Summer fishing in full swing

Posted: August 13, 2012 by Hellcat in Fish Reports, Fly Fishing, Gear Fishing, Out of Area, Salmon, Trout & Steelhead, Salmon, Trout & Steelhead, Sturgeon, Warm Water
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I’ll preface this article by saying the somewhat obvious fact that these summer months upon us are my least favorite time of the year. They seem to drag on and on even though they’re only here for a very short time. I would go so far as to say most small river anglers would concur with this assessment.

That is not to say many of you reading this right now are having the times of your life. While hot, long days are a buzz kill for some….they are a Godsend for others. If you are a power boat owner you have a tremendous amount of options this time of year in the Pacific Northwest. You can take the family and spend time in the cooler hills surrounding our various metropolis’ by targeting trout, kokanee, bass or ever panfish.

Let’s face it, most of us have some kind of small fish background reminding us of our youth. This is a brilliant time of year to create memories like that with your own family or kids of your friends. Kids LOVE warm weather. Take advantage. Power boat owners also have a fantastic chance at large numbers of summer steelhead in the Columbia river. AND you can do so with anglers of very little skill levels. Get them out there and set up some simple anchor outfits.

Watch their faces light up when a frisky summer steelhead, or ten, jumps all over their little flame U20 Flatfish and comes careening out of the water Cirque De Solei-Style. You can also do this fishery in very shallow water this time of year which will limit the hazards of anchoring in the Columbia. Of which there are many. You must still have your anchor buoy and the necessary amount of rope (7X the depth of water in rope length deployed) but the chances of trouble are nil in most target waters.

Boaters that have a saltwater background find this time of year a bountiful heaven on water. It’s of course the time for Buoy 10 and many other early fall salmon fisheries. I suppose that’s an entirely different article we can explore if you’d like. If you must find a small river to fish during the summer….be prepared to travel to do so. Which with today’s gas prices can be a frustrating scenario to examine, to say the least. However, if you can find the fish and locate the area of the system they have moved up to (speaking of summer steelhead and salmon) then you certainly do have a chance.

Summer small river fishing requires a tremendous amount of time on the water. Much more than in the winter. Summer fish are quick to move and are easily lost from one day to the next as you chase them up river. Days can be extremely bountiful, however, if you intercept them at the right time. My last few trips on the water I’ve been lucky enough to tie into some fish on bobbers but unlucky enough to land them. Good reminder of humility. Especially after the fall and winter I has last year (which is coming soon enough.)

Now, let’s hear what you’ve been doing this summer?

  1. Great article Chris! I would have to agree that the winter steelhead season is my favorite time. During the summer months, we spend lots of time chasing summer steelhead here on the Rogue with good success. The fall salmon are coming in and there are lots of them. The bite should really start to turn on in the coming days.
    Down here in Southern Oregon, we get our fair share of heat and has been in the high 90’s and even over 100 for many days and there is more to come. I tend to prefer the cooler weather of the fall and winter, but the fishing down here can be fantastic, even in the heat of summer. We get on the water EARLY and head for the barn when it gets unbearable. However, If the fish are chewing the paint of the boat, the sting of sweat and sunscreen in the eyes becomes a little less noticeable 🙂

  2. The Stunner says:

    Good topic Chris great work… I agree it can be slow this time of year but that is only for the large masses of fish as you said. I have been working those low water small river metalheads you speak of and yes they are tough to pin down as I have chased them from the chrome tidewaters all the way up to the colorful headwaters and has all been fun fish or no fish in the beautiful PNW. When I haven’t been targeting the steel there are plenty of nice cuttys and a few blue backs that are a blast to hook up on UL rods and of course those new productive KND sprocket spinners, they haven’t seen anything so irresistible thanks to Kevin at

  3. Hellcat says:

    John thanks for all your support man.

  4. daheller says:

    Nicely said. Summer is also a good time for small mouth, walleye etc. Also a good time to be laying out plans for the fall. It isn’t that far away. Sal

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