OUR WATERS

Our Local Waters

Central Oregon is a fly angler’s paradise. With world-class river and lake fishing, trophy Rainbow and Brown trout opportunities, a diverse landscape; from tall Ponderosa Pines to Desert Canyons and the ability to chase Steelhead almost every day of the year. You are hard pressed to find an area that boasts a similar assortment of angling riches. Fin & Fire is at the heart of this fishing Mecca, centrally located right on Highway 97 in Redmond, you won’t find another shop that has the diversity of gear, knowledge and staff that will help you get the most out of our water.

 

River Flows

Our RIvers

Deschutes River
Crooked River
Metolius River

Our Lakes

East Lake
Crane Prairie Lake
Davis Lake

Fishing Forecast

 

  • Crooked River
    Winter 2016
     

    The Crooked River is Central Oregon’s most user friendly river. It is also one of its most stunningly beautiful. Located deep in a desert canyon complete incredible geology and Golden Eagles, it is relatively small water with a lot of willing, smaller fish with some larger bruisers that aren’t pushovers. While it is a river tailor-made for the beginning angler, it is challenging enough to put the seasoned veteran to the test. Rainbow Trout and Whitefish are the main species. This river fishes very well year round, but especially shines in the colder months. Midges and Blue Wing Olives in their nymph and dry imitations are must haves. Ray Charles are another go-to pattern for us. All colors are good, but light grey and tan are our favorites. This river can see a Skwala hatch late winter/early spring, so keep your eyes peeled. Early Summer through mid-Fall are defined by the prolific Caddis and Pale Morning Dun hatches. And swinging small streamers like a Ruby eyed Leech or a Hale Bop Leech in Wine, Black or Olive can earn you the largest fish in the river.

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  • Metolius River
    Winter 2016
     

    We affectionately refer to her as the “most beautiful place you’ll ever be skunked”! A gin clear spring that bubbles from the base of Black Butte, the Metolius is lined with old growth Ponderosa Pines and known for its prolific and diverse hatches. A testament to its pristine quality is that we can legally target the abundant Bull trout that call this river home. We are required to use barbless hooks and to keep the Bulls in the water, but it is one of only a handful of rivers in the lower 48 states where we can legally target this unique member of the char family. Redside Rainbows are the other main species we target on the Met. Catch & Release is the rule here, not the exception. Besides a full complement of wet and dry flies, 4 & 5wts for Rainbows and 6 & 7wts for the Bulls, and a full arsenal of fishing techniques, your “A” game is a must. These fish are wild, particular, and finicky, and don’t take lightly to poor presentations or the wrong pattern. If you haven’t caught that rising fish on the first or second pass, you won’t fool it on the 20th…..just saying. Purple Haze, CDC Caddis, October Caddis Pupa, Golden Stone nymphs, and any small red nymph is a great place to start your fly selection. Clark’s Rats and Dali Llamas are good streamers to target the Bulls.

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  • Deschutes River
    Winter 2016
     

    The Deschutes River is the backbone of Central Oregon fly fishing. It is a 252 mile river that all other Deschutes basin rivers and creeks flow into. It is a diverse, many faceted drainage that offers varying opportunities to pursue Rainbow, Brown, Brook, Bull Trout, as well as Steelhead at certain times of the year. It is broken down into 3 distinct sections that have their own personalities.

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  • Lower Deschutes
    Winter 2016
     

    The 100 miles from Pelton Dam downstream to its confluence with the Columbia River is the Lower Deschutes. This section is our Blue Ribbon water. It has a somewhat unique regulation that there is no fishing from a boat. Angler’s feet have to be on terra firma in order to fish. This regulation puts a premium on casting and wading ability. Redband Rainbow Trout and migratory Steelhead are the main species targeted. We catch an occasional Bull trout in the upper reaches of the lower river, but these are highly protected fish that need to be kept in the water and released as quickly as possible. The Lower D is world-renowned for its prolific Salmonfly hatch that occurs May through early June. As the Salmonfly hatch winds down, Caddis and mayflies become the food of choice for the trout through the Summer and early Fall months. July marks when we see Steelhead show up at the mouth of the river and begin their migration upstream to their natal spawning grounds. We fish throughout the whole 100 mile stretch for these incredible fish through the end of the year. Specific regulations apply to certain parts of this section that butt up against the Warm Springs Indian Reservation, so be sure to check the regs or contact the shop for the details. The standard flies are all relevant here with a few trick patterns that we highly recommend you have in your box. Purple Chubbies, Purple Haze, Cheeseburgers, Psycho Princes, and Silvie’s Caddis Pupa are go-to’s for us.

