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

September 23rd Fish-A-Long

This month’s Fish-A-Long will be on the John Day River at Cottonwood Canyon State Park. The John Day is one of the best smallmouth bass fisheries west of the Mississippi. It is possible to catch 75 or more fish in a day; these fish average 8-12 inches.

It’s a very beautiful area to hike and explore. In the fall, the water is low and easily fished from the bank.

When- 8am Saturday September 23rd. Meet in Troutdale at a yet to be determined location and carpool to Cottonwood Canyon State Park. It’s about a 3hr drive from Troutdale.

Where- Cottonwood Canyon State Park http://oregonstateparks.org/index.cfm?do=parkPage.dsp_parkPage&parkId=195

Equipment
– 4 to 6wt rods with matching reel
– floating fly line
– sturdy footwear for walking over rocks
– rain gear, layered clothing, rain is unlikely but it is Oregon
– flies: surface poppers, muddlers, woolly buggers.

Come to Tuesday’s meeting to see sample flies and get more details. There are no services close so its suggested you bring a lunch and something to drink. Email ponzdog@icloud.com with questions.