Hello to everyone on this very special week! Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah to all.
Tina and I have been busy with work: the shop is busier than I can remember any holiday season being and she is wrapping up a good year selling real estate. So we haven’t fished in about 10 or 11 days.
We are keeping a low profile this year. We celebrated with my mom Sunday and will celebrate with Tina’s mom Christmas Eve. Very quiet, and feels very safe although we sincerely miss seeing good friends and other family during this magical time of the year. We know the love is there one way or another.
There are plenty of good options for fishing this week and next as we march through the holiday time and in to a New Year. (Don’t forget your 2021 fishing license)
Down the street the Metolius is always on our list. The area from Allingham to Gorge, the Canyon Pools, Idiot Hole, Wizard Falls to Bridge 99 and Bridge 99 to Candle Creek are good places to access the river now.
Normally below the hatchery would be snowed in by now. But so far, low elevation snow has been fleeting and driving to Bridge 99 is a snow free event.
3 main hatches occurring now: BWO’s are coming off about 1 PM. This time of year it’ll last 10 minutes to an hour +. Keep an eye out for gentle sips and be ready with duns, cripples and emergers on a 6x tippet.
Midges are another important hatch in the winter (year round actually) and indeed in the the winter will be one of the only times you might see fish really keyed on the tiny insects. Be ready for that with Zebra Midges, Winklers, Century Drive Midge and Griffiths Gnat’s.
October Caddis and their close cousins are hatching well this week and the pupa is going to be your best choice. But an Orange Stimulator or bigger Orange Elk Hair Caddis is a good searcher and one that occasionally gets crushed! Worth the effort to fish it.
Nymphing has been producing well and the typical Golden Stone with a dropper is always tops on our list.
Euro style is great too, with heavy Jigs and Perdigons taking fish from the depths.
Finally, winter is great for Bull Trout and streamer action remains very good. Swinging big streamers on a sink tip is your best bet. Some good action can happen on a big streamer dead drifted under a large strike indicator. BT’s will also readily eat Red or Blue Nymphs under an indicator.
The Crooked has been quite good for the last couple of weeks. I’d say that is mostly because it has been balmy for December and the water temps are fine for good action (ie. bug drift, metabolism).
Eggs have been best. Scuds, Midges and tiny mayfly nymphs are high on the list too.
Fall River has been pretty decent. There are some afternoon BWO and Midge hatches going from about 11 to 3. 7X is a boon to your success.
Nymphing is good with eggs, midge patterns and tiny mayfly nymphs that are heavy and penetrate the depths quickly.
Keep an eye out for some black winter stoneflies too. As we move past the new year, they will be more and more important.
The Lower Deschutes in the Warm Springs area has been good for Trout and Steelhead. Nymph rigs are definitely your best bet, but I have heard on some days of a BWO hatch coming off and bringing fish to feed on the surface.
The Maupin area is a year round opportunity, but remember that waters adjacent to the Warm Spring Reservation close Dec 31st.
I can remember fishing a GREAT baetis hatch in an eddy near Maupin on Super Bowl Sunday several years ago. So don’t forget what is out there mid winter.
The Middle Deschutes is running high and cold. I am not saying it is a total no go, but it certainly won’t be on my to do list until about February when I might check it out again for the Little Black Winter Stone hatch.
Might be some streamer and nymph opportunities now if you poked around in the right places.