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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Oregon's North Coast Rivers - mid December Report

Rivers on the North Coast of Oregon have had a big shot of rain over the last week and are finally starting to drop into shape.  As these rivers fall, chrome bright winter steelhead are charging up to their natal homes.  Rivers like the Kilches, Neccanicum and NF Nehalem are fast to drop and clear.  The Nestucca, Wilson, and Trask are soon to warrant effort as well. 

 Notice how clear the fins are in these early arriving fish. 

Get more info on fishing Oregon's North Coast at:

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Winter Steelhead Boot Camp - Learn to Catch Steelhead

Brought to you by Water Time Outfitters is the "Boot Camp" of Winter Steelhead Fly Fishing. Get started fly fishing for winter steelhead with the right tools and instruction for success. Great for beginners or advanced anglers who want to fine-tune their skills; or the summer steelhead angler who wants to learn what winter fishing is all about. This course covers spey casting, specific approaches to fishing techniques, rigging, reading water, fly selection and much more!

This action packed special provides all your meals, lodging, equipment as needed, instruction and guided fishing. We'll have over 20 fly lines for you to fine tune your set-up or use ours. Waders and boots are available as well.

Our on river lodging gives us the prefect launching point for an itinerary packed with learning. Conveniently located right on the river we have the option of fishing five different rivers.

This action packed adventure is provided by Water Time Outfitter's full time guides Rob Crandall and Gil Muhleman, our years of instruction and guiding experience will be a breath of fresh air for those confused or intimidated by the complexities of fly fishing. We'll be eating, sleeping and breathing steelhead fly fishing giving you plenty of time to unravel the confusion and mystery of fly gear and techniques. Learn what the expression means when you hear "The Tug is the Drug" of steelhead fly fishing.

This boot camp timing is set for the peak of the winter run steelhead on the Oregon coast. Both wild and hatchery steelhead are available at this time of year. Learn what it takes to catch and land steelhead on the fly rod with this excellent class format.

Winter Steelhead Boot Camp 2013  cost is only $925

March 8,9,10

Space is very limited - reserve your spot now: 503-704-6449

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Water Time Outfitters - Classes and Schools 2013

Water Time Outfitters offers some of the finest instruction in the business of fishing.  Come join us on our custom made classes, schools and workshops on Oregon's finest waters.  Call or email for more info.     503-704-6449

Winter Steelhead Workshops- Perfect for the bank bound angler this class takes you to the river and shows you the best access points, fishing strategies, run timing, water levels, spey casting, fly selection a hot lunch and much more!   Classes on the Clackamas, Eagle Creek, Wilson, Trask, Kilches rivers.  Only $100.  Call or email for details. 

Spey Casting Classes- Learn the basics of the spey cast with Rob Crandall and the crew at Royal Treatment fly shop.  This class will get you started with good fundamentals so you can be a great caster.  Call the shop for the next class. $60 503-850-4397

Steelhead Boot Camp- Intense focus on the "why" of "what" we do to catch steelhead on a fly in the winter.  Come join us at the coastal river house and immerse yourself in steelhead fishing.  Includes: casting lessons, fishing approaches, fly selection, knots, guided fishing, all your meals, lodging and much more!  Limited space fills fast.  Call Rob for details:  503-704-6449

Salmon Fly Workshop- If you've experienced frustration with salmonfly hatch, can't seem to time it right or just learning this class is for you.  This one day seminar helps unravel the mystery of salmon fly secrets.  Learn fishing techniques, entomology, reading water and much more!  This class fills fast, call for details 503-704-6449. 

Beginning Fly Fishing - Get started right with good fundamentals and fun.  Fly fishing can be confusing, let us help.  We start with the basics and build from there.  We have rods or bring yours.  Held on the beautiful Deschutes River this class is a good start in fly fishing.  Call 503-704-6449 for details.

Lake Fly Fishing- Our private lakes setting couldn't be better to get you going fly fishing lakes.  Large hungry rainbows with good hatches make this the perfect setting for a lake fly fishing class.  We provide float tubes, BBQ lunch, rods/reels as needed and much more.  Come join the fun!  Call for dates 503-704-6449.

