Flies for resident cutthroats in spring.

F

Fred

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Joined
Sep 14, 2017
Messages
175
I’ve been fishing for resident cutthroats with lures in some tributaries of the willamete river, and I’ve had succes. However, I’ve only gotten one trout on a fly. I could probably say it’s because I’ve hardly given fly fishing time, but my friend has fly fished almost exclusively and he hasn’t hooked a fish in the last 3 outings. He has caught a rainbow and some cutties on flies weeks ago, but recently nothings happening besides one baby rainbow on a reverse spider fly. If I fish the same holes with a lure I catch fish. My friend is using streamers, nymphs, egg flies, and dry flies. Any recommendations to improve our odds. Any flies that they like to hit, any way to rig it, tippet size, leader etc??
Also, since my local fly shop is closed, where can I find cutthroat flies near the Hillsboro area. Preferably outside of Portland. Additionally, my waders are leaking so any advice on patching or good waders I could buy. Also if you go fishing for cutthroats make sure the river/creek is open to fishing right now. Especially on the coast a lot of them are closed even for catch and release. This reminds me of a question I have. I remember reading a forum post and someone being mad at someone for keeping a trout from a tributary of the Tualatin. They said to go fish for sea runs in the coast because they’re more abundant and told them to leave the creek in peace. So my question is, if that’s true why are coastal rivers closed to fishing for cutthroat for a part of the year, but creeks that are apparently low in trout numbers open? Now I’ve heard they close it on the coast to protect spawned out cutthroats. So do residents on the other side of the coastal mountains not get spawning time protections? Anybody know why the regulations are like this? Also I bet steelhead fishermen catch a lot of cutthroats in their closed season. I wonder how that affects them. Also, I’ve read that many eastern flowing creeks and rivers of the coastal mountain range use to be closed to retention of cutthroat all year decades ago. Why would they open them back up to 2 trout a day if they’re aren’t in good conditions. Maybe this person was just confused on the health of cutthroat populations or maybe the regulations are messed up anybody have thoughts on this?? I’ve asked to many questions lol.
Here’s some of our catches.
 

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C_Run

C_Run

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Polk and Coos Counties
I'm pretty sure the reason the coastal streams are closed this time of year is to protect juvenile salmon and steelhead. Sometimes there are a lot of those little guys even when the trout season starts. That's what I've heard. Yes, it is not uncommon to catch cutthroat while salmon and steelhead fishing in the fall and winter.
 
F

Fred

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Sep 14, 2017
Messages
175
I'm pretty sure the reason the coastal streams are closed this time of year is to protect juvenile salmon and steelhead. Sometimes there are a lot of those little guys even when the trout season starts. That's what I've heard. Yes, it is not uncommon to catch cutthroat while salmon and steelhead fishing in the fall and winter.
Yeah I catch a lot of steelhead smolts by accident when they open the trout season. I’m pretty sure there are populations of endangered wild willamete river steelhead and spring chinook in creeks where cutthroat fishing is open year round. Oregon regulations are confusing 😂.
 
B

BrandonBeach

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Joined
Jul 23, 2017
Messages
131
My take on keeping RESIDENT fish small streams is:
Small streams in Oregon typically don’t hold all that many fish. It just takes a few fishermen a short amount of time to effectively fish out these streams.
I am not against keeping a a couple now and then, just be judicious about how many and how often.
As for cutt flys, I mostly dry fly for them. I have been successful with stimulators, humpys, madam x, tarantulas and at times a chubby Chernoble or fat Albert. Yellow and red are the colors that seem to work best. Stick with the smaller sizes.
Try the big Y fly company, great price,good selection and acceptable quality.
For nymphing. My go to is a bead head prince or a red copper John.
Good luck
A trout released can be caught again and hopefully reproduce, a kept trout, well...,,not so much.
BB
 
G

gfisher2003

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Sep 23, 2016
Messages
71
For cutthroat flies, I personally like doing dry-dropper rigs, with something like a stimulator on top and a prince nymph or another attractor nymph below it.

Fishing in the valley is still picking up and hopefully, this good week of warm weather will make them much more bitey right now the fish seem to be much more orientated towards structure as opposed to food which should change in the next couple weeks. also very soon now we should start seeing some golden stones, in which case I would switch to a decent-sized yellow humpy or similar fly.
 
