fishing reports for smallmouth and largemouth bass on the John Day River in central Oregon.

The latest fishing reports and

water information for the areas we fish .............

Fishing Reports

This is where we will post information about the action on The John Day river and and current fishing conditions. Over the years we will continue to keep old reports posted so that you can see information all year long and perhaps better plan what may be a better time to plan a future adventure with us. Make it a point to check out our report section on a regular basis and thanks for stopping by often as it's always good to see you. 

   

2013 FISHING REPORTS

THEY’RE BITING NOW!!

     MARCH 11TH WE CAUGHT 3 STEELHEAD AND 17 SMALLMOUTH. I HAD THE RETIRED FISH BIOLOGIST, ERROL CLAIRE, FROM JOHN DAY AND ANOTHER GOOD FISHERMAN, DON MILLER, FROM MOUNT VERNON, OR. SUPER DAY ON THE WATER WITH STABLE WATER (2400 cfs) AND DECENT CLARITY. ERROL WAS IMPRESSED WITH HOW FAT THE SMALLMOUTH WERE AND HOW WELL THEY HAD WINTERED. THE STEELHEAD WERE ALL MALES, WHICH INDICATES THE LAST POD IS ON THEIR WAY UP THE RIVER, AND SHOULD BE AT THE NORTH FORK OF THE JOHN DAY RIVER ABOUT APRIL 1ST.

     WE HAD SOME CANCELLATIONS AND THE FIRST WEEK IN APRIL IS OPEN, APRIL 2-6, 9, 10, AND 17TH ARE ALSO AVAILABLE. ALL GOOD DATES FOR MASTER ANGLER SMALLMOUTH BASS (20” OR BIGGER). WE CAUGHT OUR FIRST MASTER ANGLER SMALLMOUTH BASS MARCH 4TH, AND GLENN PEDEN, GETS THAT HONOR.

     PLEASE GIVE US A CALL, (toll free) 888-624-9424, AND GET IN ON ONE OF THE TROPHY TRIPS…..

     DEER HUNTING: LOTS OF FOLKS HAVE ASKED ABOUT ANY GOOD DEER HUNTING IN THE AREA, AND ONE OF THE BETTER RANCHES CONTACTED ME TODAY. IT’S 7 SPRINGS RANCH, AND THEY HAVE 3 GUIDED DEER HUNTS AVAILABLE. CONTACT CHUCK KUNDE AT 541-763-2059 FOR A GREAT HUNT WITHIN 15 MINUTES OF FOSSIL………

Steve and Linda Fleming’s
MAH-HAH OUTFITTERS
PO BOX 428 FOSSIL, OR 97830
(toll free) 888-624-9424
e-mail: mho.bassinbuddy@yahoo.com
 

2012 FISHING REPORTS

Older fishing reports may not be of value to every one as they do not necessarily relate to what is going on now but we like to keep them as they do show trends that often tend to repeat over the years. Perhaps by looking at the past people can make a decision on when they want to fish in future years. Please call us (toll free) 888-624-9424 or email us at mho.bassinbuddy@yahoo.com  to get more exact info about what's going on now and what the trends are for this year.

July 16, 2012: It looked like the end of fishing on the river when we got to Spray, but guide Bill Berray and I saw some "okay" water in Service Creek area and found a 3 mile section to fish. The river was running 479 CFS, 7-8 clarity, 75.4 degrees, and a clear day. The river will be chocolate from Monument to below Clarno by tomorrow, and more thunder storms on the way. Bill took Joel Hopkin, and his two fine sons. Alec Hopkin caught a very nice Master Angler Smallmouth bass in the afternoon, 20 1/2" X 14 1/2". The family ended up with 58 smallies at the end of the day. I took an old friends son, Nick Routh and Crystal Ballou. They had 26 fish by lunch and ended up with 52 with some nice fish in the mix. It's great to be around positive young folks, who are working and have plans for the future...............I hope one of them is to come back and fish with me.............

July 15: I took Scott Smith of Bend, and his son-in-law Shane Hodgson and his brother Shawn. They were from Placentia, CA and stayed an extra day just to fish the John Day River. The river was 345 CFS, 74.4 degrees, clear out, 9 clarity (10 being so muddy you can't see any part of your oar in the water). Scott caught the first fish at 9:05 AM and we were off. They had 15 by lunch and ended up the day with 41 fish. Great job for their first time, and tough water conditions. I hope they come back and give the river a second chance............

July 14: You hear me talk about taking some GREAT Father/Son trips, Father/Daughter, but today I had a first, Mother-in-Law/ Daughter-in-Law, Corinna Rumbolz and Sarah Rumbolz, respectively. These gals were both originally from Vernonia, and looked like they could have been sisters. Great gals and fishermen. The river was 384 CFS, 73.9 degrees, 8-9 clarity. Corninna caught the first fish at 9 AM, and they had boated and released 30 by lunch. They ended up with 59 fish, and Corinna had 37 of those. She also boated a very nice 17" smallmouth bass. Corinna had bought a donated trip at the Columbia County OHA Banquet, and I hope she buys one again next year. GREAT gals and fishermen = a GREAT day on the water.

July 13: took a GREAT Father/Son Team of Steve and Aaron Johnson. They had been with me many years ago, and has Aaron grown. The river was 404 CFS, 74 degrees, 9-10 clarity, and clear day. Steve caught the first fish at 8:20 AM, and they had 18 fish by lunch. They ended up with 51 fish on a tough water day. Great to see good Dad's out with their sons..................July 6: Did our Annual Trip with the Folks from Ridgefield, Wa: Alan Sherrington, Alan Sherrington Jr., Dave and Nick Griffin, and Jeff and Andrew Gulliford. Three great Father/Son Teams. The fishing has been slow, but really heated up in the afternoon. The river was 71.7 degrees, air 63 degrees at 8 AM, 707 CFS, 1-2 clarity, and a very clear day. The group had 99 fish at lunchtime, and finished off the day withy 254 total. They usually come in August and have many 100+ Club members to add each year, but a month earlier and slower fishing conditions produced less total numbers. The Champ was young Nick Griffin with 58 fish, nice job Nick...................

July 5: Took longtime friends George Coutts, and Michael Lince, 503-645-0638, out for a day of fishing. They fly fished in the morning, but the wind hammered us in the upper section we were in. We top water fished looking for bigger fish in the afternoon, and Michael landed a nice Master Angler 20" X 13". The water was 67.8 degrees, 707 CFS, 2 clarity, and very clear morning. Great guys make for a fun day........

Guide Donnie Bird took Tom and Richard McDowell from Wayne, Pa, and Sumerville, MA respectively. Great Father/Son Team and Tom did well fly fishing sub surface. Caught fish and had fun.............

July 4: Took the day off... Remember our Troops who make this possible.......

July 3: took Lindsay Rush and son Tyler out for a day of fishing. The wind blew really hard today, water was 70.2 degrees, overcast, 819 CFS, 3-4 clarity, and it made for hard catching.

I had the pleasure of Dave and Penny Bartholet in the boat today. Dave is a very well know painter/artist and has a studio in the Seaside, Or area. If you want to see some really great, detailed wildlife art to to www.davebartholet.com.   We have been doing the Show circuits together for a number of years, and I have lots of Dave's work in my house. Fishing was tough in the morning, but the fish were jumping on the hooks by the end of the day. Great folks make for GREAT days.............

July 1 and 2 were spent with the Dan and Ann Dougherty Family and their two wonderful children Dylan and Sara. We were joined by their good friends Marty and Lorie Shaddix . We fished the John Day River the first day and everyone, but Sara got some fish. We fished the Private Largemouth/bluegill Lake the second day and everyone got fish, even Sara. Dylan boated a very nice almost 4 pound largemouth, and everyone was excited about that. GREAT parents and family friends make for memorable trips, and this was one of those........

June 30: Eric and Nathan Hall came up for a Father/Son trip. Eric has been many time before, but this was Nathan's first trip. The river was 947 CFS, 69.8 temperature, overcast day, 2-3 clarity. We caught some fish right off the bat, and had 13 by lunch. The wind was really howling and we ended up with 36 smallies. Tough day, but great guys...........

June 28: Took two long time friends: Robert Garlett and Chuck Whittey of Vancouver and Long Beach, WA respectively. The river was 1190 CFS, 66.1 temp, 1-2 Clarity, and clear sky. Chuck caught the first fish at 8:10 AM, and we were off. They ended up the day with 52 smallies, and some nice ones, and of course one big one got away. That's our story and we're sticking to it............

June 27: Took longtime friend Darlene Livermore, and her friend Janet Jacobs from Port Townsend, WA. They worked together in Alaska a few years back. 963 CFS, 64.1 water temp, 2-3 clarity, and a clear morning. We struggled fly fishing in the wind in the morning, but switched to gear in the afternoon, and started putting some fish in the boat. We have been targeting bigger fish lately, and our fish count isn't high, but we are catching 12" bass and bigger. Today was another fun day on the water, and I think Darlene and I have Janet hooked on a steelhead trip in the fall................

June 26: One of the advantages in being a guide is taking young folks for a number of years and watching them grow up. Today was long time friend and client Doug Rauen and his son Nash. Nash is 14 and has been coming up for 5 years. He is fun to be with, and on the water especially. 1000 CFS, water temp 65.4, 2-3 clarity. They ended up with 43 fish, and we got to see one of the biggest smallmouth bass I've ever seen as it jumped 2' out of the water and spit the top water bait back at us. this was the kind of day fish stories are made of...................

June 25: Second day with Todd Harrington, Living Waters Guide Service, and Manager of Fishing for the Big K Ranch on the Umpqua river (look them up on the internet). You won't find guides referring other guides often, but Todd Harrington is one of the finest guides and fishermen I have had the pleasure of fishing with. Todd gets big fish even on the John Day River, and it's no fluke, but kinda. He caught another 20 inch + Master Angler smallmouth bass, but it was on a fluke ( he caught three Master Angler smallmouth 2 years ago with me, and again was fishing a fluke). He comes with top notch fishermen Dike Dame, more 20" + smallmouith bass and 200+ fish days than any other client I have, and a great guy. The water was 66.7, 1120 CFS, overcast, 2-3 clarity. They ended up with 141 fish, really nice fish.......

June 24: Had Dike Dame and Todd Harrington came up to show me how to catch lots and big fish. The water was 64.3 degrees, 1140 CFS, 2-3 clarity, and a clear day. They both did a great job and ended up with 79 fish................

June 23: Good friend and guide Jim Berl and Robert "skitter" Johnson came and we told stories about past years working for other guide services. Tough day for fishing, we spent 20 minutes under a tree on the river waiting out one of the rain storms. River was 1100 CFS, 5-6 clarity, overcast, and nasty. They caught fish, but the wind was tough..........

6-22-2012: We ran two trips today. Guide Logan Jones took Chris Papen and Jeff Hill who bought a trip at an OHA auction. The conditions were tough looking in the morning with overcast sky. It was 55 at the river and the water was 67.7 degrees, running 1140 CFS and 4-5 clarity. They caught their first fish at 8:30 AM and had 27 at lunch. Then the fronts really started coming in, but they ended up with 46 fish. Great guys make for fun trips......

Kevin Phelps was planning on taking two kids and one of their friends, but when they got up in the morning the youngest child was very ill, so being the good Dad that he is he stayed in Fossil with the ailing child. I took daughter Abby and her friend Kyra Zook, both great 14 year old young ladies. Kyra caught the first fish at 8:10 and they ended the trip early at 3 PM with 28 fish, high winds, and a big rain storm. It GREAT to see good young folks, and be able to share a day with them...........

6-21-2012: Guide Logan Jones took three friends: Father/Son Todd Clark and son Conner, Patrick Wools. After a slow start they got down to the river and ended up with 23 bass at the end of the day. Great job for first-timers....

I took TEAM MCGILL: Dennis, Dristen, and Lexi (three generations). We have fished together many times, and today they booked a Half-Day Trip (5 hours on the water). It was 64 at the river at 9 AM, water was 64.3, running 1390 CFS, 2-3 clarity, and very clear out. They ended up with 69 smallies, with Dennis having the most at 31, but Kristen had the biggest at 17 1/2" (picture on Steve Fleming Facebook). Great Families, make for GREAT trips............

June 18-20 worked a three-day overnight trip with Bischof's Fly Fishing guide service. GREAT guides, GREAT clients, and GREAT food=GREAT trip. They are a top notch fly fishing guide service on the John Day River.

June 15: Took Bruce Beall, and Husband/Wife Team of Brent and Robbie Rutter. Water temp was 67.4, air temp 54 degrees, 1700 CFS, clear, 2-3 clarity. Great folks and fishermen, and they ended up with 127 fish. Bruce is not just a great guy, but a good fishermen and he boated and released 63. Almost too much fun, hope they all come back.............

June 14: Took Dad/Step son, Ed Larson, 541-546-3034, and Mark Rafnson on their annual trip. Ed boated a couple of nice ones last year with a Master Angler in the mix. It was 55 at the river, 66.2 water temp, 1-2 clarity, clear, 1710 CFS. Mark boated the first fish at 8:20 AM and they had 32 fish at lunch. The water warmed up to 69.7 at 3 PM and we had 80 air temp. They ended up with 104 fish, and Ed had another Trophy fish at 18 1/4 inch. Great guys, fishing, and weather - heck I hope they do it again next year.........

June 13: I took an old client and friend Denis Rouse and Gwen Cordova out on the water today. Denis has tons of stories, and Gwen catches lots of fish. What a combination...It was 60 at the river, water was 65.3, 1800 CFS, 2-3 clarity, and clearish. Gwen caught the first fish at 7:50 AM, and we were off. They had 45 by lunch, and ended up the day with 93 fish, and Gwen had 67 of those. Great to see Denis again, and meet Gwen. I hope they can come back next year for a day or two.............

June 12: Took the fishing family of Brad and son Hayden Staub, and brother-in-law, Ron Campbell all Northern California. Brad has been before and caught a Master Angler smallie. It was 56 at the river, water was 64.5, 2-3 clarity, clear, 1970 CFS. Donnie caught the first fish, sort of, he hooked a line and brought it in with a dead fish on it. After lots of stories they ended up with 171 fish, and Hayden was Top Gun with 65 fish.

June 11, 2012: Took a GREAT family from the Tulelake/Alturas area: Ron Campbell, Brother-in-law Brad Staub and his son, Hayden. It was 56 at the river, the water was 64.5 degrees, 1970 CFS, 2-3 clarity, clear skies, and a good day. Don caught, sort of, the first fish. He hooked someone elses line and there was a dead fish on it. Brad hooked his own fish at 7:35 and gets credit for the First Fish. They had 75 fish by lunch and ended up the day with 171 smallies. Lots of fish and some 12-14 inch fish. Lot of great family kidding, and fish make for a fun day...............

June 8, 2012: Took a super Father/Son Team of Todd and son Anthony fishing today. We had overcast skies, cool water at 55.7 degrees, 2090 CFS, 6-7 clarity. Tony got the first fish at 8:50 AM and they had 9 fish at lunch. Tough day, but they got started catching and ended up with 45 fish at the end of the day. Great job, and fast learning curve for first timer, Tony................................

June 7, 2012: Took guides Carl Campbell and Brandon Bishof out for a day in the upper river. They caught 50 fish on a very short day, and lots of fun for Steve when Carl rowed.
Great guides make for a fun time.....................

June 5 and 6: Took long time friends and GREAT guys: Phil Senger, Case Kwak, Wayne Spitzer, and Michael O'Connor. We went on the river the first day and used the fish catching Back-up Plan, Private Largemouth Lake the second day. Caught good numbers of fish both days, even though the river "blew out" with dirty water from the South Fork on Wednesday. The Lake lived up to it's reputation and put out some nice fish. GREAT guys and coming back for some steelhead fishing in March, 2013.........................

June 4, 2012: Took the Two BEST Uncles in the World today. Uncles Michael and Darin Oreste, 503-705-6609, brought niece, Lucy, out on a fishing trip. It was 57 at the river, water was 64.2, 1920 CFS, 2-3 clarity, rainy day. Mike caught the first fish at 7:57, and we ended up the day with 56 fish, and Darin caught a Master Angler, 20 1/4" X13" beauty.
There is nothing better than a GREAT family out together fishing....................

June 2, 2012:  Took Jay Willard, 541-390-1922,  fishing and Rachael Richardson riding and cheering today.  It was 59 at the river and the water was 65.3 degrees, 1520 CFS, 1-2 clarity, and raining when we started.  Jay caught the first fish at 7:10, and had 26 by lunch.  Jay is a good fishermen, and was looking for bigger fish, and he caught most of his morning fish on top water. It stopped raining about 9:30 and Rachael kept the clouds apart and we took on some serious sun the rest of the day.  I showed him how to fish plastic jerkbaits in the afternoon and he boated another 30 fish that way.  He picked up a Trophy 18 3/4" fish after lunch.  Great fishermen, and an a good cheering section make for a fun day.... 

June 1, 2012:  Took expert fly tyer Dwayne Kufchak and his wife Lori today.  They are a GREAT couple and good fishermen.  It was 57 at the river 63.3 degree water, 1520 CFS, 1-2 clarity, and clear.  Dwayne caught the first fish at 7:30 and they had 38 by lunch.  We fished some Texas baits, Hildenbrandt spinnerbaits, and top water in the morning.  One of our brand new lures (never fished before) came out and Lori caught lots of fish on it.  The afternoon brought on a soft jerkbait strike, and they ended up with 72 smallies by the end of the day.  Lori and I thought Dwayne would have had more if he could count longer before setting the hook.  Dwayne is an outstanding fly tier, and knows what the bass want.  Give him a call at 503-703-5067.  You should see his top water poppers, works of art............. 

May 31, 2012:  Took longtime friends and firefighter from Klamath Falls, Mike Hagen and Carl Gurske.  Great guys and bought their trip at the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.  It was 57 at the river 63.3 degree water, 1620 CFS, overcast, 1-2 clarity.  Mike caught the first fish and they fly fished till noon and had 9 smallies.  The water warmed up to 65.9 and the air was 79 at 4 PM.  They ended up with 51 fish and Mike had 30 of those.  Great guys spending 30 years each as firefighters in Klamath Falls, thanks for your service to the community, and come back again.....

May 29. 2012: Took longtime friends Bruce Beall and Brian Slater. It was 54.5 at 8:30 AM, the river was 58.3 degrees, running 1890 CFS, 1-2 clarity, and a clear day. Bruce caught the first fish on the first cast at 8:40 AM, and they had boated 29 by lunch. They ended up the day with 107 fish, and Bruce had the most with 63. Great day, water, and friends make for a great trip.............
Have a Happy and Safe Memorial Weekend, and remember our soldiers who are fighting to keep our country Safe and Free................

May 25, 2012: Took the fishing family of Don and Sue Geeland of Salem and their son David of Portland. David purchased the trip for his parents at an OHA (Oregon Hunters Association) Auction in Salem. It was 46 degrees at the river, water was 54.7 degrees and running 2590 CFS, 3-4 on clarity, and an overcast day. Don started the family off with the first fish at 8:30 and they ended the day with 45 smallies and Don had the most with 19. David fly fished for about an hour and boated two smallmouth bass. Great family and fun day........

May 24: Took the Husband/Wife fishing team of Ed and Joan Caine from Mukilteo, WA on their second day of fishing today. It was 49 degrees at the river the water was running 53.4, flow of 2960 CFS, clarity of 4-5, and clear morning skies. Ed caught the first fish at 8:05 AM, and they had boated 24 fish by lunch. A cold front came through right after lunch, but they ended up with 43 fish and Joan had the Most with 26, and the biggest with 16 1/4". Ed now has a new fishing partner, so "let the games begin"..............

May 23: Took the Husband/Wife Team of Ed and Joan Caine on a Half-Day trip. It was 59 degrees when we got to the river at noon, water was 55.6 degrees and running 3120 CFS, 3-4 clarity, and overcast. Ed caught the first fish at 12:10 on a Hildenbrandt spinnerbait, and they ended up with 36 fish for a Half-Day. Quick learners and a GREAT couple make for a fun day.............

May 22: Took longtime friends and fishing partners Frank Haak Jr. and Gary Marchant. Frank purchased the trip at an OHA Auction at the Hoodview Chapter (Troutdale) Annual Auction, and his friend Gary who works with our favorite fishing scent manufacturer, Smelly Jelly were off on another fishing trip. It was 54 degrees at the river, water running 58.1 degrees, flow of 2590 CFS, 2-3 clarity, and overcast day. Gary brought along some Smelly Jelly paste, 3XXX Crawfish/Anise, and the bass were loving it. Frank caught the first fish at 8:35 on a Hildenbrandt Spinnerbait, and they ended the day with 79 fish. Gary caught on more than Frank for a 40 fish day. Great friends make for GREAT stories, and a fun time..............

