Thursday, August 25, 2011

Book Your Fall Coho Trip Now!! It Is Right Around The Corner....

Coho Caught Incidentally While Pursuing Fall Chinook
This year coho fishing is actually legal on many of the rivers in Oregon. Previously, you could only target cohos on several rivers in Oregon with hatchery coho runs, and often you would catch armloads of wild cohos while attempting to catch a fall chinook on the rivers that you were not allowed fish for coho salmon. It turns out the ODFW has finally looked at this situation, and they have opened up a bunch of rivers to coho fishing. I know it is going to create a lot of arguments one way or the other, but fact of the matter is that the last bunch of years you can catch like 20+ cohos in a day incidentally while you are trying to catch a legal fall chinook. It was insane the think how the fisheries were closed to coho fishing and opened to chinook fishing when you are catching so many cohos. Now ODFW has limited openings on several rivers for wild cohos until quotas limits are hit, or the season ends. A bunch of the rivers I fish and guide at are opened with these quota limits for wild cohos; so this creates a wonderful angling opportunity. If you are interested in booking a trip on a coastal river for wild cohos then email or call me, or if you are interested in taking hatchery run cohos on the systems that stock them at (Sandy River, Eagle Creek, Etc), the contact me as well.
Coastal Coho Caught Just Above Tidewater
You can fish catch and release for the wild cohos, even though it is open for a one fish limit for retention of a wild coho, or you can decide to take one fish. If you go on a trip, it is your decision to do what you want with the fish, but I always advocate catch and release. ZERO LIMIT with Catch and Release!!! On the flip side, one can argue that we fish for food, and you can also argue that it is less harmless to kill one fish then it would be to catch and release over 10 fish. Probably true! We can argue all we want about catch and release and catching wild cohos and the rivers being opened for them, but I know I am going to go fishing this fall on many of the rivers that are opened fall wild cohos. I will practice catch and release, and I may keep a chrome bright male that is deeply hooked and bleeding from the gills. Why not.... Anyhow, this is a blog entry to let those anadramous fish heads that there are rivers open for coho fishing this fall. Why not enjoy feeling one of them pull on your 8 or 9 wt rod, if we have such a wonderful angling opportunity that has not been opened in years.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Umpqua and Winchester Bay Mini Vacation Fun Times - Smallmouth Bass and Dungeness Crabs Galore

From last Thursday through Saturday, I had a mini vacation with Nikki and we took Filbert along. We hit the mainstem Umpqua River for smallmouth bass and the fishing was pretty good out there. We took a lot of fish sight nymphing on a smaller sized "steelhead nymph" called a Vitamin-D (chartreuse). It was the very best fly throughout the day, taking the most bass.
Filbert was getting in on the action with the Umpqua River Smallmouth Bass
We caught fish mostly with the method of sight nymphing using the Vitamin D fly, and occasionally we used a larger heavier fly called "Mr. Wiggles", which is a peacock dubbed body and has a hot salmon pink colored beadhead with a bunch of white rubber legs tied like a hula skirt behind the bead. It is easy to tie, and fishes well, but this day it was the ticket in the deeper drop off spots only. The water was very warm and felt perfect for swimming in between catching bunches of fish and needing cool down breaks.
Super warm wet wading and perfect weather with nobody out except for us
We were lucky too, with the average fish being very nice in size, and we ended up catching a few of this size.....
One of several very nice smallmouth bass caught on the Umpqua River
We then drove to Winchester Bay and wanted to clam, crab, and hopefully fish off the jetties (wind pending). The wind ended up being a total bust for throwing shooting heads and large flies off of the sketchy jetty rocks; so we decided crabbing would be a safer call. It turns out that it was a stellar plan. We ended up scoring in a wonderful way with dungeness crabs.
After a while, this was an average crab pot; with some being stuffed full.
We would pull up the pot, and each time there was a better catch than the previous crab pot! We had a few pots that were so stuffed full; where we would see a crab hanging from the outside, and the pot couldn't fit anymore crabs in it! It was really a blast seeing the bounty of the ocean, and doing very well out there crabbing for dungeness. It was cold and windy, but a totally awesome, and a wonderful way to spend an afternoon being restricted from tossing our flies in the water for rockfish.
Bundled up with too layers for summer; while pulling a trap full of dungeness crab
We ended up clamming afterward for some purple varnish clams, and we scored again. We collected enough for a dinner along with the crab, and we headed off to prepare our bounty. We had a wonderful time away from the city, and going to the part of the state that many Portlanders do not visit too often. When we got back, we had to prepare our bounty; cooking up the crabs and   steaming the clams. We pulled it off, and enjoyed a wonderful dinner. Oh, and this night that I am writing this entry, I just ate some homemade crab cakes that were totally amazing. Hope you are out enjoying the summer!!
Fresh purple varnish clams and dungeness crab from the harvested bounty

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Smallmouth Bass Fly Fishing Video - Two Part Video - Check it Out!

