I know officially the equinox is March 20th, but meteorological spring is March 1, and this week has been very spring like. It gives so much hope for so many reasons. On the fishing side, hope that hatches are increasing by the week. Hope that the lakes are opening back up in about 2 months. Hope that wildflowers are going to pop and trees will gain a summer coat of leaves and warmer days will be more the norm than the exception.
I am ready for all of that my friends. I would guess you are too.
Over on the Crooked River the afternoon Blue Wing Olive hatches are coming off about 1 PM and fish are looking up to the emergers and dries during the hatch. Later in the afternoon, the midge hatch has been very consistent adding at least another hour of dry fly action for those anglers staying later in the afternoon.
Nymphing with zebra midges, baetis nymphs (skinny nelson, flashback PT, 2 bit hooker, micro mayfly), scuds and small prince nymphs.
I’m pretty certain we won’t see any runoff releases raising the river to unfishable levels later in the month or anytime this spring. Seems like the reservoir has a lot of storage capacity. But if that changes we’d report it here. Our spring guide special is on from now until April 21st guiding 1 to 3 people for $350 here and the Fall River.
Fall River has also been good, but the fish do seem pretty spread out over 10 miles. Finding pods is unlikely so be prepared for more of a hunt for individual fish or small groups at this time. ODFW will do some spring stocking and this can change in an instant.
Our guide Troy is spending a lot of time on the Fall and finding good BWO and Caddis hatches. Peacock Caddis in the afternoon this week is really hot along with Missing Link Caddis and Black Elk Hair Caddis.
The Hatchery is allowing fishing access. That is good.
Nymph opportunities are great, mostly Euro style but Dry/Dropper and Indicator methods for sure. Our spring guide special is on from now until April 21st guiding 1 to 3 people for $350 here and the Crooked River.
The Metolius was mixed this week during the warm sunny days. Sometimes those 1st days of a lot of sun and more warmth can turn off the dry fly fishing on our favorite spring creek. That seemed to be the case for the most part.
With the weather turning cloudy today and some moisture coming back in the forecast I do believe the BWO hatches are going to be much better again. It is time to be on the look out for the first Cinygmula hatch of spring. #14 Yellow mayflies (Comaparadun, Parachutes, Light Cahill’s), plus plenty of caddis (October #8-10, Silver Stripe #10-14, Grey #14-16), a mix of Stones (none terribly important to match on the surface) and possibly important midge hatches.
Nymph action on Golden Stones with a dropper rig of Caddis Pupa, Mayfly nymphs, Zebra Midges, Eggs, Perdigons and Jigs.
Bull Trout fishing is pretty good. Soon the hatchery will be releasing the 2021 Chinook juvenile’s. That can create a feeding frenzy (queue the Jaws theme song). Our Cousin It fly is a good match.
The Middle Deschutes is an ok bet. Water is high so access is harder until mid April when the canals are all on. Access at Tumalo, Cline Falls, Lower Bridge, Crooked River Ranch/Steelhead Falls. Should be some Skawla Stones any time! Little Blacks are dwindling. Best fishing in the high water is with a streamer or some cool old big stone nymphs and a dropper nymph under an indicator.
The Lower Deschutes is a good bet upstream of Maupin to the Locked Gate. Lots of nymph opportunity through there. Stones, Jigs, Perdigons, Prince, Hares Ear, Bead Head Flashback PT, Sparkle Pupa, and Red Copper John.
Maybe a few BWO’s and small Caddis hatching, but at this time I wouldn’t get too excited for dry fly action quite yet. In 3 or 4 weeks the March Browns should be popping!
Lake Billy Chinook Bull Trout fishing is just getting going. Don’t forget your Tribal Pass for the Metolius Arm. 8 weights and sink tips and big streamers are the key. Also, getting out early and knowing the wind forecast. Its a big lake and you need a proper boat to get out there safely and get back safe too.
The Deschutes Arm is also a very good place to focus on. There are certainly nice Bull’s there, plus Browns, Rainbows and Smallmouth.
Finally, a million thanks for all of your kindness in reaching out to write, call or stop in after we lost Paloma. I felt everyone’s love for us and it is so so so appreciated.