Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas Season! December has pretty much been perfect with pleasant fishing weather so far, and looks to be that way for at least another several days or a week.
I was able to get out a few days to the Fall River and Metolius this week. Both were fair to good, and I’ll discuss details below.
So far, the snow has been just up in the mountains and not down along the rivers much. None here in town. We’d like to see some, and it looks like a big pattern shift is on the way for late next week. Pray for snow.
I am anxious to have a great water year and get the lakes full along with the aquifers and rivers.
On Thursday when Tina and I fished the Metolius, it clouded up about noon and by one the BWO hatch was in full swing and lasted an hour. It was good dry fly fishing during that hour and we caught fish on Knock Down Duns, Purple Comparaduns and CDC Parachutes.
Yesterday I was out with a couple of friends, and Phil nailed some good fish on a Purple Perdigon, Timmy on Jig PT’s and I stuck with the dry fly and got one on a BWO and lost one on a PMD. PMD? In December? WTHeck!!! But for real, this crazy weather had some crazy hatches yesterday and Spring Creeks are crazy anyway…That’s a whole lotta crazy but it is 2020.
Bull Trout fishing was good for some friends this week, mostly on black streamers swung with a sink tip.
Wednesday I hit the Fall River with some friends and it was maybe the 1st time I have ever fished the Fall without seeing a viable hatch or rising fish at some point during the day. The fish seemed very inactive, mostly sitting stationary on the bottom, infrequently moving to intercept an occasional drifting nymph.
I managed 4 to the net, 3 on a Purple Perdigon and one on a an Egg type MOP.
Not sure if it was the full moon, previous heavy pressure, or the extraordinarily clear and sunny day, but the fish and the hatch were all taking a break.
The Full Moon is over so I am hopeful the fishing is going to pop back to normal with the fish getting more active and some afternoon BWO and Midges. It will be interesting to watch if the hatch happens when it clouds up again later next week and maybe gets better and better with the precipitation that is coming. My guess is yes.
One of my friends hit the Crooked River this week and said it was quite good, mostly on Eggs.
The water is low, running in the mid-40’s Cubic Feet per Second. I say this because I’ve had a bunch of emails asking about flows, as the gauge is broken and showing Zero CFS if you look on the internet. It is a low winter flow, slightly below average and below what we’d hope for, but definitely not zero flow. That would be bad.
Besides Eggs, tiny mayfly nymphs and midges are tops, with scuds and sow bugs too.
The Middle Deschutes is an option for now, even though there are high winter flows, the nymphing action is fairly good. Areas around Tumalo, Lower Bridge and Crooked River Ranch will offer access to wadeable water. Stonefly nymphs with a PT Jig dropper would be my #1 choice for now. Copper Johns, Pink Beaded Hares Ear, Girdle Bug, Blue Prince and Zebra Midges.
The Lower Deschutes from Warm Springs to Trout Creek is a great bet for boating anglers or wade access anglers from Mecca or Trout Creek.
Some swing action on steelhead, bigger flies and sink tips. Good nymphing on both Trout and Steelhead.
Keep an eye on the weather as we have some air stagnation issues around the Madras area which can lead to heavy fog, and often that is freezing fog in December.
Finally, this came as a surprise to me, but my friends from the fly club (and AARP members) are tubing at South Twin and still and finding fish on intermediate sinking lines stripping leeches. WOW. Lake fishing in December. That won’t last long, but is an option this coming week.