Fishing Reports

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Deschutes River - September 29th, 2021
  • Recorded:
  • Mostly sunny
  • 71 ° F 
  • Fishing: Fair
Deschutes River Summer Steelhead
————————————————————————————
Deschutes River steelhead fishing closures extended through end of the year, coho also closing early
September 28, 2021
THE DALLES, Ore.—Due to the poor returns of steelhead to the Columbia River Basin, ODFW is extending steelhead fishing closures on the Deschutes River through Dec. 31, 2021.
The current forecast for steelhead above Bonneville Dam indicates that this will be one of the lowest runs on record. ODFW has been monitoring the fish passing over Sherars falls and the Deschutes run is mirroring those elsewhere in the Columbia River Basin.
Closing steelhead fishing will provide protection for wild steelhead and ensure that hatchery broodstock and fish reintroduction programs needs are also met.
"The closure to steelhead angling implemented in September had a dramatic impact on the number of steelhead encountered by anglers as compared to recent years. Extending these closures to the entire basin will ensure protection of these iconic fish for the remainder of this run year," said Jason Seals, District Biologist for the Lower Deschutes.
"We understand this has an impact on anglers and local communities and it's a tough decision, but the right one in this case," continued Seals. "We appreciate anglers understanding and support for these actions as necessary to help future generations of Deschutes steelhead."
ODFW is also closing angling for coho salmon early (dates below). This will help to reduce angling impacts when fishing with similar gear types. These species overlap significantly, spatially and temporally in the Deschutes River.
Angling will remain open for trout in the Deschutes River from Moody Rapids upstream to the Pelton Regulating dam as stated in the 2021 Sportfishing Regulations.
The temporary rules is as follows:

Deschutes River

I-84 upstream to the Lower End of Moody Rapids
Closed to all angling for all species through Dec. 31

Moody Rapids upstream to Sherars Falls
Closed to steelhead angling through Dec. 31
Closed to coho angling Nov. 1 to Dec. 31

Sherars Falls upstream to Pelton Regulating Dam
Closed to steelhead angling through Dec. 31
Closed to coho angling Oct. 1 to Dec. 31
    
—————————————

Deschutes Red Side Trout Report:
 
Trout fishing is fair. We are enjoying cooler temperatures these days and boy it’s so nice to be able be out and not feel like your heads on fire. Early mornings and evenings are still the best time to fish.     
 
Caddis, BWO’s and Aquatic Moth are the main hatches. Fish below riffles where the water deepens and slows down. Fish Midge patterns in back eddies in the morning until about 11am. Watch for subtle rising trout keying in on Midge pupa. If the fish are picky, add a long piece of tippet to reduce drag to give your flies a more natural look. If that isn’t working try the fast water areas with caddis pupa.

Sometimes bigger is better. This time of year the Crawfish shed their outer shell. This is when they are the most venerable, trout know it and feed on them more now than any other time of year. So break out your Crawdad, Crawfish, Wooly Buggers,.. etc. patterns. Fish them in deeper water, strip them back slowly with the occasional fast strip, to make them look like they’re trying to escape. This can produce some aggressive strikes.

Keep in mind that the aquatic insect population of the Deschutes River has decreased over the last 10 years. Trout do not have the abundance of insects to feed on as they did in the past, so, they are forced to hunt for bigger meals in order to survive. That’s not to say we didn’t catch trout back in the day with the above mentioned patterns, it’s just that trout might be relaying on them more.     

Other Pattern Suggestions: Elk hair Caddis, 16’s, 18’s, Hares Ear Soft Hackle, 14’s & 16’s, Prince Nymphs, 10’s and 12’s, Sparkle Soft Hackles, 16’s, 18’s, CDC BH Pheasant tails, 14’s, & 16’s Double bead caddis, 14’s and 16’s. Lightening Bugs, 16’s, Rainbow Warriors, 16’s & 18’s.

We will show you some other new patterns that have just arrived that we think will help change the minds of some of those stubborn red side trout.

Please join and support the Deschutes River Alliance. We are fighting very hard to preserve, protect and maintain the health and wellness of the Deschutes River.

Go to this link to find out what’s been happening and educate as many friends as you can. http://www.deschutesriveralliance.org/
If you have Q’s, Please don’t hesitate to call, we will be glad to help!

