Fishing Reports

16 reports totalpages: 1 2 3 Next >>
North Santiam River - July 25th, 2012
  • Recorded:
  • Mostly sunny
  • 82 ° F 
  • Fishing: Good

            Jimmy and I got back last night from a couple days on the North Santiam River. The river is running low and clear with a flow of 1,300cfs and a temperature of 55 degrees. We had lots of sunshine, warm daytime temps and cool nights for sleeping.

            The fishing seemed a little slower this week, with less action for the time spent on the water and less aggressive fish when we did hook them (no jumps or cartwheels). I must have lost my steelhead mojo on this trip because I hooked three fish and failed to land any of them. Two were on and felt solid with head shakes and taking a some line off the reel before coming unbuttoned. I changed flies thinking maybe there was something funny about the way the old one fished. I don’t normally loose many fish with a solid take on the Owner hook stinger fly.

            My last opportunity came just an hour before heading home fishing a wide long cast run. I made a nice cast across, but a little too far up stream and decided to swing it out anyway. So I made a big mend upstream knowing I would have to wait for it to move down stream before mending again to get the swing. Just as I was getting ready to mend again, a steelhead hammered my broadside drifting fly on the run and ripped 30ft of line off my reel in seconds. When he finally stopped on the other bank, I set-up on him again to make sure this one was hooked and fought him back across the river. A short time later I had him just 25ft from me when the hook pulled out and he swam back to the depths of the run. I think I went steelhead hooking instead of steelhead fishing.

            Jimmy hooked AND LANDED a nice fish on Wednesday night. We were working through a run and jimmy went back to the top of the run and started a little higher to see if he could find anything in the riffle leading into the run. He wasn’t in there for five minutes before he was yelling Fish On! I made my way back up river and he soon had a nice fish to hand for a quick picture and release.

            We had a great time and it’s always good to be on the river for a couple of days.

 

The Patient Angler

Peter Bowers


 
North Santiam River - July 14th, 2012
  • Recorded:
  • Mostly sunny
  • 78 ° F 
  • Fishing: Good
Had a great weekend on the North Santiam. Weather was great with mostly sunny skies and warm temperatures. The river was in good shape running clear and around 1,600cfs. Fishing was a little slower this week for us, as we only managed to land two steelhead. This nice bright fish was the first fish I hooked on Friday night.
I was working my way through a run and in the middle of my swing I felt two consecutive plucks or small pulls, meaning something mouthed or lightly grabbed my fly without getting hooked. Adrenaline rushed through my body as I realized I had an aggressive player out there. Without moving I made another cast and swung my fly through the zone again, highly anticipating a solid take. Nothing happened and immediately you start to think, "maybe I imagined the tugs, maybe he's not coming back, maybe it was some rocks". Not willing to let it go, I stood fast and made another cast with the most positive thoughts in mind to improve my zen. My fly swung through the area again without results and just when I started to think that maybe he had felt the hook and wasn't coming back, my line came tight with a hard pull and this big beautiful steelhead exploded out of the water in a cartwheeling jump. It was a crazy fight with him jumping and taking me into my backing and across the river twice. I finally brought him to hand for a quick picture and release.
I landed another nice fish on Saturday morning, but that was all the action we saw for the rest of the weekend. Can't wait to get out again!
Peter
 
North Santiam River - July 7th, 2011
  • Recorded:
  • Mostly sunny
  • 77 ° F 
  • Fishing: Good
Fished the North Santiam the last two weekends for trout and steelhead. The weather was great the last couple of weeks with warm sunny days and cool nights, which makes for great camping. The daily temperature was 70 – 80 degrees with an occasional cool breeze in the afternoons. The water was, and has been like most of our waters affected by runoff, a little on the high side running about 3500cfs. Gin clear, is the best way to describe the clarity. I prefer to have a little color in my steelhead water, but makes trout fishing more fun. On July 1st, the river started to drop and is now at a very respectable and fishable 2000cfs.

            The reports have been of slow fishing on the upper reaches of the North Santiam for steelhead, but I love fishing the Santiam this time of year and if you work hard, there are always a few fish to be found.

