This weekend sure feels like there is a hint of fall weather in the air. I am ready. How about you?
There is a lot of good stuff to talk about today, as you get ready for your fishing week ahead, and as you plan a few more good trips this late summer and upcoming fall.
I’d go out on a limb and say the next 6 to 8 weeks offer some of the best fishing we see throughout the year on local waters.
The Metolius has recently shifted gears to much better fishing, much better hatches, more bull trout and this is just the beginning.
Tina and I went to the river before dinner yesterday and got some really nice dry fly action for a couple of hours from about 3 to 5:30. It was mostly caddis, but there were some BWO’s and PMD’s and the 1st little olive stones that will dominate the hatch cycle very soon coming up in September.
Friends who have stayed late have told me about really good Rusty Spinner falls near dusk.
We are likely about 7 to 10 days out from Flav’s and Fall Green Drakes! For this, I can’t wait! I would say the Fall Drake cycle is typically better than the May/June cycle.
The shop guys are absolutely having a blast catching Bull Trout now. If you don’t follow The Fly Fisher’s Place on Instagram, maybe take a peak at the beast Mattias caught this week, and the video release Gavin took of one of Joey’s Bull’s. It’s pretty neat. Our friends Jeff and Liz went down and came back to the shop to buy a bigger net.
The McKenzie is our #1 guide trip spot now and as we move in to September and October the fishing ought to get even hotter.
It won’t be long until we see the October Caddis starting to pop on all the Oregon rivers, and this hatch can ignite some great fishing on the McKenzie. Euro nymphs are the hottest ticket for sure, but dry fly action is always something we strive to do on this gorgeous river.
The Lower Deschutes from Warm Springs to Trout Creek is good, our guide team is pulling all the stops with Euro Nymphing, Indicator nymphing, trout spey, stalking eddy risers with dries and staying into the evening to fish the hatch at dusk.
We remain in a wait and see mode for us to decide to pursue steelhead trips this fall. If the run comes in above what is needed to extend the season past Sept 15th, then we will offer some September/October/November trips for Steelhead. Until then, our guide team feels we need to see a stronger run.
The Middle Deschutes is fishing well from Bend to Lake Billy Chinook. There are a lot of good access points including state parks, bridges, trails and canyons to find the river and it offers a lot of good small to medium size wild trout eager to hit a euro jig or a dry fly at the right time. Purple Haze, Yellow Sparkle Dun, X Caddis, small Stimulators and small Purple Chubby’s are fun to try, but on occasion you may need to match the hatch perfectly so be prepared to do so with PMD, BWO, Pale Eve.Dun, Caddis and Midges.
The Upper Deschutes from the Headwaters to Crane Prairie is a good bet. Water flow is strong, and streamers in the logs and undercuts are finding some fish. Euro Nymphing holes and runs is killer. Some dry fly action but the nymphs and streamers will likely way out fish a dry at this time.
The section from Wickiup to Sunriver still has good flow, enough to drift and that means streamers, dries and hoppers from the boat to the banks. I don’t think this flow is going to last too much longer, but I bet we have until the middle of the Sept as Wickiup is still 13% full.
The Crooked River is still running at a pretty normal summer flow (about 180 cfs today). Fishing remains good on PMD, Mahogany Dun, BWO, Midges and small Euro Nymphs and Scuds. I’m hopeful with Prineville Reservoir at 15% today we might see flows about normal for part of September. We will keep an eye on it and keep you posted.
The Fall River is looking good, there are a lot of fish around in many of the usual places that seem to like Eggs, Streamers and Perdigons. I always like to dry fly fish the Fall River and look forward to finding fish that will rise to PMD’s and BWO’s, Olive Caddis and Ants and Beetles.
Rusty Spinners at dusk are typically around and create good rises, but swinging an Orange Soft Hackle can be a lot of fun at that time too.
Last week some of you enjoyed my reminiscing of the old days at the Fall River. Yes, my glasses were too big for my face, I had braces and I loved dry fly fishing as much then as I do now. But it wasn’t all about the dry then, just like today we have to adapt to what the trout want if we want to catch fish. I remember one old tactic I liked was to fish a #10 3XL all Black Wooly Worm on a Wet Fly type drift and swing. In the evenings it would get thumped.
It was fun to hear from those of you who went to explore small streams after my report a few weeks back. Good reports form Whychus, Tumalo Creek, the Santiam’s, and even Fall Creek running into Sparks Lake. How cool is it that we can share info here (believe me, you guys share so much with me too) and get anglers on to new waters and doing fun new things. Trout don’t have to be big to be awesome. I’ve always believed that and that is why small streams have always appealed to me since I was a kid learning to fly fish.
One of my favorite books is Fly Fishing Small Streams by John Geirich. If you haven’t read it, and you dig the little water you’ll probably like that book.
On another note, I watched Jason’s fishing report from the Portland Fly Shop yesterday morning, and for those of you in the Willamette Valley he mentions some good small stream options around Mt Hood and the Coast Range too, so if you’re reading my report from over there, go out and get it done on small streams!
East Lake I think is our #1 lake fishery now. Drift Boat launching is no problem, tubes and pontoons even easier. Callibaetis in all stages are killing it. Chironomids under an indicator, balanced leeches, beetles and ants and possibly hoppers at times. A friend who was camped there last week saw big browns in the morning right on the shoreline hunting chubs. Hmmmm. Getting up early with a streamer is a good way to catch the fish of a season this time of year. I am shifting all of my guide trips to East this week.
Paulina Lake is good, but man oh man we’ve been catching a lot of small rainbows and not many bigger fish. I am going to hope that in the near future Fall Weather returns, including some cold nights and the bigger fish get the urge to come out of their deep hiding spots and start to feed where we like to fish around the shoals and edges. Beetles continue to be a promenade catcher for me there, but in the morning Callibaetis spinners and emergers too. We did catch a nice brown there a few days ago on a Watermelon Balanced Leech under an indicator in a bout 10 feet of water over a weed bed. We ended our day thursday wind drifting with the drogue out, using intermediate lines and the rust colored pine squirrel leech with good success and hard takes. That was a blast.
Crane Prairie is about the same I hear. Not bad, but not super fishy this year. I’d love to hear from more of you who’ve recently been there to fish.
Balance Leeches, Big Red Blood Worms, Chironomids, Zebra Midges.
Hosmer Lake is fishing okay, the channel and upper lake at this time are the best, also the best and safest water temps for the trout. Callibaetis haven’t been particular strong this august, but maybe that last brood will pop well in Sept?
Right now use Damsels, Zebra Midges, Water Boatman, Watermelon Leech, Soft Hackle Hares Ear, Scuds and Natural Pine Squirrel Leeches.
3 Creeks Lake is fishing well, and usually after Labor Day the number of people up there goes to nearly nothing on week days. It often fishes really good well into october, with the leech patterns being more important as the callibaetis and other insects slow way down up at that higher elevation. There are still a good amount of Callibaetis and some black caddis around for fishing dries. Chironomids and PT’s are great under the indicator as a dropper with the balanced leech. With many more warm days on the 10 day forecast, Ants and Beetles ought to be in your box too.
It is hard to believe this is the last summer week before Labor Day. It always goes by too fast.
Next weekend we will have a new sale table set up, so if you’re looking for fly lines, reels and other cool stuff, we might just have a few things that will make you want to do a little saving and up your tackle game a bit more.
I hope to see you on the water or in the shop.
Be well and fish more,