part of the trip was for trout.  The steelhead part of the trip was not so good, because the water was literally as crowded as it gets. There were more anglers around for the river to be able to hold. Everywhere you looked was a driftboat or a bank angler. It was a sight that would horrify those who seek solitude. Unfortunately, that is a factor that comes with good anadramous fishing. We were so frustrated with the crowd factor, and we had one brief hookup with a steelhead unbuttoning itself in a flipping cartwheeling areal. The weather was really looking promising though for the trout fishing that we planned on for the second leg of the trip.
A fine Rainbow Trout caught on the McKenzie River
It turns out that the fishing was as good as it gets for the McKenzie River. They were taking fish left and right, and one everything we tied on. The outfits we fished had either a dry and dropper or double wet flies. Both setups really crushed fish all day long, and it was literally a matter of what we decided to fish with in the given spot. The best thing about the day was how violently the fish were destroying the dries for the dry and dropper setup. One rod had a Chubby Norman with a prince nymph and the other rod had a the same dry, but with a possie bugger instead of the prince nymph. They took many fish on the dry and both the prince nymph and possie bugger cleaned the underwater area of all fish too.

The other two rods had wet flies for subsurface swinging, and that worked very well. Green caddis wets, yellow softhackles, and red butted softhackles were all taken fish with regularity. It was one of those days where I was having the best time possible as a guide watching my clients roping fish after fish with cheers of joy!