2015 Aug 21 Brownlee Reservoir 21

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Brownlee Reservoir Smallmouth Bass Fishing Report


Brownlee Reservoir Smallmouth Bass – August 2014

The Brownlee Reservoir is located near the Midwestern Idaho and southeastern Oregon borders separating Idaho and Oregon. It is the uppermost reservoir of the Hells Canyon complex, which is a series of three Idaho Power dams built-in the Snake River canyon to generate electricity. Brownlee Reservoir is through-flowing and by far the largest, covering 15,000 acres and is 58 miles long. The reservoir is long and narrow, featuring rocky steep shorelines in a hilly and semiarid region.

Back in the 1980s and early 1990 it was in many experts opinion the best warm water fishery in the western United States. The Oregon State record smallmouth bass was caught at Hewitt Park, Powder River arm in 1978.

The lake has many species of fish including; Smallmouth bass, Largemouth bass, Bluegills, several species of Bull heads, Channel catfish, Blue catfish, Flathead catfish, Black crappie, White crappie, Sturgeon, Red eared sunfish, Pumpkinseed, Rainbow trout, and more recently Brown trout and Walleye.

But this August day we were going after Smallmouth bass. Although my partner for today, Bob had fished Brownlee many times before, this would be my first time to actually get out on a boat and do some fishing. Prior to this day, I had only fished Brownlee once from shore in the Powder River arm at Hewett Park catching one short Smallmouth bass.

2015 Aug 21 Brownlee Reservoir - 01

We arrived at the lake shortly after safe-light and launched at Hewett Park. We started out fishing right there in the Powder River arm about halfway out to the main body.

Weather was clear with air temps in the morning at around 62-64, very comfortable in shorts & flip-flops. Later in the day it probably warmed to the mid 80’s. Wind was 5-10mph throughout the day and water temps were pretty steady all day around 74-75 surface temp.

2015 Aug 21 Brownlee Reservoir - 03I started out the morning fishing the Paycheck Baits 3.85” Repo Man in the Dead Man Walking color. Throwing the bait right to shore then working it out. I caught several dinky Smallmouth bass almost all right up shallow. Bob was fishing creature type baits rigged on a small jig heads. We moved and fished a few more spots in the Powder River arm both catching a few more 6-8” Smallmouth bass. Not the size we were looking for.

Once out on the main body we continued catching all the same size fish, 8-12” and they were eating just about everything. I continued to catch a few more on top water until the sun got higher, then I caught fish on small Pizz customs Square bill Crankbaits. We also caught fish all day on Shaky heads, Senkos and Bob was having the best luck with a small Reaction Innovations Sweat Beaver rigged on a small jighead.

I’ve got say EVERYTHING looks the same at this lake! Mostly steep rocky shoreline with out ANY cover. So I suggested maybe we just key on any irregularities, points, humps, etc. But it didn’t seem to matter where or what we fished we just kept catching the same size fish all day long.

No complaints though, we must’ve caught over a hundred Smallmouth bass. Maybe one or two that might have went 12”. But we didn’t even bother measuring them.

It was pretty fun, the fish would eat just about everything! I fished Shaky Heads, Senkos, Jigs, and even caught some on a Swimbait,.. Thinking I might get a bigger bite. Nope, all the same size!

2015 Aug 21 Brownlee Reservoir - 04The Shaky Heads were rigged with 6″ Fat Robo Worms in Warmouth & Aaron’s Magic. The Senkos were 5” Green Pumpkin/Black Flake wacky rigged nail weight neko style.

I fished a 3.8” Keitech Silver Shiner FAT Swing Impact swimbait.

I fished the Senkos on the new Powell Inferno series 6103 M Ex-Fast (6’10” Medium Ex-Fast Action 6-12lb.) and the Shakeyheads on new Powell Inferno series 6101 L Ex-Fast (6’10” Light Ex-Fast Action 4-10lb.) Both with a 2500 series spinning reels loaded with 10lb Spiderwire Stealth Glow-Vis Braid to 6lb Spiderwire EZ Fluoro leader.

The Top water, Swimbaits & Jigs I fished on the Powell Max series 734 C Fast (7’3” Heavy Fast Action 10-20lb.) with an ABU Garcia REVO STX loaded with 17lb Berkley Trilene XL.

The Crankbaits I was also throwing on new Powell Inferno series 705 CB Glass/Comp Mod-Fast (7’ Med-Heavy Mod-fast Action 10-17lb.)

I’m VERY impressed with the lightness and sensitivity of the NEW Inferno series from Powell rods. At $129.99 price point, you can’t beat the quality! Check out the Powell Rods Videos Below

Late in the afternoon around 3:30, we noticed some storm clouds rolling in and decided to call it a day.

Right now, if you’re looking to get out on the water with the kids and catch a ton of fish? Get out to Brownlee Reservoir!

I’m going to have to do some more research and find out where the big fish live! If any of you reading this have input, please feel free to comment below. I’d welcome the input.


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