What's New

New items on the Home page:

  • "What's New" section (you're in it). Tells you what's new on the website.
  • "What's Happening" section. Click the headers to find out about what's going on in Oregon's rivers and lakes.
  • List of seasonal articles on the right below "Hot Topics". These are core articles--places, tactics, fly patterns--that are especially appropriate for this month. Follow the advice, and you'll catch more fish!

New features coming up:

  • Current fishing reports. More than just the "expectations", these will be the latest info on how the fishing has been and what to expect next.
  • "Standard Flies". An updated list of flies that are widely available/easy to tie and proven to work. If I don't spend too much time fishing--hard to avoid in May!--there will be new photos. In time, the standard flies will be worked into all the fishing reports.
  • Improved website look-and-feel.

Tight lines,
Your Uncle Fuzzy (aka Scott Richmond)

Oregon Rivers

Trout. August is always a tough month for Oregon trout anglers. There are five good reasons for this:

  1. High water temperature increases a trout's metabolism to the point where it's more wired than an espresso junkie; fish will flee at anything that looks threatning.
  2. Warm water also holds less oxygen, so fish are stressed.
  3. Bright, sunny days make fish feel exposed, plus months of fishing pressure has made them wary.
  4. Trout have spent May, June, and July gorging on salmonflies, caddis, pale morning duns, etc.; they're not very hungry.
  5. There are no big, intense hatches.

What do you have? Super spooky trout that have no reason to expose or exert themselves in the search for food. They seek deeper, cooler, darker water. Or undercut banks, the shelter of overhanging tree branches, crevices alongside rocks, and other places that make them feel safe.

Fishing will be easiest in the very early morning hours and just before dark. Any time you're fishing, look for water that doesn't have the sun on it. You can take a midday siesta and rest your casting arm, resigning yourself to the fact that the trout are going to be moody and will play hard-to-get.

Or, you might open your eyes and actually find a few willing fish during the sunny hours. Look for them near the banks where the water is more than two feet deep and is shaded by vegetation, or where micro-eddies, foam, and broken water offer some measure of security.

Always carry a stream thermometer. If the water is 70 or warmer, don't fish for trout.

Hatches. In Oregon, the primary August hatches are caddis and midges. Both will be small: size 16-18 for the former, size 20-22 for the latter. A few southern Oregon rivers will have trico hatches and spinner falls. Again, we're talking about little bugs of size 22-24.

Later in the month, longer, cooler nights may improve fishing--but don't bet on it. When the water finally cools, trout will increasingly target large stonefly nymphs in rivers that have them. Evening midge and caddis activity will continue to be important.

Steelhead. For steelheaders, it's a different story. The summer run is building in intensity this month, so there are fish in all the major rivers except in the far eastern part of the state. However, some of the same factors that affect trout--warm water, bright sun, angling pressure--impact steelhead. Your best results will be during the low light hours. If you have to wear sunglasses to fish a run, figure your chances of success are not very good (but not down to zero). Start fishing at the crack of dawn. That doesn't mean you get up at dawn; it means you're on your favorite run with your rod strung, fly tied on, and ready to cast as soon as you can see; legal fishing begins one hour before sunrise. Use the bright hours to rest and relax so you're ready to go again in the evening.

A useful noontime activity is to climb the banks above the river, if the geography permits it. With the advantage of height you might spot some fish; they'll still be there in the evening, but they'll be more likely to bite when the light's off the water. Even if you don't see any fish, you can understand the structure of a run much better because the rocks, slots, and ledges become clear in your mind. You'll gain a better idea of how to fish the run. You might even discover a productive run that you didn't know existed.

While your best chance of a hookup is during low-light time, it's possible to pick up steelhead during the bright hours. If you feel compelled to cast all day, switch to a sink-tip line and standard summer steelhead deep swinging fly. Swing your fly through deeper water or riffly sections (steelhead pull into the frothy water in search of overhead cover). Or use indicator tactics and work any slots, seams, or rocky areas that you think may hold fish.

As the water warms up, you may actually do better with a sink-tip line, even during the low-light times. The reason is that the cooler water is near the bottom, and steelhead may be more receptive to your fly if they don't have to rise through warm water to reach it. However, if the water temperature is over 70, don't fish for steelhead.

