Steelhead Tactics
Fly Tying
Lake Reports
Abel Platinum Reels
Why we love our lakes
Sandy Watershed

(continued from 07/31 The Fly Fishing Shop Insider)
When fly fishing for summer steelhead on inland rivers such as the Deschutes, Klickatat, John Day, Imnaha or Clearwater, the most popular approach is with the floating line and a cast that brings the fly across the current under tension.  Usually the fly is fished sunk, but

only slightly.  When everything works right the fly rides inches below the surface and the
fish rises from the 
bottom of the river and intercepts it.  The steelhead takes the fly and
turns back toward the bottom and hooks itself.  The angler lands the fish and feels 
smart and is proud of the accomplishment.

Some steelhead are more aggressive than others.   A percentage of steelhead will rise to the fly, but will not take solidly.  They will nip, pluck or pull on the fly in such a manner that they do not get stuck.  Others will refuse the fly all together and turn in such a manner as to leave a disturbance on the surface of the water.  This is called a boil.  A few fish will come back repeatedly, each time refusing to take the fly solidly.  These fish are called players. 

Some of these players will not take no matter what you do.  But most will eventually take the fly if you are patient and do not loose your cool.  Here are some tactics that have hooked and landed many of these exciting and difficult fish.                      To Top

Always keep and eye on where your fly is.  There are days when steelhead don't make very much disturbance when they approach your fly.  If you don't see them, you may not cast to them a second time.  If a steelhead boils or plucks your fly, recast the exact same amount of line with the same fly and repeat the presentation that rose the fish.  If the fish doesn't take on this second cast, wade at least ten full steps upstream and fish down to the fish again one step at a time.  This will usually pump the fish up enough to take on the second pass. 

If the second pass doesn't result in a solid hook-up.  Changing the fly is the next best option.  There are many choices that have worked, but the most consistent approach is to go smaller and darker.  Some steelhead have only enough aggression to attack very small somber flies.  For this reason I always carry two patterns that have bailed me out in difficult water conditions and often succeed with difficult fish.  They are my favorite "come-back" flies.   These two flies are Frank Amato's Night Dancer and my Prizm.  These patterns are dressed "low-water" on size #4 to #8 fine wire hooks.  No flashabou or other flashy material is added except for a fine rib and tag.  Here is the way they are dressed.


Night Dancer
Hook: Alec Jackson Spey (black), #3 - #7
Thread: black 8/0
Tag: fine silver tinsel
Tail: red hackle fibers
Rib: fine silver tinsel
Body: black floss or thinly dressed black dubbing
Hackle: dark purple
Wing: black squirrel tail
Head: black, small

Hook: Alec Jackson Spey (bronze), #3 - #7
Thread: olive 8/0
Tag: copper wire
Tail: golden pheasant tippet fibers
Rib: copper wire
Body: peacock herl, thin
Hackle: grizzly, sparse
Wing: fox squirrel tail
Head: olive, small

(to be continued in 08/14 FFS Insider)                                                                               To Top

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

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!
The water in most lakes is getting warm.  
Be careful to fully revive your trout when you release them.

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, Hex hatch.
Crane Prairie Reservoir Improving, fish scattered, damsels, Callibaetis, leeches etc.
Davis Lake Great Callibaetis hatches, fishing good. Bass hit poppers.
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 7/31, good hatches, can be crowed
Hosmer Lake  Last stocked 5/29, Caddis, Callibaetis & damsels, fishing good.
Laurence Lake Road opened 08/04/00.                                                To Top
Lost Lake Last stocked 7/03, terrestrials, caddis, Callibaetis, Hex hatch.
Mann Lake Midges & Callibaetis.                                                     
Olallie Lake Last stocked 7/17
Pine Hollow Reservoir Last stocked 5/08, fishing fair, water warm.                                    
Rock Creek Reservoir Last stocked 6/12, trout & bass fishing fair, water low & warm.
Roslyn Lake Last stocked 7/31, fishing good. Hex hatch.
Timothy Lake Last stocked 6/05, fishing good, terrestrials, Callibaetis, Hex hatch.
Trillium Lake Last stocked 7/31, fishing very good.
Wickiup Reservoir some big Brown Trout on streamers, getting better, still spotty.

                                                                                                                                     To Top


Abel introduces two new sizes in 
Super Series Reels 

Now available are #2 Super and #11 Super.
Featuring a elegant
Platinum Finish.

Abel On Line

If you want to see an amazing photo of an Abel with a Platinum finish, check this out.

     To Top

**(continued from 07/31 The Fly Fishing Shop Insider)
Why We Love the Mount Hood Lakes  (Beauty is where you find it.)        To Top

Roslyn Lake is part of the Sandy River hydro-electric diversion.  It is rich in aquatic life.  Managed as a put and take lake with no special restrictions, it is never the less an entertaining fly fishing destination.  It is easily accessible and open year round.
The road to Lost Lake form Welches over Lolo Pass takes you down the West Fork of the Hood River.  Although the West Fork and tributaries are close to angling for the protection of endangered summer steelhead, the drive is very scenic.

Harriet Lake is another hydro electric reservoir.  It is on the Oak Grove Fork of the Clackamas River which is spring fed and very cold.  This lake is a good bet during the dog days of summer when other lakes are too warm.
Timothy Lake is a large hydro reservoir (1200 acres).  The timbered shore line produces prolific falls of terrestrial insects such as ants, termites and beetles.  This water contains population of rainbow, brook trout, Kokenee and native cutthroat trout.

Sandy River Fishery Information Bank

Daily Fishing Report

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

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

Your commentary is always welcome.  Drop us a line: 

BACK 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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