March 5th Fishing Update

It’s my 3rd day back from vacation, and 2 days ago I felt more qualified to tell you the report for Lakes and Rivers in Tasmania than here at home, but I have been catching up fast, talking to my guides and my good fishing friends and have some good things to report.

Had some friends on the Fall River Sunday and Monday and there are good BWO hatches about 1 PM, with some Midges and Black Winter Stones mixed in before and after the BWO’s.
7x is quite helpful in getting the fish to take your dry fly with confidence.
Under the surface, Frenchie’s, 2 Bit Hookers and Zebra Midges have been best.

Metolius has a much better BWO hatch going on, with most of the emergence happening between 12:30 and 2:30. After that you should see some caddis hatching, although we’d recommend a pupa or soft hackle over a dry, but be prepared with a X Caddis Brown #16, or Siddac.
Golden Stone Nymphs are working well, with an Egg or small Hares Ear #18 as a dropper. Also Possie Buggers, Red Copper John, Lightning Bug, 3 Dollar Dip and Zebra Midges.
Bull Trout are taking Red Ice Cream Cones and Big White Streamers.

Crooked River is fishing really well. The river level is low, running about 50 cfs as they try to store water up in the reservoir before irrigation season begins in Mid-April. So the water is low but easy access.
In the morning and late afternoon the fish are on tiny black midges, and in the afternoon there is already a good BWO hatch going. I expect that to get better and better as we move to mid and late March!
Scuds, Cased Caddis, Zebra Midges, Thread Larva, Ray Charles, Frenchie, Skinny Nelson and Micro Mayfly.

Good fishing on the Lower Deschutes in the Maupin area too. Lightning Bugs, PT’s, 2 Bit Hookers, Sparkle Pupa, 3 Dollar Dip and Stonefly Nymphs are getting some nice redsides down river. Worth the trip.

We wish we had a spring like this when its actually spring!

Here it is, mid-winter really and we have no snow and day after day ranging from the high 40’s to mid 60’s. Oh, there have been a few days with wind, and some clouds but it really truly feels like the best spring we ever had around here.
This means fishing.
Metolius is very good. Afternoon BWO’s, Later afternoon caddis and some midges are bringing fish up to the top. It’s not mid summer dry fishing but its good for this time of year.
Nymphing, including swinging soft hackles has been good too. All the usual nymphs like golden stones, lightning bugs, copper john, psycho prince, zebra midge, micro may’s, 2 bit hookers and frenchies have resulted in fish on moments lately. Swinging with a Graphic Caddis, Stalcup’s Caddis and PT Soft Hackle has been good later in the day.

Crooked is good on small nymphs with some later afternoon midge hatches bringing fish up to the top. Zebra Midges, Skinny Nelson, Micro Mayfly, Frenchie, Midge Winkler, Griffiths Gnat, Parachute Adams #20 and Purple Haze #18-20

Fall River is interesting with how good the morning dry fly fishing is with tiny little black stones. Then is moves to BWO’s about 1:00 and midges usually about 3 or 4.
7x tippet is highly recommended.
The only nymphs we’ve found the fish really interested in are the brown micro mayfly and red zebra midge. I’m sure there are others, but for us those have been the best.

Longhollow Ranch (private lake access) is open and we are running a $100 special for all day from 9 am to 4 pm (or a little later if you want). 30 minutes from Sisters and plenty of nice rainbows to give you a tug! Typical desert lake flies, leeches, chironomids, scuds and water boatman.

Private Lake Opening/Good Weather!

For the 1st time ever, we are opening Long Hollow Ranch tomorrow (February 3rd). Today, Travis and I went out to fish with Gary at the Ranch and the lakes are in great shape and the fish were biting. The fish were also looking well conditioned. The 14-15 inches were really lively with plenty of jumps. Good times.
We were getting fish on an intermediate line with 4x fluorocarbon tippet and green bead head leeches. Besides some rainbows in the 12 to 18 inch range, we got a few largemouth bass. Can you imagine catching bass in early February? Me neither, but we did. Soft takes, but good fighters.

