Steelhead fishing on the Deschutes has picked up in the recent week as cooler water and a shot of rain put a blast of fish into the system. Numbers of migrating steelhead have been very poor this year so far on the Columbia River but this weeks cool off has sparked a good push of fish. In fact the biggest numbers per day migrating over both Bonneville and the Dalles dam have been in the last few days. Between Bonneville dam and the Dalles dam on the Columbia river there was a difference of over 70,000 steelhead that seemed to be holding tight between the dams waiting for cooler water. These summer steelhead do not spawn until the late winter/spring and therefore are not neccessarily in a huge rush to charge upriver.
Water temps on the Deschutes dipped considerably with a shot of rain we had on Tuesday. The week prior we did experience the first glacial water burp of the season from White River- a sharp contrast from last year. The good news is if our cooling trend holds we likely won’t see any further dumps of glacial water from the White River tributary this year. At the mouth of the river we are seeing temps of 58-63 degrees compared to 71-69 degrees on the Columbia River. Water temperatures at Pelton dam near Madras, OR have been around 55 degrees.
Trout fishing has been fairly good on the lower river with trout eating caddis and mohagany dun patterns. Occasionally yellow sally patterns will bring a large back to the surface as well.