Jeff’s Fishing Report 10/22/23

Get out there and get fishing on these last nice days of October! Sunday 10/22 through Tuesday 10/24 look to be good, Wednesday will be cooling and will probably get windy, and then Thursday and Friday I’d recommend sticking to the rivers and stay off the lakes and out of the mountains and be lower than 4500 feet which is everything except our favorite lakes.
Maybe next week we will get one last shot on the lakes? But this might be the final few days for Three Creeks, Hosmer, East, Paulina and others, although I would believe Crane Prairie, South and North Twin, Suttle and Diamond Lakes will be good for the final few days of october when some of them close for the season and in to early november for the ones that have year long regs.
The rivers in our region are mostly very solid choices and ought to remain so for quite sometime going well in to November. So let’s focus on those first:

The Metolius is fishing really well, on dries, nymphs and streamers depending on your target, the time of day and which section of river you are on.
Hatches are mostly mid afternoon occurrences with BWO’s (#18-20) and PMD’s (#16 identified yellow body with 3 tails), Cinygmula’s (#16-18 identified yellow body with 2 tails), Mahogany Duns (#16) plus good numbers of #16 Tan Caddis and #8-10 October Caddis.
Fish the complete cycles of all of these.
Mayflies will require an emerger and a dun for afternoon hatches, and don’t overlook crippled emergers during the hatch too.
Caddis hatches require a pupa to match the pre-emergent stage, and emergent pupa as a dry fly and an adult pattern during the hatch. Favorites are a Deep Sparkle Pupa, Prairie Dog Pupa, Silvey’s Edible Emerger, Iris Caddis and Henry’s Fork CDC Caddis for the tan guys that are going now, and for October Caddis it’s more simple with a Bird of Prey or other large orange pupa and either a Stimulator or large Elk Hair Caddis or even a Clark’s Stone does the trick.
There are a lot of kokanee eggs in the drift so an egg nymph is really a good nymph to use this week.
Bull Trout have been pretty consistent on larger streamers and try both methods of swinging them and stripping some of your presentations too.
I see fishing staying good on the Metolius now for the rest of the year, but the dry fly choices will be narrower once we hit November.

The Fall River is the other place I would say is going to be great for the rest of the year too. It is getting a great afternoon BWO hatch (#18-20) and these fish really require a lot of fly changes, focusing an awful lot on the emergers and cripples (RS2, Film Critic, Sprout, Sparkle Dun, Knock Down Dun) and on duns (Comparadun, Parachute, CDC Upright BWO, Smoke Jumper).
Midges and Caddis are overlooked sometimes because they are not as easy to see, but a #20-22 Black Midge Winkler, Mother Shucker, G-Gnat, Century Drive Midge and Palomino are great.
On the Caddis side, that Silvey’s Edible Emerger and an Orange or Yellow Missing Link are 2 of my favorites for the Fall.
Nymphs and Streamers and Egg are catching a whole bunch of fish on the Fall now.
I wanted to remind folks that the Fall River is BARBLESS ONLY, as I have been out there quite a bit the last few weeks and keep catching fish that have been broken off and have a barbed hook in their lip. I also had a client catch a fish on a small BWO dry fly and in the net the trout coughed up a Rubber Crappie Jig on a giant barbed red hook. C’mon people, we play by the rules and nothing else. Don’t do illegal things to catch fish. We are pretty sure we say the guy that was using the Crappie Jig and he looked like a “normal” fly angler….

The Crooked is up to 100 cfs and hopefully will remain there for fish conservation throughout the fall and winter. This is a great flow for fishing and the fish are happy now, eating all they can on BWO hatches and Midge Hatches. Small Purple Haze and Comparaduns are good because you can see them well in the white foam lines and dirtier water, but having more exacting BWO’s will serve you well on some days.
Small Perdigons, Scuds, Zebra Midges, Winklers, 2 Bits and Skinny Nelsons are quite good either fished tight under a sighter, or dead drift behind a NZ Wool Indicator.

Even with the higher flows post irrigation season the Middle Deschutes is a good place to be, just be aware of the wading challenges in some spots compared to summer.
BWO’s are the main hatch now, but I’d have PMD and Mahogany Duns (both #16) on hand too.
Most of the fish are coming on Jigs, Perdigons, Soft Hackle PT’s and Stonefly nymphs, but sculpins and euro streamers have a ton of game there.

