Hello on a cool, breezy October Monday. Monday? I know, it’s late and I apologize. I had guide trips over the weekend and just didn’t have time to blog until now.
There is plenty to talk about, including an apology on my part for not choosing the best way to express myself on some frustrations I had last time I wrote.
So, getting into the fishing part of things, many of you know October has been cool, windy and sometimes wet around here. I cancelled trip today and another this week due to unseasonable cold conditions up on the lakes.
At 6400 feet (About the elevation of East and Paulina and Three Creeks Lake) it has snowed a decent amount yesterday and today. With a little more coming maybe on Wednesday.
There is a bit of a warm up coming with some really nice days at the end of the week.
Who knows for sure, but I am thinking the highest lakes (East, Paulina, 3 Creeks and probably Hosmer) are going to be about done really soon. I question if we will make it to the end of the month there. Looking at 10-14 day forecasts most night time lows are in the 20’s now. Water temps I saw last week at Crane and Paulina got to about 53 mid day. Thats still really good. The masters, Brain Chan and Phil Rowley talk about the magic of the lakes in the fall when the water goes to the high 40’s, and that is coming fast. How long will it last until it hits the next increment?
Other lakes, like Suttle, Crane, North and South Twin Lakes ought to be just fine until October 31st when Crane Closes, and maybe the others will fish into November.
Our rivers are good to go, especially the Metolius, McKenzie, Lower D and Fall River. So, there is still a bunch of good fishing days ahead of us and it is time to hit the water before it is too late to do it.
The hatches on the Metolius continue to be strong and fish are looking up. There are some Green Drakes around, but a lot of Mahogany Duns, BWO’s and some end of season PMD’s. We ought to see PMD’s get taken over by the other yellow mayfly we see book ending them in the (spring and) Fall: Cinygmula’s which are a 2 tailed yellow mayfly are easily imitated by all of our PMD patterns we’ve been using all season since May.
Plenty of Caddis hatching, especially October Caddis where we are seeing more cool days. The Pupa is usually what the fish prefer, but the fish do like to eat the adult in a smashing rise from time to time.
Besides the big orange caddis, look for some tan and grey #12-18 caddis on any given day too.
Seems like stoneflies including the golden adults are done. Nymphs for stones are always a top choice!
Eggs are an important food source now, so nymphing with an egg is a good idea for the next few weeks if not all winter.
There is good Bull Trout fishing with streamer techniques working the best. Nymphs have been good for Bulls too.
The entire river is open for another 20 days (remember the upper river closes above Allingham on 10/31/21) so it is a great time to be upriver too.
The Crooked is fishing well despite the 53 cubic foot per second flow. That is low, but over the years we’ve seen in half that and both are too low for long term sustainability.
Lots of small PMD’s and BWO’s still hatching and great nymph fishing on Perdigons, Micro May’s, Skinny Nelson, Scuds and Zebra Midges. Afternoon dry fly action is great most days with emergers, cripples and duns. The water being low is also quite clear for Crooked River standards. It isn’t a bad idea to bring some 6x and 7x tippet in case the fish get ultra selective.
The Fall River has been really good as of late, with good afternoon hatches of BWO’s mixes with some PMD’s, Midges and a few Caddis to mix things up.
Just like the Crooked recommendation, that 7x tippet can be a game changer when presenting to picky fish in clear water.
Morning streamer fishing and anytime with the Euro Nymphs is a great bet on the fall.
One tip I can’t emphasize enough is that Fall River trout love cripples and emergers. So, when assembling your dry fly box, make sure you have spent cripples and transitioning emergers.
The Lower Deschutes has been great on the nymph side for redsides and whitefish. We’ve been hitting the fish with Caddis Pupa (including October Caddis) and Perdigons, Jigs, 2 Bit Hookers, Copper Johns and Soft Hackle PT’s. Dry Fly fishing is spotty, but look for fish on small Caddis, BWO, Midges and maybe maybe maybe a PMD hatch. Always worth casting a Purple Haze in to an eddy or the edge of a run.
