I thought it might be helpful for those of you planning on coming to Central Oregon for the MLK long weekend to get an update on the fishing here.
I had a few calls at the shop this week about the Crooked River so I will start there.
The Crooked is fishable. It is running 55 cfs and we’ve had a mild week, so ice and snow is minimal. The river has not shown any signs of great fishing since the 10 cfs run in late summer. I suspect a fair number of fish have moved to deeper water down stream and will come back in the spring when irrigation begins and the water shoots up to 200+ cfs.
Is it worth fishing? It is probably worth fishing, understanding a lot of the fish are going to be 6 to 10″ trout, and bigger fish are going to be very rare.
Approach it fishing zebra midges, midge winklers, thread larva, scuds, skinny nelson, eggs and small purple perdigons on 6x or 7x tippet. Euro style or under a NZ Wool indicator.
Towards dark, from 3:30 ish to 4:30 in the flats lower down towards MP 12, 13 and 14 look for risers to midge pupa and adults.
If I was to rate the Crooked now on the scale of 1 to 10, I’d put it around 4 I’d say, but I’d sure love to hear from you all and see how you’re doing too. I read a weird news story on the Crooked River last week and there was some fish kill from low flows but it appeared to be very minimal according the Jerry George the Bend ODFW Biologist who was interviewed. BTW, Jerry has been awesome to work with when I have needed answers about other waterways last season, so it is exceptionally great that ODFW put someone so helpful, knowledgable and responsive in our local office.
The Metolius has been glorious on nymphs. Eggs, Pupa and various Jigs. Never forget stonefly nymphs or micro mayflies anytime of the year, but especially now.
Dry Fly fishing has been short and sweet but happening most afternoons in the eddies and slow pools about 1 to 2 in the afternoon. BWO’s in #18-20 is the fly. Emergers will be your best bet, but add a couple of duns and cripples to the box for sure.
It is not a bad idea for those of you who like to fish close to dark to try searching with an Orange Stimulator or Big Orange Elk Hair Caddis. it won’t catch a lot, but it works often enough that it is worth the effort for an extra fish late in the day.
Bull Trout are taking a lot of eggs, but certainly eating Caddis Pupa and big streamers too.
The rainbows are the jewels of the Metolius to me, but bull trout are like gold for sure. Just totally cool! Oh, and r-e-s-p-e-c-t whitefish. They are awesome. ugly. But awesome.
I’d rate the Metolius an 8.5 out of 10.
The Fall River is snowy, and that makes access a little tough compared to the Met and the Crooked, but worth the effort because the fishing is also good on the Fall from the hatchery area up to the Camp Ground and the Headwaters.
Eggs, micro streamers, perdigons, Zebra Midges and some minor hatches of BWO #18-20, Midges #22-26 and small black winter stones #16-18 you’ll need 6.5x or 7x to fish effectively.
I’d rate the Fall a 7 or 8.
For Mid January, the fishing is good. Get out there and enjoy it.
See you soon.