How many more of these days will we get in 2021? It is perfect, but the winds of change are blowing in soon it looks like. We will take anything we get and we will fish in anything we get.
The Metolius is still getting a good afternoon Green Drake hatch, mostly in a size 10. Flav’s might be kaput for the 2021 fall hatch. See you next year? Or will you surprise us in the rain Tuesday?
PMD’s and BWO’s and Mahogany Duns continue to be very important mayfly emergences now and for several more weeks.
Caddis hatches remain good and we are seeing more and more October Caddis hatches, with the Pupa being the most important life stage to imitate. But don’t overlook the importance of the late season Tan #16 and Olive #16 caddis too.
I am headed to the river in a just a moment and hope to fish all of that, and some Golden Stone Adults too. I have seen fishable Golden Stone Adults up to the end of October on a good year. If it stays warms and dry as the trend, they will stick around.
Nymphing and Bull Trout fishing are great bets as always and with more and more Kokanee in the stream you can be assured the Bulls are feeding a lot on them, plus eggs now become an important food source for everyone.
Crooked River is fishing well, with afternoon hatches of PMD’s and BWO’s getting fish up to the top. The fish can get selective so make sure to have 6x and a mix of emergers, cripples and duns.
Midges can be very important, especially for those of you who might stay from 4 to dark now.
Scuds, Frenchies, Micro May’s, Skinny Nelson and Micro Leeches have been fun for us out there recently.
The Fall River is slowing a bit, probably late summer pressure and less fish stocked lately. It is still a good place to target but it’s not quite as vibrant as before. Maybe as we get more Fall like weather the fish will play better.
There are still PMD’s and a lot more BWO’s now. Look for Mahogany Duns too. I always like a Gray Comparadun for the match of the Mahogany Duns, and the Upright Rusty Spinner does double duty for mahogany duns too.
Micro Streamers and Leeches are still a favorite. Euro Nymphing is day in and day out your best bet for putting fish in the net when the hatch isn’t on.
The Lower Deschutes has another good news/bad news story this week. Trout fishing is great. Steelhead fishing is officially going to be closed as of 10/1/21 due to the historically low run coming up the river this season. We are saddened by the steelhead runs all over the Columbia Basin.
As far as the Trout go, from Warm Springs to Maupin there is a ton of opportunities to fish, and fish well!
Still a ton of caddis, so pupa and adults will take a fair share of fish. My friend Mike W and his son Michael sent me some iPhone photos at dusk last night of some pigs caught on caddis.
Stonefly nymphs and euro jigs are very good. Our guide Troy is a high believer of the Copper John on the D, and judging by how many fish that dude catches I’d say we all should add some CJ’s to the box.
Have you tried swinging leeches and sculpins for trout? The Lower D is a perfect place to do that. A 9 or 10′ 6 weight or a 3 or 4 weight Trout Spey is a great way to approach that technique. The tug is the drug, and the tug is what you’ll get when you swing these flies. Swinging you say? Also swing soft hackles on the Deschutes. That is fun. I need to get back into that myself. I used to love all the Sylvester Names Soft Hackle books and need to sit with them again for inspiration to do that on the D and other rivers locally.
The Middle Deschutes is good, mostly nymphing but with some PMD and BWO hatches around. Look for #16 tan caddis on warmer days. From Bend to Lake Billy Chinook there is a lot of water to access and fishing is fun on the Middle River now.
Don’t forget the Upper Deschutes closes in a week. You have until 9/30/21 to access the river from Crane Prairie up to Little Lava. Brook Trout and Whitefish action is good on nymphs. Bring your egg flies as a lot of Kokanee have been spawning too.
For the next several weeks until 3 Creeks freezes up, the Brook Trout will be hugging the banks more and more in preparation to spawn. Rainbows will be off the drop off’s and in slightly deeper water. Hot Head Olive Leeches are my favorites, but all the usual fall lake flies like scuds, leeches, dragon fly nymphs, water boatman and beetles have a lot of potential day to day and hour to hour.
There is good bank fishing access now and I almost recommend that more than using a boat or tube.
Crane was tough this week with the Full Moon. We got fish, but noticed the morning bite was best and that it died in the afternoon. With that moon phase going away I’d say Crane is on the upswing and definitely worth fishing.
There were a lot of chironomids hatching this week and pupa’s showed up in the throat pump samples often. Black and Olive #16-#18. Balanced Leeches, Water Boatman, Scuds and Dragonfly Nymphs are good for sure. Keep those on your mind and in your box for the Fall on all the lakes.
I heard good things from friends at East this week! Still some (but fewer and fewer) callibaetis hatching. Beetles were good. Strip Leeches and Streamers that look like Chubs for some nice action now until the close. Seems like static nymphing is just a pain in the ass due to how many chubs are taking the small nymphs. Hopeful ODFW keeps up the Chub mitigation in the future. If you catch then, squeeze and release these invasive little creeps.
Paulina was on fire for me, and also for my friend Blue Anchor Bob this week. Lots of dry fly action on Beetles and Parachute Adams. Balanced Leeches, Chironomids, Scuds are necessary ammo for the lake too. But if I can fish dries, I will.
Hosmer is great, I think fishing better than average for this time of year. Scuds, Leeches, Water Boatman, Zebra Midges, Callibaetis nymphs and Dragonfly nymphs. Both ends of the lake and the channel are good, so plenty of room to spread out and find the fish.
As we move towards more and more cool days on the water, many of us will start putting on gloves to fish. PLEASE, do not handle fish with gloves on. They develop skin fungal infections within weeks of us touching them with gloves and die in most cases. In the summer too, the same thing applies to sun gloves and trout.
We work so hard to protect trout, we go to enjoy the experience and then to release them for others to catch again, so handle them with care and love them like they are one of the most valuable assets we have.
I’m off to the river. Until next week! Fish it Well.