Fishing Report and Water Level Updates 5/12/23

It is good to see the warm weather today here in Sisters, I hope this helps get the lakes opened up soon, and doesn’t contribute too much more runoff down the local rivers and streams.
It is interesting to see watch water levels and flows on the Crooked, Metolius, McKenzie and Lower Deschutes. Everything has actually mellowed out a bit today. Will it last? I hope so, but I don’t know for sure.

The Metolius is still running higher than average, but not so high that you’d not want to fish there. Below Bridge 99 there have been some early emergences of Green Drakes. Not many so far, but the trend is good for a good season of hatches, and by Memorial Weekend I believe we are going to be Full-On Drake action everyday for 3+ weeks. So far it seems like the fish are only interested in taking an emerging profile Green Drake. That’ll change when the hatch improves soon.
PMD’s #16, BWO’s #18-20, Caddis Tan #16 & Grey #12-14. If you are in the right place at the right time the dry fly fishing is indeed picking up. Eddies and softer pools are where the fish are going to be sipping dries.
Here is a good place to get the flows for the Allingham area
Here is a link to the gauge by Lake Billy Chinook
You can really see the drop on that second link. The Allingham gauge was slow to budge until today, but for now is coming down slowly.
Most of the best fishing has been on nymphs. Stonefly Nymphs, Perdigons, Jigs, 2 Bit Zebra Midge, 2 Bit Hooker, Squirmy Worms, Black Balanced Leeches and Rainbow Warrior.
Look, the Met is not too high to fish, it’s just a little different and requires a different approach and respect for entering it. Go.

Lower Deschutes Salmonfly hatch is starting. We are seeing more and more adults and a few anglers we know have caught fish on the BIG BUGS. The next 3 to 4 weeks are going to be good as long as the water stays manageable like it’s at now or lower.
Yep, the water is higher than normal for this time of year, but it has been coming down today to a better level and that is something we hope holds. What is normal? Usually this time of year we see flows from 4000 to 4500 cfs. Today is is 5700 cfs. Yesterday and the day before it crept up to nearly 7000.
Swinging Black Buggers, Sculpins, Soft Hackles has been good, and is especially fun on a trout spey, but can be done on your single hand rod of course.
Euro Nymphing is really good, but get some bigger beads and watch where you wade.

Middle Deschutes Stoneflies are full force near Steelhead Falls. PMD, PED, still some March Browns, and Caddis hatches, but for the most part we recommend focusing on the Chubby’s and Norm Woods type flies for the next week or so.
The hatch will progress up towards Tumalo and Bend soon. 80 degree days are a boon to Stonefly hatches!
Water Level is perfect.

The Crooked remains unfishable at this water level. I noticed the inflow to Prineville Reservoir has slowed a lot, and the outflow for the 1st time in weeks has been higher than the inflow.
I hope to see the Crooked at fishable levels in less than 2 weeks. Will you cross your fingers with me?

The Fall River is fishing good. One of our casting instructors had some good success on a really strange little marabou baetis nymph on a size #20 hook, and had a split shot to get it down.
Sounded like the fish liked it a bunch.
We always gravitate to the eggs, perdigons, jigs and zebra midges, so it is fun to hear of something new. He promised he would show it to me soon. More to come….
PMD and Caddis Hatches are good. Ants and Beetles and Hippie Stompers are great dries to get fish to come up and eat.
Streamers are always a fun way to put some extra fish in the net on the Fall

I saw the flows on the McKenzie came down a little too. Good to see. I talked to my friend Gary today who is camped over there and took a guide trip and had a really good day floating the McKenzie and landed about 30 fish.
He said Mega Prince and a Perdigon Dropper were the hot combo. He also reported there was a good March Brown Hatch and they got fish on dries and soft hackles.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see Flying Ants soon and that can be one of the most chaotic days of dry fly fishing on the Mckenzie you’ll see each year.

Not much to report yet on the Lakes. Most remain closed due to being snowed in and still iced over.
Crane Prairie is open and I can’t wait for my own 1st trip there next week. At this time I have seen a few instagram photos of folks at CP, and I’ve heard from a couple of guys that Black Balanced leeches are the fly of choice.
Gotta be game on Chironomids and leeches stripped on an intermediate line.
I heard from my friend Tim that South Twin is good. He’s been kicking around in his pontoon and using sinking lines and olive leeches and damsel nymphs.
No reports from Wickiup. Anyone else?
Mattias from the shop had a great outing on Haystack this week. Balanced leeches were the ticket there too.
I see Paulina Lake Lodge plans to open on May 17th now. I do not know if that means the gate is opening and the lake is ice free yet. More to come there, but I am hopeful for that.

Enjoy the warm days and be good to your mom on Sunday.
See you on the water!


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