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Archive for the ‘Pacific Northwest’ Category

by: Charles Gehr

Before joining the Fly Water Travel team, I guided for five years on the Deschutes River for trout and steelhead. I was lucky to guide and learn the finer points of spey casting technique and tackle under the watchful eye of long time Deschutes veterans John and Amy Hazel. Guiding over 150 days a year for them gave me a graduate-level steelhead education that I will always be grateful for. In my opinion the Deschutes is one of the great steelhead fisheries in the lower 48 and over the years I really grew to enjoy sharing it with others. I had been away from guiding on the river for two years when Chris O’Donnell came to me with the idea of hosting/guiding a Deschutes steelhead trip with him. Neeless to say I couldn’t have been happier to have a chance to share my love for this fishery again so I jumped at the opportunity. Chris is owner/operator of River Runner Outfitters in Maupin, OR. Although he is one of the younger outfitters on the river he has already established himself as one of the hardest-working guides on the Deschutes providing an incredibly high level of service. Besides that he is just a really nice guy and so I was totally excited to get back on the water with he and his guide crew.

With only a few days left in the month of August we launched three guide boats for a four day float trip. I enjoy fishing the lower Deschutes at that time because steelhead are reliably entering the system and early September in central Oregon means long days of warm, stable weather. This time on the Deschutes also means favorable water temperatures for floating line fishing. True to form, nearly all of the fish on our trip were hooked on floating lines.

Steelhead days on the Deschutes generally start well before dawn and this trip was no exception. We rose early each morning in order to be standing in the water at first light and take advantage of prime steelhead hours. After fishing hard all morning and early afternoon our group would meet at a shady area by the river for lunch and an afternoon rest. By late afternoon we got back in the river for the evening session, fishing until dark.

So…how was the fishing? It was steelhead fishing. Our first two and a half days were what I’d call “normal steelheading”. That is, one or two fish per person per day and someone in the group having a blank day. On the evening of the third day our camp was set up on a very productive run. Comparing notes with the other guides, we had all witnessed steelhead rolling in our camp water. This was the push of fish we were hoping for. That evening the camp water started producing steelhead. Our final morning everyone in the group had caught at least one fish before leaving camp. That last day we all enjoyed productive steelhead fishing. It’s always nice to go out with a bang.

Like most of my best trips I learned a lot on this one, such as:

  • Nick and Nate, guides for River Runner Outfitters, are both passionate anglers and guides who have their own unique skill sets and styles of guiding.
  • Chris O’Donnell is a darn good cook.
  • I still know how to catch steelhead on the Deschutes.
  • I’m really looking forward to fishing with Chris, Nick and Nate more in the future.

See my pictures from this trip here

Chris and I have already set dates for our trip next year. Give me a call if you’d like to join us!

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from our good friend, Mark, who recently fished the lower Sacramento River:

Gentlemen,
Wanted to thank you for a fabulous father-son trip on the Lower Sacremento. The guide you suggested, Andrew, is an artist! He was not only proficient and patient, teaching my son Tate how to read the water, how to swing and catch “a big fat trout” but he also provided us with a precise and incredibly effective tutorial on how to work the Lower Sac using numerous dry flies. Frankly, I didn’t know that quality of dry fly fishing existed so close to home. My son Tate summed up our day when he said, “It was cool to catch those big trout!”

Thanks again. We had a ton of fun. We’ll be back for more. – Mark

Thanks Mark!

Give Charles a call at 800-552-2729 to book your trip on the Sacramento River!

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From Matt Ramsey, who guides on the Willamette River:

“Had a great time fishing on the Willamette with Dan Kahn the other day. Would you please forward his shots to him. Fishing on the Willamette is very good right now. We’re running into a couple of steelhead each day and the trout action is great. Yesterday my dude got 3 including one on an October Caddis dry. Here are some open dates remaining on the calendar:

Oct 19, 25, 26, 31

Tight Lines!

Thanks Matt!

Give Charles a call at 800-552-2729 to book your trip on the Willamette River!

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This just in from Chris O’Donnell on the Deschutes River:

“Yo Charles! Just got off the river today from a lower river four day. Single angler went 10 for 11, 8 wild, all fish taken on a size 4 xxx fly and floating line. Fishing was good all the way down.

Trip just before had similar fishing…See you in a few weeks!” – Chris

Thanks Chris!

Give Charles a call at 800-552-2729 to book your trip to the Deschutes River!

