Lostine River

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strawberry shortcake

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Just thought I would start a thread on this beautiful river. We used to fish there when I was a young girl. Coldest river I have ever waded in. Crystal clear with pools below every cascade. My ranch computer screen saver is a photo of one of my favorite camping spots and fishing locations. The river flows into a deep pool cornered by a huge granite rock, then comes back around into the main arm and continues flowing to the right of the photo. Great spot for fly fishing if you can stay clear of trees and don't cramp up wading over to the pool. I'm hoping to give it a shot next week somewhere along the river. We've had thunderstorms up the narrow glacial scarred canyon that feeds this river so the river is quite high. Salmon love to spawn there in August just to the right of the picture, so I'll only be fishing for trout in deeper waters away from gravel spawning beds.

It is designated a wild and scenic river as it courses through the official wilderness in the steep sided canyon, then changes to a recreational designation for the remainder of its trek through private land. The entire length, from it's mouth where it joins up with the Wallowa River, to the upper fork high in the canyon is regulated to artificial flies and lures only, even the stretches that run through private land. Refer to the regs for details. Back in the 50's and 60's, Grandma used worms, grasshoppers, and preserved eggs. These days, if the eggs are artificial, you could use those, but not real worms or grasshoppers.

The trout are said to be smaller but much more colorful and difficult to catch owing to the cold water. However, my grandma regularly caught 12"ers. Of course back then the river belonged to Wallowa County, not the Feds, and we could catch the fish with a worm on a length of string tied to a bamboo stick if we wanted to.
 
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beaverfan

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Sounds like a cool place to fish! One thing to keep in mind, in rivers/lakes that have the no bait rule you cannot use "soft" plastic lures. You could use a hard plastic egg, but soft plastics are considered bait in Oregon. I wish we could get a little of that rain over here!
 
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strawberry shortcake

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I'm thinking about using one of my dad's sinking flies on a long light pound test line attached to a pretty heavy sinker so I can bait cast out to these deep pools.
 
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beaverfan

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That looks like an absolutely killer spot! Most of the time when I use flies I use one of those torpedo bobbers, they are heavy enough you can cast them a long ways. I tie about a 3-4ft leader and put a small split shot about halfway between the bobber and my fly. Seems to work pretty good, here's a pic of the bobber I'm talking about in case you haven't seen them.
 
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Left Bank

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That is a beautiful spot!!! I need to get my butt over there to try these places you've described.
x2 on the use of the torpedo bobber. I've just started using them the past couple months and they work really well as beaverfan mentions.
 
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strawberry shortcake

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Beaverfan, I just happen to have ONE in my tackle box, another inherited item from my dad (he passed away this past New Year's eve and had bequeathed all of his fishing tackle to me). Every time I go fishing I am reminded of my dad since half the stuff I fish with came from his tackle box. Which also means that more than a bit of it (I have kept the best pieces in a special off-limits tackle box) is now spread along a 3 mile stretch of the Wallowa River tangled around various snags.

That picture of the river shows downed logs in the background that are snagged above a deep pool underneath. That is where the fish hide, coming out to grab whatever presents itself as food. Landing a sinking fly near those logs but not in them is the key to getting a bite.
 
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strawberry shortcake

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I was at the fly-fishing shop today. Got some advice on other bobbers to use as well. Turns out I have more of those kind of bobbers in Dad's stuff. These are the ones you can put water in to weight them a bit. I have enough bobbers for my family who are coming for a short visit. While at the shop I also got some sinking flies. My dad had flies in his stuff but they were so worn there was nothing left of them but a bit of body. No feathers, strings, or even frayed edges. I have those in that special tackle box. They are still in their tin fly-fish carrier.

Yesterday I also made a grasshopper net. Took an old fishing net that was full of holes, cut the old net off, then sewed on a long cheesecloth tube onto the frame. It should work. I was going to try it out today but we had a terrible storm go through the county today. The grasshoppers were not happy and sulked away in hiding places. Plus the road out to grasshopper alley was all muddy from the rain and hail storm. It should heat up soon enough and I can try out my invention.
 
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strawberry shortcake

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While at the flyshop I also picked up some salmon "hard" eggs. I've been using similar but smaller beads on many of my own tied hooks because they make a great attractor and spacers for a clevis-attached spinning blade above the worm. Thanks for the heads up on the bait Beaverfan. So, while at the flyshop I also picked up some "flyworms". These are tiny pipe-cleaner flies made to look like worms or skinny caterpillars. Good thing I joined this forum or I wouldn't have known about the soft bait thing. It's kinda buried in the 2010 regs and I don't remember reading it in the 09 regs.
 
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strawberry shortcake

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Went to the Lostine today. The water was crystal clear and the fish could easily be seen. The salmon and trout are spawning in my favorite fishing holes. What a show! HUGE salmon (as in 4 ft plus) fighting each other for privileges. The salmon would ride on top of the deep pools like whales, cresting in and out of the water surface. Lots of bed making and flapping noise going on that sends the males into another frenzied round of fighting. Browns swimming nearby to slurp up salmon eggs plus trout are spawning as well. The male salmon had their hands full fighting each other and chasing off trout. I put my rod and reel away and just watched along with the occasional tourist. If I get a chance tomorrow and the action is still going on, I will take pics. It was truly amazing to watch.
 
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mgdguy

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Very cool! Crossed this river a couple times going in and out of Wallowa Lake a couple weeks back - absolutely beautiful!
 
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