the bell is ringing that summer is quickly coming to an end for me. Today was the last summer class I taught at Black Butte Ranch for the year and it is dark at 8 PM. Days of fishing the streams until 9:45 and squeezing a 6x tippet through a #16 rusty spinner at 9:15 is way over. It is time to make the most of the summer we have left. Not that Fall is anything to sneer at, it is amongst the greatest fishing of the year, but I am a summer guy and I miss it when it fades.
I was lucky to have spent another week on the water. From lakes, reservoirs, spring creeks and tiny mountain creeks, many trout were caught!
On the Metolius things are looking amazing for the foreseeable future. In fact, I’d say the next 6 to 8 weeks are often the best weeks of the year as we see strong hatches and great bull trout fishing.
For hatches you can expect to see the following:
Mayflies- Blue Wing Olive #18-22, Pale Morning Dun #16-18, Mahogany Dun #16, Flav’s #14, Fall Green Drakes #8-12
Caddis- Tan #16, Yellowish Tan #18-20, Olive #16-18, Grey #14-16
Stoneflies- Golden Stones #10-12, Salmonfly #6-8, Willowfly #4-6, Little Olive Stones #16-20, Yellow Sally #16-18
and there will always be some midges and terrestrials in play!
I love it. It can be frustrating when there are 3 or 4 things hatching all at the same time and we have to figure out what the fish is eating, and at what stage. Days they are totally keyed to ONE thing is sometimes harder with all the distractions of all the other hatches. But one thing that you’ll find is it depends on the time of day and the section of river that will determine the choice of fly.
Fire situation continues to be positive down on the river, in Camp Sherman and around the camp sites.
The Lower Deschutes is good from Warm Springs to Maupin for trout, and from Pine Tree to the Columbia for Steelhead.
Nymphing the days for trout is good, and still picking off risers in the eddies mid-day.
Evening trout bite is very good on dries and caddis pupa.
It’s been smokey on the lower river from the White River fire. Keep that in mind.
Know of several steelhead taken on skaters! Yes please.
Crooked River is running nice about 210 cfs and with good PMD hatches and excellent nymphing.
Still a fair bit of green algae in the drift and I’d totally avoid the weekends due to crowds including the floaty people who have turned one of the most magnificent fishing places into the same bullshit that is happening in downtown and Old Mill District Bend.
Fall River is fine, crowded and with decent hatches. Our guides have been doing best on Euro Nymphs and Ants. There is a nice mid-day PMD hatch and some BWO’s and caddis mixed in.
The Hatchery area is still closed and we cant see it opening for a long time to come. I miss that water!
The McKenzie is fishing awesome for us. Euro nymphs and Chunky Dries with a nymph dropper are producing well.
There is some good walk & wade options for non floaters up in the Deer Creek and Belknap area. This is the time of year to look for the 2nd emergence of Green Drakes there too. It is a lot like the Metolius in many ways, including the Fall Drakes. Bring a wading staff.
East Lake is getting the 2nd brood of Callibaetis in good numbers and the fish are looking up to that hatch. I look forward to being back there Monday to hit that hatch.
Chironomids are working deep in about 15 to 20′ of water. Everyday the color and size may be different, but I would start with a 16 red on the bottom and an olive zebra midge on the dropper. Catch one and do the throat pump to see what the size and color really is…
Terrestrial fishing along the banks is a good bet and will continue to be. I’ve caught fish in beetles in the snow, so even if it gets cold it works.
Paulina was really fun yesterday. Red Tarantula and Black Hippie Stompers (beetle) were awesome for Tina and I. A Red 2 Bit Hooker was the only nymph I tied on and I caught a bunch of fish with it too, but the dries were consistent enough it was hard to stop fishing with them. A great day off to spend on the water with my girl.
Crane Prairie is good and we had some fine fishing there on Thursday. My clients did well on a Brown Balanced Leech and Red 2 Bit Hookers. We also were treated to a nice callibaetis hatch and spinner fall in the morning from about 9:30 to 11 with lots of fish rising to the callibaetis.
Hosmer is good with Callibeatis and Damsels. Fish are also eating a lot of water boatman and scuds at the moment. Go early or late to get around the crowds of kayaks and SUP’s, but worth fishing.
3 Creeks Lake is good, still fishing well with Callibaetis and Chironomids, and a lot of small Black Caddis around getting the fish to be interested in the pupa and adults. Leeches are working well too, either balanced with an indicator or on an intermediate line. Ants and Beetles are great. One other tip…try a #16-18 non beaded hares ear under a small yarn indicator hanging the fly about a foot and half to 3 feet under the indicator. Hang on.
Thanks again for the support, great comments and we will see you on the water or in the shop. Stay well.