Monday, March 30, 2015


My wife Nikki and I like to fish a special place every year if possible, and due to the busy schedules our lives have dealt to us, we decided to go much earlier than the typical timing for visiting this place has been in the past. I had a five day window to play, and Nikki lined up her work schedule to be able to go, and best of it all it was pretty much her idea to drive far and see some canyon scenery at our special place. We planned on being fishing and chilling there from a Thursday through a Sunday; leaving on a Wednesday afternoon and to heading back home to arrive Sunday evening. Unfortunately Nikki felt really bad on the Friday and I was worried about being far away from home with my wife not feeling so good. We decided to bail on a whim Friday around 5:30 pm when we packed up camp as fast as we could, and headed back to the PDX metro area. So instead of a fishing extravaganza, I fished a day a half, and Nikki barely even fished more than a spot. We didn't take any pictures of the big brown trout (up close and personal) that exist at this place, but you can archive back to last May 2014 to see the fish that this place has to offer.
Stunning canyon scenery lines the river
What I did experience was interesting; since I had fished this place two times before (both times for a couple of days). The water flow this time was 12-13 CFS compared to the 40-somthing CFS the first time and the 130-something CFS compared to last time. The river was more like a pond to pond chain with a leaking spring creek like flowing trickle in between. It seemed from my observations that the fish lived in the ponds mainly, and swam up into the flowing areas to feed. Once the hatches kicked in the fish would slide up into the flowing water to feed, and then once the anglers would beat the water down, the fish would slide back down into the ponds to escape the pressure. The fishing was good for watching big sly fish eating your offering, but not good for "the fight" of the fish. They simply had no where to go, and seemed to be they were messed up and impacted from the drastically low flows. At least the fishing was still really good, but not to the epic levels I experienced with the higher CFS coming out of the dam on the previous visits. At least we could observe Rock Doves fly around while a Golden Eagle patrolled the airways. In the night you could hear the Screech Owls making their noise, and the slurps and cur-plunks from slab browns. The bounty of avian life there is amazing, and the canyon splendor is stunning.
Our awesome camp. We have been here before when all of the vegetation is in thick.
I will be back, but I know now that I like this place when there is good flows of water coming down the river. The fish feed harder on more stuff all over the place, they chase down and attack streamers harder than I ever imagined, and I know from several sources that you can mouse them up! Bring on the water!!
The view of the water on the lower end of the pond water before it tightens up into a "riffle" trickle
Fish on!
One of several fish caught on this little trickle coming through (which was the whole flow of the entire river)
Watching for the fish to react to the presentation....
Fish were sipping on dries and feeding in the film in inches of water on this little rivulet coming in.
On tight with a fish caught on a weightless flashback baetis nymph in size #20
Nikki standing up on the river bank with some stunning scenery around.
You can tell I am checking out the scenery while fishing.
Testing out the camera on the tripod with the fire.....pretty cool!
A little woodpecker friend
Letting the gear warm up and dry out after the fishing session in the morning.
The browns would move into the shallow sludge near the banks in the ponds to root around like a carp.
We saw a pool that had lots of carp and some of them were really large.

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