Shad run on the Columbia River 6/8/2018

#91
I decided against fighting brutal winds in an ugly area to for sure catch some fish to instead take a pretty sure skunk in an awesome place where a single grab would have been better than 50 Shad.

I’m sure @Irafly would hate it but as I sat there with the sun coming off the water and the hill color come alive I couldn’t have been happier.
 

Jim Ficklin

Genuine Montana Fossil
#92
you just have to use a heavier fly to get it down to the water... :)
Or you can splice no more than 18" of lead core trolling line into the middle section of a 6' - 7' leader. It casts reasonably well with a little practice & gets unweighted flies down quickly in heavy, turbulent water that Shad seem to frequent on occasion. I used it successfully below Ice Harbor Dam back when I fished for Shad (when I could negotiate rip-rap banks with good knees :D.). Trim out a short length of lead at each end, poke a hole through 1 side of the sheath with a needle, & thread mono through securing it to the leader material with a nail knot over the undisturbed ends of the core.
 

Irafly

Indi "Ira" Jones
#93
I decided against fighting brutal winds in an ugly area to for sure catch some fish to instead take a pretty sure skunk in an awesome place where a single grab would have been better than 50 Shad.

I’m sure @Irafly would hate it but as I sat there with the sun coming off the water and the hill color come alive I couldn’t have been happier.
Hate? Nah, I tend to make the most of whatever choices I make. I would have just made a different choice is all and I certainly don't begrudge those who enjoy their fishing the way they enjoy their fishing. I do begrudge those who judge me for the way I enjoy mine though.
 
#94
Hate? Nah, I tend to make the most of whatever choices I make. I would have just made a different choice is all and I certainly don't begrudge those who enjoy their fishing the way they enjoy their fishing. I do begrudge those who judge me for the way I enjoy mine though.
I judge you. For not coming down and catching dozens of shad with me.
 

Klickrolf

Active Member
#96
Congrats, was your girl swinging a fly rod, sorta looks like it? That would be very impressive, as would whatever she was swinging. Cool!
 
#97
Echo OHS 7wt with a scout head and a T10 tip with a 1/32 oz jig head on a gold hook with a couple wraps of chartreuse chenille around the lead.

I’d cast and get hooked up then hand the rod to her. Fish pulled hard enough that I couldn’t just give her the rod. Started out with the 7wt Spey and a FIST line and it was a fish every cast. String enough to take line off a English salmon 2 with the heavy springs.
Once I found the fish were only about 20’ out but also 10’ deep it just took a upstream cast and lots of mending.

I will say I outfished the gear guys 10-1 except for one guy just above me who was doing slightly better than I was.
 
Kinda funny about hooking shad.. you know it's a shad when it grabs but for the first 5 seconds of the fight you are thinking "this can't be a shad it's pullng too hard"
Yeah, the real trouble comes when you try to man handle them. They have very flimsy lips and light membrane from the lips to the head. Easy to break off if you pull too hard.
 
Bonneville Dam Adult Shad Count 2018-06-26.jpeg

Looks like the shad run has peaked the last few days and is on the decline. Thought I'd better give it another shot before the window closes, so I went out to the John Day Dam to fish on Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning (sunset to dusk and dawn to shortly after sunrise). Here's the John Day Dam looking upstream to the dam:

20180626_191002 20.jpg

Only a dozen gear fishermen seen and no fly fishermen; plenty of room here to flycast, although the wind makes it difficult to flycast. Not that many shad rolling, but seemed like everyone was catching fish. In 5.5 hours of fishing I had 76 shad on solidly and of those I landed 36 of the shad, plus an 11" Chinook smolt and a 7" smallmouth bass. I'd say one third of the shad looked pretty fresh and silvery, but two-thirds were getting less silvery and looking a little beat up. But, they all fought fairly decently on my 5 weight rod. This time I used my RIO Aqualux II clear intermediate full sinking line and retrieved my fly about 6 to 18" below the water surface. Seemed to get plenty of bites doing that and didn't have to go deep or worry about snagging bottom.

20180627_042821 20.jpg

Pretty cool seeing the full moon set in the west before the sun rose in the east. That's Mt. Hood in the distance to the right of the moon (barely visible in this photo). There was a very recent wildfire on the Oregon side of the river, as you can see the blackened hills to the left in this photo, above the lights on the shore.

I'd say you have about a week of decent shad fishing left before the run disappears, so if you're going to give it a try, now is the time...

Rex
 

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