Good Morning, and sorry for the 2 day delay for this report. I really try to get these out every saturday but I’ve been in San Diego watching baseball (Padres vs Diamondbacks) and thanks to the not so wonderful opportunities for flying these days, we got delayed by quite a bit. The silver lining to that was we got to watch 3 games instead of two but got home early this morning instead of mid afternoon yesterday.
I did not get to spend a lot of time on the water myself last week. It was a planned week off and Tina and I got one trip on Paulina together which was terrific. The rest of the week was either in the shop for meetings, or getting ready for travel last Thursday.
I felt a little out of the loop, so yesterday while taking a Lyft from the Stadium to the Airport I texted many of the FFP guides and got the scoop to share with you on conditions and flies working all over our region. So thanks to Troy, Steve, Mary Ann, Danny & Tonn for their contributions to this report and to my friend Chester for his near daily reports from the Metolius. All is very appreciated.
On the Metolius River, things continue to be quite good.
PMD #16 in all stages (nymph, emerger, cripple, dun and rusty spinners), BWO in all stages (#20-22), Pink Lady #16, Ameletus #14, Caddis galore #14-18 in Tan, Olive, Charcoal Black and Yellow, plus Golden Stone adults #10-12, & Yellow Sally #16-18 stoneflies.
Keep an eye out for some Salmonflies this month and the by the end of the month we should see the huge Willowflies #4. Usually in Mid August a minor Salmonfly Hatch will extend throughout the river, sporadic and spread out as it can be, it can also provide smashing takes for a few days here and there as it jumps around the different segments of the river.
Most of the Golden Stone hatch is still high up in the river, above the Gorge CG. Clarks Stones and Norm Woods Specials are the flies to match the goldens.
All other hatches are pretty wide spread in most areas.
Tightline/Euro nymphing has been excellent in all areas for trout, and several nice Bull Trout have also been fooled with a perdigon lately. Olive and Brown Perdigons, Jig Rainbow Warriors and Walts Worms have been hot flies.
There are a lot of Bull Trout in the system. On these hot, bright, sunny days you want to get out early to have the best chance of catching a BT. Do not forget the tributary streams are off limits to fishing. They are protected waters closed to all fishing so Bull Trout have a safe place to spawn and juvenile fish have a sanctuary to rear before going out to the big river to grow up and get mean!
The guide team tells me the Fall River hatches have been slower this week, and they were focused on small leeches and tiny midge nymphs along with Tungsten Micro Mayfly Nymphs, Rainbow Warriors and Euro Nymphs with heavy tungsten beads.
There are some PMD’s hatching mixed with Caddis and some small Yellow Sallies and even a few BWO’s. I wouldn’t go to the Fall River without dries, but I would go this week expecting more subsurface fishing.
Don’t forget what a good terrestrial river Fall River can be. Everything from Grasshoppers to Ants and Beetles is part fo the food chain in this little spring creek.
Stay late and avoid some crowds by fishing after dinner to dark. Swing a soft hackle or keep an eye open for Rusty Spinners at dusk. Even swinging a leech can get a nice a hook up, but it is also a time when the shade hits the water, and the humidity rises in the river corridor and that means a likely prime time for a hatch to happen.
All the guides were talking about good fishing on the Crooked River this past week. PMD hatches have been fair to good usually after lunch, about 1 and going to about 3 or 4. The fish want to eat the PMD’s at the surface, even if the hatch is light.
Nymphing is just excellent, with Perdigons, Zebra Midges, Split Case PMD, Skinny Nelson and Jig Leeches doing well for us.
It has been a little more crowded on the Crooked lately.
Another way to combat that, is to try early AM or an evening session to dark. Most people go from 9 to 4.
The Warm Springs to Trout Creek section of the Lower Deschutes is fishing well too. Nice afternoon fishing in the eddies and under the trees on a smorgasbord of spent and crippled mayflies and caddis. In the evening you’ll get the hatches of Caddis the Lower Deschutes is famous for, plus some Pale Evening Duns and likely some PMD’s too.
Iris Caddis and Parachute Caddis with a Fluorescent Post are dandy in the evening for fooling fish, but also for being able to see the darn things. X Caddis, Rusty and Yellow Spinners, Yellow Knock Down Duns, Spent Partridge Caddis, Silvey’s Dead Caddis, Sparkle Pupa, Poopah, Soft Hackle and a variety of Euro Nymphs have been great for us.
