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John Day River, Oregon - Fishing Report - Updated
October 22, 2016
John Day River Fishing Report - Archive:
11/18/13 Several steelhead are being caught. Customer reports seeing them caught
by one of our customers using our Giant Black Stonefly nymph who gave him our
number. Everyone else is swinging flies according to him, nymphs are working best.

12/01/13 Customer reporting he has caught a couple of wild steelhead. Ordered more
Green Sedge steelhead caddisfly larva, Green Butt Skunks, and other flies. Used our
flies last year with success.

12/18/13 River is iced over and unfishable at the present time. Wait for the weather to
warm and the ice to clear.

12/29/13 Even worse conditions exist with the ice. No reports of any fishing for

01/11/14 Still frozen in most areas but conditions may improve some during the coming
week. Levels are still below normal at 530 cfs and 2.89 ft.

01/18/14 Still frozen and no fishing taking place

01/25/14 Local contact reporting he has caught three steelhead the past few days in
the lower river. The ice has cleared but the water is still in the mid thirties. He is using
our Perfect Fly steelhead nymphs.

02/01/14 No reports from customers of fish being caught came in this week but our
local contact is still reporting a few steelhead are being caught.

02/08/14 Fishing remained slow last week but with warmer weather and lots of rain
expected, thing should improve. Keep a check on the water levels.

02/15/14 Water levels are up and conditions should improve. The ice should be gone.
More rain and rain/snow is in the forecast for the next week.

03/08/14 More rain and higher off-color water.

03/15/14 Stream levels have dropped but are still on the high side. We didn't get any
reports from anyone fishing this past week.

03/29/14 Stream levels are in good shape but there is more rain/snow in the forecast.
Right now conditions are good.

04/05/14 The catching of steelhead continues to be slow due to high, dingy water
levels. If it clear, it could be good.

05/17/15 Steelhead season closed above Kimberly on April 15th. Smallmouth bass
fishing should be getting good.

05/24/14 The fishing season in the upper river opens today. Let us hear from you.
Stream and weather conditions are good.

05/31/14 We didn't receive any reports from anyone but our local contact reports trout
are being caught and there are plenty of hatching insects. Let us hear from you.

06/07/14 One report from a trout angler catching lots of fish. BWOs, Spotted Sedges,
some stoneflies, good conditions.

06/21/14 Another good report. Stream levels still in decent shape and more hatches
are underway.

07/05/14 Some hatches are slowing down making terrestrial insects more important but
anglers still catching trout consistently.

07/19/14 The water has been low at times, but other than that, conditions remain good.
PMDs and caddisflies represent the major insect activity other than the terrestrials like
ants and grass hoppers.

07/26/14 One loyal customer reported catching plenty of trout last week. He is
mostly fishing the morning PMD spinner fall.

08/10/14 Very low flows have hampered the trout fishing and the smallmouth bass
fishing in the lower river. Both are still being caught, but boating isn't easy.

08/16/14 Recent rain has improved the stream levels and temperature. One angler
reporting he caught a good number of trout yesterday (Saturday).

08/30/14 Several good reports came in the past two weeks. BWOs, Pale Evening
Duns, Spotted Sedges and terrestrials are working. Cooler weather is forecast.

09/13/14 Two more good reports from customers. Water is at a good level and
temperatures slightly lower.

09/27/14 Cooler temperatures and good stream levels have continued to improve
the fly fishing opportunities. Even so, there are very few anglers fishing.  

10/11/14 Anglers are catching trout on the South and Middle Forks. Terrestrials
and BWOs are working but low water makes it tougher than normal. Rain is forecast for
the first of next week and conditions should improve.

10/18/14 Our local contact reporting that rain came and more is headed this way.
Conditions are improving and should be good.

10/25/14 The river is still low. We didn't receive any reports from the past week.