For more info contact Rob Crandall at 503-704-6449 or email 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

NF Nehalem Report

A few steelhead are showing on the NF Nehalem river.  Nov 26 the water flow was 46" and dropping.  Nice green tint to the water.  We hooked one crazy chrome fish that went nuts, saw 3 Bald Eagles cruising the river looking for dead salmon and enjoyed a beautiful sunny day on an amazingly beautiful river. 

Prime time is coming soon and by mid-December fishing should be full swing. 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Water Time Outfitters Newsletter- Winter Steelhead

Winter Steelhead are coming...!  Check out some new fishing tips, video, schedules and other fishing related stuff for the November newsletter from Water Time Outfitters.

Water Time Outfitters November Newsletter

Good luck on the water!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Oregon Winter Steelhead Workshops

Want to catch a winter steelhead on the Trask, Wilson, Clackamas, NF Nehalem, Neccanicum River or Eagle Creek?
These workshops are designed to get walk in fly anglers comfortable with a variety of spots and techniques that will put them into fish on the Oregon's best coastal rivers.

Here is how it works. We start at the crack of 9:00 am at a designated location near the water with coffee and donuts. We’ll review maps that will give you at least a dozen productive steelhead runs that you can drive and walk to often these are spots we personally fish. With coffee in hand we’ll discuss the maps in detail.

Then when we’ve reached proper caffeine level we’ll grab a bunch of gear and head out to fish a few spots. At this time we cover: fishing techniques, fishing strategy, fly selection and more. This is also time to talk about lines, rods and rigging. We’ll have plenty of spey rods and nearly 20 fly lines for you to try out and get a feel for different systems. We will have ½ dozen spey rods and switch rods for you to try out and different lines to try on your own rod. If you need some basic spey casting lessons there is usually time for that as well. On the smaller water river classes (NF and Neccanicum) the single hand and switch rods will be the center of attention. 

If we actually catch a fish it will be by accident. The purpose of this workshop is to give you the tools you need to find, read, and properly fish good steelhead water the actual fishing will be secondary.

Around 1pm we’ll break for a hungry man’s lunch and then head on to some more spots with steelhead water you’ll want to drool on!

Steelhead Workshop Classes offered in 2013:

January 26th  -Clackamas & Eagle Creek meets at Royal Treatment Fly shop   

January 26th - North Coast Class- Trask, Wilson, Kilches meets in Tillamook, OR
February 16th - North Coast Class - Trask, Wilson, Kilches meets in Tillamook, OR
February 23rd - Clackamas & Eagle Creek meets at Royal Treatment Fly shop
March 23 - Clackamas & Eagle Creek meets at Royal Treatment Fly shop

Need flies? Royal Treatment Fly shop has a special package of winter steelhead flies for you:
Click here to see a recommeded selection of flies for the Clackamas River.
Workshop cost is $100 including meals and is limited to 8 anglers. Spots fill fast.
Call 503-704-6449 to reserve your spot.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Snow in my chili, Oregon's Deschutes River Steelhead in November

High desert in central Oregon is great during the summer and fall but when winter weather hits you had better be ready for the cold.  It is mid-november and Water Time Outfitters has great clients like Jeff, Penni and Eric who are ready to brave the cold and mine for steelhead in the cool waters of the Deschutes River.  Steelhead in the Deschutes river are of a genetic strain that stays in freshwater a long time; their final destination is to spawn in late winter or early spring.  That means long after the prime time crowd has left the river, steelhead by the thousands swim silently in the cold waters of thebig river northbound from the Cascade mountain crested town of Bend. 

Our first days lunch was hot chili that warmed us up inside out just as snow flakes began to fall.  Snow fell softly and then moved on as the weather changed quickly.  We wondered how the night might go with precipitation in the air.  Arriving in camp with the glow of lanterns lit in the sturdy canvas tents and the crackle of a warm fire we quickly forgot we were in the wilds of the canyon in winter weather.  Heaters warmed each tent and Marty our camp preparer delivered hot chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the oven.  That night we clinked our glasses in a toast to the weather and the steelhead gods which were so generous our first day. 

