Sunday, March 12, 2017

Spring Update 2017

Sorry I haven't posted here in a bit. My website is being re-done right now so blog posts are being channelled that direction.  Here is a copy of my last news letter:

Spring 2017 Newsletter

Wow!  What a crazy winter.  Soon Spring will start moving in and there will be more fishing opportunities.  I can't say I remember a winter like this; we had two feet of snow in Hood River for all of December and January.  The rough winter has led to lots of cancelled trips due to snow, ice and then high river levels.  Other than the frequency we can fish, we've been finding fish most days, not always landing them but finding a bite or two.  As the days start to get a little longer the rivers will warm up a bit (the Sandy was 35 degrees last week) and the fish should start eating the fly a little harder.  I'm fishing steelhead on the Sandy all the way through April and there is plenty of availability so let me know if you want to get out.  I do a little better job of reporting on Facebook and Instagram so feel free check there for updates.

Sam Sickles
(541) 400-0855
Trout Season on the Deschutes is right around the corner.  I will be on the Deschutes for the month of May and into June.  I'm booking up pretty well for the Salmonfly hatch in May, but there is availability each week. If you're interested in a multi-day trip the first week of May or the week of the 22nd are available.  Those dates will be full quickly so if you have an interest let me know as soon as you can.  Details are below.

The Famed Salmonfly Hatch
This is a three-day drift boat trip during the Salmonfly/Stonefly hatch on the lower Deschutes.  Easily the most popular trip on the Deschutes river.  We'll spend three days and two nights on the river fishing really big dry flies to very eager fish.  Our camp moves each day ahead of us making sure everything is in order when we arrive.

This trip is all inclusive and includes tents, cots, meals, rods and flies if you need them.  The Salmonfly hatch usually gets going in early May and starts to fade the last week. Cost is $1300 per angler, 2 angler minimum.  Call me to book this trip.  (541) 400-0855  or email

To book a single-day trip with me call me or send an e-mail. I offer single-day trout trips starting in April.  Cost is $425/$495 for one or two and these trips will be Warm Springs to Trout Creek, The Maupin Stretch, or Jet Boat trips from the mouth.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Deschutes Steelhead 2016

Chalk this one up for the ages, a year when the Steelhead just didn't show up on the Deschutes river.  It's not that no fish showed up but it has been considered my most the lowest return to the Deschutes in forty years.  Due to an extremely hot spring and summer in 2015 combined with near zero snow pack the Deschutes, the Columbia and many other river ran too low and too warm for the class of 2015 steelhead to make it to the ocean.  The class of 2015 that did make it to salt found poor conditions adding lack of escapement.  The end result was catastrophic losses to out migrating steelhead smolts leading to a near zero return of one salt  fish to the Columbia river basin.  The good news is we had a seasonably cool spring and summer in 2016 and good flow down the Columbia all spring so the class of 2016 out migrating smolts should fare much better and 2017 will be closer to normal.  I say closer to normal because if the class of 2015 really didn't make it we will see a shortage of two salt fish in 2017.  For the record, the Deschutes, John Day and Grande Ronde are all primarily one salt fisheries.

My season is starting to wrap up which leaves me some holes in my schedule and I thought I'd take a few minutes to post up a couple fish pictures and formally thank those who weathered the storm with me in 2016.  The fishing was tough this year but I know folks had a good time anyway, the Deschutes is a very special place and I look forward to seeing my old friends and my new friends again in 2017.


Sam Sickles

Thursday, May 5, 2016


I'm over and out until Memorial Weekend so here's a quick report for the two people that check this blog.  The trout are extra thick and well fed, the poison oak is everywhere and I saw my first rattler today across from Johnson Flats.  Lots of bugs,  big bugs, little bugs, all kinds of bugs.  There are salmon flies all the way to trout creek as of yesterday and goldens to maybe North Junction, the fish are willing but not yet stupid for them.  If you are fishing with me in the next week or so congratulations, you nailed it.

Here's a giant that crushed a swung Clark's Stone as I was walking back to the boat to change flies...seriously, biggest "red side" I've ever encountered, what a ride.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

It's Time!

It's time to relax, float the river, camp out of the boat...and catch some trout.  My wife and I took a backpacker style last minute float on Sunday.  Two days Trout Creek to Maupin is a push so we hit one secret spot then floated to Davidson flat (about half way).  Although we saw lot's of adult insects the trout were definitely feeding below.  We caught some very nice fish, fat and happy.

This trip was marked by green hills, big horn sheep, and wild horses and a massive lack of people.  This will all change here in the next couple weeks but for now, I think Ill go back in a couple days!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

March of Dimes!

If you are looking for a report, it's mixed.  Had some days with none had some days with one, had some days with a some.  Tick tock, tick tock...

The Sandy River should fish really well this spring.  We have a nice snow pack, moderately warm weather and lots of dime bright fresh fish.  The big native steelhead show up now through April and Sandy River summer steelhead are showing up as well.  I'm available through April, let me know if you need a ride!