Monday, September 26, 2011

Steelhead Fly Fishing Class

This October 9th, 2011, I will be teaching a "On the Water" Steelhead Fly Fishing Class. It will be a class showing you the all around aspects of fly fishing for steelhead. For more information, or if you want to sign up for it,  stop by the Orvis Shop at Bridgeport Village. 


2011 Summer's Final Day - Cutty Extravaganza

A Super Spotted Coastal Cutthroat Trout
This past week, I ran a trip on the final day of the summer, and the cutthroat trout fishing was nothing short of red hot. The weather was warm too, but not after a several hour overcast spell that shaded the water and made the cutties feel fearless. It was fun out there, and you could more or less call where you were going to have your flies taken.
This Coastal Cutthroat Trout Fell To a Swung Wet Fly
At first, it was slower than it could have possibly been, but somehow the overcast settled in, and the fishing quality erupted into a fun session. Interestingly enough, after several hours, the sun burned a hole through the sky, and when it opened back up from the blanket of overcast, the fishing slowed down dramatically. Luckily, the guys had their fill of fish catching by then, and we fished our way to the takeout.
October Caddis Pupal Shucks & Golden Stone Nymph Exoskeleton
We took fish with a dry and dropper rig, and the nymph was taken more, but the attention to the dry fly was very significant. We also swung double wet fly rigs, and the fish seemed to take more or less many offerings, but larger softhackles with beadheads worked very well. Both Prince Nymphs and Possie Buggers took many fish while operating the dry and dropper rigs. The dry flies we were using were the Chubby Chernobyl and the Chubby Norm. October caddis pupal shucks are on the rocks; so I would not hesitate to throw those now, and I have seen some adults on some of the area rivers. The October Caddis will only increase in frequency and numbers out there.
One of many nice Cutthroats Caught on Summer's Last Day
Click Here For Video

We also are having some rain and that can make things really interesting out there. Between salmon runs, sea run cutthroats, waking up the summer steelhead into full force, and whatever else you can think of; fall is here. Get out and FISH!!! It is time!!!

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Moving Has Taken Its Toll On the Blog - More Posting Soon!!

Recently, I have been moving from one part of the city to another part; just several minutes away. Between guiding, working part time at the Orvis Shop, and the moving, I have had little time to post how the fishing has been. Soon that will all end, as the move is pretty much complete. Yesterday, I was out guiding on the upper Willamette Valley, and the fishing was really good for trout. We caught a lot of fish, and the size range was from small 6" rainbows and cutts to about 15" on the upper end of things. The guys totally hammered fish for several hours, and we took fish on dry and droppers and swung softhackled wet flies. I will post a more detailed report later, but I wanted to put the word out about the hot fall trout fishing being here; despite the unseasonably warm weather we are having.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Fall is Time For Cutthroats on the Coastal Rivers

Coastal Cutthroat Taken on a Turk's Tarantula
Fall is starting on the 23rd of September, and that means it is time for cutthroat fishing on Oregon's coastal streams. The north coast streams received the first small fall freshet, and that signifies time to go for sea run cutthroat trout. It also mean that some fresh salmon should have squeaked into some of the systems also. The cutty's are elusive and the biggest challenge is finding them. You can be in a spot one day and they can be all over the place, and then they are devoid the very next day.
Fall can off lot of cutthroats like this one on Oregon's coastal streams.....
Fishing for sea run cutts also can be challenging because sometimes they are in fast riffle water that is broken with boulders and other times they are in the foamy slow "frog water" that has a one inch foam line above it. Some days they want dead drifted dries, and other times they want the fly stripped back like a mini bass popper. Subsurface streamers work very well for them, and sometimes the Spruce fly is all you need, and other times it will not take a fish no matter how hard you work it through the likely spots.

Fishing for sea runs is very fun, and can be super rewarding when you time it right. The only way that you can experience the thrill of a fresh sea run cutthroat is to get out there. Take a trip to a coastal river, and see if you can lock into a mini chromer. When you get into a sea run cutthroat that is 14 inches or larger; you will be hooked on angling for them. A sea run on a 4-6 weight fly rod is a very fun game fish to feel on the end of your line, and you will be one of the few people out there fishing for them. Enjoy the wonderful fishing opportunities that we have in Oregon!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

October Caddis Time has Begun!

October Caddis Pupal Husks - McKenzie River
 Well the first signs of fall "hatchativety" have begun on the McKenzie River. October caddis have started to hatch; which indicates the fall flies are starting up, and the trout will be keying in on them on the Willamette Valley Rivers. I have not seen any adult October caddis flying yet, but using one can be a good bet from here on out through the fall. If you would like to learn more about the life cycle of the October Caddis check out Bugwater by Arlen Thomason. It is a totally amazing book that every angler should have a copy of. Fall can be an amazing time for trout fishing in the Willamette Valley, and the trout really love to eat those large caddis on the right day when the conditions all line up. Also skating dry flies on certain spots for steelhead with a pattern resembling one of those fall big bugs can produce some awesome takes. Get ready for the fall fishing!

Fall October Caddis Slither Up On the Rocks To Hatch Out Into Adult Form

Fall is Steelhead Time!

Stoked Angler With First Caught Steelhead - McKenzie River
Now that fall is right around the corner, it is time to start thinking about fall steelheading. It can be the very best time of the year for getting into numbers, and you can have some memorable days out there. Right now, we are in a heat spell; which can slow things down dramatically. When the air gets that fall coolness to it; then it is time to get out there. The best fishing for summer steelhead is right around the corner; so don't miss out on the opportunity.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Deschutes Winds and Dust....... Chromers in Between the Wind Gusts....ASp

Spey Casting in 40+ MPH Wind Gusts during a Dust Storm on the Deschutes
 The past couple of days on the lower Deschutes was nothing short of WINDY. We got blown around, our casts were diverted to targets not planned on, and the dust filled the air at times. Was it fun.....? Somehow yes..... At times, it was downright miserable though. Try casting into the wind when it is coming at you, then coming upstream, then downstream, then behind you. Try floating your boat down in the river in it also. Try to pick up your buddy downriver from you only 15 yards, but the winds are ripping so hard where you simply can't. My arms are soar, and from just keeping the oars planted into the current to keep the boat tracking. Casting was nearly impossible at times, and it was not a matter of snap T's and double speys. It was about somehow getting it out there, and making the fly swing across the current. At times the fly would not swing because the upstream wind was so stiff where it caused the surface current to blow upstream also. We then simply put on the Thingamabobbers then; so we could get some form of a presentation.

Displaying a nice hatchery Deschutes River Steelhead
 The fishing was slow the first day for us, but I did manage to get a very memorable fish that absolutely torched me, and literally went about 150 feet into my backing on the second run. It was literally only about 4 pounds too, and wild as can be. There are lots of small wild fish out there right now, and also many fish with gill net marks on them.
Tight Line on a steelhead during the sunshine
 The second day was filled with so much wind; to the point where we fished less hard than the day before.  It was simply too annoying at times to challenge yourself to cast with the swirling extreme winds, and dust blowing around. We did run into two friends on the river, and we hung out and fished a run that produced for us very well. Between my buddies Jim and Brian, they hooked several chromers all withing a short while; indicating a slug of fish was moving through the spot. All in all a fun trip, but the wind was a horror, and I will have to get back out there to get a less windy session in.