Saturday, October 20, 2012

October McKenzie Fly Fishing Update - Photos

Well I have been out touch lately on a heavy guiding bender; so I have been away from the computer. Sorry for the lack of blog postings in the recent days, but this is the last month of the dry season fly fishing, and the weather is currently swinging into the wet season. Here are some pics from the fishing trips I have been experiencing recently. We had one big gusher that blew the river out for a day, and now we are on more of a normal weather pattern again. Fishing should be good over the next couple of weeks as long as the weather cooperates. Between fall trout fishing, fall summer steelheading, and fall salmon; there is plenty of good opportunities to engage in fly fishing-wise.Get out there and experience it before the wet season kicks in, and you get cases of "cabin fever"
This Coastal Cutty took this October Caddis Dry Fly

Some red fall colors on the banks of the McKenzie River

This rainbow took a Morrish's Super Pupa dead drifted under a October Caddis Dry

On tight to a McKenzie River summer steelhead after the first fall freshet....

Summer steelhead taken on a dead drifted pink glo bug.....

Angler with a nice hard bodied summer steelhead caught in October

A nice big buck summer steelhead that I managed to catch in between my guided trips....

On tight with a large McKenzie River rainbow "redside" trout that took a swung October Caddis Pupa 
Pic of a fine McKenzie River Rainbow Trout caught on a October Caddis Pupa pattern

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Dead Drifting Trout Beads Behind Spawning Spring Chinook Produces Large Rainbows on McKenzie River

One of the first landed rainbows that hit the 18" mark caught on a 6mm trout bead
 Last Wednesday, I was booked with two regular clients that are always game for a good fly fishing opportunity. Well during late September and into early October, the spring Chinook salmon do their spawning on the shallow cobbles of many of the river's edges and tailouts. Not many people think of fishing egg pattens behind the redds, but I have seen large rainbows holding around spawning salmon for years now.

Rainbows feeding on salmon spawn have really good food energy for good health
 In the past, I have dead drifted trout beads on the McKenzie behind spawning salmon, and I have had some success doing it. I have not tried it too much beyond some sampling though; so I decided to give it an honest go for a few days on the river. It was working well, and I had seen some huge rainbows here and there, and wanted to see them on the end of the line now that I knew the fish were keyed into spawn.
This McKenzie River "Redside" has some really beautiful colors......
 This past Wednesday, Rose and Dave were totally game to see how the "trout beads" would work; so we decided to do a float where there are lots of spawning redds to give it a whirl. Right off the bat, Rose got into a slab of a rainbow that tore off almost a whole fly line, before she brought in the over-sized rainbow. It was of course on the "trout bead".
Another fine McKenzie Rainbow caught on a 6mm trout bead (natural roe)
We ended up catching fish at every salmon redd, and they were all rather nice sized fish. We also caught every single fish on a 6mm trout bead while fishing around the spawning redds, and we did not catch any trout on any standard trout flies until we were significantly down river from any spawning redds. It was rather amazing to see how keyed in the big wild trout were on drifting eggs, and how much they really like to hang out around the redds when the salmon are actively spawning. 
Rose proudly displaying one of her several large McKenzie River rainbows
What is really amazing is that now it is basically too late to do this anymore for this season. The spring Chinook have basically completed their spawning, and are mostly dead now. Like many fly fishing opportunities, it is something that only lasts for a few days, and then it is over. If you want to try dead drifting egg patterns for trout on the McKenzie, it is too late, and you will have to try it out next year. Who says you cannot apply this technique to some other fisheries like sea run cutthroats, or other places that will have spawning fish soon. Enjoy your fall fishing, and remember to think outside of the box when it comes to fly fishing and success.

Tight Lines......
A nice healthy salmon egg fed McKenzie River rainbow trout
Enjoy the video from this past Wednesday:

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Willamette Tributary Creek Wild Native Rainbow Video

Recently, I had a afternoon to fish and hike around with Nikki, and we climbed on the opportunity with the fall weather acting more like summer. There is a magic fishing spot I used to frequent back in the day that I have hyped up to have great Chanterelles, and I know how much Nikki loves mushroom hunting for fancy wild forest edibles when they are available; so that was the place we decided to check out. We thought it was not going to have the Chanterelles , but it turns out that I fell over a log, and low and behold......they were there right where I fell to the ground. We picked a good bit considering the bone dry weather, and they were really nice.
I tripped over a log, and fell near Chanterelles; which Nikki & I picked while walking to the secret fishing hole
 We walked to the magic fishing spot I found about 17 years ago, and have not fished it in about 5 years or so, and it was really grown over, with not too many signs of any recent human activity. Lots of elk hoof prints, and simply awesome gorgeous forest. We got to the spot, and it was as cool as I remembered it to be, minus one old tarnished soda can that some loser left there a few years back 10 feet back from the creek's bank. Otherwise it seemed unscathed from human interest, like it felt the first time I got found this fishing hole where I fished a magic pmd hatch to rising fish for hours.
Nice native rainbow trout on tight on Willamette River tributary creek
 This time I decided to have Nikki have the first go at it. I was showing her my magic spot, and she was experiencing it to herself for her very first time. She fished it was better than I did for my first attempt back in the day, as she roll casted all over the pool's possible holding lies. She was working the pool from the lower end to the higher end with a #10 October Caddis dry fly, and I was filming her and I was digging the way that she was covering the pool with nice effective presentations.
Native Rainbow trout like this one may never see an artificial fly before you present yours to it....
 On one cast, a feisty rainbow came up and drilled the dry fly, and Nikki came tight to the fly line. The fish was on, as she hollered, "Got it!" I was totally stoked! It was so awesome to see this all going down! My favorite little fishing hole from "back in the day" producing the best trout possible for what the creek could offer. All of the trout action combined with finding Chanterelles before getting to fish the spot! That is basically the perfect day for Nikki, and seeing how stoked she was made me super delighted as well. It was a really special time taking her to my magic fishing spot from a long time ago, and having the experience pan out as perfect as it ever could have.
The only thing that messed with this fish before Nikki caught it was an Osprey for a brief encounter.
After Nikki landed the fish, I fished the pool for a little while. A beautiful cutthroat that went close to a foot long ate my October Caddis dry fly, and gave up a little tussle.  I admired it briefly, and let it swim back into the crystal clear waters that seem like nothing is there, but water and cobbles. We left the special piece of water to heal from our adventures; so it could become what it was again before we got there. You have to love the fact that there is still water that people rarely fish, and there are fish that respond to the most classic of presentations. A dry fly drifted over them may cause them to rise, even if there is not much going on at the time regarding real aquatic flies on the surface. Fly fishing traditionally is about throwing a dry fly on the surface, and seeing what may come up to eat it. How cool is it when you can do that all day long in a crystal clear creek with nobody around......

Enjoy the video........