May 21: What a Great way to start the week with old friends: Don Miller, 541-932-4486, Red Iler, 541-932-4200, and Carl Stout of Mt Vernon, OR. This a a Fishing and Catching Team, and all have caught Master Angler (20"+) Smallmouth bass. It was 55 degrees when we got to the river, the water was 58.6 degrees, 2-3 clarity, overcast, and the river was running 2570 CFS. Red caught the first fish at 7:55, and they ended the day with 129 smallies. Red had a Master Angler at 20 1/2" X 14 (picture on Steve Fleming Facebook), and Don had a Trophy at 18 3/4". Super guys and good fishermen make for a fun day......

May 20: Had a Great Father/Son Team of Stephen Majerak Jr and Stephen Majerak III from Salem, OR. Young Stephen just got back from Afghanistan, and Dad was taking him out for some fishing. Thank You Stephen for serving your country.....It was 60 degree when we got to the river, the water was 55.9, running 2730 CFS, 4-5 clarity, and overcast. Dad caught the first fish at 8:15 AM and we were off and running. They had 16 fish at lunch and ended up with 44 fish. Good numbers for the conditions and their first trip. Family trips are a GREAT time for guides..................

May 19: Took Roger Jarvis, 360-687-4857, of Battleground, WA. Roger is a longtime client and friend, and many times over Master Angler and In-Fishermen's 2006 Smallmouth Bass Catch and Release Champ for the nine Western States, and I was there and netted that one. It was 50 degrees at the river, 54.9 degree water, 4-5 clarity, and a clear morning. Roger was after BIG fish, and using mostly BIG baits. He caught the biggest fish of the year so far, 22 1/4" X 14" female with the bottom of her tail missing. She has been on a bed fanning. He caught one in a place we haven't got one before, so now we have a new spot, Jarvis Cove. He ended up the day with 28 smallies, and caught the big one on a Hildenbrandt Spinnerbait (picture on Steve Fleming Facebook). Roger is the BEST to be with, and makes a fun day out of fishing and catching..............

May 18: Took friend Mike Sliper and David Faxon, 971-291-2129, both of McMinnville out for a catching trip today. It was 41 at the river, the water was 56.1 degrees, flowing 3580 CFS, 5-6 clarity, and a nice day. Dave caught the first fish at 7:50 a Trophy smallmouth at 18 3/4" on a Hildenbrandt Spinnerbait. They had 33 fish by lunch a Dave also had a new fishing hole named after him, Faxon Point when he caught a nice 21 1/4" X 13" Master Angler Smallmouth bass. They ended up the day with 94 fish and Dave had 50 of those, and another Master Angler Bass at 20 1/2" X 13" (pictures on Steve Fleming Facebook). The water warmed up to 58.5 after lunch and the air temp was 72 degrees at 3:45 PM. Great fishermen, Great River, and a Great Catching day....................somebody say it, "it doesn't get any better than this"......................

May 13, 2012: Happy Mother's Day............the weather is dry and warm for the next 10 days, and the river will stay fairly constant and drop a little (the dips and rises you see daily are the snow melt rise in the afternoon and the cooler night dip in the evening), should be a good formula for some good fishing......................

May 12, 2012: Took the GREAT Father/Son Team of Mike and Mark Sliper today. It was 42 at the river, water running 52.6, 3830 CFS, 3-4 clarity, and a clear day. Mark boated the first fish at 8:20 AM and we had 11 by lunch. Water temp at noon was 54.9 and air temp was 79, and a very nice day. Team Sliper ended up with 41 fish..................

May 11, 2012: Took longtime client and friend Dike Dame out to the Private Largemouth Lake today. The river was good (4120 CFS), but we thought we would try something different. First fish at 8:05, and 41 by lunch time. We ended up with 74 fish, lots on top water in the late afternoon, for the day and what a beautiful day it was.....................

May 10, 2012: Took Dike Dame out on the river today. It was 32 at the river, water running 54.1, 4160 CFS, 4-5 clarity, and a very nice bluebird day. First fish at 8:35 AM, and 11 fish by lunch. Dike dug in and had 31 fish by the end of the day, with some very nice fish, but no huge fish in the mix..............

May 9, 2012: Took past Master Angler, Kevin Howard and his friend, Glenn Hayter out catching today (versus fishing). It was 52 at the river, the water was 56.8, 4-5 clarity, 4120 CFS, clear going to overcast sky. Glenn boated the first fish at 7:55 AM, and we had 10 fish by lunch. They ended up with 44 smallies and Glenn had 28, mostly smaller fish that had just come active with a few fish 14"-15". Nice day on the water, and lots of fish. This warm water trend might put the big fish on their beds this week, but the Good News is we are catching lots of fish.

May 8, 2012: I took the BOSS (Linda Fleming) today. We spent 6 hours on the water and she beat me bad, 18 to 4 (but mine were bigger). River was 4240 CFS, 4-5 clarity, 54.5 degree water, 88 degree air temp when we took out at 4 PM. There was still a good salmon fly hatch going on, and fish were into them. GOOD NEWS - BAD NEWS: The DINKS are alive and hungry. Once the river reaches 52 solid water temperature the non-breeding smaller fish have become active. They are hungry and hitting any of the smaller baits. The water is predicted to keep going down, and get warm again this weekend, so the "dinks" should stay active. Enjoy..................

May 7, 2012: Took Master Angler, Tom Nelson, 503-614-8409, and In-Fishermen's 2009 Nine Western States "Catch and Release" champ with a 23 1/2" X 15" monster he caught with me in 2009. He brought a good friend, Jack Strayer, with him. The river was running 4780 CFS, 49.5 degrees, 4-5 clarity, and a very clear day. Jack caught the first fish at 8:55 AM, and we had 4 fish by lunch with Tom boating and releasing a very nice 20 1/16" X 14" Master Angler smallmouth bass. They ended up the day with 20 smallies, and Tom boated another Master Angler smallie, 20 1/2" X 14". Tom lost a couple of big ones (huge ones), and ended up with 12 boated and released. Pictures on Facebook, Steve Fleming. Great fishermen make for GREAT days..........

May 5, 2012: Last of two days with cousins Mark Vandehey, and Greg Brown. River was running 6450 CFS, 48.2 degree water, 7-8 clarity, and overcast. March caught the first fish at 10:15, and they had 2 fish at lunch. The ended up with 8 fish and put out a super effort, and boated some on a fly.................

May 4, 2012: The first day of two with Mark Vandehey, and Greg Brown, 360-260-7172. The river was running 5950 CFS, overcast, 49.5 water temp. Mark caught the first fish at 9:20 AM. they ended up with 11 smalles, and Greg boated and released a very nice Trophy 18 1/2" smallmouth bass. Picture on Facebook, Steve Fleming. Super guys and gave a SUPER effort..............

May-3-2012: Took Roger Jarvis out to the Lake today, It was raining hard at Service Creek, and he caught a big smallmouth yesterday, so we thought we would try for a Largemouth. Good news: It wasn't raining at the Lake. Bad news: The wind started blowing and blew so hard it pinned us against the levy for 45 minutes after lunch. It probably blew so hard because of the 10+ weather fronts (wind/snow/rain) that came in around us. We didn't take on any rain, but the wind blew, and the fish didn't bite. The river was 6230 CFS, and much better looking than the day before. Even so Roger caught some nice largemouth, but not many and no huge fish especially. Next time, without, the wind....................

May 2, 2012: Took long time friend and Smallmouth Bass Master Angler, Roger Jarvis, 360-687-4857, of Ridgefield, WA out on his annual "Hunt for the Big Ones" trip. Hunting conditions were tough today, with 7340 CFS, 49.8 degree water 52 air degrees at 9 AM, 8-9 clarity, but a very clear day. The first fish came at 9:30, and was a Master Angler Smallmouth, 21' X 14" fatty. Roger ended the day with 3 fish, while the river was falling (6600 CFS) and cleaning itself. We should do well tomorrow........

April 30, 2012: river was high and a lot dirty so we went to the Private Largemouth Lake today. The wind was blowing fierce ALL day long, but they boated and released some nice bass, 76 total with 38 each. Took friends Don Miller and Dave Fronapel from Mount Vernon, OR. It was warm 62 at 8 AM, water was 61 degrees, 2-3 clarity (the wind blowing on the bank created a little mud), river was 7290 CFS (not too high just too dirty). Caught the first fish at 7:55 AM and it cam on Don's line. Great guys make for a fun day........
Thanks GOD for a good back-up....

April 25, 2012: The river was running 11,300 CFS, very dirty and on the rise. We offer a "Fish Catching" backup plan, and take the clients to a Private Largemouth lake that has largemouth and bluegill. Last Monday the clients fly fished and caught 145+ fish, today the clients gear fished and caught 272 largemouth and 1 bluegill. WOW.. Friends Kevin Howard, 971-570-8503, and Larry Barnett, 503-680-3729 came up to fish the river, but went out the Lake, and kicked some largemouth butt...It was slightly overcast and grew cloudy later on, but the water was up 3 degrees over Monday and registered 64 degrees at 8:30 AM. Fish are cold blooded and their metabolism reacts to water temp, the higher the temp the more active they are. Kevin won the day with 145 largemouth and Larry came in second with 128, for a total of 272 largemouth and 1 bluegill. What a day..................

4-22-2012: Took friends Terry Peasley and Mike Greenstreet, 503-699-8672, out to the Private Largemouth/bluegill lake today. It was a gorgeous day, and fly fishing was top notch. They ended up with 147 fish, with Mike getting 102 on top water poppers. Yes, our first 100+ Club member for 2012. Great job Mike. Terry caught 45 mostly on a special Mouse Pattern he tied himself. Great guys, and 60.9 degree Lake water made the day. We use this Lake as a back-up if the river is "blown out", but Terry booked it after fishing it last year and having another super day there.

4-21-2012: What do guides do when the river is "blown out" and they are not booked? They get together and do Clean-Up trips in long sections of the river in one day. Brandon Bishof, of Bishof's Fly Fishing, 541-977-2796, a great guide/fishermen/person and I teamed up to clean up some campsites and make notes on the "30 Mile to Cottonwood Bridge" section. It was 42 miles of river in one beautiful day, at 9800 CFS, and only took 8 1/2 hours. Lots of stories and a super day.............

April 21, 2012: Great day with three good friends from The Dalles: Scott Mengis, Greg Weast, and Dan Portlwood, 541-298-5794. 43 at the river, water running 8820 CFS, 50.9 degrees, 7-8 clarity, very bright day. First fish cam e to Scott at 8:40 AM followed very quickly with a Trophy 18" fish by Dan Portwood. We had 4 fish by lunch. The clarity started to go away and the river rose and brought lots of junk down to tie up on our lines and lures. Bummer. We ended up with 4 smallmouth bass, and some pretty impressive sun tans.............

April 20, 2012: Took three good fishermen and friends from The Dalles: Alex Hattenhouer, Sean Corbin (who boated 3 Master Angler smallmouth bass last year), and Jeff Kortge, 541-780-8500. It was 48 degrees at the put-in and the sun was breaking out, river running 7230 CFS, 47.7 degrees, 7-8 clarity, and a very clear day. Alex boated and released the first fish at 8:30, a nice 16" smallmouth bass. Jeff boated and released a very nice 20 1/4" X 14" Master Angler smallmouth bass just before lunch, and we had 2 before lunch. It was a tough afternoon and we ended up with 2 more for a total of 4 nice fish. Sean had a number of fish on, but they came unbuttoned. Bummer. Great guys, good fish, great weather............

April 16, 2012: Took longtime friends and fishermen: Don Miller, 541-932-4486, Errol Claire, 541-575-1983, and Sam Palmer, 541-575-9908 all of the John Day area. These guys have all caught lots of big fish and are GREAT fishermen. The air temp was 44, river 49.1, 4380, 5-6 clarity, and raining. It rained all day, and the river came up during the trip. This was the warmest water so far this year. Errol caught the first fish at 8:10, Don followed it with the first of 3 Trophy Fish (18"-20"), with a very nice 19 1/2". Later Errol caught a nice 19", and after lunch Same boated and released a nice 18". We had 11 fish by lunch, and they ended up with 24 smallies, my best day so far this season. Lots of nice fish, but all the rain is projected to shove the river up over 10,000 CFS. So, check the flows before you come.......

April 14, 2012: Took the Roy Rohde family from Pendleton/Seattle area out on a 5 hour Pure Fishing trip: Roy Rohde, Mike and Jeri Taylor, Pendleton; Charles and Cheryl Rohde of the Seattle area. It was an exciting 5 hours with 17 smallmouth caught, Jeri caught the first and it was a trophy 18 1/4", and Mike caught the most with 5. Jeri and Mike also hooked into a steelhead and Mike landed his spawned out fish as it was headed back out to the ocean. The water was running 46.2 degrees at 9:45 , 4510 CFS, clear day, 4-5 clarity, and the water temp was 49.3 a 3 PM. there will be some good fishing and catching in the next week.

April 13, 2012: Took a GREAT Father/Son Team of Matt and David Ellington from Oregon City and Woodburn respectively. It was 36 at the river at 8 AM, water temp 45.3, 4920 CFS, 5-6 clarity, and overcast. Matt landed the first fish a 10# fowl hooked carp, and landed the first bass at 10 AM. They had 5 fish by lunch and ended up the day with 14 smallmouth bass. The biggest was 17". No sunshine didn't help warm the water, but they did well for early in the season.

April 6, 2012: The Fossil Cruz'in that happens with the Blu Grass Festival around July 4th brings 150-185 great vintage cars to Fossil, and some great folks at the same time. Last summer one of the Cruz'in participants, Larry Anderson, won a few nights stay at the Wilson Ranches Retreat. They run a phenomenal operation, had their 20,000 guests stay last year, contact 888-763-2227 or www.wilsonranchesretreat.com for more info. Anyway, Larry like to fish, and lucky for me he added a day of fishing along with his stay. Larry's a good fishermen, but the cold water and weather fronts limited him to 5 fish. It was 29 in fossil at 4:30, 40.5 at the river and water was 42.5 degrees, 4250 CFS, 4-5 clarity, and clear. The first fish came at 9:45 AM and Larry had 3 fish by lunch. We only boated two more fish in the afternoon, but the river warmed up to 44.5 and the air 49 degrees at lunchtime. We didn't get skunked, but we didn't get any hug fish today, I guess that's why they call it "fish'in".

April 5, 2012: I was very very cold this morning. How cold was it? Too cold, 23 in Fossil, and cold. Took a GREAT guy from Vancouver WA, Bill Miller, 360-991-7429, and we struggled with the colder water. Bill dug in and landed 3 smallies by lunch, then he put on a clinic "on how to land a big one", and we boated and released a 21" X 14" Master Angler Smallmouth bass. Those of you wondering if the Timber Tigers and Poe lures would work two days in a row, wonder no more - YES. The river was running 4750 CFS, 39 degree aire temp at 9 AM, 43.4 water temp, 5-6 clarity, and a very clear cold morning. I think I already said that. The water did warm up to 44.5 and air temp 48.5 at 1 PM, and the water seemed to get clearer. A big cold front came in with wind, etc. and the bite STOPPED.............

April 4, 2012:  Took two good fishermen today:  Steve Brown, 541-330-6565, Rod Wrap innovator; and Rob Phillips of Yakima Baits, 509-966-5392.  Rob brought us some special lure from Yakima:  Poe 300, and Timber Tiger DC-5 to try out.  We were 15 minutes late to pick Steve Brown up at the take-out, and he was landing a 21 1/2" X 14" Master Angler smallmouth bass at 7 AM when we pulled in.  I felt today might be a good day!  Ya think....Steve boated another fish at 9:05 and 18" trophy, and just before lunch RB lands his first Master Angler smallmouth bass, 21" X 14" toadster.  We only had 6 fish by lunch, but 2 were Master Angler and one was a Trophy (18"-20").  We struggled with tough weather after lunch, but boated 7 more and the last one Steve caught was another Master Anlger smallmouth bass, 21" X 14".  End of day 13 very nice smallmouth bass, and a couple of more lures for the big fish tackle box.  It was 35.6 when we got to the river, snowing, 4540 CFS, 5-6 clarity, water temp 44.5 degrees.  It warmed up to 48 at lunch and the water went up to 46.4 degrees.  Go to Steve Fleming Face book for pictures....Go to www.betterwaysproducts.com for info on helpful fishing products, for some of the best baits to to www.yakimabaits.com....

March 28, 2012: Took Outdoor writer Scott Staats, 541-416-9316, and Rod Wrap innovator Steve Brown, 541-330-6565, of Prineville and Bend respectively. Great guys and fishermen. Last year Steve came and we fished at 11,000+ CFS and caught 7 fish on a very tough day. Today was different....Steve started things off with the first fish at 9:10 AM and it was a Master Angler 20" X 13 1/2" beauty, and followed it up with another Master Angler toad - 21 3/4" X 15". We had 2 fish at lunch and ended up with 18 total and Scott boated a nice Trophy 18" and Steve added another nice Trophy 18" fish to his bag. It was 44 degree water at 8 AM, air temp 38.5, 5-6 clarity, 3920 CFS, clear day. A couple of fronts came in, but overall it was a very nice day on the water.

March 26, 2012: Took great friends and fishermen Don Miller and Red Iler, 541-932-4207, of Mount Vernon, OR. Now these guys can fish, and have caught lots of fish and BIG smallmouth bass in the past. Don started off the day with the first smallmouth bass at 8:55. Red caught Trophy Smallmouth (18'-20"): 19 1/2", 18 3/4", 19", and then he landed a Master Angler smallmouth bass at 20" X 13 1/2". What a guy!! They ended up with 25 fish in the boat and released. The river was running 3850 CFS, 45.7 degrees at 8 AM, and the air was 36 degrees, 6-7 clarity on a clear morning.


March 24 and 25: Two-Day Smallmouth Bass Seminar went well with GREAT attendees. During our first set of fishing from the bank Charlie Forth caught a very nice and fat 17" smallmouth bass, and we were off and running. The weather gave us a break and except for some wind the last afternoon it was good. We'll be offering another Two-Day Seminar next year about the same time, so contact us early so you can get in.

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March 14, 2012: The Belles vs. Lancers Annual Fishing Contest. Steve Becerra (Belles High School), 408-223-8474, and Phil Filipelli (St Francis Lancers High School) battled it out today. Phil landed the first fish a very nice 28" Native Steelhead Buck at 9:45 AM, and Steve landed his FIRST steelhead ever at 10:30, big 29" Native Buck Steelhead. They ended up with 3 steelhead and 8 smallmouth bass, but Phil had 7 (2 steelhead and 5 bass) and Steve had 4 ( 1 steelhead and 3 bass), one of which was a Trolphy 19" bass. There will be a review of the score and the Lancer may be the winners, pending challenges, etc. It was 41 degrees at 9 AM, river was 42.1 degrees, 1770 CFS, 6-7 clarity, overcast. At noon the water was 43 and the air temp 56.7 degrees.
March 12, 2012: Good News, Good News, and more Good News!
Steelhead: we are still catching steelhead in the Kimberly area and caught one today in the morning, had a good report that last Tuesday a steelhead was taken in the North Fork John Day River at Ukiah; had a report from a client that on a 3-day trip from 30-Mile to Cottonwood Bridge they caught steelhead last Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. So they are still coming through, especially some late males and are from River Mile 40-295. So 30-mile (541-384-4189 for access information) to way up in the North Fork is holding bright steelhead at this time. Get out there and get some.............
Smallmouth Bass: We boated and released our first Master Angler Smallmouth Bass of the season. Don Miller and Errol Claire, 541-575-1983, of Mount Vernon and Canyon City respectively went on their annual trip. They have caught the first before, and this year they got into a bunch of very nice fish. Errol boated a very nice 20" X 13" smallmouth about 1 PM, picture on Steve Fleming Facebook. They hooked up 20+ fish and landed 15 very healthy smallmouth bass. They have wintered well and have good weight on them already. The river was running 1850 CFS, 43.6 degrees, 7-8 clarity, and overcast day. Boated and released a nice steelhead male at 10 AM, and Don caught the first couple of smallmouth before 1 PM, and it was game on. Errol ended up with 8 and Don boated and released 7. Now is the time to get into some very nice smallmouth bass, give us a call (toll free 971-533-5733) for a trip...........

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March 12, 2012: Good News, Good News, and more Good News!
Steelhead: we are still catching steelhead in the Kimberly area and caught one today in the morning, had a good report that last Tuesday a steelhead was taken in the North Fork John Day River at Ukiah; had a report from a client that on a 3-day trip from 30-Mile to Cottonwood Bridge they caught steelhead last Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. So they are still coming through, especially some late males and are from River Mile 40-295. So 30-mile (541-384-4189 for access information) to way up in the North Fork is holding bright steelhead at this time. Get out there and get some.............
Smallmouth Bass: We boated and released our first Master Angler Smallmouth Bass of the season. Don Miller and Errol Claire, 541-575-1983, of Mount Vernon and Canyon City respectively went on their annual trip. They have caught the first before, and this year they got into a bunch of very nice fish. Errol boated a very nice 20" X 13" smallmouth about 1 PM, picture on Steve Fleming Facebook. They hooked up 20+ fish and landed 15 very healthy smallmouth bass. They have wintered well and have good weight on them already. The river was running 1850 CFS, 43.6 degrees, 7-8 clarity, and overcast day. Boated and released a nice steelhead male at 10 AM, and Don caught the first couple of smallmouth before 1 PM, and it was game on. Errol ended up with 8 and Don boated and released 7. Now is the time to get into some very nice smallmouth bass, give us a call (toll free 971-533-5733) for a trip...........

