4th of July Week Fishing Report (7/1/23)

Summer finally arrived. I wore shorts for the 1st time while guiding this week, and didn’t freeze my legs off when launching the boat. I love this time of year. And, best of all, the fishing is good in all the venues.
The holiday weekend, and the upcoming Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show are busy times for us in the store and on the water. We still have some guides available over the next 2 weeks while all these festivities are happening, so give us a call and let’s see if we can get you on the water too.

The Metolius is transitioning from Drakes (see you again in September), although for a few more days or so you might see some stragglers and definitely fish will want to eat the big bugs.
Speaking of big bugs, we are really in the early stages of the golden stone hatch on the Met now, and this will last all summer and well into fall. In July it is very common to see some salmonflies hatching too, but they just don’t make up the important numbers the goldens do and you usually won’t get the same excitement from the fish because of that. But tie on a Clark’s Stone or Lady Stone or Norm Woods Special and that is summer livin’ on the Metolius kids.
PMD’s (remember to fish the whole cycle from nymph, emerger, dun and rusty spinners), BWO’s (late afternoon to early evening and don’t forget some #18-20 spinners too), caddis (iris, missing link, corn fed, egg laying and elk hair caddis). Little things to not forget- Griffiths Gnats in summer can be quite a good hatch buster on tough fish. Little Stoneflies. The little olive stones are 2 months away from the “mega hatch” but they are trickling now and mixing in with Yellow Sally’s. I’ve had evenings in July that the fish would take nothing but Yellow Sally’s. Put some in the fly box.
Nymphing is really important, and if you want to add some numbers to the net bring your Euro rig and get after it with your jigs and perdigons.
A lot of us don’t have Bull Trout on the mind this time of year (seems like a cold weather thing I guess?) but it is just as good now as any other time so grab an 8 weight and some streamers and a sink tip and fish low light hours for the best results.

The Lower Deschutes is fishing really well, most days we see excellent caddis hatches and reports are good for Pale Morning Duns and Pale Evening Duns. The Warm Springs to Trout Creek Drift is our day trip float, and there are nice walk-in access points at Warm Springs, Mecca, Dry Creek (get a tribal license) and Trout Creek.
Nymphing and Swinging streamers and soft hackles is awesome and likely the best ways to catch more fish. Especially the nymph rigs. We’ve been doing great on Euro Jigs and Perdigons, sometimes fishing them on a dry/dropper rig but more often on a traditional euro leader using 25′ of 8# to 1′ of White Sighter .008 to .007(4x) Tri-color or Bi-color sighter usually 36″ to a 2mm tippet ring. Add 6 to 7 feet of 5x fluorocarbon tippet to the ring and a dropper tag 20″ above that point fly and you my friend have the ultimate euro leader.

The Middle Deschutes is good fishing and with the hot, bright days you’ll want to focus on early morning to 11 am, and from 6 pm to dark. Hatches are the same as the Lower D, with PED and PMD and Caddis being prevalent but in some areas in the evening make sure you have BWO’s #18-20 too.
Renegades, Stimulators, small Chubbies, Purple Haze (my favorite) are dry flies to use that are not exactly hatch matchers but can stick fish for sure.

The Crooked River is fishing well below the dam, water levels are normal summer flows and fish are abundant. Little nymphs like Skinny Nelson, Zebra Midges, Scuds, Micro Mayfly, 2 Bits, Rainbow Warriors and Perdigons. Heck, we even have a rainbow warrior perdigon. That one must be amazing!
I talked to some folks who fished a super good PMD hatch there a few days ago. Fish rising everywhere and taking dries like crazy.
Evening dry fly fishing is good, add caddis and rusty spinners to the mix and you should be good.
Remember last time the suggestion for that Chubby Sally as a small hopper. Yes, still good and it also makes a great indicator for dry/dropper rigs.

The Fall River is good, and it’s been nice to see some fish up to the dry fly too. Caddis hatches have been good and a mix of PMD’s and some terrestrial fishing has been good and should be the trend for a while now. Hoppers are small still but can be good on the fall. Beetles and Ants are always a big deal on forested rivers like the Fall River, and spring creeks just scream PMD’s in summer, but don’t overlook that BWO’s hatch in the summer too and when they do, fish usually notice.
Yellow Sally stones are good on the Fall, so add them to the mix.
We’ve been doing best with the nymphs and euro-streamers. Don’t forget eggs and MOPS.

The McKenzie is fishing great, with some dry/dropper stuff, a few mayfly hatches and caddis dries and a lot of euro nymphs and streamers. We’ve been doing a bunch of guided float trips from Blue River to Ben & Kay with some really good days under our (wading) belts.

Hosmer Lake was outstanding for us this week. Barely any callibaetis which is a big surprise and a disappointment , but 2 days this week we hit an afternoon Traveling Sedge Hatch and had some fun, explosive dry fly takes on big, skittered dry caddis patterns. Tom Thumb #10 and Goddard Caddis are good flies when they are out.
Balanced Leech (olive, maroon, black) and maroon leeches, damsel nymphs, callibaetis NYMPHS, Ice Cream Cones, damsel adults, ants and certainly be ready for the callibaetis hatch and spinner fall to occur.

East Lake was also a highlight in the lake world this week for us. Here, the callibaetis are hatching well and are very important in all stages from nymphs, to emergers, duns and spinners.
Damsel nymphs (carry the adults too), beetles, ants, leeches and chironomids are all fishing well.
We’ve been doing a lot of dry fly fishing this week, but indicators with a callibaetis nymph, chironomid, balanced leech and scuds is great, and bring a Hover, Intermediate and Type 3 sinking line for stripping or wind drifting leeches, callibaetis nymphs and damsel nymphs.

Paulina is good but we are weeding through a lot of freshly stocked 10 inch hatchery trout. Balanced leeches and chironomids are tops under the indicator, but red 2 bit’s, scuds, callibaetis nymphs and damsel nymphs are important flies too.
We have been seeing some fish rising to emerging or adult chironomids over the weed beds, and getting fish up on beetles has been getting better each week now.

Crane Prairie is just a little tough, but I think it is worth fishing. A friend was there yesterday and got fish on Balanced Leeches and Chironomids.
Damsels are hatching in very good numbers and are a must for imitating. Water is warming up and that means finding the channels.
With the hot bright conditions you should be there earlier and also consider a late assault at dusk for better bite action. Fishing mid day can be slow. It also can be good. That is the way CP is.

I have had a decent report from both Lava and Little Lava Lakes. Callibaetis hatches at Lava, plus damsels, chironomids and leeches. it’s been far and few between reports here but good to hear the lakes are both producing for people now.

I know there will be a lot of sad people this 4th of July who can’t get up to Three Creeks Lake. The road crew is working hard to get it open in about 3 weeks, so we will see you after July 22 up at the lake.

We will see you on the water or in the fly shop soon. I just got done with a very busy June of guiding the lakes (my busiest ever) and have a nicer schedule planned for July and August (until I stacked September and October up again) and plan to have some more personal fishing days and some retail days at the shop. I really hope to see you soon.

Jeff

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