April 24 Fishing Update

Good morning! It is cold here in Sisters again for a few days. There is a little snow coming in on the mountains and maybe some spits of snow and rain in and around the area. I know the river conditions are going to be good, and we should see some good hatches and overall fishing conditions there. The lakes might be a bit tough until Tuesday or Wednesday, in terms of comfort, but if you do go up to the lakes expect to bundle up and fish through some squalls.

On the Metolius today and for the next few days I would expect to see amazing mayfly hatches. Blue Wing Olives, Cinygmula’s, Pale Morning Duns & March Browns all could/should be in the mix, and with the cool, cloudy and occasionally wet weather it is screaming MAYFLY HATCH!
Caddis prefer generally to hatch on warmer days, so they may slow down a little until mid week when the 70 degree weather returns. Certainly you can still be fishing caddis pupa patterns in the afternoon and evening times when the fish are used to seeing pupas in the drift and getting ready for emergence.
Stonefly nymphs are a great choice all over the river, with Golden Stones #8-14 being important year round on the Metolius. The smaller sizes are a good match for 1st year Golden’s, and also ringers for matching Yellow Sally Nymphs.
Bull Trout are eating well, everything from Nymphs, Leeches and Big Meaty Streamers.

Lower Deschutes: Our Guide Team said the opener on the Warm Springs to Trout Creek drift was really good. March Browns, BWO’s and a few PMD’s popping the surface action, but mostly just excellent nymphing.
Salmonflies are only a few weeks away (at most) so black stonefly nymphs are working really. well.
Red Copper John and Caddis Pupa have been killer flies. Jig’s and Perdigons of course, Hares Ear, Yellow Soft Hackle, Rainbow Warrior and Psycho Prince’s are all excellent too.

The Middle Deschutes is fishing really well from Bend all the way to Lake Billy Chinook. Hatches include March Browns, PMD, Pale Evening Dun, BWO, Caddis (X Caddis Tan #14-16, Olive #16) (cornfed caddis #16) Plus Renegades, Purple Haze, Float-n-Fool are awesome patterns for the top.
We have also experienced very good nymph fishing, especially with Brown Perdigons and Soft Hackle PT Jigs.

The Crooked is OK, but for some reason the Bureau of Reclamation is running 312 cfs down river? What the Heck??? The reservoir is no where near full, runoff is largely over with coming out of the Ochocco’s it would appear.
SO WHY? Not that 312 is too high for fishable levels, it just bothers me when we are in a drought that it appears water is being wasted.
BWO hatches are still good. Fish seem to be taking a small Purple Haze as well as anything, but the BDE BWO we like so much is continuing to fish well. Fish are eating cripples, and the double Z Lon Wing version of the Knock Down Dun is a good floater and pretty visible for a fly that sits in the film.
Scuds and Leeches in the higher flows are a smart choice.
With the slightly higher flows, the 2 Bit type flies, and 3.5 to 4.3 mm Tungsten Bead Euro stuff is awesome as an anchor. We’ve even got a 2 Tungsten Bead version of the Zebra Midge this season, and now would be a great time to employ it on the Crooked.

Fall River is good, and it looks like ODFW has a 1000 trophy fish coming in for a May 3-7 timeframe to supplement the river.
Is it just me, but I don’t love those big fish. To me, the Fall should be full of 10 to 16 inch rainbows and browns that rise to all the good hatches, and that are not so giant and not standing out like a sore thumb so as to be able to hide in the grassy banks, the logs and cracks in the lava ledges. Sure, a few big fish are neat, but it is not the essence of the Fall River and I believe the ODFW is missing the mark on that. I looked on the ODFW stocking schedule for all of 2021 and see at no time do they plan to put anything but the trophy size fish in the river. Seems weird to me, and I have been fishing the Fall River since 1980 and for years it was my favorite river in Oregon.
Well, that’s my rant of the week I guess.
Otherwise the fishing is good. Lot’s of nymph action on heavy beaded patterns. Think Perdigons and Jigs, 2 Bit’s, Tungsten Micro Mayfly, Tungsten Eggs, Sculpzilla’s and Conehead Zonkers.
On top we are seeing some PMD’s, the ending stages of the March Brown’s for 2021, lot’s of BWO’s, some caddis and midges and getting a fish or two up on Ants and Foam Beetle type flies.
All areas of the river are equally good from the Headwaters, to the Camp Ground, the Hatchery, Tubes and Falls.

I saw on the local news Brook Snavely was up on Crane and Wickiup interviewing anglers on Opening Day last Thursday, and what other anglers were saying echoed what Brad, Eric and I found on Crane too. It was slow.
We caught some fish, but not many. They were mostly taken on Balanced Leeches (Black and a Brownish-Olive). Ran in to Phil, who was anchored up in a secluded cove mostly out of the wind and watched him get 4 or 5 on tiny olive chironomids under an indicator.
I tried hover, intermediate and type 3 sinking lines and stripped a myriad of leeches, blobs and nymphs at different rates and never had a bump on a stripped fly. All the takes we had were static, under the indicator.
It was very very windy. It is certainly possible that #1) the barometer was whacked and the bite went to hell with the increasingly stormy weather. #2) There were 100’s of boats on the water. Could the sudden sound of all the outboards running through the area have put the fish off after so many days of silence for them?
It was single handedly the most crowded I have ever seen Crane.
I am sure it will improve a lot in the coming days and weeks and I look forward to being back soon. I was going to go today but the weather looks pretty cold and windy, and I’ll pass on that misery.
Our new guide Tonn caught a giant cranebow thursday morning at dawn on his 1st cast of the day. The early bird gets the worm I hear. Dang.
I still have not had a report from Wickiup other than from the News which said it was slow. A lot of times in the early season the Sheeps Bridge area is really good. I’d like to go see for myself soon.

South Twin is fishing pretty well. The 1st stocking is still over a week away and that will be with just a small amount of trophy size fish. There will be one other trophy stocking in Mid-May and then before Memorial Day they will plant 2500 legal’s in the lake.
Chironomids fished deep have been working well. Try a black balanced leech and a black chironomid #14-16 under an indicator in 10 to 16 feet of water.
Also strip tequila blobs and a damsel nymph on a type 3 in deeper areas, and move to the intermediate line and a damsel along the shoals near shore.
North Twin is still not accessible .

No access to Lava, Hosmer, Paulina or East Lake still. 2 or 3 weeks likely, maybe 4 weeks for East Lake….

4 thoughts on “April 24 Fishing Update

  1. I just moved here and a friend recommended your site. Your assessment of the local fishing conditions and news is very useful.
    I will visit your shop when I fish the Metolius.
    Thx, Cliff Zwillich

  2. Saw a report today of salmonflies on the lower D. It has begun. Seems a bit early but they reported seeing a lot of them. This was on the reservation from a tribal guide.

  3. Totally agree about Fall River! Putting all those big fish is attracting too many people. The whole shoreline is pretty worn down. I’d rather go back to 10-12” fish.

  4. I agree with you on stocking of the Fall river.When I first fished it(only a dozen yrs ago) the balance seemed fairer. I caught lots of nice fish 10-16″ with a few larger fish to make a day special.

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