Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A rough start

Friday marks the beginning of my hunt for a  winter steelhead on the fly. I went once before last year but i did not know jack about fly fishing, it was the beginning of my fly angling career..reading the water was something i was just learning that day, my casts were terrible and i got snagged in multiple trees.But now i am back for revenge on that little coast range river. unfortunately it will be a rough day chasing winter steel, The water is cold,low and clear..the average rainfall for the area is 5 inches in december. we have had less then an inch or around that. Thats is the river and the fish basically giving me the middle finger saying you can't catch me..but im always up for a challenge.. thats why they call it fishing and not catching.  it's game time. back with a report and pictures  anywhere from friday-monday


Saturday, December 10, 2011

stuck in the house...old report

I'm stuck in the house, broke looking for a job right now so i guess i will post a bunch of pics from late spring and summer on the upper end of my favorite stream

So first, July 2011 

My friend andrew came down from the portland area to come fly fish for trout in the coast range , we did a 2 mile hike to reach our fishing spot.we packed in waders,food,boots etc..heavy load to say the least. We stopped at the top of a small steep trail through some poison oak and suited up and rigged our rods, we both went straight to nymph rigs, i tied on my favorite fly, the possie bugger with a bead head prince on the dropper. We headed down to the water and within 30 seconds i landed a nice 10 inch cutthroat..the rest of the day was Pretty much the same story, Every good riffle had some nice cutthroat. The last fish of the day was caught by  me, a very bulky and hard fighting cutthroat..around 16 inches. We ended the day with 27 caught and plenty missed and a few that came unbuttoned, andrew even missed the same nice cuttie (13-14 inches) 4 times before keeping the hook in him! what a day it was. here are some pictures..enjoy!!

sorry for the blurry pictures



Sunday, December 4, 2011


well..we fished the mckenzie river  yesterday and it was a painful skunk..The temp  stayed aroudn 28-30 degrees the entire trip and the fog never lifited off the river... had one strike,felt the pressure then gone.. now i have that bitter taste in my mouth after months of  no skunks on rivers... taking a break for a week or so from  hoping for  a job  so i can support my addiction (fly fishing)  ill upload  a video i took of myself nymphing a run at armitage park  thats about all i have..besides frozen toes and leaky waders!


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

season ender?

friday and saturday marked the end of my season chasing lake dwelling cutthroat in the coast range. I went twice last week, once on friday with my friend noah out of kayaks and once on saturday with mmy friend brad out of the float tube. both were fun trips and  nobnody  was skunked either.  the first day noah caught 7 fish on bait and i caught 4, 1 on a soft hackle and 3 on dry flies. We even went up the mouth of the creek then shot down the current witch was a blast. Saturday we arrived early and fished a few hours before the civil war (ducks Vs beavers)   we both missed several fish throughout the trip but each managed a nice fish before leaving. ill put a picture up for now  to hold everyone over

14 inch dry fly cutthroat caught while casting to rising fish

Thursday, November 24, 2011

darn rain!

Well .. the rain has been  dumping on the rivers  lately and it is not looking good, most rivers are bown with a few still fishable,  After the rain stops it marks the beginning of winter steelhead season, several fish have returned to the north fork nehalem and nestucca rivers. After the water levels start to drop it will be prime time for steelhead.  the first two weeks of december  will be good as long as the rains hold back. Most early returning fish are hatchery steelhead  so rivers that generally get a good hatchery run would be a better bet. 3 rivers, a tributary of the nestucca  can be a good bet early in the season , though the hatchery hole can be crowded by flossers and snaggers  there are several good holes and pull outs along the road before you reach the split at the tackle shop and hwy 101.  best bets for fly fisherman in this area would be nymphing a size 6 egg pattern under a strike indicator or drifting the egg pattern with a split shot and no indicator.  when water levels are higher using brightly colored  marabou flies or leeches  could nab a fish or two.  Good luck out there!   possibly tomorrow and the next day i will be fishing aaron mercer reservoir for cutthroat while waiting for the rivers to drop,so expect  my first winter steelhead report within two weeks.