Thanks, see ya soon
John Smeraglio
Deschutes Canyon Fly Shop
599 S. Hwy 197, Maupin, OR. 97037
(541) 395-2565
john@flyfishingdeschutes.com

 
Deschutes River - September 18th, 2021
  • Recorded:
  • Rain
  • 67 ° F 
  • Fishing: Fair
Deschutes River Summer Steelhead
————————————————————————————
Nothing has changed from my last steelhead report. Very low return numbers in the Columbia and of course the Deschutes.
I drove down to Sherars Falls to look at the fish trap reader board. Only 21 steelhead have been counted from July 1st until now. Need I say more? 

         ODFW has implemented the following:
Effective Sept. 1 the following emergency regulations are in place:
Deschutes River
From markers at lower end of Moody Rapids upstream to Sherars Falls, closed to angling for steelhead from Sept. 1-30.

From markers at lower end of Moody Rapids downstream to the mouth at Interstate 84 Bridge closed to angling (all species) from Sept. 1-30.

Managers will monitor the return and consider whether the fishery can reopen in October or whether further restrictions are needed.

Umatilla River
From Hwy 730 Bridge upstream to Threemile Dam, closed to retention of steelhead Sept. 1-Dec. 31.

John Day River
Upstream of Tumwater Falls, closed to angling for steelhead from
Sept. 1-Dec. 31.

Walla Walla River
Upstream of the Oregon/Washington state line, closed to retention of steelhead Sept. 1-Dec. 31.

Anglers are reminded that several previously adopted emergency rules in the Columbia River Zone and certain adjacent tributary mouths, including the Deschutes and John Day rivers, remain in place. Always check the angling zone report at MyODFW recreation report for the latest regulations, https://myodfw.com/recreation-report/fishing-report/

Support these wild Steelhead conservation organizations!

@theconservationangler @wildsteelheadcoalition @wildfishconservancy
@thewildsalmoncenter @wildsteelhead @nativefishsociety
@deschutesriveralliance
    
—————————————

Deschutes Red Side Trout Report:
 
Trout fishing is fair. We are enjoying cooler temperatures these days and boy it’s so nice to be able be out and not feel like your heads on fire. Early mornings and evenings are still the best time to fish.     
 
Caddis, BWO’s and Aquatic Moth are the main hatches. Fish below riffles where the water deepens and slows down. Fish Midge patterns in back eddies in the morning until about 11am. Watch for subtle rising trout keying in on Midge pupa. If the fish are picky, add a long piece of tippet to reduce drag to give your flies a more natural look. If that isn’t working try the fast water areas with caddis pupa.

Sometimes bigger is better. This time of year the Crawfish shed their outer shell. This is when they are the most venerable, trout know it and feed on them more now than any other time of year. So break out your Crawdad, Crawfish, Wooly Buggers,.. etc. patterns. Fish them in deeper water, strip them back slowly with the occasional fast strip, to make them look like they’re trying to escape. This can produce some aggressive strikes.

Keep in mind that the aquatic insect population of the Deschutes River has decreased over the last 10 years. Trout do not have the abundance of insects to feed on as they did in the past, so, they are forced to hunt for bigger meals in order to survive. That’s not to say we didn’t catch trout back in the day with the above mentioned patterns, it’s just that trout might be relaying on them more.     

Other Pattern Suggestions: Elk hair Caddis, 16’s, 18’s, Hares Ear Soft Hackle, 14’s & 16’s, Prince Nymphs, 10’s and 12’s, Sparkle Soft Hackles, 16’s, 18’s, CDC BH Pheasant tails, 14’s, & 16’s Double bead caddis, 14’s and 16’s. Lightening Bugs, 16’s, Rainbow Warriors, 16’s & 18’s.

We will show you some other new patterns that have just arrived that we think will help change the minds of some of those stubborn red side trout.

Please join and support the Deschutes River Alliance. We are fighting very hard to preserve, protect and maintain the health and wellness of the Deschutes River.

Go to this link to find out what’s been happening and educate as many friends as you can. http://www.deschutesriveralliance.org/
If you have Q’s, Please don’t hesitate to call, we will be glad to help!

