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Driven by irrational exuberance.
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I knew it would be cold this morning on the Klickitat. I forwent my daybreak start just for that reason. I delayed until 9:00, but the temperature at The Dalles was still 21F. I put on layers on polypro and fleece, a balaclava and siwash cap, and even stuffed my big down coat inside my waders. If I fell in this time, I'd be a soggy feather popsicle. I was confident because I had this new anti icing paste that I coated my guides with. And I was staying pretty comfy in my Michelin Tire man getup. I made some beautiful casts before the sun hit the surface of the run. The water ran scary clear and so low that I was standing where my last fish hooked up a few weeks ago. But then the ice came anyway. Slowly the ice built up in the top two guides until I shooting line between guides 3 and 4. I warmed them between my fingers and popped out the little ice cylinders after each set of five or so casts. I tried swishing the tip around under the water to melt the ice. Then my whole tip was incased in ice. I worried that the carbon might shatter. Then the reel froze up. I coiled up the line in my hands and headed back to the truck to thaw it out. But my fly had frozen to the rocks. I had to pry it off losing a bunch of mirage flash. I sat in the truck listening to the radio until the reel thawed out and the sun filled the valley. No fish, but I made some beautiful casts. And I had the whole run to myself. One thing I was pleased to find out is that studded felts are really the ticket for walking on the fast ice along the shore. I had so much fun I'm going to do it again tomorrow.

I don't know how those guys in the Yakima Canyon can to it. It's running about 10 degrees F colder in Yakima than here.
 

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MG,
Where abouts on the Klickitat do you fish? Upper, lower? I tried some flies when I was there mid Sept. with no luck. Had to resort to the dark side to catch fish. What flies work best there? Do you fish there often? I have fished that river since I was about 10, I'm now 50 so do the math! haha My dad, who is 82 next month goes down twice a week during the season. When he finally goes we are going to have him bronzed and put him on his favorite rock, rod in hand. Do you fish any other rivers in that area? White Salmon, Drano, Wind? How about any of the I-5 rivers?
Jim J.
 

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Driven by irrational exuberance.
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1,656 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm no expert on the Klickitat by any measure. Or flyfishing for steelhead. Broke off chinook and lost a steelhead a mile below the Lidel Bridge September 19. Then I caught my first steelhead on a fly two days later in the lower river about mile 5 at the square culvert. Then a couple weeks ago, steelhead #2 at the Broken Tree hole. Nothing but cold feet last weekend.

I've found myself driving between Yakima and White Salmon quite allot this fall so I've taken the time to stop and fish. I'd like to find out more about the Big and Little White, the Upper Wind, and the Dechutes. I was looking at steelhead catch numbers, and it makes Hood River attractive in the spring months.
 

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We usually fish a little farther up the river. My dad's favorite hole is right at mile 17 marker. I see other guys F/F'ing from the other side there but its private property. The road side has pretty fast water in it, I tried to get a fly through there but couldn't get it down fast enough to be effective. One of my personal goals is to get one on the fly someday! Have you ever floated the river between Soda Springs and the mouth of the Little Klickitat R.? I haven't in a long time but would like to do it in my pontoon boat. There's only a couple spots I would consider much of a threat as far as rapids go. That's a good stretch to fish, most of the guide boats go up there. We do very well up the Big White Salmon but you have a steep hike down the canyon to get at the first holes above the slack water. I caught the first steelhead of my life as a kid up there. Its best during the summer when the fish come in there to cool off from the Columbia R. Drano can be a good spot but have to fight the crowds. I've seen a F/F'ing club out of Calif. in there doing pretty well on a little purple BH fly when no one else (bait guys) could catch anything. The Wind is also popular but can be good as well. I haven't fished it in a long time either though. I always want to float the Little Klickitat for trout too. It gets no pressure below where it drops into the canyon. Only thing is I'm sure it is full of SNAKES! Yikes! I hate snakes. I just bought a jet sled a few weeks ago and plan on taking it down and try the river mouths in the Columbia next year. I see a lot of boats doing that so must not be to bad. Well I got a run, maybe we could hook up down that way next year, huh?
Later, Jim J.
 

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Getting a rig down to Soda Springs would be quite a challege, and you would have to run your own shuttle. I was down there this spring during turkey season. Lots of people put thier pontoon boats in at Stinson Flats and run all the way down. My wife and I use our pontoons for the short float from Lytle to Stinson. Too lazy to make the long float. Craig
 
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