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Thursday, March 29, 2012

April -Fishing Classes and Seminars

Water Time Outfitters has a lot going on in the upcoming months.  Below is a listing of seminars and classes that you or someone you know should know about!  If you'd like to attend any of these classes please call us to save your spot.  Classes fill fast: 503-704-6449.  Come see us, we are looking forward to meeting you.

Rob Crandall

April 11- NW Steelhead Fly Fishing Techniques- an informative powerpoint presentation on the details of success for steelhead fly fishing. Trout Unlimited Club 7pm Lucky Lab Pub Multnomah Village 7675 SW Capital Hwy

April 17- Klamath County Fly Casters- NW Steelhead Fly Fishing Techniques-  an informative powerpoint presentation on the details of success for steelhead fly fishing.

April 21 - Beginning Fly Fishing Seminar FREE!  Held at Royal Treatment Fly shop- call
503-850-4397 for details

April 28 - Beginning Fly Fishing Class- Royal Treatment Fly Shop and Local water

Clackamas Steelhead Fishing

When the water is the right level, fishing has been very good on the Clackamas River.  Water temperatures have warmed up a bit and there  are a good mix of wild, broodstock and summer steelhead in the river now.
Here Adrian shows off one of his biggest steelhead ever.  This fish put up an amazing battle fighting so hard and rarely coming near the surface; we almost thought we had an early Chinook.  It would have taped out near 36-38".

Big wild hen steelhead, nice job Adrian!

Lunch Under the Eagles Nest

One of my long time clients from San Diego was here recently fishing the coastal steelhead waters of Oregon.  For late March he was surprised to see so many chrome bright wild steelhead.  This year and most years that however is the norm.  We fished rivers like the Wilson, Trask, NF Nehalem and Kilches.  Fishing swung flies and indicators we had success on both strategies. 

Fat rain pounded down hard several hours as we worked the riffles and runs.  We saw few other anglers and had the rivers virtually to ourselves.  Floating in our raft we encountered waterfalls, eagles nests and steelhead rolling in several areas.  The fishing wasn't easy but the throbbing head shakes we did find were rewarding and exhilerating.  Fighting wild steelhead in wild places leaves you with an awe and respect for the finned creatures that live there.

Overhead an eagle glided near the tree tops peering down in approval as we plied the waters.  What a treasured place. 

We stayed at our local river house cabin, relaxed with a cold beer, listened to Bob Marley music and tied a few flies.   Being in Tillamook, OR we had to have some Tillamook icecream of course!  The Wilson river in the back yard and 5 other rivers only minutes away.  We could choose to float two different rivers in one day if we wanted.   

Come and join the fun for great Oregon steelhead fishing.

Best Moments in Guiding

Recently I had what was probably one of my best moments as a fishing guide and a dad.  My five year old son Tanner had been asking about going fishing for some time.  He had been helping me get the boat ready for my trips and asking when he could go.  Finally things worked our for him to come along with one of my long time clients and friend- Don Lewis on a short float on the Clackamas river.

With only a few hours to float we set off optimistic about our quick trip with a few honey holes in mind.  Our first spot was filled with boats and we went on down river.  Tanner was having a blast rowing the boat, drinking hot chocolate and asking Don questions. 

Finally with only 1/2 hour left in our quick morning mission we hooked a fish.  Tanner was gleeful!  He struggled to battle the fish and needed some help for much of the battle.  It was thrilling seeing the look on his face and his exclamations of pure excitement as the fish ran and jumped several times.  Don graciously ran the video camera.

Finally we landed the fish and Tanner quickly asked if we could "bonk it".  As it was a hatchery fish we kept it and had a great photo session.  Someone stepped on the rod and it was coated in the mud, but I didn't mind.  My little guy had experienced the thrill of a steelhead on the end of the line and that is one accomplishment I am especially proud of. 

Now I just have to keep working on his rowing skills so he can row and I can fish!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Winter Steelhead Strategies- Audio Interview

Check out this interview with Water Time Outfitter's Rob Crandall on winter steelhead indicator strategies.  Interview is with Scott Richmond of 

Click Here for Audio Interview

Saturday, March 17, 2012

"Big Fish" Les sends a note to Skip

Our frequent client Les just headed back home for a long drive.  Being somewhat lacking in the technology department Les asked me to send his good friend Skip (who could not make this trip) a quick note.

This is what he had me write (although I had to add a bit of spice myself):

Hello Skip,

I write this note to say first that Les Martin is a complainer.  The whole time he was here he was going on and on about how he had to catch all the fish and that Skip was a worthless pile of super glue!  (Skip had superglued an entire box of Les' fly eyes shut one year)  Seriously though, he asked that I connect with you on his behalf in medical terms.  That is, he knows you have had a good bout with medical issues recently and he applauds your vigorous recovery.   It seems that after days on end of casting, hooking and fighting enormous Oregon steelhead Les has his own medical issues.  What Les was wondering is if you had any experience to draw on for sore arms.  Perhaps you could call the old burrow and offer him some advice on soothing the aching muscles. 

 Attached is one of the smaller fish that Les tangled with while here in Oregon.  It is clear from the look on his face that he was quite disgusted with the small size of the minnow and very adamant about getting the “little bastard” off his hook and back in the water where his larger “uncle” might be. 

 So in summary, it’s really hard to tell how many fish Les hooked during the course of his time here.  All I know is he was trying to rig some type of apparatus to strap his sore arms to the steering wheel so he could make the long drive home.  Please call him and offer some medical advice in his dire time of need. 