Thanks, see ya soon
John Smeraglio
Deschutes Canyon Fly Shop
599 S. Hwy 197, Maupin, OR. 97037
(541) 395-2565
john@flyfishingdeschutes.com

 
Deschutes River - August 28th, 2021
  • Recorded:
  • Mostly sunny
  • 81 ° F 
  • Fishing: Fair
Deschutes River Summer Steelhead
Special Emergency Closure Report
————————————————————————————
SALEM, Ore.—In response to extremely low returns to date of Columbia Basin upriver summer steelhead, ODFW is adopting additional emergency rules to increase protections for wild summer steelhead in certain Oregon Columbia River tributaries.
Passage counts of summer steelhead at Bonneville Dam from July 1 through Aug. 26 are the lowest since counts began in 1938. This continues a pattern of several years of low returns for many populations and comes during a period when flows throughout the basin are generally low because of drought. Within this run are ESA-listed wild summer steelhead destined for the Upper Columbia and Snake rivers, as well as several mid-Columbia tributaries.

On Aug. 16 and 23, fisheries scientists from the U.S. v Oregon Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) downgraded the forecast for A-index summer steelhead from an already low preseason estimate of 89,200 to an in-season estimate of 35,000.
 
“We’re in uncharted territory here” said Shaun Clements, ODFW Deputy Administrator for Fish Division. “The combination of a historically low run on top of multiple years of low runs, and the very poor environmental conditions that seem likely to continue based on the most recent drought forecast, mean this is a regional problem.

We know these actions are going to negatively affect anglers this year and we don’t take that lightly,” Clements continued. “But they are unfortunately necessary at this time to give the fish the best chance to rebound and ensure the populations can support fisheries in future years.”

The rules will close steelhead fishing in the lower Umatilla and in additional areas of the Deschutes and John Day rivers beginning Sept. 1. See more details on the emergency regulations below. They are addition to existing steelhead closures in portions of the lower Deschutes and John Day rivers.

These changes come on top of measures already taken in mainstem Columbia River fisheries to protect summer steelhead during their migration to the tributaries. Because of the low pre-season forecasts for summer steelhead, fishing seasons in 2021 were crafted with additional measures to protect steelhead.
These included extensive closures to retention of steelhead in mainstem angling areas (including some tributary river mouths), and implementation of no-angling sanctuaries in Oregon tributary mouths that serve as cold-water refuges for migrating steelhead.

The actions taken today are part of a multistate response and put protections in place in mid-Columbia Oregon tributaries that are expected to have low to very low returns. While wild steelhead mortalities are generally low under normal fishing regulations, and fisheries are not generally a limiting factor for recovery, the additional restrictions will further reduce effects on wild summer steelhead during this unprecedented low return.
 
“The fact that we’re having to make these restrictions underlines the urgency in addressing the factors that are ultimately causing these declines, notably addressing issues with the Columbia River hydrosystem and protecting/restoring habitat in the tributaries,” said Clements. “It is only by addressing these factors that we will really move the needle on recovery.”

Effective Sept. 1 the following emergency regulations are in place:
Deschutes River
From markers at lower end of Moody Rapids upstream to Sherars Falls, closed to angling for steelhead from Sept. 1-30.

From markers at lower end of Moody Rapids downstream to the mouth at Interstate 84 Bridge closed to angling (all species) from Sept. 1-30.

Managers will monitor the return and consider whether the fishery can reopen in October or whether further restrictions are needed.

Umatilla River
From Hwy 730 Bridge upstream to Threemile Dam, closed to retention of steelhead Sept. 1-Dec. 31.

John Day River
Upstream of Tumwater Falls, closed to angling for steelhead from
Sept. 1-Dec. 31.

Walla Walla River
Upstream of the Oregon/Washington state line, closed to retention of steelhead Sept. 1-Dec. 31.

Anglers are reminded that several previously adopted emergency rules in the Columbia River Zone and certain adjacent tributary mouths, including the Deschutes and John Day rivers, remain in place. Always check the angling zone report at MyODFW recreation report for the latest regulations, https://myodfw.com/recreation-report/fishing-report/

Support these wild Steelhead conservation organizations!

