I had a very busy week guiding the lakes so I apologize for missing the friday afternoon updates. It’ll be the same next week so I will shoot for saturday updates for a few weeks until my crazy June lake days are over. It’s been fun, but I do miss the fly shop days and the contacts I have when I’m in the shop, besides getting things done that can’t be done from the boat on a remote mountain lake. Like fishing reports that I know people use and enjoy. BTW, thanks for all the positive feedback on my reports and putting up with me as I become a grumpier old man fly shop owner dude. 😉
The weather has been a wild ride this month. So much wind, a little rain and a little thunder and lightning. I am looking forward to calmer and warmer days ahead but there are blessings to the weather we’ve had for sure.
On the Metolius Drakes are still on and fishing is good to great most afternoons from Canyon Creek to Candle Creek. PMD’s are also very important. You need a good cripple and emerger pattern to supplement your dun patterns. Rusty Spinners will round out your PMD experience at dusk.
Caddis hatches are good, but will improve with warmer days ahead. BWO hatches have been coming off in the early evening after the drakes. Keep an eye open for them because they can be sneaky but important. After size 8 or 10 drakes have been the focus, seeing and recognizing a size 20 baetis is not what we want to focus on. But the trout do. Bull Trout fishing is good on big streamers. My customers Jake and his dad Don have been making me jealous. Euro Nymphing is excellent, especially in the upper river and down around Bridge 99. We are getting close to Golden Stones in the Upper River segments so stone nymphs are key up there especially.
The Lower Deschutes is a great bet with Caddis, Pale Evening Duns and PMD’s. Our guides have been spending a lot of time in the Warm Springs to Trout Creek drift and say that caddis pupa and X Caddis are both producing really well. They are also killing it on Euro Jigs and Perdigons. This is now my favorite time of the year on the Lower Deschutes. For the next 6 to 8 weeks you’ll see great hatches, sometimes only in the evenings but overall superb fishing each day and way less crowds than when the big stones were hatching.
The McKenzie is good, if not great fishing. Plenty of fish on both dries and nymphs. Mostly Caddis, but good hatches of Drakes and Yellow Mayflies (epeorus) with some stonefly action mixed in there too.
Crooked River is good below Bowman Dam down to about MP 15. Seems like the fish are mostly hanging high now, and eating a lot of midge nymphs.
There are some caddis and small BWO hatches mixed with the midges, but our best success is coming on perdigons and zebra midges.
Fall River is always a great bet this time of year. So many cool hatches from Drakes, PMD, BWO, Yellow Sally, Caddis, Midges and Terrestrials that dry fly fishing is a super way to approach the stream. Still no access to the hatchery area but the rest of the river is open with good access and good fishing.
Of course nymphing is very good and some of our guides are picking up some very big fish on Euro streamers.
East Lake is finally seeing the 1st Callibaetis hatches of the season. It’s a late start, but the fish are eating dries finally. This week when I was up there we did best on Chironomids (Chromies) in about 8-10 feet of water fishing one a foot off the bottom and the dropper about 3 feet off the bottom. If you haven’t used a Corq indicator yet, get some for this shallow water nymphing.
So far, wind drifting has been a bust for me. I heard from some friends they drifted the EL Camp Ground shoal with good success and picked up nice fish between the shoreline and the hump. But the wind has been super swirly the days Ive been and a consistent wind direction and general wind speed is needed for a successful wind drift.
BTW, on Memorial Day I personally caught a kokanee on a chironomid that was 17″. Since then on the last 5 days of guiding my clients are catching kokanee in the 6 to 8 inch range. I am curious to know what others are finding on kokanee size there. Shoot me a message if you’re seeing decent size koke’s. BTW, the rainbow spawn along the shorelines seems to be finally about over and that is great. Yes, there are still some bow’s going through the motions, but there aren’t as many meaning those fish have entered the feeding society of the rest of the fish in the lake and are acting normal again. Its frustrating when so many of the rainbows are trying to spawn on the shorelines because they are not feeding really and they are vulnerable.
I had some great chironomid days at Crane Prairie early this week. #14 black or chrome/red were best. Damsel Nymphs are coming on strong and leeches are king at CP. Most fish were caught under an indicator, but some on a Hover or Camo Intermediate line stripping or drifting.
Hosmer Lake was great these last two days. So interesting though on the difference a day makes. Thursday was really good on a tan leech stripped with an intermediate line and it slowed up in the afternoon after a very good morning. Yesterday the morning was tough, if not just slow, but after lunch we had a 2 hour callibaetis hatch where our Black Butte Callibaetis railed ’em. Also caught a few on Chromies and Red Ice Cream Cones after the hatch. A day of fishing can change so quickly and it is a blessed day that the trend is the same today as it was yesterday. It would make my job easier, but the game is played either way and that is the fun of it.
3 Creeks Lake is cold and windy but the fishing is really good if you hit it right. There are just a few beginnings of callibaetis and black caddis starting to hatch now. Ants and Leeches and Damsel Nymphs are your best bets until the warmer days in the 10 day forecast hit and make those hatches finally really start to become important. Access is all the way to the ramp and store now.