Need info on John Day River

1
1 nut in the water
Heading to the john day near fossil and have never been- anyone have any advice on good pontoon floats? Only going to have one day to fish so I would kinda prefer not to go in blind!
I hear the smallie fishing is even better than the umpqua......
 
D
dtikey
I used to live in prineville and fished the John Day a lot for smallies and steelhead.It is excellant smallie fishing from spray down to clarno and probally lower as we always stopped at clarno. With only having one day to fish I would float from twickingham bridge down to blm hole take out.Its about 4 miles and great water with gourges senery. We used a lot of baby brush hogs and 3-4 inch rapalas for the smallies on this river.We also used to catch a lot of nice channel cats up thier as well at night up to about 8lbs so have fun and good luck.If it were my first time I would get ahold oh Steve Flemming of Mah-Hah outfitters as he is probally the best guide in the whole area for the John Day system and he could really piont you in the right direction
 
C
cowboysfan
I know a lot of people that fish the smallies and from what i hear if you get into them it will be a memory of a lifetime, Good luck wish I had more info for you!
 
R
redhawk50
Service creek to tiwickingham can be floated in a day. Guided it in rafts with a family camp, unfortunately wasn't fishing. Smallies are fun on that river with poppers if conditions are right for some fun top water action, I used my fly rod.
 
V
veilside180sx
It's still under permit only access for a few more days. The shortest trip is Spray to Service Creek. SC to Twick can easily be done in a day too.
 
S
Sage_Flyguy
I hope I responded in time before you left.

My buddies and I have our annual trip on the John Day , we have done it now 4 years. We always float Spray to Service creek , its about a 7 or 8 mile float. I say float loosely though be prepared for a bit of rowing as the afternoon wind blows right up the canyon up river and in the froggyer sections you have to work to get down river. This float is sort of an all day trip because of the lack of moving water and all the rowing that must be done. There are a couple other places on your way toward spray you can launch your pontoon boats that are a bit shorter, Muleshoe is the only one coming to name at the moment. The fishing is pretty amazing , between the 4 of us we typically catch and release 250 - 300 fish in a day and miss that many more due to slow or poor hook sets. Later in the year like now the fishing is really fast paced every cast you will be landing or missing a fish. So many small ones that you will be lucky to hook one over 2 or 3 lbs.

I would give you more advice on where or how to fish but this time of year the small mouth are literally laying everywhere. and by everywhere I mean everywhere you will pull small ones out of the little current or trout looking water. The bigger Smallies will be laying in the slack waters where the river bends and creates a dead deep pool. Topwater baites have not produced well for us , crankbaits , buzz baits and texas rigged senko , robo or any kind of plastic.

I can promise you with almost certanity you will not be disappointed. I wish I could give you some advice on what its like fishing below service creek , but we have never been down below there. Off hand I can not think of what I called some of my other John Day posts just search me and you will find them.

Best of luck to ya bud, we are heading over there on the 18th , save some fish for us please.

Jer
 
J
Jesse
Domo! Domo!
 
1
1 nut in the water
well with not much time since we were only a day there (had to hit the car show and RJ's tavern in Fossil) i just ended up doing some wadding upstream from service creek and did find the smallies quite plentiful!
Lucky for me a friend is buying property on the edge of town so the John Day is going to be seeing a lot of me for many years to come......
Next stop is Antelope Flat reservoir for our annual Kloochman creek camping trip at the end of the month for 5 days of fun..
 

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