Posts Tagged ‘back channel


Fly Fishing: Back Channels Hold Possibilities Too

Back channels, this time of year can be rather low with boulders and smaller rocks exposed. Quiet, almost stagnant pools remain where in the Spring and early Summer the water offered possibilities of life (insects and fish). But, if the flows are still there, give that back channel a look.

Often, in our haste to reach the main stem of the stream or river, we descend down the bank, wade through a back channel, move across an island and reach the main stem and stand and ponder the possibilities. Well, when the flows are there, you might stop sooner and study that back channel for possible insect activity, holding water and fish. 

Here is a back channel on the McKenzie Rvier, below the Leaburg Spillway. Trout and Steelhead can be found holding in this water as they circumvent the island to the right. Easy to just wade across this water while moving out to the main stem. At least worth a look see.

Steelhead, Salmon, Trout and Bass can be found in those back channels, which are  really only small segments of the greater whole. My only caution is during certain times of the year those back channels are spawning areas too so rods off during those times. 


Fly Fishing: Back Channel Beauty

Back channels are sometimes those barriers to the main stem; waded across to get to the main channel and fish. Recently, I explored a back channel for trout. What I was struck by was all the insect activity in this small fifty yard stretch. Hatches fluttered along for several hours. Several trout were caught on Caddis pupa patterns. Large yellow mayflies glided down the stream like large sailboats. Tan Caddis fluttered about. Little Yellow Sallies (Sally’s?) lumbered toward shoreline vegetation. BWO’s and PMD’s flew up and away with the breeze. Midges hovered. All this activity and no rises, at least that I saw. Nymphs were called for. Trout were caught. Nothing big. Just feisty little beauties.

It was a pleasant few hours. A drift fisherman hovered nearby. He informed me that Summer steelhead were in and often held in the back channel. I offered to relinquish the spot so he could swing a bobber~jig through, but he said he didn’t want to intrude on my “private place”. It was special…a little small stream experience with a big river just on the other side of the island. I will venture back…maybe prepared for steelhead too.

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June 2020

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