@theconservationangler @wildsteelheadcoalition @wildfishconservancy
@thewildsalmoncenter @wildsteelhead @nativefishsociety
@deschutesriveralliance
    
—————————————

Deschutes Red Side Trout Report:
 
Trout fishing is fair. We are enjoying cooler temperatures these days and boy it’s so nice to be able be out and not feel like your heads on fire. Early mornings and evenings are still the best time to fish.     
 
Caddis, BWO’s and Aquatic Moth are the main hatches. Fish below riffles where the water deepens and slows down. Fish Midge patterns in back eddies in the morning until about 11am. Watch for subtle rising trout keying in on Midge pupa. If the fish are picky, add a long piece of tippet to reduce drag to give your flies a more natural look. If that isn’t working try the fast water areas with caddis pupa.

Sometimes bigger is better. This time of year the Crawfish shed their outer shell. This is when they are the most venerable, trout know it and feed on them more now than any other time of year. So break out your Crawdad, Crawfish, Wooly Buggers,.. etc. patterns. Fish them in deeper water, strip them back slowly with the occasional fast strip, to make them look like they’re trying to escape. This can produce some aggressive strikes.

Keep in mind that the aquatic insect population of the Deschutes River has decreased over the last 10 years. Trout do not have the abundance of insects to feed on as they did in the past, so, they are forced to hunt for bigger meals in order to survive. That’s not to say we didn’t catch trout back in the day with the above mentioned patterns, it’s just that trout might be relaying on them more.     

Other Pattern Suggestions: Elk hair Caddis, 16’s, 18’s, Hares Ear Soft Hackle, 14’s & 16’s, Prince Nymphs, 10’s and 12’s, Sparkle Soft Hackles, 16’s, 18’s, CDC BH Pheasant tails, 14’s, & 16’s Double bead caddis, 14’s and 16’s. Lightening Bugs, 16’s, Rainbow Warriors, 16’s & 18’s.

We will show you some other new patterns that have just arrived that we think will help change the minds of some of those stubborn red side trout.

Please join and support the Deschutes River Alliance. We are fighting very hard to preserve, protect and maintain the health and wellness of the Deschutes River.

Go to this link to find out what’s been happening and educate as many friends as you can. http://www.deschutesriveralliance.org/
If you have Q’s, Please don’t hesitate to call, we will be glad to help!

Thanks, see ya soon
John Smeraglio
Deschutes Canyon Fly Shop
599 S. Hwy 197, Maupin, OR. 97037
(541) 395-2565
john@flyfishingdeschutes.com

 
Deschutes River - August 26th, 2021
  • Recorded:
  • Mostly sunny
  • 81 ° F 
  • Fishing: Fair
Deschutes River Summer Steelhead Report
————————————————————————————
Reality ! Steelhead fishing is very slow. We are experiencing the lowest Columbia River Basin
Steelhead return since 1938. From the middle of July, the fish counting station located at Sherars Falls on the Deschutes has counted only 4 Steelhead so far to date. Granted, they don’t count fish 24 / 7, so I usually multiply their number by 4, sometimes 5 to get a conservatively better idea of how many have traveled upstream of Sherars. So about 16, maybe up to 20 have made it to this section of the river ?!?!  That’s pathetic !!!!

In the moments of an unfolding disaster, I’m horribly concerned about the impacts of steelhead from non-treaty and Tribal treaty commercial gill net fishing season authorized on July 27th 2021 on the lower Columbia River by Oregon and Washington Fishery agencies.

After analyzing Columbia River wild steelhead return numbers in detail, a group of regional conservation organizations co-signed a letter to both the Oregon and Washington Fish and Wildlife Commissions expressing deep concern about the dangerously low number of steelhead, particularly “wild” steelhead currently returning to the Columbia and Snake River Basin.

Representatives from these organizations also provided testimony to both state Commissions on Friday August 6th urging immediate action. Neither Commissions took any additional action to protect wild steelhead beyond the existing management status quo !!!

Ten days later, combined wild and hatchery steelhead are still running at 22%
of the current ten year average. When compared to more productive time periods within the past 20 years, the current combined steelhead return is a mere 10.7% of that period !! Realistically, it’s less than that, given they used to base the run on 50 year averages. Instead, they use the ten year average so it doesn’t look as bad as it REALLY IS !!!!

