Yuck, it’s hot and smokey here for the 4th day in a row. I have been lucky to be escaping the worst of the heat and the smoke by getting up in Newberry Crater. At about 6400 feet it is much better.
But today, there was no escape. Instead, today, I taught my Fly Fishing Clinic at Black Butte Ranch (teaching that now for 31 years!) and after class I went to my friend Gary’s for some boat work, as my old Hummingbird Fish Finder bit the dust on Thursday and I bought a newer, and fancier unit made by Garmin on my way through Bend knowing I just can’t do my job to the level I want to do it, without good electronics in the boat.
If you know me, you know I am not very good with mechanical stuff, especially wiring. So on Thursday night I was trying and trying to install my new unit so I would have it for guiding Friday but I was in over my head.
Trying to find anyone to hire to work on boats these days is tough. My trusted old Marine Shop I used in Bend for years is closed. The guy retired. So I asked my friend, and he was happy to help. Thank goodness.
Thanks to Gary, it is amazing and I can’t wait to see what it can do Monday morning when I am back on the lake.
Anyway, the weather and air here suck. And it looks like it will be bad again tomorrow and then starts getting way nicer Monday. The fishing in a lot of places isn’t bad, but it is awfully hot to be in waders or hiking around some of the rivers until it cools off in about 48 hours.
I am looking forward to the upcoming week for a lot of reasons, we are running a camp this week up at East and Paulina for some customers. Steve and I are guiding and Eric is setting the camp and doing all the cooking. It should be a great way to enjoy the lake experience with some folks I’ve guided for years, and take it to another level of camping together and making meals together and just spending more time getting to know some good people.
The forecast low Tuesday night is 37 degrees. I am so ready to wear a puffy and to see the water temps come down. Like many of you, I am damn tired of this summer.
It will get better.
On the Metolius River, fishing is quite good and should stay that way until at least November, with the best fishing coming Mid August to Late October for me every year.
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. Get out early to have the best chance of catching a Bull. 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 Fall River– small leeches and tiny midge nymphs along with Tungsten Micro Mayfly Nymphs, Rainbow Warriors and Euro Nymphs with heavy tungsten beads. You can nymph the leech Euro style or under an indicator, but the best way to do it is with a slow sink tip. The new un-beaded pine squirrel leeches are money. Same story as when I wrote the last report Monday: 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 There are PMD and BWO Spinners at dusk. Dusk is also a time when the shade is on the water, and the humidity rises in the river corridor and that means a likely prime time for a hatch to happen.
the Crooked River has a lot of PMD hatches, 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 almost all day, with Perdigons, Zebra Midges, Split Case PMD, Skinny Nelson and Jig Leeches doing well for us.
The Warm Springs to Trout Creek section of the Lower Deschutes is fishing well too. Same as Last Week. 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.
the McKenzie River is fishing excellent. Euro Nymphs are awesome, and there is great action on dries like a Red Tarantula, Iris Caddis, Clarks Stone, Tandem Caddis Dries and Parachutes.
swinging nymphs and leeches out in front of the boat has been bringing many fish to the net.
Slightly concerned that the Butte Fire on the Upper McKenzie is burning still. Not a big fire, but it has now closed the upper river to fishing and river access from Trail Bridge Reservoir to Frissel Boat Ramp. We are all hoping this is resolved soon.
The Upper Deschutes is a good bet from Little Lava to Crane Prairie including the Blue Hole area. Beetles and Ants and some PMD hatches. Mostly nymphs and some streamer action.
East Lake 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 good. I fished there 3 days this week, all with good success. Morning Callibaetis hatches have been fun and productive, and then fishing Chironomids and Balanced Leeches under an indicator for the rest of the day is a proven winner. Yesterday we also worked the rocky shoreline drop off’s with Beetles, Hoppers and Red Tarantulas and caught quite a few on that mix and one on a dry damsel.
Crane Prairie is just not in fishable shape my friends. Give it a break for another several days.
Hosmer Lake Very few fish in the lower lake so work up the channel and to the upper lake for cooler water. Callibaetis spinners in the morning will provide entertainment and frustration as that is just darn hard to match perfectly. When I was there Tuesday we filled a few, but had to drop to 7x with an Organza Spinner. Ants, Damsels, Balanced Leeches, Callibaetis Soft Hackles, Red Zebra Midges, Scuds and Water Boatman are working on Hosmer.
Three Creeks Lake is still good. At about 6500 feet there it’s a good cool off zone for us.
Callibaetis hatches are good, with the late afternoon seeing the most hatch action. Black Caddis up to dark, and you”ll see 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.
You might notice I cut and pasted some of the same info I wrote from Mondays report.
For 2 reasons:
One is, not much has changed in 4 or 5 days, so the info is current and yet still important. Important to someone who may be tuning in for the 1st time in a while because their trip is finally going to happen and they are planning their trip.
But I have also been frustrated with one of the other shop/guide services appearing to be using my work, and my words almost verbatim in their reports. That is just not cool.