Hello Fly Anglers,
Last week we saw coastal rivers flood out and turn muddy then slowly drop while the Clackamas bumped up but maintained good color. Fishing results were mixed on the Clack through the week. Some found fish others did not but the good news was it felt like little batches of chromers were working their way through the system. If you didn’t get fish you might have seen a fish roll during the day just to let you know there were some around. I think we should be turning the corner into better fishing locally. As we hit mid-February it’s typically time for the broodstock hatchery run on the Sandy and Clackamas rivers to start hitting full stride. A good warm rain should help prove that out in the next week or so (provided we get that and not snow!).
I wanted to share a little bit about how important it can be to switch up your approach sometimes. This is the cold water time of year and it’s imperative that you get your fly in the zone. That is, at least half the depth of the water. If you not doing that your simply practicing your cast!
Last week Mike took one of our Clackamas River Steelhead Workshops and learned a pile of good spots to go and some new techniques to try. While out on the river in one of those new found spots he was working through the run with the cast, swing, step strategy. He wasn’t hitting bottom at all or getting any hits from those silver bullets. So he tried a change up- he adjusted his approach to cast- step- swing to allow the fly to sink a bit while he stepped down. In a few casts, he tapped a rock letting him know he was getting the fly deeper. Three casts later it wasn’t a rock- it was a pure chrome steelhead fresh from the ocean! By simply changing his approach he got the fly a bit deeper and found success. While your on the water think about how your fly is sinking, how is it swimming, how does it look as you swing your fly across? Is your swing too fast or too slow? Remember slower swings are going to help you get the fly deeper, faster swing is typically shallower. Part of balancing your rigging so you can get the right swing speed is to start with the right sink tip.
Try this test to determine if you’ve got the right sink tip on. The SINK TIP TEST.
Wishing you the best!
Rob Crandall and the WTO guide Team
P.S. Summer and Fall steelhead dates are filling up. Be sure to save your spot before they are gone & check out the AWESOME Sandy River Steelhead Class below.