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March 8, 2012: I took my boss (Linda) out fishing today. Talk about pressure. We launched late and were on the water at 10:30 AM and took off at 4:30 PM. It was a very nice and warm day, 1130 CFS, 38.3 degrees at 11:30 AM, 1-2 clarity (cold water green color), clear and lite wind, air temp 53.4 at 11:30 AM. First steelhead at noon and last at 3:45 PM. Three nice native fish landed and four hooked up. She said I can stay on as her personal guide....boy am I lucky..........

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March 3, 2012: Took a GREAT Husband/Wife team of Gary and Heidi Blaser out for Heidi's first steelhead trip. She did great and landed 4 steelhead on her first trip out, and one was a nice hatchery fish. Gary also landed 1 steelhead, he was pushing all the fish over to Heidi's line. What a guy.......................

March 2, 2012: Great day on the water with a couple of Southern Gentlemen and fishermen: Daniel Dougherty and Martyn Shaddix. These guys were warm as bugs in a rug with their Columbia clothing, and when you see the pictures you say "they look good" holding nice fish. They hooked up 6 and landed 5 nice Native Steelhead. Dan started the day off at 10:10 AM and Martyn finished it at 2:50 PM. It was 31 degrees at the river at 8 AM, water 35.3 degrees, 1220 CFS, 2-3 clarity, and clear to overcast morning. The sun came out and it warmed up nicely. We came back to Fossil in a snow storm the last 10 miles......

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February 29, 2012: took friends John Wisner and Josh Juenger out today. The river was running 1320 CFS, 38.3 degrees water at 1 PM, air temp in the 40's, clear morning and overcast afternoon with wind. Josh boated and released the first fish at 9:45 AM. It was his first and a nice 26" native female. We ended up hooking up 8 steelhead today and landing 5. John pulled 3 out of one hole. I talked with a fellow in Fossil this morning and he said there were lots of fishermen up on the North Fork, but they were all doing pretty good. Lots of bank access from the highway, and the fish are pretty bright and in very good shape. Snowing hard today, but should quit by lunchtime....

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February 26, 2012: Took three fellows today: Stephen Lillegard, Pete Lillegard, and Brian Schultz. Great guys and friends! The river was flowing 2050 CFS, It was 34 at the river, the water was 38.1 degrees, 4-5 clarity, and overcast. Pete caught the first fish at 11AM. They ended up with 4 steelhead, and Brian caught a 4 year old steelhead that was height challenged and only 12 inches long (okay, maybe it was a trout). I talked to the ODFW Creel Counter, and he said he checked 5 groups on windy Saturday, and none reported any steelhead. Yes, we made the right call yesterday and stayed out of the 50 MPH wind gusts..............

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February 25: It was 28 in Fossil, 1960 CFS, wind blowing hard and cold with predictions of 55 MPH gusts in the morning, and 45 MPH in the afternoon with spitting snow. It was blowing a constant 20 MPH. Decided not to go, oh we could have blown all over the river and tried, but boy was it cold today. Sometimes common sense prevails......

February 24, 2012: took long time friends Lou Giottonini and Mike Odwyer out today. It was 35 in fossil at 4:40 AM 28.5 at the river, water was 38.7, 2560 CFS and dropping, clear, 7-8 clarity. It was 40.2 degree water at lunch time, and air temp of 42.2, about 3 PM it was 60+ and clear, but starting to cloud up. at 2:15 Lou caught the first smallmouthb ass of the year for Mah-Hah. We ended up with 2 smallies for the day, and Lou got both of them. They were after bass, but the float and fly wasn't working today....

YOUR BASSIN' BUDDYS,
Steve and Linda Fleming
Mah-Hah Outfitters

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February 20, 2012: Another great day on the river with two friends from Mt. Vernon, Red Iler and Dave Fronapel. It corn snowed most of the morning with a ite drizzle, river was running 965 CFS, 2-3 clarity, 38.1 degree water, heavy overcast. The first steelhead came at 10 AM oin Red's rod. It was a big 10+ pound Native buck. they ended up tied at the end of the day with 4 steelhead each, but Dave had the tie breaker, a 14" trout. Great guys and great fish make for a great day........
YOUR BASSIN' BUDDYS,
Steve and Linda Fleming
Mah-Hah Outfitters

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February 18: I got to take three more Salem anglers today: Cory Redding, Tony Guevara, and Eric Boman. Great guys and good friends. The river was running 864 CFS at 4:30 AM, river temp was up to 39.8 at 9 AM, 41 air degrees, clear morning, 2-3 clarity. Tony boated and released the first steelhead at 10:55. Unbelievable fight... Cory boated a very nice fish about 1:30, and Tony caught the last one for the day at 2:30. We worked hard for our fish, and caught 3 very nice native fish. The new secret is, Smelly Jelly, GARLIC. The bass and steelhead both love it.
YOUR BASSIN' BUDDYS,
Steve and Linda Fleming
Mah-Hah Outfitters

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February 17, 2012: Took three GREAt guys and friends from the Salem, OR area: Scott Champion, Paul Beals, and Joel Hopkins. Joel caught the firs steelhead at 12:15 and ended up the day with 4 stllhead, while Scott added one more for 5 total. It was 38.5 when we put-in, the water was 37.4 dgrees, 2-3 clarity, 909 CFS, overncast mor

YOUR BASSIN' BUDDYS,
Steve and Linda Fleming
Mah-Hah Outfitters

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HAPPY BASSIN' 2012

First things first! Thanks to all of you for a Super 2011. It was a scary year, at the beginning with the economy, super high water, etc., but we ended up booking just under - 600 client days before it was over. THANKS!
The Biggest Fish honor was a tie at 22" X 15": one caught May 2, by Red Iler; the other on May 6 by Larry Crist. The Most Fish honor goes to Dike Dame, for 228 smallmouth bass on August 15th (boated 512 fish and 2 Master Angler smallmouth-bass on a Three-Day overnight trip). The best Steelhead Day goes to Bruce Belles, owner of Clackacraft boats, 14 hooked up and 12 Steelhead landed, done November 8th. We now offer three kinds of Steelhead trips: Pure Fishing, fully Guided Day Trips, and Deluxe Two-Day overnight trips. All were super efforts and a joy to watch from the guide's seat!
Yes, 2011 was a tough water year. We had the 3rd and 4th highest recorded flows since 1922, and both over 30,000 CFS. Hopefully it will be another 90 years before this happens again. Good News: we had a great fish catching back-up plan with the Private Largemouth Lake, and it kicked out lots of fish.
YOUR BASSIN' BUDDYS,
Steve and Linda Fleming

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Mah-Hah OutfittersJanuary 29, 2012: Ouch! We had a GREAT October, November, and December steelhead trips with only one trip last year not producing steelhead. But we got NONE today. Had three super friends and good fishermen: Joe Just, Harold Dodge, and Brian Paige all from the Seattle area. It was a warm 44 degrees at 6 AM in Fossil, 35 degrees at Service Creek, 1290 CFS, 5-6 clarity, 34 degree water at 10 AM, intermittent sun shine, and generally nice day. We did have what looked to be like a few light take-downs, but no hook ups. We went 10 miles and tried lots of different techniques, but nothing seemed to be working. There should be some good numbers of fish going through the Kimberly area and on up the North Fork by the third week in February and early March.

2011 FISHING REPORTS

October 24-December 6: We were on the river most days guiding steelhead trips. It was at least an average season, and we only had one day we did not hook a steelhead (October 24). The best day, November 8, for one angler was Bruce Belles, the owner of Clackacraft drift boats, when he hooked 14 and landed 12 steelhead.
The river was freezing up December 8, and our last trip was December 6.

October 9 and 10: Guide John Messenger took Dike Dame fishing for a couple of days. The weather was off, cold, and wet. Fishing was slow, and the rain drizzled down on the 10th. YUK.................................

September 27-October 22: Steve and Linda went to Palm Springs, and on down to LaPaz for a couple of days of fishing. Great trip, great weather, and a good time. Baja Pirates took GREAT care of us in Mexico, and we had a super time.

September 26: Steve took fly fishermen Tony Lantham, and they had a great day on the wataer. Tony fly fished all day and ended up with 50 msallmouth bass. Caught the first one on a popper at 8:09 AM. 174 CFS, 59.3 degree water, on a nice day. Good fly casters catch lots of fish..................................

September 23: Steve got to take old friend Robb Nordby, and Larry and Andrew Kimmel fishing today. River was running 191 CFS, it was 52 at the river, river was running 63.5 degrees, 1-2 clarity, and a sunny day. They did well and caught 130 smallies, with Robb boating 50 of them. Great guys-great day....................


September 21: Guide Bill Berray took Bill Nerud today and he ended up with 55 smallies. there was a huge fly hatch going on, and they were gear fishing..............tough to get the fish off the flies and onto rubber worms.......
Steve took Rolland Henricks and Barbara Burdick out today. A GREAt couple and lots of fun. They ended up with 89 fish, and Ron caught 45 of those. That Barbara is pretty smart...........................

September 20: Steve took Bill Nerud from Colbert, WA out today. It was Bill's first trip and he had 14 fish by lunch, and then he turned it on and ended up with 73 bass for the day. The river was running 188 CFS, 64.8 degree water, 1-2 clarity, and a sunny day. Great first day..................

September 19: Well, if Father/Son trips are good ones then when you throw in Grandpa it's even better. Breet and Craig Puckett, and grandpa Craig Woodward from Prineville came fishing today. I went to college with Craig a few years ago in LaGrande, and enjoyed catching up on all the folks I lost touch with. But back to the fishing, Little Craig was without a doubt one of the fastest learners I've seen in a long time, and he boated 61 fish on his first trip out. He caught the MOST, and everyone was glad to see it.....................

September 18: Steve took a super Father/Son TEam: Doug and Nash Rauen. They tried some bigger fish techniques, and got on to how to use them. We didn't get the big fish but they did boat and relaese 84 fish, which was a good effort given the water conditions we had.................

September 17: Steve took a GREAT Husband/Wife Team: Gary and Heidi Blaser. Heidi has a few Master Angler smallmouth and Gary know the John Day River and is always coming up with new baits that WORK. The river was running 174 CFS, 1-2 clarity, 62.1 degree water. Heide caught the first fish at 7:40 AM, but Gary ended up with the most before the day was over. Gary has some of the BEST jigs I've seen in a long time. Go to tourneyjig.com and take a look at what they have. Great trip and time.......................

September 11 & 12: Steve took long time friend and Master Fishermen, Dike Dame. The first day the river was running 181 CFS, 67.4 degree water, 50 degree air temp at 8 AM, 1-2 clarity, and clear day. Dike ended up with 118 fish on Day 1, and 106 on Day 2. Lots of fish..................makes an old guide look good.............

September 10: Steve took Mark Krautmann and Dave Gilbert of Salem out today. It was their first trip on the river, and they needed to get out early. But not before they caught 85 fish, great first trip............

September 9: Logan took David and Darryl Marchall from Issaquah, WA. They did well right out of the launch and had 65 fish by lunch time. They ended up the day with 152 fish, and Darryl had 79 of those.......
Steve had the pleasure of longtime client Lex Strom and Adeline Martinez. They are a wonderful couple and we've had some fun times in the past. Today was no different except Adeline caught the MOST fish and Lex being the big man that he is, was just as happy as she was.............................

September 8: Logan took Mike Bender and John Ingram out for another day of catching on a fly. They did better with 120 smallies on flies, and had 60 by lunch. John was the winner with 71 at the end of the day.........
Steve took a wonderful Husband/Wife Team: Dwayne and Lori Kufchak fishing today. The river was running 181 CFS, 68.2 degree water, 65 aire degrees, 1-2 clarity, clody morning. They ended up with 135 fish, and Dwayne caught lots of his on a fly. He ties some really good looking flies, and the bass think so to..........

September 7: We ran three trips today. The river was running 195 CFS, 69.4 degree water, 52 air degrees at 8 AM, 91.5 in the afternoon, water warmed up to 71.9, 3 clarity, on a nice clear day.
Guide Denny Goodwin took Richard and Lisa Brock from Sunriver, OR They did a good job on their first trip and boated and released 72 smallies.........
Logan Jones took friends Mike Bender from Goleta, CA; and John Ingram of Bend, OR. They boated 57 fish by lunch and ended up with 91 fish at the end of the day. They were fly fishing and had a good day..............
Steve took long time client Kevin Howard, 971-570-8503; and Brian Henry. Brian did a good job with 61 fish on his first trip, and Kevin Howard got another 100+ pin with 116 fish. Kevin's experience showed and he ended up with lots of fish, but next time Brian will make it closer.....................watch out Kevin..........

September 6: We ran three trips today. Guide Denny Goodwin took Jim Lowery and Robert Pfister out today and they caught 48 fish on a Half-Day Trip......
Logan Jones took Paul Hoffman, Douglas Hoffman, and Jesse Mecham out for a full day of fishing. They did a good job and came in with 163 fish.....
Steve Fleming took a Crew from Painted Hills Beef: owner Merhten Homer, feed lot manager Doug Mag of Vale, and feed lot manager Keith Pierce. These guys come every year and know how to get into the fish. They ended up with 320 and each of them made the 100+ Club: Merten-111, Doug-104, and Keith-105. Great job guys. Painted Hills Beef is headquartered in Fossil, Oregon and offers some of the best beef on the market. High end resturants and stores carry Painted Hills Beef, because it GOOD, no hormones, and no antibiotics-just good for you............. try some........soon...

September 5: Happy Laborless Day....

September 4: Best part of guiding is when you get to take Father/Son or Daughter trips. Today it was Bobby Grover and Joe of Bend, OR. We ended up with a supper day on the water, and I got to watch young Joe catch his first smallmouth bass. His Dad has a coffee roasting business in Bend, 11 Roasters, and I ended up with a bag of really good coffee. If you're in the Bend area look for 11 Roasters and stock up.....................

September 3: I had a miscommunication with the client and couldn't find him. Wee, the good news is when I got home Linda was ready to go. So I took her out on a short day and she boated 51 nice fish.......

September 2: Guides Denny Goodwin and Steve Fleming took two GREAT Father/Son Teams: Nicholas and Theodore Davis, Nick and John Abbott. The river was running 188 CFS, 64.3 degree water, clear day. They ended up boating and releasing 185 fish, GREAt first time effort.............

September 1, 2011: The second day of The Jay McKendry Annual Fishing Tournament: Jay McKendry, Joel Marshall, Michael Silvis, 209-489-5886, Hank Merrick, Butte, Montana. Mike caught and released 105 smallies, Han caught and released 101. Hank caught the Most for the two days at 176, and Joel won the five longest. Great guys, and lots of fun.......



August 31: Another great Grandfather/Grandson Trip! Grandpa-GlennHayter, and Grandson Davis Hayter went to work on the fish and ended up with 133 fish. Grandpa lead the way with 68...............

August 30: The long awaited annual fishing compitition with Jay McKendry, Joel Marshall, 209-675-4116, Mike Silvis, and Hank Merrick. Guides Bill Berray and Steve Fleming were ready and so were 293 smallmouth bass. Joel got two Trophy smallmouth bass, one 18" and one 19". No body got 100, but they worked hard for their fish, and ended up with Joel-87, Jay and Hank both at 74, and Mike-58. More later......................

August 29: Guide Denny Goodwin took James Wishart and Adam Lamb out fishing. They caught 134 fish and kept the catching close with James at 69 and Adam at 65......
August 29: Steve took long time friend and guide Jim Berl and friend Roger Ferrel out today for a day of fly fishing. Roger caught the first fish at 8:07 and the day was off, the fishermen showed up, but the guide couldn't get the right fly for the fishermen. Oh they caught fish, but not like past years. Back to the drawing board...........

August 28: Steve took long-time client Chris Foster, 503-970-7753, and Dave Berra, 503-595-4230, out for a day of catching. The river was running 228 CFS, 74.7 degrees, 66 air degrees at 8 AM, 1-2 clarity, and a sunny day. They boated and released 203 fish with Chris catching 102 and Dave 101. Close.................
August 28: guide Bill Berray took Carl and Derek Lopez, 206-972-8368, of Seattle, WA. They caught 194 fish with Derek making the 100+ Club, with 112 fish. Nice going......................

August 25 and 26: Great friends and fishermen: Waite and Austin Dalrymple of Olympia, WA, Neal Wolbert and Val "the man of 1000 voices" Faustind, came down for their annual fishing tournament. They caught lots of fish and Val entertained us with lots of GREAt tories and voices...Next year-same time same place..........
August 26: Guide Denny Goodwin took Claire Fulenwider and Harriet Forman on a Half-Day trip, and they boated 78 fish total. Sometimes the Half-Day trip is just the right amount of time, but not too long..........

August 23 & 24: Steve took the Patterson family: Bill, William, and Brian. One was fully guided while two rowed in the one-man pontoon boats. They caught 353 fish in two days and Brian caught 101 on the second day. They caught lots of fish last year, and have booked again for 2012. The competition is fierce........
August 23: Bill Berray took Paul Otto and John Patz. It was a sunny day and Paul won with 86 fish, they boated and released 168 fish...........
August 24: Guide Denny goodwin took Paul and John out today. They boated 80 fish, and John wond today with 44 fish...

August 22: The Kortes, James and Greg, of Gig harbor, WA came down and took guide Denny goodwin out on a trip. They boated 107 fish, and James had the most with 55.
Guide Bill Berray took the Dolbec Family from Belgium on a Half-Day trip, and they all caught John Day River Smallmouth bass. Traveled a long ways and caught some nice fish......................

August 20: Denny Goodwin and Steve Fleming took the annual Velvey Tournament fishermen. They ended up with almost 200 fish on a tough fishing day. Most of the fish came late in the afternoon. The winner was Marvin Brown. A couple of years ago he and grandson Wyatt Velvy tied with 151 each. That's fishing......

August 19: The Father/Sons Tournament: Dave and Nick Griffin, 360-903-7556; Alan and Alan Jr Sherrington, 360-576-6555; Thomas and Jack Demlow; and Tim and Ryan Pate, 360-901-0852. They caught and released 628 smallmouth bass: Alan Jr-103, Dave Griffin-101, and Tim Pate-100. They caught a lot of fish and almost wore Bill Berray and Steve out................almost..

August 17: Denny good win took Len Clark and friends on a Hal-Day trip they boated and released 42 fish.
Steve got to take one of the all-time best Grandpa's, Kevin Howard; and grandsons: Max and Ryan. They boated and released 89 fish and Grandpa got back his title for MOST fish (he lost it to Max on a Spring trip at the Lake). River was running 317 CFS, 74 degree water, 4 clarity, and a nice day...........

August 16 & 17: Logan Jones took two long time friends and fly fishermen, Don Getman and Christ Bouneff, on two Half-Day trips. They did some gear fishing and dry fly fishing and boated and released 73 on the 16th. Things slowed down and they boated 35 fish on day two. Smallmouth bass on a fly is too much fun...................

August 14-16: Steve took long time client and friend Dike Dame out. He caught 512 fish in three days, with his best day of 228 smallmouth bass on the 15th (but he landed 148 on the first day, and 136 on the last day). He also boated a nice 20 1/2" smallmouth bass the first day, and a 20 1/2" on the last day. Great fishermen makes for great trips..........

August 13-15: Logan Jones took Joe Riley, and John DeJesus of Anioch, CA. They caught 93 fish the first day; they caught 94 the sedond day; and then they got mad and Joe caught 102 and John boated 118. Joe also boated a nice Trophy bass at 19 3/4" long. They did a little better each day, and then they both joined the 100+ Club....
August 13: Bill Berray took Craig Wetherbee of Crooked River Ranch out and he caught 42 on his first trip to the John Day River. Good start............

August 12: Bill Berray took fellow retired telephone company fishermen (Bill from Condon and Bill Marsh from Southern Bell), Bill March on his last odf 5 days of fishing. Bill caught 70 fish and ended up with more than 600 fish for five days. Like I said before this guy can fish....................
August 12: Steve took the Mathews Family: Bill, Thomas, and Michael. Great Dad and Great kids make for a fun trip. This was a close one with Bill ending up with 58 fish to Michael's 59, and Thomas came in with 43......

August 9-11: Steve took Bill Marsh, 913-268-0873, on a Three-Day trip. Bill caught and released 462 smallies; 139 on the 9th, 191 on the 10th, and 132 on the 11th This guy can fish......................
August 9: Denny Goodwin took the Murton Family on a Half-Day Trip, and they enjoyed their day on the water..
August 9: Buide Bill Berray took friends Jerry Fellows, Pat Durhan, and Philip Johnson. Philip ended up with the Most, but it was close....................
August 11: Denny Goodwin ran a Half-Day Family Trip with the Erik and May Nelson Family. They caught some fish and had a good time together on the water........

