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Weather finally cooperated so I made a trip over. Was still little muddy and moving. Fishing was great. lots of smallies and I got this guys. Not much of a fight but great fish. My son did a great job with the net
nice 🐖!
 

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We floated Clarno to Cottonwood May 17 - 21. Flows were way high at almost 8K cfs.
Clarno Rapids was a huge roller fest with some big holes. We all got wet. but no other issues.

Fishing was slow - the first two days we really had to work for them. Things picked up a bit on the 2nd half of the trip. Slower, wider water warming up a bit and more back eddies that held willing biters. A lot of our fish were females full of eggs and all were released unharmed.

I hooked one channel cat (we assume) - it hit a jig tossed behind a rock and immediately was into my drag hard! It tossed the jig after just a few second though.....

We tossed mostly 1/4 oz jigs with twister tails on them. Next time I go I'll bring some 3/8 and even a few 1/2 oz jig heads to help get down in the deeper holes. I'm convinced that there's some really big cats and smallies that are over looked because we're not getting down to them.
 

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Don't over-look a Panther Martin spinner, slow rolled through those deeper holes for channel cats. I've caught several that way, mostly on the Owyhee, but also on the JD.
This guy was 30.5" long and approximately 11#. It came from a hole I had to wade to in order to fish.
 
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Have to agree with Blacktail53 on Panther Martins. Personal best catfish Columbia river near Blalock Canyon. Personal best smallmouth, Columbia again near Cascade Locks. And now that I'm thinking about it, PB trout, back when Mann Lake was good. Also make my own larger slamon/steelhead spinners with the same blade.
Compliments to the nice fish posted!!
 

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I am going to be spending a week on the JD River first week of July. We will be dispersed camping and fishing.

Can anyone recommend a good starting spot and then which way up or down river?
 

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@pcstockton

River flow in July is usually very low and wadeable. Fish will be concentrated in deep holes and hungry. Anywhere there is public access, walk up or down river to find the deeper spots and you will catch fish.

It is a very long river. If you post what fork of the river, or at least roughly what town is near where you want to camp, there will be a better chance of getting useful info back on dispersed camping.
 

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Also....

...you will be catching smallmouth bass there. Only a handful of largemouth get caught each year, and they are at the mouth of the JDR closer to Interstate 84.
 

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Thanks Aervax. Yes we are going there to fish for smallies.

We are heading out on the ORBDR Section 3 until it crosses HWY 26. Then probably follow that to the river near the Fossil Beds. Then head north.

If the Fossil Beds area is no good then we will prob take 26 to Hwy 207 in Mitchell and head to the river from there.

Thanks again!!!!
 
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