Each day we worked our way down the river about 10 miles.  The runs and riffles of favored steelhead water were everywhere.  What we didn't see were other anglers.  The scenery and setting were amazing.  We even saw 2 bull elk along the river.  Golden eagles soared high above distant ridges and mallard ducks were around each soft bend in the river. 

Layering with good thermal base layers like a thin merino wool then a medium thermal with good fleece and a warm hat coupled with waders that didn't leak and all were warm and toasty even when the mercury dipped into the 30's and 40's.  Not bad by B.C. standards but still a big change from a warm and comfortable office. 

By the last day all had experienced the thrill of fighting and landing steelhead on the fly rod.  Wild and hatchery fish were caught.  Some were lost but most were landed.  A few good pics happened along the way as well. The photos along with the text from this trip. 

Even with a few snowflakes the chili was still great!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Deschutes River Steelhead Wrap- November 1

Steelhead fishing was generally good with the occasionally tough day this year on the Deschutes river.  (See photos below).  Overall, we had consistent results and found fish on almost every trip.  We had a few tough days as can be expected on a year with 10 year lows for fish returns.  All in all it was a great season and we had a blast. We caught some incredible fish made some new friends and shared an amazing river with a lot of people. 

Here is a note from one of our recent customers:

Hi Rob,
On behalf of the three of us that fished with you and your stellar team of guides, I want to thank you for what was by far the best guided fishing trip I have ever been on! We talked to a person at one of the fly shops the day before the trip who stated that the steelhead counts were at a 10 year low. I was fully expecting this trip to be the same as every other with other guides where we didn’t catch anything for the 3 days. Don’t get me wrong, it is steelhead fishing so catching one is a bonus, and to have 6 fish between the 3 of us and 10 more hookups was phenomenal!

Not only were all the guides amazing at fishing, the food and accommodations exceeded all expectations.

Please sign us up for the same time next year, 4 fisherman or maybe 6 if I can pull it together.

Lastly, send me a good mailing address for you. I want to send you a gift you may find useful on the river. It is just to say thanks again for the best fishing trip I have ever been on.

Feel free to use this as a testimonial on your site.
Steve E.

Looking forward to another great year ahead.  If you'd like to fish with us find us at:  Here are some highlight photos.





Clackamas River Steelhead & Salmon to See Big Changes

Casadero Dam on the Clackamas River- Summer 2012

The Clackamas River is fish bearing stream about to see big changes. It is near the city of Portland, Oregon and flows through communities like, Oregon City, Gladstone, Estacada, Barton and Carver among others. Spring and fall Chinook salmon, coho, winter-spring and summer Steelhead run in it's waters. Flowing off the cool slopes of the Mt. Hood the Clackamas River is a complex system with a number of power generation projects interupting it's flow. PGE operates with-in the Clackamas basin and is up for relicensing it's current project. For relicensing PGE has been tasked with some major changes to the way business is done.

Warm water temperatures are death to salmon & steelhead juveniles as well as resident trout. The Clackamas river has been exceeding the maximum temperature requirements during summer months. PGE's solutions to lowering the water temperatures are big moves that in theory will improve the health of the river system.

North Fork Dam on the Clackamas River

First, adding spawning size gravel to the system below River Mill Dam is supposed to help the water run faster and cooler. Thousands of yards of gravel are expected to be added to the river. More water will be below the riverbed surface and under and around rocks gaurding it from the sun. This also mitigates for lack of spawning size gravel moving through the river system from upriver tributarys. The dams stop this movement of important sized gravel and over the years this is having a cumulative effect. Less spawning gravel for wild fish.

Fish Trap below Casadero Dam on the Clackamas River- Spring Chinook in the water

Second, Faraday lake on the Clackamas river system is a diverted portion of the river split apart at Casadero Dam. This water historically sat in the lake and then is run through power generation exiting back into the main river channel. This is also beleived to be a culprit of warmer water temperatures in the lower river during the summer months. The current plan calls for eliminating the lake and channelizing the water to the power generation facility.

