A rainy day update on water 5/4/23

We experienced a lot of rain in the last 12-18 hours, and I wanted to update you on water conditions so you can plan or cancel trips.
Some of this is good, and some of this is not good for fishing conditions, but overall everything we get flowing down the drainages is good long term.

Metolius River– Its running 350 cfs at Allinham and 2000 above Lake Billy Chinook. It is fishable but I would be very cautious wading the river and I’d be focused on Bull Trout with sink tips and streamers, indicator fishing with leeches and squirmer’s and golden stones. 150 to 180
Have you ever stripped a White Sculpzilla in the spring on the Met? These days of higher water would be a dandy time to try that.
There have been some hatches, PMD, Caddis and even (gasp) a few very early Drakes. Not a lot of rise action at this time.

Crooked River- It is coming down. It’s nearly half of the flow it was a week ago at the peak. BOR must see an end in site to the upstream runoff from snow melt and have started dialing it back. Still, at 1400 cfs it is too high to fish. Once it’s under 350 again, it’s go time. I’m guessing next week for that.

The Middle Deschutes– It occurred to me about an hour after the weekend report I forgot to add the Middle D. That was not intentional, and it is one of the best spots in Central Oregon to go fish right now. Water levels are good and fish are active. Salmonflies started near Steelhead Falls and will work their way up the river towards Tumalo and Bend over the next 2-3 weeks.
Right now, already there is great Dry-Dropper fishing to be had with a Peacock Swisher X or a Chubby and a Pink Bead PT, PT Soft Hackle, Brown Micro Mayfly and 2 Bit Hooker.
PMD, PED and some end of the hatch March Browns lingering (often in very high numbers), and quite a few Caddis too.

The Lower Deschutes gauge shows a good drop on water levels down to 5000 cfs today. That doesn’t account for Shitike Creek that comes in right below the Bridge (Hwy 26) in Warm Springs and I just don’t know what that looks like after the rain. I do know coming from the dam it is lower than it’s been for about a week, and 5000 is better than when it was hovering below 7000.
There are lot’s of big black nymphs on the shoreline. The hatch will start soon in Maupin.
We are hearing some good reports of fish eating sculpins and leeches swung on single hand rods and trout spey’s. Either the higher water pushed the fish to the edges, or the migration of 1000’s of salmonfly nymphs lured them closer, but that is where the fish are being caught.

The McKenzie is too high. Wondering with the cool weather coming if it will drop or if the “beast has been unleashed” until this low elevation snow is just gone?

South Twin is very accessible and worth the fishing time spent there in your float tube or pontoon.
Friends from the area said the lake levels seemed down a bit and launching their drift boat was not easy.

Crane Prairie Resort is open and renting boats and that is all I know so far. Lake was partially ice free 3 days ago. My guess is it is all ice free now. No access to Rock Creek or Quinn River (too much snow). Not sure if all the snow melted off the ramp at the CP Boating Site Ramp. It was mostly snow free last week.
Shoot me a message if you have an update, and if you’ve fished it yet….

Wickiup I had one slow report. Hope to hear more soon.

Davis Lake. Open and launching boats at the Lava Flow is good to go. No report on how fishing is yet.

I saw on Instagram a video of some people who came up the back side of Newberry on Snowmobiles, and fished the open water at East Lake near the hot springs. They didn’t show any fish, which leads me to believe they didn’t catch any fish that day. Still a lot of ice coverage on the lake, and the lake still looks low. Time will tell when all the snow melts if the levels bump up a bit making the ramps easier to use this season.

Last season my first day on Paulina Lake was May 20, 2022. Just an FYI on expectations.
The PL Resort posted a photo over the weekend of the lake frozen still, and a friend of a friend who was up there sent me a photo from the bridge over the creek at Paulina that looks like a lot of open water there and then blotchy ice out from there. That may indicate the ice will go off soon? I’d still bet on about the same opening this year as last year.

My report last weekend caused a little bit of confusion about the North Santiam and I wanted to clear that up. Read the ODFW reg book for what is open and what is not, because some doesn’t open until 5/22. Never a bad idea to know the regs and opening and closing dates of the places we fish.

Justesen Ranch is and will continue to be a great private lake option for you for about another 6 weeks. $140 a day. 8 lakes. We haven’t had a date yet we couldn’t accommodate guests. Amanda does a super job at keeping the lakes “private” and spreads everyone out so groups are not on the same water or on top of other people. Callibaetis season has begun, and damsels, leeches and chironomids are always good. Most guests are tubing or have a pontoon boat. Some of our folks have gone with their drift boats. You choose, it is all good.

I’m in the shop this week while Carson is on vacation with the family. Stop by and say hi.

See you soon,


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