Fishing Reports

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Cascade Lakes - June 10th, 2012
  • Recorded:
  • Mostly sunny
  • 53 ° F 
  • Fishing: Fair

Sunday looked like it was going to be a pretty nice day so I hooked up the Boat and headed to Paulina Lake early in the morning. When I arrived at the boat ramp I found a steady 10mph breeze blowing across the lake. I decided to give it a shot anyway with the hopes that the wind would decrease later in the day. I started fishing out in front of the lodge using the wind to drift along the edge of the drop-off were the shallow water drops off to deeper water. I was casting, trolling and stripping in a small mini-leech pattern and managed to pick up a fish on every other pass.

            After a few smaller fish I decided to try a bigger zonker baitfish pattern on a type IV sink line to see if I could interest a little bigger fish. I worked the drop-off area a little deeper and with a little more aggressive retrieve for about an hour before I had my first grab.

I was in the process of stripping in my fly with half my line in the boat when what felt like the first big fish of the day latched onto my fly with a solid take. I set-up on the fish and he immediately started taking line in a hurry. As I watched line clear from the deck and fly through my rod guides, time seemed to slow down as I watched in slow motion a tangle of line leave the deck and head for my first stripping guide. With the realization of a catastrophe in the making, I frantically worked to free the tangle line from my guides before it was too late. It was too late! The pressure of the fleeing fish was too much and my leader snapped before I could clear my line.

I drove around the perimeter of the lake and fished a number of good looking spots, but never found anything bigger than 12 or 13 inches. It was a fun morning and a beautiful day on the water, but some much needed yard work at home had me heading back to town in the early afternoon.

 

The Patient Angler

Peter Bowers


 
Crystal Creek - June 1st, 2012
  • Recorded:
  • Mostly sunny
  • 64 ° F 
  • Fishing: Good

            Just got back from a great weekend fishing the waters of the Klamath Falls area. It was my Birthday weekend and we decided to spend it chasing big wild Rainbows in Southern Oregon.

            We lucked-out and the weather stayed nice and dry all weekend for us until we were all packed up and ready to go, and then as if on cue, the rain started to fall as we got in the truck for the drive home. We had a little wind to deal with when it would pick in the afternoon, but with mostly sunny skies, the daytime temperatures were warm and comfortable.

            The first day we fished Crystal Creek and had a very productive day on the water. You don’t get many perfect days on Crystal Creek, but the fish were in and very aggressive in chasing down our flies. We landed a bunch of really nice Rainbows casting & stripping dark Mini-Leech patterns on intermediate sink lines.

            The most memorable fish was one I lost. We were working down the river on my Birthday and Thu was rowing for me as I made repeated casts to the bank covering the structure along the edge. We were approaching some lily pads that were growing on the edge of the creek and my next cast landed right next to the bank and at least 15 feet from the lily pads. The fly landed and I made one strip and a very large wake appeared as a torpedo shot out from under the lily pads and raced to my fly. I kept stripping and this monster of a trout slashed three time at my fly like a shark attack before I felt the weight of the fish bending my new 5wt SAGE ONE to the cork. This fish went crazy with flips and gyrations until he snapped my leader and took my fly with him. I was a little bummed that I had lost the biggest fish of the trip, but it was by far one of the best visual takes I’ve ever had!

The river is called Crystal Creek for a reason, the water is crystal clear and requires long accurate casts to spooky fish if you want to have any success.

            Unfortunately, the next two days on Crystal Creek were a lot more challenging and took a lot more effort to find a few fish that were willing to take our flies.

            On Saturday we fished the Williamson River with Craig Schuhmann, a friend and guide in the area. We had a great afternoon on the water and landed a number of Williamson River Rainbows. I must say that I did a pretty good job catching most of the smaller fish and clearing the way for Craig and Thu to cleaned-up in the big fish category. It’s pretty awesome when your fishing a river where a 20+ inch fish is considered average size and called “a shaker” by some of the locals.

            It was a great weekend, and I’m looking forward to getting back down there to maybe hit the upcoming Hex hatch on the Williamson or the Hopper fishing on the Wood in late summer.

 

            Craig Schuhmann owns and operates “Guide Water Fly Fishing” in the Klamath area. If you want to fish the Williamson River, Wood River, Crystal Creek, Klamath Lake or any other waters in the area, give Craig a call. He does a great job, knows the water and will put you on fish.  (541) 778 - 1194

 

The Patient Angler            patientangler.com

Peter Bowers
 
Big Lava Lake - May 14th, 2012
  • Recorded:
  • Mostly sunny
  • 75 ° F 
  • Fishing: Great

            Lava Lake opened last Saturday and it’s usually really good fishing when it first opens up. Thu & I grabbed the boat and ran up on Monday morning to give it a try.

            It was a beautiful day with lots of sun, warm temps and a nice breeze for wind drifting across the lake. We set up with type 2 sinking lines, 4X leaders and set a water anchor off the side of the boat to control our drift speed. Thu started with a Prince Nymph and I tied on a good old, time tested, Olive Crane Bugger.

