Good morning friends. Hope all is well with everyone and that you are getting out to the lakes and rivers. Our FFP guide team, the shop staff and myself have been all over Central Oregon since the last report exploring the waters, seeing the hatches and catching some fish. Sometimes a lot of fish.
The Metolius Green Drake hatch is in full swing and should be for at least another 2 1/2 weeks. From the Canyon down to Candle Creek is the best spot for Drakes. PMD’s and Caddis are all over the river. Some BWO hatches to be found near the hatchery late afternoon and rusty spinners near dusk along with caddis emerging in the evening too.
The Upper River is best for Nymphing right now, but do look for PMD’s, Yellow Sally’s and Caddis to be important.
Lot’s of nice fish coming on Olive Perdigons this week. Frenchie, Soft Hackle PT, Karotene Jig and Walt’s Worms are all hot flies for the entire river.
Golden Stones are about 3 weeks from a big hatch in the upper river, so nymphs are key now.
The Lower Deschutes is quickly waning on the Salmonfly and Goldenstone hatches and moving to a lot of Caddis, PMD’s and in the evening Pale Evening Duns.
Our guides have been working that water a lot and Steve, Troy, Danny, Ben and Mary Ann all gave me the same report on Caddis Caddis Caddis becoming more important than the big stones in the last few days.
They say pupa, emerging pupa at the surface (X Caddis and Iris Caddis) and Adults (Elk Hair, Corn Fed, CDC).
Yellow Sparkle Duns, Parachutes and Purple Haze are great on top and Ben was saying he had a lot of nice catches on Euro Jigs throughout the week.
The Middle Deschutes from Bend down to Lake Billy Chinook is fishing well, at least in the morning and evening. Caddis, PMD and PED are wonderful to match on the dry fly side here. Best timing is 6 am to noon or 1, and 5 PM to dark. Don’t forget the Renegades and Purple Haze on the Middle D.
The Upper Deschutes is good from Crane to Little Lava. Weekend days are very crowded. Seems to be mostly rainbows and whitefish with a few brook trout showing up here and there. Mary Ann was up there a couple of days ago and did best on nymphs in the runs and pools. Little Jigs and Perdigons for the most part are your best flies. Small Streamers are good for sure, and don’t be afraid to get them in the logs and undercuts.
The Crooked is still getting a big caddis hatch in the afternoon. A size 16-18 black caddis is the best match for the adults, and a Peacock Soft Hackle or Purple Soft Hackle has been our fly of choice for the Pupa.
Some mixed mayfly hatches that may be important at the moment you are there include BWO, PMD and Mahogany Duns.
Nymph fishing is excellent this time of year on Caddis Pupa, Zebra Midges, Split Case PMD, Micro May, Perdigons and Psycho Prince. Scuds are typically important and some days provide very good action.
The Fall River is good, Troy reports some yellow sally’s and a lot of Caddis and PMD’s. Fish are spread all over the river but the Hatchery upstream seems to hold the most fish now.
Ant’s, Beetles, Hippie Stompers and even small Chubby’s are great to get those fish looking up during non-hatch times. Small Streamers and Euro Jigs are the top choices for us.
The McKenzie water levels spiked a bit with some runoff this week. That isn’t going to shut the fishing off, just note it if you’re floating or fishing. Good caddis action, some drakes and bigger yellow mayflies (#12-14) and a few mixed stoneflies are hatching. Dry fly action has been good, and add some nymph fishing to your day and it’s a strong experience for catching some nice fish.
Three Creeks Lake is fishing well, but you can’t yet drive all the way to the lake. So if you have a pontoon, kayak or tube and are willing to carry it over the last snow bank you’re in luck.
I’ve heard that little black leeches are doing great. Other flies I’d recommend are Red and Black Chironomids (16-18), Callibaetis Nymphs, Damsel Nymphs, Beetles, Ants and Griffiths Gnats.
DOn’t hesitate to try that griffiths gnat dry or WET. Running a wet griffiths gnat behind a leech on a dropper tag is often very good on this lake.
East Lake is not a strong choice yet, in my opinion. The water is greenish, the rainbows are still stacked on the banks doing the motions of wanting to spawn and overall the fishing is just a bit off. It certainly isn’t terrible but its not yet what it should be. I’d give it another week or so.
If you are going, when we were there this week, Steve, Tonn and I all found similar things on different days. Chironomids fished 10-14 deep was probably the best bet, followed by ants and beetles in the shallows near the banks.
Paulina is a much better bet, with good terrestrial action near the shoreline and chironomids deep at about 12-15 feet. This week continues to see #18-20 Olive chironomids working best. Red, Chrome and Gun Metal Pupa’s were also good for me. Water is clear with a few areas of floating algae and plants but overall in great shape.
Crane Prairie is seeing a nice callibaetis hatch in the Cultus and Deschutes areas. Great news. Emerging flies like the Almost Dun and the Last Chance Cripple have been good this week.
Balanced leeches, Chironomids, Damsel nymphs are top choices and be prepared for fishing both under an indicator and with a Hover or Camo Intermediate line in different areas of the lake.
Hosmer was good this week for me, with a Jig Style Cates Turkey being my #1 fly yesterday. Damsel Nymphs and Chironomids are important, and we did well on a Clear Camo stripping the feather duster style caliibaetis nymphs too.
Yesterday there was not much of a hatch but a ton of spinners hovering about 2 to 3 PM. Not much surface action but be prepared with Callibaetis emergers, duns and spinners on any day. Also Black Caddis #14 to imitate Alder Flies, and have some Traveling Sedge Caddis to skitter. My Cascade Caddis Emerger we sell at FFP is a good one for the skitter. It’s ugly but tied to accept a lot of powder floatant so it darn near levitates when you are moving it.
If you’d like the Cates Turkey tying directions I can email it to you. It’s an old fly I started tying Jig style a few years ago and it has been a good producer on all of the lakes for me.
Until Next Week, see you on the water.