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Oregon Forecast for August

By Scott Richmond

Oregon Rivers in General

What to Expect in August:

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 early morning hours and at dusk. 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 72 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 a weighted fly, such as a size 2 purple Woolly Bugger. Use traditional tactics and seek 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 in General

What to Expect in August:

The damselfly nymphs have hatched into adults, so there's little point in casting a damsel nymph pattern. Adult patterns such as the Braided Butt Damsel or Stalcup 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 Callibaetis 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 or Flashback Callibaetis 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 and 18 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.

It's hard to go too far wrong with a Woolly Bugger or Seal Bugger on a slow sinking line, such as an intermediate.



Chickahominy Reservoir

What to Expect in August:

Not an August option.

For more on August tactics and flies, see the Lakes in General report. See the Chickahominy Reservoir report for current conditions, hatches, guides, and other information.



Clackamas River

What to Expect in August:

Fresh steelhead should be moving into the lower Clackamas later in the month, and fishing should improve.

Some coho salmon will probably enter the Clackamas in late August. How can you tell the difference between a coho and a steelhead?

  1. Steelhead and coho both have white gums at the base of the teeth on the lower jaw, but steelhead have a white mouth and coho have a black mouth.
  2. Steelhead have black spots in uniform rows on the tailfin. Coho tailfins have black spots only on the top part.
  3. Run your thumbnail along the rays of the tailfin. If it's a steelhead it will feel smooth. If it's a coho it will feel rough.

You might find decent rainbow and cutthroat trout fishing in the upper Clackamas when it's not too hot.

For more on August tactics and flies, see the Rivers in General report. See the Clackamas River report for current conditions, hatches, guides, and other information.



Crane Prairie Reservoir

What to Expect in August:

August is a touchy month here, as it is in most lakes. Algae blooms can be an issue. Trout will be moving into the old river channels--if they're not there already--as the water warms up and water quality declines.

Midge pupa patterns may be the best bet this month. Watch for hatches of caddis; Crane Prairie often sees emergences of longhorn caddis. Stillwater caddis fishing can be tricky. You can always cast a dry fly, such as an Elk Hair Caddis, and let it sit, hoping a trout will come along and like the looks of it. Another option is a Soft Hackle or Sparkle Pupa; use beadhead versions of these flies or put a tiny split shot on the leader. Use a lift-and-settle presentation.

Woolly Buggers and green leech patterns are always worth casting, especially near dawn or dusk.

As always at Crane Prairie, a slow retrieve is productive, whether you're casting a Woolly Bugger, damselfly nymph, size 16 Pheasant Tail, stickleback imitation, or even a midge pupa.

"When the wind's from the east, the fish bite least." That ancient fishing adage--it was an old saying when Isaac Walton repeated it in the 1663 edition of The Compleat Angler--is especially true at Crane Prairie. The east wind comes with high pressure systems, and it's a very weak wind that leaves this shallow lake glassy smooth. Trout become sulky and reluctant to bite. You may need to go to a very long leader--20 feet--that's tapered to 5X or thinner. This is no fun to cast, but it may be the only thing that saves your bacon when Crane is mirror-smooth. Be patient.

For more on August tactics and flies, see the Lakes in General report. See the Crane Prairie Reservoir report for current conditions, hatches, guides, and other information.



Crooked River

What to Expect in August:

The Crooked is not a good warm-weather stream, however you might do okay in the evening. Try fishing from 6:00 or 6:30 p.m. to dark using midge pupa patterns drifted just below the surface.

Late afternoon, try a Parachute Hopper with a size 16-18 nymph on a 24-inch dropper leader off the hook bend.

Other times, you can try nymphs. You might find that your nymphs will work better if they have a bit of flash to them. Try teaming a nymph such as a Lightning Bug with a pink or orange Scud, or just fish the Scud alone. Other good subsurface flies this month include Prince nymphs, small Cased Caddis, Zug Bugs, size 18-20 Pheasant Tails, Mercer's Micro Mayfly in size 16, and size 16-18 dark caddis pupa patterns.

