“The farther you travel to fish, the worse the fishing will be. However, it will improve immediately after you leave to return home, thus the old saying: the fishing is always better the day before you got there and the day after you leave” Max Schulman
“And this our life, exempt from public haunt – finds tongues in trees, and books in running brooks – sermons in stones, and good in every thing. I would not change it” William Shakespeare
“Some go to church and think about fishing, others go fishing and think about God” Tom Brokaw
My wife wanted to head to Woodburn Outlet mall south of Portland and so I started looking around that area for a spot to go fishing on Google Maps and I came across the weirdest place. It is called St. Louis Ponds and from what I can gather the “ponds” are man-made trenches filled with water each stocked with a mixture of fish and I thought that it warranted a looking at. There were large leafless poplar trees surrounding the ponds and all three that I looked in had so much algae that I was cleaning my fly off with every cast. It might be worth a visit sometime in the summer but I really doubt it. To many rivers to explore. St. Louis Ponds are here.
After losing three Steelhead on Saturday I just had to go back to Maupin. This fish is dedicated to my good friend David who unfortunately could not join me today. It just wasn’t the same without you, man!
I finally landed it. Here’s to you…
PS: The fish was out of the water for about five seconds. He is safe and sound back in the water, getting fatter for the next time we come around.
Alex and I had enough of trying to chase Steelhead around so we headed up to the Descutes on Saturday to try to find some hungry fish. Both of us got into beautiful Redsides in the same riffle. The Redside I got into was ten feet out into the riffles and when he took the fly he put a really nice bow into my 7 weight Sage rod. He shot up and down the rapids peeling line off, jumping in the air, and reminding me why I love these hard fighting wild fish. Alex got into three Steelhead but did not land any. If you go up to the Deschutes keep in mind that the railroad is handing out tickets to people trespassing on the railroad tracks.
I have not been up to see the area where the Marmot Dam was removed a few years back so I thought some recon work was in order. After starting up near Brightwood and finding loads of gorgeous water but no fish we headed down to the old location of the dam. The bridge is still there just no dam. The runs above and below are really pretty water thogh. The dam was here.
A view upriver from the bridge:
And a view downriver:
Here is a cool time lapse video of the dam removal from USGS:
The wife, daughter and I headed out for a favorite hike up to Triple Falls in the Gorge. Triple Falls is a few miles above Horsetail Falls (Just east of the famous Multnomah Falls) and the elevation gain from the car to the falls is pretty steep—made even a little more interesting by carrying a baby in a carrier who is tossing Cherrios down the back of your shirt.
The spot this video is shot from is high above the falls and the creek, but sheer drops are so hard to catch on camera.
This is just above Triple Falls and is some amazing looking pocket water. I don’t even know if there are fish in Oneonta Creek but when I see an area this beautiful I like to think fish are hiding in every pool.
I think—no, I know—that I am a bad Steelheader. I have stood in formation with bait casters and had some of the Steelies hovering right next to me. I have been on the lower Wilson and seen dozens of them but not enticed a strike, my line going right through the middle of the pod. Sighh… Oh well I get beautiful scenery and if I can’t catch the fish at least I can find great holes for trout in the spring while picking up garbage.
I have to get out and catch a good size trout. I try to bide my time through winter by tying flies, but now that the weather is getting spring like out the itch is getting bad. I may even run out to a lake this weekend and see what I can find.
I have been tying some great flies though. The most recent are a stock up of Parachute Adams in 14-18 with a great goose biot body that makes them super light and the biot will not hold as much water as a fully dubbed fly. I will try to get up the recipe and instructions for tying as soon as I can.