Fishing report and Metolius Clean Up Day UPDATES

A long day, but happy to be here after guiding all day, and then switching out the Koffler Drift Boat from a Hosmer Lake special (Minn Kota motor, lake size anchors, fish finder and a whole lotta lake tackle) to a Deschutes Boat for tomorrow. Tomorrow is my first of about 15 trips this Fall on the Upper Deschutes just below Wickiup, and I am excited to be going back. My last guide trip up there was in 2019, and the river crashed hard due to low water and fish killsfor a few years but has made a good comeback with fish in the last 2 summers. Did you know in the 1970’s Fly Fisherman Magazine called the Upper Deschutes River America’s Best Spring Creek. And in the early 1900’s the limit for each angler was 60 fish per day. With better water management I believe the Upper Deschutes could be once again a very productive fishery. We need to pipe canals, and protect all trout, including Browns who have co-habitated in that river since the late 1800’s.

For this blog, I am going to start with the details so many of you have asked for regarding the Metolius River Clean Up. Here’s where we are:

Let’s get ready to clean up the Metolius!

This Sunday August 27th, 2023 please meet us at the Parking Lot just south of the Camp Sherman Store and Post Office across from the Metolius River Lodges. We will gather there at 9 am, assign our clean up volunteers a segment of river to patrol, and try to get it all done by lunch time.

We are doing hot dogs on the grill back at the shop in Sisters 151 West Main Avenue Sisters, OR 97759 from noon to 2 for anyone who wants to come by for a hot dog a cold soda. We’ve divided the river into 12 small segments and we hope to get between 2 and 4 volunteers into each area to scoop up trash that shouldn’t be there!

We are hoping to get 39 volunteers out there Sunday morning. Will you be one of them?

We will have a little thank you gift for all who come and provide each person with a map designating exactly where we want you to go that morning.

What to bring:

Water to drink, if you can a paper bag or biodegradable bag to collect trash in so we don’t end up contributing to more plastic waste. We are trying to find some biodegradable or reusable bags to hand out as well, but this has been more difficult than we anticipated. If you can bring a bag, please do. We will provide gloves and send everyone out with a poop bag too in case of dog doo in an inappropriate spot.

When we are done we can put the garbage in a dumpster at the nearest campsite to your clean up area, or bring to FFP to throw it in our dumpster! The most important thing is it’s off the ground next to our favorite river.

If you want to RSVP send me a PM and that’ll help us know how many to expect.

Or shoot us an email to

Moving on to the fishing report there is a lot of amazing fishing in the area. Some areas you may have to contend with smokey air conditions and other areas we’ve found very little or no smoke. I’ll discuss that for each body of water because we understand for some of you this is a concern.

The Metolius itself has been in the smoke, but on and off and the AQI has generally been better there than in Sisters itself.
There are many good hatches and we are just days away from September which I have always considered to be the finest dry fly month of the year.
PMD’s #16, BWO’s #20, Caddis (tan #16, olive #16-18, yellow #20) Rusty Spinners #16-18, Golden Stones #10-12, a few mixed Salmonflies #4-6, Little Olive Stones #16-18, Ameletus #14 and Mahogany Duns #16. That’s a whole bunch of hatches and it will be better than that in a week to 10 days when the Fall Drakes and Flav’s start coming down the pipeline. OH BOY!
Amazing nymph action all over the river so bring a nymph rod and a dry fly rod, and if you’re into it, bring an 8 weight streamer rod for the Bull Trout.

The Lower Deschutes is fishing well but has been mostly pretty smokey in the canyon. PED hatches continue to be good, and caddis hatches are excellent so be ready for Pupa and Adults of Tan #16, Olive #16 and Black #18 caddis hatches.
The cold water release from the dam started this week so the water temps are noticeably cooler! Good for fish.
Nymphing has been cream of the crop down there, especially with the perdigons and euro jigs and streamers. Stonefly nymphs and october caddis pupa are becoming important now for late summer and fall.
Good news that Steelhead numbers achieved the ODFW requirements to stay open all year. Be a responsible angler and fish for them with respect and keep them wet for goodness sake. Wild Steelhead are gold baby. Treat them as such.

