Thank you to all of the people who responded last week to my comments about bathroom services and dock access. It is nice to know we stand together in sharing the idea that these services align with the fishing season, and should not align with a decision made in an office by people who apparently don’t care about fishing. Or safety, human rights and the fact that not only our tax dollars, but also all of our permit fee’s have paid for these things and we expect them to be there during our season.
Let’s keep up the fight.
With all this warm October weather there are a lot of things to talk about, and possibly some better than average reports for this time of year. So let’s dive into the waters of Central Oregon so to speak and take a look at what has been happening and what you ought to expect in the coming 7-10 days as this high pressure ridge holds on for us.
The Metolius is still not seeing a lot of Kokanee. I had the opportunity to be with some neighbors last evening for appetizers and one of the couples had their sail boat on Lake Billy Chinook Friday and Saturday and spent the night up the Metolius Arm. The Kokanee were thick in the lake and in the full moon were jumping and running all around the boat. So, it just seems like they are on the way.
The tardiness of the kokanee doesn’t effect the trout fishing much, but I just like to know the cycles are healthy and continuing year to year.
Green Drakes (#10) and Flav’s(#14) are still present and still important from Canyon Creek to Candle Creek. Look for them in the afternoon as early as noon in some areas, but plan for a later hatch in most areas.
Mahogany Duns (#16) are increasingly important in the afternoon and will be important all of October in every area of the river.
PMD (#16 mostly although some #18 are possible) are still very important but will wane as we move towards colder days likely coming at the end of October. Until then, every stage, from emergers, cripples, duns and spinners will take fish from the headwaters down to below Bridge 99.
Blue Wing Olives (#20-22) are very important all over the river and can hatch late morning, mid afternoon and into the 1st shadows of the evening during this warm spell we are having. Like the PMD, it is important to fish cripples and emergers as well as the dun. Spinners may end up being important, but less so than the PMD hatch final stage.
A lot of friends reported great action last week on October Caddis dries! Joel and Jennifer started the bug in my ear wit their visit to the shop after a good weekend of fishing, then Gerry Clark (he and his dad Lee Clark are the Clark’s Stone guys and brilliant tyers) stopped in the shop to visit Saturday and had a good evening with his new Clark’s Version of the Oct Caddis! Including a nice brown I saw a photo of. I love that.
Other caddis prevalent include a lot of tan caddis about a #16, some olive/grey tone caddis in the #16-18 range and a few micro caddis that don’t seem to have the fish’s attention like they did a month ago….
Golden Stones remain a good choice, especially from the Lake Creek area down to the Gorge. Canyon bound anglers ought to have a Clarks Stone or Norm Woods Special tucked in the box too.
Euro Nymphing has been excellent, Streamer fishing for Bull Trout has been quite good too.
The McKenzie River is fishing really well, with some resurgence of dries on the October Caddis hatch, but still mostly nymphs and streamers from the drift boat. Guide trips are available every day and offer the safest way to access this big western river.
The Fall River just got a stocking of some of the largest fish I ever saw them dump in the river. Lord help us. I have mixed feelings about that as some of you know.
BWO, PMD, Mahogany Dun, Midges, Ants and Beetles and some decent Caddis hatches have been going on and should all remain good for at least another couple of weeks.
Streamer fishing has been great and Euro Nymphing techniques continue to be #1 for our guides out there.
The Lower Deschutes is good, especially for Trout on the Warm Springs to Trout Creek section. Steelhead are now throughout the system and, while numbers are not wonderful, they are not bad either. I have seen several friends post nice steelhead photos in the last week or so, and some of our guides staff are down fishing steelhead now and I look forward to their stories tonight.
Lot’s of the Steelhead have come to a nice little purple swung wet fly! There is not a better way to get a steelhead on the Deschutes River than that.
Trout fishing has been mostly on nymphs, but keep an eye open for eddy fish rising to olive duns or caddis. With the warm weather, purple haze and hi viz Fin Fetcher caddis are good evening dries.
The Middle Deschutes is a great place to be fishing in October. Look for a slight rise in water levels soon as irrigation season ends and water is returned to the river. This may throw off the hatches for a day or two, but it is an opportunity for nymphs and streamers. PMD and BWO and tan Caddis are your main hatches.
3 Creeks Lake is a fine choice for working the banks either on foot, or with you tube and fish olive leeches with a hot bead head. Rufus, Balanced Leeches and Pine Squirrel leeches are also great flies to strip or hang under the indicator. Not too many hatches going, but beetles remain important on mountain lakes until it snows, and you ought to see some midges, but the question is will the fish care? Sometimes they do…
Happy to report access to Crane Prairie is back open. Leeches, Water Boatman, Damsel Nymphs, Blood Worms and Zebra Midges are great October flies and worth a fling.
North & South Twin Lakes access is also back open. These are nice little lakes perfect for a drift boat, pontoon or float tube. Leeches, Scuds, Chironomids, small Streamers and Damsel Nymphs are good choices.
Hosmer Lake is fishing really well, lot’s of small to mid size Brook Trout around, and good rainbow too.
Scuds, Damsel Nymphs and Leeches are all great flies now, and I’d certainly try some Zebra Midges and other small chironomids under the indicator. We got our nicest fish the other day on a beetle, and another couple on dry water boatman too! Love the dry fly takes.
East Lake became murky green this week. Is it a Fall Turnover or a plethora of 1000’s of Coot’s stirring it up? It didn’t matter too much, as we worked the edges with beetles and got some good fish around all the edges. October is a great time for streamers and pulling things that look like chubs or leeches os never a bad choice.
Paulina Lake was brilliant on Friday, with good catches on beetles and even better catches on leeches using the Cortland Denny Rickards 7 foot sink tip. I won’t be back up there until Thursday but I am already thinking about what is ahead there.
I know many of us use bigger boats at Paulina and rely on docks for that entry and exit to and from the lake. If I understand things correctly, the docks will be gone by the 12th which is 2 days from now. This is unacceptable in my book and needs to be addressed with the USFS as we move towards future planning for the season we anglers need them installed. I also believe there will be zero bathroom facilities at Paulina Lake soon as they are going to close the campground at Little Crater. The CG at Paulina Lake is already closed as of late September, including all bathrooms there in the campground and at the boat ramps. I hope I am wrong on this matter but it is gross to think of all the people that are going to go to the bathroom (#1 or #2) in the trees because the USFS wants to lock things up a month before the fishing season is over. Can you say health hazard?
Until the next one, see you on the water!