When fishing nymphs, make sure your fly is near the bottom; but if you're too close to the bottom you'll be picking up algae, moss, and whitefish. So be near the bottom, but not on it.

Evenings may see hatches of caddis. Carry size 18-20 patterns. Also carry midge adult imitations such as a Griffiths Gnat. Some size 16 Renegades might also produce trout for you. Renegades look like two midges locked in amorous embrace, so trout--no romantics--figure it's a two-for-one real meal deal.

For more on August tactics and flies, see the Rivers in General report. See the Crooked River report for current conditions, hatches, guides, and other information.



Davis Lake

What to Expect in August:

Trout will be sulky, but they may wake up for evening midge hatches. Be prepared for afternoon Callibaetis hatches.

Look for largemouth bass in the north end around the weeds. If it's full-moon time, your best fishing for surface flies will be from one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunrise, and from one hour before sunset to one hour after sunset.

For more on August tactics and flies, see the Lakes in General report. See the Davis Lake report for current conditions, hatches, guides, and other information.



Deschutes River, Lower

What to Expect in August:

Trout. I always find the Deschutes trout to be moody in August. Some days are just going to be bad, and there's not much you can do about it. Midday periods will be the toughest.

In the morning's you'll probably find some caddis and mayfly spinner falls in the backeddies. You can also pick up some trout on caddis patterns in bouldery areas and along the banks. Another approach is to use a size 18 or smaller Soft Hackle in slowish, bouler-strewn areas. Trout will probably turn off the instant the sun hits the water; they'll come back when they're in the shade again.

Small dead bugs are important at this time of year. Blue-winged olive spinners in size 18-20 and midge pupa patterns can be effective in the mornings; look for fish working foam lines, backeddies, and along steep banks.

Once the sun is high, go subsurface or use a dry fly/dropper rig (24-30 inch leader off the hook bend of the dry fly; tie a small nymph to it). Seek areas where trout have overhead cover: overhanging vegetation, frothy water, deeper pools, etc. Work nymphs down near the bottom in these areas. Or just give up until evening.

When the sun is on the water, you might pick up some trout on beetle or ant patterns. The Deschutes is not a "hopper" river, so forget whatever you learned in Montana in August.

In the evening, look for hatches of gray and ginger caddis. The former are about size 18 with gray bodies and gray wings; the latter are usually a size 16 with ginger wings and olive or brown bodies.

When imitating caddis, many anglers use an Elk Hair Caddis. Unless the water is rough, I like to trim the hackle on the bottom so the fly rides lower in the water. The Casanova Caddis is a good low-riding imitation. It's become a favorite of mine. The deer hair dubbing makes a realistic body, although it takes some practice to use that material correctly. The Raffia wing can be in shreds after half a dozen nice trout, but that's a small price to pay for half a dozen nice trout in August.

Pupa patterns, such as the Sparkle Pupa or Z Wing Caddis, fished near the bottom can also induce grabs throughout the morning and again in the evening. Late in the month, a good strategy is to cast a two-nymph rig with a stonefly nymph (Rubber Legs, Kaufmanns Stonefly, etc.) on the point and a size 16 caddis pupa (Sparkle Pupa, Soft Hackle, or equivalent) on a dropper. Early in the day, you'll pick up more trout on the stonefly nymph, but later in the day you'll get the majority of your trout on the pupa.

Sometimes you'll see huge numbers of the gray adult caddis clinging to the downstream side of mid-river rocks. If you spot this, tie on a gray size 16-18 Soft Hackle or Diving Caddis and present it with a surface swing downstream from where you see the caddis. Results can be awesome.

Hatches of midges are common at dusk. Carry a seine so you can check the size and color of whatever is drifting down the river. Midge fishing is best in quiet runs, in backeddies, and near rocky banks that create mini-eddies. You'll find whitefish feeding in the slackwater areas, and trout where there's more current; sometimes only a couple of feet will separate the two species of fish. A midge pupa pattern is usually the best choice during a midge hatch, but sometimes a Griffiths Gnat will pick up fish. Use size 20-24 patterns.