We are running a February special for $100 (normally $150) to fish 2 lakes all day from 9 am to 4 pm. Call (541)549-3474


We are running a February special for $100 (normally $150) to fish 2 lakes all day from 9 am to 4 pm.

If you plan to fish both lakes, bring a pontoon boat or float tube for the big lake on the west end of the 500+ acre ranch. On the Paradise Lake, at the NE corner, plan to wade the edges and bring a net!

Fishing Report Update for 1/23/18

We are seeing some weather here and there, but mostly it is good around here. Today the high right now is 48, and I think the forecast was a high in the 30’s. It’s been crazy. Still no snow at this level. None on the Metolius and none on the Fall.
So, it’s an easy winter to be out on the water and fishing is pretty good on the waters near us.
Right now it’s drizzling, tomorrow and thursday are colder in the 30’s with some snow flurries and by the weekend warming way up again to the 50’s.

Here’s what is up with our fishing:

Metolius– It’s been good for trout on BWO hatches mid afternoon and nymphs.
The afternoon hatch is coming about 12:30 to 2, maybe a little later depending on the day. Nymphs that imitate baetis are great from 10 am to the beginning of the hatch. We love Skinny Nelson’s and Micro Mayflies.
During the hatch a Purple Comparadun and a CDC Parachutes have the most legs. My friend Skip even got one on a #16 Royal Wulff a few days ago. Crazy. Love it.
The typical Golden Stone combo with a Blue Prince, Red Lighting Bug, BWO Nymphs, Snow Sedge Pupa, Serendipity, Egg’s and the trusty Zebra Midge.
I want to remind anglers that the Metolius is closed from the Headwaters to Allingham. We are seeing too many people fishing in the closed water. It is closed to protect spawning fish. Our future. Don’t mess with that please. Most people just don’t know where the closure is and it’s not on purpose, I get that. But we have a responsibility to be aware of what’s ok and what ins’t.

Crooked River– with the warmer days the afternoon midge hatch has been good from 2 or 3 until dusk. Griffiths Gnats and Midge Winklers are the ticket on 7x.
We are getting fish during the day on Zebra’s, Skinny Nelson, Micro May, Split Case, Frenchie, Ray Charles and Mighty Mite Baetis.

Fall River has as many fish in it this winter as I’ve seen in a very long time. Nice to see. BWO hatch mid afternoon is bringing fish to the top on Knock Down Duns.
Egg’s, 2 Bit Hooker’s, Skinny Nelson, Frenchie and Silver Lightning Bugs have been the best for nymphs. What I’ve found though is the fish are tough until the hatch and you have to be really persistent when nymphing. Trout are bastards sometimes. Ha.
Streamer action is also taking some fish, and Rufus patterns or sculpin patterns are getting fish. I love the chase. Streamer fishing is fun.

Lower Deschutes is open in the Maupin area and is worth fishing. It’s mostly a nymph show with a small possibility of fish rising to baetis or maybe midges in the eddies.
Stonefly Nymphs with a Lightning Bug, Worm, Green Rock Worm or Hares Ear as a dropper will be the mix you should fish.

Fishing Report for 1/10/18

We need snow and we need rain, but for the moment our winter has been pretty dry and mild. We keep looking at 4, 7, 10 and even 15 to 30 days forecasts and we hope like hell the snow piles up in our mountains soon so our lakes fill beautifully next summer and our rivers flow majestically like Oregon rivers do on good water years.
In the meantime, we enjoy these warmer days and make the best of them. Winter days like these don’t last forever so we take advantage of what we get and we fish!

The Metolius is our “home water”. We love it, and this winter is easy going out there. No snow to be seen, all roads are open from Hwy 20 to the Hatchery to Bridge 99.
I was on the river a couple of days ago and there was a nice BWO hatch bringing a few fish up on dries from about 12:30 to almost 2.
Nymphing has been solid. The usual suspects on patterns, with golden stones, lighting bugs, frenchie’s, PT’s, amber caddis pupa (for late afternoon), micro may’s, zebra midges and blue prince nymphs. Blue is an excellent winter color for nymphs!
Bull Trout fishing is good, and most have come on streamers, but in the winter a nymph like a red ice cream cone is a good bet too.

