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Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Tug is the Drug

Water Time Outfitters is pleased to introduce a popular reflection of our passion in our new DECAL and T-Shirt.  For anglers everywhere the saying is so true-“The Tug is the Drug”.  These items just new to the market have already been a big hit.  Those who are addicted to steelhead fishing like we are will have to own these great products.  Click here for ordering info.
                  Decal is top quality waterproof material great for the fishing rig, boat, and thermos or rod tube.  Approximate size is 4 X 6".   Cost is $3.00 

Made from Gildan’s 6.1 oz pre-shrunk 100% cotton these shirts are both comfortable and functional.  Top quality printing process delivers a look of quality on a shirt that has a fit and feel of comfort.  Water Time Outfitter logo is on the front left with Steelhead Flyfishing – The Tug is the Drug on the back. 
Cost: $19.99 Med, Large, XL $21.99 XXL
                                                                   Back of the T-shirt

      We love it and hope you will too!  Great for a gift and excellent for the angler who thought they had it all.  Click here for more info.

Oregon Winter Steelhead Fishing

Winter Steelhead fishing has been excellent in the month of February on the North Coast streams in Oregon that Water Time Outfitter guides have been working.  We have had excellent results on the Wilson, Trask, Kilches and North Fork Nehalem Rivers.  Both wild and hatchery fish have been present in excellent numbers. 

This year North Fork of the Nehalem is having a record year for hatchery steelhead.  So far they have collected over 3800 fish in the hatchery trap.   That is almost double an average year!

Here's a couple recent fish.  Come join us!

The TUG is the Drug!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Dam Removal - White Salmon and Elwha Rivers

This is an amazing video showing the before and after on the White Salmon River and the Elwha river in Washington.  Check out the amazing change from the before and after.  Unleashing the river and opening water to wild salmon and steelhead to fulfill their natural place is a great thing. 

Elwha and White Salmon Dam Removal Video

North Fork Nehalem Mid- February

Fished the NF Nehalem, an Oregon Coastal stream, yesterday with the water low and clear.  There are a lot of fish around and we saw plenty of fish hiding in the deep spots.  A good amount of the fish we saw were darker fish but we did see a fair amount of chrome bright fish still.  With water conditions so low and clear our approach had to be spot on.  We enjoyed a beautiful day with clear skies, sun and some fun steelhead action.  With conditions like this don't forget to scale down your fly size and use flourocarbon leaders.

An interesting thing happened yesterday as we prepared the raft to launch.  A helicopter on a trailer pulled into the NF Nehelem hatchery.  It then proceeded to fire up and take off from the hatchery.  We later learned that the ODFW was operating an elk population study in the hills nearby.  We guessed that with the dusting of snow on the mountains the elk would be much easier to spot.

Stack mending to a specific slot produced this fish on the edge of fast water.

Good luck on the water.  Come join us some time  See our other NF Nehalem trips info Click here for more NF Nehalem info

Steelhead Fly Fishing: The Tug is the Drug

Monday, February 13, 2012

Glad to be Back on the Water

After 5 days of the Sportsman Show it was nice to be back on the water today.  After an afternoon spey casting lesson working the in's and out's of the double spey, single spey, c-cast, snap-t and others Wes had about 30 minutes left to focus on his fishing.  The water temperature was 41-1/2 degrees with the water level hovering at 13' (at the Estacada gauge).  Finally after a tough battle this beauty was landed.  We were almost locked in at the park because this hard fighting wild fish did'nt want to give up!  Rob Crandall.  Steelhead Fly Fishing: The Tug is the Drug!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Come See us at the Portland Show!

Water Time Outfitters will be at the Portland Sportsman Show Feb 8-12, 2012.  Stop by booth 1349 along the fly casting pond and say hello.  We look forward to catching up with you and showing you some of the things we've been working on.  You'll see our new decal and t-shirts as well as some great classes and schools we are providing for this coming year.

Hope to see you there! 