winter steelhead  fishing three rivers 2010

Sunday, November 20, 2011

coastal trout event 2011

my first stillwater cutthroat on my micro sparkle leech

dry fly cutthroat upper 30's weather middle of november oh yeah

nathan's dry fly cuttie

nathan's landlocked coho

the reservoir

brad arrived late and caught this coho on his spinning gear

Yesterday  was the first annual oregon fishing forum  trout event  in the coast range,  quite a few people dropped out at the last second leaving a very small group of anglers but it was still a great time with alot of suprises. We arrived quite early so we had time to fish (gate opens at 7am closes 4pm) we arrived around 8am i believe,  started to unpack and chat a little then finally got on the water,  there was frost on alot of the downed timber in the area and you could see snow on the hills surrounding us, i figured the fish would be lethargic and less active today  so i threw on a thingamabobber , set it at 6 ft and  tied on a micro sparkle leech in size 14  to search for the fish.  after a few minutes casting around nobody had yet  caught a fish until out of the corner of my eye, the bobber went down i set the hook and stripped line  to keep pressure on the fish then netted it, this was my first stillwater  cutthroat so we got a pic then released it. After that things only got better as the clouds cleared and it started to warm,  i had missed several bites   and could not seem to get a hookup. my friend nathan managed a fish while i struggled, he caught a landlocked coho on a black zebra midge and further down the lake chris caught a coho on his spinning gear.  i had missed even more bites then drew landed a nice landlocked coho on his custom black bugger,  then the bite seemed to die for a short amount of time then a hatch occured as drew left further down lake and decided to bank fish...   small black looking stoneflies..  i did not know what they were.. they just looked like stoneflies based on length of the body, the way the wings lay back etc. But the fish were eating them ,small black midges,brown midges and some water spiders..a smorgasboard of bugs for the fish.There were so many fish rising it was unbelieveable. We threw on dries like the griffith's gnat but no success, then nathan threw on a small dry, (ive never saw what it was ) then i decided to go just under the surface with a royal soft hackle i came up with.  we both casted and i hooked one that snapped me off and nathan caught a nice cutthroat on a dry!!  that got us really excited. It was at  that moment i remembered what i heard about dry fly fishing a lake on a brian chan internet radio thing, very shrot trips of line slowly to make a v wake like a bug skittering.  I tied on a size 16 BWO cripple  and casted, fished it for a mintue then a fish decided to smash thefly hard. I set the hook and managed to hook this one and get a picture. we continued to cast dries for another 10 minutes, i landed another one and hooked a fat fish (approx 16-18 inches)  and a smaller one on the same cast!  after a while the hatch died, the weather cooled off and the fish activity was gone. We decided to pack up and call it a day and head out.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

some stillwater action

the reservoir

a landlocked coho salmon that fell for my micro sparkle leech

one of brads cutthroat he caught while gear fishing
  yesterday i came home from the lake, this time not frustrated and not skunked. It started out in the morning   at the gravel boat launch  and  it was the first time me and my buddy brad were going to float around the reservoir. I was using a float tube and him, a pontoon. We launched off   headed to the upper end of the reservoir and trolled alogn the way. i was trolling a heavily weighted black krystal bugger he used a different fly and his gear rod we trolled all the way there  only to have one bite .  we floated around i casting flies,him using his lures..for what seemed like  4 hours  without any hits action started heating up for brad. He caught and released several nice sized cutthroat  while i was still getting skunked, i started to get frustrated and decided to try something new. I tied on a thingamabobber strike indicator and set it a 7 ft.  then i tied on  a fly i came up with, a micro sparkle leech size  12. First cast within seconds i had a fish take my fly, i set the hook  and my line was tight...yes! i thought to ymself as the fish tugged and tried to escape.. i netted the fish  (approx 11 1/2 inches)  and realized it wasn't a trout, but a landlocked coho salmon  result of  outgoing offspring of trucked in adults from the creek that decided to call the reservoir their home and the creek above, their spawning grounds. Anyways, we got a picture  and i released the fish only to get a bite the very next cast, i had several bites that were  missed while brad was still catching a few on his spinning setup. after a while of taking a lunch break and re rigging with a smaller micro leech (size 14)  i casted to a rising fish and hooked up, this one slightly smaller then the other but still  put up a fight.  After that fish it died off  pretty quick and the time neared 3pm. we headed back to the ramp and called it a day, one without a skunk for me finally!  (i'm new to stillwater fly fishing)   it has a great day, now thta i partially have the fish figured out it hink i will have better luck saturday, but it's suppose to snow/rain up ther ein the hills so it will be tough!

Monday, November 14, 2011


a bit of a fishing drought for me but i have some old action from october i never posted that will be here, hopefully an edited video my friend made  plus two trips this week to aaron mercer reservoir for some trophy sized lake dwelling coastal cutts.  so expect several reports  in the near future... for now i will stick with tying  some possie buggers for winter nymphing and wishing i was on the river


