October 1, 2023 Fishing Report

A month of general trout season left. It seems like yesterday we were celebrating the openings (April 22 and May 22) and time is flying faster than a Tim Rajeff double haul.
I do love fall fishing, and the fact of the matter is there is so much year round angling here it shouldn’t matter what the calendars says. The overall weather trend looks good for about 10 days and fishing is good on all of our waters at this time. Keep in mind the Upper Deschutes from Benham Falls up to Wickiup and through Crane Prairie and all the way up to Little Lava is now closed until May.
Stay tuned on the bottom for Dock Removal dates at the local lakes and an upcoming Film on October 6th at the Deschutes Brewery Tap Room that will be fun to go see! RA Beattie fly fishing films have always been some of my favorites and we encourage all of you to go enjoy the night and get stoked for fishing.

The Metolius is getting some very strong hatches of Green Drakes! I’m going to guess they will be important for at least another 10 to 14 days.
PMD hatches are also strong and you will absolutely see Mahogany Duns now for the next 2 or 3 weeks during the afternoon hatch cycles on any section of the river.
BWO’s are strong hatchers now too and for the time, this rounds out the mayflies you’ll see this week and next.
October Caddis and a lot of smaller Tan (#14-16) Caddis are the 2 most important caddis hatches you’ll see now, but an Olive #16-18 and even a Black #18 caddis may be the menu of the moment and if you have a couple tucked in your box they could be the fly breaks the code.
With warm days coming up by mid-week I do think there will be more golden stone adults flying and egg laying in the upper river mostly, but could be important mid and lower river for brief times. Clark’s Stones are always a good choice, and if they don’t eat it as a stonefly, I believe they will take it as an October Caddis too.
Kokanee have returned to the river to spawn. This creates a multitude of feeding opportunities for the trout. Eggs for every fish, and Bull Trout often eat the whole enchilada! We have a cool Red Dolly Llama streamer that is good when the Koke’s are in spawning colors.

The McKenzie is darn good fishing and should remain so all month. I was in the shop early today working on fly orders when 3 of the FFP guides were there meeting clients for a float over there. They were all picking up Chubby’s, Stimulators and Jigs, including some Jig Leeches.
We’ve been floating below Blue River and success has been consistent. It’s not too late to get over there on your own or with one of the FFP guides.

The Lower Deschutes is really good on the Warm Springs to Trout Creek day drift, or farther down the 3 day run or even going down to Macks Canyon or the Mouth for Steelhead.
There are steelhead in all the segments and we are excited for the rest of fall and early winter to fish for steelhead.
October Caddis Pupa and Stonefly nymphs are good choices for bigger nymphs, Juju Baetis, Skinny Nelsons, Micro Mayfly, Jigs and Perdigons.
Still some good Tan Caddis (#16) and BWO’s, Mahogany Duns & PMD’s on top, and look for trout up on black midge pupa and adults too.

The Middle Deschutes is just starting to see some bumps in flows but the fishing still seems to holding up around Bend, Tumalo and near Steelhead Falls. PMD’s, BWO’s, Mahogany Duns and Caddis, including October Caddis through this section too. With higher water it becomes better nymphing and streamer fishing. Certainly a good place to spend the day or a few hours.

The Crooked River is dropping now at the end of irrigation season and is down to 167 cfs, and we’d expect to see it around 100 cfs by the 3rd week of October.
Still a good mix of PMD and BWO and Mahogany Duns. I’ve said before that the Furminsky’s BDE Dun and the PMD Extended Body Cut Wing are both excellent duns to fish. We have an Extended Body Adams and Extended Body Mahogany Dun that are awesome too.
Nymphing is good, some Euro stuff and some NZ Wool Indicator stuff, but you will see as the water drops more the NZ Indicator becomes better and better to get a drift without catching weeds as much. Zebra Midges, Winklers (fish them deep or at the surface), Perdigons, Micro Mayflies (BWO) Skinny Nelson (one of my personal favorites for years) and Scuds.

The Fall River is quite good all the way from the Headwaters to the Falls. REMEMBER the FALLS downstream to the Deschutes are now CLOSED until May 22nd. The Falls up to the hatchery and from there to the Campground and Falls is open all year.
BWO’s are the main hatch of mayflies, but like all the rivers in our region this time of year, PMD’s yell that they are not done yet, and Mahogany Duns are just getting rolling for their autumn spurt! Caddis are important in the Fall and Silvey’s Edible Emerger and Mercer’s Missing Link Caddis (don’t overlook the hot orange version) and some Tan CDC caddis will do the trick. Don’t forget the Midge hatches and that Ants and Beetles will be productive on our warmer days coming up soon too.
Micro Streamers, Eggs and Jigs are super good on the Euro Nymphing Rod.

Lava Lake has awoken in a great way. Lots of nice strong and healthy rainbows and fishing is good. Leeches are definitely the best way to find them, whether that is under the indicator or on a sinking line and stripping one in. Damsel Nymphs, Callibaetis Nymphs, Chironomids are all worth the time too.

Crane Prairie is fishing well and worth the time on almost any part of the reservoir. The Quinn, Cultus and Deschutes Channels are best, but Rock Creek is good too. It’s been mostly a Leech and Chironomid game.

Hosmer is good and with lowering water temps the Lower Lake is waking up more now too. The Channel is full of Brookies and a mix of Rainbows and Cutty’s too. The Upper Lake is starting to lose some population of fish as they head towards the channel and lower lake, but it is not over up there by any means. Strip Leeches, Damsel, Callibaetis Nymphs, Black Double Down, Water Boatman and Scuds. Under the bobber the Balanced Leech and Chironomid set up is usually best.
Some fish are rising to Water Boatman and the occasional terrestrial or super (I mean super) sporadic mayfly. In October Water Boatman on the surface can be hot dry fly action here and there.

East Lake is seeing good shoreline action still on Ants and Beetles. I saw someone posted Callibaetis emergers just this week too. WOW, that surprises me, but with the warm days coming mid week I’d say go and bring some callibaetis and see what’s up. Leeches and Chub Streamers are getting to be about the most important food the fish are hunting. I always recommend a Scud and Flashback PT for East Lake in the fall too.

Paulina is beginning to see the big brown trout in post spawn behavior. Ganging up, leeping for random reasons and hanging out in shallow areas more than out in the deep. The biggest Browns I see usually come in October and often on a Balanced Leech or a Chubby.
We smacked ’em on Beetles and Ants the last few days up there. And still got a lot of fish on Hoppers too, even in the cold rain. Water temps are still around 52 so the fish are active

Three Creeks Lake is going to be a winner for the next couple of weeks, but once the weather turns mid-month as forecast it might be over for the year. We shall see….
Leeches (olive with an orange head or chartreuse head and Black with an orange head) are our favorites now.
Damsel Nymphs, Scuds, PT’s, Callibaetis Nymphs and Chironomids are important flies now until it’s over soon.
If you can be there on these warm sunny days coming up fish a Beetle or Ant.

Here is some important info on Dock and Bathroom Closures:

We confirmed with our Road Crew the dates that they’ll be removing boat docks and have updated our website with the information.

  • Docks in Caldera will be removed 10/6-7, along with those located on Odell Lake.
  • Rock Creek, Quinn, and Little Lava are scheduled for removal 10/14-15
  • Suttle Lake is scheduled for 10/21

Restrooms to remain open through 10/31 assuming conditions allow at the following sites:

  • Rock Creek Day Use
  • Crane Prairie Day Use
  • Cultus Lake Boat Launch
  • Lava Lake Boating
  • Little Crater Boating (porta pot)
  • Cinder Hill (both boat launches)
  • East Lake

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.