Rob Crandall & Gil Muhleman

Here are some of the highlights we're offering that you'll see at the show:

Winter Steelhead Boot Camp - Special package during the heat of the season in March, stay on the Wilson river and fish the Tillamook area.  Learn spey casting, presentation, rigging and much more!

Deschutes Steelhead Boot Camp- Special package is during the heat of the season in September, stay in our comfortable camp on the river and learn spey casting, presentation, rigging and much more!

Gil's February Special - Fish with Gil on the Oregon North Coast Feb 18-29 for only $250 per day for 2 people- see details.  Wilson, Trask, Kilches or other rivers at prime time!

Check our our new Decal for your rig, boat, thermos, rod tube or fly box.  This is a 4x6" oval heavy vinyl decal made for the outdoors with our favorite saying on it "The Tug is the Drug"  You can be the proud owner of this decal:  Click here for more info or to purchase.

This is our new T-shirt.  It features the "Tug is the Drug" message with the same great fish as we show on the decal.  Buy it now at the show for only $15.00 and get a decal free. Or you can order it online as well.  Tug is the Drug T-shirt

Looking forward to seeing you soon!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Clackamas 1/2 Day Special Winter Steelhead trips

Today, a first for Royce- a winter steelhead on the fly rod!  We offer 1/2 day float trips on the Clackamas River custom tailered to what you want to do.  Today Royce wanted to learn to spey cast and try a few spots for steelhead.  We worked on spey casting most of the morning and fished our way to the boat ramp.

This dandy wild fish gave him a run for his money and at that Royce was only out $125 for a 4 hour trip.

Get some friends together and enjoy this before work special or afternoon on the water for only $100 per person.  $125 for a single.

Call Rob for details 503-704-6449  Check out Steelhead Fly Fishing: "The Tug is the Drug"

Monday, February 6, 2012

Something A Little Different

Greetings all,

        Well with Super Bowl weekend Ally and I went to visit friends in Eastern Oregon.  Knowing that there are still some Steelhead in the rivers that way I just happened to slip in a couple rods.  I know that the weekend was a very busy one on the Coastal Streams and was pleasantly surprised to find several willing fish to the East without any other anglers!  This is a reminder to us all that sometimes thinking outside the box results in an uncrowded experience and great times for all.  The following are pictures from Saturdays outing with a couple of my great friends:

We ended the day hooking 10 fish and landing 8.  Many of these fish were wild and when there was not a good place to quickly land and release them we focused on getting them back home without risking a picture.

Gil Muhleman
Water Time Outfitters


North Coast Steelhead Special

Greetings all,
          I will be instructing another Winter Steelhead Workshop in Tillamook on Sunday February 19th.  You can see results from the last class further down on this blog site.  I currently have a little space for this class where I devulge many of my secrets.  This information has taken me a lifetime to develop and it has proven successful for myself, those who fish with me and certainly for those who have taken this course previously.
Eric's First Winter Steelhead Ever Caught Last Week

If you are interested and have the opportunity to get out and experience this fantastic fishery please give me a call.

Remember to keep an eye on the blog as I will continue to update it with fishing reports and updates on other opportunities.

Gil Muhleman
Water Time Outfitters

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Winter Steelhead Fly Fishing Boot Camp

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, fly tying 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 Wilson River we have the option of fishing five different rivers most only minutes away. 

This action packed adventure is provided by 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 2012  cost is only $550

March 10 & 11

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

Steelhead Fishing the Clackamas River

Having grown up on the Clackamas River I have seen a lot of changes in the river.  Over the years the run timings have changed, the pressure has changed and of course the river bed has changed.  Many years ago I used to catch bass and bluegill in ponds that became the new river channel in the 1996 flood.  As a river changes the angler needs to keep up to speed to be at best prepared for fishing success.  Here is a current breakdown of important aspects about fishing the Clackamas River for steelhead.

