Happy Fathers Day to all the good dad anglers out there. I hope you are enjoying your day no matter if that includes fishing a favorite spot, a back yard BBQ on a warm and sunny day, or taking the kids to the park. It’s all good, today and everyday.
If your plans include fishing, hopefully this report will give you some good ideas to get on the water at the best times, best places and with the flies our FFP crew have been using with great success.
On the Metolius we will probably see just about a week left of Green Drakes until the September drakes get their foothold in a few months from now. So, if you’ve put off hitting the Drake hatch, or continue to target that hatch which has been going since fairly early in May this season, it is time to wrap it up with a bang and go get ’em.
PMD hatches are strong and will be throughout the summer and fall. It looks like the weather is going to be pretty hot so the PMD’s might delay hatch time from afternoon to evening. No one knows for sure, but a lot of times on a hot week I see more PMD’s at 7 PM than the usual mid-afternoon times.
Look for BWO’s about the same time, which could lead to some confusing moments as to what the fish are keyed on. A lot of times both hatches are on at the same time I fish a #16 or 18 Purple Comparadun and split the difference. Knock Down Duns, Film Critics and Parachutes are all flies we love on the Metolius fished on a long and light leader.
Look for amazing caddis hatches late in the day towards evening and dusk and Rusty Spinners at Dusk.
No sightings of Golden Stones so far that we have heard of. Will be any day now in the upper river for sure.
Our guides are talking about very special days on the Lower Deschutes, with Caddis, PMD and PED hatches creating good dry fly action throughout the day, especially in the evening. The nymph action is very good too making the Lower D one of our top picks for guide trips now.
Caddis Pupa, Soft Hackles, Perdigons, Jigs, 2 Bits, Micro Mayfly, PT CDC Soft Hackle and Psycho Prince are all hot nymphs now and should remain so for several weeks to come.
Fall River is good, especially on small tungsten nymphs like a 2 Bits, Spilt Case PMD, Perdigons, Jig nymphs, Zebra (especially Red) and some dry fly action on ants, PMD’s, caddis and occasionally midges too. Keep an eye out for Yellow Sally’s and don’t forget the attractors on top.
Streamer fishing has been very good on the fall river too. Micro streamers and bigger stuff like sculpzilla’s have been working well.
Fall is crowded with Summer Tourism, you might consider a Dawn to 10 shift or a 7 to dark shift to avoid a lot of the vacation crowds.
Crooked River is a great bet from early morning until about 2 or 3 and again the last few hours before dark. Most the dry fly action at the moment is in the evening, on caddis, purple haze, rusty spinners and small parachute adams.
During the day you may run into some rising trout during periodic PMD hatches. Look for shadows from the tall trees and canyon walls to be the place you might find more of a hatch. It’s really a cool phenomenom that we see all summer on the Crooked.
Nymphing is excellent especially on Euro Style set ups with Perdigons and Jigs. Zebra Midges, Winklers, Scuds, Psycho Prince, Soft Hackles and Split Case Emergers.
The Upper Deschutes in the Headwaters stretch is seeing some fun fishing, with the dry fly fishing being good for small wild trout and nymphing catching some larger fish, including good size wild trout and whitefish.
I spent 6 days this week in the Newbury Crater, guiding 3 days on East and 3 on Paulina. What a week, with terrible weather early in the week, giving way to warm sunny days by Thursday.
On Paulina I am finding the east side near the Obsidian flow to be almost unfishable due to an algae bloom and floating or suspended clumps of algae. It is not good there now. But most of the lake is clear of that and is in good shape. We had some fair to good beetle and ant action on the edges, but the best action came fishing the weed beds with red 2 bit hookers, olive chironomids, Phil Rowley’s gunmetal chironomid and Poxyback Callibaetis.
We had some good times stripping leeches and callibaetis nymphs on clear intermediates too.
