Good morning from Sisters, Oregon.
It’s been cold for several days and things have changed a bit because of that. I did a mid-week lakes update because of the below average temps and snow earlier this week. Nothing changed much here, but I do think East Lake wade fishing access this week should be fun, tubing N or S Twin, fishing the west end of Suttle for browns and maybe an afternoon session at Crane while it is open for 3 more days. Crane closes at dusk on Halloween but the others here are open as long as access and ice allow us to get on the water. At some point, water temps will hit lows that the fish just hunker down, but it does look like the 10 day forecast has some more average days coming….
This weekend I am focusing on the rivers, and for those of you wanting to book a guided trip in November we are once again running a fall special in November. Float Trips on the Lower Deschutes from Warm Springs to Trout Creek & McKenzie Rivers will be $500 for up to 2 anglers (reg $650) and Walk and Wade Trips on the Fall or Crooked Rivers will be $400 for up to 3 anglers (reg $540). Trips include flies, rods, rental waders and the boaters pass for the Deschutes trip. You provide a ODFW license and your own lunch.
The Lower Deschutes is fishing well for trout, and we are certainly finding a good number of Steelhead around in the WS to TC drift.
A very important reminder that the Warm Springs Tribal Side closes on November 1st and that means when you fish from WS to TC, you can only fish the east side of the main channel. Watch that carefully because it is strict closures on the tribal side starting 11/1/23 and doesn’t open again until 4/22/24. Warm Springs at the Guardrail Hole, the WS Boat Ramp, Mecca, Trout Creek, South Jct are all open, and floating WS to TC has tons of access east of the main channel at those points and on quite a few of the islands and gravel bars we all like to stop to fish.
Stonefly nymphs both Black #4-10 and Golden #8-10, October Caddis Pupa #8, Tan Caddis Pupa #16, Perdigons, Jigs, Copper John, Blue Psycho Prince and Juju or Micro Mayfly Baetis will do the trick.
There are fish nosing up in the eddies, and a BWO emerger or dry #18 will be best, Purple Haze #16-18, Fin Fetcher Caddis #16-18 and Black Midge Winkler #18-20.
I’m not saying I wouldn’t try a scandi and a traditional steelhead fly like a green butt skunk or euphoria, but likely with the cooler nights the action will be better now on your skagit and sink tip rigs and a leech or intruder for the rest of the fall when swinging for steelhead.
Take advantage of our Fall Guide Trip special and save $150 off peak season prices for the month of november!
The Metolius was slower on the dry fly bite last week was the report I got from several friends. I’d guess that was due to the weather change, the cold, the strong and bright full moon and the transition that happens this time of year when the “summer hatches” finally give up the ghost and it moves to “fall/winter” mode.
I expect this week to see good Cinygmula Mayfly #16-18 hatches mixed in with the BWO’s #18-20, some Tan Caddis #16, October Caddis #8 and probably the last gasp of PMD’s for the year.
What was not slow last week despite lack of fish looking up was fish feeding on nymphs! Bring your nymph rod and your dry fly rod for sure, and this time of year I like to carry a 3rd rod for Bull’s, or just go and focus on the Bull Trout and bring the 8 weight and get dirty.
Today (Sunday 10/29) and Monday and Tuesday are your last 3 days to fish the river from the Headwaters down to Allingham. Don’t forget that upper river closes to protect spawning fish on November 1 and opens again May 22nd. Every year people get lost, or don’t care, or don’t read the reg’s and fish up there anyway. Let’s do better. The Met needs that sanctuary!
Our staff peeps Drew and Sequoia have been putting in some time on the Crooked and it is fishing nicely and running at a beautiful 100 cfs. They were getting quite a few fish on a small October Caddis colored Chubby! it was used as his indicator but the fish loved it. How cool is that.
At 100 cfs the nymphing can take on many forms, including euro, drop shot, indicator, dry dropper and swinging.
Mainly Zebra Midges, Rainbow Warriors, Skinny Nelson, Micro Mayflies and 2 Bit Hookers to match the size and color of the Baetis nymphs, but Scuds, Winklers, Leeches, Red Copper Johns and PT’s will be good too.
Afternoon hatch times will get fish looking up to BWO #18, Purple Haze, Orange Foam Elk Hair Caddis, Stimultors and very small Black Midges #20-24. 6x and 7x tippet are recommended for the BWO and Midge hatches.
Don’t forget that we are offering a Fall Guide Trip special on the Crooked and Fall for $400 for up to 3 anglers to share a guide.
The Fall River is getting a really fun afternoon hatch of BWO’s #18-20 and you definitely need to have emergers, cripples and adult duns to match that, and be fishing NYLON 6x and 6.5X and 7X if you want to fool more fish.
Nymphing with an Egg, 2 Bit, Micro May, Red Zebra or Black Double Wire Zebra, Perdigon, Jig, Slumpbuster or Soccer Mom has been fantastic.
Also a reminder that the river from the Falls upstream to the Headwaters is open year round, and from the Falls downstream to the Deschutes is closed for Winter access. I’m not sure why ODFW does this? It makes sense on the Met with 100% wild fish. On the Fall, it is incongruent with ODFW’s policies on Brown Trout. I love Browns and would protect them in the entire basin with better reg’s, but ODFW seems like they want them out of the our rivers, including out of the Deschutes. That whole spawning tributary protection being done is strange if they actually don’t want Browns Trout to keep succeeding in the Upper D basin. Also, the whole fish rescue thing at Lava Island (while I 100% support that) is again rescuing a whole bunch of brown trout in the grand scheme of the effort. ODFW is sometimes quite the mystery to me.
The Middle Deschutes near Steelhead Falls continues to fish well this week and should be good for another couple of weeks until water temps drop more. Streamer fishing is great, and nymph action is definitely going to be your best bet. Focus a lot on Stonefly and small Mayfly Nymphs and Euro Streamers.
The Mckenzie is still a hot spot for some of the FFP guides. Troy is there today and tomorrow and it is fishing great.
Make sure to take advantage of that $500 float trip special in November and get a trip, especially looking at the forecast for the next 7 to 10 days.
In November Drew is opening the shop at 8 am on Saturday and WE WILL BE OPEN SUNDAY with Sequioa taking the reins from 8 AM to 3 PM. Normally we close sundays in the winter, but we are going to try it in November and December, and thought with the Daylight Savings Time ending next weekend it will be light an hour earlier and we will be there to see the anglers on their way to the river in the morning as they stop and get coffee and scone next door and flies and tippet from us!
See you in the shop and on the water. I have a bunch of days scheduled to be in the shop in November also so I really look forward to being there and seeing those of you I miss during the guide season.