The Lower Deschutes is good, especially for the Trout, but we are certainly running into enough Steelhead this fall to be very exciting!
For trout our guys have been doing best on larger beaded Jigs and Perdigons and Eggs. October Caddis Pupa and both Black and Golden Stonefly nymphs are good too, and swinging a leech or sculpin will get fish for sure.
With a steelhead specific approach, it is about time to go Skagit and Sink Tips and focus more on Leeches and Intruders. If you do want to swing something lighter and near the surface try an Anderson’s Euphoria or Brown Muddler. If November warms up again, this is probably going to be a strong choice, but with the cold nights coming the water temps will drop and the fish will hunker down more so the sink tip and bigger fly is the best approach when it changes like this.
For dry fly trout, look for them in the eddies and you will still find trout rising to Midges, BWO, small Spent Caddis and a few straggler PMD’s and Mahogany Duns. I’d start with a #18 Purple Haze if I was there.

I think this is the final few days to go to 3 Creeks Lake. Orange headed leeches have been good to very good. It may be frozen by this time next week.

Hosmer may also be frozen by this time next week, especially the Upper Lake and much of the Channel.
The Lower Lake should be fishable for a bit, but do watch for snow gate closures coming up, likely in early in November but maybe sooner depending on this next storm which is forecast to be juicy by some weather folks.

East Lake shoreline fishing is excellent. My friends Dean and Ilene were up there a few days ago and did really well fishing #22 Midges at the surface.
Scuds, Leeches, Red Ice Cream Cones and Chub Streamers are important.

Paulina was very good yesterday for my friend Byron who kayak’d the lake and found the Foam Bibio we sell at the shop to be more productive than my beetle. I think he was rubbing it in a bit when he texted me last night. HAHA.
Scuds, Chironomids and Pine Squirrel Leeches are high on the list to fish either under the indicator or stripped with a sinking line. When I was last up there on Wednesday we had some amazing follows on a Clear Intermediate Line and Leeches from some really large fish.

Crane Prairie has 9 days left of the fishing season (not including today) and it looks pretty rough to be there on at least 2 or 3 days coming up later this week. I love Crane in October and hope to make one more trip. Leeches, small Black Chironomids, Scuds, Water Boatman and Red Blood Worms are all good late season flies for there.

Suttle Lake becomes interesting this time of year for browns in the Link Creek area. It’ll fish for at least another few weeks there. Hard to figure out what those fish want to eat, but they are there and they are certainly enticing.

North and South Twin Lakes become great choices with late fall closures on other lakes. Balanced Leeches and Pine Squirrel Leeches fished static or stripped will produce well near the shore lines of both lakes.

Speaking of Lakes in general, Doug Pendleton is a friend of mine, and teaches fly casting lessons for us, and he is another “student” of fly fishing. He loves to learn and experiment and we pick each others brains about cool stuff like this: (XXX = Redacted)

Hi, Jeff. FYI – I fished XXX Lake for a couple of hours yesterday afternoon, where I was focused on conducting an experiment: Is the #12 Hot OR Tung. Beaded Bruises Leech really all that good? Or would the fish take a similar leech as well with one modification: a chartreuse-tung bead instead of the Hot Orange. I switched flies back and forth regularly, then put them both on the same line. The result: every fish I netted (about a dozen over the two hours) took the Hot OR-beaded fly. Every one! 

I also experimented with other lake patterns against the Bruised Leech, e.g. a Carey Special and a couple of other leech-type patterns, varying the weights and retrieves. Same result: Every fish took the Hot OR-beaded fly.

Conclusion: Either the trout in XXX Lake just have a thing for the Hot OR bead or this is a REALLY good lake fly. Or both. Since I had similar results on (another) XXX Lake a couple of days before, I’m suspecting that the #12 Hot-OR Tung. Beaded Bruised Leech is a really good lake fly. 

Hence forth, I will include the  #12 Hot OR 3.5mm Tung-Beaded Bruised Leech as one of my “Confidence” lake patterns.

Thanks for recommending it! I’ll continue to experiment and will let you know if results vary.



I have often mentioned the Orange Beaded flies in my report for the lakes, but I just loved this report that Doug shared so much I thought I would include it here for you all to enjoy as well. BTW, I was searching photos for a presentation I am putting together and found a few orange beaded olive walts worms in phots hanging off the side lip of a few nice fish. So it is also a good bead color in the rivers.

See you in the shop or out on the water.


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