Jeff’s end of September fishing report 9/26/20

If you are reading this from Oregon you know we got a small blessing of fall weather and some good rains in many areas around the state. Places that had been hit hard with wild fire earlier this month were soaked. I don’t know how that moves us along with getting the fires all out, but it had to have helped a lot, and I can say there is no smoke in Sisters or the rivers and lakes around here now.
The weather front that created the wind and rain is escaping us now, and it will turn back to warm, sunny days for the upcoming week.
It looks like a perfect time to come enjoy some fishing.
A lot of our customers coming from the valley are getting here by driving Hwy 20 through Sweet Home and up the Santiam Pass to Sisters, or they are coming over Mt Hood on Hwy 26 and are having easy trips over both passes. Willamette Pass Hwy 58 is another good option.
I was lucky to be on the water a lot this week, as were the FFP guides including Adam, Steve, Troy and Ben.
I fished the Metolius twice with my wife Tina, plus guided great folks at Crane Prairie and Cultus Lake, and twice at Hosmer Lake.
The rest of the guys spread out on the Lower Deschutes, Crooked and Fall River, and for the most part fishing everywhere was pretty good, with a few epic reports thrown in for good measure.
So here is a breakdown of the fishing areas, hatches and what you might expect for the coming week:

The Metolius had a nice reopening below Allingham this week, with lot’s of our friends showing up on the river. It was like old home week seeing the old guard. That aspect of the Metolius is one of the things I love so much about the river, is that it truly has a band of characters that know each other and fish it regularly.
As expected, once we got back on the middle and lower river the green drakes were still hatching well from Canyon Creek to the Hatchery, and from the Hatchery to Candle Creek below Bridge 99.
PMD’s, BWO’s, Mahogany Duns, October Caddis, Golden Stones and tons of various small caddis in #14-18. (Iris, CDC, Corn Fed or X Caddis matches the hatch)
Early in the week Tina and I fished up river from Camp Sherman and had great fishing on Clark’s Stones and Euro Nymphs. We saw zero kokanee up river. On Wednesday when we were down in the lower river the Kokanee were starting to get pretty thick, and some have been in the river long enough to begin coloring up. It is great to see that happening as the biomass is so great for the river. Nymph anglers should be carrying and using eggs for the next month for sure!
Bull Trout-ing is a very good bet right now with Big Streamers and with nymphs.

The Lower Deschutes was good all week and Adam had a guide trip with one of our good customers (Dr. George) that was likely the best trip of the season.
All on euro nymphs! Epic. George came in to the shop today on Cloud 9.
Besides that, there are plenty of good nymphing opportunities on Caddis Pupa, Stone nymphs, PT’s, Soft hackles, 3 Dollar Dip, Rainbow Warrior and our new Tungsten Bead Rusty Spinner.
One of my good friends who fishes the river more than any non guide I know and he reports amazingly good dry action on tiny caddis in the eddies and edges.
The White River is BLOWN out. I would not fish below the White.
Steelhead are all over the river and are being caught from Maupin to Mecca. Swinging is preferred but nymphing is certainly productive and will offer a good chance at Redsides and Steelhead. Usually I love both, the swing in the morning and nymphing in the afternoon.

The Middle Deschutes is good from Bend to Lake Billy Chinook. The water is a little murky from wickiup being drained, but not as bad as from Bend upstream.
Pockets of evening fishing have been really good on Purple Haze and X Caddis. Most of the fish are coming on nymphs, but keep an eye open for PMD’s and BWO’s too.

The Crooked is holding steady with a 200 cfs flow and fishing is outstanding on PMD’s, BWO’s, Mahogany Duns, Zebra Midges and Perdigons.

The Fall River was on fire this week according to our guide Troy. Yesterday there was a tremendous Green Drake Hatch! Those are not as prevalent at the Fall as they are on the Met, but they are important. PMD and BWO and Mahogany Duns should be expected on any given day for the next couple of weeks too.
Midges and Caddis, Ants, Euro Nymphs and Streamers are all good too. This time of year I love to nymphs a tungsten bead egg with a dropper. Dirty tricks.