Thursday, November 10, 2011

fly fishing for coastal river salmon

Starting in early spetmber and running into december  chinook ,coho and chum salmon  start their annual fall spawning migration into oregons coastal rivers and valley tributaries fresh from the ocean. These bright and powerful fish attract people from all over the state not just for food,but to feel the power of a big salmon on the end of oens rod is said to me magical.  These past 2 years i have decided not not participate in  the rush due to snaggers and shoulder to shoulder flossing with corkies plus i have been doing just fine doing my favorite thing in the world, throwing flies at trout. But after learning the ropes with a fly rod i was ready for a challenge. Early one november morning  i was woke up by my dad who asked me  those words that he knew would  get me out of bed. Do you want to go salmon fishing with your uncle? i knew this was my chance to do something i have always wanted to try, fly fishing for salmon.  After running around the house grabbing all my gear and bundling up then throwing my waders  on i pre rigged my cabelas wind river 8wt and prepared for battle.  As my cousins and uncle arrived they brought good news,previous days themselves and family had landed several fish and they were coming in thick. But along with the good news there was a concerned look from my uncle. He looks at me , then my fly rod and asks, do you have a regular rod?  i replied with a no and said i don't gear fish anymore so  he shrugged and we loaded up then took off. Although the task ahead was going to be difficult i stayed confident and ready. After the longest hour drive i have ever been on  we pulled over, got our stuff ready and headed down to the river. My heart was starting to pound as the water became visible, i ran down to the river and  got my flies and leader material out,   as i knew i needed to re rig for the water we were fishing (deep and medium/fast).  While i was  confused as to what i should use due to not being very well rpepared everyone had already started fishing. After a minute of thinking  i decided to choose  a morrish's thunder egg under an indicator, knowing salmon will bite eggs  and it is heavy enough to reach the bottom.  i rigged up and fished for a few minutes without success when i hear a fish cousin had a breif hook up drifting but it came unbuttoned. As time passed i switched to using a small amount of weight with my egg pattern and decided to dead drift it on the bottom. I fished  it for a few minutes without even a tap before getting snagged and breaking off, so i decided to swing and strip large streamers. Five minutes into using a moal leech my cousin  yelps fish on! sicne i was the closest one to him and the fish i directed him to steer the tiring coho towards my hands.I tailed the fish,held it up then released it. After a while of no success with the moal i tied on a pick yer pocket looking marabou fly With a little bit of weight to get it down, i swung and stripped it for around an hour without success so i decided to travel up to my favorite deep slot.It was not ideal swing water, so i threw on a small  chunk of lead and decided to try my hand at dredging.  after about 15 minutes of working the slot the unimagineable happened, i had a hit. as soon as i realized it was a fish my heart starting pounding fast and i drove the hook home with a hard hookset.I screamed fish on as i was palming the spool,my reel screaming and spitting water everywhere as the chrome bullet  rocketed downstream trying her hardest to pop my hook out.  i followed the fish and kept as much pressure as i could on it with a 10lb test leader as it ran about the hole, tiring my wrists in the proccess . Everytime it got close to us and made a run it nearly gave me a heart attack,but finally after 10 minutes of the hardest fight ive ever had on a fly rod  my first salmon on a fly  was netted, we took a picture then the pretty hen coho was released.  I have never been so excited in my life..  the memory will remain in my head forever playing over and over like a mini movie, but the day wasnt over yet!   i kept fishing and got snagged up on the bottom a few more times but my younger cousin mitch caught a 16lb coho drift fishing, it was a pretty fish. After a while we decided to call it a day. The next morning  i was called again with the same question, i will follow with a breif report of that trip in a few hours plus yesterdays trip aswell enjoy!


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

what ive been up to

Ive been slaying the fish all over since ive been gone with my friends.  which i am dedicating this post to.  thank you for all of the awesome trips you have all shared with me.  the camfires and laughs, big trout and exploding sodas it's all a blast and leaves me looking forward to  the next trip
here are some pictures of trips from july to october there will be a few more into the winetr but it will slow with the closing of trout season, so since i tie flies alot now ill post some patterns i tie after a while  tight lines,

Brandon H

                                                  My first deschutes river redband

  McKenzie river redband
                                               our campsite at the crooked river
                                                        crooked river redband

                                      working the evening BWO hatch on the crooked river
                                                         14 inch dry fly cutthroat
                                                          coast range river
                                                 trillium lake trophy trout

these fish would not be possible if it were not for my friends. Thanks guys!   always look forward to the next trip

back in buisness

Well, after my long  seperation with internet i have gained it again. In the past few months that ive been gone i have fished a few  a big trout rivers that oregon has to offer,went camping  on the nestucca for my bday,fished the mckenzie in a drift boaty with a friend (guide trip)  fished the cccrooked river, and  2 days ago i returned from the one and only deschutes river. I will be making a post with dozens of fish photos  from  recent trips  and a few short stories of exciting events during these trips. 

