I came across an interesting add in an old archived edition of a Central Oregon Newspaper (The Brownsville Times) this week. In 1925, a Bamboo Fishing Rod was only $3.25, Leaders (the expensive ones) were 20 cents, and flies were 15 cents each. Interestingly, Fly Books (the good ones) were $1.90. Here is a look:
I got the chance to meet up with my “San Jose Fishing Buddies” in Eastern California for a few days last week to fish Crowley Lake. They have been talking with me about joining them at Crowley for the past few years, with stories of lots of big fish. While fishing on Crowley was rather slow for us, on the way down there I stopped and fished the East Walker River for a couple of hours. I’ve read a lot about the East Walker for several years as being a great trout fishery, but I really didn’t know what to expect. The weather was cold, about 45 degrees, but the overcast conditions were a good sign for some fish activity. What I found was what seemed to be relatively high and off-color water, with the banks heavily lined with trees and brush. Take a look:
The only bugs I saw flying were midges and a few small blue-winged olives. No rising fish were seen. But, there was a lot of great pocket water that screamed nymphing, and although the water was on the high side, it was fairly easy to move along the river’s edge to hit the good “fishy looking spots”. I used my 9′ 0″ 3 wt Bamboo Czech Nymphing rod, and started with several variations of small mayfly and midge imitations. I picked up a few smaller brown trout on a #18 Psycho Mayfly pattern, but was a little discouraged that I wasn’t picking up more fish since the water looked so good.
After going through my standard Go-To flies that usually work for me, I finally put on a #16 Prince Nymph just to see if any fish were interested. That was the ticket, and the fishing, or should I say catching turned on. In the next hour, I caught 8 fish on the Prince Nymph…6 browns and 2 rainbows…ranging in size from 12″ to 18″. I sort of pride myself in being able to “match the hatch” with my small nymph selections, but on that day, it was the Prince Nymph. I’m not sure why the fish liked it or what it was imitating, but what a great day. Here are a couple of the nicer fish I caught:
For any of you who are looking for an interesting fishery with some large rainbows and browns in eastern California, I would highly recommend the East Walker River. It was definitely not water for the beginning fisherman as it required strong wading skills, and it was very important to be able to put the fly in precise spots with little to no backcast room. But, with the right fly in the right spot, the fishing was great.
I took a break from rod building today and ventured out on Whychus Creek below our house here in Sisters, Oregon. It’s about 400 feet down a steep canyon to get to the water, but rather than climb down the hillside from my house, I drove over to a nice trailhead on the other side of the creek just across from our house. It’s about a mile hike from the trailhead down a nice trail to the creek. This area get’s almost no people fishing these waters so I was pretty excited to see how I would do. The creek is a nice water level this time of the summer, and the water temperature was still nice and cool. Because it’s small water and quite overgrown with trees, I selected my 7′ 0″ 4 wt Signature Series bamboo fly rod for the day. Some of the smaller fish were willing to take dry flies but it wasn’t until I changed over to nymphs that I got into half a dozen nicer fish in the 11″ to 12″ range. I had the creek to myself and loved my time searching the creek for “fishy water”. And…I also donated quite a few flies in the tree branches along the stream edge. Here are a few photos of my morning adventure:
Mary Ann and I made it out to the Middle Deschutes River yesterday for a couple of hours to try our luck. The water levels have been quite high but they are starting to drop…yesterday was high, but fishable. Water clarity was good, but boy, the water temperature was very cold. We both tried EuroNymphing techniques to tempt the fish. Not much was hatching but we managed to pick up a few smaller browns on nymphs.
Wow, it’s been a long time since my last blog post. It seems that spending time on some home repairs from a water heater leak, getting taxes ready, and high water everywhere have just kept us off the water. But, Mary Ann and I got out a few days ago to fish the Fall River here in Central Oregon. The Fall River is one of our local spring creeks that isn’t impacted much by snow runoff. I took out my 8′ 0″ 5 wt Spring Creek Series bamboo fly rod out for the day. I managed to pick up a few cooperative rainbows on nymphs in the morning and dries in in the afternoon when a decent BWO hatch happened. Here are a few photos of our day.