The few fish that are returning this summer are also facing incredibly warmer water temperatures throughout the basin. August 15th was the 50th straight day of Columbia River water temps over 68*F. It was 73.9*F, almost 3 degrees warmer than the 10 year average for mid-August.

The lack of action is disturbing and consistent ~ Oregon closed all steelhead fishing on the North Umpqua River because fish surveys indicated that the summer steelhead numbers are only 20% of normal, yet on the Columbia River, returns are just as bad and fishing remains open in the main stem and the tributaries of the Columbia basin.

I’m positive we agree that we all want to protect Salmon and Steelhead runs, especially
this season. What can you do to help?

~ Don’t fish if the water temperature is higher than 66*F
~ Fish with appropriate tackle, rods and reels able to land Salmon and Steelhead quickly !!
~ Fish with barbless hooks.
~ If you land a fish, keep it in the water, remove the hook as quickly as possible and release the                       fish when it’s strong enough to swim away. Go to Keepemwet to learn more about properly handling fish.
~ Take less photo’s, or none at all. The time it takes fumbling around getting your camera or phone out to take photo’s, increases the handling time of the fish, stressing it out even more.
If you just have to have a photo, use a water poof camera or get a water proof case for your phone. Then take the photo of the fish under water.
~ If the tug is the drug, cut the bend of the hook off. You’ll get the benefit of the initial strike, grab, pull or tug, whilst the fish can easily roll off the hook, and return to it’s resting lay.
~ Reduce your fishing effort. Spending less time fishing reduces “fishing pressure”, thus reducing overall stress on the fish.
~ Share this information with your fishing buddies. The more people know, the better we can collectively help in protecting Salmon and Steelhead returns for the future.

You can send emails to Oregon (@myODFW) and Washington (@theWDFW) officials demanding action.

Support these wild Steelhead conservation organizations!

@theconservationangler @wildsteelheadcoalition @wildfishconservancy
@thewildsalmoncenter @wildsteelhead @nativefishsociety
@deschutesriveralliance
    
—————————————

Deschutes Red Side Trout Report:
 
Trout fishing is fair. We are enjoying cooler temperatures these days and boy it’s so nice to be able be out and not feel like your heads on fire. Early mornings and evenings are still the best time to fish.     
 
Caddis, BWO’s and Aquatic Moth are the main hatches. Fish below riffles where the water deepens and slows down. Fish Midge patterns in back eddies in the morning until about 11am. Watch for subtle rising trout keying in on Midge pupa. If the fish are picky, add a long piece of tippet to reduce drag to give your flies a more natural look. If that isn’t working try the fast water areas with caddis pupa.

Sometimes bigger is better. This time of year the Crawfish shed their outer shell. This is when they are the most venerable, trout know it and feed on them more now than any other time of year. So break out your Crawdad, Crawfish, Wooly Buggers,.. etc. patterns. Fish them in deeper water, strip them back slowly with the occasional fast strip, to make them look like they’re trying to escape. This can produce some aggressive strikes.

Keep in mind that the aquatic insect population of the Deschutes River has decreased over the last 10 years. Trout do not have the abundance of insects to feed on as they did in the past, so, they are forced to hunt for bigger meals in order to survive. That’s not to say we didn’t catch trout back in the day with the above mentioned patterns, it’s just that trout might be relaying on them more.     

Other Pattern Suggestions: Elk hair Caddis, 16’s, 18’s, Hares Ear Soft Hackle, 14’s & 16’s, Prince Nymphs, 10’s and 12’s, Sparkle Soft Hackles, 16’s, 18’s, CDC BH Pheasant tails, 14’s, & 16’s Double bead caddis, 14’s and 16’s. Lightening Bugs, 16’s, Rainbow Warriors, 16’s & 18’s.

We will show you some other new patterns that have just arrived that we think will help change the minds of some of those stubborn red side trout.

Please join and support the Deschutes River Alliance. We are fighting very hard to preserve, protect and maintain the health and wellness of the Deschutes River.

Go to this link to find out what’s been happening and educate as many friends as you can. http://www.deschutesriveralliance.org/
If you have Q’s, Please don’t hesitate to call, we will be glad to help!

