July is an awesome time to be in Oregon. The weather is beginning to be a bit more stable with the chances of big afternoon thunderstorms shrinking. Caddis are in full swing and on any evening, mobs of the bugs will be found all along the river. Trout fishing can be as entertaining now as in the salmonfly hatch. Finally, steelhead are on their way into many of the rivers we love to fish and work on. The Deschutes should begin to kick out it’s fair share of early fish as should the North Umpqua. Other Willamette Valley rivers are already heating up and fishing has been very productive on certain days.
Earlier this week I did some fishing on a new river on the West side of the Cascades with friends Dave and Andy. On my first trip, only one other boat dropped-in with us and at times we had the river to ourselves. This early into the summer, shade was quick to leave the river. Interestingly enough, none of the early season fish I have seen caught this year have come during “prime hours”. While I was looking away into the bottom of the boat, Andy had a fish ambush his fly. As the fish jumped across the river, the Hardy reel reported loudly and we pulled over into a better position along the bank. The first dinner fish of the year was put in the boat a few minutes later.
The next few weeks are going to be some of the most exciting times of the steelhead season. If swinging isn’t producing, grab the trout rod for awhile and get back into the eddies for some of the best caddis fishing of the season. Sipping fish will help entertain an eager mind.