Aug 13, 2017

Columbia Gorge Fishing Report (8/13/2017)

The heat wave has finally broken in the Gorge!

Pretty decent view
Cooler weather has settled in this weekend, with a bit of rain in the western Gorge, and undoubtedly the humans and fish are enjoying the respite.

For those of you who don't know, I am leaving the Gorge Fly Shop as a full time employee to pursue a teaching career.  I will still be a part of the team and hope to continue to contribute to the blog.  Thank you all for reading my work and for being our customers! 

The summer steelhead run, as predicted, is pretty dismal so far (see graphs below), and the fishing has been reflective of that.  Sam of Steelhead Outfitters has gotten his clients on some fish on Deschutes, but otherwise it has been slow.  There have been a few reports of fish caught on the Klick, and I had a chrome donkey absolutely whoop me in 3 seconds flat, but the fishing has not been easy.  There have been more large 3 salt fish caught this year though.  We are all hoping that the run will be late, as the spring chinook run was this year.  One thing I can say, is that the pressure has been lower than normal, and with the Columbia closed the fish are getting harassed a bit less.  There are certainly worse ways to spend your day than swinging flies in a beautiful piece of water, even without a grab.  Hopefully this cooldown will ease the stress on the fish and we will see better returns and fishing.


Lucky for us, there are a ton of other fishing opportunities in the Gorge!

Lake fishing for trout has remained excellent, particularly in the higher elevation lakes. Sinking lines are the name of the game, and sometimes you can't have one that sinks too fast.  My dad and I did well fishing leeches in the deepest part of the lake on type 5 and type 7 lines.  I have also continued to catch nice fish on damsel and dragonfly nymphs fished on intermediate lines and even a few on damsel adults.
Damselfly nymph muncher!

Trout fishing on the Deschutes has been pretty good as well, especially in the evenings and mornings.  The caddis hatches are pretty epic this time of year, and the trout gorge themselves in larvae/pupae during the day and eat the adults in the evening/night.  A dead caddis pattern can also be deadly early in the morning.

High mountain streams have also been a great way to escape the heat.  Wet wading with a 2wt and some dry flies is pure joy.  The fish might not be huge, but they are willing and happy to eat most any attractor dry fly.
Beauty of a high mountain cutt!
Gabe and I had a killer topwater evening!
Smallmouth fishing on the Columbia is in full summer mode.  I have had a few stellar days fishing shad/smolt patterns deep and big topwaters fast and furious in the mornings and evenings.  I recommend a fast sinking line, like the SA Sonar Titan, as it makes repetitive casting much easier and gets down to the fish quick.  I also love the Wavelength Titan for my topwater flies.

Flows:  The USGS sites give us real-time flows, while the NOAA site shows us predictions based on weather patterns.  Both are invaluable tools.

Hood River:



Deschutes near Madras:

Deschutes at the mouth:

Columbia River
Bonneville Dam Water Temps
Columbia @ Hood River (The mouth of the Hood backs up at 75 feet)

As always, we are happy to talk fishing anytime.  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.  541.386.6977

*Add us on Instagram for more fishy content! @gorgeflyshop

Ryan Van Duzor
Gorge Fly Shop | Product Specialist

Read More from the "Bearded Pescador"

"Fly Fish the World with Us"

Destination Fly - Las Pampas Lodge

Las Pampas Lodge – Rio Pico, Argentina
Where is the lodge and how do I get there?
The Lodge is located in the Chubut Province of central Patagonia within the heart of the Rio Pico area. It’s located approximately 150 miles south (a 3 hour drive) of Esquel.

Las Pampas is in a remote and beautiful corner of central Patagonia.
Where do they fish?
Las Pampas has nearly two dozen fishing accesses that cover a large variety of water types including lakes, small to medium sized freestone rivers and spring creeks. This provides anglers with opportunities to sample multiple different types of water or concentrate solely on those they most prefer.

Aug 11, 2017

Destination Fly - Carrileufu River (2 of 4)

Carrileufu River Lodge – Central Patagonia, Argentina
The lodge is conveniently situated near the quaint rural town of Cholila just outside the northern border of Los Alerces National Park, a park widely considered one of Argentina’s most stunning and biologically diverse national treasures. Carrileufu River Lodge has access to a vast network of crystalline lakes and rivers in the Chubut Province of central Patagonia that offer incredible sight fishing for rainbows, browns, brook trout and landlocked Atlantic salmon.  
2017/2018 Availability (as of 7.19.17):Dec 2-9 (4 rods)
Dec 9-16 (4 rods)
Jan 6-13 (2 rods)
Feb 17-24 (4 rods)
Feb 24-Mar 3 (4 rods)
Mar 3-10 (4 rods)
Mar 10-17 (4 rods)

Aug 10, 2017

Haunted by "The One"

Yeah...You know what I'm talking about. The One! Or Many! The fish that makes you lose sleep at night! The fish that haunts you!

