Sunday, February 27, 2011

Deschutes Flyfishing Report for Maupin Area

We are here to give you real time, accurate and truthful information about fishing in the Maupin area for trout and steelhead. This river can be very tricky and demanding at times. You may do very well one day using a specific method, go back to that same place and use the same method the next day and get handed your lunch. We are also here to help you catch fish. If we can make you happy we will be happy.

It’s winter now and the blue winged olives and midges are the main menu now. There are also some active winter stone flies. More on winter stones later. Trout will be our topic until July. In July we will discuss trout and steelhead. We specialize in catching steelhead on dry skating flies. Skaters Are Purity. Skaters Open Your Heart.

I have not seen any March browns yet (actually should be called March tans). We really look forward to this hatch, it can be truly awesome on this section of the river. Cased caddis (American Grannom) will be coming in late April. The stonefly hatch will start in mid-May and after that, the little yellow stoneflies (actually they are tannish in color) start in early spring.

Joe Ringo

Deschutes Flyfishing Report for Maupin Area

Cold this morning but the sun is out and its generally a very nice day.  I have to attend the Maupin Economic Development Workgroup today so I will not be fishing.

Barometer:  30.5  Falling
Air Temp: @8:00am 12  @ 4:00pm 36
Water Temp: @ 4:00pm 40
Wind: @8:00 Calm
Sky: Sunny
Water Vis: 3ft or so. not good
Water Color: Still off color

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Guide Bio -Joe Ringo

Joe Ringo -Fly fisherman, tyer, innovator, educator, dreamer, and a damn nice guy.  

I first fished the Deschutes River for steelhead in July of 1972. We would walk up from the mouth generally 3 to 5 miles. At that time, we fished with glass rods and used "Steelies" as lures. We occasionally used grasshoppers (real ones) with red yarn. The good ole boys swore that the smell of the grasshoppers drove the steelhead wild. I've always wondered about that...  Was it the scent that appealed to the fish or the red yarn?  Why do many reliable steelhead flies have a red tail?

After college and the Army I began fly fishing for trout and steelhead on the Deschutes in the Warm Springs area. That was in the 70's.  I also started fly fishing for steelhead upstream of the mouth.  My fishing brought me to the Maupin area in the late 80’s and I fell in love.

I loved it so much, my wife Kathi and I retired from our bar business on the west side of the mountain and moved to the banks of the Deschutes in 2002. We have a modest house in Maupin less than 5 minutes from the river.  Since moving to Maupin, I've worked at both fly shops here in town.  I was even part owner of one for a while.

I now fly fish for trout and steelhead, tie flies, read, play the guitar, play poker, help people catch fish and work as a guide for Larimer Outfitters (simply the best outfitters).  I'm a little wild and crazy when it comes to tying flies. Some would say I am obsessive compulsive when it comes to fly fishing... But I love the sport, its my passion.

-Joe Ringo

-Joe will be guiding our walk-in trips for trout and steelhead in the Maupin area.

Deschutes Flyfishing Report for Maupin Area

Two inches of snow on the ground this morning.  Good if you like sking down the banks.  I do not like to ski.  Sun came out and started melting the snow.

Barometer: 30.2 rising
Air Temp: @ 8:00am 22  @ 11:00am 27
Water Temp: @ 3:00pm 40
Wind: @ 8:00am calm 
Sky: @ 8:00 Overcast
Water Vis 3 ft or so. Ok but not good
Water Color: still off but better than last week.
CFS: 6220

Joe Ringo

The Real Deal with Rubber Soles

This boot needs more studs closer to the edge.

It was a sad day when Simms announced they were no longer building wading boots with felt soles.  I understood why they did it.  Simms has worked extensively with the University of Montana researching how wading boots spread invasive species.  While invasive hitchhikers can get a ride in other parts of the boot, the felt soles account for the majority of the crimes.  Many guides and fly shop owners have begged Simms to bring back felt.  However, Simms has made a stand against invasive species and their not about to back down because of a few whiney steelhead guides.  The rubber soles are here to stay.

I got my first pair of rubber soles last summer.  I drilled a set of the new Alumibite cleats into my new boots and headed for the river.  I hated the new soles from the moment I stepped into the river.  It felt like ice skating on greased bowling balls.  After fishing the boots for a few weeks, I got so fed up with falling I belt sanded of the Stream Tread soles, glued new felt to the bottoms and drilled in some burly studs.  Life was good again… Good and dry.

