August can be, and usually is the toughest month for summer steelhead fishing here, but water temperatures are very favorable and steelhead are moving comfortably through the system without too much trouble.
The catching has improved over the past week simply because there are more fish moving into the lower river.
Numbers over the falls are still light, so for the next couple of weeks I would advise fishing below Sherars Falls.
During direct sunlit hours, you might think about fish faster and deeper water. It’s more oxygenated and because of it’s broken white water chop, it creates a natural shade canopy making steelhead feel more comfortable. So if you have sink tips handy, put one on and give it a try.
About the only may flies you’ll see at this point are the PED’s. They hatch from about 4 to 6 PM. The spinner fall happens late morning
and is usually short lived so be prepared to switch flies quickly. It is best to fish below fast water or classic riffles with those patterns.
Late summer hatches start to show signs of change. We are observing our third generation of BWO’s, size 20, Net Spinning Caddis (16’s), and Igloo Cased Caddis (20’s).
During summer months caddis can be, and usually are an abundant food source for trout anytime of the day. The middle of the day can be a little tough, mornings typically better, but its usually the best from 6PM until dark. The reason; toward the end of each day, caddis pupa emerge quickly to the surface to become adults and rapidly escape from the the river to find refuge on stream side vegetation.
At the same time, the caddis that became adults a day or two ago, are returning to the river to lay their eggs.
This is a great time to fish pupa (emerging), and diving (egg laying), caddis because both activities are happening at the same time. If the trout are not responding to your dry patterns, Switch to a down stream swing technique with caddis pupa or diving caddis imitations in riffles. This can really change how your day ends up!
Morning fishing has improved. Midge (size 20 to 22), are very active from 6AM to around 9AM. They also hatch in the evenings. A couple of other really good flies to try in the morning are the spent wing caddis and the rusty spinner. All these flies fish work well in back eddies.
we’ve done better presenting nymphs and larvae deep to get a grab.
Best water types to fish. Back eddies, steep bank runs, riffles, fast water pockets, and down stream of riffles where the water slows and deepens.
Look for foam lines and obvious seams where adults and emerging insects struggle. Spent may flies and caddis also become trapped in this kind of water, and of course trout instinctively find it easy to capture their daily nourishment as insects endure a rough time breaking free from those swirly seams.
If fishing is slow during the day, try fishing the steep banks, fast water with pockets, and tree lines that over hang the river. Trout go to these areas to hide from bright conditions. You will need to get your fly deep.
The river is very clear. The river level from the reregulating dam is 4,080 CFS (Cubic Feet Per Second), and the average water temperature is 63 degrees.
If you have Q’s, Please don’t hesitate to call, we will be glad to help
Imnaha River - August 26th, 2014
supplied by: Joseph Fly Shoppe, LLC RECORDED:70 °FISHING: Good
8/26 - Trout fishing has been good on the private and public access above and below town. Bull trout have followed the big salmon run upstream, and some are being caught in the upper reaches. I assume bass fishing is good on the lower river near the snake. A few steelhead should also be in the lower river. Steelhead counts over Lower Granite dam since 7/1 are at 7700 - slightly above the ten year average. River flow is at 150cfs.
8/15 - The Imnaha River does not hold as many trout as the Wallowa River, but can be fair to good if you work at it. Stop by the shop for directions to the best fishing. Bass should start moving into the lower river soon. You should have the lower river to yourself. Try fishing the 3 mile fishing easement south of town (stop by the tavren for beer/gizzards, but avoid discussing politics or, for that matter, discussing anything except the weather and cattle prices). Fishing the headwaters near the hwy 39 campgrounds is generally poor except for a few whitefish, small bows and a few dolly vardin.
GENERAL INFO – IMNAHA RIVER: The Imnaha is a spectacularly beautiful little river. It flows for fifty miles from the base of the Eagle Cap Wilderness to Hells Canyon. The upper river is nestled in huge ponderosa pines. The lower river has steep rocky walls, cactus, and a few rattlers. Fish run up and down the river like a freeway – salmon, steelhead, bull trout, rainbows, whitefish and even bass in the lower river.
The lower river is a wonderful little steelhead fishery. The mid river can be a fair to good trout fishery. The upper river near the FS campgrounds off Hwy 39 is a poor trout fishery because: native trout are not protected; the river is not stocked with trout; the river is glacial fed and does not have many nutriants; and campers tend to “fish-out“ this section of river.
Thanks to the Nature Conservancy and Forest Service, the lower river (the bottom 12 miles from Horse Creek to the Snake) has good public access. There is also a good easement upstream (south) from town for the first three miles. However, the mid river above and below town is mostly private and should not be trespassed. Oregon laws are tough. It is ILLEGAL to hunt or fish on private property without permission – it does not have to be fenced or posted. However, recent information from the Oregon Attorney's Office suggests that if you can float a river in a boat, you can wade and fish it below the high water mark - if you don't trespass when accessing the river.
Wallowa Lake - August 26th, 2014
supplied by: Joseph Fly Shoppe, LLC RECORDED:70 °FISHING: Fair
8/22 The lake has not been stocked since early August and, as a result, fishing for trout has slowed. We recently had an unconfirmed report that Kokannee fishing has picked-up (at least more local boats appear to be fishing the north end.
8/9 The lake was stocked with 6,000 fish this past week - one flyfisher reported catching over 50 on fly this morning.
