Our Crooked River fish a long went pretty well. We had 6 members meet up at Big Bend Campground below Bowman Dam; Dave K, Paul B, George C, Darryl H, Red S and Jim B. Jim came over the night before and had lots of new, cool camping gear plus a new dog, Bob. It looks like he is ready for a fun summer!
The weather was a little cloudy & cool in the morning, a brief rainstorm rolled thru around lunch then it got pretty nice in the afternoon. The water wasn’t crowded and we were able to get the prime spot above the camp. We all fished hard from 9am to noon then broke for lunch, which was welcome as the water was a chilly 42 degrees. The water flow was good at around 370 cfs with good clarity, and this water level looks about normal. If you made the early April trip to the Crooked the flows were very low at 55 cfs.
There were a few active redds and we made sure not to wade close to them. If you found one and waited a little while you’d see some pretty nice sized trout hiding nearby.
In the morning the only hatches visible were midges and the most effective fly was a small size 16 red midge larva pattern nymphed just off the bottom. Later in the day some small mayflies started hatching and small brownish mayfly nymphs produced well.
Everyone got into fish and there were more trout than whitefish taken this day. The average size was around 8” with some larger 12” trout thrown in. Our biggest trout was a respectable 15” rainbow. We heard a few reports of larger trout in the 18” to 21” range but didn’t see any of those in person. One of these days!
We’ll have a Zoom meetingApril 20th at 7pm. Our presenter will be local book author Dennis Dauble who will be talking about Fly fishing in the Blue Mountains. Dennis is a retired fishery scientist, outdoor writer, presenter and educator who lives in Richland, Washington. He has written or edited five books and writes about fish and fishing for regional newspapers and magazines.
Our next Fish A LongisSaturday, April 24th on the Crooked River. This will be a “bring your own food & beverages” fish a long. The plan is to meet at Big Bend Campground between 8:30 and 9am Saturday morning. This time of year a consistent river level is the key to good fishing, so we’ll be monitoring the level closely as we are entering into irrigation season. If the river level jumps we will move the fish a long to the Deschutes River at Mecca Flats, as April 24th is opening weekend. Either way, we’ll have good fishing and fun times.
Thanks to everyone for sharing your reports! Pictures are first with the reports below.
From Mike Miller: This beauty climbed on board while swinging an black & blue intruder jumped 6 times and fought like a champ this March on the Clack. Member In gratitude Mike Miller. (if CFF had a contest for the happiest fish picture, this would be the winner!)
From Dave Kilhefner: I was able to go steelhead fishing a few times in March and did OK, landing 4 steelhead. The best one was about 13lbs and took 2/3 of my line on the first run. After landing 3 on gear I switched over to the spey rod and after a few attempts got one swinging my tried & true Black & Blue Metal Detector.
From George Krumm: Fly fished for Bull Trout on Lake Billy Chinook. Went 3 times and caught fish every time, wish is wasn’t so far away! George was accompanied by CFF speaker Joe Warren, who did a great write up on his blog Fly Fish Pursuit and below the Lake Billy Chinook report is a good write up on Pyramid Lake you’ll enjoy reading. Check it out.
From Greg O’Brien: Steelhead fishing has sure been tough this winter! I managed to get this nice hen on a guided day in Washington. Swung fly, solid eat, lots of jumping and multiple runs. It was awesome!
From Ryan Callahan: enjoyed my first fish a long at Wilder Lake and caught my two biggest rainbow trout!
From Jim Behrend: Rotator cuff surgery has me out of commission till mid-summer. (We’re sorry to hear that Jim and hope you have a speedy recovery!)
From Richard Harvey: the larger trout have begun to get active at the Oregon Fishing Club lakes.
After everything that happened in February one thought that keeps bubbling to the surface is “wasn’t March nice?” I think it was!
The fish a long at Wilder Lake was a big success so we’re going to go there again for the May 22nd Fish A Long. I’ll email the details this month.
Over spring break I was finally able to bring a winter steelhead to hand. Getting a steelhead on the fly has been a long haul this winter, so it was pretty dang satisfying when it finally came together. The steelhead took a Black & Blue Metal Detector and if you’ve ever steelhead fished with me you know I fish with that fly about 90% of the time. It’s good to have a favorite fly.
Our first Zoom meeting went very well. If you missed it, Garrett Lesko gave us the basics & beyond of Euro Nymphing with plenty good info thrown on tying flies & good sources of tungsten beads, which as you you know are not cheap. It got me excited to give this method another try and so I took some of my own advice and bought a new Euro Nymphing rod from our sponsor The Fly Fishing Shop then gave it a pretty good workout over on the Crooked River.
We’ll have another Zoom presentation April 20th on Fly Fishing in the Blue Mountains by Dennis Dauble.
Last month Kevin Brooks, CFF’s previous webmaster, contacted me about CFF’s old newsletters. He had them stored on an old hard drive and was cleaning house, so we have our old newsletters back: 126 of them dated from April 2001 until August 2013. They are fun and interesting to read. Anyone who wants to see them let me know and I’ll email you a link.
In April trout fishing starts to heat up. Locally, the OFC ponds are fishing well. Further away the Deschutes and Crooked rivers are good too. Remember that good fishing on these rivers will depend on consistent water flows and irrigation season is just getting ready to start, so check the water flows before you head out.
John Bartlett is posting Columbia River Carp Fishing Pictures, so that’s starting to happen. It’s something I’ve been wanting to try for a long time.
Winter Steelhead are still available thru April and Summer Steelhead start to show. Spring Chinook are coming too, but that’s a whole new level of fly fishing insanity.
For several years now we have been posting monthly fishing reports. Looking back on them is a fun way to get ideas for local fly fishing opportunities currently happening or coming up. Type “April” or “May” and you’ll get all the past reports for that month.
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