Big Fish and Best regards,

Rob Crandall


Deschutes River -Salmon Fly Workshop

2012 Salmon Fly Workshop

Deschutes River Salmon Flies-Mystery Solved

Water Time Outfitters has the perfect package for fly anglers plying the Deschutes River salmon fly hatch. Have you ever been there and experienced frustration-struggling for success while trout readily ate naturals? Or seen so many bugs on the water and not one rise? We explore these problems and offer solutions in this one day class. We'll meet on the water at 9am armed with coffee and donuts. We will have a detailed discussion of the salmon fly hatch, how it works and what patterns produce. Then we'll spend some time on the water revealing our tricks of the trade for best success. We provide a full lunch, an entomology session and an afternoon fishing session in this action packed day.

This class is taught by Rob Crandall, Water Time Outfitters guide and editor of Flyfishing & Tying Journal magazine. 

Special Class offering is only May 19, prepayment is required to reserve your spot, fee is $100.  Please email or call to enroll.  503-704-6449 or email:

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Big Fish and Tough Conditions

It was a bet that the river would be fishable.  A freak winter storm rolled in Monday night and was blanketing the coast with a rare snow storm.  Heavy wet snow dumped on the coast range.  Rains before this cold front had rivers up and brown.  The gamble was that the cold snow would freeze up the gushing muddy creeks and the rivers would drop.  We drove.

Driving through the deep snow over the coast range was a different experience.  One good thing was we were sure to be the only ones on the river.  When we finally arrived we found this to be true.  We also discovered the river was still a bit high but worth a try.  We were here after all. 

Through the day we worked the water hard with heavy sink tips and big bright flies.  Rain, snow and hail pelted us - defining the insanity of winter steelhead angling.  Finally near the end of the day, the clouds broke and we glimpsed the sun.  The river seemed to be clearing and dropping.  My client Les had worked hard for a fish all day.

Suddenly a loud thumping erruped and Les let out a whoop!  His fly reel handle was a blurr and pounding the fly box in his vest as a big wild steelhead ripped line off the reel.  This was a hard charging fish that ate the big fly with a solid thud.  Line ripped out and Les' rod bucked.  This was no small steelhead.

After a several long runs down river the fish decided to go upriver.  Surging past us it smoothly charged its way straight up river into the current.  It did this twice, the second time farther into the reel than the first.  Finally the fish tired enough to get it close to the soft mesh net and then we had it.  A dandy wild steelhead from the Oregon coast.

Way to go Les! The smile on his face says it all!

Rob Crandall
The Tug is the Drug!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Clackamas River Report

With snow in the lower hills surrounding the Clackamas basin, the water has been cold.  Mount Hood has a fresh blanket of snow and we recently had snow on the river earlier in the week.  As of this week in March the snow pack is at 99% of what we need for the season.  Those are good things for the summer water flows and for our fish come summer and fall.  It also means that our water has been very cold.  That can make getting fish on the swing a bit tough.

Today was a good day on the Clack.  It was a sunny day with air temps in the 60's!  I wore a tee-shirt most of the day.  How good it was to feel sun on my skin.

We ended up the day with 6 hookups and 2 fish on spey rods.  One fish was our first summer steelhead of 2012!  You can tell these chrome hot rockets are summer steelhead by the fin clippings.  These hatchery origin fish have their adipose fin clipped as well as their right maxillary fin clipped. 

Chrome bright wild fish in March

First summer steelhead for my boat in 2012.
Note the right maxillary clipping.

Good luck on the Water!

Rob Crandall
The Tug is the Drug

Bananas Can't Stop Coastal Steelhead

With heavy rain to start the day off we launched the boat on one of our favorite March streams.  With not one person around we wondered about our sanity as we floated down river.  Why is no one here?  Is this supposed to be a terrible storm and we missed the report?  With heads down and our hoods up we slogged through the first few holes with out a single tug. 

A slow morning start and driving rain the outlook was starting to seem as gray as the sky.  Then Henry pulled out a morning snack.  A BANANA of all things!  Now as many may know there has long been a distinct animosity between fishing guides and banannas in the boat.  Many urban legends talk of banannas effectively killing any bite.  Many salmon fishing guides host "No Banana" stickers in their boat. 

Imagine our dismay when we realized the bananna on board was killing our morning fishing in the wild, windy driving rain. 

After eating that morning banana, things began to change.  We started hooking fish, the sun came out, angels sang and we landed some dandy steelhead!  So if you ever find a banana in your boat, quickly dispose of it, wash your hands and get back to fishing. 

Henry learns about Bananna fishing legends

Kirk's biggest wild steelhead

Henry's big one!

Gabe's first steelhead!
Come join the fun.

                                                                      Rob Crandall
The Tug is the drug.

Friday, March 2, 2012

February North Coast Steelhead

    What an amazing month February turned out to be!  Today is just the second of March and March is my favorite time to fish the North Coast!  I just finished 12 days in the Tillamook area.  Unfortunately I was unable to get internet access at the place that I stay so here is a report for the entire trip. 

     I was fortunate to have many fantastic people fish with me during this trip and catch fish they did!

We found some large fish

We found several large chrome fish

Several of my guests landed their first steelhead!

Most fish were absolutely chrome and really hot upon getting a fly stuck in their face.  Some fish were simply unlandable as they went deep into the backing on their first run and found debris near the shore.  One particular fish must have jumped at least 2 feet out of the water 7 times during the fight.  Many of the trips resulted in double digit hook ups in just 6 hours of fishing!

     I will be posting a few more pictures and some more details from this past two weeks tomorrow evening.  At this time I will be announcing another special for the month of March with the dates I still have available.
Tight lines,

Gil Muhleman
The Tug Is The Drug