Welcome to Winter! It’s a wonderland up there with the snow pack looking pretty good for the moment. We now have a blocking high pressure system which is making for some warm sunny days again, and that bodes well for getting out and enjoying some good access to the rivers in our area.
The Metolius has been fishing really good for the start of 2022. Hey, we need some good news in the beginning of 2022, so it might as well be the Bull Trout are biting, there is a good afternoon BWO hatch, and Euro Nymphing is really producing some good catches for us.
I’ll be realistic, it’s winter and yes it’s been good. But we all know the Metolius can turn on us, and turn on us quickly. But the trend is good and it is worth fishing for sure.
Access is good all over the river, including to Bridge 99 with a truck. Roads are great from the Highway to Camp Sherman, Allingham, and Wizard Falls. They are passable to Bridge 99 but not plowed so expect some ice or areas that are rutted with packed snow. Be smart. If you drive a lowered Honda, this is not for you. (wink)
Besides that afternoon BWO hatch, be on the lookout for little black stones #16-18, October Caddis #8-10, Snow Sedge and Silver Stripe Sedge #10-12 and a mix of smaller (14-16’ish) Gray Caddis. Not all of those will bring fish to the surface. Think top to bottom and grab some pupa patterns for the caddis, and nymphs for the BWO’s.
Hatches are mostly happening after 1 PM, seems like this week 2 PM was the sweet spot.
Black Articulated Streamers have been our best Bull Trout fly this week. We’ve also got a couple of Tan or Tan/Gold/Olive (sounds like a whitefish) with Boneheads that have been great too.
With 7 days of lovely weather in the forecast it would be a good winter escape to go this weekend or next week.
REMINDER that the River is closed from the Headwaters to Allingham Bridge until 5/22.
The Fall River is also fishing well and access is a bit better with some melting and compacting snow. Access is possible to the Tubes and Falls with a truck. Parking at the Camp Ground and Head Waters is still tricky because of the snow in the parking lots. The Hatchery of course is easy access but easy access brings more and more anglers.
Midges and BWO’s are likely the most important food items on the menu, but you really want to pay attention to the Little Black Stones. The fish can get keyed on them this time of year.
Micro Streamers and Euro Streamers have been quite effective this week.
NOW, please respect the areas that are under restoration and have signage to keep people off the riparian areas just upstream of the Tubes.
We need that zone to be restored to protect the river and create habitat important to all things in and around the river. Without habitat we lose. Don’t be the loser that makes that happen.
The Crooked River is not bad, it’s definitely become a more fishable option than when I wrote the last report. I’d say mostly because it’s warmed up so much.
Scuds, Zebra Midges, Thread Midges, Winklers and small Purple Perdigons.
I think this week is going to be a good bet on the Crooked.
The Lower Deschutes is open in the Maupin area. It is not open at Warm Springs, or Mecca, Trout Creek or South Junction. Some birder friends were at Mecca yesterday and saw people fishing. It is all of our responsibilities to read and understand the Reg’s. Fishing closed water is not cool.
If you want to fish the Lower D, the Maupin area is fishing well from the Locked Gate down to Town and has some good options down to Oak Springs and below. I personally think below White River is a no go, as that is so cold dumping in to the D, that everything is slower in that colder water.
Euro Nymphing the riffles is producing the best. No if’s and’s or but’s. Tight Line, short casts and good drifts are gettin’ it done down there.
The Middle Deschutes is not good. Maybe wait a month. Maybe more. I’d pass.
With the warm days I’m thinking bank access on Haystack with leeches or chironomids under an indicator is going to be okay. Also, even though Prineville Reservoir and Ochocco Reservoir are still quite low they ought to offer some good options for bank access with leeches and chironomids. These 3 options are no doubt going to be a lot less crowded than any of the river options.
In the spirit of Dr King, a quote I like to think about is “life’s most persistent and urgent question is, What are you doing for others?”
That can be as simple as not walking on restoration areas, or volunteering at Meals on Wheels, or donating to your favorite charity, or reading to kids…. It’s infinite what we can do for others, whether we are anglers or just humans navigating a really weird world and loving people around us.