Last week I ran a trip for smallmouth bass on the Umpqua River. The day was gorgeous, and the water was absolutely perfect for wet wading and catching lots of fish. This is a two part video from the day for you to watch. With all of the warm weather, it is a great time for smallmouth bass fly fishing. The best fishing for the summer doldrums is fly fishing in a bathing suit and getting lots of aggressive fish. Enjoy the video!

Here is Part I

and here is Part II.......

Warm Water Fishing - Now That it Actually Feels Like Summer Out!

Well the weather this week is actually feeling like it's summer in Oregon, and so I have had to get my fill of warm water fly fishing. The other day, I had a few hours; so I took a ride up the Columbia with my wonderful girlfriend, and tried wetting a line for a carp. I succeeded with a fish that was rooting around in the weeds, and it was with the replaced 6wt rod that had been blown up a couple of weeks back on a huge smallmouth bass. The fish tore me up, and it was on the smaller side for a big Columbia carp. I was just dinking around in my flip flops when I hooked it; so it qualified as my flip flop fish for 2011. I always love to land something like a steelhead in flip flops; so this is at least a flip flop fish, and we will see if I can get a more glamorous species before the summer ends.
A nice little Columbia River Carp
I am about to take off for a few days to catch some smallmouth on the Umpqua River, and then I am heading towards the coast to target rockfish, lingcod, cabezon, etc. Hopefully, we can score some heavenly saltwater fish to pull on our lines. On the way back, we are going to harvest some clams (hopefully several types) to bring back to feast upon. It is time to enjoy the summer!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Lots to Do and Time is Running Out - Be Ready For It To All Melt Down!

This is the time of the year when you can get overwhelmed with what to fish for. You can go to the lower Deschutes and swing for steelhead. You can swing for steelhead in the McKenzie, Willamette, Clackamas, Santiams, Etc. You can smallmouth bass fish on the Umpqua or John Day. Sea Run Cutts are starting to make their way into coastal streams, and they create a fun opportunity to test your 5wt. Large mouth bass in the ponds and lakes are in prime shape now too, and throw some bluegills in the mix. Carp on the Columbia River shorelines can make for some fun and technical spot fishing. How about saltwater silvers or rockfishing by the rocks. Surf perch on the calmer swelled ocean days. Hmmmm......These are just some of the more obvious opportunities that we have, and mix in the trout fishing all over that I did not really throw into the mix. We have a lot of fly fishing to be had before the fall and winter roll around; making salmon and steelhead the obvious choice of angling fare.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Perfect Weather. Warm Crystal Clear Water, and Lots of Smallmouth Bass!

Yesterday, I ran a trip for smallmouth bass, and the weather was absolutely perfect, the water level was right where you would have wanted it for summertime fishing, and the fishing was good. What else can you ask for besides more fish to hand, but that is just sounding greedy. Fishing was relatively good, and the average fish size was pretty nice yesterday while we were out there. We saw lots of really large fish, but they were not being hoaxed too easily to take our offerings, and we tried lots of flies. We did get some awesome looks from some fish that ran up to about 6 pounds, but they simply gave us the "fin in the long run. It is still awesome to be sitting there with several oversized fish lurking about, and presenting flies; hoping to fool one of them. We did manage to fool many fish throughout the day though, and many of the fish were very nice looking.

A nice hard bodied smallmouth bass
We did manage to land one super sized trophy smallmouth bass, and it tore Jim up nicely before he landed it. While fighting the fish, a cookie cutter same sized trophy was following his fish around, and Gary was tempting it with some nymphs before it decided to scurry off into the depths. The larger fish out there have enough power to break a stout 5 or 6 wt rod if you attempt to horse them in faster than their yielding strength. Their intense bulldog attitude is what makes these fish so special.

Stoked on the trophy smallmouth bass!
Both guys commented on how much the smallmouth bass fly fishing on the Umpqua River is similar to trout fishing. The fish really take a liking to rubber legged buggy nymphs, and the steelhead nymph called a "Vitamin D" is really a hot fly for nymphing for smallmouth bass. They seem to not be able to resist it when they are hot on the bite, and the chartreuse version really has been catching their attention the last two times I was out there.