The McKenzie is smokey and that is where the 2 fires that are contributing much of our mess is happening. The drifts where we go is well downstream of the fires and the fishing is quite good on nymphs and streamers fished from the boat. But the at this time the smoke is shitty. It will get better but we need a rainy day to hit that area soon.

The Crooked River is just darn good, mostly nymph fishing with PMD Nymphs but also Dry Fly fishing on PMD emergers, duns and spinners.
Midges and Caddis are certainly in the mix of other hatches that should/will create dry fly and nymph fishing opportunities.
If you are headed out there make sure you have a Tan 2 Bit Hooker and a PMD Split Case Nymph on the line! I’d euro that, but a NZ Wool Indy is a good way to approach that too. Water levels are awesome at 260 cfs and reservoir levels are holding up well. Generally not too smokey from day to day on the Crooked.

The Fall River is a good bet with great nymph and micro streamer fishing to be had, and some dry fly hatches to pay attention to, including PMD, BWO, Caddis, Midges, Rusty Spinner, Ants, small Hoppers and Hippie Stompers.

The Upper Deschutes from Crane Prairie to Little Lava is a good bet until it closes on Sept 30th. A lot of nice spots for nymphs and small streamers. We haven’t seen many good hatches but try some Ants and Beetles and Hoppers and look for PMD’s and Caddis to be important occasionally. I don’t think I’d go to ANY Western River in the Summer or Fall without PMD’s and Caddis!

Three Creeks Lake is fishing super well. Balanced Leeches and Callibaetis Nymphs have been best.
In the evening there is still a good hatch of Black Dancer Caddis #16-18 and Black Callibaetis. The hot fly has been our extended body cut wing callibaetis colored black with a Sharpie!
A Red Hippie Stomper was the most outstanding dry fly for us a few days ago.

Hosmer Lake is fishing really well in the Upper Lake. Doing a lot of fishing up there with a Hover line and stripping a Double Down Nymph (Black #18) and Leeches.
Fishing Balanced leeches and Chironomids and Red 2 Bits and Callibaetis Nymphs under an indicator has been good. We had some explosive rises today on Pink Hoppers but couldn’t get them hooked.

But…. At Paulina the Pink Hopper has been an absolute staple the last 2 weeks for me.
I pumped a trout stomach (Throat actually) on Saturday and got some little Minnows in the sample, and tied some balanced leeches on a #12 Jig Hook with a Tan UV Ice Dub and a single strand of Black Flash down each lateral line with a 3mm silver tungsten drop bead and had good success with it since that sample.
Been doing well on Purple Leeches and Brown Leeches too.
And you know I am never without my beetles on the Lakes.

East Lake is good and by far has thew best Callibaetis hatches of any lake in the region. That ought to go for another 3 weeks unless we get a freaky cold snap in Sept.
Beeltes and Hoppers on East have been consistent.
Nymphing under the indicator with Chironomids and Callibaetis nymphs is certainly a good way to find some nice fish here.

Crane Prairie is picking up and we are hearing good catches on Balanced Leeches, Large Red Ice Cream Cones, tiny Tan or Black Zebra Midges and Red 2 Bit Hookers.
I look forward to going there again on Friday! It’s been a bit and I miss it.

I really hope you’ll be able to join us Sunday for the Metolius clean up! We will be so appreciative of all the volunteers who can make it.
I also hope you don’t let the smokey skies keep you shut out from fun stuff. I truly have had very little to no smoke on Paulina, East and today at Hosmer until the very end of the day. There are places you can get away from it and you should go and enjoy a day of fishing.

Oh, and lastly, we are going to be putting together some Fall Euro Clinics on the Crooked and at Mecca, and I will do a lake fishing seminar this fall (probably at the shop) for anyone who is interested and want to get some other fun things going like a Movie Night in October. So keep your eyes open for these date announcements and we’d love to have you join us for one.

See you on the water!


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