Portable Fish Finder Review

Several months ago the fine folks at Deeper Sonar contacted me about doing a product review on their portable fish finder. I’ve tested the unit for several months and since Christmas is coming, this seems the ideal time share the results.

It’s full name is the Deeper Smart Portable Fish Finder. It’s a little smaller than a baseball and weighs only a few ounces. It works by broadcasting a WiFi signal to your smartphone and the PRO and PRO+ models have a range of 330 feet and will scan to a depth of 260 feet. Given this, it can be cast from shore or trolled behind a float tube or boat. It’s small size and remote positioning makes it very stealthy, which I’ve found is a big advantage.

Given its stealth capability the Deeper unit can find fish in shallow water. Most of us have had fish finders before and since they have to be attached to your boat, float tube, etc. the presence of your floating device scares the fish way.

This summer and fall, I tested it from my float tube in shallow water impoundments. It instantly proved itself valuable. I put it in the water next to the float tube and established the WiFi link with my phone and it showed the water depth to be 12’ and surface temperature of 50 degrees but no fish directly underneath me—no big surprise here. However, when I let it trail about 30’ to 40’ behind the float tube (attached to a length of line) it started picking up fish, and what I saw was very interesting! No matter how deep the water was, all the trout were stratified at a depth of 6 to 7 feet. Armed with this knowledge I was able to fine tune my angling strategy, catch more fish plus lose fewer flies on submerged logs by trying to fish too deep.

As I’ve gotten older I really appreciate things that are small, light and actually work. The Deeper Unit does all these things. When I’m not using it, which in my case is most of the time, it’s not in the way. When I need some insight into the waters I’m fishing, it quickly provides information I’m after.

If you go to the online product reviews you’ll notice some people had difficulty establishing the WiFi connection with their smartphone. I followed the directions and my own experience was trouble free. However, it should be noted you need to download the app to your phone before you go out into the middle of nowhere with no cell service. Once you have the app, you don’t need cell service to make the device work as it communicates directly with your phone.

My next field test with the Deeper Unit will be on my local salmon & steelhead waters. I can’t wait to get above some likely looking water and let the Deeper unit stealthily float back behind the boat and broadcast it’s finding to my smartphone. Stay tuned.

https://deepersonar.com/

P.S. If any Clackamas Fly Fishers would like to take mine for a test drive let me know

Cottonwood Canyon Fish-A-Long Report

Thanks to everyone who made it over to Cottonwood Canyon, it was a long drive! The John Day River Canyon is inconveniently located but the scenery, the good weather and the large numbers of willing smallmouth made the trip worthwhile.

We met at 8:30am in the parking lot. A couple folks decided to camp at the park, which given the 3 hour drive makes a lot of sense.  We had perfect fall weather with clear skies and a light breeze. It was a little crisp in the morning but by 10:30 it was time to stow the vest in the daypack and keep fishing.

The water was very clear and warm enough for wet wading, which was good because it was too warm to wear waders. The recent big rainstorm increased the water flow from the fall average of 125 cfs to 275 cfs. Even so, it was still easy to wade across the river and the shallow spots were only knee deep.

Paul and I worked our way upstream a couple of miles—you can go downstream too. There is a dirt road that follows the river. It seemed like a good place for mountain bikes, but they are not allowed; foot traffic only. At the end of the day I had logged 7 miles on my pedometer.

Everyone caught fish today. Most of the fish were small in the 5-7” range but a few larger bass in the 12” range were taken.

I did not get a chance to talk to everyone but Paul  and I did well on White Devils and dark Woolly Buggers. We tried some Chubby Chernobyl’s on top and had a few half- hearted strikes so we stuck with subsurface patterns most of the day. Paul was doing well in working downstream in front of me so to be different I tried indicator nymph tactics with a size 6 Red Fox Squirrel Nymph and did well.

This was another fun Fish-A-Long. Given the length of the drive we’d like to get some feedback to see if we should have another Fish-A-Long this far away or not. Please get hold of Paul ponzdog@icloud.com or Dave dave@kbi-ins.com with your comments.

Here is a link to more pictures of this trip and a few others: http://www.picturetrail.com/sfx/album/view/24785213

CFF Fly Fishing Challenge Underway

NOW is the time to calendar your fly fishing days away.

EXPLORE Oregon’s rivers, lakes and creeks this season.

DON’T miss out on the CFF Fly Fishing Challenge. Sign up!

TURN in your completed Catch Card at a regular CFF meeting.

RETURN the next month for your awards.

PROUDLY iron-on your patch and display your certificate.

PROMOTE the goals and aspirations of YOUR club!

May Fish-A-Long Report Rocky Ridge Ranch Lakes

This months Fish-A-Long was a huge success with warm weather, good food and fun company. We had a strong turnout and everyone got into fish.

Special thanks to Lane Hoffman for cooking dinner Friday night, Phil for Saturday breakfast and Paul for grilling burgers for Saturday lunch.

Some of us arrived Friday evening. The wind was calm and there was a good chironomid hatch going on. Fish were rising all over, some only feet from the shore in less 2 feet of water. It was hard to sit and watch but technically our fishing did not start until Saturday. We enjoyed a few libations on the deck, told lies and enjoyed a tasty chicken & dumpling dinner prepared by Lane.