For those of us missing the spey game for steelhead, we highly recommend downsizing the gear to a 3 to 5 weight micro spey and going with small streamers and leeches and swinging for trout. The take is awesome and you can keep your technique tuned up with the small spey gear.
The Middle Deschutes is still fishing well, and normally by now the water levels would be creeping up to become high after irrigation season ends. But it is still low and very wadeable and worth the time spent from Bend to Lake Billy Chinook. Euro Nymphs and Streamers are by far the best way to approach this area now. But, keep an eye on rising fish, with PMD, BWO and Caddis likely at anytime from about 10 am to dusk depending on what section of river you are on. I know some people who fished above Cline Falls State park a few days ago and caught a lot of nice wild trout on perdigons.
The McKenzie is great fishing from the Drift Boat using nymphs, streamers and dry-dropper techniques. It is our #1 guide trip right now and our guides are having great days on the river.
The Snow and Cold have hit the high lakes these past 2 days and it looks like 2 or 3 more days of colder weather is predicted.
Last week at Paulina Lake was decent. Both days I was on the lake we got nice fish up on Beetles and small Purple Chubbies. Balanced Leeches and Tan 2 Bits were productive under the indicator and stripping leeches on Intermediate Lines has been good too. It seems like any leech with a hot orange bead at the front is working best, but we got some nice fish on drab colored Pine Squirrel Leeches too, fishing shallow over the weed beds in less than 10 feet of water.
East Lake for wading anglers, tubers and pontoon boats is a great bet later this week, maybe immediately for wading the edges. This is the time the Browns will be accessible to the shoreline more and more, and Rainbows too. Someone I know (Blue Anchor Bob) caught a couple of Brookies up there last week. Rare, but it happens.
Stripping Leeches, Scuds, Chub Streamers and fishing Chubbies along the shores will be good for both Rainbows and Browns.
My feeling is if you want to enjoy some last up in the volcano and have an opportunity for some nice shoreline action East is the place until it freezes because of the wading and tubing access.
Hosmer is getting a fair bit of snow. Last week it was fishing ok, trending slow. It might be about done for the 2021 season.
3 Creek Lake was good a few days ago, but at that elevation the snow has come in and again, I just don’t think we have many days left for fishing up there in 2021. Wading the shorelines with leeches has been best.
Crane Prairie was tough overall for me this week, and yet at moments it was absolutely glorious. If you go (and you should go) expect to fish zebra midges and black balanced leeches under the indicator, and strip leeches, water boatman and dragonfly nymphs on an intermediate line. I’ve found Quinn to the be the best spot for me, but have done almost as well in the Deschutes/Resort side lately.
North Twin is fishing well on balanced leeches and small chironomids, and fish are still looking up for beetles, and mayflies even thought the mayfly hatch is pretty much kaput for the season. Defiantly a nice fall fishing spot for a tuber, pontoon angler or drift boat.
I haven’t heard a report from South Twin, but it ought to be a good bet with pretty much the same stuff as its sister to the North.
Suttle Lake Browns are getting active on the Link Creek Side. Hard to catch but an interesting fishery. Good for small boats, tubes and pontoons or even bigger boats. Fish 5 to 30 feet of water and watch for splashers and cruisers.
Finally, I want to apologize for being angry enough to use the terms “apathetic and lazy” when I was referring to bathroom,campground and launch closures (and missing buoys).
That was unfair. I don’t know the entire story, and instead of going on the attack, I need to know. USFS, ODFW, BLM, USFS and other agencies all have great folks working for them, and maybe all we really need is some collaboration so they understand what we hope for on our public lands and these kinds of things that make our boating and fishing more difficult dont happen in the future.
I’m an off the cuff guy at times, and sometimes I am an asshole. Usually pretty darn nice, but that sucked on my part and I’m sorry.
I am starting to work together with a couple of guys with out local fly club on these sort of issues, as I know there is power in numbers and if a whole club says keep a dock in until the end of the season, and oh, by the way we need the bathroom too things might be different.
Let’s hope so.