Friday, March 27, 2009

Spring is here in Central Oregon!

Earlier this week I made it into a local river that flows at the bottom of a deep, high desert canyon. This is a little known spot so that is all I will say about the location. But I will tell you that the Blue-Winged Olives were out in full force and I will also tell you that the trout fishing was spectacular for Redsides in the 7-12" range. This particular stretch of river also has freakishly early Stonefly hatches and while I saw no signs of adults or emergers there was nymphs making their migration into shallower water and the trout eagerly gobbled up imitations of them. The walk into this section of rivers is like the walk I do into most of my favorite spots, grueling. The walk in is easy but the walk out is a 600 feet scramble, virtually straight up. The day was worth it though with over 2 dozen trout on nymphs and well over a dozen on dries. I even landed 2 trout on at the same time which is always something that makes me giggle.

Friday, March 20, 2009

A Great Start

Scott Robertson started his year off good with this nice 8lb Rainbow that he caught out of a local reservoir. The weather around Central Oregon has been all over the map. Snow one day, the next day sunny. So Scott took advantage of one of the nicer days and headed out to a reservoir that usually fishes well early in the season. He found some trout eating midges in a cove and let the wind carry his boat into the shallows. Scott throw out a #14 Chironimid under a strike indicator into 4 feet of water and within a few seconds he was fast into his best Rainbow of the year. So far. It is only March and the lake fishing is just thinking of waking up. One thing is for certain though, Scott is a pro-caliber lake fisherman and we are sure to see more pics of trophy trout as the lakes ice-out and the season goes on.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Smith Rocks

We had a nice break in the weather this week so I had to take advantage of it and went fishing. After some talking, my good friend Scott and I decided on Smith Rock. While it is not known for great trout fishing, it is still a beautiful place to fish. We caught several large whitefish and the weather was spectacular.

This is one of those places you go when you want to fish in awe of nature. The rock formations on this stretch of river are amazing and I would challenge anyone to try and look at just the water all day. You would fail. There is a feeling in the air when you are in the presence of natures finest work. It makes you feel small yet still part of something grand. It was a fine day with a great friend and great views.

Monday, March 9, 2009

A Guardian of the Bull Trout

Nate Morgan with a 30" Metolius Bull Trout
I recently received some very inspiring news from my good friend and fishing buddy Nate Morgan. Nate manages a building supply store and is surrounded by fellow outdoorsman. Well years ago Nate, some other employees, and customers started a Bull Trout Derby. The derby has grown and now has 40-50 participants. While I have not been to one of the derbies I hear it is a really fun event. In the past this has been a contest won by bringing in the largest DEAD Bull Trout. The derby takes place on Lake Billy Chinook in Central Oregon and "LBC" is one of the only places in the United States where you can kill Bull Trout, as long as it is over 24". That adds up to a lot of dead Bulls just during the derby, not to mention the rest of the fishing season. Needless to say this is a massive hit to the Bull Trout and as a species listed under the ESA it should be illegal. Nate feels the exact same way and asked all the participants what they thought about changing the rules of the game and use other methods to declare a winner. A majority of them agreed and now the derby is CNR. Great Job Nate.
There are many tournaments like this on "LBC" all or most are catch and kill and show off. How does this happen to an endangered species? I don't know. But I know it shouldn't and I know thousands of others agree with me. Nate and I have decided that we have to do our best to protect these fish. So now the question is, "How do we get ODFW to change the regulates to a state wide ban on killing Bull Trout?" That will be our mission. I know it will be a long and hard battle but fish is our passion and we have to care for and watch over our passions. Even fight for them.

Look for up-coming posts on how you can help protect this amazing species of fish!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Of Happiness and Sorrow (or Agony of da Feet)

OK, maybe that title is a little dramatic but when you have been staring at an endless snowy road for two hours, like you and your buddy are on a death march into enemy territory, you start to question your sanity. I have done this walk before so this time I thought I was being smart and brought the bicycles. The weather was great and I figured it would cut my travel time by two-thirds. So my buddy Scott and I took off for the hills not knowing our day was going to take a grueling turn. As we made our way up the road we started to get into snow, which got deeper and deeper until riding the bikes felt like riding in the sand. Frozen, Slushy Sand! We ditched the bicycles and proceeded on foot and let me tell you walking in that crusty snow was no better. But we do what we do for the sake of catching fish.
Alas, we arrived at our destination. Pure Joy. I have been here before but it always feels like the first time. This area is wild and it is evident by all the game sign (not gang signs) we saw. I payed special attention to the direction of the numerous, fresh cougar tracks you could see on the road we were walking. We fished hard, we fished long and caught more than enough trout to forget the work it took to get into this wilderness and to put a smile on the face for the trip out. I will leave the details on what we fished and how we fished up to your imagination. The trout in this section are foolish and trusting so pattern choice is mostly personal preference. But I will tell you this, there are Bull Trout in these waters and I brought a rubber band to a gun fight. Last time I was on this section of river I saw no Bullies so I left the heavy stick at home so I could keep the load light. Big mistake. A 5 weight and 6# test are no match for a 30" Bull Trout. I put up a good fight but the swift water in the lower end of the hole proved to be too much. Oh well. If you have ever had your @#$ handed to you by a large fish you know all you can do is smile. I WAS!!!