My good friend Eric Nuefeld, (the Simms rep. for the northwest) saw my little craft project and wasn’t impressed.  Eric is a steelheader and understands just how difficult the wading can be on our rivers.  He gave me a couple of tips that have made me reconsider the new rubber soles.  First, most folks aren’t using enough studs per boot.  On the old felt soles with factory studs, each boot had sixteen studs per boot.  Most anglers are putting only ten Hardbite Studs per boot into their new soles.  Put fifteen to twenty studs on each boot and it dramatically improves the traction.  The second tip is even more important.  Make sure you have at least half of your studs placed as close to the edge of the sole as possible.  The bottoms have a pattern for stud placement.  Screw the pattern!  Get those studs as close to the edge as you can.  You still want a good number of studs in the middle of the boot, but having studs near the edge really improves the stick factor.

The last thing to consider is what type of cleat you’re going to use.  I’ve had good luck with the Hardbite Studs but they do wear down over time.  You’ll probably need to replace them once a year if you fish a lot.  I really like the Alumibite studs for really stick wading conditions.  The aluminum sticks so well you won’t need as many studs as the Hardbites.  The last cleat in the Simms family is the star cleat.  In my experience, they work great for the first couple of weeks then rapidly wear out.  Not a big fan. 

Safe wading!
-Tom Larimer

Winter Steelhead Photo Essay

March, April and early May are "Prime Time" for winter and early summer
steelhead on the Clackamas, Sandy, Hood and Oregon Coast Rivers.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Deschutes Fly Fishing Report for Maupin Area

Sparse bwo hatch at 1:00pm.Water color has dramatically improved. Did not fish as it was snowing.

Thursday Feb 24
Barameter: 29.9 falling
Air temp: @8:00am 29  @3:00pm 34
Water temp: @1:00pm 42
Wind: @8:00am zero  @1:00pm calm  @3:00pm windy
ovsrcast @8:00am  @11:00am snowing
Water vis: 3.5 feet plus  good
Water color: nice winter greenish
CFS 6390

Joe Ringo

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Hear the Flavor of the Air.

Fishing report for the Deschutes River in the Maupin area.

I did not fish today. I fish around the Maupin area. From the White River campground, river mile 46 to locked gate rm 60. thats 14 miles of easy river access and plenty of great water. Stay in touch for more reports on this this area.

Wednesday Feb 23
Barameter: 30.1 steady
Air Temp: @8:00am 36  @3:00pm  42
Water Temp: @3:00pm 44
Wind: @8:00am slight  @3:00pm breezy
Overcast @8:00am   @10:30 snowing  @3:00pm overcast
Water Vis: 3ft or so bad
Water color: Greenish brown -Not so good
cfs: 6730

-Joe Ringo

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Another Delicious Slice of Paradise.

Fishing report for the Deschutes River in the Maupin Area.

I didn't fish today. Water color bad and it was blowing like hell. I have not seen a hatch for a week.

Tuesday Feb 22
Barameter: 30.1  and falling
Air Temp: @ 8:00am 40 degrees  @3:00pm  40
Water Temp: @3:00pm 44
Wind: @ 8:00am slight   @3:00pm  slight to breezy
Overcast @ 8:00am
Water Vis: 3 feet or so.  not good
Water color:  greenish brown  bad
cfs;  6700

Joe Ringo

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Ever Surf a Perfect Back Eddy?

Fishing report for Maupin area on the Deschutes River.

I didn't fish today due to poor water conditions.  I have not fished since Tuesday Feb. 15 because of water color.  Hopefully the river will drop soon!

Monday Feb. 21 2011.
barameter: 30.1   rising
air temp: @ 8:00am 30 degrees
water temp: @10:00am 44 degrees
wind: zero @8:00am   @11:00am breezy
sky: sunny
cfs: 6700
water visibility: 2.5 to 3 ft
water color: Greenish brown -bad

Joe Ringo

Thursday, February 17, 2011

No Sacrifices Needed

The guides had been threatening sacrifices to the rain Gods if the weather didn't change... Fortunately, no animals were harmed.  The recent rains brought the rivers up and the steelhead responded.  We've been finding fish on both the Sandy and Clackamas.  The recent warmer weather has also brought the water temps up which has also helped the bite.  Life is good!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Know When To Hold 'Em

Photo: Jeff Mishler

When fishing floating lines for summer steelhead, I almost always have my clients hold a “shock loop” of fly line between there rod hand and their reel.  The loop is typically about 2’ of line.  The shock loop is there to insure that a steelhead can grab the fly, turn, and run away before the hook is set.  In general, steelhead will almost always grab the fly and turn.  Sometimes this happens in the blink of an eye; sometimes it may take up to five seconds or more!  Despite the intensity of the grab, the fish should feel zero tension as it grabs the bug and turns.  You almost feed it to them.  If you set the hook as soon as you feel the fish come tight, one of two things will happen.  You’ll either pull the fly away from the fish -effectively scarring the hell out it, or, you’ll get a hook set which will usually pull free after a few head shakes.  Either way, it’s not the result we’re looking for.  If done properly, the loop should easily slip through your fingers and you should feel the fish engage the reel.  Once your reel starts to turn, it’s time to blast off.  Sweep the rod towards your bank and hold on!  If the fish hasn’t fully committed to taking the fly, it may only take part of the loop out of your hand.  At that point, you haven’t spooked the fish and you can switch flies to try and coax it back.