11/08/14 Still low water levels but wading anglers are catching plenty of smallmouth

11/30/14 Ice has the USGS gauges locked. Drifting the river is out until the ice melts.
Fly Fishing John Day River,  
A description of the John Day
River, Guide to fly fishing John Day
River, John Day River fishing
seasons, and much more
USGS Stream Flow Data:
Near McDonald Ferry
12/13/14 Flows are up and you can see. The summer steelhead have begun moving
into the lower river below Clarno. Water temperature is averaging in the mid forties
and midges are you best bet for the trout. The ice has cleared and you can now float
the river.
12/20/14 More steelhead are being caught. There are plenty summers in the river
from top to bottom. Both bank anglers and drift boat anglers are reporting good
numbers. River levels remain in okay shape.
12/27/14 Stream levels are high and the river is muddy. Fishing should be good when
the levels return to near normal.
01/03/15 Steelhead are in the river in decent numbers but scattered from the mouth
to Kimberly. Warmer weather should help get rid of all the ice.
01/10/15 Two customers reported good steelhead fishing this past week but colder
weather in the forecast may clog it up with ice again.
01/17/15 Much colder conditions have had parts of the river frozen but warmer
weather is forecast and things should pick up in the near future.
01/24/15 The water has been very cold but is warming with the much warmer air
temps. If the clarity stays good, the fishing should pick up.
01/31/15 The flows are currently still on the high side. The weather has been
better but that means melting snow.
02/07/15 The river is still very high (3230 cfs) and is going to take a few days to
clear up and fall out.  
02/14/15 The river is still very high and it will take a few more days to clear.
02/21/15 River levels are down and fish are being caught from the North Fork and
near the town of John Day to Service Creek. Two customers with good reports
03/07/15 Levels have remained fairly good and lots of steehead are being
caught. Most of our customers have gone to nymphs but swinging is still working.
03/21/15 The "catching" has remained mostly good and consistent the past two
weeks. Customers reporting good fishing conditions.
03/28/15 Anglers are still catching steelhead. Service Creek to John  Day has been
good to most anglers.
04/11/15 The action has continued with plenty of steelhead being caught. Steam
levels remain good.
04/18/15 Steelhead are still being caught between the Service creek and Kimberely
area. The season above Kimberly closed April 15 to August 31st.
05/16/15 Smallmouth bass fishing has been good. Check out our smallmouth bass fly
05/23/15 More good reports of smallmouth being caught.
05/30/15 Stream levels continue to drop but the smallmouth are still eating good.
06/06/15 The river is in good shape and lots of smallmouth bass are being caught.
06/13/15 Stealth Bombers and our Brown Crayfish catching smallmouth.
06/20/15 Flows are down below 700 cfs and lots of smallmouth bass being caught.
06/27/15 The smallmouth bass fishing is almost as hot as the Oregon weather is this week.
07/04/15 It is hot, but so is the smallmouth bass fishing. More good reports.
07/11/15 More good smallmouth bass fishing reports from customers.
07/18/15 Stealth Bombers and our Brown Crayfish catching smallmouth.
06/13/15 Stealth Bombers and our Brown Crayfish catching smallmouth.
07/25/15 Beginning Saturday, July 18, 2015, fishing for trout, salmon, steelhead, and
sturgeon is prohibited at all times, including hours between one hour before sunrise and
one hour after sunset. Fly fishing for smallmouth bass is great right now.
08/01/15 Smallmouth bass fishing continues to be very good.
08/08/15 Remember, the trout, salmon and steelhead fishing is still prohibited at the
times stated below under the 7/25 report. Smallmouth bass fishing is still great.
08/15/15 Restriction continue for trout, salmon and steelhead but smallmouth bass
fishing is great.
08/29/15 The river is still very low and with great smallmouth bass fishing opportunity.
Rain is on the way and should move some fish in. The much cooler weather forecast
should improve the conditions but for now, all fishing except smallmouth is closed.
09/05/15 The weather cooled down a little but is headed back up. Stream levels are
okay but cooler water is needed for the trout and Steelhead. Smallmouth bass fishing
is as good as it can get.
09/12/15 There is a chance of rain from next Tuesday through Thursday. The river is
very low. It is still hot but will be cooling off big time next week. Smallmouth fishing
remains excellednt.
09/26/15 Smallmouth bass fishing has been superb. Our customers are catching good
numbers and some large size ones.
Check out our Bass Flies..
10/24/15 Good stream levels and great Smallmouth bass fishing. Top water flies like the