August 8: Guide Denny Goodwin took Mike and Martha Smith today, they were tired out from the day before and it was hot out.....They got off the water early, but Mike had 42 fish....................
Steve took Bill March from Shawnee, Kansas on a day trip. Bill caught 46 by lunch, and ended up with 90+ before the day was over. Good job Bill......................

August 7: Steve took Michael and Martha Smith of Eugene, Or. River was running 451 CFS, 1-2 clarity, 70.6 degree water, and a very nice day. Martha caught the first fish at 8:20 and they had 53 by lunch. They ended up with 113 fish for the day, and Mike had 71 of those. Great day - Great couple..............

August 6: Steve took two Father/Sons today: John and Micajah Weisner, Chris and Jackson Intlekofer. It was a great day on the river, and they boated and released 137 smallies. Great Dads make for fun trips, and these are some of the best.......................

August 5: Guides Steve Fleming, Logan Jones, and Bill Berray took 9 fishermen today. It was running 507 CFS, 73 degree water, and clear skies. Nine Fishermen: Patrick Webster, Marc Brinkmeyer, George Emmerson, Mike Mordell, Victor Garrett, Richard Olszewsky, Pat Patranella, Jeff Wagner, and Michael Phillips. they boated and released 268 smallies for nine fishermen, and Marc Brinkmeyer landed a Trophy smallmouth bass at 19". Great job of fishing and catching! Yes, they booked the same date for next year......................

August 4 & 5: Guide Denny Goodwin took David and Chris Root for a couple of days on the river.
Day 1: They boated 53 fish with David catching 35 total.
Day 2: David and Chris came back to puts some fish in the boat today. They ended up with 96, and Chris was on top with 52. Pretty good learning curve on the second day, nice job fishing guys...............

August 2: Guide Denny Goodwin took friends David Klapp of Galesburg, Il, Jim Johnson of knoxvill, Il., and Paul out for a day of fishing. They boated and released 112 fish, catching the first one at 8:30 AM. They only had 15 by lunch, but got to work after lunch and boated almost 100 fish. Good job............

August 1 - 4: We are running a four-day overnight trip, with the river running 628 CFS, 2 clarity, 70 degree water, and GREAT weather. Friends Dave Morton and Jeff Domer of Napa, CA are fly fishing with Steve, John Slubowski and Jillian Krall of South Lake Taho are fishing with guide Logan Jones, and Four Texans are fishing out of the one-man pontoon boats: Basil Devin, Steve West, John Goodson, and Mike Conkle. Lots of Fish were caught: with Dave catching 110 on August 3 on flies, Brett and Steve over 100 on August 2 August 3 . Biggest Fish was Jeff on August 4 with a very nice 20 1/4" Master Angler beauty. Great trip and Great Food, the Texans have already booked for 2012 - look out smallies.............................

July 30 and 31: I got to take three generations of Wilkinsons from Placerville, Ca; Chad Wilkinson, 530-409-8375, is married to my cousins daughter, his Dad-Fred, and his Dad-Ken Wilkinson. Great folks and fishermen. The water temp is lower, 71.2, than usual and it is flowing more than usual, 721 CFS. It was a clear day the 30th, and the boys boated and released 109 smallies, with Chad the winner at 45. The 31st was a better day, and flowing 671 CFS. Chad boated 101 smallies, and they ended up with 264 for the day. Great folks and a GREAT job fishing...................

July 29: We had three trips going out today:
Denny Goodwin took Terry Peasley of McMinniville, Or, and James Stanek of Beaverton. The river was running 765 CFS, 70 degree water, 1-2 clarity. Terry fly fished all day and they both boated and released 29 smallies....
Bill Berray took Chris and Kathy Copeland of Scapoose, OR. Chris and Kathy are good fishermen and Kathy has a couple of Master Angler fish to her credit. They ended up with 60 fish, and Kathy lost a BIG one at the boat when the line broke........
Steve ran a Half-Day Fiver hour fishing trip with Craig Bailey and Key Bailey of richland, WA. His sister bought Craig a trip, nice sister... Anyway Craig and Kkye boated and released 29 smallied during their 5 hours of fishing. Great guys, and we hope they will be back...............

July 28: Grandpa Dan Hawkey, many time Master Angler in the past, brought his son-in-law Jason, and Grandson Cade fishing. Great day and fishermen. The river was running 815 CFS, 68.4 degrees at 8 AM, 2 clarity, and clear day. Jaason caught the first fish at 8 AM, and before the dqy was over they boated and released 108 fish. Cade had 25 and Grandpa had 43l I see another great fishermen in the making..................

July 27: Bill Berray guided Robert and Candace Pekich of Walla Walla today. The water was a 3 for clairty and they fly fished and gear fished. They ended up with 57 fish before the day was over, and had nice weather with 85 at lunchtime................
Denny Goodwin took hunting partners David Homma and Steve Thomas of the Portland area fishing today. They boated and rreleased 32 fish with 16 each. Dave caught a 20 pound carp what a fight................

YOUR BASSIN' BUDDYS,
Steve and Linda Fleming

July 24 and 25: I took longtime client Dike Dame and his step son, Robert Nichols of Keller, Texas for two one-day trips. The water was running 995 CFS on the 24th, and 940 CFS on the 25th. They boated and released 90 fish on the 24th, with some better than average fish in the mix. They boated and released 109 fish on the 25th and the last fish of the day was 20" X 14" caught by Dike Dame in a place we've not caught a Master Angler fish before. So, we now have the Dike Dame Point. The water is very clear clarity of 2, and morning water temp of 69 the 24th and 72 the 25th. This was Robert's first trip and he dialed in quick, so next time Dike will have his work cut out for him..........................

Guides Bill Berray and Denny Goodwin took the David Bottom Family on the 25th and had a great time on the water boating over 50 fish. Nice job Bottom's Family.................

July 23: guide Denny Goodwin took the "new" Family of Kim and Shawn Hyde of Emmett, Idaho. Everyone caught fish and Amelleya caught the biggest. They just got married and combined two wonderful families, and everyone fishes.........................

July 20 and 21: Guide Denny Goodwin took the Doug Beaman Family from Hood River, and had lots of stories to tell. They all caught fish, and had a grerat time......................

July 20-23: Guides Steve Fleming, Logan Jones, and the BEST cook/guide around Nikki Aamodt took the Charlie Gerhardt Family, with wife Marcia, and Grandson's Grant and Hagen. The First 100 + fish day cam on July 21 to Grant Gerhardt(10 years old) with 121 smallies. The next day Hagen Gerhardt (8 years old) got 112, and Grant in the other boat tied him with 112. Lots of fish in the remote sections, and the BEST Grandpa and Grandma Team around took good care of the young men (they're not boys when they catch over 100 fish in a day).............................

July 18 and 19: Guide Bill Berray took Steve and Cathy Sims on the 18, and they had a great time and boated 33 fish. I took them the 19th and we waited out a thunder storm around noon, and boated 33 fish. The water was running 1260 CFS, 69.4 degree water temp. Great folks on the second year with us, and say they are coming back for more.................................

I took longtime friends and clients Red Iler and Don Miller from Mt Vernon out on the 18th. They caught 44 fish, and Red boated a nice 2-3 pound catfish. The water was cleaning up, but still a little off-color from the thunder storm that hit in the Shady Grove area on Saturday night. Yes, REd caught the most, but Don's were prettier and bigger.................................

July 17: Help! The river was blowing out at Service Creek and we tried to make something out of it. I took Doug Rauen, Nash, and Nash's friend, Tanner on a float trip. They boated two fish and fished in MUD all day long.
Guide Denny Goodwin was going to fish up higher and he saw the muddy water and used his head and went to the Private Largemouth Lake. He had the Father/Son Team of Rich and Tony Baum. they hammered the largemouth with over 70 fish, and Rich just beat out Tony for MOST award. A good guide knows when to admit the possibility of defeat and take a better road....................................

July 16: I took Rich and Tony Baum, a Father/Son Team on Tony's High School Graduation trip. They boated a few fish at 1400 CFS, the fish were off they're bite (felt the storm coming) and were dialing in on the techniques..................

July 15: Took long time friend and client Robb Nordby of Bend, and his friend Glen Peden of LaPine. Great guys and good fishing. River was running 1470, 67 degrees, 2-3 clarity and they boated 29 fish by lunch. They ended up with 80 fish and Robb boated 51 of them. Great friends make for great trips...............................

July 14: Last of three days of fishing for Larry Jarvis and son Richard. They are a wonderful Father/Son Team and had a tough go last March when the river was cold and high. Today they boated and released 67 fish with Richard getting the first one at 7:30 AM. The river was running 1520 CFS, 2-3 clarity, clear, 68 degree water and good conditions. this Father/Son Team gets along like brothers, and catches nice fish..........

Guides Bill Berray and Denny Goodwin did a Half-Day Trip (5 hour trip) with the Lutz Family: Father Dave Lutz of Woodenville, WA, Will, Tucker, Robert, John Lutz's; and Dennis Garvey of Beaverton, OR. Tucker Jr was the Champ with 22 fish. GREAT short trip, and lots of fish (91 fish).........................

July 13: The Father/Son Team of Larry and Richard Jarvis, 406-265-1349, went out on day two. It was 1680 CFS, 2-3 clarity, 67.4 degree water, clear, and air temp of 54 at the river at 7 AM. Richard got the first fish on a fly at 7:30 AM. They had 45 fish by lunch, and Richard had a Trophy 18" smallie whose tail was still healing from the spawn. They ended up with 83 fish, and lots of good stories....................

Guide Bill Berray took friends George Seba and Dan Heizer of CA fishing today. They boated and released 52 fish on their first trip to the John Day River. Good friends make for GREAT fishing partners...........

July 12: Larry and Richard Jarvis went out on their first of three days of fishing today. Great guys and Larry has many Master Angler smallies to his credit. The river was running 1670 64.7 degrees, 3-4 clarity, and clear day. They boated 14 fish by lunch, and ended up with 72 fish at the end of the day. Richard lots a huge fish on top water when she jumped out of the river and threw the lure. Great fish stories come from jumping fish..........

Juily 11: Guide Denny Goodwin took John Kolvrik of Vallejo, CA out for a Half-Day of fishing. John was staying at Wilson Ranches Retreat, Fossil, OR. Phil and Nancy Wilson run the BEST Bed and Breakfast in the area, and have an unbelievable returning clientele rate. Joh was fly fishing and boated some nice fish.

I got to take another GREAT Father/Son Team of Dike and Ole Dame. These guys of caught 100+ fish in one day many times with us in the past, and hoped to do so again even with the unseasonally high water. It was running 1800 CFS, 2-3 clarity, 65.5 degrees and clear. They boated and released 72 fish with a trout in the mix? The top water action was great and fun to watch.....................

July 10: Took Dike and Ole Dame today. The river was running 1930 CFS, 63 degrees, 2-3 clarity, and clear. They boated and released 61 fish, caught mostly on top water. Ole caught a HUGE 8 pound Carp.
The John Day River has lots of fish and many different kinds of fish...............

Guide Bill Berray took our all-time high fish getter, Jim Ramsey, who caught 275 smallies in one day during the low water of 2007. Curtis and Bill Ramsey rounded out the Three Generation Group. They ended up with 88 fish today. Again the higher water has slowed the fishing numbers down...................

July 6-9: WOW what a trip. Steve Fleming and Denny Goodwin, along with Master Cheif Nikki Aamodt got to take four of the BEST Friends and Fly fishermen we've had in a long time: Jack Alpers, David Aced, Stanley Cook, Pat Mulrooney. These guys were the BEST, and had some of the BEST stories we've heard in a long, long time. Tough river conditions for fly fishing: 2850 CFS, clarity of 4, 66.9 degree water, air temp around 54 on day one of our four day trip. But these guys caught good numbers of fish every day. Thanks again for being such wonderful guests................................

July 5: Great Friends make for GREAT trips. Steve, Denny Goodwin, and Bill Berray got to take Joe and Vicki McGuire of Los Banos, CA; Ron and Carolum Carter of Gardneville, Nevada, and Roy and Lila Rodoni of Los Banos, CA. The Rodoni's have a ranch in the Spray area. They ended up catching around 100 fish, and had a GREAT time together catching fish and telling stories. The guides were lucky enough to be there and enjoy the three couples...................

July 3: I had a Family Trip today that was supposed to have two one-man pontoon boats and one fully guided, but the river was running 3160 CFS and it would be too difficult to give a quality trip in the pontoon boats. So, we all went in the 18' Clackacraft. I took Lee Rathbun, 541-726-0594, of Albany, Or, and his son Kyle and Hollie. Kyle caught the first fish right off the bat at 7:45 AM, and they boated and released 45 fish by lunch. The river was running 3160 CFS, 4-5 clarity, 65.6 degree water, and very very clear day. Lee's first fish was popper-fly fishing, and the fish were active. They ended up the day with 101 fish, and Lee had the biggest and nice 19" Trophy Smallmouth bass. River is the best this year, and will only be getting better............................

July 1: Took guide Jim Berl, Diamond Jim, and friend Ed Ebbesen from Springfield/Eugene area. Great guys and Jim is a super fly fishermen. Jim brought his new Sage 7'11" Largemouth and Smallmouth bass rods with him for throwing the poppers. What a treat, these rods are the best for throwing and working poppers. They boated and released 18 smallmouth bass on poppers, and Jim caught two nice fish right off the bat with the Diamond Jim John Day River Special flies he developed last year. It was 37 in fossil at 5 AM, 50 at the river, 61.1 degree water, down to 3830 CFS, 5-6 clarity, and a very clear day. Jim caught the first fish at 8:05, and they had 10 fish by lunch. We took out a little early to get them on the road, but they boated 20 fish. Great guides make for great clients..................

June 30: Bill got to do the Family trip today: John and son Michiah Weisner; and Craig and Van Clow of Santa Cruz, Ca. They caught their first fish at 8:15 AM, and had boated and released 20 fish by lunchtime. It was 56 degrees at the river, 62.2 degree water, 4210 CFS, 5-6 clarity and slightly overcast day. Guide, Bill Berry, took all four in one boat and they had a great time. The Dad's tied at 15 each and the boys tied at 9 each for a total of 48 fish. Great Dad's make for GREAT trips with their kids.................

I took a super Husband/Wife Team of Bill and Terry Bronson from Enterprise, Or. They own

Bronwson Log Homes and Furniture business. We first meet a few years ago at the Portland Sportsman Show when they were right across from us. We have since been buying one of their small rockers for each of our Grandchild's First Birthdays. They are a true keepsake. Bill also put a nice log house in for a private landowner in the area a few year ago. Great workmanship, and pride in your work makes for beautiful homes and furniture. Terry boated the first fish at 8:15 AM and they had 18 by lunch. They were great fun to be with, and caught 42 fish by days end. If you are looking for a log built home or quality furniture you can contact them at 541-398-0073 or bronsonlogworks@hotmail.com ...................

June 29: took another super Father/Son Team of Doug and Nash Rauen, and family friend Jack Merriman. Doug has many Master Angler smallmouth bass and 100 fish days under his belt and helps out on our early Research and Development Trips. It was 59 in Fossil at 5 AM, 64 at the river, was was running 64 degrees, 4120 CFS, 5-6 clarity, and some clouds in the sky in the morning. They had 42 fish by lunch, and ended up catching a releasing 90 bass by the end of the day. Nash gets the award for handling the ribbing he gets from everyone, and dishing it back with ease.............

June 28: Took brother-in-laws Mike Dean of Sister and Gary Barnett of Bellingham, Wa. today. It was 55 in Fossil at 5 AM, 70 at the river, 62.2 degree water, flowing 4060 CFS, 5-6 clarity and clear. Mike caught the first fish at 9:48 AM we launched at 9:30 on a Half-DayTrip. They ended up with 34 fish in 5 hours of fishing, and Mike caught 14 fish. Lots of fish were lost because they didn't get hooked. Remember to drop your rod, and give the fish slack when you first feel the bite so they can get up the bait to the hook..................
YOUR BASSIN' BUDDYS,
Steve and Linda Fleming
Mah-Hah Outfitters

June 24 and 25: I took Father/Son Team of Ron and Josh Wilder of Granite Falls and Lake Stevens, Wa. to the Lake today. They wanted to do the Lake, and it's only a $50 per person extra charge. Great guys and good fishermen, and they had 17 bass boated by lunch. They ended up the day with 41 bass and 19 bluegill. Every time they would target the bluegill they would catch a couple. The river was running 6170, but the Lake was 67.2 degrees, and the spinnerbiats were working good.
Bill took them to the river on the 24th and they boated 25 smallies. Josh said he had a hard time dropping the rod as soon as the fish would bite, and they ripped lots of tails off, but not so many came in. They had a good time, and the river was running 6370 CFS, 60.7 degrees about 11 AM, 7-8 clarity, and fishing was okay. Great guys and good fishermen.......................

June 24: I took my boss, Linda, 541-763-3579, and good friends and newlyweds Joe and Ginnie Beers of Pendleton. It was Joe and Gennie's first time, and Linda's second trip of the year. Conditions were good for big fish, 6370 CFS, 60.7 degree water at 11 AM, 7-8 clarity, slight overcast in the morning, but clear in the afternoon. Linda caught the first fish at 9:30 AM. She was wearing her new pink fishing hat with a bass on the side of it and the wording is - "Girls Can't Catch What?". The first fish of the day was a 20" X 14" Master Angler smallmouth with a little bleeding on the bottom of the tail. They are just going on there beds and she boated a very nice one in a hole she had caught a master angler once before. We had 10 fish by lunch, and after lunch Linda caught a 20 1/2" X 14" Master Angler smallmouth bass in a hole I caught two on two casts last year. Great day for LInda, two Master Angler smallmouth bass, and the group ended up with 23 fish. It's nice when you can get your Boss into some big fish..................

June 23 and 24: Guide Denny Goodwin took a good fishermen from Camas, Wa, David Jackim. They fished the river the first day, 6300 CFS, clear day, and David caught the first fish at 7:50 AM. He ended up with 11 fish by the end of the day.
June 24 David decided he wanted to go to the Lake, and He caught 27 largemouth bass using a spinnerbait all day. It was 82 at the Lake in the afternoon, and they had a good time fishing and catching.
Hope David comes back, he's a good fishermen............

June 22: I got to do one of those Family Trips: grandpa-Kevin Howard, and grandsons - Max and Ryan Mediola. Kevin is a great granddad and we had lots of fun on the Private Lake. The Lake was 73.5 water temp at noon, 80 air degrees at noon, clear, 2-3 clarity. Max caught the first fish at 9:45 AM and it was "Game ON". Kevin put on a valiant effort at the end, but lost out by one fish. It was Max 31, Kevin 30, and Ryan-17 for a total of 77 fish. Kevin caught some nice largemouth on a spinnerbait, but Max still ended up with the MOST. Great kids, and a trip to remember. Oh, it was 101 at 3 PM when we called it quits..................

Lots of our guests stay at Wilson Ranches Retreat, 1-866-763-2227, which is one of the BEST Bed and Breakfasts in the State. It is run by Phil and Nancy Wilson, who are outstanding folks, and 5th Generation Wheeler County residents. Anyway, Nancy wants to know what the biggest catch of the year is: it was May 23rd, guide Bill Berray caught an 18 footer. That's right I was helping Bill launch his boat and it got away from me, so a brand new first trip on the water 18' Clackacraft Max left Service Creek with out anyone in it. Long story short, we launched my boat in record time, and within a mile Bill was boarding his boat with the speed and grace of a older buccaneer. Thank God! (Steve had to ask for forgiveness at the lunch blessing for some of his first comments when the boat took off).

June 20: Took a wonderful Father/Son team of Bob Hartke and Bryan of Bend. 22 years ago Bob did my first Worker's Compensation Audit, and this year he did his first trip with me. Great guys, but tough water. It was running 8040 CFS (not very high, but up from Saturday's 6700), 55.7 water temp, 54 air degrees at 8 AM, 8-9 clarity, and very clear. Bob caught the first fish at 8:50 and we had 2 fish by lunch. They ended up the day with 10 smallies, and the river clearing up and going down.

June 19 Happy Father's Day, and I took the day off......

June 18: Got to do one of those Family Half-Day trips. Great Folks: Grandpa Bob Phillips; sons J.W., Justin, and Travis; and grandson Carson,541-815-7141. Great bunch and they caught 45 fish. Carson caught the biggest, a Trophy 18" (he teased Grandpa about it, but I think Grandpa was the proudest). Grandpa Bob caught the most with 19 fish. He had guide Denny Goodwin, and Denny knows how to get lots of fish. The river was running 6720 CFS, 7-8 clarity, 57.5 degrees at 11 AM, and a rainy day. I think it's all about families and memories, and I am lucky because I was there with them.............

June 17: I took longtime client Larry Jessen and friend Eric Hall out to the Private Largemouth Lake. Larry is a fly fishermen, and has been coming up for years.....so he got a treat. Eric caught the first fish at 9:10 AM and they had 27 fish by lunchtime. They ended up the day with 69 fish, and Larry caught 33 on flies. Boy did we have fun......

