JUST A REMINDER
- WINSTON DAY 2002
|LT Rod Drawing at 4:00pm, Joan Wulff Rod Drawing at 5:00pm.|
|John Day River Smallmouth
By: Mark Bachmann
This story starts on July 9 in Condon, Oregon. Patty and I met up with Marty Shepard and Sam Macke in the restaurant of the Hotel Condon. Marty and Sam work for John Ecklund's Little Creek Outfitter Company. Marty was to be our guide, with Sam in a separate boat running ahead and setting camps for us. We are bound for a float trip for Smallmouth bass on Oregon's famous John Day River. We would float and fish 24 miles in 2 1/2 days. Most fishing would be done from the boat. The first night was spent in
|the hotel. The Hotel Condon proved to be a pleasant experience for both food and lodging. The next morning we met the guys at 5:30, loaded our gear in Little Creek's, customized F-350 six pack and headed for the river. We ate pastries during the drive while Marty filled us in on the history of the region. When we got to the river the rafts were blown up and the gear was loaded with the efficiency that only good training and experience can provide. I stayed out of the way, set up a rod and caught a bass on my|
| second cast, fishing upstream with a dry fly; kinda' like fishing for trout.
I had spotted several fish making splashy rises upstream from the boat
launch. There were both damsel flies and some large caddis near the
surface of the water. My second cast placed the fly 3' upstream from
one of these fish. It sipped the Foam
Damsel quietly. We observed many bass surface feeding during our
The Oregon State Record Smallmouth is 7 pounds 14 ounces. John Ecklund claims his clients have caught and released several record fish from the John Day River over the years without recording them.
|However, you don't have to be a trophy hunter to enjoy this fishery. The John Day river is also the perfect fishery for beginning fly fishers. That is because of the prolific population of small aggressive fish. Most fish we caught were from 6" to 10". Don't be mislead, an 8" Smallmouth can pull much harder than you might expect. Fourteen inch fish can take line off your reel with authority. We used 5-weight rods with 2X tippets and hand-line landed most of our fish to get them in as quick as possible. Some times we stalked large fish from the boat or on foot. Most of the time we fished for numbers of hook-ups from a moving boat. I only kept track of numbers of fish landed for two periods. During one 45 minute period I waded and sight fished while Marty was setting up lunch. l Ianded 31 bass. That's a fish landed every minute||
|and 27 seconds. The other period was the last morning. It was much slower. In a period of 2 hours I landed 51 bass from the moving boat. That's a fish landed every 2 1/3 minutes. That doesn't count the ones that didn't make it to my hand. Patty had similar success although she never counts her fish. The largest fish we landed was about 14". We got about a dozen this size and lost some larger ones. A monster bass inhaled a 6" bass that I was playing to the boat.|
|We watched him swim around while I fed slack into my line. When I tightened up he let the little half dead bass go. The hook pulled free of the little fish and the big bass sucked him down for good and disappeared into the depths. We stalked a pair of huge bass that were holding on an open flat. I got one to eat an olive colored|
but the hook pulled free after a short period. This leech made
from a new flash material proved to be one of the best flies for this
trip. A white Wooly Bugger was another very consistent fly.
Small green poppers were also very good. A
Floating Blue Gill Fry proved to be one of the deadliest patterns when twitched like a wounded minnow. Smallmouth Bass are fascinating game fish. They pull with unbelievable power for a short period. The John Day River is a spectacular setting for a float trip. When we were fishing, the river was very low, about 250 cfs. The water was 75-80 degrees. Wading in sandals and shorts was very comfortable. Speaking of comfortable....
|You know...it is
nice to have someone else row the boat, set up camp, do the cooking, wash
the dishes, tear down camp, load the boat, so you can just fish. For
2 1/2 days the only decisions we had to make was what fly to tie on and
where to throw it. We got information when we needed it. We
got pampered. "Marty and Sam, you did a damn fine
job". I would highly recommend a Little
Creek Outfitters |
John Day River Bass Trip to anyone.
