Shad run on the Columbia River 6/8/2018


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Bonneville Dam Adult Shad Count 2018-06-08.jpg

Anyone else watching the shad count over Bonneville Dam? Looks like the shad run is early this year (red line) compared to last year (blue line) or the 10 year averages (dark gray line). Anyone been fishing for shad yet? Looks like now is the time to go...

Here is what a typical shad looks like (photo from last year):


They are good fighters for their size and fun to catch on a 5 weight rod. You can see that I use a sink tip line with a krill fly pattern, but shad aren't very selective and seem to take most any small fly that I've tried.



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I've been talking to a few guys at work about going for them this year, which would be my first time. They made it seem like it might be more difficult to fish for them on a fly rod, I'm glad you proved that to be false. Maybe I will try it after all.


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The difficulty is in finding room to fly cast what with the crowds of gear fishermen or lack of backcasting room. Some guys do it in a motorboat, which would be a good way to get away from the crowds and the lack of backcasting room. As for catching shad, it isn't that difficult as there are a lot of them and they bite fairly readily.


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I went last year below John Day and failed miserably...caught a few smallmouth but no shad. Would love to try again but not sure what I'd do different to change the results without hiring a guide or getting some very good intel before the next attempt.


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Contact @Slipstream on this site regarding fishing below the JD dam. I've been with him a few times in years past. I always cast a 12' 8/9 spey with a lead head jig, shad jig. Go early or late in the day, the wind makes fly casting difficult mid-day.

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