Denny took the Burrows Family, Duane and Darbie and their grandson, to the river for a Half-Day Trip. It was running 7120 CFS, 8-9 clarity, and they were new fishermen. That's a tough combination, but Denny got them into 7 fish, and they had a good time, and got to see lots of scenery on their 10 mile trip.

June 16: I took another wonderful Father/Daughter Team, Hans and Charlotte Feige, on the river. It was a tough day to fish the river, but a great day out. The river was running 8080 CFS, 7-8 clarity, 54.7 water temp, and clear blue sky day. We only ended up with a couple of fish, but Charlotte challenged me on Russo Rapids, and I cooled her down. What a GREAT gal, and good sport....................

June 15: I took Rocky Mountain Elk high bidders Stan Kunzman and Fred Cavanaugh, 541-447-6977, on their auction trip today. These two guys are the kind of folks you could take 365 days in a row, and enjoy every day. The river was running 9260, 8-9 clarity, clearing skies, 57.5 degree water. Fred caught the first fish at 9:15 AM, and boated a very nice 18 1/2 " Trophy. We only landed 6 fish, but they were good healthy fish. I hope they bid too much again next year.........

June 13: I meet longtime friend Don Miller, his son-in-law Geremy Russell,208-755-1815, and his son Levi Russell for a day on the water. These guys can fish and have caught lots of Master Angler smallmouth bass. The river was running 8930 CFS, 8-9 clarity, 55.8 degree water, 50 air temp at 7 AM, and a clear day. Geremy caught the first fish at 8:32 AM, and followed it up with a Master Angler 21" X 14" shortly there after. We ended up with 14 fish and some nice ones, 4 before lunch and 10 after lunch. Don and Geremy tied at 6 each, and young Levi got 2. Good job, and a GREAT family of fishermen.............

June 12: I took friend and Master Angler Todd Mulvaney, his daughter Ellie, and friend Rebekah Leone fishing today. The river was too tough so we went to the Private Lake for a day of catching. Rebekah caught the first fish at 8:55 AM and it was "game on" after that. 22 fish were boated and released by lunchtime, and they ended up the day with 61 fish. Todd had the most with 26, and a couple of nice 2 pound + fish. Great Families produce Great trips. Thanks......................

June 11: I took Claude and Josh Fallin to the Private Lake today. The river was running 9580 CFS, and looked too tough. Claude caught the first fish at 8:30, and ended up with a very nice 19" largemouth before the day was over. Josh caught 56 fish and one was a very nice 9 1/2" bluegill. Great folks, and good fishermen on a GREAT Lake. What fun...............

June 9: I took longtime friend Leroy Miller, 503-651-3340, his son Dean, and son-in-law Tobin Cooley on the river today. I meet them at the Condon Airport (Paulling Field), and got them back there by 6:15 so they could fly back to Woodburn. These guys are tough: 10,500 CFS, 8-9 clarity, 52 degree water, clear day. Leroy caught the first fish at 9:45 AM, and ended up the day with 3 fish and a Trophy 18 1/2" beauty. Tough day on the water, but these guys caught fish.

June 8: I took longtime friend and writer Scott Staats, and Steve Brown of Betterwaysproducts.com. Steve handles Rod Wrap, which is on every rod we have. It gives much better grip, feel, and sensitivity to the rods. Try it, you'll like it!! These guys are super fishermen, but we had a high river, 10,900 CFS, 55 degrees, 9 clarity, and overcast skies. I lucked into the first fish at 10:15 AM and we ended up with 7 fish when the day was over. Steve Brown had a monster on, but she finally got into the willows and got off. Great guys, good fishermen.............next time!

June 6 and 7: I took fly fishermen who had booked a two-day trip in one-man pontoon boats. The river was over 10,500 CFS and there was no way they would have been able to control the boats and catch fish. So, we went out to the Private Largemouth/bluegill Lake and kick some bass. These guys: Tony Lanham, Brian McKay, and Zach Green are catching machines. The first day they caught over 100 bass and bluegill on flies, and were on top of the world. June 7 the wind came up and held the numbers down, but they still caught fish. Great guys, and I hope they come back again for their annual trip.................

June 5: I took past Two-Day Seminar graduate, Bruce Beall, and his friend Chuck Frank Jr. Bruce has a nice home at Burnt Ranch and he likes to fish for bass. The river was running 10,900 CFS, and not looking good so we went to the Private Largemouth Lake. These guys can fish and caught onto the spinnerbaits, flukes, and wacky senkos real fast. They boated over 100 fish and Bruce got a nice 18" largemouth, with most of the fish in the one -two pound range. Great guys and action all day long. Those smallmouth better watch out if these guys come back................

June 4: Guide Denny Goodwin took James Wishart out to the Private Lake cause the river was running 12,700 CFS and not looking good. He's good fishermen and caught a very nice 20 1/2" largemouth bass, and lots of other bass. He and Denny had a great time together and James is coming back for another trip. You smallmouth better look out.......................................

June 3: I took Howard and Ben Carsman, and friend Eric Weber out for a fish catching day on the lake. The river was running 15,600 CFS and looking real tough. The Lake was 60.5 degrees, 3-4 clarity, and a beautiful clear day. Eric caught the first fish at 8:30 AM, and they ended up the day with 79 nice fish. Howard had the most, 33, and the biggest 18". We thank God everyday we have to use the Lake for such a wonderful backup plan.............

June 1, 2011: took a GREAT group of friends out today. The river was 9800 CFS, and dirty. We opted for the Private Lake (our back-up plan), and did we make the right decision. There were four fly fishermen, and they did well: Terry Pleasley, John Woo, Rick Wise, and David Fleming (no relation-he's smart and a good fishermen). The three gear fishermen did well also, Nancy Tuttle, Laura Dimmler, and Bob Giusti. The Lake was running 63.5 degrees and the fish were getting active. The fly fishermen averaged 35 fish per fishermen, and spent the afternoon top water popper fishing. We boated two bluegill 9 1/2 inches long. What a blast! A big storm came in about 3:30, and after it pasted the fishing was top notch from 4 to 5 PM. The winner was Bob Giusti with 38 fish. The guides Donnie Bird and Denny Goodwin, and myself hope to see these folks again. We had a GREAT day of catching.

The river is going down, and getting cleaner. The water temp was 53.5 degrees Tuesday afternoon, and if it stay at this temp the "dinks" (10 1/2" and smaller fish - 90% of the smallmouth population) will become active. Good News-more fish, Bad News harder to get a big fish.

May 31: Took long time clients Todd and Maria Mulvaney (503-829-2394), Jim Lichvoli from Holly, MI, Traci Mordell and her son, William, from Windsor, CO, and Jerry Barber from Spray, OR. It was a tough day of fishing on the river, 10,700 CFS, 50.5 degree water, 47 degree air temp, overcast, 9 clarity (ouch), but we thought we could get some big fish. The first fish came to Jerry Barber at 9:30 Am, and we had about 8 fish by lunch. Ended up the day with 15 fish, and Todd boated a nice Trophy 19 1/2" in the afternoon. Todd also had the most fish with 7. Tough day, but great folks.
YOUR BASSIN' BUDDYS,
Steve and Linda Fleming

May 27: The river went up a couple of thousand higher than yesterday and I opted to take the fishermen, Jay Willard, out to the back up plan, a Private Largemouth Lake. Jay was a very good fishermen and boated and released 49 fish by lunchtime, and ended up the day at 3:30 with 73 largemouth, mostly 1 and 2 pounders, but a couple of bigger fish. The river was 10,900 CFS, and raining in the morning, but by 11 AM the sun was out at the Lake and it was a very pleasant day.

May 26: Had three good friends from The Dalles, OR: Alex Hattenhauer (Master Angler from previous trips), Jeff Kortge, 541-980-8500, and Sean Corbin, 541-980-9663. The river had dropped to it's lowest since the May 16th high of over 30,000 and was running 9630 CFS, 49 degrees, clear skies, 8-0 clarity. We had some clarity at the bank, and decided to "go for it". The first fish came at 8:20 AM to Jeff and was 17". Sean caught a Master Angler right after that and boated two more during the day: 20 1/2" X 13 1/2", 21 1/2" X 14, 21 1/2" X 14". WE NOW HAVE THREE ANGLERS THAT HAVE BOATED THREE MASTER ANGLERS IN ONE DAY. GOOD JOB SEAN! Jeff boated a Trophy 18 1/2", and a Master Angler 20 3/4" X 13". This was one of the BEST days of the year, and when the water gets back down it should be GOOD. We only boated 8 smallies, but they were BIG.

May 23 and 24: Longtime friends and clients Nat and Sam Benson of Puyallup brought two other friends with them, Dennis Guesford and Dr. Dale Clark. Great bunch of guys! The river was running 11,600 CFS, 9-10, 49.6 degrees, overcast, and air temp 47 at the put-in. First fish came at 9:45 AM to Dale. These guys fished hard in very tough water and ended up with lots of bites, and 7 fish on May 23.
Nat and Sam wanted to do the river again, and Dennis and Dale wanted to go out and catch lots of fish. So, Nat and Same went to the river with guide, Bill Berray, and caught 5 bass, on higher water than the day before. Great job for sticking in there guys. Dennis and Dale went with guide Denny Goodwin to the private Largemouth Lake and caught 50+ fish, with one very nice 20 1/2' X 14" largemouth in the mix.
YOUR BASSIN' BUDDYS,
Steve and Linda Fleming
Mah-Hah Outfitters

May 20,2011: The river was high and dirty this morning, but at least the Sheriff OPENED the river at 10 AM for floaters and fishing. We passed on the river and went to the Private Lake was a Catching Trip. Two friends from Bend, Lonny Clark and Monte Moss joined me today for a beautiful day on the Lake. It was their first trip and they boated and released 42 largemouth bass by lunch, and finished the day with 86 largemouth. They had a great time learning the new wacky Senko technique = lots of fish and fun.
WHEN WILL THE RIVER BE FISHABLE? My best guess will be Monday when the water falls into the 10,000's or less. We have caught big fish on a high falling river, and it was clear enough Friday afternoon at the bank to get some fish (if you could find some slow water). Good Luck, and please let the big ones go to make more bass. Thanks!
YOUR BASSIN' BUDDYS,
Steve and Linda Fleming
Mah-Hah Outfitters

May 16: Took longtime friends Justin Russell and Kevin Steinetz of Pendleton, OR out to the Private Largemouth Lake today. The river was running 28,400 CFS, going up, and dirty. The river launches in Wheeler County have been closed, and the river is slowly headed back down. It may be a couple of weeks before the fishing returns for the average angler, and the flow drops down to 7,000 CFS. Justin boated the first bass at 9:40 AM and they had 35 fish by lunchtime. They ended up with 68 largemouth and a few bluegill on top of that. We worked a few different techniques and caught some nice fish. We came back to Fossil through Twickenham, and got to witness first hand some severe flooding in the fields in that area.

May 15: Took a local ranch owner, Brad Nydahl and his friend Jeff out today to the lake. The river was running 16,700 CFS and headed up fast. It was raining, overcast, and generally nasty. Jeff boated the first fish at 8:35 AM and they had 34 bass at lunchtime. They ended the day with 71 largemouth and a few bluegill on top of that. Rained most of the day, but Brad and Jeff hung in there and kept catching fish. The local ranchers were busy pulling their pumps and electric motors up and away from the rising river.

May 14: This was a Special Father/Daughter trip with Roger and Alena Jarvis from Ridgefield, WA. I've been taking Roger since 2006, and Alena on and off since 2008. It's fun to watch good parents at work and great kids grow into wonderful young adults. The river was going up and posting a flow of 10,700 CFS, so we went to our Guaranteed Fish Catching backup plan-Private Largemouth Lake. Alena is a fast learner and caught the first fish at 9:05 AM. They had 26 fish by lunch, and ended the day with 56 largemouth. Each catching some nice fish, and a few bluegill for extra fun. Roger's got himself a great fishing partner in Alena, and she boated the most fish with 31. Nice job Alena!

May 13: Took two longtime friends, since the Sixth Grade, Dwayne Kufhak, 503-703-5067, and Darrel Smith, 503-516-7628. They booked their trip after the Portland Sportsman Show, and were hoping to come up and get a big fish or two and maybe at least 8 fish each. Well, the river had other ideas! It had been inching it's way up the last week, but the clarity and temperature were not going down. We looked at the water Friday morning, and decided only 3-5 fish for the day, but I put a Fish-On Guarantee (no fish next trip free). They decided to do the river, it was 10,400 CFS, 47.8 degrees, 8-9 clarity, on an overcast morning. Darrell caught the first fish at 8:30 AM, a nice Master Angler Smallmouth measuring 21" X 14". Late in the afternoon Dwayne boated and released a very nice 18" Trophy. They only boated 3 fish, but two of the fish were worth the trip. Nice going, and "thanks" for taking a chance on the river.
YOUR BASSIN' BUDDYS,
Steve and Linda Fleming
Mah-Hah Outfitters

May 9-11: Took the GREAT Father/Son Team of Dan and Jay Hawkey for a Three-Day overnight trip at the Lake. We were supposed to go to the river, but it was 10,100 CFS and not sure what we would get the next couple of days. Hindsight, it would have been "okay", the river was very clean against the bank and running high 40's to low 50.7 in the afternoon. But we went on a Catching Trip instead of a fishing trip. The first day was slow with Jay getting the first fish at 9 AM, 36 fish boated and released by noon, and ended up with 66 largemouth and a few bluegill.

May 10 was a strange day, Jay caught the first fish at 6:45 AM and the last 2 fish at 8:15 PM. They had 25 fish at lunch, and only boated 2 fish after lunch till about 3:30. Then the fish got hungry and they caught 73 largemouth from 3:30 to 8:15 PM with 30 minutes out to eat lunch. What an afternoon, they ended up with 100 even!! The last day Jay caught the first fish at 9:30 AM, and they ended up with 68 fish by 3 PM (when the wind really started to blow).
They ended up with 234 fish for three days, with lots of GREAT action. It's great having a fish catching backup plan with the river being so unpredictable this year. The river was fishable Wednesday evening, but will blow up sometime next week, and may get as high as 20,000 CFS. YUK!

May 7, 2011: Took the Husband/Wife Team of Gary and Heidi Blaser or Portland on a trip today. Heidi has boated and released two Master Angler fish in the last four years, but we didn't add another one to the list today. The water was 46.7 degrees, air 49 degrees, overcast, 8700 CFS, 7-8 clarity, and rising river. Gary boated the first fish at 9:09 AM and we had 4 fish by lunch with one real nice fish in the mix. We fished through four major fronts in the afternoon and some high winds, but couldn't get another smallie to the boat. Tough afternoon to fish with the weather and the river rising fairly fast.

May 5: Took friends Darin Stegemoller, 503-460-7723 and Master Angler many times over, Doug Rauen, today. Water temp 46.7, 41 degrees air temp, 6910 CFS headed up, overcast, 5-6 clarity. Doug caught the first fish at 8:25 AM and we had 9 fish by lunch with Darin boating a very nice 19" Trophy smallmouth bass. the water temp rose to 48 after lunch, but we only ended up with 5 fish in the afternoon. lots of frontal activity and the fish shut off. Doug did well with 10 fish, but not monsters in the bag. The water temp at the take-out was 49.4.

May 5, 2011: The second of two days with longtime friends John Nesby, 541-317-8992, and Larry Crist, 208-465-5849. The river went up, 7360 CFS, 43.5 degrees-down, clear morning, 40 air degrees at the river, 5 clarity. The first fish came at 11:45 AM to John, and at lunch we had 2 fish. The water warmed up to 44.7 at lunch, and 46.9 by 4 PM, and the fish turned on. John boated and released a very nice Trophy 19" smallie, and we ended up with 13 fish.

May 4: First day for Joh Nesby and Larry Crist. It was 40 at the river, the water was 45.3, 6830 CFS, 4-5 clarity, and some clouds. The first fish came to Larry at 9:15 AM, and we had 3 fish at lunch. After lunch the water warmed and Larry boated a huge Master Angler smallmouth bass, 22" X15". Got to LOVE those Hildenbrandt spinner baits. They ended up with6 fish for the day.

May 2: Took long time friends, Dave Fronapel and RedIler, 541-932-4207, or Mt. Vernon, OR on our annual trip. It was 41 degrees in Fossil at 5 AM, 42 at the river, and the water was a smoking 47.4 degrees at 6:50, 6630 CFS, 5-6 clarity, overcast morning. Red caught the first fish at 7:50 AM, and it was the biggest fish so far this year, 22" X 15" toad, on a Spinner bait (Hilldenbrandt). we had 5 fish by lunch, and it rained for an hour. After lunch the weather evened out and they boated another 13 fish for a total of 18. Red also boated a Trophy 18 1/2" fish on a grub. Best day so far for two anglers this year. Water came up to 47.8 right after lunch, and then inched up another degree late in the afternoon.

April 30 and May 1: Took two cousin: Mark Vandehey and Greg Brown of Hillsboro and Vancouver, Wa respectively. Great guys and fishermen.

April 30: It was 38 degrees at the river, water was 43.9, 7060 CFS, 7-8 clarity, and very clear out. Mark caught the first fish at 8:30 AM, and landed a Steelhead on a fly about 9 AM. they had 3 fish by lunch and ended up with 9 smallies for the day and 1 steelhead (returning fish). Water got up to 45.9 in the afternoon, and the river got clearer.

May 1: It was a colder morning with 32 degrees at the put-in, river 45.5 at 6:45 AM, 6890 CFS, 5-6 clarity, and very clear morning. The first fish did not come till 1:25 PM by Mark, and another returning steelhead about 3 PM. They ended up the day with 10 bass and Greg was the winner with 6 bass. Great guys and they stayed with it, and started hitting the fish in the afternoon.

April 29: took Steve Fletcher, and Doug (541-417-0021) and Logan Staub or Lakeview, OR. Doug and logan are super Father/Son Team, and Doug boated and released the first fish at 10:45 AM. It was 36 at the river, 43.5 water temp, 7-8 clarity, 7360 CFS, and clear. They had 3 fish at lunch (1 each), and ended up with 11 smallies. Doug boated a nice 18" Trophy in the afternoon. Great day and GREAT guys.

April 28: Took a wonderful Husband/wife Team of Ron and Lori Barber of St. Helens, and longtime friend and many times past Master Angler Steve Fletcher today. It was42 degrees at the put-in, 45.3 degree water at 7 AM, 7100 CFS, 6-7 clarity and overcast. First fish came at 8:45 AM to Ron, and we had 4 by lunchtime. The sky cleared and the temperature rose, and they ended up with 8 fish for the day with Ron and Lori tying at 3 each. Had more fish on, but not on the hook. Great day with the water temp reaching 46.7, the highest I've recorded this year. April 23, 2011: Took past Master Angler and Father Son Team of Mike and Mark Sliper today. It was another beautiful day on the water. It was 38 at Service Creek, water was 43 degrees at 7 AM, 7900 CFS, 7-8 clarity, and a very clear morning. The fish was slow in the morning with a couple of very lite bites, and the first fish came to Mark at 11:45 AM. They had 2 fish at lunch, but ended up the day with 11 smallies. A couple of nice ones, but not the big ones. The water temp topped out at 46.2 in the afternoon, and the river was dropping and getting clearer. Looks like well have some good water for a while, we've waited too long for it.

April 22: Took friends Scott Hagee of Pheasant Valley Wines in Hood River, 541-806-0049, and friend and grape grower, Dennis Beck of Dallesport, WA. We went to Service Creek to check the water, and it was 40.2, 8-9 clarity, 9190 CFS, but a clear morning with 38 degree air temp. I told them I couldn't put a Fish-on Guarantee (if you don't catch a fish the next trip is free) on the trip, they might only get 1-3 fish, and we should think about going over to the Private largemouth Lake at no extra charge. These wine guys are used to taking chances, and wanted to go for the Gusto. Frst fish came at 10:15 AM to Scott, and we had one fish by lunchtime. Absolutely beautiful day on the water, and they had the river to themselves. Scott brought along a special Syrah (2007) and he and Dennis enjoyed some fine wine with their pot roast Dutch-oven meal. It was Dennis's grapes and Scott's wine making skills combined into this great wine. After lunch Scott tied into a big female, and he boated a very nice 20 3/4" X 13", Master Angler Smallmouth bass. You got to love those Hilldenbrandt Spinnerbaits and Pheasant Valley Syrah, what a combination. Ended up with 3 smallies, and the water rose to 43.6 degrees.

April 21: Great day with long-time friend and Master Angler Dan Hawkey, Russ Danielson, and Gene Callan. We went to the river, but it was running 9360 CFS, 40.2 degrees, very overcast, 9 clarity, and just didn't look good at all. We decided to use the Private Lake. Russ caught the first fish at 9:15 AM and we had 7 fish at lunch. No sun all day, and lots of wind=tough fishing. But, they dug in and ended up with 23 largemouth at the end of the day, and Russ had the Most with 9. One windy-cool-day, but good guys and fishermen.

