April 2012
Fly Fishing Antelope Flats Reservoir
April 30, 2012

            Took a day trip on Saturday and ran out to fish Antelope Flats Reservoir with the thought of catching some trout but avoiding the opening day rush to the Cascade lakes. We made a good choice because the fishing was great and there were very few anglers on the water.

            The weather was pretty good with a warm, partly sunny day and very little wind. The water was a little dirty, which is the norm for this time of year, and had a temperature of around 50 degrees. 

            We set up sinking lines and started covering water, casting and stripping Buggers as we drifted across the lake. It didn’t take long before I was hooked up with a feisty 14-inch football of a trout that seemed to spend more time out of the water than in. Just minutes later, Thu hooked and landed a nice fat acrobatic Rainbow of 16 inches, and the game was on. 

            The action was consistent, as we seemed to catch a fish or two on every pass. I tried a number of different Bugger patterns and caught fish on everything I tried. It didn’t seem to matter what you had on, as long as you put it in front of a fish. We found parts of the lake that seemed to be void of fish, and other spots where we would get action every time we passed through.

            The fun part was that these fat 13 – 18 inch trout were so acrobatic when hooked!  We lost a few fish during the fight, while they were executing the high degree of difficulty “Triple Gainer with a Full Twist”, and I even had one break me off on the take.              

            It was a fun day, but the wind and cloud cover started to rapidly increase in the afternoon, so we decided to call it a day and head for home.


The Patient Angler

Peter Bowers

Fly Fishing For Bull Trout on Lake Billy Chinook
April 18, 2012

            Bob has been fishing Lake Billy Chinook for Bull Trout the last few weeks and has had some really good days out there casting and stripping streamers for these really aggressive fish. Bob asked me if I wanted to go, and I jumped at the chance to cast streamers to these piscivores.

            With what looked like a beautiful day ahead, we headed out to Billy Chinook with Bob’s boat in tow and a cup of coffee in hand. The weather remained calm with very little wind, warm temps and mostly sunny skies until late afternoon, when the wind kicked up a bit and a light rain started to fall.

            We motored out and started to cover some of the productive water that Bob had recently fished. The day started out pretty slow, with a lot of casting and only a couple follows and one fish on for a few seconds. We moved to another area and the action started to pick up for us, with a lot more follows and another fish on & off. We soon found a few spots that seemed to hold fish and had some action every time we made a pass. We landed five Bull Trout that ran from 16 inches to 22/23 inches, not the monsters that we were looking for, but still a lot of fun.

            We had takes and follows on a number of different patterns, but I got the feeling that we never really had it dialed in because of the number of follows we got without a take. They definitely seemed more attracted to the movement of the fly, than the color of the pattern. Baitfish patterns like the Mushie saltwater fly or Deceivers are good imitations of the Kokanee the Bulls like to eat.

            I was fishing a new Rio Outbound Short type 6 sink-tip with the intermediate running line. This is a boomer of a line when throwing big streamers, needing to get down right away and staying in the zone when stripping fast.

            It wasn’t a big fish or number day, but it was a fun day on the water. You know what they say; “ a slow day on the water is better than a good day at work!”


The Patient Angler

Peter Bowers

Fishing the Deschutes River
April 2, 2012

With Monday tuning out to the best weather we've had in a while and with my overwhelming need to wet a line, I played hooky and bailed out of work at lunch to go fishing. With limited time, I stayed in town for a little urban fishing and hiked down below Benham falls to see what I could find.

 The first thing that I found was that I had the river all to myself. There was a great BWO hatch going on, but in the beautiful bright sunshine there were no fish looking up for them. So, I set up a nymph rig with a stonefly lead and an Anatomay BWO as a dropper, and started working the water below the falls. I hooked four Whitefish on the little BWO nymph before I hooked my first little Rainbow trout. It was a feisty little Rainbow of about 11 inches and had my small baetis nymph pinned in the corner of his mouth.

The big fish hunter in me decided to switch over to a streamer in search of a big Brown Trout. I fished through a few spots swinging and stripping a weighted scuplin pattern through possible holding water as well as a few likely ambush spots that had structure like logs jams and undercut banks. I eventually hooked a nice Brown Trout in a drop-off pool, but it wasn’t the big dog I was looking for. He was still a respectable fish with a length around 14 inches, and the will of a much bigger fish. As I released this small Brown into the cool waters of the Deschutes River, I had to admire him for his predatory nature and making my efforts worthwhile.

I fished through a couple more spots without any streamer love, and called it a day. The lure of a cold adult beverage from the Deschutes Brewery seemed like a good way to cap off an afternoon on the water.


The Patient Angler             

Peter Bowers