Hello to all. What an amazing week it was around here, with perfect summer weather and good fishing. I was able to fish for myself a few days on the Lower Deschutes, Crane Prairie and the Metolius as well as go hiking in the Sisters and Mountain Biking in the Lake Creek Preserve. My head is ready for the last push of the season going in to the next 60 to 80 days of being busy and all the great fishing that is just ahead of us.
It is supposed to be about 100 degrees here for the next few days. Pretty dang hot for August, but a bummer because the lakes had really responded nicely to more average (or even a few below average days and much cooler nights). This will be a small set back for Crane and Hosmer in my opinion. More on the lakes towards the end of the report.
As usual we will start on the Metolius, just down the road from the shop. It’s complicated. I like to call the Metolius Mystery Creek sometimes, because it is so full of surprises, and full of things we will never fully understand.
First of all, since the river is easily divided up in to 3 distinct sections: The Upper from the Headwaters to Gorge, the Middle from Gorge to Bridge 99 and the Lower from Bridge 99 down.
The Upper may be the most consistent for morning and afternoon fishing. The Middle more late afternoon and evening and the Lower about the same as the middle with some added pizazz for nymphing water and stoneflies.
In the Upper there are Golden Stones, Yellow Sallies, PMD, Mahogany Duns, some BWO and quite a few Caddis. Ants and Hoppers have a time and a place up there too.
On the Middle, it is slow from about noon or a little before to about 3 or 4. At 3 or 4 you’ll see a good emergence of yellowish-tan micro caddis.
You’ll see some mixed PMD’s, BWO’s and a larger Olive mayfly called an Ameletus that is matched with a #14 Olive Haze or Olive Stacker Dun. In the evening October Caddis Pupa are becoming important and at dusk Rusty Spinners are the ticket.
On the Lower river it is everything listed above from both the middle and upper and add some salmon flies which match the sporadic Salmonflies and Willow Flies that hatch in late August into September are already beginning below Bridge 99.
Bull Trout fishing is good on big streamers and we’ve seen some huge ones caught lately.
The McKenzie is most likely our very best river fishing trip right now. Fish are looking up to larger dries and also PMD type hatches along with multiple caddis and smaller stones. I have some customers who have a cabin on the river who had good success with a darker grasshopper pattern this week.
Our guide team continues to catch plenty of fish on Euro Nymphs and Streamers.
The Lower Deschutes is kind of summarized like the Metolius report above. Without a doubt, 100 miles of river can’t be lumped in to one report.
Up in the Warm Springs to South Jct areas the morning and evening fishing are by far the best part of the day. In the afternoon you can search the eddies and under the shady trees for risers that are eating spent and dead stuff that accumulates like rusty spinners, crippled PMD’s, spent egg layer caddis and various other stuff. When I was on the river monday we saw quite a few fish doing this.
Nymphing during the day is fair, but work hard and you’ll find more fish.
We caught fish on Perdigons and Caddis Pupa.
The Evening hatch started for us about 7 when the shade started and at first the fish ate a Purple Haze nicely, but as it got darker they went off the haze and on to Caddis. I chose the Fin Fetcher Caddis with the Hot Pink Parachute Post so I could see it at dusk.
Our guide staff reports almost exactly the same thing for the last few weeks.
I know a bunch of people that have been from Mack’s Canyon to the Mouth and have done very well for steelhead. The nymphing methods are producing more fish than swinging, but swinging is cool and the take is amazing and it’s always worth a shot at dawn and dusk and maybe even mid day if you know where to look.
It is looking to be a special year for Steelhead again in 2020. With so much other shit going on in the world, isn’t it incredible that at least we get a good steelhead run?!!!
For those of you interested in an upcoming trip for Steelhead, Steve Erickson, Troy Leedy and Ben Kittell are my best steelheaders on the guide team here at FFP and also know the Maupin runs down to Mack’s and to the Mouth, and are the usual team for running Trout Creek to Harpham for the 3 day trip this fall. The way our bookings have been, if you are interested please get on the calendar soon so you don’t miss dates.
Crooked River is fishing quite well. This is 3 years in a row where it was slow in the early summer, making us wonder about fish populations and then bam!, the fishing is hot.
Right now it’s mostly PMD’s on the surface and as nymphs. Zebra Midges, Scuds, Perdigons and Skinny Nelsons are good too.
The Water out of the dam is cold. no worries on a hot day stressing the fish from the dam to about MP 14.
It has been very crowded.
Fall River was fair this week. Still very crowded and I suppose it will be as there are so many vacationers in Sunriver and Bend.
PMD’s and small Caddis have been best. There are Yellow Sallies, BWO, Midges and some good opportunities for terrestrials (ants mostly). Nymphing and streamer fishing are important methods to consider if you get there and there is no hatch or you end up fishing the non-prime water and need to explore a bit.
Hatchery area and access are still closed.
Three Creeks Lake is still fishing well. Especially in the evening, but later afternoon usually will see a good callibaetis hatch. In the evening Callibaetis and Black Caddis are the best, but could be a good enough midge hatch to get the fish up.
During the day, Chironomids and leeches, especially under an indicator are your best bets.
Never forget your ants and beetles on a mountain lake.
Hosmer was fishing really well and now I am concerned with the hot weather. I think we should give it a week and see.
Crane Prairie I am concerned with as well as the temperature is about 98 at the fly shop right now and forecast to be hotter tomorrow. I rescheduled my monday trip for later in the month and plan to guide the rest of the week at East and Paulina.
When I was there this week I was pleased to see the lake down to 66 degrees mostly. We did well on balanced leeches under an indicator and stripping chartreuse bead damsel buggers, scuds, PT’s and black leeches on an intermediate line.
Paulina is my sweet spot for the week. Fishing beetles and tarantulas around the edges and chironomids on the drop off’s is the way. Also balanced leeches.
East lake is my other sweet spot this week. Pretty much the same plan as on Paulina. I know from looking at notes that East lake in August has typically been some of my best Chironomid action and a lot of brown trout.
Callibaetis are hatching and can be very important.
Beetles and Ants and even grasshoppers on the bank line is good.
Still seeing a lot of damsel action both dry and nymph and working the weed beds and shore line with a nymph is great and can be a fun hunt if you’re walking the shore looking for cruising trout.
It’s getting to be a great time to get there at dawn (really as the light is just starting to happen) and fish Chub streamers in the shallows. The big trout will be chasing the chubs early. Trophy Hunting with a fly rod!
See you in the shop or on the water. Be well and stay cool. Thank you for the tons of support and messages and love you’ve sent our way.