April 18: Took friend and client Dike Dame, out to the Lake today. The river was running over 13,000, and he wanted to fish the Lake anyway. We got there at 7:30 and Dike boated and released the first fish at 8:30. He had 10 fish by lunch, but the wind blew al morning and was it cold. He fished a little longer, and the wind picked up. So we pulled the plug with 13 fish. Lots of sun, but lots of cold wind.

April 17: Dike Dame went to the Lake at 10 AM, and boated and released the first fish at 10:55 AM he had 6 fish by lunch and ended up with 25 fish, and one was a fat 18 1/2 inches long. The Lake was 49.4 degrees and it ended up 55.4 air temp in the afternoon. The river was running 9770 CFS and going up. Yuk!

April 15: Took three good friends from The Dalles: Scott Mengis, Greg Weast, and Ron Nelson, 541-993-1888. It was 41 degrees at the river, the water was 41, 6610 CFS, overcast, 6-7 clarity, and the sun never came out. Ron caught the first fish at 10:40. We had one fish by lunch, and ended up with 3, but Ron caught a nice Trophy at 19 inches long. Tough day on the water, tough guys, one nice fish. We had a few fish on, but they were only on the tails of the baits. tough cold water bite. Cold water for April 15, more like March 1, but we have over 100% snowpack and that means good water in August.

April 13: Took friends Mike Sliper and David Faxon both of McMinnville, OR today. Great guys, and great stories. It was 42 at the river, water was 43.7, 6770 CFS, 6-7 clarity, and overcast. First fish was 8:11 and Mike boated and released it. We had 3 fish by 10 AM, but ended up with 11 fish for the day. Three severe fronts came through and the fish were not eating much when the fronts showed up. The bite was lite all day and most all the fish were caught on finesse techniques. Thanks goodness they were good fishermen.

April 12: Took the Father/Son Team of Ed Larson, 541-546-3034, of Culver, OR, and son, Mark Rofnson or Lake Elsinore, CA today. It was 32 at the put-in, water was 43.7, 6830 CFS, 7-8 clarity, and fairly clear weather. Ed boated the first fish a sucker at 9:15, and then boated a bass in the same hole at 9:20. They had 3 fish by lunch, and ended up the day with 14 smallies. It was a dead tie at 7 and 7, but Ed had a 19" and a 20 3/4" X 14" in his seven. Great day on the water with temps reaching 60 in the afternoon, and the water warmed up to 46.4. Nothing like sunshine and warmer water, and Hildenbrandt Spinnerbaits by Yakima Baits. That's our third Master Angler smallmouth bass this year on a spinner bait.

April 11: Took longtime client and friend, Don Miller from Mt. Vernon, OR, and his friend Carl Stout of John Day, OR, 541-575-1827. It was a cool overcast morning with 42.6 air temp, 43.8 water temp, 6830 CFS, 7-8 clarity. Con caught the first fish at 8:45 AM, but we still only had one fish by lunch. Carl boated a nice Master Angler smallie, 20" X 13" late in the afternoon, and we ended up with four fish. All nice size fish and one big'on.

April 8: Took long time clients Doug and Alex Hattenhauer from the Dalles, and their friend Tanny Wallace. We went down to the river, but it was running 9970 CFS, 1' clarity, and 39.7 degrees. Any one of the three could have been problematic, but all three and the 39.7 degree water made it a "no go". We went over to the Private Lake, and Alex caught the first fish at 8:30 AM and we had 26 fish by lunch. A cold front came in and things got tough. They ended up the day with 33 fish. Fair day of catching, but Mother Nature is still in control.

April 3: Took long time client and friend, Dike Dame, out to the Private Largemouth Lake today. The river was flowing 16,800 CFS and very dirty. The Lake was 48.9 degrees and the air was 33.2 degrees at 7 AM. Caught the first fish at 8:30 AM and Dike had boated and released 13 fish by Lunchtime. He ended up the day with 35 largemouth and biggest was a nice 19" fish. The water topped out at 53.5 in the shallows and the fish were turning on in the afternoon. The air temp was in the low 60's and the sun shined on us all day long. Felt good!
The river will start dropping, and it's water is warming it might be fishable by Wednesday, either way the Lake is a GREAT backup and doesn't see 100 rods a year.April 1: No joke we went. The day popped open so we decided to run our Official Annual SOLV (Stop Oregon Litter and Vandalism) Trip. We have been signed on with SOLV for about 15 years now to work on the Service Creek to Twickenham section of the river. There is no monetary income, but the satisfaction of cleaning the river is enough. Guide Bill Berray, and my boss, Linda launched about 7:30 AM, the air temp was 43, water was 45.6 degrees, 11,500 CFS, 9 clarity, very clear sky. The water warmed up to 48.3 by 10:20 AM, and peaked out at 48.6 at 3:30 Pm. Even though there is snow melt, the ground was very warm from the sun shining for a couple of days, and it warms the water up fast. They did fish some, but no fish. But: three road signs and 4X4 posts, 55 gallon plastic barrel, lots of pig wire, tons of plastic bottles, etc. I went to the dump today and the garbage weigh in at 120 pounds. We have been picking stuff up every trip, but didn't have room for some of the big items. Additionally we would stop the boat and work the banks for trash.
Fishing the river, will take a while for the river to come down. It is running 16,500 CFS this evening. Yuk!

March 28, 2011: It was a beautiful day on the river with three generations of fishermen: Don Miller, Jeremy Russell, 208-755-1815, and Brandon Russell. Don is from Mt. Vernon, OR, and a long time friend and fishermen of Mah-Hah Outfitters. Jeremy and Brandon are from Hayden, Idaho, and Jeremy has caught a lot of Master Angler fish with us over the past few years. We still talk about the HUGE smallmouth bass he caught a couple of years ago, but part of it's tail was missing, and it still came in at 22 inches in length. He was the first to catch a fish by a particular tree, so we call it the Jeremy Russell Tree. Today as we were fishing across from the tree, and we talked again about the big fish and the day it was caught a couple of year ago. But, today Jeremy caught another HOG on the small bait on the same tree and this one measured, 21 1/2" X 15". He is the only fishermen to catch a Master Angler smallmouth on that tree in 22 years. Soooo, first time good luck, but the second time-God given talent. Nice job Jeremy, and thanks for another memorable trip. It was 35 degrees at the river at 9 AM, water was 39 degrees, 6-7 clarity, clear, 3990 CFS up a little from yesterday. First fish came at 4:45 PM with Don Miller opening the Fish Jar, and Jeremy's HOG came at 5:15. The sun was out all day, and the water temp came up to 42.6.

March 24: Fished the last of three cold days on the river with brothers Roger Jarvis from Battleground, Wa and Larry Jarvis of Havre, Montana. We've always put water temperature at the CORE of our fishing experiences in the late winter/early spring, and the lack there of makes it tough. Today was 43 air temp at the river, water 41 degrees, 4040 CFS and dropping, 4-5 clarity, and cloudy skies. It quickly became stormy and oen big cold front moved in. They fished hard all day long, but only one fish was caught at 4:30 PM on a center-pin float and jig, by Larry. Because of the low pressure front we fished Carolina rigs on the bottom very slowly trying to run the biats by their nose, but to no avail. The water tried to warm up to 42, and just made it by late afternoon. The frontal activity was intensifying at the take-out and it was snowing/raining most everywhere in the Twickenham area. One very cold day on the water.

March 23: Brothers Roger and Larry Jarvis braved their second day on the water. It was 36 air degrees at 8 AM, 41 degree water, 4440 CFS and dropping, 5-6 clarity, some clearing in the sky. The sky quickly changed and a couple of fronts blew (30 MPH) through in the afternoon, but Larry did get a fish at 4:20 in the afternoon, to save us from a total skunk. It was caught on a grub and jighead.

March 22: The first day for brother Roger and Larry Jarvis on their annual trip. Over the years they have boated 10+ Master Angler smallmouth at this time of the year, and hopes were high. It was 32 degrees at the river, water running 41 degrees, 4480 CFS, 5-6 clarity, on a clear sky morning. The first fish came on a crankbait at 2:20 in the afternoon and was caught by Roger. We ended up the windy day with 4 smallmouth bass, and a nice 12 pound carp hooked in the dorsal fin and fought for almost 10 minutes. The water warmed up to 43.5 after lunch and the air temp was 54 degrees. Roger was the leader with 3 bass. Tough water temp and very windy after lunch, made for a tough day. When Roger showed up he brought me an Air Force Extreme Cold Weather Mask, and we all laughed and I left it at home. Once the wind came up this afternoon (very cold wind), and the cold weather over the next two days- made me wish I had it with me to try out.

March 16: Larry Jarvis from Havre, Montana and his son Richard Jarvis in school at Moscow, Idaho came to fish for three days. They ended up fishing for only two days because of the cold weather and the river blew out the second day (went over 9000 CFS). the Private Lake, water temp was a cool 43 degrees, good clarity, and overcast. We would have the wind blow us all over the Lake all day, and watch it snowing or raining all around us (but not on us). Richard caught the first largemouth of the year at 9:05 AM, and his Dad followed with another one right away. But it was late in the afternoon before we boated the laast and thrid fish of the day. Richard caught the first cold water largemouth bass on a center-pin set up, ever caught. tough to do on a windy day. Nice job Richard. The Lake is too cold to have much luck, and needs some sunshine to warm it's water. The weather forecast for March 17 was not good and it was cold and blowing in Fossil the next morning. WE voted unanimously to cancel the last day of the three. Burr is it cold out there in the wind.

March 15: Larry Jarvis and his son Richard came to fish. It was 46 degrees at the river, 42 degree water, 4570 CFS, 8 clarity, and overcast. Richard caught the first fish at 11:50 AM and he also caught the last one for a total of two smallmouth bass. Not bad for his first trip under tough conditions. The wind blew down on us, and made fishing tough. Looking at all the rain clouds up river, the river may blow out tomorrow.
YOUR BASSIN' BUDDYS,
Steve and Linda Fleming
Mah-Hah Outfitters
PO Box 428
108 W. 1st Street
Fossil, OR 97830
(toll free) 971-533-5733
fax: 1-541-763-3579
website: www.johndayriverfishing.com
e-mail: mho.bassinbuddy@yahoo.com  
 

March 5 & 6: We held our Second Two-Day Smallmouth seminar at River's Edge Bed and Breakfast on the banks of the John Day River. Great group, and lots of stories. We will hold next years seminar on March 25 and 26, 2012. We "sold out" this year and last year, but we are signing folks up now for 2012, and can only take 13 participants.

March 7: Today was a super day on the water with two GREAT fishermen: Bruce Belles the owner of Clackacraft Drift Boats, the BEST driftboats on the market; and Captain Manuel Torrez of Island Point Lodge in Petersburg, Alaska. We've had lots of super trips in the past and these two guys caught the FIRST smallmouth bass on a center-pin setup three years ago. BASS ANGLER carried a great article on our first trip in their December 2010 issue. Well, that was then and this is now. It was 42 degrees at the river and the water was about 44 degrees, clear day, 2970 CFS, 6-7 clarity . The first fish, a steelhead came at 11:09 and Bruce caught a very nice native about 25" long. Along about 1:09 the FIRST SMALLMOUTH BASS of the year came into the boat, and was caught by Steve Fleming. Go figure (even a blind squirrel gets an acorn once in a while)! There is no more to report, except the Seafood Chowder that Captain Manuel made for us was the absolute best ever. Thanks Manny!

March 8: Captain Manuel Torrez and I went to the river in a blizzard, and it was snowing even harder at the river. I looked and Manny, and said I don't want to fish in a snow storm. And he said he gets enough snow in Alaska. So, I wimped out and got caught up on lots of lots of tackle sorting and cleaning. Captain Manuel Torrez will be at the Redmond Show Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. So stop in and see him this weekend.

March 9: Super day on the water! Three very good fishermen: Daug Rauen, 503-347-3977; John Wisener, 541-389-2568; and Scott Staats a writer from Prineville. It was 33 in Fossil at 5 AM, 42 at the river, water was 44 degrees, 2550 CFS, 4-5 for clarity, and very bright and sun shining. The first fish came at noon on Doug's line, and was a 13 1/2" bass. We had 5 fish by lunch (12:30), and ended up the day with 17 bass and one huge steelhead (35"). Doug hooked and released a huge native male steelhead that measured 35" long, what a fight! John then boated a nice Trophy bass, 18" long. But Doug stole the day with a monster Master Angler smallmouth bass, 22" X 14 1/2". We caught everything on crankbaits, the soft plastics were just not working. We also hooked a few fish that were only on for a second or two.
March 11, 12, and 13 Linda and I will be at the Eastern Oregon Sprotsman Show in Pendleton. The show is at the Convention Center at the Pendleton Roundup Fairgrounds. If you are in the area, please stop by adn say "hello". Have a GREAT weekend fishing, be on the water most of the season starting Monday. Thanks for practicing "Catch and Release"!
YOUR BASSIN' BUDDYS,
Steve and Linda Fleming
Mah-Hah Outfitters

February 2:  took Captain Manuel Torrez and his friend Jim out again today.  They needed to get on the road early so we went up in the Spray area and pulled a 5 mile section. It was 10 degrees in Fossil at 4 AM, and is usually 6 degrees warmer at the river (1000' lower), but there was in inversion around Spray and it was as cold as my freezer (it seemed).  The sun was coming up, and the river didn't look too bad from a distance.  The river was 32 degrees and yes there was ice floating down the river, 2750 CFS and about 700 CFS lower than the day before, but the water was much dirtier.  So one of the forks (North, middle, South) is putting off color water into the main stream.  YUK!  Are you starting to hear the excuses, yes we got SKUNKED and very cold.  When you lifted the line out of the water it was encased in ice.
Those of you that have followed the early trips will remember Captain Manny catches fish, usually big fish, but sometimes the conditions are just too adverse.  He'll be back the first of March - LOOK OUT FISH!
The river should stabilize in the next couple of days with temps in the high 20's at night, and mid 40's during the day.  Steelhead will be in the sections above Spray.
We're leaving for the Eugene Sportsman Show, February 5, 6, and 7; and then the Portland Show February 9-13.  Stop by our booth and say "hello". 

February 1: It seems like a year since I've been on the water, but it's only been a couple of months. Today was the first Research and Development Trip of the year. These are trips that we "green light" and try anything and everything. New and old, right and wrong. Today we were fishing uphill, very cold water, 36 degree water; very cold water green color; with a 6-7 clarity; 20 degree air temperature at the put-in; running 3450 CFS (down from 26,000 the first part of January and the 9th highest since 1932); but a very sunny day. Three GREAT fishermen: Captain Manuel Torrez ( Island Point Lodge, Petersburg, Alaska), his friend Jim Hathaway from University Place, WA; and here's the NEW one, Jake Lewis of Sticklebackbait.com. Okay what is stickleback bait? Well, it's a steelhead catching machine. It is a steelhead catching bait, or candy if you will, that you tip your jighead with. In the case today, it was an articulated jighead that Captain Torrez ties that we added the steelhead candy (sticklebackbait) and caught two beautiful steelhead . For our test Captain Torrez fished his jighead without the Stickleback bait and did not catch any fish. Jake was fishing the same jighead, but WITH the Stickleback bait and caught two steelhead. I'M A BELIEVER!! Where can you get this bait? You go through the website: www.sticklebackbait.com and order there. We used the "Jig Tipper" today, but I understand that the "Chrome Candy" catches lots of steelhead on the coastal streams. So, you probably should get a pack of each. I can't wait for good fishing conditions to see how many steelhead we can get with this great bait.

HAPPY BASSIN’ NEW YEAR 2011!!

First things first! Thanks to all of you for a SUPER 2010. It was a scary year at the beginning with the economy, etc., but we ended up booking over 600 client days before it was over. THANKS! We started March 1st with some nice smallmouth bass, and a newly created fly that catches big bass on a fly line. It was a good catching year with 34 Master Angler Smallmouth Bass (20”+), over 50 fishermen joined the 100+ Club by catching more than 100 smallies in one day, and two fishermen joined the 200+ Club (only 11 fishermen have done that in the last 20 years).

The Biggest Fish honors went to longtime client Dan Ross with a 23” X 16 ¼” toad caught on April 27th. The Most Fish honors goes to Jack Freeman, for his efforts on August 15th with 223 smallies; 218 on August 16th; and “only” 102 on August 17th. Jack is 10 years old and the grandson of another 200+ Club Member, Dike Dame (209 on August 16). This Grandfather/Grandson team boated and released 1051 smallies on a Three-Day overnight trip. Super effort, and a joy to watch from the guide’s seat! The first Master Angler fish came March 8th, and the last monster fish came November 3rd. The first 100+ day was late this year (high waters the first of June) July 7th, and the last was September 13th.

There was a lot learned again this year. The use of a number of new techniques at the right time also produced some great results. We had over 7 double hook ups on one lure with two hooks in August alone. Some of the newly created flies were really turning the fish on.

What’s it gonna cost this year? The SAME as the last five years: $225 per person (based on two or more fishermen) for fully guided day trips and children 13 and under are still ½ price; $195 per person per day for the one-man pontoon boat overnight trips and $325 per person per day for fully guided overnight trips. We “sold out” the overnight trips the last three seasons, so call early for your trip dates.

BIG SAVINGS: 5% DISCOUNT for those that book and pay their deposits before February 14th, 2011. Please, call soon with your dates, and SAVE some $$$$.

Thanks again for your past patronage!

2010 Fishing Reports

June13: Bill March, Shawnee, Kansas, 913-268-0873, took his last of six days of trips. The river was "blown out", and closed for a week, Wheeler County Sheriffs department authority. Someone got a boat stuck under a bridge between Monument and Kimberly, and it sank (20,000 CFS). That famous Texan, Dr. Phil, would say "what were they thinking?" Anyway guide Bill berray took Bill on his last trip, and got him into a big Master Angler Smallmouth bass, 20 3/4" X 15 1/2". They will start their spawn this week for sure, and she was a big one. It was 41 in Fossil, 66 at 9 AM at the river and the water was 62 degrees, running 6010 CFS, 5-6 clarity, and very clear day. Bill March ended up with 23 fish.

I took longtime friends and brother-in-laws, Dave Holmes and Verne Hodencamp of Prineville. Dave caught the first fish at 8:35 AM and they had 8 fish boated by lunch. They ended up the day with and even 18 each and a total of 36 fish. Great guys and good fishermen. The river is dropping and clearing each day.

June 12: I took Bill March today. The weather was great, it was 39 in Fossil at 5 AM, 65 at the river at 9 AM, 62 degree water, 6-7 clarity, 7050 CFS, and dropping. Bill caught the first fish at 8:25 AM, and had 6 at lunch. He ended up the day with 12 smallies, and a little sun. Great guy and good fishermen.

June 11: I took Bill March today. It was 36 in Fossil at 5 AM, 56 at the river, 60 degree water, 7770 CFS and dropping, 7-8 clarity, and overcast. Bil caught the first fish at 8:12 AM and had 7 fish at lunch, and ended up with 18 bass at the end of the day. Tough water, but the fish are hungry and biting.

June 10: I took Bill March today. It was 45 degrees in Fossil at 5 AM, 56 at the river, 62 degree water, 8 clarity, 8611 CFS and dropping, it wass overcast with some holes in the clouds. The first fish came at 8: 15 AM, and Bill had 8 fish by lunchtime. We were fishing a little bit of everything, and trying to get a handle on the fish. I picked a spinnerbait up and fished it in some water Bill had already fished, but I "slow rolled it" (fished as slow as I could and still make the blades turn. I usually cast a different place every cast, and on the third cast I hit a good fish. She was a lot like me, old and big, 21 1/2" X 13 1/2". We got her in and took some pictures. I picked up the spinner-bait and made another cast to show Bill what I had done. As luck would have it I nailed another fish the first cast after the big one, and I boated a nice 20 1/2" X 13" male. Big male, they usually don't get a lot bigger than 16-18 inches. So the moral of the story: Even an old blind squirrel gets and acron once in a while. Bill ended up the day with 14 fish.

June 9: Bill March stepped up to the plate, and we attempted to make lemonade out of lemons. It was 54 in Fossil, 66 at the river, 61 degree water, 9410 CFS, 8-9 clarity,and stormy. We launch at Twickenham and took out 32 miles down river at 6 PM the same day at the Clarno Bridge. Long day with the wind blowing up river all day, and we put our rain gear on and off about 7 times. Bill caught the first fish at 9:30 and ended the day with 6 fish. It was truly a beautiful day on the water, but long......

June 8: Bill March's first day and the river is "blown out". It is running 11,800 CFS, so we went to the Private Largemouth Lake. The Lake was 66 degrees, 68 air degrees, 2-3 clarity and a clear day. It was a slow start but Bill had 14 largemouth bass and a nice4 4+ pounder before lunch. We stopped and Bill fish for bluegill for 15 minutes and boated over 10 bluegill in that amount of time. Things heated up after lunch and Bill boated another 18 largemouth for a total of 32 all day. He lost a huge fish when it hit the surface and threw the bait. Great first day of fishing for Bill's six days of fishing.

