Peninsula Fly Fishers
  

Owyhee River Outing - September 16-18, 2011

November 15, 2011 10:14 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

By: Barbara Stevens

The Owyhee River is a catch and release, tail-water fishery in southeastern Oregon. Open year-round, the Owyhee is known for its large brown trout, along with some rainbows. The river flows through a spectacular canyon, the walls layered with volcanic rocks that look as if they could have erupted yesterday.

From Drop Box
The Owyhee is approximately a 12 hour drive from San Francisco, Mike McGuire, John Files, Mike Pinelli, Fred and Barbara Stevens drove to Winnemucca where we spent the night.  After breakfast we traveled to the small town of Adrian, Oregon for fishing licenses and lunch. We then convoyed to the Owyhee  River where we met our guide, Steve Cooper.  Steve had arranged for a camp at one of the few shaded properties on the river and set up several tents with cots, a screened area for dining, and an outdoor kitchen.  We quickly unpacked, settled into our tents, received a fish report from Steve, and made plans for our fishing adventures. Adding to our group was Mike’s son Andy who joined us the next day.

The weather was sunny and warm, punctuated one day by a thunderstorm that cooled the air and settled the dust. Fishing was great. We caught browns and rainbows up to 24 inches, all healthy and strong.  We split into three groups, Steve spending time with each of us, explaining the hatches and techniques that work best. Dry flies included grasshoppers, small dries (sizes 16, 18, and 20s) such as baetis, caddis, and midges.  A hopper-dropper set-up worked well with the dropper being any small midge or nymph pattern, and when the daylight faded, the same hopper trailed by a small dry fly. 

The Owyhee is not a crystal clear river. It didn’t affect the fishing, but the lack of clarity in rocky areas made a wading staff helpful.  For still-water anglers, there were numerous quiet stretches where a float tube could and was used to fish hard to reach spots, like far banks. Often while wading, we saw brown trout feeding leisurely in the shallows on the other side of river, safely out of casting range. All too soon our trip came to an end. The Owyhee trip was memorable for the great company and fishing, as well as the excellent food provided by Steve.
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