The Clackamas River has both hatchery and wild steelhead.  Various strains of steelhead are in the Clackamas River nearly year-round.  For our winter steelhead runs we basically have 3 strains to pay attention to.  First returning is the Eagle creek strain.  These fish return to the Eagle creek hatchery a tributary of the Clackamas river.  Prime time to catch these fish in the Clackamas river is from Dec 15th through January.  Our other steehead in the Clackamas are our wild steelhead.  These fish start into the river as early as December but are most prevalent in the months of Feb, Mar, April and into May.  These fish spawn in upper basin tributaries and some are main stem spawners.  Gravel reintroduction by PGE in 2012 should help restore some historic spawning areas that have had less than desirable gravel sizes for years.  The third strain of fish found on the Clackamas system are the broodstock steelhead.  These hardy fish are based off the wild run.  Wild fish are trapped at the Casadero dam fish trap and some are used for this hatchery program.  As it has been described to me by biologist Todd Alsbury these wild steelhead are live spawned and returned back into the river. The broodstock steelhead are released at various locations on the river. 

                                      (An early summer run from 2011- note maxillary clipping)

The other steelhead stock in the Clackamas system are our summer run fish.  This strain is called the Skamania summer run.  These are early returningsummer fish that often start showing up in March and then build into early June.  These are aggressive strong fighting fish.  They do not spawn until the following winter/spring and enter the river with a healthy layer of life sustaining fats.

The way we tell the difference in these stocks of fish is by the fin clippings.  Broodstock steelhead are currently only adipose fin clipped.  Hatchery summer steelhead are adipose and maxillary clipped and Eagle creek fish have an adipose and ventral fin clipped.

Clackamas River Video Clip:

For more information on fishing the Clackamas River visit our website:  or see other blog postings on this blog site. "The Tug is the Drug!"

Record Steelhead Run- NF Nehalem

We've been catching a lot of fish this year, so we know its been good but now we know how good.  The NF Nehalem hatchery is reporting a record run of winter steelhead for the 2011/2012 run.  So far to the hatchery they have received 3060 steelhead.  That is the all time best return for any year on the NF.  Why is that such a great number?  Remember the NF is a small body of water.  Also, add in that there may have been at least half that number in harvested fish.  I know we've harvested a good number this year.

NF Nehalem Video - 2012

In addition to good returns to the hatchery, it appears that the wild steelhead run which tend to return later to the system have had a good early showing.  Just recently there were 4 wild fish landed on the disabled platform at the hatchery.  We have caught wild fish on nearly every trip as well.  That bodes well for the later, prime time for wild fish. 

We hope this record run translates to other steelhead returns on our other favorite rivers and often when its good for one batch of steelhead in the ocean, its good for the whole region. 

For more info on fishing the NF Nehalem see our other blog posts or visit: See our Steelhead fly fishing decal and T-shirt : The Tug is the Drug

Thursday, February 2, 2012

2012 Winter Steelhead One For The Books?

Hello fellow steelheaders,
What an amazing season of Winter Steelhead fishing thus far!!!  December began with no rain and severely low clear water.  I did my secret rain dance at the holidays and boy did I ever over shoot the goal.  While there has been a lot of water this January there have been absolutely fantastic opportunities with possibly my best catch numbers ever.  Remember that small streams like the Kilchis, NF Nehalem, Eagle Creek and others clear very quickly.  These streams typically fish best when larger streams are still off color and too high to fish.  For those of you wondering what to do this weekend, other than watch superbowl commercials, you may consider heading to the Oregon Coast.  Rivers like the Wilson and Trask will be at fishable conditions.  These rivers have rarely been fishable in January and are loaded full of chrome Steelhead right now!!!
Saturday I taught a Winter Steelhead class in Tillamook.  Those who attended got a lot of great information about the area rivers and were shown a few of my favorite sweet spots.  Two class participants joined me for a half day on Sunday.  It is alway a treat for me to guide anglers into their first ever Winter Steelhead.  Brett got things started with this beautiful chromer.
Not to be out done, Eric added a few more as we managed to hook 7 with 4 magnificent fish to hand.

For those of you who attended this class, all of these fish were caught on the Trask River in the area I told you was the transition zone.

Good luck to all and I look forward to fishing with you soon,
Gil Muhleman
Water Time Outfitters