May 23: We took two couple today: Ed and Karen Barrett, and Scott and Shirley Brown of Smelly Jelly. We have been using Smelly Jelly since 1991, and catching more fish because of it. They offer a fine line of product for all types of fishing and species. Our favorite for years has been Craw/Anise in the liquid, and Anchovy. We mix the two together when the water temp is over 65. We use their paste on the fly fishing line just above the fly. We use their paste and liquid on the steelhead lures, but wash the lures with Joy lemon after each trip. We use the Shrimp and Anchovy paste just above the fly for fly fishermen. If you need more testimonials, go to the Cabela's online, look up Smelly Jelly, and then click on testimonials (29 five star ratings). One of bass fishing biggest problems is when the tournament guys find something that is working they will disguise it. Like, by putting Smelly Jelly into another bait attractant container. I know this for a fact, because some of the pros I work with have told me so.
It was another day of tough fishing. The water temp has dropped 9 degrees in the last five days and the fish are still in shock. It was 35 in Fossil at 5 AM, 54 at the river, the water was 50 degrees, running 5050 CFS (snow melt run-off), 6-7 clarity, but very clear morning. Shirley caught the first fish at 8:30 and We had 4 fish by lunch, and Karen had boated a nice 17" fish. The sun was doing its job and the water warmed up a bit, and the group caught 20 bass in the afternoon. The gals won the tournament with 14 bass, and the guys had 10. Scott pulled out his secret weapon in the afternoon, XXX Craw/Anise Paste and their boat started catching fish.

May 22: Today I had multiple Master Angler fishermen, Chris and Kath Copeland and Chuck Kunde returning to catch the big ones, but Mother Nature had other plans. It was 39 degrees in Fossil at 5 AM, 49 at the river, 50 degree water, overcast and rainy, and the river was running 5090 CFS with 4-5 clarity at the put-in. Kathy caught the first fish about 8 AM. The morning went "okay" with 7 fish, but the dirty water caught up with us, and the clarity went to 7-8. We boated 9 fish all day, and tried most everything. Good fishermen, tough day of fishing, next year they will get the big one!

May 21: Had three great guys today with returning Master Angler Chris Truesdale and Jeff Earls and Wayne Warren, 503-319-4447. It was 36 degrees in Fossil, 49 at the river, was was 48 degrees, running 6270 CFS, overcast, and 6-7 clarity. First fish was caught by Jeff at 7:50, and they had 6 fish by lunch. They ended up with 19 smallies and Wayne caught a nice 18 1/4" Trophy, but the big fish of the day went to Chris with the last fish of the day, 30"+ Summer Chinook, caught on a Spinner bait. Great guys, I'm looking forward to our trip next year.

May 19: This was the annual Painted Hills Beef trip with one of the founders of Painter Hills Beef, Mehrten Homer, and their two feedlot operators: Doug Maag of Vale, Or; and Keith Pearce, 509-531-3995, with Simplots in the Tri-City area. Painted Hills Beef is the meat we use, and is served in finer resturarants all over the USA and Hawaii, and found in grocery stores accross the country also. It was going to be a tough day of fishing on the river, but the big fish are on the bite and they wanted to take a chance, and go for them. It was 39 in Fossil at 5 AM, 68 at the river at 10 AM, water had dropped in temperature back to 57, running 5900 CFS, 7-8 clarity, and overcast morning. Doug had come to Fossil through John Day, and said the river was running dirty from John Day and dirtier through Dayville (where the South Fork comes in). It was meeting cleaner water at Kimberly from the North Fork, but too much dirt to even it out. First fish was at 8:30 and Doug landed it. We had 3 fish by lunch time, and the river was getting dirtier. They eneded up the day with 8 fish, and Keith boated two Trophy smalmouth bass that were both 18 3/4" in length. Tough water, great guys, great food (Painted Hlls Beef pot roast), and lots of great stories. The river peaked out at 6200 CFS last night, but is still dirty and the snow melt has dropped the water temp. The fish will adapt to the lower temp and the water should start getting cleaner if we don't get too much rain. The grounds already wet, so any new rain tends to run off dirt. If the freezing level stays down the rains won't melt the lower snow, and cool the river off. Good News, doesn't look like the monsters have gone on their beds yet, but within a week there will be a good chance they will.

May 17 & 18: The "Fishers of Men" Annual Tournament was a busy time this year. Pastor Dr. Sam Benson, 253-820-2383; Nate Benson, 253-330-7753; Ken DeMaria, 253-370-8105,and Don Guthrie
were the fishermen this year. It was 47 degrees in Fossil on May 17 at 5 AM, 71 at the river at 11am, 60 degree water, 3980 CFS, 4-5 clarity, and overcast. The first fish was caught by Don at 7:50 AM, and they ended the day with 121 smallies and Sam Benson had a Master Angler, 20 1/2" X 13 beauty. Don was the leader with 50 fish for the day. Day Two would end up with three more Master Anglers. Ken DeMaria had two: 20" X 13" and 21 3'4 " X 13 1/2". Nate Benson had one very big one, 22" X 15". It was 49 degrees in Fossil at 5 AM, 57 at the river, the water was 60 degrees, 4510 CFS, 5-6 clarity, and rainy. First fish was again Don at 7:40 AM. They ended the day with 150 smallmouth bass.
the Champion was Ken DeMaria with 86" for his five longest fish. The Most Fish was won by Nate Benson with 78 for two days. Great bunch of fellows, good fellowship, and they're coming back at the same time next year. Lookout Bass!

May 16: I took a great bunch of folks from the Sisters area today: Dr. Scott Weems DVM, daughter Brenna Weems, 541-549-1709, and Wendy Chiles, 864-723-7992. This was free trip, because last year we blanked out on an early smallmouth/steelhead trip (Fish-On guarantee for regular priced full day trips). It was 50 degrees in Fossil at 5 AM, 60 at the river, water running 59 degrees and 3800 CFS, 3-4 clarity, on a mostly clear morning. Brenna caught the first fish at 8:30 AM, but it was 10 AM before we had a good pattern going for the day. They boated 24 fish by lunch and Brenna had a Trophy 18 1/4" fish. Things got much better after lunch and Wendy boated a very fat 18 1/2" Trophy in the afternoon. They ended up with 58 fish. Scott boated 10+ fly fishing with a top water slider Sneaky Pete from Gaines flies, Wendy had 23, and Brenna had 25.

May 14: took a short trip today with my wife, Linda, and Uncle Jim from Placerville, CA. It was 38 in Fossil at 5 AM. 62 at the river at 9 AM, water was 57 degrees, running 3800 CFS, 4-5 clarity, and very clear and warm. I lucked into the first fish at 9 AM at the put-in while showing my Uncle how to fish a spinner bait. They ended the day with 9 fish each, and unfortunately some very small fish were biting our very big baits. Great day on the water, with lots of sunshine and my first day in a swimsuit and tank top. The river is getting clearer, but it was raining in the Bridge Creek area when we took off the water.

May 12: took Linda and Granddaughter, Emily, today. It was 33 in Fossil at 5 AM, 58 at the river at 9 AM, water was 54 degrees, running 3849 (up 1200 CFS over two days ago), 8-9 clarity, and very clear skies. The heavy rain that hit Monday morning has sent it's dirty water down river, and turned the river very muddy. It is probably worse below Bridge Creek, and tough fishing from there to Cottonwood. The water got cleaner as the day went on in the Service Creek section. We launched at 9 AM and Emily got the first fish at 9:50 AM. They ended up the day with 10 fish, but no monsters. The DINKS are definitely alive, well, and hungry. The Outlaw Baits 5" Ripple Worm, on a 1/4 oz Texas set up worked the best when covered with Smelly Jelly Craw/Anise.

May 10: My day started at 3:30 AM with a very heavy rain upon the roof. It quit raining at 11 AM and turned out to be a pretty nice day, but a very wet morning. Today i took Don Miller, Mt. Vernon, OR and friends Justin Russell and Kevin Steinmetz of Pendleton. Great bunch of guys, and Don has many Master Angler smallmouth to his credit. It was 41 in Fossil at 5 AM, 44 at the river, and the was was running 52 degrees, 2600 CFS, 2-3 clarity, and raining hard. It snowed on us on our trip to the river from Fossil, but these were die-hard fishermen. Justin caught the first fish at 7:50 AM, and they boated and released 14 fish by lunch. The weather eased up and the sun came out, and so did the little fish. They ended up the day with 46 smallies, but the BIG story was the returning steelhead going back to sea that Justin hooked. It took almost 10 mintues to get this tough Buck in, and let him go. He is the kink of fish that gives the John Day River it's reputation for their Native Only steelhead runs. The river went up only 400 CFS with all the rain and dirtied up just a little bit, so it should be fine to fish. the DINKS are very active and hitting the plastic baits pretty hard. FISH ONE!!

May 8: Took long time client, friend, and many time Master Angler (2006 Largest Catch and Release west coast In-Fishermen angler) Roger Jarvis and his daughter, Alena fishing today. It was 38 in Fossil at 5 AM, 49 at the river, the water was 49 degrees and running 2990 CFS, 1-2 clarity, and slight overcast. Roger caught the first fish at 8:40 AM, but the spirit of competition was in the air and Alena was leading 6 to 2 at lunch time. Roger caught a spawned out male steelhead headed back to the ocean just before lunch. It sprinkled right after lunch and then the sun came out and warmed things up. Alena ended the day with 15 bass to Roger's 7, and was the Champion. She also hooked a returning steelhead, but it made a mighty jump and threw the lure. Great day, and the confirmation of another good fishermen. It just doesn't get any better.

May 7: I took two longtime friends, Claire Fulenwider and Harriet Forman, on a Pure Fishing Trip (1/2 day). The weather was "okay", but the sun never came out of the overcast sky to warm the water up. It was 30 in Fossil at 5 AM, 47 at the river at 8 AM, water was 49 degrees and running 2930 CFS, 1-2 clarity, and overcast. We spent the first part of the trip looking for a big fish and throwing big baits. Harriet caught the first fish at 8:25 AM, and said she was glad to get the first fish, but hoped this wouldn't become a "Vitamin Day", one-a-day (it did for her). We finished up the short day with 3 fish, and saw deer, geese, ducks, horses, a small cattle drive, lots of small birds, lots of rafting groups, and good conversation.

May 6: I took longtime friend, Master Angler, and good fishermen Doug Rauen today. It was 37 in Fossil, 44 at the river, water was 47 degrees and running 2960 CFS, 1-2 clarity, and overcast with sun breaks. Doug caught the first fish at 8:26 AM, and had boated 4 by lunch. But the morning story was in the two salmonoids Doug boated. He caught a nice steelhead, and then on the very next cast he caught a summer Chinook coming up. Go figure! Doug was only after the big ones and threw big baits all day. He ended up with 5 more smallies for a total of 9. the water warmed up to 49 degrees and the air temp after lunch was 60 degrees. We threw a Trout Rapala in honor of Doug's long time fishing competitor, Dan Hawkey, who couldn't make the trip because of surgery, but NEVER caught a fish with it. So Doug 9, Dan-0.

May 5, 2010: today Skip Geer took James Grimes, 360-579-7969, and long time friend Kevin Howard out for a day of fishing on the river. Skip has been guiding for Mah-Hah Outfitters for 10 years, runs Mayville Flat shooting Preserve (two 1280 acre preserves), 541-384-4705, guides archery elk and deer, guides rifle elk and deer, farms, and is an all around great guy and guide. It was 32 in Fossil at 5 AM, lightly snowing, 3030 CFS river flow and a slight dropping river. They boated 23 fish in the morning, but got better after lunch and boated 24 in the afternoon. James caught a nice trophy bass, 19 1/2 inches long, and ended up with one more fish than his long time friend Kevin. I'm not sure how their betting game came out, but James had to be at least $1 up, AND the bragging rights for a year (the TV ad would call that - PRICELESS). Nice job catching!

May 1: I took long time friends Chris Copeland and Kirby Hess fishing today. I took them in early March last year, and we had a "fishless" day. So they were back for their free trip. We guarantee "Fish-On" on our regular trips, or the next trip is free. We're off to a great year this year, and have not had any off with our clients, on the regular full day trips, get skunked (plus some really nice huge smallmouth this year). It was 40 in Fossil at 5 Am, 50 at the river, water was running 51 degrees, 3810 CFS and falling, 4-5 clarity, and a slightly overcast morning. Chris caught the first fish at 7:45 AM, and Kirby was close behind him. They ended up with 16 fish by lunchtime, and as Kirby said he was 9 times better than last year (he had 9 at lunch). A heavy cold-front and wind gusts came in at lunchtime, and slowed the fishing down, but they ended up with 25 smallies, and they each boated one over 15". They could have caught more fish, but they were only going for the big ones and using big fish techniques.
We talked about the big fish being ready to spawn a couple of weeks ago, and they were with 55-59 degrees water temperatures. But, the big rain storm on April 20 and 21 ran lots of snow melt into the river and dirty water, which lowered the temperature and stained the water up. It's hard to predict, but it will be a couple of weeks before the big fish head for the spawning beds. So, now is a good time to catch the huge pre-spawn fish, and we boated and released 4 last week.

April 30: I took Steve Fletcher on his second day, and friends Larry Duckett and Randy Johnston, 541-969-8834. It was 27 in Fossil at 5 Am, 44 at the river, the water was 51 degrees, 4380 CFS, 5-6 clarity, and a very clear day. Randy caught the first fish at 7:55 AM, and they had 6 fish by lunch. There was a slight cold front that came in and the bite died for awhile. We ended up with 12 fish, and Randy reeled in a very nice 19 1/2" in the late afternoon. It was a great day on the water, and lots of great stories were shared.

April 29: Was a cold and windy day on the John Day River. I took Master Angler Steve Fletcher, and a great Father/Son Team of Brad and Nick Staub, 541-281-2150, of Tulelake, CA. It was 34 in Fossil at 5 AM, 48 at the river, the water was 50 degrees, 4880 CFS and dropping, light overcast, and 7-8 for clarity and getting cleaner. The first fish did not come till 11:15 AM and Brad brought it in. I started to get the feeling that this one lure would become important. I'm down to 8 lures of one type that they don't make anymore, and trying not to lose any more. There were a couple of hangups and breakoffs involving this one lure, but we got it back each time. Well at lunch time we had boated 4 fish. The weather got cooler and the wind really started to blow after lunch. We ended up the day with 12 fish. Oh, that lure I was telling you about, Brad caught a Master Angler 20 1/2" X 14" toad with it. Yah when the last of the eight is gone it will be a sad day in my house.

April 28: took long time friends Kevin Howard and Doug Greenlee, 503-869-7163, on the river today. The river came up, but was still fishable. It was 35 in Fossil at 5 Am, 48 at the river, was was running 50, 7-8 clarity, slightly overcast, 4370 CFS and rising. Devin caught the first fish at 9 AM and by lunchtime we had 5 smallies, with Doug boating two fat Master Angler smallmouth bass, 20 3/4" X 13 3/4" and 21 3/4" X 14". They were great fish, and Doug did a great job fishing for them and bringing them in. It was warm at lunch, and then turned cool and a slight rain. It was tough fishing in the afternoon with the water getting dirty and higher. Doug hooked another toad just above the take-out, but lost it after a short fight. Shoot that would have made three in one day!! Kevin and Doug have fished together for a long time and they were lots of fun to be with. Hope Kevin buys Doug another Birthday trip for next year!

April 27: took old client and Master angler Dan Ross, 503-784-4936, and his friend Steve Kirsop. It was 48 in Fossil, 57 at the river, the water was 51 degrees, 3780 CFS and dropping, 6-7 clarity, and overcast. It was raining in Fossil, but dry at Service Creek when we got there at 7:45 AM. Steve caught the first fish at 9 AM. About 10:30 Dan hooked into a fish that gave a little fight until it got to the boat then it went nuts on us. Dan made a couple fo great moves and I netted the second biggest smallmouth bass I've ever seen, 23" X 16 1/4". It was an absolute hog. We had 6 fish by lunch, and it was warm and the sun was shinning. Then about 3:15 the heaven opened up and it poured on us. they ended up the day early with 10 fish, 5 each. Great fish for Dan, and a wet time for all!

April 25: I took long time friends from the Mount Vernon, Oregon area: Don Miller, Dave Fronapel - 541-932-4977, and Red Iler. These guys are all good fishermen, and a fun bunch to be with on the river. It was35 in Fossil at 5 AM, 48 at the river at 7 AM, 51 degrees water, 4070 CFS, 5-6 clarity, overcast, and a dropping river. Don caught the first fish at 7:55 AM, and they boated 16 fish by lunch, and Dave had a Trophy 18 1/4" smallie. A front came in and shut the fish down early in the afternoon, but the fellows ended up with 33 smallies. Don lost a huge fish at the take-out when it jumped out of the water. Red said " it was too bad" (inside joke).

April 24: took past Master Anglers Mike and son, Mark (503-580-1856), Sliper today. It was 38 in Fossil at 5 AM, 52 at the river, and the water was running 51 degrees, 5160 CFS, 7-8, and overcast. Mark caught the first fish at 8:30 Am, a Master Angler smallmouth bass, 20 1/2" X 13". They boated 10 fish by lunch and the sun came out and it got warm. They ended up with 16 smallies and the river was getting cleaner by the minute. Should be good fishing for a while.

April 22: Took Don Miller of Mt. Vernon, and Jeremy and Brandon Russell of Hayden, Idaho fishing today. The river blew out yesterday evening and went to 7000+ CFS, which is the highest flow so far this year. It was running dirty, and lots of loose grass in the river. We went on over to the Private Largemouth Lake and had a great day in the sun and clean water. They boated 39 fish and young Brandon was the winner with 16 fish. The river is headed back down and on Friday at noon around 5000 CFS, temperature dropped back to low 50's, and cleaning itself up. Should be "okay" to fish this weekend, and very nice weather. Good Luck!

April 19: Took friends from Olympia, WA, Art O'Neal and Emmett Dobey today. It was 41 in Fossil at 6 AM, 64 at the river at 10 AM, water was 54 degrees, 4010 CFS, 8 clarity, and a very clear day. We launched late today and Art caught the first fish at 9:40 AM. We had 3 by lunch and ended up the day with 11 smallies. it was a tough day of fishing with the water turning off-color in the last two days. Even though the flow is not particularly high for this time of year, it is the highest so far and picking up dead grasses from the river bank and pushing them down river. The slow Carolina rigs in the slow water flats worked the best. The water will continue to rise and get dirtier for a while. I'm looking for my lucky "rabbits foot" for the next trip.

April 18: took a new boat owner, John Tremper, on a 1/2 day trip: Service Creek to Twickenham. He just bought a brand new 18" Clackacraft Max, and wanted to see the section with a guide on his first trip. He's one of our clients, but owns property in the Spray area and plans on doing some fishing on his own this summer. He agreed with me, Clackacraft Max is the easiest boat to row he's ever been in. I've rowed them all, it is it far and above the BEST for the John Day River. Only problem is the bottom only has a 100 year warranty, yeah like I should worry about that!

April 17: We ran a half-day trip in the Spray area for six fishermen, three Father/Sons teams: Dale and Brock Pellow, pellowfamily@comcasat.net; Gary and Connor Woolworth; and Ron and Michael Strobe. The water was coming up and the highest so far this season at 3060 CFS and rising to 3600 while we were on the water, 68 degrees at 2 PM, 54 degree water, 6-7 clarity, and slightly overcast. It was the young men against the Dads, and the youngsters won by two fish. The score 2-0, yes it was a tough day but the young guys hung in there and Brock Pellow caught a huge Master Angler smallmouth bass, 21 1/2" X15 1/4" on a spinnerbait against the bank is a slow water bank area. Nice job Brock!!!

April 16: Beautiful morning, 36 degrees in Fossil, 48 at the river, water running 54 degrees, 2560 CFS, 5-6 clarity. Took friends and good fishermen Todd Mulvaney and Mitch Crouser, both of Damascus fishing today. Todd caught the first fish at 7:45 AM and they boated 24 smallies by lunch. Todd caught a nice 16 3/4" beauty in the bunch. They boated another 36 in the afternoon for a total of 60 smallies. Yes, the dinks are active and the big fish will be spawning soon. Jigheads with Outlaw Baits 5" Ripple worms in all the colors were working when covered with Smelly Jelly Craw/Anise. The warm water has turned the fish on.

April 14: Meet Ed Larson and step son, Mark RafFnson, at my house in Fossil at 6 AM. Two great guys who fish together for a week once a year. Mark is from Lake Elsinore, Ca, and Ed is from Culver , Or. It was 29 in Fossil, 40 at the river, and the water was running 51 degrees, 2230 CFS, 2-3 clarity, and very clear and sunny. The weather was much improved over the last two days of stormy weather. Mark caught the first fish at 8:20 and they had boated 8 smallies by lunch time, and March had a nice 17 1/2" fish in the bunch. The air temp was 74 right after lunch and the water had warmed up to 55 degrees. The little fish (90 % of the population) are coming active, and the biggest fish will probably go into their spawn during the next week. This is one of the earliest spawning conditions I can remember. They ended up with 23 fish, and most were caught on crankbait, but everything was working.

