FFP fishing updates 7/18/21

It’s a quiet sunday morning in Sisters. I am sitting here watching the British Open with my puppy Drake, just finished refilling the 2 hummingbird feeders that provide us with so much entertainment, and that are so good for our tiny avian friends. I’ve had 6 species of birds this morning at our feeders.
Thats the good stuff that makes me happy to live next to the forest.
It’s been a busy week for the FFP guide team, they’ve been all over the rivers, and I spent the week guiding Paulina with varying results. Not an easy week for me but hard work and creative tactical choices resulted in fish for everyone.
Overall the trend of good fishing is continuing across the region on our rivers. The Lakes are a little tougher looking at it from a trend perspective.

The Metolius is fishing well, Golden Stones are hatching better and better in the Upper River. PMD and Caddis are all over the river, pockets of BWO’s around the hatchery and Bridge 99.
2 Oddball Mayfly hatches that can be important in late July and August are Epeorus and Ameletus. The Epeorus are easy to spot the females, as they tend to be pinkish as a dun. A size 16 orangish pink sparkle dun is a favorite of mine to match that hatch, but a good old Light Cahill is pretty spot on too. The Ameltus looks a lot like the Lesser Green Drake (Flav) and has 3 tails, a stocky olive body, tall wings and hatches best in August but possible to see some around in July too. The Olive Haze and Olive Sparkle Dun in a #14 is a good match for the hatch.
Yellow Sally Stones hatches can be overlooked with other hatches overshadowing these small stones. If you’re headed to the Metolius in July and most of August, it is a pattern I would add to your must have list for afternoon and evening sessions.
There are some giant Bull Trout in the river now. It appears the lake fish made an early run upriver this season.
Nymph fishing is producing a lot of nice fish, using both Euro and Indicator methods.

The Lower Deschutes is good fishing on the Warm Springs to Trout Creek section. Caddis hatches have been most prolific, but a good mix of Pale Evening Duns and Pale Morning Duns will be important hatches to look out for too.
Fish are really starting to seek out the back eddies throughout the day, sipping a smorgasbord of spent and emerging insects awash in the swirl.
Our guides have been seeing really strong results Euro Nymphing.
Indicator techniques in some areas is the way to go, especially in the runs farther out that are unwadeable to get over the fish. Swinging a micro streamer or sculpin is yet another way to produce fish down on the big river and is a great way to get your spey game back on track before the steelheading starts getting better this fall (crossing our fingers for that!)

The Middle Deschutes is ok, definitely a early morning to about noon fishing spot, or last hour before dark. You will find caddis, Pale Morning and Pale Evening Duns hatching. In some areas expect to see Baetis hatches in the evening as the 1st shade of the day hits the river behind canyon walls.
Nymphing is a great option, especially with Perdigons and Euro Jigs.

The Upper Deschutes in the headwater stretch downstream of Little Lava Lake is fishing well with nymphing techniques and the occasional good dry fly opportunity. A lot of nice whitefish being caught. As a reminder, respect the whitefish. They are wild, they are cool and what is not cool is people who throw them up on the bank or squeeze and release them. They belong.
Brown and Olive perdigons with a hot orange hot spot have been our best nymph up there. Little Jig Style Micro Leeches are pretty awesome here too (and for that matter in a lot of places). Come check out our cool micro leeches tied Jig Style we get from Montana Fly Co.

Guides are telling me the Crooked River is good. Cold water coming out of the reservoir, good PMD hatches and some Hopper fishing, and very good nymph fishing.
Mahogany Duns, Rusty Spinners, Caddis (tan and brown #16-18), Purple Haze and Renegades are good flies for right now too.

Fall River is still fishing very well. The hatches are good, and amongst them you’ll see Olive and Gray Caddis (#16-18), PMD, BWO, Midges, Ants, Beetles, Grasshoppers, Rusty Spinners and Yellow Sally’s.
Micro Streamers and Jig Leeches are hot flies. Small Mayfly and Midge Nymphs are getting them on light tippets and good drifts.
Don’t forget your 6x 6.5x and 7x for Fall River.

The guide team had another fine week on the McKenzie. Dry Dropper fishing is producing a lot of good rainbows, as is just well presented nymph.
There are some good yellow mayfly and caddis hatches most days, and enough stones around to continue to fish a Chubby as a viable dry fly and as an indicator.