            Well, the Prince Nymph and you know who, got the first three fish in a row and I started to re-think my fly choice. On my next cast, my faith was restored as I hooked and landed a nice 12-inch trout. We hooked a few more with the same flies and decided start changing patterns see what else might work better. I stripped a number of different Bugger/leech patterns and Thu switched between nymph patterns. It turned out we caught fish on most everything we tried. The peacock body Carey Special and the Olive Crane Bugger were the most productive streamers and the Prince, Pheasant Tail and Bloody Mary where the best nymphs we tried. Imagine that, all those flies have peacock or peacock color in them.

            We pretty much covered the whole lake and caught fish everywhere, and sometimes in bunches! In two spots I caught 5 fish on 5 casts in a row. Out of the close to 30 fish we landed, there were only a few that went over 16 inches and the average was 11 to 14 inches. There were a few fish caught in deeper water, but most were taking at about 6 to 8 feet deep. It was a lot of fun because these fish weren’t huge, but they sure hit and acted like they were. These things will change as the water warms up, so get out there and have some fun while it’s good.

 

The Patient Angler              patientangler.com

Peter Bowers


 
Lake Billy Chinook - April 19th, 2012
  • Recorded:
  • Mostly sunny
  • 58 ° F 
  • Fishing: Good

            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 14 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          patientangler.com

Peter Bowers


 
Deschutes River - Middle - April 2nd, 2012
  • Recorded:
  • Sunny
  • 64 ° F 
  • Fishing: Fair

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               patientangler.com

Peter Bowers


 
North Umpqua River - March 11th, 2012
  • Recorded:
  • Rain and/or snow
  • 36 ° F 
  • Fishing: Good

            I’ve been away from home waters for about a month now and I was really getting the itch to swing a fly for steelhead, so Thu and I headed down to the North Umpqua last weekend to scratch that itch.  I had checked the forecast before we left and knew we were heading into some bad weather and most likely a bump in the water levels, but we were desperate to fish and went anyway.

            We arrived to find the river at a constant 1,700cfs, with that winter emerald color and a temperature of 41 degrees. We geared up and started fishing our way downriver heading for Glide where we were staying for the night. After fishing a couple of spots upriver without and luck, we were driving past camp water in the middle of the day and noticed that there was nobody fishing. Not a common sight in the most fabled waters of the North Umpqua River, so we turned around and headed for the trailhead to the camp water. We hiked down the trail and stepped into one of the most popular runs and started working our flies through the green water. I did manage to get a hookup about halfway through the run, but it was short lived. My line came tight, there was the confirming headshake of a fish with 10 feet of line slipping from my reel and then everything went slack. I hate it when that happens!!!

            We continued fishing downstream and with every little nook and cranny along the road gushing with runoff as well as all the major tributaries, we could see the river starting to get bigger and a little more off color the farther downstream we got. We opted for a hot shower, an early dinner and a couple games of cribbage (let just say, I didn’t win).

            The next day was a wet one with intermittent rain showers mixed with short heavy downpours. The river was definitely getting bigger and the flows increased close to 300cfs during the day while we were fishing. We decided to drive upstream and start in the fly water since the river seemed to be getting bigger by the hour and was pretty off color in the Glide area. We had a lazy morning and got on the water late, so when we arrived at the run we wanted to fish, there was already someone parked in the turnoff. I knew they were probably the first one through and should be about finished, so I hiked down the road to take a peak, and sure enough a spey fisherman was close to the end of the run. When the run was free, Thu & I hiked down and split up the run. We fished through run in the rising water and hooked a few really nice sea-run Cutthroats that ate our flies on the swing. As I approached the end of the run and just as I swinging what I thought would be my last cast before I reeled up to move to a new spot, a bolt of electricity shot up my line and into my rod with a hard hitting fish that just hammered my fly and scared the crap out of me. Then the fight was on! This fish jumped from the water and shot downstream ripping line from my reel well into my backing and into the tailout in seconds. There was no way I could follow the fish through the next set of rapids, so I put the heat to her thinking it was now or never, and she finally turned her head and stopped at the end of the tailout. I slowly took line and she dogged me all the way up stream with short bursts just to let me know she was still there. I finally got her around some big boulders and brought her to hand for a quick photo and release.

            We fished two other spots working our way upstream with no other takers. The weather was getting pretty bad with rain turning to snow and the water wasn’t getting any better, so we decided to call it a day and head home. There’s always another day and I was lucky enough in the short time that we fished, to get some action and land a beautiful wild North Umpqua Steelhead.

            Remember, this is the time of year when these beautiful fish start to move onto the spawning beds. Watch out for spawning fish and avoid fishing or wading over spawning beds. If you find some active fish, sit down and watch for a while. It’s amazing what you learn just buy watching them.

 

The Patient Angler          patientangler.com

Peter Bowers


 


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