April 12 & 13: We ran an overnight trip with five good friends: Dan Hawkey, Craig Dewey, John Stilwell, Joel Dvino, and Bill Luettgerodt. They were great guys and we went out to the Private largemouth lake for two days of fishing and camping. The weather fronts were coming in every 2 hours, and we could see it raining/snowing all around us, but only sprinkled on us during the days. Monday night was different, it poured late during the night but we stayed dry. Skip Geer, Mayville Flat Shooting Preserve, was the other guide and he squired the pontoon boats around the Lake, and tried to figure out what the bass wanted. The Lake water was 58 degrees and very clear. They caught fish, but the fishing was slow, and the biggest fish was 19 inches. Great bunch of guys, and hopefully they will come back next year.

April10: I went to the airport in Condon and picked up Dean and brother Lamont Miller, 503-651-3126, and Dean's brother in law, Tobin Cooley. Great bunch of guys and good fishermen. It was 20 in Fossil at 5 AM, 42 at the river, the water was 48 degrees, 2020 CFS, 4-5 clarity, very clear morning. Dean caught the first fish at 9:35 AM and they had 5 fish by lunch. Lamont caught an 8 pound carp, steelhead, and a Master Angler Smallmouth bass 20 1/16" X 13 1/2" in the afternoon. The group ended up with 14 bass and a great day on the water. I took them back to the airport at Condon and they took off at 7 PM and headed back to Aurora.

April 9: What a difference a day can make. Today, I took Steve Fletcher and Brad Bell. It was 19 in Fossil at 5 AM, 32 at the river, 48 degree water temperature, 2040 CFS, 5-6 clarity, and not a cloud in the sky or a breath of air moving. It was calm all day and Brad caught the first fish at 8:20. We had 4 fish at lunch, and ended the day with 9. Slow day of fishing, but a beautiful day on the water.

April 8: I took three wonderful fishermen today: Steve Fletcher from NW Pump; Doug and Alex Hattenhhauer of The Dalles, 541-296-3515. Doug and Alex are a great Father/Son combo, and Steve is one of may two anglers to ever catch 3 Master Angler smallmouth in one day with us. It was 38 and windy in Fossil at 5 AM, 1710 CFS river flow, 2-3 clarity, 43 degrees at the river, water was running 48 degrees, and very overcast and windy. Alex caught the first fish at 8:14, and we had 6 bass by lunch, and Alex had a nice 18" Trophy. I never thought I would have to mention this again, but there was a whale sighting on the John Day River at lunchtime today. You got it; the boat floated off it's anchor in the heavy wind and went to the other side of the river, and yours truly stripped down and swam across the river and brought the boat back. Yes it was cold! We didn't catch anything right after lunch, and had to go at least a mile down stream to get away from the environmental impact of me swimming across the river. Good News, Doug hooked a beautiful bright female native steelhead about 28" long. Later in the day Doug also hooked and boated a very nice Master Angler Smallmouth bass, 21" X 14 /14". What a beauty! they ended up the day with 21 smallies, and Doug had a steelhead, sucker, and northern pike minnow. Great day and time!
Note: Steve will not only anchor his boat but tie it up at lunch from now on.
April 6:  Today I took three old friends from The Dalles:  Scott Mengis; Greg Weast, 541-298-4326; and Ron Nelson, 541-296-8804.  Scott and Greg came up last year on a tough day of fishing and only Greg caught fish (three trophy smallmouth bass 18"-20").  As most of you know we have a "Fish-On Guarantee" for fully guided trips, which means your next trip is free.  So Scott came back "at no charge" to give me another try.  It was a tough day of weather fronts, with 34 degrees in Fossil at 5 AM, 1780 CFS river flow, 38 degrees at the river, water was 45 degrees, 2-3 clarity (pretty clear), and overcast.  It rained a couple of times on us.  Scott caught the first smallmouth bass at 8:50 AM, and a great day of catching was started.
Scott Mengis with Steelhead
Ron Nelson w/ smallmouth Bass
They had 9 smallmouth boated by lunch with a really nice 27" native buck steelhead in the mix (Scott caught that, too).  There was a little flurry of catching right after lunch, and Greg caught the first Master Angler smallmouth of the day, a very fat 20 1/2" X 13 1/2".  Ron followed up with two Master Angler smallmouth 20 1/2" X 13 1/2" and 20" X 13".  Scott caught another steelhead.  They ended up the day with 25 smallmouth bass, and 2 steelhead.  Scot, who was blanked last year, had the most with 11 smallmouth bass and 2 steelhead.  All three anglers were using a different crankbait, and stayed with that one lure all day.  the solf plastics fished on the bottom were not working. The water warmed up to 47 degrees and the weather smoothed out to a pretty nice evening.  We saw antelope, deer, and a couple of groups of elk on the way back to Fossil.  It's fun to take three "good friends fishing", and enjoy the day and the catching with them.  They said they would be back next year, and I hope so.

March 26: I took long time client Royal Proctor, 503-658-6291, who was the first angler to catch 3 Master Angler smallmouth bass in one day with us about 13 years ago. And his friend and past client Hans Feige, 503-397-1288, of Warren Or. It was 34 in Fossil at 5 Am, river running 1720 CFS, 1-2 clarity, very overcast and spitting snow/rain, air temp 41 at 8 AM and river water at 47. royal caught the first fish just before lunch. After lunch things got a whole lot better fishing and weather wise. They boated some nice 16 " fish, and royal boated a nice 18 1/2" Trophy. Hans boated a great Master Angler Smallmouth about 4 PM that measured 20 1/2" X 13". They ended up with 14 fish (13 caught after lunch), sunny skies, 52 air temp and 51 river temp. The front that hit Thursday afternoon took almost a day to go through, but when it left we were into the fish again. Even though the river conditions (water speed clarity and temp) are remaining very constant the fish are very particular, and what works one day may not work the next. Thursday was a great crankbait day, and today was a great Texas fishing on the bottom day. There was only one color that they wanted, but that will probably change by tomorrow. Well, I'm off for Linda's Presents Days (Four-Day Birthday party). So see you on the water next week.

March 25: I took old friend and client Don Miller from Mount Vernon, and his son-in-law Jeremy Russel, and Don's grandson Lucas Palmer of Hayden, Idaho. Don caught a Master Angler smallmouth bass earlier this month, and Jeremy has caught three over the last few years. It was 37 in Fossil, 56 at 10:30 at the river, 48 degree water, running 1680 CFS, overcast, and a 2-3 clarity. Jeremy started the day out by catching his first steelhead, 30" native buck, at the put in at 7:15 AM and we had 6 fish boated by lunch. We ended up with 11 bass and one steelhead at the end of the long windy day. Lucas caught the most bass with 5, and the biggest at 17". Good job Lucas, you beat two of the top John Day River smallmouth fishermen.

March 24: Today was the last of three days for Roger and Larry Jarvis. It was a beautiful day, 27 in Fossil, 44 at the river, water was 47 degrees, 1800 CFS, 1-2 clarity, and clear. Larry caught the first fish at 9:30 AM and we had 3 fish at lunch. Larry caught 3 more fish in the afternoon and we finished with 6. The water got up to 50 degrees, and it was 70 degrees in the afternoon, the fish just stopped biting? Wish me luck for tomorrow!

March 23: I took the Jarvis brothers, Larry and Roger, out again today. It was 22 in Fossil at 5 AM, at 9 Am it was 40 at the river, the water had cooled down and it was 45degrees, running 1860 CFS, 2-3 clarity, and a very clear morning. Larry caught the first fish a Master Angler Smallmouth bass, 22" X 14 1/2" beauty, and we had 3 fish boated by lunch. It warmed up to 60 degrees and the river went up to 47 after lunch. Larry boated a hatchery male steelhead at the end of the day, and they ended up with 8 very nice smallmouth bass and the steelhead. Great day of fishing, and weather.

March 22: I took brothers Larry and Roger Jarvis today. They are great guys and have been fishing with me since 2006, when Roger caught the biggest smallmouth Catch and Release entered in In-Fishermen that year. It was 35 in Fossil at 5 AM, 49 at the river at 9 AM, water was 47 degrees, 1640 CFS, 1-2 clarity, and slightly overcast. Roger caught the first fish at 9 AM, and Larry was one minute right behind him. We had some frontal activity during the day and ended up with 7 bass and 2 steelhead, one native female and one hatchery male. Looks like good fishing for tomorrow, and the storm has passed.

March 21: I took long time friend Bill MacInnes or Fossil and Wright Chevrolet, his son-in-law, Ty Sway, and writer/guide Bill Kremers. Bill caught a 17 1/2", 17", Ty caught a 16" fish. It was 35 in Fossil, at 5 AM, river was 47 degrees and the air was 44 degrees, 1-2 clarity, and very overcast. Bill MacInnes caught the first fish a hatchery steelhead at 8 AM. We had 4 fish by lunch, and the weather was overcast and raining on us off and on. They ended up with 15 smallmouth bass, and one steelhead with Bill MacInnes catching the most, 8 plus the steelhead.

March 20: This was a pure fly fishing day, and I took a couple from The Dalles, Arnold Berg and Leslie Nelson. Friend, guide, and writer Bill Kremers joined us. It was a cold 22 in Fossil at 5 AM, it was 52 at the river at 10 AM, water was running 47 degrees, 1670 CFS, 2-3 clarity, and a very clear day. Bill caught the first fish at 11 AM a nice native upriver steelhead. He landed one more steelhead before lunch and added a bass to the count. We had three fish at lunch. Before the day was over Arnie had two bass, one nice one at 16 1/2", and Bill landed 4 more. The water temp came up to 52 and the air temp got up to 72 for a great day on the water. Arnie brought some great looking flies, and we found a couple more flies that will work early on. I rechecked my boat thermometer and discovered it had been reading 4 degrees low this season. Sorry for the bad info up to now, but all the degrees were off 4 degrees.

March 17: Happy St. Patrick's Day. took friends Brian Jewett, Justin Frazier (541-490-2194), and Craig Gunderson fishing today. It was 26 in Fossil at 5 AM, 52 on the river at 10:45 AM, the water was 41 degrees surface, 1290 CFS, and a very bright clear day. Justin boated the first fish at 10:37, and also boated a nice steelhead about two hours later. We had 5 fish by lunch (corned beef, of course), and ended up the day 19 smallies, and Justin boated a nice 19 1/2" Trophy about 6 PM. It was a great day on the water, and once things warmed up in the afternoon, got up to 45 water degrees, the fish turned on.

March 16, 2010: was a slightly warmer day and 34 in Fossil at 6 AM, river running 1280 CFS, 40 degree water, the air temp was 54 at 10:30 AM, 1-2 clarity, on a very clear day. I had one of my better clients today, they have boated Master Angler fish, lots of 100+ days in the summer, but the fish were feeling the barometer change and had a bad case of "lock jaw". Finally at 4 PM a nice 16" fish was boated on a crankbait. It was tense, and had we not got at least one fish my whole life was hanging in the balance. Oh, the client, my wife Linda.

March 16, 2010: was a slightly warmer day and 34 in Fossil at 6 AM, river running 1280 CFS, 40 degree water, the air temp was 54 at 10:30 AM, 1-2 clarity, on a very clear day. I had one of my better clients today, they have boated Master Angler fish, lots of 100+ days in the summer, but the fish were feeling the barometer change and had a bad case of "lock jaw". Finally at 4 PM a nice 16" fish was boated on a crankbait. It was tense, and had we not got at least one fish my whole life was hanging in the balance. Oh, the client, my wife Linda.

March 13 & 14, 2010:  We ran our first Two-Day Seminar at the river at River's Edge Bed and Breakfast. We had nine great guys, covered all the topics, good food, stayed on time, had good sunny weather, and caught fish from the bank. Because it was successful we will be running three during the next year: Steelhead, Gear fishing for Bass, and a Fly Fishing Seminar for Bass. We will get the dates posted on the Website in the next few months to give folks a chance to make time for them. Thanks to the first group of fellows and Ginger at River's Edge Bed and Breakfast for making things go so smooth.

March 14, 2010:  Took old friends Errol Claire, the fish biologist at the John Day Office from 1959 to 1994 (the guy who stocked the river with smallmouth bass in 1971), and Don Miller, 541-931-4486, of Mount Vernon. We have been doing this trip for a number of years now, and have a great time telling stories, talking about our favorite subject-smallmouth bass, and great fellowship. It was 27 in Fossil, 30 at the river, 1300 CFS, 1-2 on clarity, surface water was 38 degrees, on a very clear day. Don caught the first fish with a nice steelhead about 10:25, and we had two fish by lunchtime. We ended up the day with one steelhead landed another hooked up, five smallmouth (I caught one on a float and jig/fly), and Don boated a very nice 20 1/4" X 13 1/2" Master Angler. The surface temp came up to 42 and the air temp in the afternoon was 58. There was a front working, but no bad weather appeared.

March 9, 2010:  Today we fished with friends Captain Manuel Torres, of Island Point Lodge in Petersburg, Alaska, (cell) 907-518-1611, his close friend Bill Hathaway, and writer Scott Staats of Prineville, OR. We had a cold start with 19 degrees in Fossil, 24 at the river at 7:30 AM, 1770 CFS, 4-5 clarity, and slightly overcast morning. All the fishing today was done on a center-pin rod and reel. Scott Staats caught the first fish, steelhead, at 9:15 AM on a Manny's Egg Thing. We had 2 fish at lunch (both steelhead), and ended up the day with 4 steelhead, and one Master Angler 20 1/2' X 13 1/2" smallmouth bass caught by Captain Torres. All the steelhead and bass were caught on specialty flies or jigs that Captain Manuel Torres ties: Manny's Egg Thing, Manny's Jail bird, and Manny's Purple Thing. Captain Torres has a booth at the Redmond Sportsman Show, in Redmond, OR, March 11-14. Go see him there, and he'll show you his best John Day River flies, and pictures of some of his fish. by the way this was Scott Staats first full day of center-pin fishing and he caught two steelhead. Nice going Scott. We are off to a good start this year, and have two openings left for the Two-day Seminar on John Day River smallmouth bass this coming weekend. If interested call (toll free) 971-533-5733. See you on the water.......

March 8: took long time friend Captain Manuel Torres of Pertersburg, AK, 907-518-1611, and his long time friend Jim Hathaway, of Tacoma, WA, and Mah-Hah guide RB Bissonette. Great group of guys and Captain Torres has been working on some fly and jig pattern for us to fish. He was on the first center-pin trip that hooked and boated some nice Trophy smallmouth bass two years ago. Captain Torres hooked the first fish of the day at 10:15 on a center-pin set-up, and it was a big 20" X 13 1/2" Master Angler Smallmouth Bass on Manny's John Day River Special (a triple egg articulated fly of his own design). Before the day was over Captain Torres boated a big 19" smallmouth bass (on another special fly of his) and two steelhead, RB boated a bass and a steelhead on a spinning rod float and fly set-up, which was the first we have tried. A severe cold front came in at 1 PM and fishing shut down for the day. It was 35 in Fossil and snowing, it was 36 at the river and overcast, 1720 CFS, 4-5 clarity, 40 depree water, and got warmer and clearer till about noon. We are set to go out again tomorrow, I hope it's as good as it was today!

March 6: Took two friends, Brad Nydahl and John Tremper, fishing today. They purchased a great ranch in the Spray area a couple of years ago, and are in the process of developing it into a beautiful and bountiful ranch once again. We fished 10 miles above Spray down to Spray, which is along the property they own. It was 28 in Fossil at 5 AM, 36 at the river, 1860 CFS, and the river was 38 degrees. The recent weather and some precipitation has cooled the river down from last Tuesday. We were trying to cover all the techniques and when to use them etc that the seminar teaches. Brad was the only to catch fish on a tough fishing day, but we enjoyed many stories about the ranch, some of the wonderful folks that work there, and others we knew in common. Early fishing is unpredictable, and they made the best out of it.
 

Fishing Reports
& Newsletter

March 1, 2010

HAPPY BASSIN' NEW YEAR!!

First things first! Thanks to all of you for a SUPER 2009. It was a scary year at the beginning with the economy, etc., but we ended up booking over 600 client days before it was over. Thanks! We started the end of February with some tough days and cold water, and ended the first of December with the river icing up and eventually freezing solid. It was a good catching year with over 30 Master Angler Smallmouth Bass (20"+), over 50 Trophy Smallmouth (18"-20"), over 60 fishermen joined the 100+ Club by catching more than 100 smallies in one day, and one fishermen joined the 200+ Club (only 8 fishermen have done that with in the last 20 years).

Biggest Fish honors are shared this year by: Jack Hanselman Jr. on April 2nd caught a monster 23" X 15 1/2"; and Tom Nelson on April 30th caught a 23 1/2" X 15". The Most Fish honors goes to Dike Dame, for his efforts on August 18th with 203 smallies. The first Master Angler fish came March 7th, and the last monster fish came September 24th. The first 100+ day was May 29th, during a heat wave, and the last was September 23rd.
 

March 1, 2010: Every year the first couple of weeks of March are devoted to Research and Development trips. We put together dream teams of gear and fly fishing guides, and pro Bass anglers. We are always looking for new techniques, and hopeful of finding a fly that will work in cold water. Up until this year we have never found a solid fly presentation or fly that would produce. THAT HAS NOW CHANGED! The gear specialist for the next two days would be long time friend and client Robb Norby of Bend, Or, and the fly specialist would be friend and fly fishing guide Jim Berl, 541-822-3183, Adventures in Fishing guide service on the McKenzie River. Robb fishes for two clubs, and is an avid bass man, he and his kids have 21 - 100+ Club pins (individually caught 100 bass in one day) on their Trophy Case at home. Robbs a great Dad and started bring his kids when they were as young as 6 years old. Jim Berl has been a licensed guide in Oregon for over 25 years, FFF casting instructor, had a big rafting company for over 20 years with permits on the North Umpqua, Deschutes River, Grande Ronde, and now guides and lives on the McKenzie River. He is a board member of the McKenzie River Guides Association which will be celebrating their 80 anniversary next year in 2011.
It was 28 degrees in Fossil at 5 AM, 46 at the river at 9 AM, 1260 CFS, with 40 degree water, and almost gin clear. I lucked into the first fish on a crankbait about 10:15 AM (it's been a long time since I can say I caught the first smallmouth of the year for Mah-Hah Outfitters). We are changing our gear constantly, after catching the first fish on one of our normal regular baits. We ended up the day with Robb catching 4, and most of his were on tube baits for Outlaw Baits with 1/4 oz jighead fished right on the bottom, I caught 1, and Jim Berl caught one about 2 PM that was the biggest for the day at 16" on a fly he now calls DJ's John Day River Special. It's a special fly he had tied up, and not an production fly. He cut it off and put on many other flies for the rest of the day, but to no avail. So for March 1, not trying to catch lots of fish, but seeing what they will take in the cold water 6 fish is good on a short day.

March 2: Ooops, I screwed up the schedule and the third fishermen we were waiting for didn't show up. We launched at 10 AM. It was 42 in Fossil at 5 AM, river flowing at 1260 CFS, 50 at the river, and the water was 42 degrees, and still gin clear. Jim put on the fly he caught the only fish with the day before and within 5 minutes on the water caught the first fish of the day. He cut the fly off and started fishing other unual flies. Robb was fishing a variety of lures and tubes. We ate lunch about 1 PM and had 4 fish boated, and were in the middle of a deep cold front. About 3 PM Jim tied back on the only fly to catch any smallmouth bass so far in two days, and ended up boating 3 more with the last one about 5:15 PM and being a Trophy Smallmouth, 18 1/2" with a 13 1/2" girth. She was a toad and had a big tail to prove it. Robb also caught a nice bass in the same hole (a nice spring hole), and we ended up the day with 11 fish. While the numbers may not seem high, you have to remember once we catch a fish we usually cut that bait off and see what else will work. Jim only fished the DJ's John Day River Special for 3 hours in two days and caught 5 fish. So all you fly fishermen that I've turned down over the years because I said I just don't have any proven system for getting big smallmouth at this time of the year. Give us a call!

March 3: Took long time friend and client Dan Hawkey up to the Private Trout Lake today. Dan showed up in Fossil at 9 AM, and we were on the water at the remote Lake by 11 AM. Dan is an avid fishermen and boated two Master Angler Smallmouth in one day last year, but he is a GREAT small water fly fishermen with his float tube system he bought from Denny Richards. The Lake was pristine, 50-52 degrees, 6 for clarity, and there were some trout surfacing. The Lake is 18 acres in an hour-class shape, with depths up to 34 feet, made behind a man-made dam back in the late 50's. Dan landed 29 trout (all native redsides) in 5 hours and we headed back to Fossil.

YOUR BASSIN' BUDDYS,
Steve and Linda Fleming
Mah-Hah Outfitters
PO Box 428
108 W. 1st Street
Fossil, OR 97830
(toll free) 971-533-5733
fax: 1-541-763-3579
website: www.johndayriverfishing.com
e-mail: mho.bassinbuddy@yahoo.com 

 
Fishing Reports From Past Seasons

CLICK HERE to see some fishing reports from previous seasons.

 

 


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