I’ve gone downhill a few miles again this season and for the time being stopped fishing East and focused on Paulina.
East has warmer water overall, has a persistent algae bloom going over a lot of the lake, is shallower due to lack of snow pack and massive evaporation this summer making it harder to launch a larger boat, AND it is just not the “sweet spot” we’d all like to see. We need a cool down, either by a strong thunderstorm with hail and rain, or a string of cooler nights. If you follow these weekly reports I’ve written for years now, you know I am a huge fan of East Lake.
East isn’t unfishable, its just not where I want to be compared to the clear and cooler waters of Paulina now.
Both Lakes are going to offer chironomid fishing from 12 to 25 feet deep. Balanced Leeches and Callibaetis nymphs are also good to hang under the “bobber”.
Both lakes are going to be good at times with full sink lines (especially type 3 and type 5) with leeches and nymphs, especially damsel nymphs.
This week at Paulina we caught fish mostly on a Type 5 full sink line stripping an Orange Beaded Damsel nymph.
We also did well on Chironomids, including the following sizes and colors listed in order of weekly success: Red #14, Olive #16, Chrome #14, Black #14 and Olive #20
Yesterday we caught a hell of a nice fish on a grasshopper colored Chubby. And got several fish on a black Beetle.
This week there were 1000’s of Pandora Moths on the water, spent or dying. We saw several taken down by trout. There have been discussions as to whether or not fish eat them, in my mind there is no doubt that they do. I watched several get taken off the surface, including a few by some very large fish. I am thankful though it appears the Pandora hatch is over. Yesterday there were hardly any on the lake where earlier in the week there were so many it looked like aspen leaves after a fall wind swept through.

Hosmer Lake is picking up with good fishing in the upper lake and channel. Callibaetis nymphs have been by far the #1 fish catcher. Damsels, Red and Black Zebra Midges, Scuds, Watermelon Leech, Black Balanced Leech, Soft Hackles and Callibaetis dries are also good. Be careful with water temps in the lower lake. 68 is the upper limit, and it isn’t deep enough for getting much relief down at the bottom, and there is no cold water influence from the creek channel either.

My trip was cancelled/rescheduled tomorrow so I am hopeful for a trip to Crane Prairie with a friend instead.
I’ve heard water temps are slowly coming down, but still too hot for trout unless you are in the channels. Hanging Balanced Leeches, 2 Bits, Zebra Midges and larger red, black and olive Chironomids under an indicator has been producing some decent fishing.

Three Creeks Lake is still good for the most part. Mornings from 8 to about lunch, then 5 to dark are the times to shine.
Callibaetis and Black Caddis are very important hatches now, but keep an eye open for fish feeding on midges and never forget trout in mountain lakes love terrestrials, especially ants and beetles.
Leeches trolled with a non beaded PT is a hot combo.
Callibaetis nymphs on a Midge Tip or Hover line stripped from a stationary boat is hard to beat.


We had a forest fire near Sisters that began last sunday afternoon, and we feel incredibly lucky to have dodged a bullet. The fire crews got on that one hard with seemingly unending air tanker drops, plus multiple helicopters dropping water on any spot fires, and tactical engine and hand crews working their asses off to protect our community.
A week ago tonight we helped our friends (and guide) Mary Ann Dozer and her bamboo guru husband evacuate from their home. We were able to help them get the drift boat and whole’ lotta rods out in case the worst came. It didn’t. And they are safely back home already.
Over the week we were fortunate to not be in the smoke, and with the fire getting close to full containment, Sisters (and really all of Central Oregon) remain free from smoke. The Grandview Fire is essentially over.
We were on the good edge of level 1 evacuation lines. With an unfavorable wind that may have changed all too fast.
Our most important gear was left in an easy to get to pile for a quick load up if it got worse.
I’ve been working on a roof top sprinkler system that I will install today on my day off. I know it won’t go up against the worst inferno, but may keep our home safe if another fire is close this summer or in another year. That’s the scary part of living next to the forest. With all the joy it provides from the views, the beauty, the wildlife and the great hiking trails that are literally starting across the street, it scares the hell out of me in these drought conditions and with heat waves looming over and over again.
So, off to climb on the roof. Then wash the boat to make the “Fun Broker” sparkle again, clean some tackle and put away 2 weeks of flies that accumulated on my mega fly patch on top of my boat box.
Oh by the way, the Open just finished and Colin Morikawa from the USA just won!
Looking forward to cheering on many Team USA athletes at the Tokyo Olympics starting later this week.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.