You'll probably find a few pale evening duns still around, and maybe some blue-winged olives will show up in the late afternoon. Aquatic moths are another August event. You may also find trout taking craneflies at dusk.

If you're nymphing, bright flashy nymphs can be productive at this time of year. Copper Johns, Lightning Bugs, etc.; or just a Hares Ear doctored with some strands of Flashabou can be effective.

Trout often gather in the fast pocket water when it's hot because that water has lots of oxygen and the broken surface provides cover. You can fish nymphs in this water, but you'll need plenty of weight to get the fly near the bottom.

So that's trout fishing in August: a lot of little bugs, but no big hatches; and trout that will turn on and off (or just off) at a whim.

Steelhead. August steelheading can be inconsistent, too. Much depends on the relative temperature of the Columbia and Deschutes. If the Deschutes is cooler than the Columbia, steelhead will move into the Deschutes. If not, they won't. Sometimes the Columbia gets a thermal barrier between The Dalles and Bonneville dams, and steelhead just tuck into the deep pools until later in the year. If that happens, steelheading will get a late start on the Deschutes (and even later on the Grande Ronde). Check the fish counts over the Columbia River dams (http://www.fpc.org/adultsalmon/AdultCumulativeTable.asp). See how many fish have gone over Bonneville Dam, then check how many have gone over The Dalles Dam. If they haven't gone past The Dalles Dam, they won't be in the Deschutes.

We could have fishable numbers of steelhead in the Maupin area by the end of the month (or not), and maybe even a few fish above Trout Creek. Even if the temperature cools down, the bulk of the fish are going to be below Shears Falls until late in the month.

The best steelhead fishing will be in the early morning; evenings will be okay, but not quite as good as mornings. In the evening you'll have to contend with that strong up-canyon wind, which makes casting difficult. Mornings are usually calmer.

Evening water temperatures can be significantly higher than morning temps. Take a thermometer and measure the water. If it's over 70, don't fish.

For more on August tactics and flies, see the Rivers in General report. See the Deschutes River, Lower report for current conditions, hatches, guides, and other information.



Deschutes River, Upper

What to Expect in August:

Expect inconsistent fishing between Little Lava Lake and Crane Prairie, and between Crane Prairie and Wickiup. Both these stretches close August 31 to protect spawning trout.

Some pale morning duns may be hatching in the upper stretch (above Crane Prairie) early in the month.

Look for evening hatches of caddis throughout the month. Dark brown Elk Hair Caddis, about size 14, are effective in riffles and near the bank. Below Crane Prairie, you might entice some of the river's big brown trout with a streamer pattern cast near the bank and stripped back quickly. Evenings near dark are the best times to seek the brown trout. The best fishing in the Crane-to-Wickiup stretch is the low-gradient water between Wickiup and the bridge.

Late in the month, brown trout will move out of Wickiup Reservoir and into the area between Sheep Bridge and the Highway. You might pick up some fish with Woolly Buggers, leech patterns, and other streamers. Low light periods will offer the best fishing. This fishery ends August 31 between Wickiup and Crane Prairie.

For more on August tactics and flies, see the Rivers in General report. See the Deschutes River, Upper report for current conditions, hatches, guides, and other information.



East Lake

What to Expect in August:

Hatches of Callibaetis will occur most days and will entice the lake's land-locked Atlantic salmon, kokanee, rainbows, and a few browns to the surface. A Flashback Pheasant Tail or Flashback Callibaetis nymph works before, during, and after the hatch. A Callibaetis Cripple works well during the hatch.

During a hatch, the Atlantics and kokanee will take an Adams of the wrong size, but the brown trout won't. East Lake has very savvy brown trout.

Callibaetis hatches can start around 10:00 a.m. and can continue almost all day. Productive areas are in front of the East Lake Campground and along the shore in front of the resort. The primary catch is kokanee.

Brown trout can sometimes be enticed by dry flies during a Callibaetis hatch, but you're more likely (that's MORE likely, which is different than LIKELY) to catch a brown trout on a brown or olive streamer. You'll have your best luck if you cast that streamer when it's almost too dark to see. In Oregon, legal trout fishing is from one hour before dawn to one hour after sunset. Good brown trout anglers are fishing at those times.

