Plenty of good stuff to discuss this week, from the big rivers to the small streams and the lakes throughout the region.
The Metolius is fishing good, but the drake hatch is still not what we’d expect to see for being through the 1st week of june and marching towards mid-june. Will it increase in intensity soon? I wish I had a crystal ball, but I would imagine that it has to get a little better at some point here in the next 2 weeks. I weird hatch cycle for sure, and PMD’s that normally are also strong hatchers this time of year are not strong either? PMD’s of course hatch all summer (starting in late April usually) and will go until almost November. My advice would be to not stop looking for, or fishing with Drakes because the fish are looking for them and between 3 to 5 PM most afternoons you should be able to coax a fish or two up to an emerger or dry fly.
Caddis in the evening and some rusty spinners at dusk are bringing up fish from 7 to Dark. Look for isolated hatches of small Blue Wing Olives too mostly after 5.
Nymphing remains very good. Think hatch cycles when picking nymphs: Green Drakes, PMD’s (split case and micro may’s + Frenchie, Brown perdigon) BWO’s (tiny purple perdigon, olive micro may, skinny nelson) and caddis pupa (olive and tan #14-18 mostly). Rainbow warriors, red lightning bug or red copper john, Walts worm, Fire Starter and Golden Stone nymphs.
Bull Trout are active and are being caught on nymphs and streamers and fishing is good for the big kids now.
The Lower Deschutes is seeing the end stages of the stonefly hatch (Salmonflies and Goldens), but caddis hatches are filling in nicely. PMD and Pale Evening Duns are also strong hatches to look for.
Fishing is good and water levels are good. Still a bit of color in the water, but overall that is just not a big deal.
FFP guide team reported excelling catches this week on dries both big and small, and especially on euro nymph rigs in the riffles. Guide Trips Available.
The Middle Deschutes is good from Bend to Lake Billy Chinook. Look for good Caddis hatches, Pale Morning Duns and Pale Evening Duns and some BWO’s too.
There are a lot of places to spread out on the Middle D and it makes for less crowding than some of the other rivers. An after work/evening session on some of the riffles upstream and downstream of Bend can be really satisfying with a Purple Haze, Yellow Sparkle Dun and X Caddis.
Swinging soft hackles is a heck’uva a lot of fun on the Deschutes too.
Euro style nymphing is wicked good!
The Upper Deschutes is good too, making the trifecta of the Deschutes from Bottom to Top a good choice now.
The Headwaters section is a highlight. Streamer fishing is a blast, nymphs are working great and look for some dry fly action on PMD, Caddis, Green Drakes, Ants and Beetles. Guided trips available.
The Crooked River looks like it has found the stable summer flow at 255 cfs. Fishing is good, but we did see a couple of days of the fish being a bit off when the flows increased.
Caddis hatches are the main event, with X Caddis, Corn Fed, Missing Link and Elk Hair Caddis all great flies in a Tan or Olive #16, and some Black #18 too. Purple Haze and Parachutes Adams are good now too. Who doesn’t like a Parachute Adams?!!
And of course the nymph fishing with Rainbow Warriors and Olive Perdigons with an Orange Hot Spot is just amazing now. Scuds, Zebra Midges and 2 Bit Hookers are 3 others to use for sure.
Guided trips available.
The Fall River is OK, I know Mattias had a good guide trip there yesterday but another friend went and it was so crowded he left the rods in the car and just hiked and watched wildlife. It’s a funny place these days, a far cry from the waters I learned to fly fish on. To beat the crowds on the Fall River avoid 9 to 5. Go at dawn and stop at 10 am, or go around dinner and fish to dusk.
I see ODFW will drop in 1000 fish next week.
Streamers, Perdigons, Eggs, Zebra’s, Ants, Beetles, PMD’s, Rusty Spinners, Henryville Caddis, small Adams, Midges and Purple Hippie Stompers.
Guided trips available.