You’ve got until Wednesday if you want to fish the Upper Deschutes above Crane Prairie to Little Lava. There are some great nymphing a streamer areas up there to be enjoyed for a few more days until it is closed for the spawning season and then winter sets in.

Crane Prairie is good all over the lake. When I guided there this week we did best wind drifting brown leeches on a Hover line, but caught fish on an indicator rig using balanced leeches and chironomids.
Hot Head and Vampire Leeches are great for Crane any time, but especially now.

Hosmer Lake for me was ok this week. Not epic catches by any means, but we worked the channels and caught fish on various leeches, san juan worms and zebra midges. I definitely could tell the fish were feeding on Water Boatman at the surface, but we went through several floating boatman patterns that did not produce. We did get fish on sunken boatman patterns under the indicator. Yesterday on the way out of the upper lake and channel we ran into a (great) guy in a red float tube, enduring the pouring rain and catching fish on a soft hackle, trolling with a sinking line. It sounded like his success was better than ours!
Finally, it was great to have spent the day with my friend Mike on his 75th birthday and share a grand slam together in the sunshine a couple of days ago. Always cool when lakes have a few species of trout and you land all of them.

East Lake was good this week before the winds. The last few days got too windy and drove us to lower elevation lakes. It looks like after today, the weather is going to be favorable for East and Paulina.
Chironomids, Leeches, Streamers, Scuds, Callibaetis (mostly nymphs but maybe a few more days of light hatches), Eggs if you can find Kokanee spawning and Water Boatman.

Paulina Lake is good, and is a top choice for fall. Fish are cruising the shore lines and you can get them to rise on the Beetles and Tarantulas.
Balanced Leeches, Chironomids, 2 Bit Hookers and Rainbow Warriors are great under the indicator. Stripping leeches, scuds and small streamers on various densities of sinking lines around the edges and on the shoals is good.

Three Creeks Lake is slowing down a bit as it gets well past any of the summer ODFW stocking truck runs. As we move into October the brook trout will school up on the edges and love to eat a hot head olive leech. With the good weather this coming week chironomids and leeches should produce well, and look for some rising fish to ants, beetles and a likely hatch of midges. Who knows in October when it gets too cold to go up there any longer? I’ve seen the lake iced over by the 20th, and have still fished it on Halloween. I do know the weather this week looks freaking awesome so go get some fishing in.

I spent a little time on Cultus Lake this week. It was slow but I think that western shoreline is a place with a lot of potential for chironomids and leeches. We caught some fish there on a black chromie. More exploration and learning to do.

A couple of little lakes to put on your October (and maybe early) November radar are South and North Twin Lakes. Great for a tube or small pontoon, small enough to not be a wind tunnel and plenty of fish. Great indicator fishing and certainly good with hover, intermediate and type III sinking lines with leeches and nymphs. Usually ODFW has done a late stocking of fish in North Twin with some bigger brood stock. Since they don’t publish the stocking schedule on the ODFW website this year due to Covid I dont know if they will or not, but that can be a hoot in October and November before the weather turns.

As we move into the end of September and the beginning of October we sure hope to see you back in the shop, or out with one of our guides soon.
Our guide team got their ass kicked in September with cancellations, so we are hopeful to see some of that fill back in in October.
Think about going on a combo trout/steelhead trip WS to TC, or in the Maupin area, or a lake trip with me, Steve or Troy or a walk and wade trip with any of the guides. Adam is one of the best and most talented Euro Nymph masters in the state and is available to teach you the fine points coming up for the next several weeks.
I know I lost about half of my trips this month, so I’d love to fill some dates in October and I have the 7th, 9th, 12th, 16th, 19th, 22nd and 23rd open to fill. My focus will be on Crane and Paulina mostly on those dates and some at Hosmer and East to mix it up. Most of the FFP guide team lost 40 to 60% of their bookings to cancelled trips in September. I am not saying this for sympathy, it is just the reality of the bad situation the fires and smoke and road closures handed us. But now, we just want to take you fishing. This is our jam and we love doing it.
All of us would love to put you on the water for a day of guided fishing, Adam, Steve and Troy have days open and we want to get them booked first and foremost.
So, what are you doing over the next few weeks?
Make the most of it and come fishing.

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