Crooked has been great, with quite a few days giving up better than average dry fly days. Mostly midges. On the Nymph side, Zebra’s, Skinny Nelson, Caped Avenger, Frenchie and Micro Mayflies have been great.
Still recommending the NZ Wool as an indicator! Or a sighter on a Czech style system.

Fall River has been good too. The fish seem to be sticking around, and there are some nice ones to catch. I haven’t been in a while but some of the guys who work here have been down recently and they are talking about good Midge and BWO hatches mid afternoon that is bringing fish up to the top. 7x is going to be your friend when that happens.
Nymphs (Frenchie, Micro May, Zebra, Skinny Nelson) and Streamers (Sculpzilla and Rufus) have been taking fish consistently too.

Looks like next Tuesday some weather change may really be happening, tomorrow (thursday 1/11/18 might be showery and windy, and then Friday through the weekend look awesome so get out and fish.


(Almost) New Year’s fishing report

We continue to have nice weather in the Sisters/Central Oregon area making getting here, getting around and fishing a lot, lot better than this time last year. The roads are clear, there is little to no snow on most of the rivers and fishing is fair to good on the big 4.
So here’s the rundown.

Metolius is always a solid winter contender and fun to fish any month, but there is something special being out there in the winter with a good lunch, a thermos of coffee and the realization it is one of the quietest times you’ll see all year.
Not much in the way of consistent hatches, a few BWO’s, some midges and mixed caddis coming off but most days the fish are not looking up much. No problem.
Nymph action is consistent with Blue Prince Nymphs, Zebra Midges, Lightning Bugs, Jigs, Eggs and Golden Stones.
Streamers have been good for trout (think smaller patterns like Sculpzilla Jr) and for Bull Trout (with the gnarly streamers and sink tips).

Crooked River is a tiny nymph show and don’t do anything but fish them slow.
Do you know how to drop shot? Have you tried a sighter instead of an indicator? If you are sticking with an indicator are you using the right kind? It makes a difference, especially in the winter.
Our favorite set up would be a FTB sighter, 6x fluorocarbon tippet, the split shot on the bottom with the first fly tied 6 to 8 inches up from the shot on a 3 or 4 inch dropper tag, then the 2nd fly 15-16 inches above the 1st fly on a 3 or 4 inch tag.
Lot’s of short cast and controlled drifts. It really works!
If not that, then use a 9′ 6x leader, cut off 18″ of the tippet end and add 18 to 20 inches of 6x fluorocarbon to the 1st fly, then add 15 to 18 inches of 6x or 7x fluoro tippet off the bend of the 1st fly to the 2nd trailer fly.
Add (or not, depending on depth) a split shot right at the tippet knot,  and up from the 1st fly about 3 to 4 feet attach a NZ Wool Indicator.
Zebra’s, Midge Winklers, Micro May’s, Scuds, Ray Charles, PT’s, Purple Caped Avenger and possibly some risers up on Midge Pupa and Adults around 2 or 3 PM.

Fall River is one of my favorite places to fish in the winter. I love poking around looking for risers. It’s going to be one of two things this time of year, BWO’s or Midges. If they aren’t rising, it can be a challenge to figure out which nymph they will eat, but often a BWO 2 Bit Hooker or Depth Charge PT with a Zebra Midge dropper. Some days they love eggs and other days they ignore the heck out of eggs. That’s Fall River for you…
When the fish are up use a 7x tippet and an emerging or crippled Midge or BWO.

