With lot’s of good fishing to report, we are now seeing high 70’s, glorious 80’s and even some low 90’s for a few days over the weekend. Great fishing weather and a welcome pattern for us. It’s hard to believe last week I had 2 postponed trips due to high winds and snow, and just overall bad conditions on the lakes. Weather, and fishing for that matter, turn on a dime in Oregon. It happens every year it seems, and suddenly it is really summer here.
I wanted to remind our readers we have 2 special Euro Nymphing Clinics coming up on June 29 and July 5 with FFP guide Joey Pattee from Team USA and special guest Ollie Bassett from the New Zealand Fly Fishing Team. They will share important information on equipment, flies and techniques. Classes are limited in size to 6 people and are $150 per person for an all day class. There are 4 openings on June 29 and 3 on July 5 as of right now. Call the shop (541)549-3474 if you’d like more info or to sign up.
The Metolius Green Drake hatch went to level 5 this week. Some incredible hatch days out there my friends. We probably have another full week of Drakes, and then they will be done until September. PMD hatches are good, late afternoon and early evening BWO hatches are important to look for, lots of caddis going on in the afternoon and especially the evenings, and rusty spinners at dusk.
For Drakes, the river from Canyon Creek downstream to Candle Creek is where you will find them. I keep hearing from people, “well Jeff, I was out there and didn’t see a single drake”. The 2 questions I ask are, where on the river were you, and what time were you there?
If it was the Upper River above Gorge Campground, and if it was not some time between 2 and 5 pm, unfortunately you are in the wrong place at the wrong time. And we all know how that turns out. 😉
Speaking of the Upper River, that is a darn fine place to fish too! I love the PMD and Caddis hatches up there, and within a week or so we ought to see some meaningful golden stones hatching above Camp Sherman. Nymphing through this entire stretch is a great.
I was in the shop yesterday and heard a conversation about Bull Trout that was interesting. The customer was surprised there were Bull Trout in the river this time of year. There are always resident Bull Trout in the Metolius, from top to bottom. And the bonus is there is a run of fish that come up from Lake Billy Chinook in late summer to spawn in the tributaries, and they hang out in the big river for most of the fall and prey on smaller trout, whitefish, sculpins and the eventual kokanee run that comes up about the 1st part of October. So, this is a good time of year to fish Bull’s, and you might be really surprised where you will find some nice ones hiding.
The Lower Deschutes is fishing so good, with a lot more caddis, good Pale Evening Dun and Pale Morning Dun hatches and Rusty Spinners. Water levels are great, crowds on week days have thinned way down since the end of the stonefly hatch.
Any of the access points Warm Springs, Mecca, Dry Creek (with permit), Trout Creek, South Jct, and the Maupin area are all worth while for a walk & wade angler or drift trip.
Nymphing is of course always necessary, and caddis pupa are high up on the trout menu now. Also, soft hackles (yellow and PT), frenchie, micro may, 2 bits, perdigons, red copper john, psycho prince and walt’s worms.
The Middle Deschutes is in good shape and has many access points in and around Bend going north to Lake Billy Chinook. Caddis, PMD, Pale Evening Dun and some BWO’s will cover 99% of it. I still enjoy going to the Middle with my grandpa’s 5 magnet Orvis aluminum fly box with a Renegade #14, Purple Haze #16, Yellow Sparkle Dun #12-14-16, Float & Fool #18, X caddis tan #16 and olive #18, and an Olive Stimulator #12-14 and fishing the evening hatch with that simple selection. It can be a lot of fun to travel light and go to basics and the Middle river is a perfect place to try that theory.
The Upper Deschutes from Crane up to the Little Lava Lake area is good. I’ve had some good reports of all kinds of hatches, including a few Green Drakes, some early Golden Stones, PMD, Yellow Sally and Caddis, Look for flying ants this weekend, and anytime is a good time to fish an ant (non flying version) and a beetle up there. Sculpins and Euro Streamers are good, Walts, Frenchie, Perdigons, 2 Bits, Psycho Prince and Micro Mays are super nymphs. You can run these euro style, under an indicator or dry-dropper with a small Chubby or Stimulator.
