Clear Lake (Mt. Hood) Report.
Jacob with a Clear Lake rainbow trout.
Angler: Jacob Noteboom
Weather: Partly Cloudy with sustained 15-20 mph winds. White caps on main lake.
Major Hatches: Callibaetis, Midge, Black Caddis, Damsel Flies.
Report: Get out there. If you struggle with casting in the wind this may not be the fishery for you, but if you’re willing to get out and brave the breeze, the fishing is great right now. Clear lake is used for irrigation during the summer months and with the absence of consistent rain this year, the levels are dropping daily. For whatever reason, the water level dropping turns the feed on, and trout can be very active on the surface this month. Hatches have been great as you can always expect a steady amount of callibaetis mayflies to emerge throughout the day. During a very rare short break in the wind, I found success on parachute adams, as well as callibaetis thorax patterns. When the wind was ripping, I was fan casting and retrieving soft hackles. As far as rods go, a 9ft 5wt Carbon XL got the job done. (Although 10ft rods are preferred)This method was responsible for catching me my largest Rainbow trout out of Clear Lake this week, and we saw many more of these beasts rolling. They’re out there, go find them.
Often I have anglers come into the shop from a lake outing and explain they had a tough time finding fish, so here are some of my favorite methods of searching.
A picture of Clear Lake (drawn down during the summer). You don't need a boat or float tube to fish Clear Lake this time of year. Fly fishing is easy from shore, or while wading. be sure to bring polarized glasses for spotting fish. Look for cruisers and risers. Watch for fish around the many stumps in the lake.
What to do when they’re not showing themselves.
My dream day that I’m always hoping for is showing up to a favorite spot and seeing fish everywhere; whether it be risers or fish cruising, casting to fish you can see is some of the most exciting fishing ever (For me at least). But days like that rarely come around. So what is one to do when staring at “Blank” water?
Stop. Sit down, have a rest. When I arrive to a fishy spot I’ll take about 10 or 15 to just sit and watch the water. Take note of what the conditions are and put those thoughts into your plan of attack. Take time to notice food items on the water (Or lack thereof). The more variables you take note of and the more you have figured out, the less you have to second guess things when your fly is in the water.
Have a very wide variety of attractor patterns. Searching flies are your closest ally when fish are visually absent. A wooly bugger is always a great bet for lakes and Stillwater, and a small mayfly nymph or caddis pupa is always a great bet for moving water.
Clear Lake has abundant hatches and trout grow quickly. Trout of over twenty inches are not uncommon.
Break down the piece of water you’re fishing like a square grid. Fish your fly all over that grid, picking it apart slowly and surely. Make sure every cast is well presented. Think of it like the old computer game minesweeper, although in this version, an explosion means fish on instead of game over.
Think in 3D. Cover every portion of the water column. If fishing a lake, have as many different rigs with you as are appropriate to the depth of the water you fish. For Instance, Fishing a shallow lake around 10 feet and shallower? Bring a floating and intermediate line. Need to get down a little farther? Bring sink tips or sinking lines. Give yourself as many advantages as possible. Add a pinch of time, and a little sprinkle of effort, and you’ll find a fish eventually. If you have any more comments or questions, come on in or give us a call. Tight lines. -Jacob