Hood River in Early January? - Spey Pages
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-23-2012, 03:06 PM Thread Starter
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Hood River in Early January?

I know this is very similar to another thread about steelheading in Oregon, but I didn't want to highjack that thread. I'm particularly interested to know what folks thought would be some good options close to Hood River that time of year. I'm also hoping to hit some of the costal streams but will likely have at least a day or two that I can sneak away from family in HR to fish something close. My first thoughts were the Hood itself, or possibly the Deschutes or Sandy? I suppose that the "other side" (of the Columbia) would also be an option too?

I would be strictly walk and wade fishing. Don't mind walking a bit, and while I'd love a decent opportunity at some aggressive winter fish, I think I would trade numbers of fish for a bit of space and solitude if need be. I'm not asking for any secret hotspots or anything, just a general idea of which rivers or sections you think might be most worthy. Any suggestions about how various rivers would respond to various weather conditions would be even better :-)

Thanks for any helpful hints,
JB
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-24-2012, 07:08 PM Thread Starter
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Where might I find that trail along the Hood you speak of? Speaking of hiking, is it ok (legal) to walk along the RR tracks on the Deschutes? It's funny, I grew up in Oregon and used to fish there as a kid; but it's been so long I can hardly remember anything about most of the rivers we used to fish. Those days were also before Fly fishing, so pretty different. Wish I could remember a lot more about my "home waters"...

Thanks again,
JB
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-25-2012, 11:15 AM
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Don't mean to hijack the thread, but I'm curious: Generally speaking, is there a particular time to fish the Hood? Or does it match the other winter run rivers in the area?

Thanks,

Slint
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-25-2012, 01:20 PM
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The Hood river has lots of private property with few public access points. It's very doable, but I would advise that you need quite a bit of time to invest with learning the river. There are better options with much larger runs of fish.

The swing water is also very limited. Again, it's available but not generally known to have the big stretches of swing able runs. If you do hit the hood I would suggest bringing a nymph and bobber setup instead of the two hander.

Some guys still fish the Deschutes in January. Trout can be off the charts fun if you want guaranteed action.

Lots of options in Oregon or Washington in January.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-26-2012, 09:22 PM
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Wink

There are a few swingable pieces of water, but not much. Also, the availability of swingable water is very dependent on the flows. Also, don't be surprised to find swingable water being fished by gear fisherman, and getting lowholed is fairly common by local gear fisherman. If you are going to bring a nymph rig, you will need to forfeit your Speypages membershiphttp://speypages.com/speyclave/images/icons/icon12.gif.
January can be very cold on the river(water temps in the low thirties) so swinging can be tough. That being said, anytime on the river is better than sitting on the couch. Get in touch with the guys at the Gorge Fly Shop, they will point you in the right direction.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-26-2012, 10:04 PM Thread Starter
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Gorge fly shop it is then...

Ok I guess that the advice boils down to visit the gorge fly shop... I'll talk with them then. Hopefully they are a bit more willing to share some details....Have to say that I've had much more friendly and helpful advice from the "nymphing" set, and it's kinda making me wonder a bit with my newfound love of swinging for steelhead... :-(
JB
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-26-2012, 10:27 PM
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Ok I guess that the advice boils down to visit the gorge fly shop... I'll talk with them then. Hopefully they are a bit more willing to share some details....Have to say that I've had much more friendly and helpful advice from the "nymphing" set, and it's kinda making me wonder a bit with my newfound love of swinging for steelhead... :-(
JB
Jason, you've gotta be kidding buddy. I just re-read the comments I posted from my mobile phone and the subsequent comments from other anglers. The information you received was just fine. I doubt you'll get a detailed map or gps coordinates if that was what you were hoping for.

I don't live right next door to the hood but if you're in the area around a weekend and I can get a hall pass from the family id be happy to fish with you.

If we do fish together on the Hood, I will honestly bring a nymph rod too. I didn't mean that sarcastically. It's a great river to fish with a nymp setup due to the type of water you'll encounter.

I don't think I can share the link to the site so here's an excerpt from one of the local Hood experts. I cut and pasted it directly from his Blog. It says what I was trying to convey in a more eloquent way:

To be perfectly honest, the Hood does not have a ton of classic Spey water. It's a small, high gradient river that tumbles through the Hood River valley. There are a few "classic" runs but the vast majority of water is pocket water. Consequently, it's not uncommon to fish floating lines and long leaders with weighted flies. I love fishing switch rods on the hood for this very reason.

