Central Oregon Fishing Report 5/8/2020

Plenty of exciting things to report and talk about this week in our report. As you know, we love East Lake so it is exciting to report the road to Paulina and East Lake opened today (5/8/20) and access is open. More on that below. Salmonflies are all over the Deschutes from Maupin to Bend.
Dry fly action on the Metolius is the best we’ve seen in over a month. So let’s get this party started and talk about our favorite subject. Booze.
Not really. Fishing.

Lower Deschutes- Salmonflies are out from Maupin to Warm Springs. It is early in the hatch and the fish are just getting used to T-Bones floating by, so give them a little time to get keyed in, let’s hope we can keep up these warm days and hopefully the freezing nights will go away and we are all set for a heck of a good salmonfly hatch that ought to last about 3 weeks.
Remember there is no floating of the river at all until May 21. There is also no access to Dry Creek on the WS Reservation.
So your walk and wade access will be at Warm Springs on the East Bank, Mecca, Trout Creek CG, South Junction and Maupin area upstream of Shearars Falls.
Besides the big bugs, Golden Stones will follow shortly, March Browns are still out and about, PMD’s and Pale Evening Duns are gearing up for the summer and plenty of caddis will fill in the menu. All of these either in Nymphs or Dries can be important from day to day. March Browns will be over soon.

Middle Deschutes- from Lake Billy Chinook all the way up to Bend there are Salmonflies. They just started in the upper ranges but have been out over a week in the lower ranges. Mixed reports of fish grabbing them, but it will happen. This is how salmonfly hatches work…It takes the right combo of the fish being ready for them, the bugs taking flight, pleasant weather and if you wore your lucky underwear.
PMD, PED, Caddis are all over the river too.
We’ve also been having really good Euro Nymphing through the Middle River lately.

Metolius River- Since that big full moon around the Spring Equinox, the dry fly fishing was flat. It is neat to see this week that the fish have started to feed better on top again. PMD’s and Caddis have been hatching well, with a few (Green Drakes, read very few so far) and Epeorus hatching.
Nymph action has been fun. Euro Nymphs and Golden Stones, Caddis Pupa, Micro Mayflies, Zebra Midges and Frenchies have been productive.
Bull Trout fishing on Streamers and small nymphs has continued to be productive this week and should remain a strong option. Don’t fish Bull’s on a 5 weight please. Respect the fish and play them quickly, not too exhaustion.
PLEASE REMEMBER THAT THE RIVER FROM THE HEADWATERS TO THE ALLINGHAM BRIDGE REMAINS CLOSED UNTIL MAY 22. There are way too many people not paying attention to the upper river closure and that is not cool. It is a sanctuary and is closed to protect spawning in the winter months and now, it is still closed to protect juvenile fish. Please read the regulations. And for the 2 dudes from Washington that said to the hiker who told them it was closed above Allingham, and replied they weren’t leaving because Jeff at FFP told them it was open. No sir. You couldn’t be more wrong.

Crooked River- ODFW is done with their experiment (water wasting if you ask me) and the river is down to 351 cfs today. That is still on the high side but appears to be the normal flow for 2020. Not sure why, because BOR used to run the river at 240 cfs for most of the summers I can remember.
The Mother’s Day Caddis hatch is on the move. Lot’s of adults on the surface and pupa in the drift.
BWO’s and Midges are hatching too.
We are seeing great Nymphing especially ESN techniques.

Fall River- PMD hatches are improving, and some friends saw a fishable March Brown hatch there a few days ago. BWO’s, Midges, Caddis and Yellow Sally’s will all be possible hatch sighting on the little spring creek for the next several months.
Ants and Beetles are money as we get warmer weather and don’t forget to toss in a few big flying carpenter ant patterns for the near future as those will be hatching quite soon.
We’ve been having very good days on nymphs and even getting some fish on streamers.

Crane Prairie- Plenty of good fishing days on the Reservoir lately. The days I’ve been on the lake the fish are eating a combo if Chironomids and Leeches. Throat Pump samples show a wide selection of Chironomids, but the fish are showing a marked preference for a Balanced Leech. Usually a black one, but Red has had days with game.

Lava Lake- So far I’ve heard very little from Lava or Little Lava. A friend of mine caught a huge rainbow there along the shoreline Sunday. Usually early season there a lot of fish along the shore (a lot of spawners or false spawners) and around the cove near the resort and by the boat launch that will eat Chironomids under an indicator fairly readily.
Leeches either stripped or wind drifted are good now.
Should be some Callibaetis soon especially over the sandy flats on the West Side of the lake.
I heard the water was really turbid this week, so wondering if it had a turnover and will clear again, or if the really windy days earlier in the week just churned it up?

East and Paulina Lake– The Road opened today and the gate is open. That is all we have so far. Early Season Chironomids ought to be good right off the bat. Not too early to think about ants and beetles. Often Brown Leeches are great early. Streamers are good early.

Three Creek Lake– Still snowed in. Typical opening is mid-June

Now, let me be a cranky old fly shop owner.
#1- We are required to wear masks when serving you and while it isn’t our favorite thing to do, we are and we do because we care about your health and our health. Would you please wear a mask when you visit us in the shop too? We want everyone to be healthy and have a good summer of fishing. It should be a given that we would protect each other now. AND we don’t know where you’ve been, especially if you are coming from another state or even another county that has a bigger population than Sisters and Deschutes County.
#2- We don’t have info on where you should camp. Camping is closed along the Deschutes National Forest on the Metolius, the Lakes, Fall River. Closed means closed. If you want to camp, figure it out on where you can camp and do so responsibly, but we are not giving advice on that and please stop asking us.
#3- the government agencies don’t have a secret hotline for us to call and get info on boat ramps, camp sites, opening dates, or where the troopers are going to bee checking people. We seriously get asked this info all the time.
Jeez Louise, we cant give you a double probationary secret code to tell to the warden for getting your ass out of trouble. Know what you are doing is legal, know you are in an open area and be responsible.
In 34 years of running a fly shop, I literally have never seen so many people screwing up or not being responsible for their actions and honestly it is making me cranky.

5 thoughts on “Central Oregon Fishing Report 5/8/2020

  1. Hi Jeff,
    Thank you for calling out those anglers who feel they don’t have to follow any rules. If people are that selfish, with so much lack of concern for their fellow anglers, they shouldn’t have the right to share the resource with the rest of us who do care.

    I am a lifetime Oregonian at 69 years old. I frequent your shop all summer long. I read your blogs every time you post, and have always found your information and advise to be extremely important. I do understand your frustration, as a former charter captain on the Oregon coast, I always felt that I should have the answers to all of life’s questions. Not happening! You and your staff always do an amazing job reporting information useful to those who want to listen.

    Keep up the great work. Hopefully one day I can accompany you folks on one of your trips.

    Thanks again Jeff.

  2. Jeff being cranky is perfect. I too am sick and tired of irresponsible people. Was on the Owyhee last week and the amount of Idaho plates fishing was ridiculous. Closed means closed. I did have confrontations with a few to educate…… they did not care. poaching is poaching. what has happened to the etiquette of our sport. Been flinging a dry since i was eight. 60 years. Thanks for your blog and letting me vent, Mike Beall

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