Thanksgiving time fishing outlook 11/25/20

Happy Turkey Day! We hope whatever you choose to do, it is as safe as it is delicious.
There is plenty of good fishing to be had around Sisters now, and those conditions that are favorable to good water and some limited hatches is looking good as we march towards winter.
So far, we haven’t had any really nasty cold snaps, and while it has been on & off with some snow showers (none that have accumulated) and a some rainy days, we’ve also had some really stunning days to enjoy.
Access to all the rivers is excellent now.

The Metolius is good, with an afternoon hatch of BWO’s #18-20 bringing fish to the surface from about noon to 1:30 or so.
You’ll run into October Caddis and some smaller caddis mixed in. Pupa patterns are certainly going to be most useful in matching late afternoon caddis emergences.
Nymphing with Stonefly’s is a winter staple and now is no exception.
Eggs, Perdigons, Zebra Midge, Micro Mayfly, Frenchie, Jigs, Copper John and Rainbow Warriors have been great nymphs for us.
Bull Trout are eating streamers best, but it is a good time of the year for nymphing for Bull’s. Always good to try a Red Chironomid or Red Lightning Bug for BT’s.

Fall River is fishing well from the Falls up to the Tubes and above, and from the Camp Ground to the Headwaters. BWO hatches in the afternoon will provide most of your action, but keep an eye out for midges and be ready to match that if you see it happening. Looking ahead, midging trout becomes very important in the winter (Dec, Jan and Feb) and you don’t want to be without some floating pupa and emerger patterns and some good adult midges too.
Nymphing is going to be your best method now. Think about heavy, but small nymphs to get in to the fish at their level. Perdigons, Zebra’s, Micro May’s, 2 Bit Hooker in Baetis colors and Eggs are the best picks.

Crooked River is for the most part fishing productively. Whitefish spawn is barely in the beginning stages, so eggs are starting to work and will be good for the next month.
Midges and scuds are very important throughout the day too and will be all winter long.
The Water Level is low, running at 47 cfs and the crowds have been more than normal.

The Middle Deschutes is a decent bet from Bend to Lake Billy Chinook. The water is high for winter as the canal systems are off now. Indicator fishing with stonefly nymphs is your best bet. I’d run a trailer behind the big nymph with something small and flashy like a Frenchie or Psycho Prince.
Spoke to a customer who had a great session of catching brown trout near Tumalo last week plus Brad and Eric from the shop went down near Steelhead Falls a few days ago and did well.

And finally, the Lower Deschutes is another super bet with lots of room to spread out and enjoy the river. Steelhead fishing on the swing with sink tips and intruder style flies is good. Or nymphing for Steelhead with the Cheeseburger set up!
Trout have been eating too, and small nymphs and stones are producing well. Euro Nymphing is an advantage in many places but not always, so be prepared for bigger drifts further out with your indicator rod too.
We are hitting the Warm Springs to Trout Creek area mostly, but the Maupin drifts and day spots for drive/hike stuff is good too.

A reminder on closures. No fishing on the Metolius from the Headwaters to Allingham Bridge until May 22, 2021.
No fishing on the Warm Springs side of the Lower Deschutes.
The ODFW Fish Hatcheries on the Fall River and the Metolius are closed. Access around the Wizard Falls to the river is ok, but there is zero access to the the Fall River from the hatchery.

3 thoughts on “Thanksgiving time fishing outlook 11/25/20

  1. So really, WTF with the fish hatcheries, especially Fall River. Staff are nowhere near fishermen, and fisherman are always well separated. What’s wrong with ODFW here?

  2. Thanks so much Jeff, for once again, an interesting and helpful article. My wife and I are headed over to Black Butte for several days this coming week and I plan to stop in for some Metolius flies and advice.

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