Steelhead nymphs with rubber legs work well on smallies....
It is really funny when you see a fish or two holding on less than a foot of water exposed to all of the elements, and then you throw your rubber legged nymph to them. When the fly hits the water, the fish race frantically to it, and crush it like they are a lion in a pit getting a gladiator. Sometimes fishing can actually be easy, and catching a fish like this with a silly easy cast is what it is all about! Lots of cheers and laughs come with fishing times like this.

You should have seen the aggression from this fish when it ate the fly........
The day was literally perfect; especially since this summer has had only a handful of over 80 degree days, and this day was in the mid eighties and the water temperature was 80 degrees and crystal clear. Only a light breeze kicked in after we ate lunch, and it would cease every few minutes; enabling us to see the fish taking our flies much easier. When the winds come up, it can be tough to spot fish, and then you simply turn your tactics over to blind fishing with streamers. Unfortunately, this day the streamer fishing was very slow, and so was the surface popper fishing.

Late Summer Beauty.....
Watching the scenery and experiencing the smallmouth bass fishing on a mid August day on the Umpqua is simply awesome. Not much more can represent summertime in Oregon, and what a day to be out there. We are truly lucky to live in such an awesome land we call Oregon. Especially when there are rods folded over with tight lines throughout the day, and hollers of joy are yelling about. Good times!

Smallmouth bass fishing will slow down soon as fall encroaches, but for the next couple of weeks it should remain red hot. It is one of the best fisheries to visit when we are in the summer doldrums. Smallmouth bass shine in the sunshine and intense heat. If wet wading in a bathing suit with wading shoes and catching lots of fish with laughs, cheers, and smiles, then you should sit on the couch and watch television fishing shows.
Lot of smiles comes with smallmouth bass fly fishing.....

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Umpqua River Smallmouth Bass Video

This video has been a total dilemma to get online. I had it up on YouTube and it would not display due to copyright issues with the music I downloaded with it. The solution I ended up coming up with was to download it to YouTube in a Part I and Part II version, and I ended up downloading the free YouTube music; so I could avoid copyright issues again. This way I can share the fun outing my friend Brian and I had on July 25th. It is kind of old news now, and I like to report the most up to date fishing reports. This is simply going to be a watch and enjoy video. Check it out hooked up to the big screen and sit back on the couch. The combined time of the two videos (which combined makes the entire video) is over 24 minutes. Enjoy!

It has been a cooler summer, but we will have a heat spell sometime (I assume); so if you would like to go on a smallmouth bass fly fishing guided trip, then call me at (541)-232-6360 or email me at

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Check Out This Smallmouth Bass!

Yesterday, after I finished working for the day, I decided to take a run up the Columbia to target some carp, and I happened to stumble upon this by accident....
Columbia River smallmouth bass taken on a carp fly
I was shocked when it hit because I made the cast like I would to a carp, and I saw that the cast was placed a little off of where I wanted it to be. I took the rod tip and raised it to move the fly a few inches to a better place before it descended through the water column, but while I was doing so the fish came up and clobbered the fly and took off; so I set the hook. The result was a super fast take off into a areal, while the line seized tight from me, and the rod blew up right above the butt of cork.I saw the rod slide down the line and land in the ground just shy of the water; so I reached down and grabbed it and held it tight to the stub of rod that I still had. The fish thrashed about, and I managed to land it. A nice woman with her family ended up taking pics of my super smallmouth bass. I was stoked on the fish, and bummed on the rod. Luckily, the rods are fixed under the warranty; so no biggie!
This smallmouth bass shattered the bottom section of this 6wt fly rod.....
It was lucky for me that the fish managed to stay on the end of the line while I was reaching down to grab the broken piece of rod. It would have been a total bummer to loose the fish and to break the rod, but a fish like that was worth the rod shattering. I also managed to get into two carp before that incident, and one was nice and large and the other was about 4-5 pounds. A good afternoon spent after a hard morning working!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Summer Steelhead Report and Video

Last week I was busy guiding; so I did not have much time to post entries onto the blog, but now I am playing catch up. This past Wednesday and Thursday, I guided two awesome regular clients who are also avid steelheaders. We had good fishing on both days, and one days had multiple hookups; while the other day was gifted with a huge fish that battled like you think a steelhead should. We took fish on black and purple moal leeches, pink and purple moal leeches, and a ostrich pattern that closely looks like a black and blue moal leech, but it was weightless. We fished fly lines ranging from full floating to type V, depending on the spot we were fishing, and the sunlight conditions. The fish have been hot as rockets when you get hooked up, and there have been some nice large fish this season. Below is a video from a couple of fish from last weeks fishing. Enjoy!