F

Fred

Active member
Joined
Sep 14, 2017
Messages
175
My take on keeping RESIDENT fish small streams is:
Small streams in Oregon typically don’t hold all that many fish. It just takes a few fishermen a short amount of time to effectively fish out these streams.
I am not against keeping a a couple now and then, just be judicious about how many and how often.
As for cutt flys, I mostly dry fly for them. I have been successful with stimulators, humpys, madam x, tarantulas and at times a chubby Chernoble or fat Albert. Yellow and red are the colors that seem to work best. Stick with the smaller sizes.
Try the big Y fly company, great price,good selection and acceptable quality.
For nymphing. My go to is a bead head prince or a red copper John.
Good luck
A trout released can be caught again and hopefully reproduce, a kept trout, well...,,not so much.
BB
Thanks for the advice and information. I caught a few on dry flies and a rainbow this week. Nothing big was biting on flies for me. My friend got a 10 inch cutthroat on a spinner. I hope I can find a way to get those 8-14 inch fish to bite on the fly. I’m going to fly fish some holes that have bigger cutties. I completely agree with you on keeping cutthroats. In years past I usually kept no more than a dozen cutthroat each year. Each year I’ve been keeping less. I’m actually committed to practing catch and release with all wild cutthroats I catch this year. The big ones are more rare these days for multiple reasons, but I’d say harvest is a big one. We have to consider not only legal harvest, but also people who keep above their limit, out of season, and people who use illegal bait. I see so many worm cartons, plastics, and eggs when I go lure/fly fishing. My question was asking why odfw allows fishing for them year round if they’re population isn’t as robust as the ones on the coastal rivers. I’m curious about the science behind the creation of these different regulations. They seem illogical based off what people tell me about the health of these populations. If what people tell me is true both regions should be closed to fishing. Anyways thanks for the response I caught some using methods you recommended.
 

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F

Fred

Active member
Joined
Sep 14, 2017
Messages
175
For cutthroat flies, I personally like doing dry-dropper rigs, with something like a stimulator on top and a prince nymph or another attractor nymph below it.

Fishing in the valley is still picking up and hopefully, this good week of warm weather will make them much more bitey right now the fish seem to be much more orientated towards structure as opposed to food which should change in the next couple weeks. also very soon now we should start seeing some golden stones, in which case I would switch to a decent-sized yellow humpy or similar fly.
Thanks for all the advice. Everything I’m seeing out on the water is matching what you’re saying. I noticed a lot more active fish since its been warming up this week. More fish feeding on the surface and jumping. I also noticed how they’ve been moving from the deep holes with structure. There’s more fish now in shallower faster flowing waters. I caught a few tiny ones on dry dropper rig. I think the dry I was using was a renegade fly.
 
M

Murphythedog

New member
Joined
Nov 1, 2020
Messages
9
Soft hackles, parachutes, chubbys. I fish the Willamete pretty often and while some days are better than others it’s usually really good fishing up there. Fish have been feeding like crazy the last month or so.
 
brandon4455

brandon4455

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Joined
Oct 7, 2010
Messages
3,849
Location
Oregon
I nymph mostly through may then switch to dry dropper rigs or double dry . Most streams are closed until late may because cutthroats spawn in the spring and on top of that like mentioned the smolts.

I don’t personally keep any resident cutthroats feom
Willamette tribs, I remember as a kid the meat usually being white and not super tasty but it depends on exactly what kind of cutthroat and where it came from. But always bear in mind most of those fisheries are very sensitive and for those fish to even reach 12 inches is special. A lot of my favorite cutthroat fishies that drain th east slop coast range into the valley have been fished out over the last 10 years or have suffered greatly from low, warm water and lack of dissolved oxygen

favorite spring time flies for willamette tributary resident cutthroats:

possie bugger size 12-16 with and without rubber legs and regular nymph hook or jigged

mega,rainbow, or standard bead head prince

flashback pheasant tail size 14-16

pheasant tail soft hackle size 14

black or golden stonefly nymphs size 8-12


dries

peacock or yellow stimulator size 10-12
Foam golden stone size 10
Elk hair caddis size 12 green or brown
March brown dry size 14



if I had all of these flies in a box for spring time resident cutthroat fishing and got skunked there’s no fish 😂
 
