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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

How to be an Unsuccessful Winter Fly Angler

How to be an Unsuccessful Winter Fly Angler

The quest for winter steelhead on the swing is an admirable thing to do- only those who are carefull to be unlucky are completely unsuccessful at all times.  These are quick and easy steps to non-success that anyone can master.

Fish the wrong gear- a sure fire start to non-success is to use your summer steelhead lines for winter steelhead.  Swinging flies on the surface is fun and rewarding way to cast, and cast and cast.  Winter fish are frozen to the bottom so swinging a fly on the surface will ensure you don't get fish slime on your hands.

Consistency is for the birds- don't worry about your cast length or wading.  To be consistently unsuccessful it is helpful to cast short, then long.  Especially helpful is to make a short cast then wade 20 feet then make a long cast.  Being consistent and concise moving 5' down every time is boring.  

Sharp hooks are not worth the time.  If you worry about how sharp your hook is you are wasting time.  After pounding on a snagged fly that finally comes loose don't waste your time with a hook file.  This might ensure that if you did get a hit you might actually hook up and lose casting time.

Yank hard!  IF you somehow manage to get BIT after following the above advice do the following: YANK HARD at the earliest inkling that something alive is mouthing your fly.  This will ensure that you save the fly and don't harass an amazing wild steelhead. 

Ignore wind knots at all times.  When the wind blows (or even when it doesn’t) and your fly and leader end in a tangle be sure to keep casting.  Nothing slows you down like fiddling with knots!  If for some reason you snagged a rock or somehow hooked a fish - look at the bright side; the tippet would break and casting would go so much easier and you didn't waste any casting time fiddling with that knot! 

Wear lousy traction to ensure a short day.  If your wading boots suck you might get home earlier and have more time on the couch.  How you say with interest?  Once you go for a swim in winter waters the rest of the group will be forced to get you home where hypothermia will not be an option.  Rubber bottomed boots on large boulder rivers are a perfect combination for non-success.  Try this on days when your casting may be especially lousy or when there is a good football game on. 

These are some short tips when followed carefully will ensure your non-success this winter. 

Happy Casting!  

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Water Time Outfitters 2016 Guiding Calendar

Come join us on an amazing adventure- Water Time Outfitters guides the best waters of Oregon helping anglers make the most of their precious time on the water.  Below is our season at a glance. Please contact us and find out how we can customize a tailormade trip for you.  See more at:  or call Rob at: 503-704-6449.

Winter Steelhead caught on the spey rod.  Winter fishing from Jan-April.

Winter Steelhead- Jan, Feb, March, April: 
This is an incredible time of year in Oregon- so many of our rivers get both hatchery and wild steelhead in them.  With so many rivers less than 2 hours away from Portland (and some only minutes away) we have a lot of choices.  Those choices allow us to focus on the best fisheries with the best water conditions.  Don't kid yourself, this time of year is not for the faint of heart; rain is a standard and so are long underwear.  With proper clothing this time of year is a breeze!

For winter steelhead we guide these waters:  Clackamas, Sandy, Wilson, Trask, Nestucca, Nehalem and other secret spots.  Our focus on winter fishing starts Jan 1 and is often good through March.  On the Clackamas river near Portland the season lasts through April most years.

Spring trout fishing on the Deschutes River in central Oregon. 

Spring Trout Fishing- May, June
Trout Fishing on the world famous Deschutes river in central Oregon kicks off in May with the biggest bug hatch of the season- salmon flies!  These bugs are up to 3" long and are like a "big Mac" floating down the river for trout.  Aggressive surface action and busy nymph fishing are common this time of year.  We focus on multi-day float/camp trips this time of year to get you into the best waters and away from the busy areas of this world famous hatch.

Fly fishing for shad is a blast!

Shad Fishing Fun!  June
June is the month for rod bending fun- fly fishing for shad on Oregon's Willamette river.  Shad are great fighting fish and average 2-4 pounds ranging in size from 1-6 lbs making perfect sport for #5 weight fly rods.  This trip is more about catching than the "fishing" often averaging dozens of hookups per 4 hour session - fly fishing for shad is perfect for the beginner or the seasoned angler who just wants to have fun!  Trips leave from the dock in Oregon City, just minutes from Portland, OR.  We specialize in 4 hour sessions.

August steelhead in the lower 22 miles of the Deschutes are terrific fighters!

Deschutes -Spey Water Steelhead Camp -Jet Boat Season -August, September
Prime time guided fishing dates for the most pissed off aggressive steelhead of the season.  If you want a chance to see your backing, this is the time. Aggressive steelhead caught on swung fly are the hallmark of the Deschutes. This technique is thrilling and rewarding. Most of the season steelhead can be caught on floating lines. Steelhead migrating the Columbia basin drop into the Deschutes river in sometimes enourmous numbers as water temps in the Columbia soar the cool waters of the D are a magnate for salmon and steelhead alike!   Here we set up comfortable riverside camps- with our 14’x14’ canvas tents, hammocks where we can, shade canopy, shower and full kitchen.  Marty is generally keeping camp dialed in and doing our cooking.  We generally run up to 3-4 anglers in the jet boat per day.  

Fall steelhead camp on the Deschutes River.  

Wild Fall run steelhead on the Deschutes River- October.

Deschutes Steelhead Camp - October, November
This is one of our most cherished times of the year when the weather is amazing, the fishing incredible and the canyon beauty /wildlife is spectacular.  Time around the campfire is full of stories and reminecing with prime steelhead water only feet away.  This time of year we offer 3 and 4 day float trips in the wild and remote section of the Deschutes canyon with comfortable camps, great meals and some of the best spey water on the river.  Groups of 6 or 8 anglers are easily accomodated.

