I think spring is really trying to overcome winter. This is a good vs. evil scenario in my world. LOL. But there are certainly signs of spring on the water, including better hatches, and in some cases improving water levels.
The Metolius is fishing pretty well. April historically is a funny month with some slowing of things between seasons, but all in all I would rate the Metolius as good fishing now. The Blue Wing Olive hatch, if found in the right place and the right time (that is about 1 PM and in eddies and pools and soft edges) is attracting trout to feed on the emergers and duns etc day. Most days we have found Cinygmula’s (yellow #16) mayflies in the drift, but keep your eyes open for these later in the day too, even in the early evening and have a Yellow Comparadun or Parachute ready to match the hatch.
Quite a few caddis, including October Caddis to medium grey caddis (#14-16) and smaller black caddis (#16-18).
We have not seen any March Browns yet, but my friend Phil saw some heavy risers out in the middle of some rolling runs, and it could be a sign of March Brown emergers. It’s getting to be that time. The Metolius is not a big MB river, but below Bridge 99 we do see the hatch in April and the fish like to eat these meaty mayflies.
My friends Doug and Chester both reported excellent fishing in the last several days. Chester had some amazing dry fly pursuits during the crappiest snowy weather you can imagine last weekend, and Doug found the same but used a Carrot style euro nymph with a ton of success. I am guessing they are eating that fly as a Silver Stripe Sedge Pupa.
I didn’t talk to anyone over the week that pursued Bull’s, but an 8 weight, a sink tip and some big streamers will certainly provide hours of entertainment. I was going to say cheap entertainment, but big streamers are expensive.
Don’t forget the seasonal closure of the upper river still is in effect until MAY 22. Keep out of the water from the Headwaters down to Allingham Bridge and let’s protect the spawning waters. I do encourage you to take a walk up there and look for the white rocks ODFW and USFS places on each Redd to mark where they found pairs of redbands spawning. There are a lot of White Rocks from Tract C Bridge up to above the Blue Hole. This is inspiring to know how many trout are up there using that pure water to creat a better future for the river.
The Middle Deschutes is running 452 CFS from Bend, and then takes on all the additional cold and high water from Tumalo Creek above Tumalo State Park. That level is still a bit high. Yes, there are some fishable places if you know the river and are able to find the right spots, but for most of us it just isn’t right quite yet.
With as rainy and snowy as it has been this spring, I am hopeful the irrigation districts DELAY their openings of the canals for irrigation for at least another week or 10 days. I can’t imagine why anyone needs irrigation on their land when it has been this wet and cold. If they delay that, it could conserve water for longer in the summer not only on the Deschutes, but at Wickiup too. A win-win.
Steelhead Falls and Tumalo State Park are the 2 spots I would fish this week. Look for Skwalas and March Browns and BWO’s, fish streamers that look like a sculpin or crawfish, and most definitely fish stonefly nymphs and euro jigs.
This water will be A+ in less than 20 days, but right now it’s a C.
The Crooked River continues to be a shining star, and as expected those spring time BWO’s are hatching better and better.
Drew was out there 2 days ago and had some amazing fishing on small soft hackles and #18 BWO dries.
Nymphing with BWO nymphs (skinny nelson is my favorite, and the Mercer’s Micro Mayfly is a great one too), small perdigons, Flashback PT, scuds and Zebra Midges.
Water levels are low running 53 cfs, with 364 cfs coming in to the reservoir this morning. The reservoir is just 22% full. That sucks. But maybe it’ll hit 50%. From what I can tell is, there is a lot of snow up there in the Ochoccos to melt. How much? Time will tell, but I do wish we’d see a bigger fill than what we are getting.
We will take the good fishing as we get it, and I expect it to be a great spring and summer on the Crooked with some low water coming in the Fall again.
The Lower Deschutes is still closed up at Warm Springs, Mecca, Trout Creek and South Junction. All that opens on 4/22/23 so it is coming up soon.
The Maupin area and especially up in the Locked Gate runs is a great spot for now!
I have not heard that March Browns are hatching, but if they haven’t started yet, it is imminent!
There are some BWO’s, a few caddis and a lot of good nymphing. It is hard to comprehend the Stonefly hatch is about a month away. But it is, and that means a lot of the nymphs are already migrating towards the shorelines where, when ready they crawl out of the water and on to the banks to hatch. Fish are not fools and they are already actively feeding on nymphs that lose their footing and end up in the drift. What I’m saying is, now is a darn good time to be using big stone nymphs (both black and golden).
The Fall River is good, as expected with some spring in the air near Sunriver. Still quite a bit of snow on the ground there, and keep in mind some vehicles should not attempt to drive to the Tubes as that road is rough and floods easily with melting snow and rain there are huge, deep puddles to get through.
BWO, Midges, Little Black Stones are the main hatches.
Fall River get a surprising hatch of March Browns this time of year, and it should pop any day now.
Chugging a foam Hippie Stomper is a good method for exciting hatchery trout to eat at the top.
Eggs and Jig’s and Mop’s are picking up nice fish on a Tightline Nymph rig.
Small Streamers are always a good bet at the Fall and can provide some of the coolest chases from trout, and in that clear water it can make your heart race for sure.
Lake Billy Chinook Bull Trout fishing is good. Big Streamers on sink tips is your best bet. Watch the wind and weather and have a capable boat for the water.
Opening Day of General Trout Season is exactly 2 weeks from today. (4/22/2023)
Warm Springs to Trout Creek is a highlight to look forward to. Crane Prairie and Wickiup are too, but as of now I think they are snowed in, and possibly still frozen? Anyone know about roads out there? Have you flown over either and seen from above if they are breaking up the ice, or already ice free? Based on Suttle Lake still being 100% iced over I am pretty sure Crane and Wickiup would be for sure.
Maybe some Mt Bachelor friends who are on the summit could take a photo of the lakes for me this week and email to me?
I look forward to my own week ahead which includes a lot more time on the water than last week.
I hope to see you out there and enjoying it!