Steelhead Tactics
Lake Reports
Up-to-date on Spey Lines
Why we love the Deschutes
Pontoon Boats
Sandy Watershed

(continued from 07/17 The Fly Fishing Shop Insider)
WHY STEELHEAD EAT FLIES (Size does matter).

When steelhead are fresh from the Ocean they remember food in big bites and large flies will often move them.  The longer they are in fresh water, the more acclimatized to that environment they become.  In comparison to a mid-size squid, a large fully   

developed salmon fly nymph is small.  Anglers fishing at sea level on the Skeena, Skagit or Dean Rivers regularly use flies up to five inches long and over an inch in diameter.  Some of these fish have been caught on eight inch long flies.  Average flies for these rivers are 2 1/2" to 4".  

In the lower parts of the Sandy and Clackamas Rivers, steelhead seem to prefer flies that range from 2" to 3".  These fish can enter their parent river only a few days from the salt.  

Most steelhead caught in the lower fifty miles of the Deschutes River are taken on flies from 1" to 2 1/2".  These flies can be sparsely tied.  From October through February most Deschutes steelhead are taken on flies that range from 1/2" to 1".   Through the late fall and winter months many steelhead are caught with nymphs that are sizes #10 to #18.  Most are caught with trout fishing tactics.

There are however, some very bright wild steelhead that arrive in the Deschutes in November and December and the most reliable fly sizes for them are similar to the ones used on bright fish earlier in the season.

(to be continued in 07/31 FFS Insider)

Killer Steelhead Muddler Selection - (6 flies / 3 of each color) ($12.70 value) 
Special for "Insider" readers $10.95 (shipping included) call: 1-800-266-3971.

A dozen premium steelhead flies will be sent to the first angler who sends by e-mail, 
a report of fresh steelhead caught on the Klickitat River with a picture attached.

In the 07/10 "Insider" we offered a dozen steelhead flies to the first person with a confirmed report of a fresh steelhead caught on the Deschutes.  Click here for that report.

Up-to-Date  INFORMATION on Local Lakes at a glance.
Scroll this table for instant information. Click the links for more information.
Our Lakes Information Section is constantly evolving.  Be sure to check often for up-dates.  
Want some lake fly fishing instruction?
  Try a Guided Pontoon Boat Trip!

Badger Lake Last stocked 6/19, fishing good, Callibaetis, ants, caddis
Barnes Butte Lake Superb top water fishing for both trout and bass.
Chickahominy Reservoir Last stocked 5/29, many small fish, few large fish.
Clear Lake Last stocked 5/29, some big trout, water getting low.
Crane Prairie Reservoir Improving some really big fish, chironomids, leeches etc.
Davis Lake Great Callibaetis may fly hatches, trout & bass fishing good.
East Lake Last stocked 7/24, some large trout, many small trout, good.
Frog Lake Last stocked 6/12, big brood trout, wooly buggers, ants, Callibaetis.
Grindstone Lakes closed until the fall season
Harriet Lake Last stocked 7/17, good hatches, can be crowed
Hosmer Lake  Last stocked 5/29, Caddis, Callibaetis & damsels, fishing good.
Laurence Lake Road closed. 3 mile hike.
Lost Lake Last stocked 7/03, terrestrials, caddis, Callibaetis, Hex hatch.
Mann Lake Midges & Callibaetis.                                                     To Top
Olallie Lake Last stocked 7/17
Pine Hollow Reservoir Last stocked 5/08, fishing good                                       
Rock Creek Reservoir Last stocked 6/12, trout & bass fishing good.
Roslyn Lake Last stocked 7/17, fishing fair. Hex hatch.
Timothy Lake Last stocked 6/05, fishing good, terrestrials, Callibaetis, Hex hatch.
Trillium Lake Last stocked 724, fishing good for small dumb fish.
Wickiup Reservoir some big Brown Trout on streamers, getting better, still spotty.

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LINES FOR TWO HAND FLY RODS. There are reasons why The Fly Fishing Shop is nick named "STEELHEADQUARTERS".  We have a huge selection of custom spey lines from Rio, Cortland, Scientific Anglers and Royal Wulff".  With reasonable notice we can  custom build lines to your specific purpose and satisfaction. 