Third, new fish trap facilities are planned to be state of the art and reduce fish handling. A new facility is being built near North Fork reservior. This new facility is promised to be much better than the old facility below Casadero Dam.

Fourth, new juvenile collection traps will be placed at the top of Rivermill and North Fork dams. Funneling fish into the newly updated bypass tube that takes downstream migrating fish from above NF all the way to below Rivermill dam.

Suffice it to say there are a lot of things going on with the Clackamas river system this year (2012). We'll see how these new changes impact our wild and hatchery steelhead runs.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Fall Weather and Oregons Deschutes River Colors

Finally the summer weather has given way to fall and cool crisp evenings are common now on the Deschutes River.  The leaves are in full fall dress now (mid-October) and the colors of riverside foliage adds sharp color to the grand scene of the Deschutes canyon.  Steelhead are spread through the entire system and many like the fall leaves are sporting coloration of varying shades.

The water levels have bumped up sharply mid month and wading is a careful exercise in some spots.  Currently the water levels are around 5300 cfs at Madras. 

Water temperatures are slowly decending and are hovering around 53 degrees. 

See more about Oregon's famous Deschutes River at:  

Saturday, October 13, 2012

A Good Morning on the River

Deschutes steelhead fishing is full swing with fish spread through the system from the mouth to Warm Springs.  Water levels have been low on average for the first part of the month and have finally started to bump up over 4000 cfs at Warm Springs. 

October client Ken lands 4 fish before lunch.  Great morning Ken!  Way to go.

See more about fishing the Deschutes River on this blog or at our website:

Monday, October 1, 2012

Mad Steelhead Mid-Day-Angler in Pain

It was a slow morning and we had to drop off a friend at the boat ramp at 1:00 so we decide to fish close by. The sun angle was good and I told Josh sometimes if there are fish around we can have great fishing mid-day if the sun angle is right.  Josh and I split the run and worked through with sink tips.  I was enjoying the opportunity to work on my cast and this spot was a good one for it.  The swing was wide and a long cast would reach out mid-river to the fastest water and swing into the sweet spot very nicely.  I worked on my D-loop and focused on using the bottom hand to tighen up the loop and launch the line into the wind. 

Fish were rolling mid-way through the run.  As the water deepend, fish rolled a lot and they were not trout.  Violent rolls of aggressive fish would snap my head around when I heard them. Often they were above me, fish that had not taken my fly as I moved through the run.  Anticipation built as I worked into the tailout.  In the deeper water above I could reason why I might not have had a grab but in the tailout all bets were off; fish should be seeing my fly. 

Then it happens when you least expect it.  At the end of the swing my fly came across a boulder as the swing was slowing down.  The line tightened slowly and I was sure I hung up on the rock.  I tightened the rod and started to lift to unhook the fly when I felt the unmistakeable pulse of a throbbing fish ripping the rod the opposite way and then - it was gone!  Uggh!  bad mistake.  I continued into the tailout with long casts deep into the current and far into the tailout.  Two casts after the "rock" incident the loop ripped from my fingers.  The line came tight to the reel and ripped out in aggressive surges.  I tightend the rod lifting towards the downstream side and a the fight was on!

Large headshakes shook the 13'-6" #7 weight Z-Axis spey rod I was using bending the rod deeply.  The fish ripped out some line and then cooled a second for more headshakes, then, well then it was gone.  Water sprayed off my reel as the fish ran downstream into heavy current.  The running line quickly dissappeared and then the backing.  Lots of backing.  I thrashed towards shore.  The bottom gave way under me and I dog paddled a bit getting a good dose of cool water in my waders.  Once to shore I scrambled down stream over rocks, boulders, branches, trees and other fun obstacles. 

I pulled hard on the fish.  It would slow down from time to time but the current and gravity were on it's side.  I couldn't stop it.  At one point it nearly spooled me.  That's right, all my flyline and over 100 yards of backing.  Running through the water with half full waders as fast as I could go over rocks and under trees was the best workout I've had in a long time.  My legs ached my lungs were burning and my rod arm was starting to cramp. 