Chum salmon are tough fighters, fishing near Tillamook, OR.

Oregon Salmon - November
If there ever was a more feirce battle of dogged determination and deep throbbing- rod wrenching fun it is from the standoff between the fly angler and an angry fall salmon.  Fall chinook or the notorious Chum salmon both are known for their tackle testing brute power and are a blast to go after with the fly rod. Most fishing is done with a #8 or #9 weight rod but a #10 weight is not too heavy.  Flies are often bright and flashy and expect to be using deep sinking sink tips or other tricks to get the fly deep where bright chinook and chum salmon like to hang out.  Day trips out of Tillamook, OR.  

Come join us for Oregon fly fishing at it's finest!  Our experienced team of guides have been fishing Oregon our entire lives and we love to share cherished time on the water.  See more about our guides and our fishing trips on our website: 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Oregon Steelhead- Fish of a Thousand Casts- Winter Spey Addiction

Fly fishing for winter steelhead in Oregon can be a challenge whose reward is often found after a lot of hard work.  Steelhead are often known as the fish of a thousand casts.  Oregon has many rivers that offer excellent steelhead fly fishing through the winter and spring months.

Not far from the city of Portland, Oregon are a number of great rivers.  The Clackamas and Sandy Rivers offer miles of great spey water.  1-1/2 - 2 hours away from Portland there are dozens of rivers along the Oregon coast that offer winter steelhead fishing.  Here we look for the best water conditions on rivers like the Wilson, Trask, Nehalem, Nestucca among others.

For more information on steelhead fishing winter and spring in Oregon visit The professional team at Water Time Outfitters will help you make the most of your time on the water!

Deschutes Steelhead Spey Camp

Experience the thrill when a Steelhead takes your fly in Central Oregon's most impressive canyon!
Deschutes River fly fishing at it's finest.  See more at:

Monday, November 9, 2015

The Deschutes River Fall Steelhead Experience

It is hard to find the words to describe the experience of the Deschutes River canyon fall steelhead trip. It's in Oregon's high desert, sage and juniper trees line the hills where basalt cliffs tower and canyons veer through the crags.  This is home to chuckar, quail, bighorn sheep, mule deer and coyote. A National Wild and Scenic cooridor that hosts a bounty of other wildlife along the river too. Beaver, otter, muskrat, mink, varieties of ducks and geese, great horned owls to name a few.  Then there are the big birds; bald eagles and golden eagles which are often seen soaring the basalt cliffs and wind ruffled ridgetops searching for prey.  Whitewater welcomes the prepared here and eats the non-experienced for lunch!  The remoteness of the canyon is part of the adventure where 32 miles of hard to get to water invites your exploration.

The Deschutes river is an aqua ribbon through this desert landscape and is home to one of the most robust steelhead runs on the lower 48.  Here both wild and hatchery steelhead are seemingly somehow born with-out the abiltiy to resist the swung fly.  These fish average between 6-8 pounds but are often found to 10 pounds.  Each year we land fish in the mid-teens.  One does not simply put the breaks on when fighting a steelhead here.  Mix big water with powerful fish and it's a recipe made for good seeing portions of backing line.  Hang on and enjoy the battle, don't rush it; let that fish run and then coax him back.

Getting ready for Buckskin Mary Rapids.

Wading is required on the Deschutes as regulations do not allow for fishing out of the boat.  The best traction money can buy is well worth it here.

History abounds on the Deschutes.

The Deschutes River railroad has an incredible story starting back in 1908.

On this adventure you can wake up to the smell of coffee and step into a prime steelhead run just feet away from camp.  Fish til dark if you like and allow the glow of the lanterns in the large canvas tents to lure you off the water. Or perhaps it's the smell of hot chocolate chip cookies coming out of the oven that welcome you to camp.  The sound of a crackling fire and dinner on the grill are part of the memorable adventure that tingles the senses and creates lasting memories.

As the weather gets colder times around the fire get better!

Campfires are allowed in the canyon after Oct 15th.  

The cool clear waters of the Deschutes are a mecca for salmon and steelhead migrating up the Columbia river.  Many seasons the Deschutes runs 10 degrees cooler than the Columbia river and is a much needed safety zone for salmon and steelhead.  

Big Deschutes river rainbow trout like to eat steelhead flies too!

Fishing the swung fly for fall steelhead

Bull trout on the Deschutes River. 

Wild turkeys in the Deschutes canyon.

Bighorn Sheep on the hills of the Deschutes Canyon

Home away from home on the river.

Come join us for an adventure that words cannot describe; once you see it you will soon know why many of our customers have been fishing this trip with us for nearly 20 years!  Make the most of your water time with Water Time Outfitters.  For more info visit us at: @robcrandall @sageflyfish #perfectingperformance 

Winter Steelhead Workshop -2016 Schedule

Want to learn how to catch winter steelhead on Oregon Rivers?  Water Time Outfitters offers a special workshop just for you!  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 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 the water.   We will tour the river from the bank bound angler point of view showing you the sweet spots with public access.  On the water we will 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 fly lines for you to try out and get a feel for different systems. If you need some basic spey casting lessons there is usually a little time for that as well.

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 2016:

January 30th  -Clackamas & Eagle Creek meets at Royal Treatment Fly shop -instructor Rob Crandall

Feb 27th-Clackamas & Eagle Creek meets at Royal Treatment Fly shop -instructor Rob Crandall

March 19 - Clackamas River meets at Royal Treatment Fly shop- instructor Rob Crandall

Workshop cost is $100 including lunch and is limited to 8 anglers.  Spots fill fast and pre-payment is required to reserve your spot.

Call Rob Crandall to sign up now- for more info 503-704-6449 or to reserve your spot.  Email:  Winter Steelhead Signup Info