What to Expect in Oregon in August

Importance by half-month
 Super    Major    Minor    Slight    None

Hatches are matched from Westfly's database of "standard" fly patterns.


Pupa

Size 12-18 Soft Hackle, , Deep Sparkle Pupa. Body: tan, green; Shroud: tan

Riffles, runs, just below riffles: surface swing, shallow nymph

Adult

Size 12-18 Goddard Caddis, X Caddis, Parachute Caddis, Elk Hair Caddis. Body: brown, green, dark gray; Wing: tan, brown

Egg-layer

Size 12-18 Diving Caddis, Soft Hackle. Body: brown; Wing: black

Riffles, current seams, backeddies below riffles: surface swing, shallow nymph, rising nymph

► Several caddis species are active this month. Usually (but not always) Oregon's trout are not selective. You can cover the spectrum with size-14 dry flies in tan and green, and size 16 to 18 in black or dark brown. Pupa patterns of the same size are also useful.

► In the evening, you can enounter adult, pupa, and egg-laying stages all at the same time and place, but trout may be focused on only one stage. So if one approach doesn't work, switch flies and tactics.

► Egg-laying caddis like the broken water of a riffle because it's easy to penetrate. Once they're through the surface, they swim to the bottom and lay their eggs. So use a Soft Hackle, Diving Caddis, or similar fly with a surface swing in riffly areas.

► Primary caddis activity is early morning before the light hits the water, and in the evening. The hotter the weather, the more the activity is compressed into the very end of the day--right up to total darkness.

Pupa

Size 10-22 Chans Chironomid Pupa, Zebra Midge. Black, gray, olive, red, creams, browns

Adult

Size 10-22 Griffiths Gnat, Sprout Midge. Black, gray, olive, red, creams, browns

► When trout are midging, a Sprout Midge or Griffiths Gnat can work well, but a pupa pattern is always a good choice.

► Be prepared for midge hatches in the early morning hours and at dusk.

► When trout are midging, a Sprout Midge or Griffiths Gnat can work well, but a pupa pattern is always a good choice.

Adult

Size 4-10 Madam X, Daves Hopper, Morrish Hopper. Tan/yellow, olive/yellow, green

Bankwater with grass: standard dry fly

► Hopper fishing is spotty on Oregon rivers, but it's something to be prepared for this month because it's great fun when it happens. Look for grassy river banks and put your fly within inches (not feet) of the edge.

Ant



Adult

Size 10-16 Parachute Ant, Ant. Black, brown, red-brown

► Take imitations anytime you visit a river, especially on the east side of the Cascades. For tips on ants and other terrestrials, see Western Hatches: Terrestrials and Tying Better Ant Patterns.

Trout


► Fishing will be easiest in the very early morning hours and just before dark. Any time you're fishing, look for water that doesn't have the sun on it. You might take a midday siesta and rest your casting arm, resigning yourself to the fact that the trout are going to be moody and will play hard-to-get.

► It's possible to find a few willing fish during the sunny hours, although your odds are much better early and late in the day. Look for them near the banks where the water is more than two feet deep and is shaded by vegetation, or where micro-eddies, foam, and broken water offer some measure of security.

► Later in the month, longer, cooler nights may improve fishing.

► When the water finally cools, trout will increasingly target large stonefly nymphs in rivers that have them.

Steelhead


► As the water warms up, you may actually do better with a sink-tip line, even during the low-light times. The reason is that the cooler water is near the bottom, and steelhead may be more receptive to your fly if they don't have to rise through warm water to reach it.

► While your best chance of a hookup is during low-light time, it's possible to pick up steelhead during the bright hours. If you feel compelled to cast all day, switch to a sink-tip line and standard summer steelhead deep swinging fly. Swing your fly through deeper water or riffly sections (steelhead pull into the frothy water in search of overhead cover and more oxygen). Or use indicator tactics and work any slots, seams, or rocky areas that you think may hold fish.

► Another useful noontime activity is to take a nap.

► A useful noontime activity is to climb the banks above the river, if the geography permits it. With the advantage of height you might spot some fish; they'll still be there in the evening, but they'll be more likely to bite when the light's off the water. Even if you don't see any fish, you can understand the structure of a run much better because the rocks, slots, and ledges become clear in your mind. You'll gain a better idea of how to fish the run. You might even discover a productive run that you didn't know existed.

► The intensity of the summer run builds this month, so there are fish in all the major rivers except in the far eastern part of the state.

► Some of the same factors that affect trout--warm water, bright sun, angling pressure--impact steelhead. Your best results will be during the low light hours. If you have to wear sunglasses to fish a run, figure your chances of success are not very good (but not down to zero). Start fishing at the crack of dawn. That doesn't mean you get up at dawn; it means you're on your favorite run with your rod strung, fly tied on, and ready to cast as soon as you can see; legal fishing begins one hour before sunrise. Use the bright hours to rest and relax so you're ready to go again in the evening.

