Three days

I had a great three day weekend this past weekend. Since the wife and kid are out of town I headed out on Friday afternoon with my fishing buddy Alex to see if we could find some fresh salmon moving up with the rain. We headed over to the North Fork of the Nehalem near the hatchery and fished about about a mile or so down river but found nothing. When we got back near the hatchery we saw some dark salmon moving up over the riffles and a few bait fisherman who were not having any luck so we decided to move on. We headed an hour north to Big Creek where we found lots of way to far salmon running around. My friend got a rock of all things stuck in his tire and he had a huge leak so we put on a spare and headed back to my house to regroup.

The next morning we headed down to the McKenzie and what a day. After explaining the in and outs of my favorite section of river to a fellow fly fisherman I headed on down and threw on my go to parachute adams and nothing happened. No fish. Ok, ok I can figure this one out. I looked around and saw no mayflies yet. Alright, how about a stimulator?

Alright! After an hour or so of fish eating the same stimulator it lost all ability to float. As I was switching flies I noticed it had gotten a bit later in the day then I thought it had and I looked up river and saw the larger fish rising in the riffles. I headed up to them and put on my parachute adams and was rewarded with this beauty:

I know, three photos of the same fish is a bit excessive but it was a really pretty fish.

After that beauty we caught a few more but the day was slowing. I like the light glistening of the fish in this photo.

We headed south to the Willamette that afternoon and the next morning we went below Dexter dam and did some spey casting for Steelhead. While, Alex did spey casting for Steelhead and I did an interesting blend of single and souble hand casting as I had forgotten my spey reel. Alex snapped this great photo of me:

We found no steelhead so we opted to head up river and find some fun trout. We stopped up above the Black Canyon campground at a place that looked promising. We walked down to the river and I started working my way up river trying out my Ice Dub Prince / Mercury Pheasant Tail combo that had worked so well on the McKenzie. I was fishing a beautiful deep side pool and as I let my nymph swing it stopped. It seemed like such an abrupt stop that I figured it was a rock so I gave a little yank. Then the rock started to move out of the pool towards the whitewater which was moving super fast. I fought the fish for five minuets and getting him out of the twenty foot or so seep pool was really fun. My first large fish on the Willamette. I will definitely have to go back soon and see if he has friends in the pool:

On the way back through Eugene we stopped at the Caddis Fly Shop and I picked up a new #2 Microbarb Saddle in brown to replace the one that I have stripped of every usable feather. Now to get down to business and tie some lovely dry flies. Hmmm, which to do first?

100 Degrees is just no fun

Alex and I slipped away for a day and a half for a mini fish trip. The main reason was to run away from the 100 degree plus weather in Portland. It wasn’t all that much cooler where we went, but when you are standing in water that feels slightly warmer than an ice cube it sure is nice. The one big thing to bring back from the trip is that fish are not all that keen on dry flies when no bugs are hatching. Probably because they would have gone down in a ball of flames… Frrroossshhhhh. Now that I think of it, I should tie a ball of flame caddis bug.

The van was all loaded up…

We got to the McKenzie at 11pm so bright and early the next day we tried our favorite Trail Bridge spot…

We found a couple of these but no real big ones…

Tried the lower McKenzie and found a few little guys. Did a little dispersed camping at our makeshift sight and tried the North Fork of the Willamette to no avail.

You know what though, we stayed cool.