Stealth Bomber and Baby Popping frog are working great. Streamers are also working.
Smallmouth Bass fishing website
sponsored by Perfect Fly
11/14/15 Lots of steelhead are being caught. Conditions are very good.
12/05/15 The stream levels are up a little but the gauge has ice and is blocked.
Steelhead are still being caught and the warmer weather this coming week should help.
12/12/15 The river is high and headed higher. It will be a two/three days or more.
12/26/15 The stream is flowing at 1410 cfs at 3.7 feet, which is a little high. Snow is
forecast from Sunday through Wednesday. Some steelhead are being caught when the
levels allow fishing.
01/09/16 The stream levels are up just a little and that doesn't hurt. Swinging is
working. Our Spey fly patterns and nymphing is working good.
Our Steelhead flies
01/16/16 There is lots of rain and rain/snow in the forecast, so be sure to check the
stream levels. The weather will be warmer and the ice about all gone.
01/23/16 Steelhead are being caught throughout the system. They are in the upper
river above Service Creek but there is a lot of ice there at this time. Ice has slowed
things down some. The North Fork is iced over. Most of the main stream is clear of ice.
02/06/16 The river was high again but is back down within the last two or three days
and steelehead are being caught. They are mostly swinging flies. The flows should
continue to drop and fishing should continue to improve.
02/13/16 The river is on the way up again at 2920 cfs and 4.05 feet high. The flows
need to drop again for the fishing opportunity to improve.
02/27/15 The river has been high and is almost back down to normal levels for this
time of the year, but there is more rain in the forecast. Steelhead are plentiful
throughout the river, even above Service Creek in the upper river.
02/05/16 The river is very high and based on the forecast, will be two to four days
receding to the point you should be able to catch a decent number of fish.
03/12/16 The river is still very high with a good chance of rain every day though next
03/19/16 The river is at 6210 cfs and normal is about 3250. You will just have to keep
checking the levels. There is rain in the forecast for five of the next seven days.
03/26/16 The river is still a little high but can be fished and anglers are doing that and
catching steelhead. They are distributed through the river and in the upper river
above Service Creek. Swinging and nymphing is working.
Perfect Fly Steelhead Flies
04/09/16 The river is flowing at 5,900 cfs and at 5.56 ft. high. That is high and dingy but
falling. Hopefully, it will continue to fall. There are plenty of fish in the river.
04/16/16 The stream level is still a little high but fishable. It will keep dropping for the
next few days. Some steelehead are being caught and it should just keep getting better.
05/07/16 The river is down and angler are catching steelhead in the upper part of it
and smallmouth in the lower section of the river. It has finally got into decent shape.
05/21/16 Stream levels are down and the water clear. Customers are catching good
numbers of smallmouth bass. Conditions are very good.
06/11/16 The smallmouth bass fishing is excellent right now. Lot of fish are being
caught below Kimberly and some on the surface. Our Stealth Bomber flies are
working good. The Tequeely streamer are also producing.
07/02/16 The river is rather low, flowing at 272 cfs. Smallmouth bass fishing is still very
good. We still recommend fishing below Kimberly.
07/16/16 The river is flowing at 206 cfs at 2.23 ft., which is low. Provided you are
wading and/or have a small pontoon type drift boat, you should do well with the
smallmouth at these levels. We received some more good reports this past week.
08/06/16 The stream is very low, flowing at 47 cfs at 1.78 ft. Smallmouth bass fishing is
still very good, especially for wading anglers.
08/20/16 The water is still very low, flowing at 49 cfs at 1.79. You need a small pontoon
type boat or you should wade. Smallmouth bass fishing is excellent. Fish early and late.
09/17/16 Smallmouth bass fishing continues to be nothing short of excellent. Our
customers are catching them in high numbers below KIimberly. Perfect fly Popping
bugs, sculpin streamers, and crayfish patterns are working good.
10/01/16 The smallmouth bass fishing has continued to be exceptionally good. Our
customers are catching them on top water poppers and crayfish patterns up in the
day. The weather is going to be cooler and there is a little rain in the forecast.
10/08/16 The stream level is up enough to help small boat get around better and
there are lots of smallmouth being caught by the few fishing the river.
10/22/16 The stream levels have been up the past few days but back down in good
shape. We haven't received any reports recently but smallmouth fishing should be
very good right now. The water temperature is excellent.