7/30 Lake has been freshly stocked and is fishing good to very good for trout. Flyfishers are having the best luck swinging nymphs near the river inlet at the south end of the lake. Stike indicators are also working. Moss Green woolly buggers, carey specials or green matuka have done well. Trail these patterns 15" - 20" back with a small, sz 16 - 14 beadhead nymph to give the fish several looks. Small orange soft hackles as a trailer are picking up small Kokanee (no minimum size, so keep these for a nice breakfast)
Kokanee fishing thus far for mid size and large fish has been poor to terrible. As the summer wears on a few in the 6-8" range are being caught.
GENERAL INFO. ODFW is a reporting in a significant shift in the Kokanee fishery. Small kokanee under 10" have increased in recent years from 70,000 to 900,000. The daily catch limit was recently increased from 10/day to 20 (but only 5 over 12". There is less probability of catching the record size fish being caught a few years ago.
Wallowa River - August 22nd, 2014
supplied by: Joseph Fly Shoppe, LLC RECORDED:75 °FISHING: Good
8/22 - The Wallowa is fishing good - producing some bigger than average trout lately. Water flows are also good and water temps have dropped to a nice 60 degrees. Fish are finally starting to come up for larger hoppers/stimulators/madam x's - in addition to evening caddis hatches. Trout have started to move into the riffles, but the big boys are still being caught above and below big boulders or in the deeper slots with stonefly nymphs. We get lots of reports of how thick and active the rainbows are. Then there are the two fishermen who have caught steelhead in the Wallowa this past week!!! Yes, it is early, but "evolution" protects the run by sending a few fish ripping upstream every year. We always catch some steelhead in the Wallowa in September. By the way, one of the steelhead caught was a bright 30" hen - landed on 5X tippet after an acrobatic show that lasted 45 minutes.
GENERAL INFO - WALLOWA RIVER (our area’s best trout stream): Two forks of the Wallowa River tumble down the steep Wallowa Mountains and fill Wallowa Lake at the south end. A small irrigation dam at the north end releases water throughout the summer and fall. Upon leaving the lake, the Wallowa River enters mostly private property for approximately 25 miles before entering a canyon 3 miles west of the town of Wallowa. In this beautiful “Canyon Section,” between the towns of Wallowa and Minam, the Wallowa River is closely paralleled by Highway 82 for 8 miles and is accessible to the public. Most trout range from 8” to 12”, but fish in the 14” to 20” range are also caught. Despite the highway, this section of river receives only light to moderate fishing pressure.
Native rainbows need to be released in the Canyon Section, but fin-clipped steelhead smolt (those that were not inspired to move downstream to the ocean) take the place of stocked trout and may be kept. The Wallowa often runs too high to wade until mid July, but depending on the snowpack this can vary by as much as a month. A few steelhead enter the river in September (there are two steelhead and one salmon hatchery that serve the river) but most steelheading in the Canyon is done between February and mid April. Trout season runs from Memorial Day weekend until October 31, but one can fish for white fish until April 15. Steelhead Season runs from September 1 until April 15. A “Special Salmon Season” is sometimes opened in early summer if salmon runs are sufficient .
Grande Ronde River - August 22nd, 2014
supplied by: Joseph Fly Shoppe, LLC RECORDED:70 °FISHING: Fair
8/22 - We know of at least one steelhead being caught at Troy last weekend. We also know of two steelhead caught in the Wallowa above Minam, so there should be more steelhead in the Troy area. We have not received reports on the lower Ronde in Washington. However, 7500 steelhead have crossed Lower Granite Dam dam since 7/1 - slightly above the 10 year average. Ronde water flows are 7000 cfs - average for this time of year. Stay tuned.
GEN INFO: The Ronde produces some nice size rainbows and bull trout, but because it gets too warm in the summer it is not as good a trout stream as the Wallowa. It is a great steelhead river in the fall/winter/spring (known nation wide for it's top water action). It is also gaining quite a reputation as a small mouth bass strean in it's lower reaches (Troy down)
Lostine River - August 22nd, 2014
supplied by: Joseph Fly Shoppe, LLC RECORDED:75 °FISHING: Fair
8/22 - A difficult stream for trout, although pretty, small native rainbows can be caught if you fish away from the campgrounds or upstream from the end of the road.
GENERAL INFO: To catch small, pretty, native rainbows you need to fish away from camp ground areas. Unfortunately native trout are not protected on this river. Release them - you can eat all the brook trout you want from the High Lakes.or upstream from Two Pan.
Kenny Lake - August 22nd, 2014
supplied by: Joseph Fly Shoppe, LLC RECORDED:65 °FISHING: Poor
8/22 Kinney is very low and mossy. However, these conditions will change somewhat this fall and the fish will go back on the bite. We will report when we know of changes.
8/1 - Stocked with some nice size trout, this is a great little lake for flyfishing or bobber fishing with your five year old. Try a variety of streamer/nymph combinations (use your imagination - a rubber legged grasshopper trailed by a blue psycho prince). For dries try a 14 red humpy - casting it to rises or letting it sit for a while and then slowly strip it in. If fish become finicky in the eventing try a 14 or 16 parachute adams or griffiths knat.
GENERAL INFO: This is a great little flyfishing lake only 15 minutes from Joseph. HOWEVER, unlike most Oregon lakes/ponds it is only open during the stream trout fishing season (Memorial Day weekend to October 31), and you CANNOT use boats or tubes. It is a irrigation reservoir that is stocked by ODFW. In low water years it does not fish well in late summer. It can be a good fishing lake for young kids using bait.
Wood River - August 15th, 2014
supplied by: Roe Outfitters Oregon Guide Klamath Falls Fly Shop FISHING: Good
Hopper fishing on the Wood is producing browns daily. To entice the redbands you'll need to throw seal buggars and zonkers under the cut banks.