August was a bit of a busy month for me, the first half was spent on the road for work while the second half saw me back home, but somehow ended up being just as busy after so much time on the road. With the first half of the month my fishing time was pretty much spent exploring a couple small streams in Eastern Washington. I sampled these watersheds from top to bottom and found a variety of fishing options.
With day time temperatures in the mid to upper 90's the mid and lower reaches of the streams that I was fishing were home to warm-water species, bass, carp, perch, pikeminnow and such. Although a few steelhead were likely to be passing through these areas, none showed up in my catch.
This section of the river was hard work fishing, the river wasn't overly swift, but was slick and just didn't seemed to hold many fish. Dries produced no interest and nymphing only resulted in a few hook-ups. However throwing streamers did produce some results with the less desirable species and I had fun with some nice sized pikeminnow on my 4wt.
While the mid-river didn't seem to have a ton of fish in it the lower river was another story. This area was literally teeming with bass and carp and I spent a good amount of time testing out this fishery, which was quiet new to me.
The lower river was slow and slough like as it finally made its way to the Snake River and being that I had never fished for smallmouth bass before I simply approached it like I would fishing for sea-run cutthroat in estuaries back home. A 6wt, intermediate line and Clousers got quick results.
My first smallmouth bass
Like I said I had never fished smallmouth bass before and it was definitely a kick. The bass which ranged from 10-16" jumped, took line and just generally fought hard. They also seemed to have very different reactions to different colors. Black and red was a knock out fished slow, while yellow and white was killer stripped fast. A salmon smolt imitation seemed to get their attention on short twitches. Being that this fishery was within a few minutes of work I became a bit of an evening hangout, while it wasn't trout fishing, it was a fun change up.
Before long though I got the desire to fish trout and again and while the drive was a bit long and out of the way for after work, I made a few forays into the colder waters of the Blue Mountains. My first trip I made the mistake of going to high up and found that the term "river" can tend to be thrown around pretty lightly. While I checked things out and even caught a couple small redbands, fishing a brushy 2' wide stream just wasn't doing it for me and I went downstream till the "river" got a bit more river like.
The upper river trout country
I hit things right in this stretch as the river absolutely packed with trout. I started with a dry and dropper setup, but with the amount of fish I switch to a larger hopper to keep the smaller trout off. The trout ran any size from about 6" to 14" and were quite willing risers and although I only had about an hour to fish before dark I gave the 1wt a good workout.
A upper river rainbow
To be continued...