Good afternoon friends. The heat wave last week is breaking down a bit, it was a hot one, but the fishing held up well in a lot of places. Looks like this week is going to be low 90’s and higher 80’s in Sisters, so it should be good to find some cooler waters and good times to be out there fishing this week.
Let’s do a run down of the spots you might want to go fish this week and what you’re likely to find when you get there.
The Dry Fly Fishing on the Metolius was actually quite good last week in the heat. PMD (#16-18) BWO (#20-24) and Caddis (#14-16 tan, #16-18 olive, #18-20 dark brown or grey) are all over the river, with Rusty Spinners in the Evening. The Upper River above Gorge CG is seeing a fairly good hatch of Golden Stones (#8-12) and Yellow Sally’s (#14-18). On the Upper River a Parachutes Adams and our Upright Rusty Spinner are 2 delicate dry flies to just search the good spots with. Parachutes Adams are a sleeper on the Met, an old forgotten fly perhaps? It should not be. And I will remind you of what I said 2 reports ago about the Purple Comparaduns in many sizes, but especially in #16 and 18. It is a winner, I promise.
Holy Cow there are a lot of Bull Trout in the river now. They are eating streamers, balanced leeches, eggs, and big euro nymphs well.
Nymphing for trout is going great, definitely the Euro technique is going to be your best bet, but there are some opportunities for dry/droppers and also nymphs under an indicator.
The McKenzie was good last week for us, with many of the guides reporting fish up to Chubbies and big Yellow Sally’s. Steve mentioned he had an amazing session with Black Elk Hair Caddis, and Troy and Adam echoed the big dries and mentioned a lot of good action on Bead Heads. They all said Pink Beads were the hottest color of bead for the week, and the fish seemed really keyed on that bead color.
The North Fork of the Santiam is getting into shape, after a lot of snow melt the river was sneakily high and tough to wade, but is much better now and it’s remained cold and clear. Bring a wading staff and studded boots if you haven’t fished it before. Orange Perdigons, Caddis Pupa, Walts, Frenchies, Light Cahill, X Caddis, Fin Fetcher Caddis and Yellow Sally’s. We like the river best from Pamelia Creek back towards Sisters and around that Marion Forks area. It is going to be our go to for a lot more guided trips as the Crooked is likely going to be too low to fish by the 1st of Sept.
The Lower Deschutes was good last week on a number of things, but Caddis in most stages were the ticket for our guide team. Fox’s Poopah was one pattern that Steve mentioned was especially hot for him. There have been some fish rising in the afternoons, mostly in the eddies. It is often a smorgasbord of food collecting there, including caddis, BWO, midges, ants and rusty spinners.
Nymphing has been good Euro Style with Jigs and Perdigons. DOn’t be afraid to up your bead size and get deep and drift slow.
Last night, my good friends Chester and Doug found fish on Soft Hackles, X Caddis and Iris Caddis. I would add the HI VIZ Fin Fetcher Caddis to my own list for evening because I am old and need that Hi Viz option… How about you?
The Middle Deschutes will depend on where you go. Bend to Lower Bridge is pretty warm now. I’d mostly rest that water, but I do think it is possible to fish it early in the AM and the last hour before dark.
Steelhead Falls area is gaining springs and the flow of Whychus Creek too, and the water is rejuvenated through there. Float-n-Fool, PMD Sparkle Duns, X Caddis, BWO’s and smaller Stimulators are all worth fishing. There will be some good nymph options for those of you looking to extend your fishing beyond the hatch.
The Upper Deschutes from Wickiup down to Pringle Falls and From LaPine State Park to Big River Bridge are worth some bank fishing assaults or drifting. Drifting is hard to find a shuttle driver. Does anyone know someone that would shuttle up there?
PMD’s and Caddis are the main hatches. If you get there early look for a possibility of Tricos and soon there should be a lot of BWO’s hatches. Streamers are a great way to hit this water, and there are some good runs to drift a nymph.
The Headwaters Stretch of the Upper Deschutes is running high now. Not uncommon for this time of year as the snow melt has finally made it to the river. It is worth fishing. A lot of good whitefish runs for nymphs, and streamers pockets and log jams for brook trout and rainbows. There is some limited opportunities for dries, but keep an eye open for PMD, Caddis, Ants, Beetles, Hoppers and Spinner Falls.
Have you ever brought a float tube to the spot they call the Blue Hole? Pretty cool spot down river from Little Lava lake and can fill up with some nice brook trout and whitefish this time of year.
Man oh man the Fall River pressure is high this summer. Go at dawn and fish to noon, or at 6 and fish to dark. You will be much happier to avoid all the crowds that are there from 9 or 10 until dinner time.
Streamers and heavy nymphs have been picking up the majority of fish for us. If you’re lucky to be in the right place you can get a lovely little hatch of Pale Morning Duns that the fish will feed on the surface for.
Ants, Beetles, Hoppers, Hippie Stompers and Henryville Caddis are some of my personal Fall River fave’s this time of year.
There are a lot of Creeks out there to fish. Yep, the trout are small, but may be especially plentiful in many places. Fish in these places like simple selections: Adams, Renegades, Ants, Hippie Stompers, Elk Hair Caddis and small Bead Heads like a Rainbow Warrior.
Whychus Creek, Tumalo Creek, Lake Creek and other high meadow creeks are worth exploring up in those mountains around us. Go get ’em!
Finally, the Crooked River. Still running fine, and fishing normal. It is like telling people about a relative with a terminal diagnosis. Any day now, it will probably change for the worse. It is likely to stay okay for the month of August, but no one on the irrigation side can (or will) say for sure.
So, I guess we fish it and make the best of it until the bad days hit?
Mahogany Duns and PMD’s and some Caddis are all taking fish off the top. Euro Nymphs are rocking it below.
I have had many emails with many people on this Crooked River issue. All I can say is I am discouraged. There may be glimmers of hope for a no 10 cfs world….But I am skeptical of that because in doing the math on what the reservoir storage is now, and what 10 cfs compared to 50 cfs would do to acre feet storage over the course of a month, let alone the course of several months, the water is just not there.
I had friends (Science Geeks Matt and John) help me with calculations and I am figuring it would take 21 weeks to drain the reservoir to Zero if it ends at 15,000 acre feet in a month. We have to assume over 5 months that should put us in the wet time of year….but that is a terrible predicament any way we look at this problem. The fact is, the reservoir is practically out of water and the trout are going to get hurt over the short term, and likely longer if we don’t have one hell of a wet winter coming up.
I updated and talked about Lakes a couple of days ago. I’ll do a new lake report this week when I know more about water temps and can get some new info from me and my friends out there.
Be well, and see you on the water! It’s cooler there.