John Day float (hopefully)

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Modest_Man

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The river peaked yesterday and is on the drop, so hopefully our trip this weekend (Friday-Tuesday) is still on. We're doing the Clarno to Cottonwood float.

Any thoughts on what rods to bring and what species to try to catch? I guess steelhead season is over and smallmouth bass is about to start. I've got a 4wt fly rod I've never caught a fish on and have never caught a smallmouth in my life. I've also got a couple UL trout spin rods, or I could do a 8'6" light steelhead rod or a 10' bobber/jig rod...

I'm guessing smallmouth will be the main fish targeted, and I have no idea how to do that either.

Any help would be lovely...if there are any fish left in the river after the flooding.
 
brandon4455

brandon4455

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texas rig a worm on a lite rod cast,let it sink,watch your line if it goes tight or moves to the side set the hook,if not work it back to your toon/bot and repeat. my uncle has great success with plastics there. also try popper flies like deer hair bugs and divers or leech patterns. wooly buggers in black,olive, brown should do good too. and never overlook 1/6oz spinners like black roostertails. good luck
 
M

Modest_Man

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I've caught a lot of fish on spinners, never tried any plastics before. Never targeted bass before. Right now I'm planning on my fiance and my own UL trout setups (4lb test) and my 4wt fly rod. I'll at least get practice casting the fly rod.
 
S

Sage_Flyguy

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Sweet Home, OR
Be careful over there , the river was closed yesterday due to high water , double check before you head over that the river has opened back up to floating. Last yr we were over there in April , but we float up river from you Spray to Service Creek . The fishing was slow but caught a few on plastics . It's a far cry from the 50 fish a day we catch in July .

I am heading over the 2nd weekend in June for my bachelor party , please post back any success you have .

Thanks and Good Luck and Safe floating
Jer
 
M

Modest_Man

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It's on a serious drop. We're going with a group (8 of us) several of which have been rafting for 50 years. If it's above 13,000 CFS we're not going.

hydroPlot.png
 
troutdude

troutdude

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If you want up to the minute, and accurate, information...you can call the BLM office up there @ 541-416-6718. They recommend no less that 800cfs for rafts. And the lower the water level, the better the fishing is for smallies. But the lower the water, the longer it takes to complete the 70 miles drift.

X 2 on Woolly Buggers, especially when dressed w/ a metal cone or metal eyes at the front...VERY deadly! Small jigs are good too. I wouldn't rule out surface popper plugs too, if you have 'em.

Good luck.
 
R

RunWithSasquatch

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Take a variety of plastic worms with you, and rig them on you fly rod, with a split shot or two, and drag it behind your boat as you float, thats how my group does it over there, lots of fish to be had. Smoke colored worms work good, but variety is fun too.
 
M

Modest_Man

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Scratch the John Day. Sheriff isn't opening it back up until the 22nd I hear. We're now doing the Deschutes from Trout Creek down. Just found out tonight. We leave tomorrow. I'll post a new thread...as the Deschutes has some interesting regulations.
 
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