Greetings from colorful Sisters, Oregon. Today is the annual quilt show and every building has multiple quilts hanging. It is a beautiful display of color and artistic talent these quilters put into each one of these works. For them to converge on this little Mountain town in Central Oregon is something we look forward to year after year. My mom is a quilter so I have not only a soft spot for it, but a lot of respect for the work involved. Quilters and Fly Anglers are often very dedicated people to their respective hobbies.
The Metolius PMD hatch yesterday was off the charts. Will it be that way everyday? No. But the trend is great for the moment. Good PMD hatches during the day make for good Rusty Spinner Falls in the evening.
Caddis and Yellow Sally’s are hatching well and may be important from lunch time to dinner, but expect better action after dinner to dusk with both of these.
When I was on the river last earlier this week I saw some golden stone adults both in the upper river above the store, and in the lower river below Bridge 99. Not many on Sunday 7/3 and Monday 7/4, but they are starting and will be increasingly important for the next few months.
You know the drill on non-hatch times and if you read our reports on a regular basis you know we are hot on Euro Nymphing here. I’ll reinforce that. last weekend Tina and Ollie and I camped Friday through Monday and on Saturday I spent the day Euro Nymphing with good success. On Sunday, just because I hadn’t done it in a while, I set up an indicator rig. By far, the Euro rigging is more in touch with the fish and the catch rate much better.
The Lower Deschutes is seeing some really good summer caddis emergences, also PMD’s and Pale Evening Duns throughout the day, especially towards evening. Purple Haze and Fin Fetcher Caddis are 2 shop fave’s. Yellow Parachutes and Sparkle Duns, X Caddis and little CDC flies are pretty hot at times.
Nymphing is excellent. Caddis Pupa, Perdigons, PT Soft Hackle, Red Copper John, 2 Bit’s, Micro PMD, Frenchie are all good.
Swinging leeches and sculpins has been producing some good trout too. A 3 to 5 weight trout spey rod is the tool for that.
Middle Deschutes is good to very good. Nice summer flows, water temps are great and daily action on perdigons and soft hackle PT’s has been really good. Evening hatches of PED, PMD, BWO and Caddis depending on what section of river you are on. Maybe all of them if you’re in the right place at the right time.
The Upper Deschutes is good. Benham to Wickiup for floating is worth a shot. Evening hatches of the usual suspects, Rusty Spinners, PMD, BWO and Caddis. Stripping streamers is a good bet.
Crane up to Little Lava is also good. We had a couple of really good guide days this week up high. Lots of euro nymph action.
The Fall River is consistent, it is seeing a lot of afternoon summer crowding, and you might consider an after dinner visit or a dawn to 10 am trip to counter that if you can.
Hatches are fair to good. Depends on the day and the spot you chose to be in. PMD and Caddis and Yellow Sally stones are the main hatches, but BWO’s and Midges could be important. Rusty Spinners too.
Nymphs and small streamers are responsible for most of our recent action. Never go to the Fall River w/o an Ant and work the banks with them if you can. Learn a downstream presentation on a soft, drag free float for the Ant and most of the other dries I mentioned. It will make you a Spring Creek Jedi.
The Mckenzie is so good. I’d say it is our #1 guide trip destination now (Lower D is a close 2nd). Side Drifting Euro rigs is the hottest thing for us. Dry Dropper stuff with big Chubbies and Parachutes and a Copper John or Possie Bugger is great. If you are looking to get on the river this week, we have openings and its a great time.
The Crooked River is still okay. Not for much longer though. I think the Bureau of Reclamation is ignoring calls made to not drop the river to 10 cfs next month.
Right now, its PMD’s, Mahogany Duns and Caddis. There is good dry fly action at times throughout the day and into the evening.
My family history on the Crooked dates back to the 60’s when my grandpa called on accounts in Prineville and fished the river in the evenings after work. I started fishing there in the 80’s and it was the very best tailwater fishery you could find in the Pacific NW.