When fishing sink-tips, I discourage my clients from holding a shock loop.  Typically, I’ll set their drag fairly loose and have them hold the line lightly in their fingers.  When the fish grabs, I want to hear the reel “bark”.  The fish only needs to engage the reel and we’re off to the races.  I have gone this route because of simple on-stream observation.  I truly believe we hook almost the exact numbers of fish on sink-tips despite holding a loop or not holding a loop.  However, I know we land more fish when we fish straight to the reel.  I have a few theories on why this might be.  First, all of our sub-surface flies are either tube flies rigged with a stinger hook or stinger hook style flies.  Consequently, the smaller hooks penetrate very quickly.  I also believe there is a slight lag time between the actual strike and when the angler feels the pull.  This is more than likely caused by the sag in the sink-tip as it hangs off the Skagit head.  When a fish grabs a floating line presentation, the angler is instantly in contact with the fish, not the case with a sink-tip.  The final reason is the actual attack itself.  When a fish comes to a surface or near-surface fly, they often times do so in a gingerly fashion.  There are those bone crushing blows from time to time, but for the most part the follow/grab sequence takes a little time.  On the other hand, when a steelhead hunts a sink-tip fly, they do so with scary efficiency.  I once watched a steelhead flash ten feet away from my fly before smashing it.  What was so crazy about that grab was the flash was between the shore and my fly.  In other words, the fish passed my fly by at least ten feet, turned, and hit my tube leech with enough authority to instantly break 10lb. maxima like a spider web.  I think they often times make the turn before they ever get to the fly.  On a side note, I’ve noticed a better landing ratio when the angler sets the hook a little more vertical when fishing sink-tips.  Not straight up, but just a little canted to the bank side. 

Give these theories a try, I think you’ll loose less and land more.  Just remember to hold a loop with floating lines, go straight to the reel with sink-tips.  

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

La Nin~yaaa?

A quick fishing report... The rivers have remained low and fairly clear.  However, they're not as clear as they usually are at this level.  I suspect the nice green color we've had can be contributed to the flood a couple of weeks back.

We've been finding a few fish but a little rain would surely help the cause.  The guides are threatening to start sacrificing small animals if the sky doesn't open up soon.  Until then, be thinking smaller flies and deeper water.  Cast far and fish the fly deep.  The fish we have will be holding in deeper water given the low water conditions.  It's supposed to rain this weekend... If it does, things could get interesting real quick.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Fly Color For Winter Steelhead

We are often asked about the importance of fly color in the winter.  Does it really matter?  The reality is there are days where it honestly doesn’t make a difference.  Problem is, those days where winter steelhead attack flies with reckless abandon are few and far between.  Most days in the winter, fly color is a huge element in the recipe for success.  Below, we’ve broken down our favorite winter steelhead colors.  Hopefully it will help you put more fish on the beach this winter.

Pink:  A great choice for early winter fish.  We like pink in moderate to stained water on bright days.  As the winter season progresses, try fishing a pink and orange fly.

Orange:  One of our favorites, especially with copper flash.  Orange is the “go to color” on sunny days with stained water conditions.  If the water is moderate to clear, go orange and red.

Red:  If the water is moderate to clear and the sun is shining, tie on red.  We love the combination of red and black for these conditions as well.

Purple:  Have you ever met a steelhead that didn’t like purple?  It fishes best in moderate to stained water on overcast days or in low light conditions.

Black:  Like purple, black is great on overcast days or low light conditions.  However, black will fish well in almost any water clarity including clear water. 

Olive:  Folks don’t fish olive enough in the winter.  It usually shines in low, clear water when the fish are stale and have seen everything in the book.  It’s not a “go to” everyday, but it has its place in tough conditions.

White:  White is not a popular color for steelheaders, but it should be.  The combination of white and pink or white and orange can be deadly for fresh fish.  We like it in almost every water condition with bright skies or in the mid-day with overcast skies. 

Hopefully we’ve given you some insight on color selection for the winter.  When selecting a fly, always remember that confidence is key.  You have to believe the fly you’re swinging is the fly the fish is going to eat that day.  Sometimes you need to just open the old fly box and let mojo steer your decision. 

Happy hunting!