Thanks, see ya soon
John Smeraglio
Deschutes Canyon Fly Shop
599 S. Hwy 197, Maupin, OR. 97037
(541) 395-2565
john@flyfishingdeschutes.com

 
Deschutes River - July 30th, 2021
  • Recorded:
  • Sunny
  • 100 ° F 
  • Fishing: Fair
Deschutes Red Side Trout Report:
 
Trout fishing is slow. We are in the dog days of summer, early morning and evenings are the best times to fish. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has a Hoot Owl regulation in effect, which means your only allowed to fish from day break until 2pm, from Sherars Falls down to the month of the Deschutes River.    
 
Caddis and Aquatic Moth are the main hatches. Fish below riffles where the water deepens and slows down. Fish Midge patterns in back eddies in the morning until about 11am. Watch for subtle rising trout keying in on Midge pupa. If the fish are picky, add a long piece of tippet to reduce drag to give your flies a more natural look. If that isn’t working try the fast water areas with caddis pupa.

Pattern Suggestions: Elk hair Caddis, 16’s, 18’s, Hares Ear Soft Hackle, 14’s & 16’s, Prince Nymphs, 10’s and 12’s, Sparkle Soft Hackles, 16’s, 18’s, CDC BH Pheasant tails, 14’s, & 16’s Double bead caddis, 14’s and 16’s. Lightening Bugs, 16’s, Rainbow Warriors, 16’s & 18’s.

We will show you some other new patterns that have just arrived that we think will help change the minds of some of those stubborn red side trout.

River level is 3,620 CFS and the water temperature is 58 degrees in the mornings and 65 in the evenings.

Please join and support the Deschutes River Alliance. We are fighting very hard to preserve, protect and maintain the health and wellness of the Deschutes River.

Go to this link to find out what’s been happening and educate as many friends as you can. http://www.deschutesriveralliance.org/
If you have Q’s, Please don’t hesitate to call, we will be glad to help!

Thanks, see ya soon
John Smeraglio
Deschutes Canyon Fly Shop
599 S. Hwy 197, Maupin, OR. 97037
(541) 395-2565
john@flyfishingdeschutes.com

 
Deschutes River - June 28th, 2021
  • Recorded:
  • Sunny
  • 100 ° F 
  • Fishing: Poor

Deschutes Red Side Trout Report:
 
Trout fishing is slow. If you like extreme heat, this is the week for you!!  the forecast is calling for high temps today and tomorrow to reach 115 to 117 degrees and the rest of this week we are looking at high temps from 103 to 106. Things should calm down a little bit next week when we start to drop down into normal summer temperatures.

Mayflies and Caddis are the main hatches and will be for months to come. Fish below riffles where the water deepens and slows down. Fish BWO’s and Midges in back eddies in the morning until about 1pm. Watch for subtle rising trout keying in on BWO duns and midge pupa. If the fish are picky, add a long piece of tippet to reduce drag to give your flies a more natural look. If that isn’t working try the fast water areas with caddis pupa.

Pattern Suggestions: Pale Evening Dunns size 12 & 14, Thorax BWO 18’s, Elk hair Caddis, 16’s, 18’s, Hares Ear Soft Hackle, 14’s & 16’s, Prince Nymphs, 10’s and 12’s, Sparkle Soft Hackles, 16’s, 18’s, CDC BH Pheasant tails, 14’s, & 16’s Double bead caddis, 14’s and 16’s. Lightening Bugs, 16’s, Rainbow Warriors, 16’s & 18’s.

We will show you some other new patterns that have just arrived that we think will help change the minds of some of those stubborn red side trout.

River level is 3,830 CFS and the water temperature is 53 degrees.

Please join and support the Deschutes River Alliance. We are fighting very hard to preserve, protect and maintain the health and wellness of the Deschutes River.

Go to this link to find out what’s been happening and educate as many friends as you can. http://www.deschutesriveralliance.org/
If you have Q’s, Please don’t hesitate to call, we will be glad to help!

Thanks, see ya soon
John Smeraglio
Deschutes Canyon Fly Shop
599 S. Hwy 197, Maupin, OR. 97037
(541) 395-2565
john@flyfishingdeschutes.com

 
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