            We fished pretty hard for steelhead the first weekend and only had one grab to show for it. It was a nice solid pull, but didn’t result in a hook-up and I couldn’t get him to come back after repeated attempts. I did hook and land a nice healthy trout that took my fly on the swing, peaking my interest of the possibility of trout fishing the N. Santiam the next weekend when we came back.

            The 4th weekend is always a crazy time on the river and not as conducive to quality steelhead fishing because of the splash & giggle crowd that shows up to enjoy the river during the holiday weekend. It doesn’t really effect the trout fishing though and after catching that nice trout the week before, Thu and I decided to throw in our trout gear and spend the busy middle of the day chasing trout. I hadn’t trout fished on the N. Santiam for over 15 years, and I have to say, we had a blast. Pretty much, everywhere we fished, we caught fish. The size ranged from little guys of 4 – 6 inches to some very healthy 15 – 17 inch fish. We only got little guys to rise to dries during the day so we mostly nymphed with hopes of finding bigger fish. Most of the good-looking holes we fished produced a dozen small to medium size fish, but if you kept at it, we almost always found at least one really nice fish hiding in there. We hooked most of our fish on dark mayfly patterns, Pheasant Tails, Soft Hackle Pheasant Tails, Rubber Leg Batmans, and Copper Johns.

            We did fish for steelhead during the lowlight morning and evening sessions when the traffic was off the water, and again came away with only one pull which I wasn’t even sure was a steelhead.

            We had a great time fishing, camping and enjoying the North Santiam and I’m sure we’ll be back there soon.

 

The Patient Angler              patientangler.com

Peter Bowers

 
North Santiam River - August 26th, 2010
  • Recorded:
  • Mostly sunny
  • 69 ° F 
  • Fishing: Fair
   With the shop so busy, I haven’t had the time to get out and fish. But a couple of days ago, I had a cooler and my gear in the truck ready to go, and bailed out of work, picked up Thu, and ran over to the North Santiam for an evening and morning fish. We arrived around 7:00 pm and found our first choice and one of our favorite runs, to be quiet, shaded and without another angler in sight.  

  The water was in great shape running about 1300cfs and with a cool temperature of around 60 degrees.  Thu and I stepped into the water and started working through the run with the couple of hours of daylight we had left. About an hour into the run, I was swinging a Purple Hobo Spey through a boulder patch that is normally good holding water, so my expectations and anticipation were running high, when suddenly I had a solid hookup with what turned out to be a fly stealing rock. So I broke it off and tied on a new Purple Hobo Spey and sent another cast out over this fishy water. I took a quick step down river as to avoid another hang-up with the same rock, and wouldn’t you know it, right when I hit the same spot in the swing my line came tight again. Assuming that I had hooked-up with the same fly stealing rock, a stream of bad words flew from my mouth as I lifted the rod to free my fly from the rock. My recital of the “seven words you can’t say on T.V.” was cut short by the realization that the rock was pulling back with big head shakes, and then took off down stream at a rapid pace with my line zipping through my guides. And then it was over, the hook came loose and the fish was gone. I’m not sure if lift the rod to free the fly, hook-set was the cause of my demise, but it was fun while it lasted. And I did feel a little guilty about jumping the gun with the bad words.

  As it turned out, Thu and I fished out the evening and hit a half dozen runs the next morning without another pull, but it was really nice to fish great water with very little pressure.