The sun is up early this time of year so to get on the water at first light the early risers were up at 4:30 and on the water by 5am to target some of the big cruisers on the main lake. Lane had good action early on Seal Buggers and the rest of us caught a few.

The upper lake had been freshly stocked with trout; some real big ones! They were hanging around the boat ramp. It didn’t take long to figure this out and since space at the ramp is limited we took turns catching fish.

The lower lake was uncrowded. Dave and Phil ventured down there and had steady action for most of the day. Dave caught a 25” rainbow on a Green Devil streamer.

The water temperature was around 60 degrees with about 4 feet of visibility. At this water temperature you expect to see the damsel migration going. While there where good numbers of adult damsels out, only a few fish were caught on damsel nymphs; not what you’d expect if the fish were looking for them. Later in the afternoon Lane and Nancy tried some blue damsel dry patterns; this didn’t produce fast action but the strikes were vicious and worth waiting for.

The Rocky Ridge lakes have lots of quality fish in them and fishing is good right now!

http://rockyridgeranchoregon.com/

 

 

Rocky Ridge Ranch Report

The Rocky Ridge Lakes have some very big trout and the best time to get one of these pigs is when they are active for a short time before dawn. I arrived at the main lake at 6:30 to find Jim Adams fighting his second of two big trout; both were hooked on Chironomids.

That got the blood pumping so I quickly got into my float tube, kicked out of the shallows and started fishing with Chironomids as well. I got a couple average size trout, then the sun came up and the bite slowed.

Today the weather was clear with some high clouds. This place is famous for wind and there is really cool breeze blowing, but fortunately it’s not blowing too hard. The sun is up early this time of year and after our long winter this catches me by surprise. The water temperature was 56° with about 4 feet of clarity.

I tried several different Chironomid patterns and they just don’t seem to be working the way they should. After an hour or so of experimenting with different Chrironomid patterns and presentation styles with little to show for it I go in a completely different direction and tie on a Green Devil, which is basically a 1/32nd oz micro jig; green in color with an orange head. A fish grabbed it on the first cast! The fish are on this fly and by lunch it is mangled beyond repair.

It’s now closing in on lunchtime and needing more Green Devils, I kick in, set up my vice and tie 5 more. Then Lane cooks up some good burgers and we dine overlooking the lake. Full and tired, it was time for a siesta. Got back out on the lake at 2:30 and caught 4 trout on my first 5 casts! This fast action held up through the rest of the afternoon. Back on shore at the end of the day we were all smiles and agreed the fishing today had been epic. The hot flies were green toned leeches and woolly buggers. Carson got a steelhead sized fish on a Chironomid down by the earth dam.

Paul and Henry went down to the lower lake and had excellent action as well. The Rocky Ridge lakes have all been recently stocked and fishing is very good.

http://rockyridgeranchoregon.com/

The Chums are In!

Lane Hoffman is down at the coast today doing a little “pre-fishing” for our annual Chum Salmon Fish-A-Long tomorrow.

He reports the rivers are in good shape with lots of fish. Some rain is expected but it will take a lot to put the river out of shape. Fishing should be good tomorrow!

Deschutes River Fish-A-Long Report

First a BIG THANKS to Paul Brewer for opening his Maupin home and hosting this months Fish-A-Long.

Around 8am we all met at Paul’s place for coffee and donuts then headed down river to Beavertail Campground, which is about 10 miles below Sherars Falls.

The gravel section of the road was in bad shape—deep wash boarding made for slow going. According to the locals, boat trailer traffic and especially the heavier jet sleds make the washboards worse.

We arrived at the Campground around 9:45 and couldn’t resist trying to spot some mountain sheep on the huge canyon wall across the river. We thought we saw a couple but they disappeared into the shadows before we could get a good view with binoculars.

After wadering up we all headed upstream to a big flat that attracts spawning chinook salmon. The fishing plan was to target the trout and whitefish that gather below the salmon to feed on loose eggs, using small glo bugs under strike indicators.

Salmon were present but not in large numbers. Everyone had some trout action fairly quickly but then the bite died down. We fished until around 1pm then headed back to Maupin to grab a tasty lunch at the Riverside.

After lunch some folks had to head home while others stayed to fish thru the afternoon. We went upstream towards the locked gate area. The road was much better but there were a lot more anglers too.

It was a beautiful fall day; crisp but not cold with blue skies and only an occasional breeze.

tn_img_1851tn_img_1849  beavertail-aerial-view 410917862 150-05 16-05-010

Justensen Ranch Lakes Fishing Report

Last weekend I was able to fish the Justensen Ranch Lakes with my good friend Dick Law.

Mostly these are small 2 to 3 acre lakes but a couple are larger. They were created about 50 years ago to control flash flooding on Buck Hollow and Shaniko Creeks, which are the major steelhead spawning tributaries of the Deschutes and John Day Rivers.

The trout are fat and healthy and can get pretty big, typically running 14 to 20 inches long but there are some real trophy’s swimming around so it’s always good to use a heavier tippet. I like 8lb fluorocarbon.

The shoreline cattails require you use a float tube. The lakes are fairly shallow so a floating line is all that’s needed to get your fly in the strike zone. This trip the hot fly patterns were Carey Specials, Marabou Damsels and Chironomid Pupa patterns like the Frostbite with red, black & purple working the best.