Tight lines,

Brandon  H

Friday, June 24, 2011

out of internet

Sadly we have run out of internet for a while due to being behind, but i have been catching alot of fish lately. Yesterday the creek produced 13 fish including 2 13 inchers   pictured above. Sorry for the inconvenience  we will be back to regular weekly posts within a month or less

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

trophy resident coastal cutthroat on the fly

I woke up this morning  to go fly fishing,  got dressed, filled my backpack with snacks and tp  and waking myself up for the 2 mile walk along the creek ahead of me. I slipped on my waders,  made sure i had my fly box, tippet and everything else i need to get some fish then got in the car and was dropped off at my starting point. My original access point has been blocked due to  construction wich is kind of aggrivating  because  that means i had to get in the creek and wade down quite a ways to get to my original starting point.  i sat my backpack down and watched for a minute before casting observing  the water.  I took some line out,  waded in and starting casting.  Halfway through the drift my strike indicator stopped ,went underwater and took off. From that  point i set the hook  FISH ON!  I was excited to have hooked a fish on the first cast But it jumped and spit the hook. But i stayed possitive and  checked my leader and flies before casting again. I got nothing on the following cast but the one after that i got a very solid strike.  Stripped some line and lifted my tip up to set the hook and fish on!! The fish didn't jump but it stuck to the bottom like a 2 oz weight!   It took about 20-30 seconds for me to  get the fish off the bottom and from that point i proceeded to bank the fish and take a picture then release the fish it was around 8-9 inches. After catching that fish i decided to fish one of my favorite spots, although i had missed 3 strikes there last time and the water is alot lower now i figured i could  get one or two. I nymphed the seam and pocket of the spot and  had ntohing, not even a nibble so i decided to get my backpack and move downstream  to  the pocket stretches. I call it the pocket stretches because every other small stretch of water is fishable pocket water. There is a transition from slow almost non moving creek, to  faster pocket water with plenty of small seams,riffles and pools to fish.  The first spot i approach is a very deep swift water spot with depths up to 12 ft! so it is difficult to fly fish.  I resort to a method called "walking the dog" where i stand at the very top of the run, let some line out and drop my stuff letting it get a drag free drift  through the deep run then swinging at the end and repeat. This technique  got me one fish,around 11 or so inches from this spot and then it was time to move downstream. i fished numerous pockets with nothing to show  for a quarter mile of walking and fishing, So i moved downstream  to a spot i figured fish would be hiding during the low  summer flows.  A riffle that flows under some brush and timber  near an undercut bank. First cast and bam!  got a nice little scrapper and threw him back. From that point i was getting skunked and alot of the water i was fishing was very low. So i decided to pass up alot of spots and fish about a mile down creek at a spot that stays at a good steady flow year long. After arriving   even the spot  that should have been  higher was a bit low, but still fast,oxygenated  and had   2-3 ft of water so i  put my backpack down and dropped a line. Third cast i got a bite and hooked the fish, he jumped once and tried to wrap around a rock but i banked him, took a picture and back to the drink the little fella went!. After releasing that fish i  immediately casted again and got a very good bite. I set the hook and it felt like a snag the first second then it shook its head a took off downstream  and never looked back. I let it take line for a bit until my backing started to show and some small fast areas with big rocks perfect for breaking my line were about 20 yards below the fish. So i stripped some line in  to keep it tight and ran downstream to catch up with the fish. I fought it for about 3 more minutes in the same general stretch of water  and somehow managed to land this very very large resident coastal cutthroat trout. I took a couple of pictures of this beast and released him to fight another day then made my way back home to tell the tale of my big trout to everyone.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

a few more before i leave

couldn't resist trying the creek out one more time so i hiked down and caught 4 fish. 3 pictures only though, the only rainbow i caught (there are not alot of them in this stream) and he was good sized too.    the water is finally starting to drop, and the fish are getting a wee bit more active. I will be taking pictures of my favorite stream when i return   aswell as some of the gear i use to fly fish small streams.  

tomorrow is the day

Tomorrow afternoon will mark the begininning of the oregon fishing forum fly fishing getogether/camping trip.  water will be high and fishing will be tough, come back sunday so look out for a report with pictures

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

with roaring thunder comes tricky fish

fished for about 4 hours afterschool today, i knew  the water would be up and a wee bit off color but i decided to give it a go anyways,    took a while to get any bites. i worked the same stretch of water for a while hooking one fish and missing a few good bites.  a bit frustrated i move downstream to one of my favorite sptos i haven't fished sicne opening day, ended up missing quite a few bites ,hooked and loosing one good fish and landing 3.  not huge fish but he was decent sized and took line.   there was a thunderstorm about halfway through the trip   wich was pretty cool. it wasnt much of a big oen though.    the rain seemed to turn the bite on in my favor but i couldnt get a solid hookset. i need to work on my hooksets while fly fishing