Good morning. If you’re reading this from the Pacific NW you are likely drinking your coffee and wearing a sweater today. I’ve even got a stocking hat on and I am inside. I guess I need to get the wood stove going again.
This is the 2nd weekend in a row that Oregon mountains are getting some much needed snow pack. It won’t get us back to normal, but it helps a little bit.
This week is going to start out cold, with day time temps in the low 40’s. Snow is falling in the cascades, and even along the Metolius for the next few days.
Holy cow! Just a few days ago it was in the 70’s.
Spring in Oregon is like this. So, we go fish, in all of it if it makes us happy. For some, we wait until spring weather returns and fish the places that make us happy in weather that makes us happy.
For me, I am headed to Florida tonight for a week of fishing with good friends, and I’m going to miss the snow. That makes me happy. (But, if I was here I’d love to have been on the Metolius or Middle D this week)
The Metolius is fishing well, especially on nymphs. Dry fly action is spotty, but being in the right place at the right time you should see Blue Wing Olives #18-20 and Cinygmula #14-16 mayflies during the afternoon between noon and 4. There are also quite a few caddis hatching including October Caddis #8 and what I believe to be Brachycentrus #14-16 (Mothers Day Caddis) along with minor hatches of several other types of caddis.
Walts Worm and Perdigons are picking up a lot of trout and whitefish. Stonefly nymphs, caddis pupa, 2 bits, micro mayflies, zebra midges, olive scuds, leeches and rainbow warriors are all patterns to play with on the river this week.
Stripping small sculpins and pine squirrel minnows is a fun approach to the river for trout. A larger streamer swung or stripped is always good for Bull Trout.
The Headwaters to Allingham Bridge remain closed until May 22nd.
The Middle Deschutes is a great spot this week for the afternoon hatches of March Browns #12-14 and Blue Wing Olives #18-20. This inclement weather patterns should have those March Browns “marching” down the river by mid-afternoon.
Water is low and easily waded. Access from Bend to Lake Billy Chinook gives people a lot of options to find water. Stop in the shop if you need advice on a good spot.
Carry your nymph rod too. Try swinging a Hares Ear or PT Soft Hackle pre-hatch or euro nymph an Olive Perdigon and a #12-14 Hares Ear or Pheasant Tail. We also love a Rainbow Warrior on the Middle D this time of year, and the pearlescent sparkle on these dark days never hurt for attracting a fish to bite.
The Lower Deschutes in the Maupin Area is fishing well with Stonefly Nymphs, Caddis Larva and Pupa (Green Rock Worm is a favorite spring pattern #14-18) Bead Head Soft Hackle Pheasant Tail, Hares Ear, Various Perdigons, Rainbow Warrior and 2 Bit’s.
There has been a good afternoon hatch of March Browns #12-14 going in the riffles most days. Look for BWO’s #18 before and after, or sometimes mixed with the bigger mayflies too.
I’ve been hearing good reports of redsides eating streamers of various colors and sizes. I have to admit we always said Deschutes Redband Trout were not streamer chasers and focused on insects, but as more knowledge and skills are acquired by anglers who are willing to try new things we find that indeed Deschutes fish eat streamers. Try it.
Warm Springs, Mecca, Dry Creek, Trout Creek and South Junction are still closed until April 22.
For the next 4 or 5 days The Fall River is going to get a lot more snow falling on the ground than the other places listed above it appears from studying the weather charts. Keep that in mind for driving as I know a lot of us have taken winter tires off for the season. Should be good for the hatch though. BWO #18-20, March Brown #14, Midges #20-24 ought to be good hatchers in this storm cycle. Caddis not so much. I’d certainly put a Hippie Stomper in your box as an attractor or beetle imitation.
Nymphing is great and streamer fishing is a worthwhile, active and fun way to approach the river.
The Crooked River is still running low at 52 cfs. That just might be the flow for the summer? I would have have expected it to bump up a little, but so far it has not.
Fishing has greatly improved on the Crooked over the past 7 to 10 days. BWO hatches have been strong in many parts of the river and the trout are looking up for the hatch. Nymph action for both trout and whitefish is also good now. Perdigons, Micro Mays, Rainbow Warriors, Scuds and Zebra Midges are all hot flies now.
I know the Ochoccos are getting the snow out of this storm too, so that is a small blessing for the future of the Crooked here and now. Keep it coming Mother Nature. Farms and Fish both need this.
The March Brown hatch on the McKenzie is a solid bet now. Again, they will be the prominent hatch but likely mixed with BWO’s and Caddis and Midges. Be prepared for the afternoon hatch and carry a 2nd nymphing rod too for efficient transfers between methods. I know Troy and Tonn from the FFP guide team have been over enjoying the Mckenzie and can run a trip for you over there anytime you’re ready.
This would be a tough week on Lake Billy Chinook with the strong winds. Watch for the wind forecast before you decide to go. Bull Trout fishing has been good on Streamers.
Haystack is a solid bet for wading anglers near the dam on leeches under an indicator or stripped on a camo intermediate line. Boating will likely be a challenge with the wind.
South Twin was accessible and Ice Free. No reports as of yet, but now there could be 8 to 12 inches of snow there this week and my guess is the wind is going to make you also rethink your sanity for trying to fish it until next week when the weather looks better.
We are 12 days away from Opening Day at Crane Prairie. That is very exciting.
Let’s meet again next sunday and talk about another exciting week ahead, including some hopes and predictions for opening day which is the Friday after next.
Hopefully we will have a little warmer week to enjoy and a lot of fish to catch.
All the best!