Good morning from Sisters, Oregon where we are having a gorgeous and not too hot, nor too smokey summer. Oh sure, a few hotter days here and there, and a couple of smokey days a while ago, but it’s been awfully nice for the most part.
And the fishing is going great overall throughout the region.
As we march in to the end of the first week of August there is a lot of good things to talk about on the Metolius River. Hatches are getting stronger, with better afternoon and evening PMD emergences, early evening BWO’s, more and more caddis which become massively important in August, Yellow Sally’s anywhere along the river, Golden Stone’s mostly above the Gorge to the Headwaters and some light hatches Salmonflies mixing in more from the Gorge to the Wizard Falls area. Also don’t overlook the importance of midge pupa and adults. I can remember a fish last summer at the Dolly Hole that was rising with a great cadence and we put so many different flies over that darn fish and finally my friend Dean got it on a Griffith’s Gnat.
Dry fly fishing is like a religion on the Metolius and the pilgrimage of great dry fly days is beginning now and continues through the fall.
2 other mayflies to keep an eye open for include Mahogany Duns #16 and a large olive (small drake “like”) mayfly called an Ameletus. They have 2 tails so that’s a good way to know you’re not looking at an early hatch of Flav’s which will hit in about a month.
The Euro Nymph action is incredibly good all over the river.
Bull Trout fishing is good with a lot of fish coming on the typical big streamers we are used to, but also smaller Euro Jig type streamers have been highly effective. I remember when I poo-poo’d the Euro Streamers….Not anymore. These flies are bomber and the techniques to fish with them are highly effective.
The McKenzie River is continuing to be or GO-TO for great guided days, with fish coming up to Chubby’s and Parachutes and using a Dry Dropper rig. Swinging Soft Hackles and Wooly Buggers and Streamers has been accounting for a good number of catches but nothing compares to the Euro Leech and Jig perdigons over there right now. Guide trips are available everyday from now until about Halloween so let’s get you down there and go catch some fish.
The Lower Deschutes from Warm Springs to Trout Creek has been fishing well, and the magic hour before dark is worth staying for if you want to see the best dry fly activity of the day. You can also fish to rising trout in the back eddies mid-day and possibly find caddis hatches around shallow weed beds later afternoon and spent caddis in the morning for dry fly action too. Pale Morning Duns #16 are mixed with #12-14 Pale Evening Duns in the Evening. Yellow Sparkle Duns and Purple Haze #14-16 will likely serve you just fine, but add some Yellow Soft Hackles and Film Critics too.
Nymph fishing with an indicator, or Euro style or swinging with a trout spey is all great.
Have you tried a trout spey yet? A good way to try one is to book a trip with Troy, Steve and Tonn who all incorporate this to their days on the water here.
The Middle Deschutes is another good place to head to now, especially mornings and evenings with a lot of dry fly fishing especially happening in the evening. Look for BWO’s, PMD’s, Pale Evening Duns and tan Caddis. This is always good water for a Stimulator, Renegade and a Purple Haze.
The Upper Deschutes headwaters area to Crane Prairie is a lovely place to be now, with good Euro Nymphing being the #1 way to target nice trout and whitefish up there. Some Dry Dropper action with small Chubby’s and Stimulators with a Rainbow Warrior or Sunken Ant dropper.
Caddis and PMD’s are certainly hatching in pockets and make sure you have Ants and Beetles and a Hopper in the collection to show the fish too.
The Crooked River was awfully good for us this week, with a lot of fish coming on a PMD Split Case or Brown Micro Mayfly under a NZ Wool Indicator. Of course a Euro presentation with a brown Perdigon or Rainbow Warrior is always a winner on the Crooked. PMD hatches have been good here, look for the hatch in the afternoon when the shadows hit over the river from the taller trees or the right angles of the canyon walls too. Rusty Spinners will be on the water at dusk. Mahogany Duns are starting to be important now and will be as we move through August and in to September. Caddis pupa and adults, especially Tan #16 are the best.
East Lake was so good this week! Lunchtime Callibaetis hatches were darn darn good with emergers and the Stalcups Extended Body Callibaetis adult just fooling fish after fish. My clients this week put a dent in my Loon Powder supply!
The evening hatch is also wonderful as long as the wind doesn’t howl.
Beetles and hoppers and 2 ant patterns (Flag Ant and RP’s Ant) are good throughout the afternoon, windy or not.
I prefer dry fly fishing now as any nymphs are just getting too much attention from Small Kokanee. Of course nymph fishing is good under an indicator but do expect a fair number of Koke bites.
Hosmer lake was very good this week in the upper and lower lake. In the lower lake we did well with a type 3 full sink with a black leech, and the upper lake with a hover line and callibaetis nymph (olive with a peacock wing case).
Some decent action on dry damsels and always good with a damsel nymph up there.
Callibaetis hatches have been early and late with not much in the afternoon. Ants along the reed lines is always a good way to find fish too.
Paulina Lake was tough as hell yesterday with a cold front parked over the lake and strong east wind. It was tough and we did get some fish using several techniques: Beetles. Grasshoppers. Type 5 full sink and a Leech. 7 foot intermediate sink tip with leeches. Indicator with a Leech. One thing that I will tell you is Orange Bead leeches seems to be the thing they really like. Not every fish yesterday came on a fly with an orange bead, but many of them did.
I think when the weather stabilizes there tomorrow and the wind comes from a better direction that the fishing is going to ROCK.
Three Creeks Lake is fishing really well and I know Brad and Eric were up there yesterday and had a good day on Beetles, Doug (one of our casting instructors) had a great leech day and Gavin had a good session on Callibaetis and leeches. Look for Black X Caddis to be hot in the evening and damsels and ants and sheep creek specials and ice cream cones to be good throughout the day too.
I am headed there tomorrow to fish with Tina and our friends and we are excited to get up there for the 1st time this year.
Come see us at the shop, we’ve got the flies you need for all of these places. You might also know that the pandemic craziness the last 3 summers has certainly mellowed out and that more last minute guide trip bookings are again possible so you don’t need to plan to book a trip 6 months ahead like the last couple of years and we would be happy to get you on the water to the McKenzie, the Lower D, the Crooked, East, Paulina and Homser over the next 12 weeks or so before the cold weather comes back and things start closing. (12 weeks…. don’t waste it not fishing)
See you on the water.