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There’s been a lot of photo work here at Fly Water Travel lately. Brian’s recent trip to Farquhar became a veritable buffet of saltwater species…


See more of Brian’s photos on Fly Water Travel’s Facebook page

Ken has just returned from his first Spring trip to the lower Skeena River, fishing out of Skeena River Lodge



Ken has a slideshow posted on the Skeena River Lodge page of our website. As soon as Ken’s fingers thaw out he will be publishing his trip report on the Fly Water Travel Trip Summaries Page.

Charles has been presenting slideshows of his trout and steelhead fishing adventures to fly fishing clubs throughout the Pacific Northwest. You can see the Deschutes River section of his Oregon Steelhead presentation here.

Give us a call toll-free at 800-552-2729 to star in your own photo gallery!!

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With the northern California trout opener less than two weeks away, it’s time to think about the early season fishing opportunities. Confluence Outfitters has secured exclusive access and accommodations on the Fall River and Hat Creek in Northern California. Within striking distance are the Pit and McCloud rivers, both productive and scenic freestone rivers. There are several other smaller creeks and stillwater opportunities in the vicinity. Walk-wade, raft, jon boat, and even jet boat trips are available on our local waters. Here’s a summary of our big four:
Fall River

The Fall River is one of the finest spring creeks in the West. It shares many of the traits that make the Henry´s Fork, Hat Creek, and Silver Creek famous: predictable hatches, crystal clear water, steady flows and water temperature, sight fishing opportunities, and large trout that feed on small bugs. However, the access to Fall River is very restricted. It is only fished from boats, specifically flat-bottomed prams fitted with electric motors and/or small gas engines. Fishing from the boat allows anglers to make deadly downstream drifts to visibly feeding fish.

Hat Creek

Hat Creek is one of the most famous spring creeks in the West. The 3.5 miles between Powerhouse #2 and Lake Britton include classic spring creek flatwater and long riffles. The riffles at Powerhouse #2 and the lower end of the creek provide an excellent on-stream classroom for beginner fly fishers. Conversely, the flatwater in between the riffles is some of the most challenging water to fish anywhere in North America. The depth of the water makes wading difficult in many areas, calling for long casts. Fish are spooky and feed very selectively. Getting a fish to rise to your fly here is a great accomplishment.

Pit River

The Pit River below Lake Britton dam has the highest catch rate and most consistent fishing of all the streams in northern California. Thirty miles of river provide endless opportunities to get away from other anglers. There are parts of the river right alongside a paved road as well as portions that require a strenuous hike to access. No matter where you choose to fish, you are likely to be rewarded with strong, wild rainbow trout pulling on the end of your line. The Pit fishes best from April through mid-July and again from mid-September through December. Mid-summer can be excellent, too, especially if the weather is not overly hot. Dry fly fishing is good mid-day early and late in the season and is excellent on summer evenings. Most of the time we fish with nymphs on the Pit. This river is an excellent place to learn various nymphing techniques, including indicator and high-stick techniques.

McCloud River

The McCloud River is perhaps the most scenic of all the rivers in Northern California. The lush riparian vegetation and milky-green water give the river a unique character. The color of the water comes from the glacial flour, or dust, high on Mt. Shasta. The glacial waters seep into the ground and emerge in a series of springs near the town of McCloud. These springs form the Upper McCloud, which flows into McCloud Reservoir. The river below the reservoir is one of California’s finest trout streams.

Lodging Options

Fall River Retreat

Just below the CalTrout public access, the Fall River Retreat is situated in the heart of Fall River’s best fishing. This two story house has sleeping quarters and a bathroom upstairs and a living area and kitchen downstairs. Both floors have a spacious deck overlooking the Fall River. This rental is perfect for folks who enjoy cooking their own meals and relaxing in solitude. There are great views of the river, Mount Shasta and Soldier Mountain. Bird-lovers also love this property as it is a thoroughfare for migrating birds. Two night minimum stay for 1 or 2 guests.
2011 Rate = $150/night for one or $200/night for two guests + 10% county lodging tax

Hat Creek Retreat

Located on Cassel Forebay and recently remodeled, this rental is perfect for families and groups of friends. The Hat Creek Retreat is a two-story house with a deck upstairs and downstairs and a great yard and swimming pool. You can walk right through the gate in the back yard and go fishing on Cassel Forebay. The deck and back yard are ideal for relaxing and enjoying a nice evening meal.
2011 Rate = $200/night for two guests plus $25/person for each guest over two + 10% county lodging tax

Give us a call toll-free at 800-552-2729 to book your California trout fishing adventure!!

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The latest fishing, I mean catching, report from Jeff Hickman on the Clackamas River…




Available dates with Jeff:

Winter fish: April 13, 19, 25-27,

Summer fish with spring Chinook possible: May 18, 23-26, June 1-3, 6-8

Give us a call at 800-552-2729 to book your Clackamas trip!

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