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.

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.

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!

Metolius fishing report 11/2/17

anglers, don’t forget the seasonal closure took effect on 10-31-17 so as of yesterday the river is closed a short distance from the Headwaters down through Camp Sherman to the Allingham Bridge. This is closed to protect spawning fish and has been a big help in creating the wild trout fishery the river has become since they stopped stocking in 1995.

From Allingham to Gorge the nymph action is good with BWO’s coming off about 2 PM right now.
In the late afternoon October Caddis are hatching, and while we prefer the pupa pattern every once in a while the fish will smack a big dry.

The Gorge to Candle Creek (below 99) is good and offers the best Bull Trout opportunity and good dry fly action mid day on BWO, Cinygmula, a few straggler PMD’s and Mahogany Duns. I expect after this cold front that is hitting us that cinygmula’s will be around for another week or so, and then just BWO’s for the rest of the winter mixed with Oct Caddis, Snow Sedge and Silver Stripe Sedge until March. Oh, and Midges although I rarely take fish on the surface with Midge patterns on the Metolius the Zebra Midge is a total go to pattern.

As we move into deep fall and winter fishing stonefly nymphs and eggs become staples along with caddis pupa and small mayfly nymphs. Some days a small nymph with pizzazz works way better than a more natural fly. An example of this is the Red Lightning Bug. Its a hot Metolius fly and has been for years.

Bull Trout fishing remains good most days. We’ve got some great (big) streamers for your success on these fish and can also make you a sweet custom cut sink tip if you need to get deep.

Metolius River fishing report 10/24/17

I was on the river yesterday after the big weekend storm. The river was very slightly off color and not noticeably higher although the gauge shows the river a few hundred cfs higher than normal. Its a big enough river to absorb that small percentage of flow to not be too noticeable .

It was glorious out there. Fall Colors! Incredible Autumn Light! Plenty of spawning Kokanee and a lot of fish rising to PMD’s in the afternoon. Besides PMD’s there were quite a few Baetis, a few mahogany duns, mixed Cinygmula’s, even a couple of Drakes which got slammed along with a few October Caddis that also got hit hard.
We did best on a Yellow Knock Down Dun and PMD Parachute and Sparkle Dun.

I’m getting good reports of nymph success from Allingham to Gorge on October Caddis Pupa and Eggs.

Bull Trout fishing continues to be good, and we expect the streamer fishing to be rocking for most of the winter. What I find later in the winter is the BT’s start liking small red nymphs a lot and can often be fooled better with those (Ice Cream Cone, Lightning Bug, Copper John, Zebra Midge) over streamers but it’s day by day and your choice. Right now, they are meat eaters so keep up the streamer chucking.

Metolius River fishing report 10/12/17

We sure have some good autumn weather in the Sisters area today and we love it. Afternoon mayfly hatches are rocking! As are October Caddis.

PMD’s are not done yet but they are mixing in with our other yellow fall mayfly, the cinygmula. No worries, as the same fly patterns are a good match for both if you can’t tell them apart. PMD’s have 3 tails, and Cinygmula’s have 2 tails so that is an easy way to tell at a glance.
Blue Wing Olives are really rolling in the afternoon.
I am surprised, but as of the last 2 days we are still seeing Green Drakes on the water about 2 PM. This can’t last too much longer but enjoy it while it does and be prepared for it with some Film Critics and Sparkle Duns.

October Caddis Pupa is a strong choice on nymphs to fish now. Also Frenchies, Black Zebra Midge, our 2 Tungsten Bead CDC Red Lightning Bug and CDC Hares Ears.
Plus (++++!!!!) Eggs. Lots and Lots of eggs.

Bull Trout Fishing is very strong with most fish coming to big white or big black streamers. Definitely worth the effort but seriously bring a 7 or 8 weight to do this. Also, a single hand rod (in my opinion) is a better Metolius tool than a switch or spey from the standpoint of wadeability and being able to stay out in the river far enough from the bank to form a D Loop. I prefer a good 9 1/2′ to 10′ 7 or 8 weight.

 

Metolius River fishing report 9/15/17

Drakes and Flav’s in the afternoon from the Canyon to Below 99, also some good reports of Golden Stones all over the river from 99 to Tract C with the Clarks Stone taking some nice fish this week.
Today there were a lot of little olive stones on the water and fish were on them.
PMD, Mahogany Dun, BWO, lot’s of caddis will round it out for you to match what could be 8 to 12 different hatches throughout the day. A dry fly anglers dream….but some days very challenging to match. Yesterday the fish pounded drakes. Tuesday they preferred flav’s.
No better game to play than that in my opinion.

Have fun.