The Deschutes is still a good option and with no road access problems going in and out of Trout Creek or South Jct, it adds a lot of access points to the river.
People have been catching some steelhead on the Lower River from Warm Springs to Macks Canyon.
Steelhead have mostly been caught on Sink Tips and Larger Intruder Style or A-Leech type flies.
Trout Fishing is decent. The fish are taking stonefly nymphs and lightning bugs as well as anything. Swinging Sculpins and Lead Eye Wooly Buggers is also a great bet for trout and can be quite good for Steelhead too.

I’ve been getting a lot of questions about the Middle Deschutes lately. My feeling is the water is high and cold and the Middle river is not that good this time of year. With limited day light and limited time on the water, it would not be my choice as a place to hit until spring at this point.

Christmas Vacation Fishing Update 12/15/17

Today that dang high pressure system that created the inversion for the last 2 weeks finally blew out of here. We had some winds this morning, and all the fog was gone and a much warmer air mass is sitting over us here.
So happy to be out of the freezing fog. Right now it is a balmy 45 degrees in Sisters!

This is great news for fishing the next several days.
Here is what is happening on the local rivers.

Metolius has been good for Bull Trout (Adam from the shop got 2 swinging streamers yesterday) and good for trout on nymphs. We’ve had our best success on Golden Stones, 20 inchers, Small Cheeseburgers, Mr Peacock, Oct Caddis Pupa and running an Olive Micro Mayfly, Frenchie, Zebra Midge or Soft Hackle PT (jig style is our favorite). Egg’s are slowing down a little but the fish still want to eat them.
Even during that cold snap, about 1 PM the BWO’s came off for 20 minutes or so and usually fish were poking noses up on the duns. Worth having a dry fly rod ready in my opinion, but nymphing in December is your best chance.

Crooked was cold, but even though the water was about 40 degrees the fish are eating tiny black midge larva like the thread midge and zebra midge. We’ve also been taking fish on Frenchie’s and on Scuds.
I say this every year, but when the water gets cold and low in the winter, really stop using a thingamabobber. It’s not detecting nearly enough of the strikes you are getting. Increase your numbers by going Czech style with a sighter and tight line, or go to a NZ Wool Indicator or Tiemco Foam Indicator. We will show you how to use them and where to put them on your leader for optimal success.

Fall River is good from the Hatchery to below the Falls. Some Midges and BWO’s hatching in the the afternoon around 1, otherwise it is a small nymph show with a 2 Bit Hooker or Zebra Midge being the best flies on a light 6x fluorocarbon tippet.
If the fish are rising, we recommend 7x now for best results in actually getting the (dang) fish to look at your emerger, cripple or dun. A KD Dun is a killer pattern if they are on BWO’s, and we have some awesome Fall River midges to try.

Lower Deschutes is open from Warm Springs down and is worth the day for sure. Some steelhead are being caught on sink tips and leeches, and also on Cheeseburgers and Purple Copper John’s.
The trout fishing is OK, with water temps at 46 they are pretty active and taking sculpins, stonefly nymphs, midge larva, worms, eggs (chinook spawn) and drifting caddis and mayfly nymphs doing seasonal drift patterns.

Middle Deschutes from Bend upstream to Benham Falls is good. Mostly nymphing but also with Streamers. The water is low through there and easy to access in most spots.
Downstream of Bend is a little more iffy, as the water is higher and that makes wading and access tough.
Stonefly Nymphs with a Hares Ear dropper is a good winter combo, but san juan worms, eggs, midges and PT’s are certainly flies I’d nymph now, and Sculpzilla’s on a strip or swing off a sink tip will be fun if the bigger fish come out to play.

A change to the forecast 12/9/17

A few days ago I wrote a fishing outlook that said we were headed for 50 to 54 degree days Friday thru next Tuesday.

That was the forecast on both Weather Channel’s website and our local NBC station.

Yesterday was cold and partly foggy depending on where you were in the basin. I think the high in Sisters was 26 and in Camp Sherman it just barely made it barely missed the freezing mark. Some guys from the shop went and while it was cold they got some fish on nymphs.

