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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Clackamas River Steelhead- Westfly Interview with Rob Crandall

Click on the link below to hear  Scott Richmond's interview of Rob Crandall on the Clackamas River. (MP3 format 8:20 long.)  Scott Richmond is the founder of .  Scott gets some good info from Clackamas river guide and editor of Flyfishing & Tying Journal, Rob Crandall. 

Once you have clicked through to the page there is a gray bar with a play button.  Press the play button to hear the interview (it may take a few seconds to load).

Good luck on the water!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Deschutes Salmonflies May 25

The salmon fly hatch has progressed all the way to Warm Springs on the Deschutes river and trout are taking them off the surface.  Our guides are fishing from Warm Springs to Maupin.  The weather has been rainy and cool keeping the bugs hunkered down on the shoreline foliage.  When the sun comes out and warms things up the bugs get active and are on the water.  The river level has been high, yesterday near Madras the level was at 6240 cfs. 

Yesterday between the rain showers fishing was good along the edges.  We saw salmon flies and golden stones on the water, pmd's hatching, blue wing olives and a few green drakes hatching.  In the morning a mass of hovering midges were on the menu.  Our mid-morning midge pattern worked for a few fish that didn't want anything else. 

We are on for another 3 day trip today.  Stay tuned for more river reports.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Goose, Eagle and Uncle Fuzzy's Steelhead

The Goose, the Eagle and Uncle Fuzzy’s Steelhead
A fine morning on the Clackamas River with Uncle Fuzzy started with so much sun that we decided to go west instead of east as we headed out from the boat ramp.  The morning glare and sheen on the water was too much for our NW rain adjusted pupils.  As we say in Oregon, “We don’t tan, we rust .“  Our quest was two-fold; to chase steelhead with the swung fly and test run the brand new jet sled. 
The boat handled nicely and performed well.  Each bend and turn in the river presented a new challenge to the newly crowned captain. Uncle Fuzzy (aka Scott Richmond-founder of learned quickly as we maneuvered the slots and riffles of the Clackamas.  Learning a new river at 30 miles an hour is a precise game and being in the right slot is imperative.  Intricate river knowledge of each gravel bar and turn make learning the new transportation mode much safer.  Still the process of learning at these speeds is not for the faint of heart.
The morning sun warmed us as we worked our way through the run.  It’s been a long, wet, cold spring here in Oregon and today’s sun was just what the doctor ordered.  We were fishing with spey rods, the “long rods” of European origin.  Double handed 13-1/2’ long sticks that easily launch large flies and sink tips for NW steelhead.  Type 8 sink tips 13’ long and short leaders with tandem tube flies were the recipe we employed for seducing chrome steelies.
The fish we were after are the summers of spring, summer steelhead that arrive in the spring months.  These fish are hatchery origin and of the Skamania strain.  They live in the river for nearly a year and have added fat packed on to survive their long stay in freshwater.    This added fat is like steroids for fish and often only a few short seconds after a hook up to one of these beauties anglers are left standing in jaw dropped amazement of what just happened. 
The second run we fished Uncle Fuzzy found his fish.   “Fish on!” I heard as I worked the run below.  Looking upriver I saw Uncle Fuzzy was fast into a fish and a hot one at that.  His rod thumped aggressively as furious head shaking ripped line off the reel.  Several short runs and then the first jump- an aerial display of steelhead strength.  Four feet in the air the chrome steelhead twisted and turned.  As it hit the water spray went flying.  Then it was over just as quickly as it had started.
Uncle Fuzzy stood there trying to collect himself replaying the moments of his encounter over in his mind when another encounter happened all at once.  A shadow passed across me, it was an immature bald eagle immense at only 30 yards away and diving at the water.  It all happened so fast, I didn’t know what it was after, I assumed a fish.  A large boil thrashed the water just before the eagle hit the water it’s razor sharp talons extended.  The eagle veered off to the trees and disappeared.  My assumption that the big predator was after a fish was wrong as we watched a goose emerge from the scene.  It had apparently dove under water at the last second to avoid the eagle. 
Now the goose apparently dazed a bit flapped its wings and started to fly.  It’s eyes must have been crossed as it flew a bee-line escape right into Uncle Fuzzy’s brand new boat.  Feathers and flopping, honking and thrashing about on the edge of the boat commenced as Uncle Fuzzy and I watched in amazement.  The goose finally bobbled off and flew away the eagle hidden in the trees and Uncle Fuzzy’s boat with a brand new dent.
You might survive a ride in a fast boat with a new captain on the Clackamas River just watch out for the geese!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Deschutes River Evening Hatch