Finally after what was close to 1/2 mile the fish slowed and held up.  I got the backing on the reel and then finally some of the running line.  Once caught on a boulder mid rapid, I was able to free the line and come back tight to the fish.  Working the fish downstream to softer water we finally were able to land one tough steelhead. 

See the video of Rob getting beat up by a steelhead:  Steelhead beats up Water Time Guide- Video

Josh and I came back through the run and got one more steelhead, a wild fish about 10lbs that stayed in the hole and didn't run so hard down river.  That was good because I don't think I could have run that run a second time. 

To get your excercise chasing steelhead come fish with us:  


Upper Deschutes River First Steelhead Since 1960

The first adult steelhead since the 1960s was passed upstream above the Pelton dam on the Deschutes River Friday, September 14th (photo attached), and the second this passed Wednesday,  September 26th.   12 or 14 PIT tagged steelhead adults from above the dams have passed upstream over Bonneville Dam.  Neither steelhead caught and passed so far has been PIT tagged.   Passed adults are receiving double green floy tags for ID purposes.  Some are receiving radio tags.


Also, yesterday while conducting a kokanee spawning survey, Mike Gauvin, ODFW, took the attached pdf photos of an adult male Sockeye on a Redd in the upper Metolius River at Smiling River Campground.   He is carrying a radio-antenna coming from the mouth.  
These are the early results of a monumental new project by PGE on the Deschutes river system to enhance and restore wild chinook salmon, steelhead and sockeye in the upper Deschutes river basin. 
See more on the Deschutes River at:

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Fishing Guide Touches over 100 Steelhead on Deschutes in ONE DAY!

Guide Gil Muhleman of Water Time Outfitters touched over 100 steelhead yesterday September 25th!  No it was not for some amazingly good and super lucky clients.  Gil was helping ODFW staff at the Sherars Falls fish trap.  Steelhead are migrating fast right now in the Maupin area on the Deschutes River.  Good numbers of fish are moving through the system and are heading upstream. 

The fish trap at Sherars falls allows biologist to sample fish and get an idea of run sizes.  The trap only captures a small portion of the run as it is only operated in the evenings and only certain days of the week.  "The trap was full when we got there; we would tag the fish and then let them on through.  After the fish in the trap passed on upriver we would reopen the trap.  With-in 10 seconds the trap would literally be too full again!" says guide Gil Muhleman.  "These fish are in really good shape, they seem to be pushing hard to get upriver.  About 10% of these fish seemed to be B-run fish, well over 10lbs."

Steelhead Boot Camp Success!

Our annual Steelhead Boot Camp was a success this September.  Our group of  anglers from all over the NW did well learning the ropes of steelhead fly fishing.  We covered spey casting, fishing stategies, reading water, fly selection, knot tying, rigging, approaching the run and much more.  All in all we had a great time and learned why we say the "tug is the drug".   If you to learn the "why" of what we do to catch steelhead enroll in the Steelhead Boot Camp with Water Time Outfitters.  We offer both summer and winter steelhead classes.  Find more info at:

Thanks to all who participated you guys were great!

Instructors for this class were Rob Crandall, Gil Muhleman and Josh Bradley support staff Marty Smith. 
Second fish of the trip for Steve!

First Steelhead in 20 years for this student! 


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Summer Fun in Oregon

The opportunities for summer fun in Oregon give the traveling angler/family a platefull of many options.  Fishing, hiking, swimming, skiiing, horseback riding, boating, wine tasting, and much more await. What ever the reason for visiting Oregon you need to experience some fishing while you are here.   To pick the best of the low hanging fruit of opportunities we have a few things for you to consider while you vacation your summer away in Oregon.