So, the newest forecast models now show temps in the low 30’s and mostly sunny conditions but I’ll tell you in this high pressure pattern we are in with the strong inversion layer that has formed foggy conditions could come and go very easily and that fog this time of year is quite frosty.

Just an FYI for you anglers headed our way so you know what to expect and how to dress warmly if you decide to hit the rivers.

December 7 Winter Fishing Report and Outlook

I just got home from a week in DC which included some good fishing on the Rose River in VA. Lot’s of good fish (stocked rainbows mostly) on midges.
It made me really want to get out and fish at home again, and as I look at the weather forecast for the next 5 or 6 days and talk to my friends who’ve been on the Metolius, Fall and Crooked over the last few days I will say, December fishing is looking good.

So, first look at the highs the next 5 days beginning Friday 12/8/17. It goes 51, 52, 52, 52 and even to 54 next Tuesday. If that isn’t fishing weather for December what is? Jeez, we’d take that most of March and be happy!

The Metolius is fishing well from Allingham to Gorge mostly in nymphs, although a friend told me the fish were rising to BWO’s yesterday afternoon about 1 PM.
The standard winter nymphs like stoneflies, red lightning bugs, eggs, frenchie’s, zebra midges, mercury midges, cdc guide hares ear’s, and olive micro mayflies are the best bets.
Bull Trout fishing is still good with some very big fish coming to streamers down near the hatchery and 99.

Fall River is good. I fished there before the DC trip last week and had a blast on nymphs and for a short time on BWO cripples.
It’s been good at the hatchery, the tubes and the falls.

Crooked River is also good. Water temps are getting cold now so the fish are a little more lethargic but a well drifted nymph and correctly weighted leader is still very effective to put up some numbers.
In the morning before noon start with small black (#22-24) Midge larva patterns, but after noon add some frenchie’s, #18-20 black zebra’s, olive or brown micro may’s #18, eggs and keep an eye out for the hatch of either BWO’s or Midges from about 1 to 3.

The Lower D is another option now too, especially at Mecca or South Jct for Steelhead or Trout. I’ve been watching social media over the last several days and saw quite a few steelhead caught on the Deschutes in the last week.
Do watch the fog situation coming up the canyon from the Columbia though as we are in a classic weather pattern to get locked in with a cold fog down there.

Have fun and go fish!

Thanksgiving Week Fishing Prospects in Central Oregon

It looks like we have a warm week coming up, which might change your plans from Skiing (skiing in the rain sucks!) to fishing. We have guides on the Lower D today and just got a text it was good today.
Fish are on Stonefly Nymphs with an Egg Dropper or Lightning Bug pretty well. I’d also recommend worm patterns.
We are getting trout and steelhead on pretty much the same set up.
Swinging for Steelhead is OK, we’ve seen the best results on sink tips and leeches.

The Metolius was fabulous over the weekend Czech nymphing Frenchie’s and Eggs. You could run those off a Golden Stone nymph or use some putty or shot to get down.
There have been decent to good BWO hatches. Some days the fish look up and some days they are sticking to the nymphs. Watch for risers but plan to get down.
Bull Trout fishing is pretty good now, with many of the fish still coming on big streamers like a Clark’s Rat or Candyman. If they don’t chase and eat white, go Black….or go early in the AM and nymph a big #10-12 red ice cream cone and egg.

Fall River is good, with BWO and Midge hatches from about noon to 3. I’d expect more fish rising on the Fall then the Met or Crooked. That said, excellent catches on our Lead Eyed Egg with a Red Zebra or Black 2 Bit Hooker trailed behind.

Crooked River Whitefish seem to be in full spawn mode now. Lots of eggs in the drift.
If you aren’t finding the spawning areas there won’t be many eggs in the drift, so go with a Micro Mayfly or Frenchie and run a Ray Charles as a tag.
I’ve had mixed reports on dries. Some guys are getting a few on top, but it is mostly nymphs now.
Don’t forget the tiny thread midge larva patterns and zebra midges. A midge winkler works well in the film or fished deep too. Go small on your midges from 20 to 26.