Today, it is treated like an irrigation ditch, and is about ready to practically dry up do to decades of water mismanagement and now climate change induced drought.
Want to read more and know more about the issue> Check out these links https://coinformedangler.org/2020/09/12/the-crooked-river-act-6-years-later/
Feel Free to Call the United States Bureau of Reclamation Office in Bend, Oregon at (541)389-6541 and be civil and polite, but firm in your desire to keep the Crooked River flowing at 50 cfs from August 1st until April of next year. 10 cfs is going to kill too many fish and too much of what the fish eat.
We need better Water Infrastructure in Central Oregon and we need it soon! How many of you remember driving over Whychus Creek in the Summer and it would be dry under the bridge here in town? Our irrigation district piped and pressurized the canals and now we have water all year.
EVERY irrigation district in Central and Eastern Oregon needs to find funding to do this. It would solve a lot of water problems that become problems on the farming end of things and catastrophes on the water conservation and fishing side of it. If COID and North Unit in Bend/Redmond/Madras were updated, I’d guess Wickiup would bounce back soon.
I spent the week guiding up in the Volcano at both East Lake and Paulina Lake.
East Lake was good yesterday, with Callibaetis hatches coming off lightly, but enough to keep the fish highly engaged on the different stages of the hatch. We did best on a floating line and unweighted nymphs, stripping so slowly it was more like just keeping the line tight.
Ollie and I had a great opportunity to teach our friend Kim (an aspiring comp angler) about Loch Style techniques and it was very cool to spend the whole day drifting with the drogue and fishing downwind of the boat.
I have absolutely committed to the Koffler Drift Boat (RMTB style) there, although I do see some bigger boats on the water. Launching the smaller boat is easy and there was hardly anyone there on the lake or in the campsites yesterday. Next week I have several trips booked at East and I am excited to go back.
Damsels, Scuds, Chironomids, Beetles and Ants will be important this week.
Paulina Lake was magical one of the days this week. Can you say Bobber Down? Kat and Frank can. Red Chironomids were very hot, followed by a great afternoon dry fly beetle eating session. The next day (if you read our FFP instagram page you’d know this from intel shared Thursday) the fish were eating the Chironomid, but we couldn’t get many fishing under the indicator and went to a trick I learned and used a few times last year from the great Airflo fly line designer Garreth Jones. Using a 3 foot Anchor Tip line and 2 Chironomids, casting out 30-40 feet and S-L-O-W hand twisting it back to the boat was resulting in good takes and action. So, have more than one trick when fishing chironomids.
Balanced Leeches, Leeches, Callibaetis Nymphs (should start seeing the hatch in a week or so) and Damsels are all good.
Crane Prairie is still a conundrum. Getting mixed reports. Seems like Deschutes Side and Cultus are better than Quinn and Rock Creek at this time. My friend Loren caught some at Quinn this week on Chironomids and Chartreuse Bead Olive Buggers.
Friends N & K from Sunriver found some good fish and some Callibaetis hatches on the 4th of July!
Damsels, Leeches, Chironomids are all top flies for the CP! I think it is worth fishing but maybe not at it’s best yet. Will it get there in 2022?
Hosmer Lake is fishing well and is maybe a little better on fish than 1st thought. The Channel still seems more void of fish than we normally see. The Callibaetis hatch is good and damsels are too. Both Lower and Upper Lakes are worth exploring. Never be without a parachute black ant for Hosmer in the summer.
3 Creeks Lake is fishing really well and Callibaetis and Black Caddis are now in full hatch mode. Leeches, Chironomids, Beetles and Ants are all good. People have been enjoying our $425 half day trip we offered last report. Or, go up and do it yourself in a tube, pontoon, rental boat from the store (say Hi to Karinda) or even walk the shorelines and catch fish.
It’s the end of the day here at FFP, I’ve been here all day and it’s time to go home and have dinner.
All the best to you and hope to see you on the water!