During the dog days you might do best in deep water.

Black bears are common in this area, so if you camp, store your food in the car.

For more on August tactics and flies, see the Lakes in General report. See the East Lake report for current conditions, hatches, guides, and other information.



Fall River

What to Expect in August:

Because it's fed by cool springs, Fall River is a good option during hot weather. It will be crowded in some areas, especially near the hatchery. Morning and evenings will be the best fishing times.

Evening hatches of midges are common, and a size 20 Griffiths Gnat is often a good choice.

Ant patterns and small caddis (size 18 and smaller) can also be good choices. A good strategy is to attach a small nymph, such as a size 18 Pheasant Tail, on a dropper leader attached to the hook bend of a caddis dry fly.

Pale morning dun hatches can also occur here this month.

For more on August tactics and flies, see the Rivers in General report. See the Fall River report for current conditions, hatches, guides, and other information.



Grande Ronde River

What to Expect in August:

It's highly unlikely there will be fishable numbers of steelhead this month, but you might find some smallmouth bass near the mouth.

For more on August tactics and flies, see the Rivers in General report. See the Grande Ronde River report for current conditions, hatches, guides, and other information.



Hosmer Lake

What to Expect in August:

Be prepared for the traveling sedge hatch, which will last a couple of weeks. Use a size 10-12 Goddard Caddis and skate it across the surface of the lake. Prime time is the last 30 minutes of daylight.

Callibaetis hatches are typically weak here in August. Damselfly nymphs can still take fish near the weed beds, and evening midge activity can be excellent. Adult damselflies can also be productive. Look for a small black caddis at dusk later in the month.

In general, though, August is not Hosmer's best month. Canoe traffic is heavy in the channel, which makes fishing difficult because the weeds already constrict the channel to a narrow passage.

Here are some other tips for fishing Hosmer in August:

  1. Try the north end of the lake. It's cooler and quieter. Atlantics often head up there in late summer (but not as many brookies). Unfortunately, it's a long kick in a float tube, so you need a boat to get there. It can also be hard to get an oared boat through the channel because it's so narrow; the oars get hung up in the weeds on both sides. Once you're in the north end, look for dark streaks on the bottom; fishing seems to be better when you put your fly over them.
  2. Many fish will be in the channel between the north and south ends. Don't bother fishing there during the heat of the day, however. Wait for early morning or dusk. Reduced canoe traffic and less sunlight will improve your chances.
  3. Sometimes Hosmer's fish will go for adult damsels that hover over the water or drop eggs. A Stalcup Adult Damselfly or Braided Butt Damsel may prove effective if you see splashy rises.
  4. For more on August tactics and flies, see the Lakes in General report. See the Hosmer Lake report for current conditions, hatches, guides, and other information.



    Klamath Lake

    What to Expect in August:

    You'll have to keep moving on this lake. Trout suddenly turn on and off, and they move around. If you're not catching fish in one area, move to another. Keep moving until you find willing fish. Of course, with 100 square miles of water, trout have plenty of places to go. But poor summer water quality limits their choices. Look for them in: Pelican Bay, the spring creeks that feed this bay, and the mouth of the Williamson River.

    Seal Buggers work great; Zonkers are also worth a try. The lake is rich in blood midges, so red midge pupa patterns can be productive at dusk. Sometimes small size 18-20 Soft Hackles, Flashback Callibaetis, and other small nymphs will work for anglers who ply them during the daylight hours while using a slow retrieve and a clear intermediate line.

    For more on August tactics and flies, see the Lakes in General report. See the Klamath Lake report for current conditions, hatches, guides, and other information.



    Klamath River

    What to Expect in August:

    The stretch below the JC Boyle Powerhouse is a consistent producer of trout. While the fish are not large, they are plentiful. The road below Boyle is extremely rough, but the slow, bumpy drive can be worth it. After three miles, the road improves from horrible to merely bad.