Because of the quick flow and endless boulder gardens on the hood, I can't float the Hood. You have to be prepared to put some miles on the wading boots. To be clear, you MUST be in good physical shape to fish the river effectively. That said, the river offers some wonderful fly fishing opportunities from December through June.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-26-2012, 10:35 PM
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Man, this is hilarious to me.... so you're second guessing swinging because of the info here? (Complete with a little sad face?) Didn't a generous guy tell you where to park and which trail to walk up in order to get to his favorite water? It looks like to me you got a really helpful, and honest, breakdown from some local guys who were pointing you in the right direction. Tough call to snub that...

Good luck if you make it out.

Slint
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-27-2012, 01:18 PM Thread Starter
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Actually, that post I made was pretty snippy; more so than I had intended (I was in a pretty foul mood and probably shouldn't have been online posting anything). To be clear I don't need directions to some honey hole or anything like that. I guess I was just a bit peeved that there was some negative sentiment on fishing the Hood, but no suggested alternatives, and then seeing nymphing vs swinging come into the thread... I love both.

Just seemed like a bit of a negative slant overall to me... but yeah my post was a bit out of line. My apologies
JB

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Originally Posted by Slint View Post
Man, this is hilarious to me.... so you're second guessing swinging because of the info here? (Complete with a little sad face?) Didn't a generous guy tell you where to park and which trail to walk up in order to get to his favorite water? It looks like to me you got a really helpful, and honest, breakdown from some local guys who were pointing you in the right direction. Tough call to snub that...

Good luck if you make it out.

Slint
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-27-2012, 02:46 PM
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It's the downside of written communication. Takes all the context, emotion and meaning out of things. No harm here.

Seriously - message me when you nail down your plans and if I can sneak away from the family, I'd be glad to fish a run together. I'll show what I know of the place.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-27-2012, 04:34 PM
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It has been mentioned. But, I'd seek out the old power plant that is pretty near the mouth. Walking upstream just a bit will get you all kinds of water.

Granted, I've only been to the Hood a handful of times. But, the times I've been there, I've always found more swinging water that I would need in any given day. There is plenty. It just may not be long runs that you can step down for hours at a time.

Once you walk upstream a bit from the power plant, you can cross at a pipeline that also has a walkway above. This gives you access to more water on the other side. Some of it produced a few tugs for me in the past.

Good luck. You've already had an offer for company when you arrive. I'll make the same offer too. If I'm available, I'll do it. I swing that river no matter what the preferred method may be. Personally, I think there is plenty of spots that are perfect for it.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-27-2012, 05:53 PM
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Actually, that post I made was pretty snippy; more so than I had intended (I was in a pretty foul mood and probably shouldn't have been online posting anything). To be clear I don't need directions to some honey hole or anything like that. I guess I was just a bit peeved that there was some negative sentiment on fishing the Hood, but no suggested alternatives, and then seeing nymphing vs swinging come into the thread... I love both.

Just seemed like a bit of a negative slant overall to me... but yeah my post was a bit out of line. My apologies
JB
Having fished the Hood a handful of times, you have received all of the information that there is to give. It is a small river with not a lot of bank access and few fish. You have already been given information on the best access point. If you are looking for alternatives, the Sandy is a bit of a drive, but has plenty of access and a lot more fish.

I realize that you apologized, but your throwing out a lot of negativity when people were genuinely trying to help you...

I say again, you have received all of the information that is fit to print.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012, 06:03 PM Thread Starter
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Having fished the Hood a handful of times, you have received all of the information that there is to give. It is a small river with not a lot of bank access and few fish. You have already been given information on the best access point. If you are looking for alternatives, the Sandy is a bit of a drive, but has plenty of access and a lot more fish.

I realize that you apologized, but your throwing out a lot of negativity when people were genuinely trying to help you...

I say again, you have received all of the information that is fit to print.


Ok thanks for the suggestion there. The Sandy is not that far from Hood river, so if that would be a more likely option I'd be fine with the drive. I was a bit concerned about crowds, being so close to Portland I sort of guessed that it might be a bit of a zoo?

Sounds like I could easily busy myself for a bit hiking along the Hood, and probably be a happy camper, or head to the Sandy for what sounds like a bit better chance at some hook ups. Either way that's what I was originally hoping to find out, just some options/comparisons for what might be available that time of year up there.

As for negativity, I really didn't intend to dump any negativity into the mix, and I recognize that my one post was made in great haste out of frustration (mostly unrelated to this thread). That's why I DID apologize. I know some very specific tips were offered; and appreciated.

Perhaps I wasn't the clearest in my original post, but I was really looking more for suggested options in the vicinity (the rivers I listed were just my own guesses). I don't really know the seasons, or current state of runs, or crowding, access, favorable water levels, etc on any of the rivers up there. It seems the thread got a bit stuck in debating the merits of the Hood itself and thus left my original questions mostly unanswered. Although I did get a lot more info about the Hood itself than I had expected (thank you all for that beta).

To everyone who gave their specific suggestions and those who gave kind offers to fish THANK YOU :-)
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