Holy cow what a great couple of October days we are getting yesterday and today. I guided the Fall River yesterday in Sunshiney bliss and today I am headed to the Metolius with my friend Mike, hopefully for a good afternoon session of dry fly action.
I hope you are getting out and enjoying these last days of warm, sunny days too.
It looks like the weather is going to get cooler Sunday, Monday and Tuesday and then go back to nice mid week.
That’s a good October forecast for anglers.
The Metolius is still getting a variety of mayflies, meaning it hasn’t got so far into Fall to only see BWO’s. Although BWO’s are a big part of the equation, PMD’s and Mahogany Duns remain very important every afternoon. Still a few drakes popping too, and the fish want to eat them if they float by. Not many, but important to pack them in your fly box for another week.
Caddis are abundant and you’ll want to fish pupa’s and adults in orange (#8-12) tan (#14-18) grey/olive (#14-16) to match most of what you’ll see.
As mentioned last week, most of the stonefly adults are done. Yes, you will probably see isolated and various adult stones, especially on warm days, but maybe not enough on any given day to get fish up to them as dries. It is always worth prospecting the Metolius with a Clark’s Stone. It can look like a random end of season Golden Stone, or an October Caddis too.
Nymph action is great on Eggs, Perdigons, Jigs, PT’s, 2 Bit’s, Micro May’s and as mentioned above Caddis Pupa’s.
Streamer fishing is particularly good for Bull Trout.
The Fall River was good for me yesterday (well, good for Milt my guide trip client actually). But overall, many of my friends and guides have been reporting good days on the Fall.
We didn’t see many BWO’s actually hatching but fish were sipping and we got a lot of fish to eat Knock Down Duns, Film Critics and Comparaduns. There were a lot of Cinnamon Caddis hatching and fish were after them. We found success on a #12 Cream X Caddis, but I wished I had something with a little more orange tint to it in the box. (off to the vise I shall go!)
Our nymphing success yesterday was mostly on a tiny red midge larva with a tungsten bead. The fish liked it. They swarmed around a tan caddis pupa and we missed a couple on it, but they really ate the midge.
Eggs and perdigons, Zebra Midges, 2 Bits, Micro May’s and Split Case emergers are all important flies now and for the next several months. Lot’s of #16-20 flies for those of you tying flies for the “off season”.
The Crooked River is fishing well, flows are in the 50cfs range. We’d sure like to see them 80-100 cfs. BWO hatches are the most important, but straggling PMD’s in a size 18 are hanging on as an important mid day hatch too. Look for midges to be important in a pupa in the drift, emerging at the surface and as emergers and adults on the surface.
Nymph fishing is good on Zebra Midges, Scuds (orange is #1, but tan and olive are great-come check out our new jig scuds!), Skinny Nelson (I wish I was skinny, but that being said yesterday at the Fall River an old customer I hadn’t seen in a long while complimented me on how fit I looked. Milt and I laughed at that after, but it was a true and lovely compliment and I’ll take it even though I have work to do on that front…)
The Lower Deschutes is fishing well for trout, but please respect the steelhead closure. We are hearing reports of people obviously fishing for steelhead and attempting to justify their actions in terrible ways.
Girdle Bugs, October Caddis Pupa, Cheeseburgers, Sparkle Pupa, 3 Dollar Dip’s, Copper John Soft Hackle PT, Micro May’s, 2 Bit’s and Perdigons have been hot for us.
Still getting some fish on top on Purple Haze and X Caddis. BWO hatches are often important so look for them to get fish to the surface, especially in the eddies.
Trout spey is fun and swinging a small sculpin or leech is a great way to enjoy some spey fishing without targeting steelhead. What’s the difference some may ask? Well, smaller flies and way lighter tippets mean less attraction from a steely, and lighter tippet would likely result in a quick break off if a steelhead was hooked.
So, let’s just say a steely was brought to net as a result of swinging for trout or nymphing for trout. That your amazing angling skills combined with luck and good vibes from the fish gods allowed you land the fish. Keep that fish wet. Don’t photograph it. get that barbless hook out and revive that fish. I see way way way too many people beach steelhead. Please never do that. New research shows they flop on the rocks and get brain damage and die within hours. Land them in knee deep or deeper water. Use a net and barbless hook. Some of us will accidentally catch a steelhead fishing for trout on the Deschutes over the next 8-10 weeks. I am not wanting to see anyone targeting steelhead here, I am stating ways to make sure the by catch is done safely with the survival of the steelhead foremost on my mind.
The Middle Deschutes has bumped a bit in flow but is very fishable. Nymphing and Streamer action are both good, and look for BWO and Caddis to be good on the top. I still like prospecting with a Renegade, Purple Haze and small Stimulator until the really cold days hit.
Sculpins and Crayfish patterns are great, either dead drifted or stripped.
The McKenzie is great, a lot of October Caddis now, mixed with a bunch of smaller Caddis and some mayfly hatches including mahogany duns.
Nymph fishing is awesome on the Mac now.
Crane Prairie is fishing OK, some days are better bites than others. It is still good water temps and the water is very clear now, with little suspended algae left. Zebra Midges, Balanced Leeches, Scuds, Dragonfly Nymphs, Unbalanced leech and Pine Squirrel Leech on Intermediate lines are all good.
I heard that the barricades I was concerned over at Quinn have been taken down. I don’t know why? I did write the USFS bend office and never had any response, but one of the things I love about this blog is how many of you write back and let me know about places that are open, or closed or may other issues. It is because of that I can share up to date and accurate info with all of the people that read this report. Rock Creek ramp is closed for the season.
Hosmer was good this week on Red Leeches. Besides Red Leeches an orange or grey pine squirrel leech, brown or olive balanced leech, scuds, zebra midges, red ice cream cone and water boatman are all on the list.
I think with the weather we have another 2 weeks at Hosmer. I know Steve our FFP guide was up there this week fishing in snow squalls but it was good fishing.
East Lake shoreline action remains good, so either walk and wade the shore line or tube along the edges. Browns are getting schooled up pre spawn and often that leads to aggressive behavior. Strip streamers and leeches.
Paulina Lake is similar, but not much wading area at Paulina so you’ll want a boat. Streamers and Leeches are the best, Scuds and Chironomids have good probability on any given day.
I keep trying (also at Crane) Blobs to imitate Daphnia clumping, and catch occasional fish on it, but the Rowley and Chan camp who I respect so much and follow their lead so often talk about how important this food source is in the fall. Are any of you out there trying this, and are you stripping the blobs, fishing them static under an indicator and what depth are you targeting. The Blob I’ve done best using the last 6 weeks is a light pink one, but catches have not been on pace with other flies we’ve chosen and used with more success.
Also at Paulina I would work the shore lines and weed beds with a small Purple Chubby, and maybe a beetle on warmer days. Try running a dropper on a tan 2 Bit Hooker off the back 2 inches. I’m sure you will catch fish on both flies.
3 Creeks Lake shoreline fishing should still be good. I don’t know anyone who went this week though.
Rainbows and Brookies are going to be feeding in the shallows, so stripping leeches (I prefer a hot head olive leech with either a chartreuse or fire orange bead), or an orange pine squirrel leech.
Have a great week. We are headed to the coast tomorrow for the week of some R&R and to celebrate my moms birthday. Not sure if any fishing will happen, but later in the week I know some clamming and some crabbing will likely happen.
Be well and cast well,