    Hopper fishing can be excellent in August. Other large, bushy dry flies--Madam X, Royal Wulff, Stimulator--will attract trout as well, but a good Parachute Hopper is tough to beat at this time of year.

    Watch for caddis hatches, too. Carry size 16-18 patterns, such as Elk Hair Caddis.

    The river can get warm in the late summer sun, and that means trout will often hang out near aerated water. So look for bubbles; that's where the trout will be.

    For more on August tactics and flies, see the Rivers in General report. See the Klamath River report for current conditions, hatches, guides, and other information.



    Lava Lake

    What to Expect in August:

Trout are spending most of their time in deeper water, often over 20 feet down. You might entice them with a heavy sinking line and Seal Bugger or Woolly Bugger; try green or rust colored Buggers.

Some Callibaetis hatches will occur this month, although August is not the best month for Callibaetis at this altitude.

You might find good evening midge fishing along the shallow north shore, the west shore, and to the west of the resort.

For more on August tactics and flies, see the Lakes in General report. See the Lava Lake report for current conditions, hatches, guides, and other information.



McKenzie River

What to Expect in August:

On the lower river you should expect fishing to be decent only in the evening. Soft Hackles, or a dry fly with a nymph on a dropper leader, should work well at those times.

Higher up, midges should be in profusion, and midge cluster patterns, such as a Renegade, might take some trout. Pale morning duns should be fading this month, but you might find some blue-winged olives hatching. Expect a few remnant golden stonefly adults as well as caddis from size 14 to18.

From Blue River to Ollallie, trout anglers should do well with large dry flies, such as Stimulators, attractor patterns, and pale morning dun imitations. Hopper patterns are good choice for afternoons, especially if it's windy. Tie about 30 inches of leader material to the hookbend of your hopper pattern and fasten a size 16-18 nymph or Soft Hackle to the business end.

Steelhead will be present from Leaburg to Hendricks Bridge. They are inconsistent biters, so set your expectations. If you're using traditional tactics, the best fishing will be in the morning; black or purple patterns will work best. Indicator tactics are always a good choice.

For more on August tactics and flies, see the Rivers in General report. See the McKenzie River report for current conditions, hatches, guides, and other information.



Metolius River

What to Expect in August:

Expect golden stonefly adults to be active in the upper river (above the canyon). Trout can be taken on dry flies such as a size 8 Clarks Stonefly.

Pale morning duns are still coming off. Hatches are usually in the afternoon, but sometimes they can start hatching as early as 10:30 a.m. You may also find spinner falls of PMDs in the evening, so carry some Rusty Spinners in size 18.

Look for caddis in the evenings; an olive size 16-18 X Caddis is a good pattern to tie on.

You might run into occasional hatches of pale evening duns and blue-winged olives. The blue-wing hatches will be stronger near the end of the month.

An overlooked hatch at this time of year is the little olive stoneflies. They are active from late afternoon to dark. Imitate them with a size 16 Hemingway Caddis or Henryville Caddis. If you see fish rising and don't know what they're taking, it's probably either blue-winged olives or olive stoneflies.

For more on August tactics and flies, see the Rivers in General report. See the Metolius River report for current conditions, hatches, guides, and other information.



Owyhee River, Lower

What to Expect in August:

Pale morning duns should be hatching in the evening. Caddis hatches are usually strong in July, but fade in August. Look for Callibaetis hatches in the slow section from midday through evening. Midges should also be active in the evening all month. During the day, you'll do best to work a size 18 nymph near the bottom, or try a red, tan, or orange San Juan Worm . . . or take a nap until evening.

Expect mahogany duns to start hatching later in the month.

For more on August tactics and flies, see the Rivers in General report. See the Owyhee River, Lower report for current conditions, hatches, guides, and other information.



Rogue River, Upper

What to Expect in August:

The Holy Water is a sunny, bright place in August, and fishing is pretty slow until evening. Look for pale evening duns towards dusk.