BTW, August is a good month to try grasshoppers on the bank lines. A lot of hoppers there and for some reason the Lower D never got much of a hopper following. I know its not the epic hopper fishery some western rivers are, but it is certainly worth the time to work some of those grassy and rip-rap banks with a juicy hopper now.
Some of my guides have been going with the trout spey and swinging streamers too.
Steelheading is poor, and water conditions at the mouth are not going to improve any this week with yet another heat wave coming tomorrow. Give the steelhead a break and get up river and fish for trout.
Every one of the guys that wrote me back that guide the McKenzie River (Steve, Troy and Tonn) said the river is fishing excellent. Besides the fact that they are crushing fish on Euro Nymphs, they all reported good action on Dries like a Red Tarantula, Iris Caddis, Clarks Stone, Tandem Caddis Dries and Parachutes.
Leeches were another top comment from the guides, swinging them out in front of the boat, and Soft Hackles with a Heavy Bead to keep it deep in the fast currents.
I love that the McKenzie ended up fishing so well after last years fire. It is also nice to see some restoration already happening, both naturally and by agencies that care about the river corridor.
The Upper Deschutes is the same as the last report. A lot of good whitefish holes, that are perfect for Tightline/Euro Nymph techniques. Fish are eating the heck out of Frenchies, Walts Worms, Perdigons and Rainbow Warriors. Many or most of these fish are going to Whitefish. Repsect the Whitefish. They are a native fish. Brookies and Rainbows are mixed in well and look for some good specimens of both from Crane up to the Blue Hole.
Ants, Beetles, PMD’s and Caddis for when you find a hatch or can prospect the water with a dry fly. A small Purple Chubby with a nymph trailer is a good combo for the upper river.
East Lake is fishing much better. The Water is more clear, and hatches of Callibaetis are doing well. Fish are in shallow at times for the hatch, or cruise banks looking for damsels and terrestrials (Ants, Beetles and Hoppers) but a lot of the best fish are feeding in deeper areas on Balanced leeches and Chironomids. August is a prime month to hang an all red Chironomid Blood Worm under an indicator at 15 to 20 feet.
Olive and Chrome Chironomids are your best pupal colors now, but have black and red at the ready and from a #12 to a #18. Especially the Red in the #18 as it is a staple East Lake size for late summer.
Paulina Lake is continuing to fish well. Last week I set Tina up with a Watermelon Balanced Leech, and me with a Chromie and Olive Pupa, and we shared many bobber down moments fishing the same water with totally different flies.
I also was using a Type 5 line with a Blob and got fish using that method and then we hit a nice callibaetis hatch over a mid-shallow weed bed and did really well on Parachutes, Extended Body Callibaetis and my Black Butte Callibaetis. I like fishing 2 or 3 dries on a long leader now for CB hatches on the lakes. It is a great way to add numbers to the net.
The most fun part of our day was the afternoon winds came up and I motored her along the banks with the Minn Kota and she had so many fish up to a Hopper it was exciting as can be. Hoppers, Beetles and Ants belong in your lake box.
Crane Prairie. Too hot for me.
Hosmer Lake in the channel is a good/safe bet. Be aware of warm waters in the lower lake and work up the channel and to the upper lake for cooler water. Maybe give it another rest from Wednesday until the next cool down, as really hot weather is on the way back. Callibaetis, Damsels, Balanced Leeches, Soft Hackles, Zebra Midges, Scuds, and some big traveling sedges are all probable on any given day on Hosmer.
Three Creeks Lake is still good. Callibaetis hatches are good, with the late afternoon seeing the most hatch action. Black Caddis up to dark, and some good action on Midges, under an indicator almost anytime during the day and at the surface with emergers and dries in the evening.
Damsels are showing good activity and fish are eating dry damsels in crushing, splashy rises here and there.
Stripping or trolling a leech and a non beaded PT or Poxy Back Callibaetis nymph is a fish producer.
Here is my rant for the week. I saw there were some politically motivated flags flying off boats at a little mountain lake over the weekend.
Some of the flags said “F**K Biden”.
At what point do we leave politics behind and go to pretty places and not be offensive? Kids go to that lake. Grandma’s go to that lake. Devout believers in God go to that lake. I imagine all people who should not be exposed to this sickness.
How in any way shape or form is rowing across a lake with a profane flag an acceptable thing to do? In my mind it isn’t, just the same is it should not be tolerated flying off the back of a pick up driving from Bend to Redmond. Keep your F words off cars and boats and use them in your garage.