Good morning on this 1st morning of July.
Summer has been really nice over the last couple of weeks. Not overly hot, that’s for sure, with cool nights and mornings the waters around the region are in much better shape than last year at this time when we had that heat dome event over the PNW.
Water temps on the lakes are still mostly in the lower mid-50’s which is incredible for this time of year. Overall, the rivers (with 1 exception which you’ll read about below) are also perfectly in shape in terms of water levels and water temps.
Again this week there is lots to discuss and plan for as we in Sisters get ready for the 4th of July Holiday on Monday, and then the incredible Sisters Quilt Show festivities throughout the week, culminating in the big event next Saturday when all the town is turned in to the worlds largest outdoor quilt show.
Over the years, so many people have visited this great event and combined a lot of fishing when they were here. Hopefully, many of you will do the same this year. maybe because my mom is a quilter I love this show, but it also because every building in town has fabric art hung from them and the overwhelming beauty of the event is evident everywhere we look.
On to the fishing!
The Metolius is transitioning out of the Green Drake time (although for at least another few days I’d have some in your box….just in case), and we will see them again in September.
Now the hatches to expect include PMD’s (#16), Caddis (Olive #16, Tan #14-16), BWO’s (#20-22), Rusty Spinners (#16-20), Yellow Sally (#14-16) and any minute now Golden Stones (#8-10/mostly in the Upper River to start)
Nymph action is very good and productive now. Perdigons continue to be a favorite, and are top process for us. Golden Stones, Caddis Pupa, Rainbow Warrior, 2 Bit’s, PMD and BWO Micro Mayfly, Walt’s Worm and Zebra Midges are favorites.
Bull Trout catch rates are pretty good. I don’t believe we are seeing any lake run fish yet, so these are resident fish. Our NZ guest Ollie got a big one this week on a Tan Mop Fly with a 4mm bead. So, think outside the box on not only fishing a big streamer for these brutes.
The Fall River fished well for us this week. It has been mostly with nymphs, but if you time it right, or you’re in the right place at the right time, you should get various dry opportunities showing, including PMD (#16) Caddis (Olive or Grey #16), Yellow Sally (#16), Rusty Spinner (#16), Ants (#12-18) Beetles (#12-18)
Eggs, Mops, Perdigons, Zebra Midge, Rainbow Warrior, Euro Streamers, 2 Bit PMD and Dark Walt’s Worms are the hot nymphs.
The McKenzie is really good fishing right now. If you are looking for a guide trip in July, this is going to be a top choice. Side Drifting bead heads continues to produce a lot of trout for the guides. We are getting plenty of fish up to Dries too! Caddis, Stoneflies and Yellow Mayflies are all hatching.
The Lower Deschutes trout fishing is very good. Look for important dry fly caddis action almost anytime throughout the day. Pupa’s are incredibly productive, and that can include deep sunk presentations and flies just under or at the film depending on where the hatch is in terms of hatch progression.
In the later afternoon or into the evening, Caddis remain a staple, but that’s often when you’ll see 2 different mayflies hatch, Pale Morning Duns (#16/which we sometimes see mid day too) and Pale Evening Duns (#12-14) and Rusty Spinners (#14-16).
There is great nymph action most of the day too, including Euro, Indicator, Swinging and Trout Spey.
The Middle Deschutes is very good from Bend down to Lake Billy Chinook. I dropped Ollie off in Tumalo yesterday on my way to guide the lakes and picked him up on the way home. He put the smack down on a bunch of trout. He reported a Dry Dropper with an Olive Caddis on top and 2.5 mm perdigon to be a top producer.
Look for Caddis, PMD and Pale Evening Duns, Blue Wing Olives, Yellow Sally’s and Rusty Spinners on the different sections of the river.
The Upper Deschutes from Wickiup downstream has seen a bit of a revival according to one of our nice readers (Thanks David V!!!)
We believe last fall that during the low water at the Wickiup Dam a lot of trout escaped through the spillway and have perhaps rehabilitated in the river below. it’s interesting….
PMD’s, Caddis, Ant’s, Sculpins, Crayfish and Baitfish Streamers.
The HEADWATER section of the Upper D from Little Lava Lake to Crane is fishing well and it looks like a good water year is in progress up there. Look for a Golden Stone hatch there this week. Usually about the 4th of July see’s them in the upper reached of the Deschutes.
The Crooked is up to summer flow at 224 cfs. I am surprised by this….
Where levels will be next week I have no idea?
I suspect this is the last month of safe fishing for the trout at the Crooked. I understand the Bureau of Reclamation is planning to run the river at 10 cfs starting in August and it will remain there until October 15th when they have an obligation to run it at least 50 cfs for “conservation” flows during non irrigation season.
How many of you are as tired as I am seeing so many of our special fisheries being treated like irrigation ditches?
Anyway, fishing should be very good on the Crooked River at this water level. PMD hatches along with some Caddis and Midges will be their main food sources now.
I spent a bunch of time at Paulina this week and it was good, but really different each day based on the wind conditions. Beetles were good each day, and that is heating up with the weather. Chironomids (especially Red #14) were good. Hot Orange Bead Olive Wooly Buggers on a Camo Intermediate was awesome with some really hard takes and good fish taken with this technique.
East Lake Callibaetis Hatch (the holy grail of Lake dry fly action IMO) has finally gotten off to a good start.
Chironomids, Leeches, Damsel Nymphs, Ants and Beetles will be at times equally or more important, so be ready for that too.
Crane Prairie is still harder than we are used to for this time of year. The fish are nice, big and healthy, but finding more that a few a day has been tough. Chironomids and Balanced Leeches are tops. Callibaetis popping should be now….Damsels are increasing in activity. I just feel like any day now it’s going to explode and be awesome.
Hosmer was challenging yesterday. Some callibaetis around lunch time. After that there was a massive amount of damsel adults, and we could see fish eating these adults. I probably tied a half dozen different damsel adults on for my clients and never got a look, yet, the fish jumped and swirled for naturals all around us.
We did best with an Corq indicator and a PMD Split Case (for some reason Hosmer fish like that yellow stripe on the wing case, even though it isn’t really matching the callibaetis nymph coloration. Years ago, when we were an Orvis dealership, Orvis had a PMD nymph, basically a PT with a yellow foam wing case that was a secret slayer at Hosmer, and now we use the non-beaded split case version we get from Montana Fly Co.)
I had the opportunity to hold one of the biggest Brook Trout I’ve ever held yesterday. My customer Mal got it on a #16 Red Ice Cream Cone. It was very special and a fish I will remember for a long time. I hugged Mal afterwards, and he did a great job fighting that fish on light tippet.
Three Creeks Lake is fishing great, so far on Balanced leeches and Chironomids, but we expect to see really good callibaetis and black caddis hatches starting very soon now.
Remember this lake is non-motorized.
We are offering full and half day drift boat guide trips there, and for people visiting Sisters on vacation that have a lot of “other” things going on, this would be a great trip for quick and easy access to some good fishing in a very pretty place.
Tina and Ollie and I will be out on the Metolius camped for the holiday weekend. Maybe we will see you out there. I’ve got a new 1 weight Diamond Back Euro Nymph rod I am excited to try on the Upper River and really look forward to fishing some dries during the hatches.
See you on the water or in the shop! and many thanks to all of you who signed up for the special Euro Nymphing Classes with Joey and Ollie. They filled up and have been a huge success.