Coastal Oregon Fly Fishing; Spring 2013


It has been a great spring on the Oregon Coast, from February through now – early April 2013. So many opportunities in rivers and please don’t forget the catchable trout in Coastal Lakes.


ODFW stocks a whole bunch of these lakes and fly fishing is probably the most effective means of catching these fish.

Flies range from the expected

# 12/14 Bead Head Gold Ribbed Hares Ear (brown and black), to the #10/12 Bead Head Olive Lake Leech, to the Chironomid, to the little pheasant tail to the #16 Adams.  I have had success on a few of my coastal cutthroat wet flies too, and in my spare time shooting fly  videos and tying flies for Chinook that are soon to enter a few of our coastal rivers.

For folks who believe that hatchery trout are easy, my experience is quite the contrary, because maybe some days they are, but other days are quite a different story. Cast and twitch. Cast, put the rod under your arm and do your smoothest slow steady retrieve. Hang a nymph under a strike indicator anywhere from 3 to 8 feet deep. Still or movement.  Any and all of these techniques may come into play on any given day.

Long leaders, say 12 ft, tapered down to 5X or 6X will up your game too.  I fish Echo 3 and Echo Edge fly  rods in 4 and 5 wt, equipped with Echo ION reels and Airflo fly lines including floaters and slow sink lake lines.  Sorry, just had to mention the gear.  The ION drag worked ultra smoothly on large fish with the lightest leaders, fish some fish took me well into the backing with never a hiccup – from the reel anyway.

I suppose a nice new Sage ONE fly rod, Bauer or Hatch reel, and a Rio fly line might work too, ha ha.  OK, sales pitch over.


Rivers with wild and hatchery steelhead are a big draw for a lot of people in winter, but for many people, the float tube, pontoon boat, or pram is a great place to be on dozens of coastal lakes, fly fishing when the rivers are way out of shape to fish.

Is this fishery as glamorous as chasing chrome steelhead on the swing?


That’s for you to decide. For me, this experience brings me back to my fishing roots, and I have had great fun fishing in coastal lakes and the occasional foray out into the rivers.


Hope you enjoy the photos that follow and find inspiration to get out and have your own fun fishing in the near future, wherever that destination may be.

JN, April 2013

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2 Responses to Coastal Oregon Fly Fishing; Spring 2013

  1. tim.becker.90038@facebook.com says:

    WELL DONE!!!

  2. Two Dogs says:

    Thanks, Jay! Another inciteful artical. No, a call to action…..headed out to get my gear. The weather up here is even looking good for the next few days. Thanks for starting the week out with a positive note!

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