General


► Always carry a stream thermometer. If the water is 70 or warmer, don't fish for trout or steelhead

Importance by half-month
 Super    Major    Minor    Slight    None

Hatches are matched from Westfly's database of "standard" fly patterns.


Nymph

Size 14-16 Pheasant Tail. Brown

Emerger

Size 14-16 Quigley Cripple, Film Critic, Hackle Stacker. Gray to tan

Lakes, slow water: chuck-and-sit

Dun

Size 14-16 Sparkle Dun, Hairwing Dun, Adams, Comparadun. Gray to tan

Lakes, slow water: chuck-and-sit

Callibaetis hatches will continue throughout the month, but August hatches are typically weak; they pick up again in September.

► Look for late-morning to mid-afternoon hatches.

► Trout will feed on active nymphs for several hours before the hatch. Take advantage of this by casting a Flashback Pheasant Tail and retrieving it ever so slowly with an intermediate line and a leader of at least 12 feet.

► Callibaetis get smaller and darker as the season progresses, so size 16 flies will be needed.

Pupa

Size 8-16 Soft Hackle, . Body: black, brown, white; Shroud: tan

Lakes; backwaters and slow sections of rivers: verticle retrieve, slow retrieve

Adult

Size 10-16 Elk Hair Caddis, Parachute Caddis, X Caddis. Body: black, brown, white, cream

Lakes; backwaters and slow sections of rivers: chuck-and-sit

Pupa

Size 6-10 , Deep Sparkle Pupa, Soft Hackle. Body: Ginger, brown

Lakes; backwaters and slow sections of rivers: slow retrieve, verticle retrieve

Adult

Size 4-10 Parachute Caddis, X Caddis, Elk Hair Caddis. Ginger, brown

Lakes; backwaters and slow sections of rivers: chuck-and-sit

Pupa

Size 4-10 Soft Hackle, . Brown, green , yellow, gray

Lakes; backwaters and slow sections of rivers: slow retrieve, verticle retrieve

Adult

Size 4-10 Elk Hair Caddis, Goddard Caddis, Stimulator. Body: brown, green, yellow, gray

Lakes; backwaters and slow sections of rivers: skating

Pupa

Size 10-22 Chans Chironomid Pupa, Zebra Midge. Black, gray, olive, red, creams, browns

► The trick is to match the size and color of the pupae (size is more important than color). Experiment until you find which colors/sizes the trout prefer. Narrow it to size first, then refine your choice of color. Of course, once you've got it all figured out it will be dark and you'll have to quit. And the next night they'll probably want something completely different. That's midge fishing in August.

► Although most hatches will be in the evening, some days will see afternoon or morning hatches, too.

► The trick is to match the size and color of the pupae (size is more important than color). Experiment until you find which colors/sizes the trout prefer. Narrow it to size first, then refine your choice of color. Of course, once you've got it all figured out it will be dark and you'll have to quit. And the next night they'll probably want something completely different. That's midge fishing in August.

► Although most hatches will be in the evening, some days will see afternoon or morning hatches, too.

Adult

Size 2-10 Woolly Bugger, Bunny Leech, Hale Bopp Leech, Possie Bugger. Black, browns, olives

Lakes; backwaters and slow sections of rivers: count-down-and-retrieve, slow retrieve, wind drift

► Leeches are a good option in most lakes.

Adult

Size 2-8 Muddler, Woolly Bugger, Clouser Minnow, Possie Bugger. Browns, olives, silver, greens

Lakes; rivers over gravel and cobble, undercut banks: count-down-and-retrieve, slow retrieve, wind drift, deep swing

► A good choice in many lakes, especially those with large trout.

Ant



Adult

Size 10-16 Parachute Ant, Ant. Black, brown, red-brown

► Ants often blow out of pine trees and onto the water when the wind picks up, creating a "mystery" hatch.

► Ants often blow out of pine trees and onto the water when the wind picks up, creating a "mystery" hatch that most anglers miss.

► Ants often blow out of pine trees and onto the water when the wind picks up, creating a "mystery" hatch that most anglers miss.

► Ants often blow out of pine trees and onto the water when the wind picks up, creating a "mystery" hatch that most anglers miss.

► Ants often blow out of pine trees and onto the water when the wind picks up, creating a "mystery" hatch that most anglers miss.

Trout


► If all else fails, go with an olive Woolly Bugger on an intermediate line.

► The damselfly nymphs have hatched into adults, so there's little point in casting a damsel nymph imitation. However, adult patterns such as the Foam Adult Damselfly can sometimes pick up fish early in the month. Cast your fly on a long leader and a floating line; then sit patiently, like you had on a worm and a bobber. But don't go to sleep: trout can slam that fly without warning. The best times are when the wind is very light.