Shad---Umatilla area

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by cmann886, Jul 3, 2013.

  1. cmann886

    cmann886 Active Member

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    After being disapppointed in the results of my last two trips below Ice Harbor, I've contemplated going below McNary. I live on the Wa side and find the Oregon licenses too expensive for a few hours of shad fishing. Has anyone ever had any luck for shad on the point slightly above the bridge on the WA side (water is probably too deep to fly fish) or some point down stream where I could bank fish for a few hours this weekend?

    If I were to take a 15' smoker craft alaskan, can anyone give me advice on a good place to anchor and fish for shad? I am a novice to boat fishing and don't feel comfortable anchoring in fast water yet.
     
  2. I can't help u on any of this, but I will say my sister married a wheat farmer in pendleton and too fish for 2-3 days is the price of my wa license for the year. Friggin ridiculous
     
  3. Jim Ficklin

    Jim Ficklin Genuine Montana Fossil

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    When the kids were small & I had a boat we would anchor or slowly back-troll on the Oregon side below the dam. The kids would run a wiggle-wart with a Dick Nite attached to the plug. I didn't fish on those trips; I was the master un-tangler/netter, but they caught Shad continually & I'd keep a few for Sturgeon bait. I suppose that you might be able to get down enough with a Hi-D sinking line. Tie-up short leaders with no more than 18" of lead core trolling line in the center section; slide back the sheath on each end & cut-out 1/4" of lead core. Run a pin thru the center of the sheath & out the side; thread your mono thru the hole & tie a nail knot. If you keep the entire leader under 3' it doesn't cast to badly with a 6 weight. Then use Shad patterns. Good luck.
     
  4. cmann886

    cmann886 Active Member

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    Thanks Jim---I am going to tie up a couple of leaders as you suggested.

    Perhaps not getting deep enough is why I haven't caught anything below Ice Harbor this year. The water level this morning was very high. I talked with a gentleman that said he picked up 40 below McNary yesterday---anchoring in 17-19 feet of water and fishing with a down rigger set at about 4 feet off of the bottom---he also was catching sturgeon bate. I guess it is time for me to get acquainted with my newly acquired boat and learn to safetly anchor. I suppose I could make a cheap down rigger by connecting a rope to another anchor, and connect a clip about 6 feet above the anchor, depending on the current--but that just wouldn't be the same.
     
  5. Jim Ficklin

    Jim Ficklin Genuine Montana Fossil

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    I did quite well below Ice Harbor from the bank using the leader set-up I described on a 6 wt. Unfortunately, after they did some mods a few years ago, that particular drift changed & ceased being productive. I've caught Shad on a fly rod below Priest Rapids, too but there probably aren't many up there yet. I'd be careful anchoring a small boat too close to the dam & I lost more than 1 anchor up there when I had my 21' jet.
     
  6. cmann886

    cmann886 Active Member

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    I loved fishing below ice harbor a few years back and would like to find a place like that from shore that is close to home. I would typically use a versileader or tie my fly on a jig head and use a floating line and small corkie. When wading the area I previously fished during fall low water levels, I found that the area would have only been 4-6 feet deep in the earlier summer.

    Last year I picked up a couple using a switch rod fishing further down stream but didn't have any success this year. I don't even see many gear fisherman on the banks anymore. Have you ever tried the north shore?

    The shad counts at Priest are only a couple of hundred. I've only caught one shad at priest...throwing a bass jig when I got bored with sturgeon fishing when it was till open below the dam.
     
  7. luv2fly2

    luv2fly2 Active Member

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    is the morning the only time shad can be caught from shore? mike w
     
  8. cmann886

    cmann886 Active Member

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    No---I've just had better luck at that time. A very good article on shad fishing is on this site's home page. The following is a quote from that article:

    "Time of day is very important to the success of catching Shad. Generally, early mornings will out produce afternoons and evenings, especially during sunny days. During cloudy days, it's possible to catch Shad throughout the day. During the evening hours Shad often become preoccupied with mating and may not pay any attention to your offerings. Another benefit of fishing early, especially on the Columbia, is that wind is generally not a factor early in the morning but that usually changes for the worse as the day progresses. The Columbia River Gorge is the wind capital of the world and at times it can blow you off of the water."​
     
  9. luv2fly2

    luv2fly2 Active Member

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    i am seeking any info on shad fishing or any websites which will help me learn. i have been 3-4 times in the last 2 years and have not had a fish. might go to lomo next wed or thurs. the north bank is very fishable as opposed to ice harbor. mike w
     
  10. cmann886

    cmann886 Active Member

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    Mike;
    http://www.gamefishin.com/wa/features/shad.htm

    Is another good source of information on shad. I did get a small steelhead on the columbia today trying for shad. This is the second time in about 5 years of shad fishing that I landed a steelhead. I am searching for another place---especially after Jim's post saying that they changed the run---you don't even see very many gear fishermen anymore. I've never fished below lower Mo. But with the numbers tailing off down river the estimated time of travel, I would expect them to be in that stretch of the river by now.
     
  11. luv2fly2

    luv2fly2 Active Member

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    cmann, if you go to lomo, go to kahlotus then go south on road 263 and you will wind up the downriver part of lomo dam. lots of riprap, which is nice. it is like the north shore of john day. i will probably go wed morn. mike w
     
  12. cmann886

    cmann886 Active Member

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    Thanks Mike---I have to fly to North Carolina or I would try to meet up with you. Good luck.

    cal
     
  13. luv2fly2

    luv2fly2 Active Member

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    anybody else is welcome. i will be there bout 5 am till bout 9 am. we will have a shad dont know who that guy is party. i drive an old white dodge 4x4 . thanks, mike w
     
  14. luv2fly2

    luv2fly2 Active Member

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    i cant make it yesterday. had greatgrandkids,catch,color crayons, water, etc. maybe later? mike w
     

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