Better late than never as they say even though it is now December as I write and post this latest blog. Hopefully someone will appreciate it . . .
When you live in a place like the Columbia River Gorge, there are many quiet places off the beaten path to catch a few trout. Dry fly fishing in small streams or stillwater fly fishing in one of many lakes in Skamania County is not only convenient but a peaceful opportunity to catch trout on light fly rods. In my case, the weapon of choice is a 2-4 wt fiberglass fly rod. From the creeks and streams, the trout are not lunkers by any standards, but they are wild, native and beautiful specimens none the less. They are super aggressive to take a #14 elk wing caddis too! Both sides of the Columbia River offer numerous tributaries with wild trout. I believe it is safe to say that if there's water year round, there is trout living there!
The other option are the many lakes that can inhabit rainbows, cutthroat, brook, brown and tiger trout, wow! The majority of the lakes are stocked though some have brook trout that self populate. To fly fish these stillwaters, I highly recommend at least a float tube, especially in the brushy shoreline, high lakes. Small stillwater patterns like buggers (black or olive), damsel nymph, dragonfly nymph, pheasant tail nymph, copper john nymph, hare's ear nymph, renegade, etc, work well. Size 16-12 on standard nymph patterns, 8-10 for buggers. With a floating fly line you can fish balanced leeches too. A two fly presentation with a midge and a balance leech under it can be killer. The trout are generally not too picky. If' it's slow, change up till you increase takes and also don't forget to change retrieves too. If you like to hike and camp, the high lakes in the Gifford Pinchot offer productive fly fishing. Just make sure you bring plenty of mosquito repellent!
Trout fly fishing in these areas is about the solidarity you have and the outdoor beauty surrounding you. And if you're fortunate, the trout are biting to give you a bonus!
Tight lines in your fly fishing pursuits!