Happy Sunday morning. It’s 26 degrees right now, and I’m sitting by the wood stove watching the Titans vs Steelers, and thinking about how awesome the last 2 days on the Metolius were for me and my fishing friends.
No fishing for me today, because the Pine Needle Piper needs to be paid… and the high temp is only forecasted at 33. That said, it was about 34 and snowing for my day on the Metolius yesterday and the mayfly hatch was good and the fishing was great.
It’s hard to believe we have just one week left of general trout season. That doesn’t mean we are done fishing, it is just a reminder that some of the most wonderful and warm days of our fishing year are behind us. Or are they in front of us? That’s one of the best parts of a fishing life. We have vivid memories of the past and so many hopes for our upcoming trips or season.
So, where are you going to fish this week during the warm up? It looks like there are some mid 60’s to even low 70’s coming back this week. It should be a beautiful week to be out on the water.
On Friday I fished with some good buddies down on the Metolius, with our emphasis on Bull Trout. My friend Mike got a nice one but lost it in a big stream side bush. That fish knew what it was doing. We found an excellent BWO hatch and got distracted from casting big streamers and went to 6x and #20 dries. Good stuff.
On Saturday I went again with my friend Ken and we had a focus on hitting the afternoon hatch. It was our first day of snow since last winter and the PMD’s and BWO’s were coming off well. Look for mid-day hatches to occur all week. There were some gorgeous Yellowish/Olive Caddis (#12) hatching yesterday and I saw some trout behavior that would indicate they were slashing at Caddis Pupa in the film during emergence.
There are still Kokanee spawning so egg nymphs are a great bet in a lot of areas.
Fall River is pretty prime this time of year with BWO’s and some midges making up for the majority of the surface feeding. It is fishing well at the headwaters, the camp ground, down near the tubes and the falls. The Hatchery remains closed. I sure miss that area.
Some of the best days for our guides have been with nymphs, but we are always keeping an eye out for dry fly opportunities.
If you don’t normally use 7x, try it on the Fall River. The Trout Hunter and the Cortland Top Secret are as strong as a lot of brands 6x and you will absolutely fool more fish on 7x.
Crooked River is fishing well on nymphs and afternoon BWO hatches.
With the water low it is good wading and you should see BWO’s after noon hatching for an hour or 2.
Sparkle Duns and Knock Down Duns have been awesome at matching emergers and cripples. We sell this cool BWO dun called the Furminsky BDE Baetis. It may be the best ever Crooked River dry fly and it holds powder (floatant) really well so it is easy to keep up. Try it.
Scuds, Midges and little Mayfly nymphs are great. Euro style is effective as is a tiny piece of NZ Wool for your indicator.
The Middle Deschutes is a good bet from Bend to Lake Billy Chinook. It might also be A LOT less crowded that the Fall, Met or Crooked this week. SO many place to poke around on the Middle D that spreads people out. You’ll do best with nymphs and also stripping streamers now that irrigation season is over and the water is up, but look for isolated BWO and caddis hatches.
The Lower Deschutes is good from Warm Springs to Maupin for trout and steelhead. October Caddis Pupa and Stonefly nymphs are the best bets, but poke around the edges and eddies and look for some nice trout up on Midges and Baetis too. This is definitely an area I hope to fish several times until at least Thanksgiving and do some swinging for Steelhead.
Moving on to the Lakes I am concerned about the really cold night time temps that happened last night and will hit again tonight. There are single digits up in the 5000-6000 foot range.
I am guessing Three Creeks might be frozen or headed that way and might stay frozen until next June… If anyone can corroborate with me on that, let me know. It is my hunch, not a fact.
East Lake and Paulina Lake are 17 degrees right now, with a “real feel” of 4 degrees. Brrrrr.
They are big enough I don’t worry they are done for the season (like 3 Creeks).
I hope to hit Paulina again Wednesday for one (maybe 2 more guide days). It does look like a warm and beautiful week so hoping for a little rebound on water temperatures and fishing conditions.
At East you’ll have a hard time launching a bigger boat as it is pretty darn low. Keep in mind docks are coming out on all of our lakes. I am switching over from my big boat to my Rocky Mtn. Trout Boat to make launching easier, especially if the wind comes up. East lake streamer and balanced leech fishing can be outstanding for nice browns and rainbows along the shorelines this time of year.
I saw a good report from some friends in Sunriver who were at Hosmer Friday. They reported dangling a Zebra Midge off the back of a small dry fly was effective. The Channel and Lower Lake are going to be the best areas to be fishing. Late season I like a #16-18 Red Ice Cream Cone under a yarn indicator. Why yarn? Yarn is way more sensitive to a soft take than a cork, or Airlock and will twitch or go under on a soft (cold water) take. That is also why many dry flies work so well as an indicator. The problem with the dry as an indicator is it isn’t as easily adjustable and won’t hold up a heavier nymph as well as a yarn (NW Wool or Loon Yarn).
Crane Prairie is a great choice this week in the Deschutes, Rock Creek or Quinn areas. Balanced leeches are going to the top choice, but stripping leeches on a Hover Line is good too. Waterboatman and Chironomids should play this week for sure. Remember Crane is over at sunset next saturday 10/31/20 as it is on the general trout season reg’s.
North Twin Lake and South Twin Lake are great choices for a while, until they are snowed in probably sometime later in November. They are both year round options as long as you can get your boat to the water. This time of year I would hit it hard with a Balanced Leech and a Chironomid off the dropper tag.
Well, I am off to clean Pine Needles out of the gutters and do some raking. If you are fishing today, I salute you! Have fun and see you on the water or in the shop soon.