May 25, 2015
This week marks another significant change in the fishing opportunities this week as many of our local streams open up for trout fishing. The following is a basic briefing of the fishing synopsis for our local streams
East Fork of the
: Open for catch and release trout from May 23
to October 31. NOT OPEN FOR STEELHEAD OR
West Fork of the
Eagle Creek near Bonneville Dam: Open for catch and release trout from May 23 until October 31. It’s also open for fin-clipped steelhead and salmon until August 15.
There has been an “emergency” rule change to increase the limit to three fin-clipped steelhead and up to two hatchery (fin-clipped) Chinook, but no more than three fish may be retained. Only two of those fish may be hatchery Chinook.
White Salmon River: From the old, dilapidated bridge below the old powerhouse upstream to
Northwestern Lake bridge:
From May 23 to June 30, two hatchery (fin-clipped) fish may be retained,
either salmon or steelhead. From July
1-31, the limit increases to three. It
appears that retention of hatchery
steelhead will be mandatory here too.
Trout fishing is open on the White Salmon from the first Saturday in June (June 6) upstream of the dilapidated bridge near the powerhouse until October 31. Trout fishing from the mouth up to the powerhouse bridge is closed until August 1.
This does not solve the problem of lack of accessible water on the White Salmon. It is a steady class IV-V whitewater with steep canyon walls and is not recommended to go down there without serious whitewater gear (do not take a framed boat down there, paddle rafts only!) There are serious waterfalls on every section and no actual boat ramps. The traditional bait hole at the mouth of the river is still very shallow and filled in with silt, but is starting to carve out a little bit. It’s a beautiful river with no access and dangerous water, no hatchery or wild fish, just the occasional stray. It will take twenty years for the stray steelhead and salmon to establish a decent population after the dam (with no fish passage) was removed a few years back.
Rainbow Trout on the
is still the number one destination for local anglers right now. Although the stonefly hatch has reached its
peak, fishing should remain really good for the next few weeks, but anglers
must have a variety of flies in the arsenal.
Make sure that you have nymph and dry versions of PMDs/PEDs, yellow
sallies, and caddis (mostly in drab/dark colors). Be prepared, fish can turn on to any “micro
hatch” that happens during the day with fish moving from one pattern to the
next relatively quickly. An angler must
be prepared to change flies often. Even
if a pattern was working an hour and two riffles ago, there is no guarantee
that fish will still be eating it later in the day. Deschutes River
Remember that there is NO FISHING FROM A BOAT ON THE DESCHUTES and also, fishing on the Warm Springs Reservation is highly regulated, so check the regulations before you start fishing on the wrong side… Some sections require a permit and others are prohibited all together.
Spring Chinook are still looking good, although catch rates have dropped a little bit lately. Pressure has slowed quite a bit too. There have been few, if any anglers (besides Ian) down at the mouth of the Hood River lately. Salmon can be found in any of our local rivers right now, but check to make sure that they are open to angling before you go.
has been kicking out some summer steelhead as of late and
pressure (and the flow) is pretty darn low.
Rivers that are closer to the ocean tend to get earlier returning fish
than upstream tributaries like our local Columbia Gorge streams. That being said, there are fresh steelhead in
our rivers every month of the year, but chasing steelhead is a numbers game and
you should go where the numbers are higher if you want success. Clackamas River
Smallmouth Bass are an underrated fish around here. They are big and plentiful and no one really ever fishes for them. Look for rocky, shallow areas where wind and currents push against the rocks. You will be mostly unsuccessful if you are fishing in wind-protected areas. Unfortunately, smallies like to hang out in some of the windiest areas around. There are tons of places on the
that a guy could catch a mess o’ bass, but the key is finding some place that
is getting pounded by the wind.
is another great place to catch smallies.
The access is easy and the fish are plentiful. They are not as big as their kin in the John Day River Columbia River, but they are tons of fun
nonetheless. Thunderstorms blew the
river out last week, but it should clear up by mid-week.
Lakes have been fishing really well.
is one of my favorite lakes to wet a line.
The fish are plentiful there and there are occasionally some
bigguns. Lost Lake has been fishing well too. I really like Goose Lake Timothy Lake,
and Clear Lake
up near . Mt. Hood
is a little quieter than Timothy, but they can both produce some really nice
fish. Trillium is stocked with “jumbo”
trout and has some real hogs in it, but it is a small lake that is popular with
hikers, swimmers and day-drinkers, so solitude is rare during on a hot
day. Clear Lake
I would be fishing damselfly nymphs in most of the lakes during this time of year, but Callibaetis hatches can be thick, and I don’t know too many trout that will refuse to eat a well-presented leech pattern.
As always, we are happy to talk fishing any time. Give us a call if you have any specific questions on local rivers, gear, and tactics, or if you just want some encouragement to get out of the office.