Trout season has been great and will continue, however, the time has come to swing flies for the anadromous variety. Steelhead are beginning to show up in fishable numbers in a growing number of Oregon river including the North Umpqua and the Deschutes. Other Willamette tribs are also, and have been, producing. Summer conditions can be the perfect setup for aggressive takes and great rises.
We have been finding fish on the North Umpqua on a fairly consistent basis. The steelhead that have been hooked are very strong and tough to subdue and many fish have the motivation to leave the pool, putting your reel to the test. Not much you can do when a big fish chooses to escape into a wave train. This time of year can test the patience; not that you can’t catch them in the sun, and we do, but your best chances are in the shade sessions. Find something to do in the middle of the day.
The Deschutes will begin to fish well this month with numbers of fish showing up in the lower 20 miles of the river. Like the early Umpqua fish, these can be real peppy steelhead. Lots of jumps and unstoppable runs. The counts are a little down at this point at the dams, however, it only takes one to make your day. One thing I would take into consideration is the water temperatures on the lower river. Please look at the USGS site and find the Moody station. With the new mixing system on the dam and the hot summer temps, water temps on the lower Deschutes can get too high. Fishing in water at or above 68 degrees is something we avoid. Mortality rates go up at that point. If this is the case, your fishing may restricted to morning sessions and some early-day tip sessions. We all want to catch that fish, but let’s be smart and not love them to death.
As for trout, caddis hatches will continue into September. The fish are getting smart so take your time around rising fish and try to get the best presentation you can. Drag on the fly will be a death sentence.
If anyone wants a chance on Steelhead or trout, give us a call!