Fishing update 4/3/2021

No April’s Fools today. It’s nothing but good stuff for you to dream about and plan your week. It’s getting fun out there, as this is such a special time of the year in Central Oregon for fishing.

The Metolius continues to be good, with good hatches in the afternoon and early evening, good nymph fishing and good streamer action for Bulls and the occasional aggressive Rainbow that wants a bigger meal.

Blue Wing Olives (#18-20) are the key spring hatch, but late March through early May is Cinygmula (#14-16) time, which are close relatives to March Browns, although they look like a 2 tailed PMD. Speaking of March Browns (#14), when I was on the river Wednesday I saw a hatch of March Browns and the fish were eating them well. I also saw (wait for it)….ONE single Green Drake float by in the eddy I was fishing. Nothing came up for him.

These early hatches are a biological defense for the future of the species and not terribly uncommon to see a small hatch of aquatic insects weeks before the main hatch occurs seasonally. If there was a flood or drought, or bad weather or forest fire or catastrophe, the species would live on even if the main hatch was wiped out. Cool, eh?
Now there a lot of caddis out too. October (#8-10) Silver Stripe (#12), Brown (#12-14) Tan (#16) Grey (#14-18). Caddis are harder to identify at a glance of the adult than that of Mayflies, but we know Glossoma, Brachycentrus and Rhyacophila are common to the Metolius and are on the hatch chart for spring time.

So far, when I’ve walked past the holding tanks for the chinook smolt, they are still in the tanks. So they have not been introduced to the river and made in to Bull Trout snacks. When you ask? I don’t know. I was looking at some old photos of Bull Trout fishing and saw one set from a particularly memorable day that was in May. Best day of Bull Trout fishing I have ever had, and they had just set the chinooks free. Speaking of Bull Trout, we have some of the coolest and best streamers we’ve ever had. Come and check them out if you’re on the way to the river. You’ll need an 8 weight to cast most of them, but you should be fishing an 8 for BT’s anyway, so as not too over play the big ones and release them quickly and safely.

Crooked River is good but I am very sure this will be the week the water goes up to Summer Flows. Watch the water. It is running 48 cfs out of the reservoir, and is about 1100 cfs coming in today! Good news for helping to fill that reservoir. The reservoir is only 53% full so it has a long way to fill.

Right now there is a good to very good afternoon hatch of BWO’s (#18). You’ll want the nymphs, emergers, cripples and duns to match it. The spinner fall is usually in the evening, but could happen in the morning so for those of you fishing early or late, or lucky enough to be camped and fishing all times of the day, tuck a few Harrops CDC Biot Spinners in the box too.

Midges are also very good now. Stages from Pupa to emergers and adults. A combo of a Zebra Midge on the point nymph and a Winkler on the dropper tag is awesome.

Scuds, small Euro Leeches, Flashback PT, Skinny Nelson, Micro Mayfly are great flies for the Crooked now and most fo the season until later in the Fall.

Still running our spring special for $350 for 1 to 3 anglers on a guided trip here! Contact us to schedule.

Fall River is fishing well throughout the river. Our guide Steve said there was a really good March Brown (#14) hatch mid afternoon on Wednesday and the fish went nuts for it.

Other important flies and hatches include BWO’s (#18-20), Caddis (#12 peacock & #14 brown X Caddis), Ants, Jigs, Perdigons, 2 Bits, Red Copper John, Rainbow Warrior, and Zebra Midges are all recommended now.

Still running our spring special for $350 for 1 to 3 anglers on a guided trip here! Contact us to schedule.

This should be the week the Middle Deschutes really comes down to the levels we love. I have some good friends with a farm in Redmond and they said their irrigation starts on Monday and they are on the district that is the biggest. So canals are turning on for the summer growing season and the river will be in good shape from Bend to the reservoir.

Look for March Browns (#14) to pop better and better with lower flows by mid week.

It is hard to believe, but the Middle D is about 3 1/2 weeks away from the Salmonfly hatch.

BWO (#18) Caddis (#14-18) and soon PMD’s (#16) are, or will be the key hatches in the different access areas of the middle river for the next several months, adding Pale Evening Duns (#12-14) very soon too.

Don’t forget how good the nymph and streamer fishing is on the Middle river. We prefer to Euro Nymph for our best results.

The Lower Deschutes is open in the Maupin area and fishing is very good. Between indicator styles and euro nymphing there is something for everyone. Stonefly nymphs are fishing really well now, and will be for the rest fo the month until the hatch starts in early to mid-May.

There is a March Brown hatch (#12-14) mixed with BWO (#18) and quite a few caddis (#14-18). Nymphs, emergers and adults are important for all of those. Caddis Pupa, Perdigons and Red Copper Johns are my favorite Spring Deschutes flies but everyone has their own confidence flies!

In 18 days (4/22/21) the rest of the Lower D will open access to Warm Springs, Mecca, Trout Creek and South Jct. We are excited for that and for getting the drift boat down the WS to Trout Creek float. I love that pre-salmonfly hatch time on the Deschutes. The fishing is good and the crowds are not around quite yet. It might be my favorite time to fish the Lower for trout.

There are two really good lake options for Wading and Tubing/Pontooning: Haystack and South Twin. Both are fishing well and worth the time.

At Haystack Balanced Leeches have been really working. Olive is the #1 color, but Black is also a good choice. I would ask, who wouldn’t carry both colors? Along with Brown, Maroon, Red and Spectrum or mixed colors. For any lake. Chironomid Pupa are producing well too. Black, Red and Olive (#14-18) all good under an indicator.
Same flies at South Twin, adding Damsel Nymphs to the mix is a really good idea.

At South Twin, the fish are being caught under an indicator and on a sinking line. Carry an intermediate and a type 3 for sure. My friend Tim was using a Type 5 and getting fish on the hang at the end of his retrieve. Look for fish around the edges and on the drop off. 2 years ago, I remember a day when the fish were deep this time of year and a balanced leech at about 18 feet in the deeper parts of the lake was excellent. Boats with fish finders have an advantage to look for that.

I have not been this season, but I am hearing good reports of Bull Trout fishing from Lake Billy Chinook in the Metolius Arm and the Deschutes Arm. A good boat, a safe (not too windy) day, a 7 or 8 weight, sink tips and big streamers will get you in to the fish dreams are made of.

See you in the shop or on the water.
Thanks as always for your support and kindness.


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