At East Lake the Callibaetis fishing was really good this week. Beetles were also good at times. I can’t say Chironomids were awesome action for us, but 2 of the days this week they did account for several fish and a couple of nice browns to the net. There is a bit of a surface algae bloom on East, it is not affecting the fishing.
Water temps at both lakes ran in the mid to high 50’s by end of week.
A couple of the FFP guides said that Hosmer was just fair this week. Seeing callibaetis hatching and that has produced the best fishing, plus some damsels, some alder flies, some traveling sedges, some chironomids….the puzzle each day is what is the fly dejour. The Lower lake is warming up at the surface so please be careful about water temps and releasing trout. The Channel and the Upper Lake are cooler and safe.
Crane Prairie is good, but it can sure be a change from day to day as to where. The Deschutes and Rock Creek areas are showing signs of the best fishing. Balanced Leeches, damsels nymphs, chironomids, red 2 bit hookers, callibaetis in all stages from nymph to emerger, to adult and spinner falls.
My last 3 visits to Cultus have been slow. How have you done in Cultus and Quinn lately?
With hot weather and so much bright sunshine, the fish are surely seeking the refuge of the cooler channels now.
Three Creeks Lake is great. Besides the holdovers and the Brookies, the ODFW came and stocked new rainbows there in the last several days.
The Callibaetis hatch is on, and now with the hot days the small black caddis are excellent in the evening. Midges, Ants, Beetles. Balanced Leeches under an indicator have produced well for some friends that have been there. A lot of folks at 3 Creeks like to sit in their tube or pontoon and troll with a slow kick of the fins. Nothing beats a small olive leech that doubles as a damsel nymph trailed with a griffiths gnat, red ice cream cone or poxyback callibaetis. Fish those on an intermediate line for best success.
A few things that I saw this week that really bothered me.
#1, without a doubt was watching an gentleman from the local fly club improperly handling and releasing the fish he caught.
Look, it is all of our responsibility to keep them wet, and REVIVE them for a bit before releasing them.
I watched him play the fish, net it and just toss a big fish back in the water from a couple of feet above the water. I could not believe my eyes. The next day, I saw that fish, dead, on its side sitting in the rocks on the bottom. It was nice fish that would have been a fun catch for someone on another day, so to see someone who knows better (or should) act lake that to a trout is upsetting. Catch and Release is not 100% without the chance of some mortality, but we can work hard to minimize that by properly handling the fish we catch.
#2, getting low holed. There are a lot of folks on the lakes and if someone is preparing lines for a customer and is anchored and in casting distance from the “spot”, it is not cool to motor in with your pontoon boat and try to fish it 1st.
#3, also understanding the culture of the lake. What is the proper distance to spread out between boats? My feeling is about 100 feet is the minimum distance between boats (or boat to bank anglers), as the angler casting from one boat would have a hard time casting efficiently to the half way point between boats.
Yesterday, on the south shoreline just west of EL CG, I took the very last spot in the line of boats and tubes from the boat ramp to the private house. I anchored my boat about 150 feet away from the next boat, and apparently that was so upsetting to the other fisherman they needed to make mad gestures to us, and then turn their boat and repeatably throttle their jet outboard engine at maximum throttle to scare the fish as they left the area in anger.
What the heck? For real? What the heck is that? That is not the culture of our fisheries and this bullshit needs to stop.
I talked to the person in #2 above and we worked it out politely and all is well.
If I misread something with that boat then lets all talk and resolve it, not go to the extreme of just being mean and damaging as you left.
#4, anglers handling fish with gloves. Yep, sun gloves are a darn good idea. They also hold bacteria that will cause disease on the fish and overtake their immune response on their skin, killing them in an ugly death.
I used to wear gloves too, and now I know better. Wear the gloves and keep the sun off your hands and take them off for fish handling.
Until next time, see you on the water. I’ll be on Paulina and East and Crane this week. Looking forward to some Metolius fishing soon! We are camping there June 30 to July 4 and I am going to fish a ton.