Town Lake Steelhead Report

Jack Harrell knows Town Lake steelhead like no one else. This photo is from a recent trip when he guided me and Guy Allen on the Lake.

Jack Harrell knows Town Lake steelhead like no one else. This photo is from a recent trip when he guided me and Guy Allen on the Lake.

I can report that fly fishing for landlocked hatchery summer steelhead at the Town Lake is slow but there are opportunities to have some very challenging fishing here when the rivers are otherwise un-fishable.

On a recent guided trip to the Lake with Jack Harrell at the oars we found one fish that took our fly and held it long enough and securely enough to be hooked well.  Three other steelhead took our flies into their mouths only to have us pull them out without actually hooking the fish securely.

First good run across the lake.

First good run across the lake.

Getting close now.

Getting close now.

Ready for release in the net.

Ready for release in the net.

Thanks for a great day on the Lake Jack. Our tippets were 5X and the most productive flies included glass bead size 10 buggers, size 14  bead head Hare’s ears, and simple size 14 chironimids.

ODFW stocks these fish into the lake from the trap on Three Rivers but not very many surplus steelhead were available this season. Still, we found enough to keep the day interesting and the casting is always a challenge. I fished a #4 Echo Switch rod in the Glass family with a Nautilus fly reel and Airflo Floating line. Not that it matters – the most important matter is to fish small tippets and small flies that are cast precisely in the proper zone ahead of the fish. They will sometimes spook before the fly hits the water but not always. Sometimes they lunge at your fly and devour it – triggering much excitement. Windy days do not fish well because it is difficult to spot the fish. Almost all of the fishing we do is sight fishing but on occasion I have had success bind casting an egg sucking leach in deeper water near the dock.

I’m sure you will have fun (fish or not) if you give this fishery a try – unless the darn fish make their way out of the lake and back into the Nestucca River!

Good Luck everyone!

Jay Nicholas, December 2016

 

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