The McKenzie guide days have been so darn good! Tonn was over there most this week with Steve, Ben and Troy on the Lower Deschutes for a camp trip. Tonn was setting up his clients with double perdigons and jig leeches and landed a whole bunch of fish, including doubles.
Look for fish on the top with Chubby’s, large parachutes, Elk Hair and Peacock Caddis and Drakes.
Guided trips available.
Whychus and Tumalo Creek both are running high and fast still. I’d give them another few weeks. The North Santiam is also high and fast and seems a bit sketchy to wade as of this writing.
The Lakes are mostly good, with highlights at Hosmer and Paulina.
Hosmer was my main squeeze this week, with my last 3 days on the water spent there I can tell you it was different each day.
The Callibaetis are trying to gain a foothold, and finally yesterday we got into some consistent hatch and fish up on them! Damsels are beginning to hatch too, and a damsel nymphs is an A #1 choice now.
Balanced Leeches & Ice Cream Cones were my go to flies this flies for the most part. Guided trips available.
East Lake is good, and at that elevation no hatch to speak of quite yet. It will be soon I’m sure as water temps are hitting mid 50’s. Surprisingly still not getting any fish up on Ants or beetles yet. One of my staple methods for sure.
But Balanced Leeches and Ice Cream Cones and some limited action on Callibaetis Nymphs. I should try Damsel Nymphs too, as they are going to pop this week I know! Water is low, laughing any boat bigger than a drift boat is going to be potentially damaging to the boat or especially to the trailer. Guided trips available.
Paulina Lake is good, and for bigger boats that need a dock, it appears the USFS is going to begin putting docks in this weekend at Little Crater. Hazard tree management remains a priority at Paulina Lake CG and that will be closed until nearly July 1st.
Bathrooms at Little Crater were unlocked this week too, after so many of us banded together and made a statement that we expect services (basics like bathrooms and docks) so long as the area is open. Boat ramp areas need services and facilities open to coincide with the fishing season.
So thank you to all of you who wrote or called the USFS and the Congresswoman’s office and Senators Offices. We moved the needle faster this week than it would have moved otherwise I can guess.
As for the fishing, Balanced Leeches and Chironomid Pupa (Olive #18, Black #14-16, Red #14-16) are working best. We don’t sell the hot fly called the Dark Assassin, but we do have a fly called the double threat in Black that is darn close to it and works well under the indicator.
Also, I still have not risen a fish to an ant or beetle there yet. On monday we were just switching to a flying ant when rain drops started to fall, within 5 minutes that changed to intense hail and we, along with the flying ants were dine for the day. Looks like warm days coming up again, so I look forward to the next ants we see and to keep the hail at bay. Guided trips available.
Crane Prairie is so-so. Be patient. Balanced Leeches in Black, Olive and Brown are all working. Chironomids, especially Olive #16, Red #12-16, Black with Silver #16 and Tan #18. Deschutes Channel seems to be the best so far. I’d say the indicator methods have been superior to any slow sinking line and stripping techniques so far.
Damsel nymphs are important, and this may be the exception to the indicator vs. stripping a clear camo argument.
Will we see our mid-June callibaetis hatch? I hope so. I love big Cranebows on dries.
Is it worth fishing? Yes. It is Crane Prairie and if you hit CP right, when she is in a good mood you will be too. Guided trips available.
South and North Twin are great float tube lakes and easy access. They get busier on the weekends so if you can do a mid week trip I think it is more enjoyable. Kick around with an Olive Bugger or Sheep Creek and trail a Poxy Back Callibaetis or Ice Cream Cone. Or sit with the indicator rig and a balanced leech and ice cream cone suspended under the bobber. Likely to see some mayflies (callibaetis on the lakes) hatch and should offer some dry fly fishing.
South Twin resort has good burgers and milkshakes by the way.
Three Creeks Lake will be closed for a complete re-do on the only road in or out until late July. SO THERE IS NO ACCESS AND NO FISHING TO BE HAD AT 3 CREEKS UNTIL THE USFS RE-OPENS THE ROAD.
I hope to see everyone out on the water!