Mt. Hood is the centerpeice of Oregon seperating the lush green of western Oregon from the tan dry sage and juniper trees of central and eastern Oregon.  The Mt. Hood National Forest is one of the largest public segments of land in Oregon.  The Mt. Hood Wilderness area surrounds Mt. Hood and is full of spectacular views and some great hikes.  Timberline Lodge on the highest road on Mt Hood is a national treasure and a living history of the United States (multiple trail heads leave from this location).  The wood work here is amazing and the specialty coffee and brunches are a fantastic.  Ski camps operate here year round with some of the only summer ski programs in the lower 48. 

Mt. Hood sees it's best weather in July and August.

Timberline Lodge is home to one of the few year round ski areas in the lower 48.

The local wildlife are well fed.

Wildflowers can be found in amazing settings on Mt Hood -July through August.

Hiking in the Salmon River meadows.

The Mt Hood Wilderness area offers many miles of hiking and amazing views. 

If you like to camp, Oregon has many options.  The Mt Hood National Forest to begin with has a wide variety of campsites for tents and rv's.  Popular camping areas are: Timothy Lake, Clear Lake, Trillium Lake (great views of Mt Hood) and the upper Clackamas River. 

Camping at Clear Lake on Mt. Hood.  Summer fun for the family!

Another favorite is camping on the Metolius River.  This is truly one of Oregon's finest locations for summer relaxing and natural beauty.  In the midst of the Cascade mountain range and south of Mt. Hood you will find the Metolius.  A natural spring creek which literally bubbles out of the ground near Sisters, Oregon.  Walk the trail to see the source of the Metolius- it boggles the mind; also, bring some peanuts for the chipmunks here, they are quite entertaining. 

The Metolius River area has many things to offer the traveler who wants a relaxing hideaway.  Cabins for rent here make it easy with riverside views.  For a great retreat check out Fishing here can be tough but rewarding.  The Metolius fish are beautiful and wild.  You may find: rainbow trout, brook trout, kokanee, whitefish and bull trout in the Metolius River.  For supplies you will want to stop into the General Store at Camp Sherman.  Here you will find the most well stocked general store you ever saw!  They have some great coffee too. 

The Metolius River is a scenic river you'll want to see when visiting Oregon

Metolius River has a variety of fish species.  See some great info at the Wizzard Falls Fish Hatchery.

Fishing the Metolius can be a tough endeavor, watch for the hatch to happen and match closely.  These fish have PHD's in anglers.  When the fishing here drives you nuts, head to Oregon's top rated Deschutes River.

The Deschutes River's best fishing is the lower 100 miles where it is known as a tail-water river.  Below two dams the river flows and temperatures are well regulated.  This produces excellent hatches and great fishing for trout and steelhead.  Steelhead enter the river in July and are available through November.  Trout fishing is best from May through October. 

The Deschutes River wild trout are know as Redband Trout and are strong fighters.
Water Time Outfitters offers fishing trips on Oregon's finest waters including the Deschutes River.  We've been guiding for over 20 years and can help you plan your fishing adventure.  Most of our fishing options are with-in a two hour drive of popular destinations in Oregon.  We fish the Deschutes River, White River, the Clackamas River, Oregon Coastal Rivers and more!  Let us help you find the fishing adventure you seek. 

Deschutes River Steelhead

August is a hot month on the Deschutes River.  Hot because not only the weather can be very warm but the fishing can be excellent!  Summer run steelhead migrating up the Columbia river swim past Astoria, Portland, Multnomah Falls, Hood River and the Dalles before they see the cool waters of the Deschutes River.   An arduous journey that is for them just the beginning of their long quest in fresh water. 

Fishing has been mostly good as of late and fish are moving to the swung fly on the surface in the mornings and evenings.  The water temperature has dropped another degree but subject to the hot spells that may show up this time of year.  August is consistently a warm month, with hot dry winds blowing in the afternoons. 

Ripe blackberries bring a sweet smell to your nose this time of year on the Deschutes River.

Floating and fishing the lower Deschutes river is truly an amazing experience.  One can see deer, bighorn sheep and other wildlife.  Here the angler has mile after mile of great water to swing a fly in.

Come see the fun of the Deschutes River with Water Time Outfitters.