Fall Trout Opportunities Near Mt. Hood
By: Jacob Noteboom
Its crunch time, folks. The kids are back in school and we have until the end of October to get out and enjoy some fall trout fishing up on the mountain. There is an endless amount of options to get out and enjoy, here are some of my favorites.
Oak Grove Fork of the Clackamas: The oak grove fork of the Clackamas is home to some great small water trout fishing, be it in the slow meandering meadow stretch, where stealth and light tippet are king, or the stretch between Timothy and Harriet, which is home to larger log jams, larger cutthroat, boulder peppered pocket water, and the odd brown trout here and there. This is a great little headwater for the angler that enjoys getting technical. There are a plethora of hatches up there this time of year, including anything from Trico’s to October caddis. Streamer fishing is also very productive. If you’ve never been up there, go give it a day and check it out!
Timothy Lake: Fall temperatures bring cooler days to the lake, and the Callibaetis seem to react strongly to this change in weather, and the hatches are thick. Parachute patterns in inlets and shallow coves work great for risers, while an intermediate line with a soft hackle will do wonders when fish aren’t as active on the surface. Crawfish patterns near the bottom are a year-round forage to key in on as well. Brook trout will begin to migrate to their spawning tributaries and will be accessible at the mouths where they join the main lake. Balanced leech’s or stripped streamers are the best way to hit these aggressive fish.
October Caddis Hatches on small streams: Starting mid-September, October caddis pupa will begin outgrowing their gravel husk homes and begin hatching. This is our small stream system’s last hurrah as far as hatches go, and this is the last chance for these trout to grow, so they’ll be putting the feed on. Fishing can change drastically in these smaller waters as protected salmon and steelhead begin to take up vacancy in preparation to spawn. So if you fish your favorite deep pool with a dry to no success, it could be because Mr. Chinook decided to nip all the trout in the butt and get them out of his new home for the next month before he kicks the bucket. Don’t worry; the trout will most likely just be pushed up into the next set of riffles above. Or, they’ll be sitting behind Mrs. Chinook, waiting for some unfortunate egg to get caught in the drift and sent straight to their mouths. (see “fishing egg patterns for trout”. By Mark Bachmann). A large October Caddis dry paired with an egg pattern dropper can be a deadly combo.
These are a few of my favorite opportunities before trout closes for the year (at least on this side of the mountain.) We hope you can get out and take advantage of them before it all wraps up. Come on into the shop or give us a call for more info.