**(continued from 07/17 The Fly Fishing Shop Insider)

Why we love the Deschutes River

Darkness was fast approaching and didn't give me much time to deliberate. I started with the same cast that took the fish. Then lengthened the line one three foot pull for the next cast. The fly slid down current as it was hanging under the alder below me. The strike came as I was lengthening the line for the forth cast. The fish took just as I was starting to lift the line for my upstream haul. It took the fly as it turned down stream and jerked the rod tip a foot under water as it erupted through surface. The shock was too much for the ten pound tippet and the Street Walker probably decorated that eight pounder's jaw for most of the evening. The encounter left me in the vacuum that follows a peak surge of adrenaline.
The whole tippet was gone. The leader had parted at the blood knot. I fumbled for my tippet dispenser and unrolled two feet of hard Maxima, figuring that a short stiff tippet would turn over better in the failing light. The fish had taken my last Street Walker and I replaced it with a size two low water Undertaker. The sleek dark pattern had proven itself many times in the fading light. The same water was covered in the same manner as before but, as I extended the cast to longer range I found out that I had to make repeated small upstream mends to maintain the proper fly speed as it came across on a slow arc. The next strike came fifteen feet straight out beyond the alder. It was a gentle pluck and still pumped up from the encounter with the fish that took my fly, I over-reacted and the hook instantly came free.
Four casts later and the fly was nearly to the ledge. The line tightened gently and I dropped the rod tip. There was a perceptible pause and the line came tight with a thud. A beautiful six pound wild hen was beached after a long intense battle that I thought would leave all other residents of the area in total shock. The twilight lingered. I could see Brad standing on the low grassy point above camp. His left handed stroke barely discernible at the distance.
"Should I go and bring him here to join the fun", I wondered? He was too far away for the light remaining", I reasoned. A Night Hawk zig-zagged across the river between us. " No, I would keep this little Steelhead Eden for myself tonight and bring him here in the morning."
The soft evening air was laden with the pungent sweet aroma of the sage covered desert. Again I surveyed my private piscatorial oasis.
Intermittent turbulence betrayed a possible jog in the side of the ledge facing me; a perfect cove for a Steelhead to shelter in. It was a long cast from my position and was situated almost straight across from me with no chance to swing the fly through it. I would have to cast to the top of the cove and then make a long reach mend to hold the fly in the sweet spot for as long as possible. It took several frustrating tries, but finally the fly settled into a seam of calm water between two sets of turbulence. The strike was vicious and a big Steelhead boiled the surface as he took the fly heading down stream.
The fight was long and dogged with the twelve pound buck coming to my hand in the dark.
Brad flipped the switch on the self starting lantern as I approached the cook tent.
Al peered over his finely sculptured meerschaum pipe and purred, " How'd you do, boss?" I beamed from ear to ear, "boys, have I got a place to show you in the morning."

If you would like to read a more detailed Deschutes River Fishing Report, click here.

 "Deschutes trout fishing is still awesome.  Try a Parachute fly. "                        To Top



You could beat those other guys 
to the best fishing water 
more easily if you owned a pontoon boat.
We can help make it happen.                  
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Sandy River Fishery Information Bank

Daily Fishing Report

Watershed Over-view
Sandy River Book
Biology Etc. 
Watershed Council Web Site

Want to escape the "trout madness" crowds in Central Oregon? 
Try the "COOL" side of the mountain. 

JUST ANOTHER DAY IN PARADISE. Trout fishing is steady, but most fish are small.  A few resident Cutthroats are starting to show in the lower reaches of some tributaries.  Fishing pressure remains light.  If you are into sparkling water, green vegetation and lots of room around you, you can find it here.

If you would like to read past "Insiders", click Archives

Your commentary is always welcome.  Drop us a line: 

TO HOME  The Fly Fishing Shop, Welches, OR

1(800) 266-3971

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Fish long & prosper,
Mark Bachmann, Patty Barnes & Mark Stensland


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