Merry Christmas Fishing Update 12/24/21

If you are in and around Sisters, you know the snow is falling. It’s not deep yet, but we are going to have a white Christmas. Tina and I just got out of the woods where we let Drake (our English Cocker) run and flush birds. The snow was fresh and starting to accumulate. It was a perfect winter scene with the tall pines and junipers covered in white.

Before I go into a fishing forecast and report, I do truly want to say how important this blog is to me, as I have heard it is also for many of you that read it regularly.
You’ve allowed me to tell fishing stories, give weather reports, prognosticate about important hatches, include some of my best friends in my stories and helped me keep my sanity when I need to get something off my chest.
You are my gift. Today, and every day.
I appreciate those that read this, comment, use it to make good fishing decisions and to stay safe or sane or both. We are truly in this together.
So, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukkah. It’s all good.

The Metolius is actually fishing well, and while hatches are sparse, you could certainly see a mid-afternoon BWO #20 on the water about noon to 2. October Caddis hatches are consistent, with many of the big orange bugs in the air later in the afternoon. The best action is coming on euro nymphing techniques with heavy beaded perditions and jigs. Golden Stones, Caddis Pupa, Eggs, Blue Psycho Prince and Red Copper Johns are consistent favorites for us.
Bull Trout fishing has been good. The fish are taking streamers well, either on the swing or drifted under a large strike indicator.
The river is open from Allingham to the Lake Billy Chinook, but travel below the Wizard Falls Fish Hatchery is going to get tough with the snow accumulations coming.
Expect to see increasing Winter Stones (Black #14-18) in the coming weeks.

The Fall River is also fishing pretty well. Maybe not quite as strong as the Metolius, but like the Met, the Spring Fed waters provide some more consistent water temps for the fish and the hatches.
In December and improving in January expect Midges, small Black Winter Stones, Blue Wing Olives and possibly some mixed caddis here and there that could provide for a decent but isolated afternoon bite.
We’ve been having our best success on Micro Streamers on a Euro Nymph Rod and Leader set up. Nymphs have been good too, especially Perdigons and Eggs and Zebra Midges.

It is going to get frigid cold in about 3 or 4 days here, with a big arctic air mass dropping over Oregon starting Sunday and lasting 3 to 5 days. I do think if you’re prepared for it, both the Spring Creeks will be fishable, but dress warmly, bring some hot tea, a change of clothes and let people know where you’ll be and when you are returning.

I do not think the Crooked River is in the cards for the near future. Running at 50 cfs, this cold is going to lock the edges and pools up with ice and the fish are going into a metabolic state of just not needing to eat when it is like that. Let’s wait and see and probably wait for warmer weather.

I’ve talked to a few friends who planned to go to Maupin (Lower Deschutes)next week to fish the Harpham and Locked Gate areas. I’ll be curious to know how they do, but my guess is with the big arctic mass coming it’s going to suck.
If I was to guess some flies to fish in any event, Blue Perdigons would top my list, with Olives and Browns and Purples getting tied on and fished hard. Walts Worm’s would be another, along with some Zebra Midges and Sculpins. But if it was me, I would wait for a warm up that we all know will happen soon enough.

And really, that is about the extent of the fishing in Central Oregon at the end of December and for the foreseeable future in January too.

I am excited for fishing, as usual, it is constantly on my mind. I’ve been setting up new lake reels and spools with various sinking lines. I’m reading a fun book on Tarpon Fishing, perusing fishing manufacturers catalogs and getting ready to tie not only a bunch of flies I know I’ll need for the season, but also some Euro Nymphing Leaders based on formulas tried and true, to new stuff I’ve read about and want to try soon.
Brad and I are supposed to go to Argentina in about a month. Hopeful that Omicron won’t change those plans!
Despite all of that, fishing is woven into our souls and nothing, not even a goddamned pandemic can steal that part from us.
Tina and I are spending a very quiet Christmas together and with her mom. The roads and the virus have kept us from other holiday events and that is sad in many ways but it’s okay too. We are well. I hope you are too.

Before I sign off, if anyone is interested in doing a zoom fly tying class I am planning to get some going in January, February and March. I could also do my zoom lake fishing presentation if I had a dozen or more people wanting to tune in to that. I love sharing that info and getting you stoked on the lakes with me. Also, I have one on the Metolius I could do. I just need to know if there is collective interest in tuning in? If so, send me an email to

If you don’t follow FFP on Facebook or Instagram please do. I put events and messages there as needed and it’s a good way beyond the blog to know what’s up. Both are The Fly Fisher’s Place.

And that my friends is it, until next time I write in January, again all my best wishes for health and happiness and good fish dreams if you’re not out actually chasing any for a bit.

Merry Christmas,

Jeff Perin 12/24/2021

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