Evening Hatch Guide Trip- Deschutes River PRIME TIME!

Fish the prime time when most other guides are done for the day.  This is as good as it gets on the Deschutes.  The evening hatch is often the most prolific hatch of the day and usually gets trout boiling more than any other time.  Join us for prime time with our local guides who live here on the water. 

This 5 hour guided adventure starts at around 4:30 pm and eeks out every last bit of legal fishing hours as the frenzy of the hatch rises into the darkness of night.  Big trout know the deal, most other anglers are done by now.  If you want to experience the best the Deschutes has to offer join us for an evening hatch float trip.  It's worth staying up for!

Trip includes guided float trip or walk-n-wade.  Flies, equipment if needed and scheduled in advance and soft drinks, water and snacks.
$275 for 2 anglers
$375 for 3 anglers

For more info call Gil 541-419-7778 or visit

Get Started Fly Fishing!

Fly fishing can be a fun and rewarding life long passion.  Get started and don't miss out with this fun and easy class!

This introduction to fly fishing on the Clackamas River is a great course for the beginner, a gift, or fun for the whole family.  Professional guide of nearly 20 years and current editor of Flyfishing & Tying Journal - Rob Crandall shares his love of fly fishing in this starter course.

This one day session held close to Portland, OR at McIver Park on the Clackamas River gets you started.  This class includes: where to start, how to rig, fly casting lesson, knot tying, on water bug study-what do fish eat, fly fishing techniques and on water fishing for trout.  A get started class information packet is included.

This class covers:
  • Fly fishing terminology
  • Fly fishing knots
  • Proper rigging
  • Equipment
  • Fly selection
  • Fly casting
  • Entomology
  • On Water Fishing instruction

For this 6 hour course rods and reels are provided.  Bring your waders/boots, fishing license, lunch and park entry fee. 

This special class is only being held:  June 17 and July 9

Class Fee:  Only $75.00

Class sizes are limited please reserve your spot in advance. 
                        Call 503-704-6449

Spring Time in Oregon

It's that time of year here in Oregon where there is so much to do.  Trout fishing opportunities are really starting to ramp up and steelhead fishing has some interesting things going on as well.  Living in Oregon sure has its perks and its this time of year that I am reminded how fortunate we are to live in such a great part of the world.

Trout fishing opportunities are vast this time of year.  One of the big ones that comes to mind is the Salmon fly hatch on the Deschutes river.  This is a world class river that has some truly great fly fishing opportunities.  Add to that equation a bug almost 3" long and you've got a great combo.  Salmon flies are like "Big Mac's" for trout.  As the hatch gains momentum expect rainbows to greedily gorge on these big bugs.  Add in the many opportunities of lakes and small streams around the state and you've got some good stuff going on.

One of my favorite fisheries for this time of year is the spring steelhead we get on the Willamette Valley streams.  Better known as summer steelhead these silvery rockets come into our rivers in the spring and stay in the river for nearly a year.  These fish are a Skamania strain fish of hatchery origin.  The Clackamas river has these fish returning every year around this time.  This years run are identified by a clipped adipose fin and a maxilary fin clipping.  Once hooked they are ballistic rockets and some fish are simply unlandable!

I hope you are getting out on the water and experiencing some of the fantastic opportunities we have here in Oregon.

Good fishin!