from: 07/07/02 "Insider"
A Fly Fishing Trip to Loreto, Mexico
By Treg Owings
The second day we went out was much calmer. We again headed out at 6 AM. First getting bait and then heading out. We went north again today. Today’s fishing was a little better. We got into Dorado again. We found more Sargasso. Tacho, the guide, would toss a few sardines out near the Sargasso. We would wait a minute to see if anything
|happened. Usually we did not have to wait long before the Dorado would start hammering the bait. If this happened we would start casting baitfish patterns. The fish would often hit as soon as your fly hit the water. Doubles were common. I decided to try a popper with great success. I brought 3 rods, 2 ten weights and a twelve. A number of days I caught fish on all three.|
I had the 12 wt set up with a Rio Leviathan multi-tip line. I used this mostly for trolling. I had it ready for Sailfish if we spotted any. I was using the 400-grain tip. We trolled fast enough that the flies were often on top. This worked well after the fish sounded near the Sargasso. One ten weight was set up with a multi-tip line with a sardina imitation. The other 10 weight had an intermediate line with a popper. This allowed me to have a choice of which rod to use.
When the fish were being aggressive it was awesome. The fish were chasing sardines around, throwing water as they chased bait. Sometimes the fly would be hit after one or two quick strips. While this was going on more boats usually joined the fray. As long as they didn’t throw too many sardines in or did not throw bait that would sink everything continued to be crazy.
|Once in a while someone would troll through the middle of the fish and down they would go. This is when we moved to the next patch of weeds or began trolling. During one of these moves I lost the biggest fish I hooked during the trip. It took out about 200 yards of backing in about 10 seconds. Then it got off. That was the second good fish I lost trolling. I switched to barbed hooks after that. We continued to pinch the barbs on the flies we cast. This was for the fish’s sake as well as ours.|
A couple other tricks that worked for finding fish involved birds and turtles. Twice we saw Frigate birds cruising along. These birds would follow a Dorado waiting for it to crash some bait. When it did this the bird would try to swoop down and pick bait out of the air. I saw one flying fish get nabbed this way. When we saw the frigate we would head for it hoping to catch a fish or two below it. If we saw a turtle we would also troll by it. Often there would be a fish using the turtles for shade.
|We kept some fish and released others. We found out the guide really wanted to keep the big fish. When they put a big fish in the fish box the tails would stick up above the gunnels of the boat. I think this was a way of showing others that he put the fisherman onto big fish. We gave the guide a fish every day. I also gave the fish cleaner a bag of fish most days. Our evenings were similar each night. We would gather for dinner at the motel. Dinners were pretty good. Some of the examples were Mexican grilled fish, calamari,|
pork. One night there was
lamb. I heard that it was
actually goat. I brought
some Dorado to the cook for one of our dinners.
For $5 the cook cheffed up our Dorado in butter and garlic for 8.
Now this is living. We
also had a batch of Ceviche made a couple days later
risk of getting sick. There was usually one alternative choice for each meal. There was always enough food. And you never had to wonder about the cost. The one advantage of buying your own meals would be the economy of skipping a meal once in a while. With all the eating and drinking I only gained 4 pounds. I think that all came with the last dinner.To be continued in: 07/21/02 "Insider".
|"I got a chance to get well acquainted with Cortland's new 555 clear floating fly line on our recent John Day River bass trip. This line is easy to cast at all distances. It is especially friction free for really long casts. It is very stealthy. I found no negatives with the clear color." Mark|
|For nearly a hundred years Cortland Line Company has broken new ground in sport fishing line development. In 1953 they introduced the 333 Fly Line, the first low-maintenance floating line and the first bonded synthetic surface coating ever used in line manufacturing. Through the second half of the century, Cortland's 444 and 444SL pushed the|
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Fishing Shop, Welches, OR
Fish long & prosper,
Mark Bachmann & Patty Barnes