John Day River info

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Tom Arroll, May 10, 2013.

  1. Tom Arroll

    Tom Arroll Member


    I am heading to the John Day River in a couple of weeks with my family for a multi day paddle below Clarno. Will Smallmouth Bass be the only fish in the river at this time? Any favorite river Smallmouth Bass flies? I was thinking wooly buggers and bunny leaches and maybe some poppers?


  2. hookedonthefly

    hookedonthefly Active Member

    Watch for rattlesnakes!

    It's a really neat river. The afternoon wind can be formidable.

    Have a great trip!
  3. Joe Parke

    Joe Parke New Member

    Did the Clarno to Cottonwood float last year. We caught smallmouth every day just about everywhere. I started with a big ugly Chernobyl Ant kind of fly and they hammered it, so I never even tried another fly. One guy from another group said he' caught a steelehead but I didn't see it.
    Clarno rapids is the only real whitewater about ten miles from the launch. it's easy if you're paying attention, but people do flip if they're careless.
    There are great campsites in the canyon. You'll have one of the best trips in the Northwest.
  4. MikeT

    MikeT Member

    The bass are plentiful and easy to catch, although most are small (6"--8").
    I normally use a bass popper or muddler minnow, but just about anything will work. Great fishery for kids or beginners.
    Cast to the bank or structure while floating and you'll hammer them.
    I've heard that the way to target the larger bass is with a fast sinking line and big streamers, but I haven't tried that.
  5. Mark Moore

    Mark Moore Just a Member

    I'm headed up here to do a 3 day float next weekend above Clarno. Is there any chance I might run across some Carp. I'd like to give it a shot if so.

  6. GAT

    GAT Active Member

    I've never fished the river but know those who do. Most use olive brown or medium brown Clousers. Pencil poppers, white with grey backs, work well for surface patterns as does a Madam X.
  7. Mike Ediger

    Mike Ediger Active Member

    Caught more smallies than I could count on the upper John Day, and the trusty Chernobyl was about the only fly needed. Most fish were small but they were fun!

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  8. As far as subsurface goes, on my last trip I caught catfish and a 19 inch smallmouth on an olive rubberleg bugger fished just along the bottom. Almost all small bass <12" on top.
  9. EHB86

    EHB86 Member

    Yes, there will be Carp.