Monday, May 12, 2014


This past weekend my wife Nikki and I took an adventure east for our first anniversary to fish a sweet tailwater fishery with numerous large fish that tend to act like they live in a spring creek. It was the perfect timing for the first heavy duty pale morning dun hatches with fish feeding greedily like they were kids eating candy with a craze. There were also sporadic caddis mixed in here and there with some good pulses of "hatch-a-tivity", and the fish would gorge on them for those moments. Fish were eating midges in the pond like pools, but there was no need to mess with that technical type of fishing compared to the action you could see and receive with the PMD's. Below is a little photo essay to see what we got to see and experience out there......
The view from where we decided to set up the camp, and the look of the weather when we arrived...
After we set up camp, a little "evening rise" was occurring with pale morning duns and caddis...
This one really filled the net up. It was actually longer than the net from tip of the handle.
The desert landscape was loaded with spring blooms all over.
Catching browns with my Superfine Touch & CFO Reel is too fun & way too classic!
The smaller fish like this are far and few, but they are very scrappy and are really pretty too.
You know you have good fishing when your net is filled like this many times during the day.
The CDC PMD Comparadun was by far the best "fish catching fly" of the day for us. Too many fish for this fly....
For many hours of the day we caught fish like this on dead drifted size 16 Pale Morning Duns.
Smiles result from gorgeous canyons surrounding you with fish rising to dry flies all around you, and you have tight lines.
A nice deep bodied brown trout that crushed a CDC PMD Comparadun.
A close up view of one of Nikki's slabola browns that I got to see slurp her little PMD dry fly
"The Camp"
Letting this girl get ready for her swim off after we were lucky enough to admire her.
The scenery is awesome in every direction you look....
The hardest fighting most athletic browns out there tend to the be the 15"-18"ers.
Browns are really cool where some of them have lots of spots, and some have few that are spaced apart.
We thought how this arch must have a name; yet how many people actually know of it.....?
Netting another fine fish!
What a fishery! To think that you catch lots of these in a given day on the water.....
Fish on! A little finesse with authority goes a long way.....
Nikki seemed to catch several of the biggest fish of the trip, and all on dry flies.
Streamers worked really well, and it was actually a change of pace from dry fly fishing.
This side channel had some really gorgeous cobbles lining it....
A rather sweet agate that was next to the obvious one that you can see in the picture above.
This same side channel had a little spot on the downstream end where I hooked and lost my largest brown.

The view every which way was really stunning....
Fishing the "evening rise" with a caddis hatch that was occurring in the riffle above....
This wall had a bunch of rock doves that would occasionally get charged by a golden eagle.
Wild roses were abound, and there was even a grove of them in a riparian area I walked through
We were really fortunate to experience lots of these gorgeous fish, and most caught on dry flies.
Before we headed back home, we had to say goodbye to our new friends we made camping.
We were sad to leave, but we will be back again....
Eventually we had to decide to head back home, but the drive home out of the canyon is stunning.
A classic Magritte sky and a road to the horizon......
A little white knuckling through the Cabbage Hill stretch of Highway 84.
Quite the scenery seeing the Cabbage Hill landscape all green with its spring dress on.
Luckily we had none of this to experience......
Lots of giant wind turbines on the ride to stare at.....

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

McKenzie Report with Pics From 5-1-14

Last week I was out on the McKenzie and the fishing ranged from "hot as it can it can get" to "fair". I saw large McKenzie green caddis flopping around, and lots of lingering March Brown mayflies still coming off as well. There could have been an all time Carpenter Ant hatch last Thursday 5/1, but the wind did not rip enough to knock those large morsels of trout candy into the drink. I did see a few explosive rises on nothing I could see on the surface; so they were likely ant rise-forms since it is hard to see a black bug drowning in the surface film. Pale morning duns and a mixed bag of other random caddis were also hatching off the waters as we fished; especially on Thursday (the warmest and calmest day so far).

Fishing was good on various setups, and fishing a "dry and dropper" with a buoyant green caddis dry fly pattern and a Possie Bugger nymph proved to be all you needed for that type of a rig. Swinging wet flies in the surface film with a classic "down and across" presentation using double wet fly rig was rather productive as well. We fished a setup with a smaller yellow softhackle or various toned down/sparser green caddis or march brown tied at the end, and a large green caddis wet or March brown wet tied off a dropper tag about 3 feet up from the end of the leader. Plain old down and dirty nymphing was also very productive, and we fished a golden stone nymph with a large possie bugger. It was another setup that never needed changing because it was so effective out there; getting many consistent take-downs on the Thingamabobber.
Bruce on tight to a line ripping rainbow on a down and across swung wet
This fish took a heavily dressed green caddis wet while there were naturals bouncing on the water
Big Fish Double!! Notice the tight fly line on the middle left edge of the pic.
Bruce smiling during the double. Life's good when you have nice wild rainbows making your reels sing!
One of the fish that came from that double....
Bruce is also smiling about that fine fly rod he just picked up the day before at Orvis Portland
One of many fine fish that Bruce and Blaine caught on their great day of fishing....
Blaine on tight with another line ripping rainbow that was hooked up while nymphing.
That fine rainbow took a golden stone nymph. Too bad it didn't want to stick around for a pic.
First cast in the next spot down river, and it results in a sweet "tight line" grab while swinging a wet fly.
On tight to the nicest rainbow of the day while using the Olive Chubby Chernobyl & Possie Bugger
This acrobatic line ripping rainbow may be slender, but it was 20"-21" long on the "enhancing" Measure Net.