Fishable numbers of steelhead should have come over Gold Ray Dam by now, and August fishing can be good. Use flies such as Rubber Legs, Big Birds, large Prince nymphs, etc. Employ indicator tactics and dead-drift them through the slots, troughs, and pocket water. Much of the Rogue is not structured well for traditional tactics, but there are places where it works well to swing a fly such as a Green Butt Skunk.

This is mostly boat fishing, and the river is a bit tricky to negotiate, especially if the flows drop to around 1,000 cfs and you're drifting below Shady Cove. If you're not familiar with the river, consider hiring a guide for your first trip out.

For more on August tactics and flies, see the Rivers in General report. See the Rogue River, Upper report for current conditions, hatches, guides, and other information.



Sandy River

What to Expect in August:

August is usually not the best month to pursue Sandy River steelhead because hot weather melts the glaciers on Mt. Hood and sends loads of silt down the river, making fishing difficult.

On the other hand, a spell of cool weather could slow the rate of glacial meltdown and make the Sandy worth a few casts.

If the river is fishable but still somewhat silty, you'll probably find steelhead in slightly slower water than usual and along the edges. That's how they reduce the amount of silt that passes through their gills. Use large, dark flies to counteract the murky water.

For more on August tactics and flies, see the Rivers in General report. See the Sandy River report for current conditions, hatches, guides, and other information.



Umpqua River, North Fork

What to Expect in August:

Summer steelhead will be in the river and throughout the fly water, with the numbers dependent on the strength of the run; check the Fish Counts page for recent reports, although the Winchester Dam counts are always slow to be published.

Heat is a big factor this month: it often gets over 100 degrees in the Umpqua canyon in August. To beat the heat, start fishing at the crack of dawn (on the river, starting to cast, when you can barely see; watch your step, though). Hit 4-5 runs quickly before it gets hot and the fish get sulky. To avoid crowds, fish Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday; that way you miss the people coming for three-day weekends. The anglers who are getting two fish a day are the ones who are there early. The anglers who are getting one fish a week are the ones who start fishing at 10:00 a.m. and quit at dinner time.

During the heat of the day, take a siesta or put on your Polaroids and prowl the banks looking for steelhead you can cast to in the evening.

For more on August tactics and flies, see the Rivers in General report. See the Umpqua River, North Fork report for current conditions, hatches, guides, and other information.



Williamson River

What to Expect in August:

August is not a prime month here. Trout have been well-educated by anglers in recent weeks.

The Hexagenias are mostly done, so the usual size 8-10 olive or brown leech patterns and Woolly Buggers are back in vogue.

You might see mid-morning hatches of tricos this month. The tricos are attractive to the smaller resident trout; the big migratory fish usually leave them to the littler guys.

Small patterns, such as size 18-20 Soft Hackles, can be productive when the sun is on the water. Use a clear fly line, such as you'd use in a lake, and look for very slow or slack water. Retrieve the fly slowly . . . painfully slowly.

Standard nymphs and red Serendipities can be good when fished in the riffles.

In the evening you might catch some 9-15 inch resident trout on caddis patterns. Tan or olive Diving Caddis or Soft Hackles in size 12-14 should do the trick; present the fly with a surface swing.

Approach the prime runs carefully and stay as far back as you can; practice your distance casting before you come here. This is a difficult stream to fish well, and a guide is a good idea for those who are unfamiliar with the river and its ways.

For more on August tactics and flies, see the Rivers in General report. See the Williamson River report for current conditions, hatches, guides, and other information.



Central Region

What to Expect in August:

August is a great month to strap a float tube onto your back and head for the high lakes of the Cascades. There are many lakes within a couple of miles of a trailhead, and you can spend an enjoyable day bobbing in the cool water, listening to the wind in the pines, and admiring the mountain scenery. And catching some nice fish. Check out Fishing in Oregon (the guide book for the whole state) for good destinations. Then check in with the local US Forest Service Ranger Station for trail conditions and to find out when the lakes were stocked. Come prepared with bug juice, but keep the DEET-laden contents away from your fly line; it can destroy the finish and is offensive to fish. Essential flies are Parachute Adams, Timberline Emergers, midge pupa patterns, Griffiths Gnats, and size 10 olive Woolly Buggers.




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