Did you catch the eclipse yesterday? I missed it, although it did get a bit dark here at the house in Sisters for a bit, I wonder how the lakes fished when that event happened?
I remember the 2017 eclipse and being over at our guide Mary Ann’s house with a whole bunch of fellow fly anglers, and I kind of poo-poo’d the whole thing as something my time would have been better off going fishing. But I was wrong. It was so amazing and I was lucky to have seen it and had that experience. Although I still wonder if we would have seen 2 evening hatches or spinner falls on that day?
Well, the Green Drake hatch looks to be pretty much done for 2023 on the Metolius. You sure could see a few here and there in isolated areas, especially with the warm sunny weather coming back by mid-week.
PMD #16, Mahogany Dun #16, BWO #18 & #20, Tan Caddis #16 and October Caddis #8-10 are your focus hatches now.
With so many Kokanee in the river, the Bull Trout are well fed! We have all kinds of big streamers to toss at Bull’s, and have added some Red Dolly Llama’s to the selection to match that spawning phase of the Koke’s. Also, with that many Kokanee spawning eggs are in the drift big time.
The Upper River above Allingham to Riverside CG is open for another 2 weeks. Besides all the mayflies and caddis mentioned, you definitely want to be fishing the riffles and grassy bank lines with a Clark’s Stone #10-12.
The Lower Deschutes is fishing well, especially with the Euro Nymph set up, but indicator action is certainly good too, and swinging is good for both trout and steelhead with leeches and for steelhead with traditional steelhead flies like a Green Butt Skunk, Freight Train and Anderson’s Euphoria.
Our guides have been doing best on October Caddis Pupa, Tan Sparkle Pupa, Soft hackle PT, Girdle Bugs, Walts Worms and a wide variety of Perdigons when trout fishing, and have picked up several steelhead this fall on these nymphs too.
There are some decent caddis hatches (Orange #6-8, Tan #16, Grey #14 and Black #18) and BWO’s and Mahogany Duns to look for, and not totally done seeing PMD’s either.
The Middle Deschutes has come up another 100 cfs from the last report, and is still fishing fine but that push in water changes access and wading options. Tumalo State Park and Steelhead Falls area will be good for some euro nymphing and with higher water give some streamers some love.
The Crooked River is down to 63 cfs today, and there is a pretty good afternoon mayfly hatch of mostly BWO’s #18-20 and some PMD’s #18. Black Midges #20-22 are a huge part of the menu on the top and underneath. With the water low, in many of the nymphing spots I like to use the NZ Wool Indicator and have the indicator set to keep the one nymph I choose up over the weeds. Yes, there are some good Euro Nymphing spots too, but at low water I like the suspension of the wool, and feel it fishes better.
Scuds are an important fall menu item too.
No Whitefish eggs yet, but in November that is a big deal.
I was weathered off the lakes 2 of my 4 guide trip days last week and went over to the Fall River with my guys instead. It was really good. The afternoon BWO hatch was mixed in with quite a few Mahogany Duns and a few PMD’s and dry fly fishing was a delight! 6x and 7x tippet is important to success, and I prefer the Rio Suppleflex for situations like this.
Red Zebra Midges and Slumpbusters and Eggs are productive nymphs among many others.
As we move into later October the Fall River see’s a really pretty Amber colored caddis that is about a #12-14 and I like to match that with the Silvey’s Edible Emerger and an Orange Missing Link Caddis. We used both this last week and fish wanted to eat them even though not many of those caddis were flying yet.
Troy and Tonn are still running a lot of McKenzie days and doing really really well. I know a lot of what they are doing is a dry/dropper rig with a Chubby and a Perdigon or Jig, but they are dead drifting leeches and swinging soft hackles in some places too.
Paulina Lake is fishing really well with some really solid browns coming every day for us now. I had a guide trip there on Friday and we never stopped dry fly fishing from morning to late afternoon. Chubby’s, Beetles, Ants and even a few fish on the Pink Hopper.
My friend Jesse was there the day before and they were using Leeches and Scuds with good success too.
There are no docks in at Paulina now.
Tell me how this makes any sense? In 2020 I launched my boat there in early November using the (still installed) dock at P.L. C.G. In 2021 it was late October they pulled them. 2022 3rd week of October and 2023 it was the 1st weekend of October. This frustrates me, how about you? How can we change the culture at USFS to make them realize facilities are important to coincide with our angling seasons? I’m seeing trends for shorter durations of facilities and this is not good.
East Lake is still awesome too, especially on the shore lines and out to about 10-12 of water. Tons of good beetle eaters cruising the shore lines. Scuds and Balanced Leeches and Chub streamers are high on the list of flies to dangle under an indicator or strip on a floating, hover, intermediate or emerger tip line.
Boating is a good option, but bank fishing is every bit as good.
One of my trips this week was to Crane Prairie. It was fabulous. Water temps are hovering in the high 40’s in the morning and warming to 51 to 53 in the afternoon and the afternoon bite was best for us.
Red Chironomids, Holo Jig, Black Balanced Leech under the indicator, and Tannish leeches stripped on a Camo Intermediate were our best patterns on Thursday.
I do not have an update on Hosmer or 3 Creeks for this week. I would bet with the warm days coming back to Central Oregon this week both are going to be good. The last trip to Hosmer we found a lot of fish in the lower lake you may recall and not many at all in the channel.
Look for brook trout to be near the creek mouths and along the shore lines at 3 Creek Lake. Hot Headed Leeches, Red Ice Cream Cones and Beetles would be in my box if I could go this week!
Don’t forget about our partnership with the Justesen Ranch and the excellent private lake fishing you will find there. It’s a 2 hour drive from Bend, about the same from Portland and is just $150 a day to access some seriously awesome trout. Overnight accommodations are available too. Let us know if you want to book a date this fall, as fishing will be good there at least another month.
See you on the water.