Fly fishing for steelhead has been good... I have been hearing lots of reports of slow fishing. I hate to sound like I am giving good reports to promote our business, but the simple fact is we have been catching steelhead every day. Some days only one, other days four... no big numbers but that's the name of the game this season. If you look at the graph showing this year's steelhead passage over The Dalles Dam compared to 2011 and the ten year average you will feel fortunate to get your fish a day.
We have been fishing Mack's Canyon to the mouth (4 day trips), Maupin area day trips, and we just made our first four day steelhead float of the season on the upper river from Trout Creek to Maupin. We have found good fishing in all sections of the Deschutes. The upper part of the Trout Creek run started off with two fish on within the first ten minutes, and then slowed way down until we got closer to the Dixon / Two Springs area. From there we did pretty well down to Maupin. The Nena to Wapanitia float (or beyond if you are feeling adventurous) has been pretty consistent. So has fishing from Pine Tree to Mack's Canyon. There are a lot of Chinook Salmon down river from Maupin, so fishing the right water is important. I prefer not to swing flies for steelhead amidst a bunch of rowdy salmon.
The river temps are ideal, flowing from 52 to 55 degrees. It is actually a touch warmer near the dam than near the mouth. Any time the river temperature is moving towards 50 degrees the steelhead are very happy. That goes for both winter and summer steelhead.
there aren't a ton of fish moving over Sherars Falls at the moment, but every day is a new day, and my reports are nowhere near real time. Even if I gave a report every night, it will change by the next morning! So take all the conditions, weather, water temps, fish counts, and fishing reports with a tiny grain of salt and GO FISH!
Trout bums - there has been a lot of great caddis dry fly fishing all day and especially in the evenings. Size 14 EC Caddis was the ticket on our last trip on the upper river.
Here are some photos from recent trips. Thanks for reading. -Chris