I can't remember a year go by that I didn't suffer defeat from a piscatorial kind. I can recall three within this very year and the most recent was just last week. I don't know what's worst, not knowing what the loss really was or trying to figure out how it could have been prevented. Regardless the experience is haunting me.

This years first account came early in the winter swinging flies in an icy cold stream. To add insult to this injury the location of the loss has defeated me in the past as well. It's a high percentage micro seam that when you get your fly to swing just right, hold on! On this day the take was so solid it felt like I snagged into the rocky bottom. Holding steady pressure something started to give and in the next second the explosion of a solid rainbow came leaping into the air and out came my fly. Only a glimpse still burns in my memory.
Over and over, what could I have done different!? I don't want to talk about it.

Another frame etched in memory occurred just a couple months ago on a warm water reservoir. I was enjoying a day of fly rod fishing for bass with great success I might add. Dropping a streamer into the depths of a boulder field I detected a tell tale tick. Upon hook-set, I knew right away I hooked into a good fish but it wasn't until I saw his bronze tiger striped flank that he was well above average. I held tight to him but he dove for the depths and somehow in that rocky underworld he managed to escape.
Like Houdini...How did he do it!? I checked my tippet and fly was still intact. Although I was happy he didn't get free only to deal with a hook in his mouth but at the same time mad knowing my system did not fail. Must of been me! But what could I have done different?

This most recent event was even witnessed. The setting, a pristine trout stream nowhere in Wyoming. Fishing a hopper and having a great day. Casting was good, fish where happy and looking up. A seam with a bubble line appeared up ahead and I stretched a cast to ride a downstream drift. Shortly into the drift the big brown appeared, as my guide put it, like the scene straight out of the movie Jaws. Almost in shock, I still remembered to set the hook but it was not meant to be. We briefly connected but it wasn't this brown's first rodeo. Back-stepping while stripping, I could never keep a tight line on him as he shot downstream and escaped my hook. What could I have done different!?

Is it skill or lack of. Is it luck. Is it fate. Although I never want to see a failed piece of the puzzle it's almost easier to accept knowing that there is something to blame. In all three of my accounts there was not an equipment failure.

Although scared for my next failure I must let passion drive me forward and not fear whatever the outcome is to be. Try and try again and success should be assured. Or will it! This is what haunts me!
The Tormented Angler

Gorge Fly Shop 

"Fly Fish the World with Us"

Aug 7, 2017

Destination Fly - Sandy River Lodge

Remote and Spectacular
The Sandy River is located in one of the most remote and spectacular regions of Alaska. This wide open wilderness has its own unique beauty with volcanoes rising in the distance and hardly a sign of human activity. The Sandy River Lodge is not easy to reach but its fishery makes it well worth the effort. The Sandy River is blessed with some of the best king salmon fishing in the world. The fish are fresh from the salt, packed with strength and take flies aggressively.

Aug 6, 2017

Destination Fly - Rio Pico, Argentina

"When it comes to available water types, fishing styles and trout species, Las Pampas Lodge may be unbeatable."
 In many ways Las Pampas Lodge offers the ultimate Argentine trout fishing experience. Their remote location, their diversity of waters, and there 100% Argentine staff makes this a complete package that is hard to improve upon.

Rio Pico, Argentina

Aug 5, 2017

Ryan Van Duzor Heading off for New Career

Ryan Van Duzor | "The Bearded Pescador"
Congratulations to Ryan on his well deserved, new career path from all of us at Gorge Fly Shop.

Ryan and his wife and daughter are recently ventured west from Chicago and now call "The Gorge", their home. Ryan worked as a product specialist, buyer, and photographer for the Gorge Fly Shop where he helped others to find their enjoyment of nature through fly fishing. Good chance if you have been in our shop or called on the phone, you've probably have cross paths with this passionate angler.

Ryan has accepted a new career position as Science Instructor for the Pacific Crest Innovation Academy Team. Here, he'll put his Masters Degree to work using his knowledge of zoology, ecology, entomology, and cellular and molecular biology.

All of us at Gorge Fly Shop wish the best for Ryan on his new career and will be sincerely missed by his fellow employees as well as many of our patrons who have come to know him.

Best Wishes Ryan

The Gorge Fly Shop Team


"Fly Fish the World with Us"

Gorge Fly Shop Hats: Trucker Collection


Trucker Collection
Over the years we have updated our logo but one thing has always stayed the same. The love for the fly. Show some trucka love with our new Gorge Fly Shop Trucker Hat Collection. In stock while supplies last.

Available in the traditional white fly, the ever favorite chartreuse and for those a little braver - hot pink!

"Fly Fish the World with Us"
One hat at a time!

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