Fall Fly Fishing on the Owyhee River, OR

Last Halloween my friends and I set out to Owyhee with the anticipation of catching a world class monster German Brown. Six hours passed and we walked away without a single bite. We couldn’t call the trip a complete wash. The vibrant fall colors and crisp fall air kept our spirits high. All in all we were super stoked on just being out there to catch a glimpse of this famed river.

As the leaves began to change and the ghosts transpired into front yards the thought of getting back to the Owyhee River once again crossed our mind. For this trip we wanted to be prepared to the fullest extent. We started at a shop up on Overland called Anglers. Fly after fly was pulled by the kind and knowledgeable shop attendant. We walked away with mahoganies, PMD’s, blue winged olives, cone head streamers, pheasant tailed nymphs, zebra midges and a monster mouse like streamer. Each of the smaller flies came in at $1.55 and the big mouse streamer was $1.95.

Part I had been taken care. Now it was time for Part II, food and beverage. The Boise COOP packed out cooler with freshly made sandwiches, sun dried tomato meat loaf from A Tavola and Trout Slayer Ale by Big Sky Brewing. Part III was for us to get on the road, lay some lines down and slay more than just the beer.

We made the sixty-five mile drive in just under an hour and twenty minutes. Eager like school girls, we quickly jumped into our waders and vests. Somehow we had enough patience to snap a quick group photo before getting those lines wet.

It wasn’t more than fifty yards up from where we parked the car when we came across our fist “big brown” crew. Each fish was no less than twenty inches and sat in water no deeper than two feet, some thrashing up gravel sections with fins fully exposed. It was a thrilling sight to see. Over the next three hours I threw everything I had at these fish from the mahoganies to the pheasant tailed nymphs. My heart raced only once throughout that three hours when I stripped that ugly mouse in front of the monster fish. Momentarily the fish would show interest before slowly moving back to their complacent positions in the river. After being painstakingly taunted we headed back to the car to collect our thoughts over a cold trout slayer and some of that delicious meat loaf.

We sat on the bed of my friends Toyota Tundra and contemplated switching locations. Fish slowly began to rise in a long slack pool just below the truck. I had it in me to throw the dice one more time before moving on. A size 16 blue winged olive decorated the end of my ten foot tippet line. Nervous with anticipation, I threw the line just above the ring circles formed just like a heavy fall dew drop dripping into a still body of water. Not two casts in and I had hooked up a lively little rainbow. It wasn’t an infamous brown but at this point, anything that made my line move other than the low lying willows was of great delight. Over the next half hour I pulled in 6-7 fish ranging in size from 10-15inches with species varying from rainbows to browns.

My fellow fishing buddies were working different flies without any success. I decided to spread the wealth and loan out a couple of my blue winged olives. My friend Seth managed to lose two within twenty minutes. With a smile already put on my face from netting a few fish I passed my last blue winged olive off to Seth. Sure enough, he lost that one as well….. Note to self, be selfish next time. Alex pulled one in and hooked up with several others while I tried to match up something similar over the next hour. After being pleasantly disappointed, I found it more suitable to snap a few shots instead.

When everyone had their fill we headed back to the rig to strip down and enjoy a post fishing beer. Somewhat bored with same stretch of river that we had been on for the better part of the day I suggested that we move up river for something new. We made our way to the end of the river where the Owyhee Dam stops up this slow moving river and creates a vast man made lake. With the sun setting and a turnout in sight, we pulled off to take in the beauty that surrounded us.

We ran out of Trout Slayer but had a back-up of Cronitas…

It was an amazing trip back out and I am super siked that we broke the streak even though there weren’t any big browns being had. Big thanks goes out to Alex for getting us jones’n on this trip.


~ by skier2435 on October 28, 2008.

2 Responses to “Fall Fly Fishing on the Owyhee River, OR”

  1. Next time you go, if you can’t match the hatch throw some double bunnies(black seems to work well). Cast to the risers just like you were throwing a dry fly at them. I live in Boise and have been fishing the Owyhee for ten years. Big flies big fish. Good Luck!

  2. Thanks for the heads up! I’ll be sure to add a few of those to my quiver next time out. I’m excited to throw some skwalas tomorrow.

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