“Almost Spring” Fishing Report 2/27/22

good morning from Sisters, Oregon. It’s looking like a warm and wet week for the end of February and the beginning of meteorological spring which begins Tuesday March 1st.
I like the sound of Spring, although I do continue to hope for a lot more water in the mountains before we really start our warming and drying trend by early summer.

The Metolius has held up well even throughout last weeks cold snap. There wasn’t much fishing to be had for a few days as even the day time highs didn’t get out of the 20’s. But all of those springs hold the river temps pretty steady and that is lucky for us.
BWO’s, October Caddis, Snow Sedge, Silver Stripe Sedge, smaller (#14’ish) Gray Caddis, some Little Black Stones and some Midges round out what you’ll see on top or flying around.
Think about the complete life cycle for all of those: What is the habit of the nymphs? What size shape and color are the nymphs? Mayfly nymphs emerge to the surface in almost all species (exceptions are clinger nymphs like cinygmula and march browns). Caddis and Midges have a pupa stage. How can we imitate that? Carry nymphs and pupa’s to imitate all the hatches and you’ll be ahead of the game for sure. I can’t emphasize enough how important that is.
Golden Stone nymphs, scuds, egg flies are also really great this time of year.
Bull Trout fishing is good on streamers. I’ve been hearing from customers in the shop that smaller leeches with an indicator have been producing some good catches of Bulls. Definitely worth the time to try it. Our good friend and customer NC Phil has been getting a fair share of Bull’s euro nymphing big caddis type nymphs.
Please remember to not fish above Allingham Bridge until May 22. That’s critical spawning water and needs protected. Also, I have noticed a marked increase of OSP Fish and Game and Jefferson County Sheriff’s patrols. I love this.

The Fall River also held on during the cold snap and is bound to be very good this week with the warmer start to the week and some rain in the forecast from today to the end of the week. I expect to see better hatches of BWO’s and Midges this week as well.
Euro Nymphing, Streamers and Dries are all good.
Still a fair bit of snow down there so access to some areas will be harder, but the usual access to the Hatchery and the Camp Ground are fine. I am not sure about the Falls/Tubes.
Don’t forget our spring special guide trip for $375 for up to 3 people running now to April 21st for walk and wade trips.

The Crooked suffered a bit last week with icing during the very cold nights and way below average days. It may bounce back quickly this week? Certainly faster down from the dam the canyon opens up and the sun gets in there and so MP 12, 13 and 14 ought to be best. I’ll be curious to hear how MP 19, 18 and 17 are, and if they get better as the week moves on with warmer rains and winds coming through.
The month of March is often greeting us with excellent BWO hatches on the Crooked. I’d guess in the next 10 days or so we will see a big increase in that activity and should see some really good dry fly days coming soon. March and April are typically epic for Blue Wing Olives on the Crooked.
Right Now, it is mostly midges, scuds, small perdigons and cased caddis nymphs.
Don’t forget our spring special guide trip for $375 for up to 3 people running now to April 21st for walk and wade trips.

The Middle Deschutes is running high and cold. I’d say in another week to 10 days it may start up with some Skwala’s and by April some March Browns. There have been some little black stones out. Be in the right place at hatch time and you’ll see noses.

The Lower Deschutes in Maupin is a good spot now. Euro Nymping is what we are finding to work best, but indicator rigs and streamers are worth a go for sure. Locked Gate to Maupin is likely the best spot(s), but give it a whirl all the way to Mack’s Canyon.
This time of year is good for Black and Golden Stonefly Nymphs to be on the move pre-hatch in about 2 months. Never a bad time on the big river to try a big nymph.
Our guide Troy is also offering a spring special guide trip down in the Maupin area now too. So if a float trip and the big river are more of a tug than our spring specials on the Crooked or Fall we can offer that too.

The Metolius Arm of Lake Billy Chinook opens Tuesday. It’ll probably be a bit before the Bull Trout get active there.
At LBC, I would head to the Deschutes Ramp and fish near there for better results. The Crooked Arm is usually where the kokanee are found in big schools at this time of year, but I heard from a friend they are still very deep and haven’t followed their food source up near the surface yet.
Haystack I’d give another week after the cold snap.

I am looking ahead to a season of low water on the Lakes again, which last year affected my abilities to launch my bigger boat in some of our local lakes. SO….I just took my Rocky Mtn Trout Boat over to Joe Koffler at Koffler boats and had him do a bunch of cool mod’s to the the smaller boat making it a great choice to launch with the low water and challenging dock conditions I am sure we will see this year.
The most important addition was we installed a Minn Kota Bow Mount Trolling Motor that I will run with a remote control from the rowers seat. That efficiency on my big Hewes Craft is one of the very best tools I utilize during a day of guiding and fishing. So I am very excited to have this on both boats now.
Last year, after about August 15th I was not happy about banging my big boat and trailer up on the rocks at any of the usable East Lake launches. But the fishing was outstanding, so I wasn’t about to quit going. Now, I have 2 boats with massive capabilities for how I approach a lake that will surely get us into a bunch of fish.

Speaking of that, I have very few dates left for the 2022 season if you want to book a lake trip with me.
Here is all that is left May 11-12, August 16 & 30, September 1, 8, 13,15, 21, 27 and 28
June and July are 100% booked.
Call me if you want to join me in the boat this summer or fall.

Adam and Ben are again doing their Euro Nymphing Classes on the Crooked (for the beginning class) and on the Lower D (for the advanced class). These start in April and now is a good time to get on the schedule.
Stay tuned for some other exciting announcements coming up regarding Euro Nymphing instructions. We at FFP stay totally committed to this excellent way to fish our waters and we were the original shop in the Pacific NW to start using the methods and help promote to all of our friends out there.
Above all, it is fun!

We are so excited for the 2022 season. Steve, Troy, Ben, Adam, Mary Ann, Tonn, Eric, Eric, Shad, Joey are all going to be on our guide team for sure. Steve Erickson I believe is going on his 20th year with us. I love that so many of our guides stay year after year and how that allows them to continue to establish great relationships with the people they get to fish with year after year. Trip booking for the season are coming in at astonishing rates. If you are thinking about going us on the rivers or lakes this year, you should call soon and get on the calendar.

It’s all good!

Jeff P

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