The Role of Chinooks
Lamson Litespeed Reels
Fly Rod Test Drive
Sandy Watershed

Mark Bachmann and Sandy River spring Chinook. (continued from 11/06 The Fly Fishing Shop Insider)
Are They More Than Grist For The Mill?
A salmon hatchery was established on South Boulder Creek, a tributary to the Salmon River in 1892. This hatchery was to supply Chinook eggs to bolster the failing Clackamas River runs. Chinook eggs were taken from mid-July through
November. There were fair numbers of fish. But what the hatchery people found at the mouth of South Boulder Creek in 1892 was probably no more than the remnant valleys, after the peak runs had been cropped to extinction. Old records speak of July spawning Chinooks in both the Sandy and Clackamas drainage's. There is indication that in the first two years of hatchery operation; peak-spawning activity was in mid to late August. These upper river runs had severely declined by 1900. By 1906 the runs were so poor that the hatchery was shut down.  

In 1864 the vacuum pack tinned can had been introduced to the Columbia River. Salmon could now be shipped long distances without fear of spoilage. Between 1864 and 1877 Chinooks were harvested so intensely that entire races were completely eradicated.   Before this 13-year harvest period, the spawning and fry emergence cycles would have been months longer and much denser than they are now. The overall food chain must have been immensely richer.  

Marmot Dam was built on the Sandy River in 1911. It was a huge habitat and passage problem between 1911 and 1974. It impeded passage and killed down stream migrating juveniles in huge numbers. During the 1940's the Sandy River Chinook runs were on the brink of total extinction. Runs had become nearly intermittent. Some years less than fifty fish returned. Peak years brought runs numbering in the low hundreds.  

From 1939 until 1951 the fish ladder at Marmot Dam was closed. All anadromous fish were eliminated from the upper Sandy River basin. Fishery managers realized that the unscreened flume entrance to the Marmot diversion canal was a death trap for a very high percentage of down stream migrating fish. Fish entering the canal eventually had to escape through the turbines in the Bull Run generators. Mortality was near 100 percent. Instead of forcing the power company to screen the canal entrance, they opted to stop migration of anadromous fish above the dam. They trapped all of the fish and took their eggs to be raised in a hatchery built below the dam. The project was a disaster. Runs further declined. They reached a low in 1943 when only 3 female Chinook show up for egg take.  
In 1951 the Marmot flume was screened so as not to entrap juveniles and the fish ladder was reopened. As Chinooks started to re-enter the basin, the run timing and spawning activity timing was very critical. This is because of the small numbers of fish available. Fish that reached sexual maturity too early or too late had a hard time finding mates.
(Continued in the 11/20 Insider)                                                             To Top

Lamson Litespeed Reel.

Lamson Litespeed Reel 
The new Lamson Litespeed is a true large arbor reel with a fully-sealed drag system.  No water or dirt can get into the mechanism to effect drag control or pressure setting. These reels are extremely lightweight. They are machined from solid aluminum alloy bar stock.  Each surface of the Litespeed is curved.  This subtly complex shape is extremely demanding and expensive to machine, but results in a strong, light, high-performance fly reel.  Price: $255 - $295   Click here to order.                  
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If you would like to read a  detailed Deschutes River Fishing Report, click here.


Fly Rod Test Drive - St. Croix PF 905    (9' - #5 - 2 peice)
(Field Test - Clear Lake - Trout -10/31/00)    

Our Short Bald Guide testing equipment. St. Croix builds very durable, practical fly rods that perform, but won't break your budget.  The PF905 is no exception.  On this test we chucked weighted Wooly Buggers from the beach and landed fish to seven pounds.  The PF905 was able to cast these flies easily to sixty feet and handled the big trout easily.  The PF905 is also a good choice for fishing dry flies in both lakes and streams.  It comes with a rod sock, but no case.   Cost: $85   Click here to order one.          To Top

Sandy River Fishery Information Bank

Daily Fishing Report
Watershed Over-view
Sandy River Book
Biology Etc. 
Watershed Council Web Site
Sandy River Fly Fishing Float Trips

Wild Sandy River Winter Steelhead.

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

Your commentary is always welcome.  Drop us a line: 

  The Fly Fishing Shop, Welches, OR

1(800) 266-3971

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