Rolling into the last week of June, with the 4th of the July on the near horizon makes me remember we are in the heart of the summer fishing season. Hopefully you are getting out there on the water and catching some fish. There are a lot of good things to report, but I do want to remind our readers that the road to Three Creeks Lake is closed for road maintenance until July 22, 2023. No access to the lake is possible that we are aware of. (I write that and imagine some dude saying “hold my beer”, but that’s a long hike pal).
Metolius- From what we can tell, it looks like this is going to be one of the years the Green Drake hatch goes well into June and maybe even early July. Here we are with a week left of June and over the last 9-10 days the Drakes finally begun to hatch a lot better. I get a feeling it isn’t done yet, and maybe when the report is updated next weekend we will be talking about seeing them again in September.
There have been good PMD hatches to report from Camp Sherman to Bridge 99. Make sure you’re covered with all stages, including the split case emerger nymph, film critics, winger emergers, klinkhammers, knock down duns, sparkle duns, comparaduns and PMD parachutes.
As we move into warm July days look for more late afternoon BWO hatches to be important in areas of afternoon shade.
Rusty Spinners are important on most evenings, so if you plan to stay till dusk add some #16 and #18 rusty spinners to your collection.
Caddis Hatches are also strong all over the river, and you may see caddis mid afternoon, but certainly will see them in the evening. Iris Caddis, Henryville, Corn Fed Caddis, X Caddis and even Elk Hair Caddis have all been producing for us. Don’t forget to add some nymphs of the caddis pupa to your box. A very important part of the caddis lifecycle that the trout key on everyday.
Goldenstones are hatching better in the upper river and in the next week we will see more adults starting to fly. The nymphs are super super important now, especially from Gorge CG towards the Tract C area.
The Lower Deschutes has certainly gone into summer hatch mode with the end of the stonefly hatch and more and more caddis hatches. PMD’s have been around but not super strong every day. You can’t go to the Lower D in summer without PMD’s and don’t forget the Pale Evening Duns too. They are bigger than then the PMD’s and can create some excellent dry fly fishing in the Magic Hour before dark.
Caddis are important all day long now, get in under the trees and fish the margins of the shorelines and in the eddies with caddisfly emergers, adults and egg layers. And again, Pupa. Super important as a nymph almost anytime of the day.
Great nymping action on other things besides caddis pupa of course. Frenchies, Perdigons in many colors but orange, olive, brown and black have been favorites, Walts Worm, 2 Bits, Micro May’s, Rainbow Warrior, Soft hackles, Red Copper John and Psycho Prince. Euro Style, Drop Shot style, under the indicator or dry/dropper are all good.
Good times on the Trout Spey too. Leeches and Sculpin patterns on the swing is good stuff.
The Middle Deschutes is a great bet from Benham Falls to Lake Billy Chinook. A ton of good water for euro nymphing and dry fly fishing. Hatches are pretty identical to the Lower D, but you’ll likely see better PMD and PED hatches most days on the middle.
The Upper Deschutes is a mosquito Hell above Crane Prairie. They type of hatch where you’ll need not only bug spray but also a head net to not be driven crazy.
Fishing is good, so the prepared angler willing to navigate the aforementioned annoyance expect to catch fish on PMD, Drakes, Caddis, Ants, Beetles, Goldenstones and nymphs in the riffles and runs and streamers along the undercuts and log jams.
The Fall River is pretty good, but if I could recommend going at dawn or after 4 PM to dark I think you’ll find a more enjoyable and less crowded experience. Most of the days, from 10 am to dinner time the river is pretty crowded. There have been some nice caddis hatches mixed in with Pale Morning Duns. Rusty Spinners at dusk is a reason to stay late too.
Euro Nymphs and Streamers and Eggs, Zebra Midges 2 Bits and Tungsten Micro Mays.
The Crooked River ODFW electroshocking went for a few days last week and we look forward to hearing the data collected. From the anglers perspective the fishing is really good for trout and whitefish, and we are finding fish on euro nymphs and scuds, zebra midges, winklers, split case PMD, skinny nelson and 2 bits. A dry dropper technique behind the Yellow Sally Chubby (I actually think they eat these for hoppers!) or nymphs with a small OROS indicator or NZ Yarn is great if you’re not euro or drop shotting.
Dry Fly fishing is good too, using Purple Haze and Purple Comparaduns, X Caddis, Corn Fed and Missing Link Caddis, Parachute Adams, Rusty Spinners and small Chubbby’s including the Yellow Sally Chubby I mentioned before.
The McKenzie is fishing great. We are getting them on Chubby’s, Elk Hair Caddis, Parachute Adams on dries, and leeches and tungsten beaded jigs and perdigons side drifting with a Euro rig. We are running a lot of guide days here for a reason.
Our guide Steve had a fun day at Crane Prairie fishing damsel nymphs a few days ago and that was a really good. Since CP has been so moody lately I loved hearing that. Chironomids and Balanced Leeches are also high priority flies.
Hosmer was a little “off” for me this week. Oh sure, we caught fish, but they just weren’t easy to fool. On anything. Callibaetis are trying to gain a foothold, but I still haven’t seen a super good hatch yet. Damsels are hatching more and more and a nymph is essential, either balanced for under the indicator, or a straight shanked pattern for fishing on a hover or camo line.
Balanced Leeches, Ants, Beetles, Ice Cream Cones and Scuds are flies to circulate through on a Homser trip this week.
Paulina Lake is good, Beetle fishing is improving and Chironomids and Leeches and Scuds are great bets under the bobber or on some kind of sinking line.
Usually Callibaetis at Paulina are later in July and go well in August. We haven’t seen any yet and I wasn’t really expecting to quite yet. Damsels are increasingly important, but mostly as nymphs at this time. I love a good adult damsel eat anywhere on this planet, and have had some spectacular adult damsel action at Paulina these last few years.
I am hopeful USFS will have the main Paulina Lake CG open, including the ramp and docks at the Campground this week as promised. We will keep you posted on that. Little Crater or the resort (with a $10 launch fee there) are options.
East Lake is good too. One day last week we had great Callibaetis hatch action, and the other day we didn’t, but even though we were in the same place I can tell you that my good friend (and Chief of FFP Security) found Callibaetis on our “off day”. Isolated hatches can occur anyplace, but it was such a weird deal to go from Wednesday with a bunch of fish on an emerging dry, to friday with just a couple of fish before the hatch ended due to the wind where we were.
Never the less, the beetle fishing was awesome on Friday!
Chironomids, Leeches, Callibaetis nymphs are all good. Switch it up, as it may not be the same thing every day.
Water levels are low and actually low enough that I don’t feel comfortable launching my bigger guide boat and dragging the trailer through the rocks and trying to get a 1700 pound boat on a trailer in the wind with no dock to tie up to makes me use the Drift Boat there again this year. That said, I see people launching bigger boats and more power to them. I’m pretty good at launching a trailering but that risk reward scenario isn’t worth it to me.
Finally…..I’m incredulous to the fact that the bathrooms at the East Lake CG Boat Ramp are still locked at the end of June. When we were there on Friday there were a lot of folks using that site. Hey USFS, having people poop in the woods beside the parking lot is gross. Unlock the damn bathrooms. This will be a topic of conversation I will have with the Forest Supervisor later this week.
Hope to see you all soon! Fishing and weather look good for the foreseeable future so get out there.