O

olshiftybiscuits

Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2019
Messages
73
My take on keeping RESIDENT fish small streams is:
Small streams in Oregon typically don’t hold all that many fish. It just takes a few fishermen a short amount of time to effectively fish out these streams.
I am not against keeping a a couple now and then, just be judicious about how many and how often.
As for cutt flys, I mostly dry fly for them. I have been successful with stimulators, humpys, madam x, tarantulas and at times a chubby Chernoble or fat Albert. Yellow and red are the colors that seem to work best. Stick with the smaller sizes.
Try the big Y fly company, great price,good selection and acceptable quality.
For nymphing. My go to is a bead head prince or a red copper John.
Good luck
A trout released can be caught again and hopefully reproduce, a kept trout, well...,,not so much.
BB
+1. There are so many local lakes that have holdover stocked rainbows that’ll make just as good a meal as a wild cutthroat. Regardless of what the regulations say, I treat every wild trout like it’s endangered.
 
O

olshiftybiscuits

Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2019
Messages
73
Thanks for the advice and information. I caught a few on dry flies and a rainbow this week. Nothing big was biting on flies for me. My friend got a 10 inch cutthroat on a spinner. I hope I can find a way to get those 8-14 inch fish to bite on the fly. I’m going to fly fish some holes that have bigger cutties. I completely agree with you on keeping cutthroats. In years past I usually kept no more than a dozen cutthroat each year. Each year I’ve been keeping less. I’m actually committed to practing catch and release with all wild cutthroats I catch this year. The big ones are more rare these days for multiple reasons, but I’d say harvest is a big one. We have to consider not only legal harvest, but also people who keep above their limit, out of season, and people who use illegal bait. I see so many worm cartons, plastics, and eggs when I go lure/fly fishing. My question was asking why odfw allows fishing for them year round if they’re population isn’t as robust as the ones on the coastal rivers. I’m curious about the science behind the creation of these different regulations. They seem illogical based off what people tell me about the health of these populations. If what people tell me is true both regions should be closed to fishing. Anyways thanks for the response I caught some using methods you recommended.
ODFW allows year round fishing and/or retention in certain streams because they’re lost causes. Most run through private property 90% of the way. Development, bad farming practices, massive population increases, all of these things present more of a threat to most Tualitin tribs than recreational fishing. They’re essentially just saying “fish here while you can.” It’s their way of admitting they don’t regulate industry in a way that effectively protects the environment, so why should they restrict us. To say it’s a flawed and sad outlook would be an understatement, but here we are. Most people just would never consider fish or water to be more important than building expensive condos for Intel employees.
 
G

gfisher2003

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Sep 23, 2016
Messages
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ODFW allows year round fishing and/or retention in certain streams because they’re lost causes. Most run through private property 90% of the way. Development, bad farming practices, massive population increases, all of these things present more of a threat to most Tualitin tribs than recreational fishing. They’re essentially just saying “fish here while you can.” It’s their way of admitting they don’t regulate industry in a way that effectively protects the environment, so why should they restrict us. To say it’s a flawed and sad outlook would be an understatement, but here we are. Most people just would never consider fish or water to be more important than building expensive condos for Intel employees
Do you have any evidence of that? Most streams that are closed during the winter are closed because of salmon and steelhead presence, to protect spawners as well as out-migrating smolts. The best example of that would be the middle Santiam and south Santiam, very similar ecosystems although the south is more developed, no anadromous fish get into the middle Santiam though so it is open year-round.
 
O

olshiftybiscuits

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Joined
Jun 17, 2019
Messages
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Do you have any evidence of that? Most streams that are closed during the winter are closed because of salmon and steelhead presence, to protect spawners as well as out-migrating smolts. The best example of that would be the middle Santiam and south Santiam, very similar ecosystems although the south is more developed, no anadromous fish get into the middle Santiam though so it is open year-round.
The entire Tualatin system is open year round because the lower reaches are trashed. Anadromous fish should be present in all our streams. The very lack of anadromous fish is the evidence.
 
G

gfisher2003

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Joined
Sep 23, 2016
Messages
71
The entire Tualatin system is open year round because the lower reaches are trashed. Anadromous fish should be present in all our streams. The very lack of anadromous fish is the evidence.
West Willamette valley streams don't naturally have high amounts of anadromous fish in them.
 
G

gfisher2003

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Sep 23, 2016
Messages
71
The entire Tualatin system is open year round because the lower reaches are trashed. Anadromous fish should be present in all our streams. The very lack of anadromous fish is the evidence.
Also even if that was evidence that the rivers are unrecoverable, that doesn't mean ODFW would treat it as such.
 
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