Whether you quarry is steelhead or trout, you'll need to use caution when approaching fish in low, clear water.

Oregon Lakes

The damselfly nymphs have hatched into adults, so there's little point in casting a damsel nymph pattern. Adult patterns such as the Foam Adult Damselfly can sometimes pick up fish early in the month. Cast your fly on a long leader and a floating line; then sit patiently, like you had on a worm and a bobber. But don't go to sleep: trout can slam that fly without warning. The best times are when the wind is very light.

Callibaetis hatches will continue throughout the month, but August hatches are typically weak; they pick up again in September. Look for late-morning to mid-afternoon hatches. Trout will feed on active nymphs for several hours before the hatch. Take advantage of this by casting a Flashback Pheasant Tail and retrieving it ever so slowly with an intermediate line and a leader of at least 12 feet. Callibaetis get smaller and darker as the season progresses, so size 16 flies will be needed.

As in July, trout will be feeding on midges in the evening; some days will see afternoon or morning hatches, too. The trick is to match the size and color of the pupae (size is more important than color). Experiment until you find which colors/sizes the trout prefer. Narrow it to size first, then refine your choice of color. Of course, once you've got it all figured out it will be dark and you'll have to quit. And the next night they'll probably want something completely different. That's midge fishing in August.

If all else fails, go with an olive Woolly Bugger on an intermediate line.

What's in your vise?. Started by Doublebluff. Lastest reply by jomryan, 08/16 04:46

A Central Oregon Going Away gathering.... Started by later, Peter. Lastest reply by J.R., 08/15 21:03

Tuesday choice in C.O....?. Started by TBH. Lastest reply by Crawbugger, 08/16 08:29

Any tips on finding trout in upper parts of wet side rivers?. Started by DustyGrass. Lastest reply by DustyGrass, 08/17 00:34

surfperch. Started by Doublebluff. Lastest reply by jomryan, 08/14 04:13

 

Better Fishing in August?
Read One of These!

Spey Casting Tips from Mia Sheppard. World champion spey caster Mia Sheppard shares some tips on spey casting. (Video)

Tactics: Hangout and Hangdown for More Steelhead. Many steelheaders omit or shortchange one of the most important aspects of their presentation.

Dry Fly Steelheading on the North Umpqua. Guide Dean Finnerty tells us how to skate dry flies for steelhead on the North Umpqua. (Audio)

Lower Deschutes Steelhead with Sam Sickles. Get Deschutes steelhead tips from guide Sam Sickles. (Audio)

The Perfect Hopper. Looking for a hopper imitation that's easy to tie and works on nearly every type of water?

The Forgotten Terrestrials. Trout eat more terrestrials than just hoppers, ants, and beetles. Learn about these forgotten bugs.

Hoppers . . . At Last!. Try these fly patterns and get your fly box hoppin'!

Choosing a Steelhead Fly Color. What color of steelhead fly should you choose for different conditions? Three pros offer their thoughts.

Meeting the Late Summer Challenge. The big hatches are over, leaving well-fed and spooky trout. What's going to bring them to the surface?

Tying Better Ants. Ants can be a major part a trout's summer diet in both rivers and lakes. What makes effective fly?

Saddle-Case Caddis. The most important stage of saddle-case caddis (genus Glossosoma) is usually missed by fly anglers.

Net Spinning Caddis. Net spinning caddis are a major food source for Western trout. What flies and tactics work for each stage?

Grannoms. Grannoms (a caddis) are an important hatch both spring and fall.

Go Below for BWO. Is a dry fly the best answer during a Baetis hatch? Not always.

Western Hatches: Mahogany Duns. Mahogany duns--also known as "paraleps"--are an important fall hatch that calls for special tactics.

Terrestrials. Trout food comes from above as well as below.

Tricos Without Tears. The diminutive trico has caused more frustration than any other mayfly. But it doesn't have to be that way.

Quick Tip: The Hex Hatch. Hexagenia time! Tips to get the most out of the hatch.

Quick Tip: Wind Drifting. This simple tactic for lakes is like cheating!