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Fishing Report – end of March

Lots going on with this time of year for Steelhead fishing.  It’s that crazy time of year where the weather can’t make up it’s mind if it is going to be winter or spring.  Just yesterday we saw snow on the morning drive, sun, rain, hail, wind, sun and more snow on the drive home.  Ok, dress up in the gortex, thermals and let’s got there is so much to do!  Trout fishing is just around the corner and people are already starting to talk about salmon flies.  While fishing the coast we have been seeing March Browns and actually a large stone flapping on the water before us yesterday.

Coastal steelhead:  It’s been a bit slower than last year in most cases but consistent fishing since January.  We’ve seen a lot of low water this year and have finally received a few blasts of rain.  Each blast of rain we see some new fish arrive and breath a sigh of relief as we row the boat through more “normal” water levels for this time of year.  (Earlier in the season backs were sore as we wrestled the boats with  more “rock rowing” than anyone should have to do in a “rain forest”).  Wild fish are the norm in most of our Oregon North Coast spots with hatchery fish showing on the Wilson and Nestucca.  We have a few more weeks on the Wilson, Trask and Nestucca before thing drop off.  The NF will close at the end of March.

What we’ve missed in a lack of numbers of fish has sure been offset by the massive size of steelhead returning this year.  I have personally seen 5 fish in the 20 plus pound range in the last 2 months and saw one swim under my boat the was truly the largest I have ever seen in real life- way over 20!!.

Clackamas River:  Rain has definitely helped encourage fish to sneak up the Clack and fishing has been improving.  We have a mix of wild, broodstock hatchery fish and some early summer runs showing in the Clackamas.  These fish will spread out through the system from the mouth of the river to Rivermill dam.  This season is just hitting stride and I will be out there most every day in the sled or drift boat plying the waters.
Here is a fish that was caught by author Don Roberts on tuesday.

Deschutes:  Trout fishing will be full swing by May with the salmon fly hatch expected perhaps a bit early than the early arrival of the last few years if we are lack luster on our snow pack.  We’ll see how the remainder of spring goes.  At this point it looks like we will sneak around a big run off and have more agreeable water levels for the famous salmon fly hatch.  Look for things to break loose the second week of May around Maupin and then work upriver from there.  For right now, expect a few BWO’s mid-day and some March browns to be popping.

See more fishing info on our website or other blog entries: www.watertimeoutfitters.com 

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