I’d love to hear from any of you that have tried the river from Wickiup to Sunriver area. I’ve heard that many many fish escaped Wickiup the last 2 summer/fall times in the historically low water and got through the dam and down to the river.
The Fall River is in summer shape, ODFW continues to put fish in, and that helps supplement the overall population of trout throughout the river. Hatches have been so-so, be prepared for PMD’s, Yellow Sally’s, Caddis, Midges and Rusty Spinners, but go now set ups well to nymph the runs, ledges and log areas for best success.
We are still getting fish on small euro streamers and pine squirrel leeches.
The Crooked is very low, but fishing okay in the upper 4 miles below the dam. It is hard to watch the demise of the Crooked as it is a place I have fished since the 80’s and simply can’t believe the water crisis we are in. The next month is going to be okay, say even safe to fish the river. After that, it will depend on what BOR decides to release from August to Mid October when they have a mandate to release at least 50 cfs for the fish. PMD’s, Caddis, Mahogany Duns, Renegades, Purple Haze and the Larimer’s Yellow Sally which they either like for an attractor or eat it as a small grasshopper.
Plenty of nymphing options of course, including skinny nelson, zebra midges, scuds, frenchie, perdigons and flashback PT’s.
The Mckenzie is back in good shape and fishing well for us from the McKenzie Bridge to Leaburg area. The guides are rocking it on euro jigs, small streamers, soft hackles, possie buggers, prince nymphs and perdigons. if there was ever a year to take a guide trip on the Mckenzie, this is going to be it. The water should trend towards perfect for the summer and fall. I need to get over there myself, I love the Mckenzie and it is so good to see it bounce back after the fire and look so pretty along the rivers edge, and even up on the slopes above the river we are seeing some good new growth and new life springing up from the disaster.
Paulina Lake is my favorite at the moment. This week there were a number of big (#10) and mid-size (#14) flying ants on the water. It created a frenzy for a couple of days. I suspect anglers enjoying this warm weekend on Paulina or East will still get an opportunity to fish the flying ants.
Beetles are another great choice now and all summer, into fall.
I got a lot of fish on PT’s, Chironomids, and Leeches this week. It was fun working up there and seeing my guides Tonn and Steve and hearing how well they were doing too.
East Lake is fishing is good, and is going to be great in the next week I’m guessing. Why? Right now a ton of the rainbows are along the banks going through the motions of the spawn. Successfully? Probably not, but they have that on their minds. When that is over and they really get to feeding, it is going to coincide with the optimal water temps (we finally got out of the 40’s and into the mid 50’s, and it’ll hit high 50’s or low 60’s really quick now)
Chironomids are hatching great. Red on the bottom and black on the dropper is a good starting point. Chromie is a must for the box and to try every day.
Beetles and Ants are good.
Callibaetis are going to explode. Haven’t quite seen them yet, but it’s so close.
Hosmer is good, despite lower fish numbers. Nice Callibaetis hatches are occurring now. Olive or Brown Balanced Leeches, PT’s, Damsel Nymphs and Ants are good.
Crane Prairie is getting better in the Deschutes and Cultus areas anyway. Damsels and Callibaetis are improving now, and leeches and chironomids are staples. I’ve not heard any decent reports from Quinn or Rock Creek.
Three Creeks Lake is fishing well on Leeches and Chironomids. This week I am guessing the Black Caddis will start showing in the evening and Callibaetis in the afternoons. Our guide Gavin spent the day there yesterday with his brother and reported an awesome bite on a black balance leech with a hot orange bead. He also said the road was in terrible shape so bring your truck, and not the prius.
I’ve heard good reports from both North and South Twin Lakes. Damsels, Buggers, Leeches, Chironomids and I’d expect Callibaetis hatches now too. These are small lakes that are great for tubes and pontoons and have easy access. The Milkshakes at the South Twin store and restaurant are worth the stop too.
I’m headed to the Upper Williamson for 4 days on the Yamsi Ranch in about 2 hours. I wanted to get out the report a day early and share this info and say hello.
Be well out there my friends, and see you on the water or in the shop.