May 1st (2020) Fishing Report

First off, good news for all of our non-resident friends, beginning May 5th you are allowed to fish in Oregon again.

I am going to summarize all the waters in this one report, making it easy to read and get info quickly.
Overall the fishing in Central Oregon is good. Lakes and Rivers.
So here is the rundown of what we’ve been seeing, hearing or experiencing ourselves:

Lower Deschutes- As of now, it looks like there will still be ZERO float trips until 5/21/20. We will let you know if that changes to sooner or becomes extended out to health necessities.
We are probably a week away from the first salmonflies in the Maupin area and 10-12 days out from them being to the Trout Creek area, maybe even WS. Exciting!
March Browns are still out, but dwindling. PMD’s and Caddis are taking over for summer. Pale Evening Duns are also just beginning to pop, and you’re more likely to seen them mid-day until it gets hot out than in the evening. Purple Haze, Comparadun, Sparkle Dun and Parachute PMD are all good for the mayflies, and X Caddis and Elk Hair Caddis for Caddis.
Nymphs are outstanding right now with Stonefly Nymphs taking the top spot.

Middle Deschutes is seeing a good mix of March Browns, PMD, PED, Caddis and the 1st of the Salmonfly hatch near Lake Billy Chinook and around Steelhead Falls. Not a lot yet, but the next warm days sometime this coming week ought to be the time for it to really get going.
Nymphs and streamers have been good. We’ve been doing best on Stonefly Nymphs but also Euro Nymphing Perdigons and Jigs.

Metolius River- This week has been outstanding for Bull Trout. I have been very jealous on days I’ve been in the shop with all the Bull Trout stories I’ve heard….Fish have been on both big streamers and little nymphs.
Trout fishing on the usuals have been good too. There are some PMD’s, BWO’s, Caddis and small to mid size stones hatching. You’ll want to match those from bottom to top.
Green Drakes will be consistent by later in the month, maybe mid month as we are already seeing just a few early showings.

Fall River was good today on March Browns. BWO and Caddis are hatching too, and as we get more warm days Ants and Beetles will remain a strong dry fly option for several months.
Remember that the Hatchery Area and Falls Area through the State Park Lands are closed to all access including fishing.
Nymping is excellent. Olive Hares Ear and Zebra Midges, Perdigons and Jigs, 2 Bit Hookers and Micro Mayflies have all been good.

Crooked River is going to be bad from today through May 4th as ODFW tries an experiment to move juvenile fish downstream. So the water is going to bump to 550 cfs from 330 cfs.
Speaking of 330 cfs, for as long as I can remember the normal summer flow has been 240 cfs. So why are they wasting 90 cubic feet per second? We are going to need all that water for the river next winter to protect our flows and our fish. This to me is unacceptable and I’ve twice asked the Bureau of Reclamation for an answer and they said “We have been working with subject matter experts on a response. We apologize for the inconvenience and do appreciate your patience while we gather the information requested”.
Not that 330 is bad for our fishing now, so by next tuesday if that is the new normal for summer that’s fine for fishing. We are about 2 weeks out from a massive Mothers Day Caddis hatch. Green and Tan Sparkle Pupa will be awesome early on! This week was terrific on black Zebra Midges, Rainbow Warriors and small baetis Micro Mayfly and 2 Bit Hooker patterns.

Crane Prairie has been good, but different every day. We were up this week and did well on a grey chironomid with a black rib and white bead. But I’m hearing from guys who are hitting them on Black one day, then red the next, and on balanced leeches on another day. Quinn and Deschutes are great and hearing good things from Cultus too. More Brookies over at Cultus and they are eating the leech well. Either under the indicator or on a sinking line.

Wickiup is good. Less on the radar so not getting all the reports on a day to day basis like Crane. But I have heard good reports from over near the dam catching browns on streamers (sinking lines), and up the Davis and Deschutes Arms with leeches, Chironomids, Damsel Nymphs and with the warmer days on the horizon brings your ants and beetles.

South Twin is good. Damsel Nymphs, Leeches, Chironomids and Red 2 Bit Hookers. Fish are often found deep to near 20 feet but will be along the edges too.

Lava and Little Lava– we heard the gate opened today. No fishing or water report yet.

2 thoughts on “May 1st (2020) Fishing Report

  1. Hi Jeff:

    I have been motoring around to our lakes for the past couple of weeks. On the 29 of April I had the best day of my trout fishing on Crane Prairie. I launched at Quinn River. Last week I got to Lava Lake (my favorite) and found the lake at least 5 to 6 feet low with muddy water. I probably will not go there again this season. Last season was very disappointing also.

    Ray Heater

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