Thanksgiving Week Fishing Report 11/20/2023

Happy Thanksgiving Week to all of our friends who read the Fly Fisher’s Place reports and come fishing on all the great waters around Sisters and Central Oregon.
I am thankful for all of you….and all of those waters and the trout that live there too.

It is hard to believe how fast this year flowed by. But with most of the week looking dry and warmer, why in the world would you let this week go by and not go fishing?

The Metolius has been getting a good to very good afternoon Blue Wing OIive hatch nearly every afternoon between noon and 2:27. Haha, I am kidding on the 2:27 part, but let’s call it 2:30’ish. These BWO’s are ranging mostly in the #18 size, but certainly be prepared with 18’s and 20’s and have nymphs to fish pre-hatch, emergers and cripples and duns for the hatch and keep an eye out for spinners later in the day too, so add a #18 rusty spinner to the fly list and tuck 2 or 3 in the box.
We are still seeing the Cinygmula’s which are yellow size 16, but like the BWO’s it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have an 18 in the box too. I like a Sparkle Dun and the Thread Body Parachutes, and a Soft Hackled emerger to match these.
There have been 2 important Caddis hatches to note, Tan Caddis in the #14-16 range, and October Caddis in a #8. Pupa patterns fished as nymphs will be key to your success, but Dry Flies are good to try and make for an excellent searching pattern.
There are still a few fresh Kokanee showing up, and of course several spawned out dudes and dudette’s that are essentiality Zombie Fish of the Met. Soooooo, that means Egg’s. Really, Eggs are good all the time in the Metolius (maybe not so much in July and August) and especially good this time of year after 1000’s of kokanee have spawned.
Nymphing is hot. You can catch fish every day on the Metolius with nymphs. Besides the Egg’s and Caddis Pupa and BWO olive nymphs, definitely add some Micro Mayflies and 2 Bit Hookers to your box, and a mix of Perdigons, Walts Worms, Zebra Midges, Golden and Black Stonefly Nymphs and Blue Prince’s. BTW, did you know that Blue Flies are something the fish can see from farther away in Winter Light? Check out this quote:  “blue flies, and even purple flies, work really well for trout. An electric blue Psycho Prince is a killer pattern when the fish are finicky. A blue Latex Midge can be absolutely astounding in low, clear winter water, when trout are most lethargic. Even blue San Juan worms are the rage among some guides I know”.
Read more about here:
Bull Trout fishing has remained fair to good, but nowhere near what it was 6 to 8 weeks ago as that frenzy has expectedly slowed down.
Don’t forget that the Metolius from the Headwaters down through Camp Sherman and to Allingham Bridge is closed until May 22, 2024 to protect spawning fish. Please keep regulations in mind as you plan your trip.

The Crooked River has been so much better this fall than last fall. We are pumped to see this river coming back, and yes, some fish are a lot smaller, but bigger fish are there too.
We’ve seen good afternoon BWO hatches here too. Midges in the late afternoon to almost dark will be another reason for the fish to rise! Whitefish spawning season in now, so eggs (especially yellowish eggs that are quite small) are great.
Scuds, Zebra Midges, Winker’s, Micro May’s, Skinny Nelson and Perdigons are great. Fishing is good from Mile Post 12 all the way up to Bowman Dam.

The Fall River is also fishing well, with plenty of fish to be found in the usual places from the Headwaters to the Campground Run, to the Horseshoe Bend turnout to the Hatchery to Tubes and down to the Falls. Remember that from the Falls to the Deschutes it is closed until 5/22/24.
There have been good days of BWO’s on the Fall River as well! Knock Down Duns, RS2, KD Dun, CDC, Smokejumpers and Film Critics are good ones. Fish these on at least 6x, and 7x if you have confidence in 7x, or try the 6.5x Trouthunter as a nice compromise.
Small Streamers, including some super cool little Euro Jig Streamers are taking a fair number of fish for us. Eggs, Perdigons and an array of Tungsten Beaded small nymphs to look like Mayflies and Midges. Scuds and Caddis are occasionally important in November and going into December. That amber Caddis #14 is still coming off. Edible Emergers, Corn Fed Caddis and Orange Missing Link’s match them.

The Middle Deschutes in the Bend area, upstream of the Old Mill has been good from what I hear from some of the Bend locals. It’s been pretty much a nymph show, and the water is lower than usual for this time of year so accessibility to the riffles and runs is good. I don’t have any new updates on the fishing conditions at Steelhead Falls area but you may recall from the last report it was also exceeding averages and is likely a good spot to escape the more popular and more crowded areas this week if things get busy.

The Lower Deschutes is definitely worth fishing in the Warm Springs to Mecca and down to Trout Creek area. I know Aaron from the shop is spending this week in the Mack’s Canyon area and has send some stunning trout photos to us. He’s the Euro nymphing master (along with Mattias at our shop) and these guys are doing really well on the Lower D over the last few days and weeks.
Eggs, Perdigons, Walts, Frenchie, Stonefly nymphs, Oct Caddis Pupa and leeches are high on our list for the Deschutes now.
More access in the Maupin area up to Locked Gate and walk up from there too, and a great spot this time of year for sure.
Keep an eye out for fish looking up to BWO’s and small black Midges, especially in the eddies, but in slow margins behind a weed bed too. Too many of us forget about late fall and winter dry fly opportunities on the big river, yet it can happen in places we walk right by because goshdarnit, we are going to the nymph water!

I’m around the shop this week, and headed to Belize for one of our annual hosted trips next week. We have room for 6 more people for our April trip to Belize if you want to join us.
I’ll be back in action at home after December 3rd and will do a December update then. Looking at the 14 day planner on the Weather Channel website, it looks pretty dry and relatively warm for that time so there won’t be much skiing or sledding but fishing looks good for the time being.

Get out there!
Happy Thanksgiving friends.


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