The Patient Angler                    patientangler.com

Peter Bowers
 
North Santiam River - July 13th, 2010
  • Recorded:
  • Mostly cloudy
  • 60 ° F 
  • Fishing: Good
     We have been super busy at the shop lately, so it’s been over a week since I’ve wet a line and I was dying to get out and swing some water. I took Monday off, got up early, packed a cooler and headed out in the dark for the North Santiam. I arrived just after light and was delighted to find my choice for first run of the morning, to be unoccupied. The river was in great shape, running clear and flowing at just over 1200 cfs, and the day was warm with overcast skies for most of the day. I tied on a new steelhead pattern called the “Batman” in blue & black I wanted to test out, and stepped in to the top of the run. It was a beautiful morning with the waking birds and the tranquil waters of the North Santiam brushing past my legs, and I fell into that dream like rhythm of effortless casts followed by long, slow concentric swings on the perfectly paced water, as I moved through the run. About half way through the run, I was jarred out of my dream by a yank on the end of my line followed by the pulse of some heavy head shakes. Two seconds later, the fish was headed down stream in a hurry, ripping line from my reel at a rate that had me worried for a minute. She finally stopped and seemed to be resting as I was able to retrieve all the line she had taken and then some. After few minutes, I had her up even with me and it looked as if that one big run had did her in, so I lifted her head up and guided her over to me. The moment I thought about reaching down to tail her, she pitched her head down and kicked her tail up and bolted down stream leaving me wet and startled to see my running line again. She stopped about eighty feet down steam, thrashed around on the end of my line for a couple of seconds and then she was gone. I supposed she earned the early release, but that’s the 3rd fish in a row that I have hooked on the North Santiam and failed to bring to hand. Lucky for me the streak would be broken a couple of runs later. After lunch, I was fishing through a run with a black Hobo Spey, when my line came tight with another take.  After a little give and take this nice 27” fish didn’t have the heart of the other fish, and allowed me to bring her to hand, ending my nasty little streak. I fished through a few other runs with only one other hook-up, and I’m pretty sure it was a trout. It felt a little heavy, but the head shakes felt too fast before it came unbuttoned. I kind of expected there to be more action with the numbers of fish in the Willamette system, but the reports from my customer that fish the North are the same. They are finding one or two fish in a day and sometimes no takes at all. That’s fishing I guess, maybe the fly bite will turn on. I’ll have to try again and let you know.

The Patient Angler                  patientangler.com

Peter Bowers
 
North Santiam River - June 23rd, 2010
  • Recorded:
  • Mostly sunny
  • 58 ° F 
  • Fishing: Good
  The North Santiam finally dropped below 3000cfs after weeks of unfishable high water, so I jumped at the opportunity to go over and swing for some of the fresh summer steelhead making their way up the river. I hadn’t been able to get away from a busy shop and fish for a couple of weeks, so I was itching to get out and swing some water. The number of steelhead over Willamette Falls are way above average for this time of year, giving me a heightened sense of anticipation of hooking up with a couple bright fish.  Thu and I headed over the pass to the North Santiam which had dropped to 2530cfs and found a beautiful day waiting for us on the other side of the hill. As steelheaders, we normally like overcast days for our steelhead fishing, but with all the bad weather we’ve had lately, we were just happy to have a warm sunny day again.

  We stepped into the water and started to work through the first run of the day. About 40 minutes later I got my first grab of the day. There was no solid hook-up so I shortened up my line a bit and worked back through the same water slower hoping to bring the fish back to my fly, but none would come. I try not to dwell on a fish that won’t come back to my fly. Some anglers will just stay there changing flies and pounding the water for hours with hopes of bringing a fish back again. I may make a few more casts through the same spot just to make sure and I might even change to a different fly and make a few more swings through the area again, but most of the time, if I know that there are fish in the river, I just move on in hopes of finding another fish with a twinkle in his eye for my fly. If the river is busy with anglers, it’s also poor river etiquette to stay in one place and not give other anglers an opportunity to fish the water. Thu and I worked through the rest of the run and the next run downstream without another pull.

  We grabbed a bite to eat at the pizza place in Mill City then headed down stream to Fisherman’s Bend to fish a couple of runs in the campground. In the second run after lunch, I finally had the opportunity to hook my first fish. It was a nice solid take after a couple of soft plucks or grabs as it followed my fly. My line went tight and I could feel the head shake, so I set to the bank and felt the weight of the fish on my line. The fish bolted down stream in a three surges taking about 10 yards of line off my reel and then my line went slack. That uncontrollable and immediate change in emotion from riding high, to that low disappointed feeling when your line goes slack and you realize your fish just came unbuttoned, comes over you in a split second. Especially when up to the point of the LDR (long distance release), you think everything has gone by the book and you’ve got a solid hook-up. But, that’s one of the reasons why they call it fishing and not catching. You never know what’s going to happen.

  We fished the rest of the day without touching another fish, but enjoyed having such a beautiful day to spend on the water. As always, we are looking forward to the next time we can get away and spend the day on the beautiful North Santiam River.

  Jay ran over for a day after we did and had a good morning of fishing, hooking two steelhead and landing one nice big wild fish.

The Patient Angler            patientangler.com

Peter Bowers
 


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