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Reports > 2012 > March > Wednesday 28
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
By Dave Graybill
One of the reasons I wanted to get to Northport was to try the early spring fishing for big rainbow and cutthroat in the Columbia. Our guide, Justin Hotchkiss, of Far North Charters, is an expert at taking these fish on a fly. Trout fishing in the extreme north on the Columbia is good throughout the year, but the biggest fish are usually taken in March. Rainbow weighing from 3 to 10 pounds are staging to spawn on the long gravel bars here, and even cutthroat of 4 to 5 pounds aren’t unusual. We were swinging flies along seams off points and along these long bars, and fished streamers and Stone Fly imitations on sink tips that were rated up to 300 grain and were 22 feet long. Rollie Schmitten landed a beautiful 3-pound rainbow on our first drift. We only caught the one rainbow but also landed whitefish of similar size. Schmitten is convinced that the next state record whitefish will come from this area. We battled wind later in the morning and finally had to give up in the early afternoon. I was very impressed with Hotchkiss and plan to return to the area in the fall for another shot at big rainbow on dry flies.