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  • Middle Deschutes
    Winter 2016
     

    This section is defined from Benham Falls downstream to Lake Billy Chinook. With Bend as the mid-point, this section of the river is managed for irrigation usage and sees drastic swings in flow depending on the time of year. During the irrigation season(about mid-April to mid-October), the river above Bend is flowing very high. At Bend, the main irrigation canals of Central Oregon divert most of the water into them. This means below Bend to Lake Billy Chinook sees relatively low flows with moderately easy access. In the off-irrigation period of time, the river does a flip-flop. The flow above Bend is just a trickle while the water below multiplies in size. There are some fishing opportunities above and through Bend, but most of the fishing done in this section is between Tumalo and Lake Billy Chinook. Tumalo State Park, Lower Bridge road, and Steelhead Falls are some of the more known access points. Rainbows and Brown are the dominant species. Because we target this water in its lower flow times during the late spring and summer months, our flies tend imitate Stoneflies, Blue Wing Olive and Pale Morning Dun Mayflies, Caddis, and Midges. Double Bead Peacock Stones, Prince’s, Batmen, Flashback Pheasant Tails, Hare’s Ears, Green Rock Worms, Silvie’s Caddis Pupa, Zebra Midges, and Guide’s Choice are good nymphs. Chubby Chernobyls, Purple Haze, Patriots, CDC Caddis, Gould’s Shuck Off, and Dancing Caddis are good options for dries. In low-light conditions, streamers can be very effective. Sculpzillas, Sparkle Minnows, and Near-Nuff Sculpin are good choices.

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  • Upper Deschutes
    Winter 2016
     

    This section is from its origin at Little Lava lake to Benham Falls. It includes two of Central Oregon’s noted reservoirs, Crane Prairie and Wickiup. The top 10 miles of this stretch, before the river enters Crane Prairie, is a small, meandering alpine meadow stream. This area has good walk-in access. It is open only a few months of the year, so be sure to check regulations or call the shop for the low down. Rainbow trout are the predominant species, but it’s not uncommon to catch an occasional Brown or Brookie. Attractor patterns and terrestrials are good dry flies to start with, while a golden stone nymph with a Copper John, Prince Nymph or Pheasant tail can be a deadly nymphing set-up. There is a short 1 mile segment of the Deschutes between Crane Prairie and Wickiup reservoir that has a very short window that it is open each summer. From Wickiup down, the river is much larger and dam controlled. There is limited bank access with quite a bit of private property to contend with. Boating this section is a reasonable option. There are several log jams and impassable rapids, so be sure to double check where you’re going to be fishing before you go! Brown trout are the predominant species, so throwing a streamer can be very effective.

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  • East Lake
    Winter 2016
     

    Located in the Newberry Caldera, East Lake is one of Central Oregon’s favorites. This gem sits in the top of what remains of an old volcano that blew several thousand years ago. This 1000 acre stillwater is known for its abundant callibaetis hatches, the chance of a double-digit Brown or Rainbow, and stunning scenery. East is open year round but freezes over in the winter time. Ice off, which usually occurs mid-Spring, and pre-freeze, which usually occurs mid-Fall, are the best times to target the largest fish. They are either famished after the long winter or getting ready for the imminent freeze, so are looking for big, protein rich meals. This means streamer fishing is at its finest! Clousers, Sparkle Minnows, and Sculpzillas in natural colors are great patterns to start searching with. The Hot Springs are just that, submerged springs in the southeast corner of the lake that cause this area to be the first that becomes ice free. Casting right to the edge, if not up on the ice, and beginning your retrieve can produce heart stopping results. As the spring and summer progress, you can almost set your watch to the emergence, hatch, and spinner fall of the callibaetis mayfly throughout the day. In mid-morning before the insects start to move up in the water column, trolling or pulling a wooly bugger with a callibaetis nymph as a dropper is a great way to pick up fish. Late morning is when we expect to see insects moving to the surface and the fish following them up. A parachute Adams with a Poxy-Back baetis dropped just a few inches underneath is a good technique to target cruising fish. Once we start to see noses coming up, it’s time to switch to surface patterns. Film Critics, Quigley Cripples, thorax, and sparkle duns are all must have patterns. In the late evening and early morning, when the spinner fall is happening, spent spinners are the go-to pattern for sipping fish. We see the mayfly hatches in the shallower parts of the lake. Along the east edge of the lake between the cliffs south in front of the resort to the Hot Springs, turning west in front of East lake Campground over to the White Slide is the better mayfly water. Running 2-3 chironomids underneath an indicator is also a good play. Jumbo JuJu Chironomids, Yankee Buzzers, and Chromies are a few of our favorites. Throwing streamers at the submerged hump in the northwest part of the lake, and all along the north bank can produce also.

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  • Crane Prairie Lake
    Winter 2016
     

    Crane Prairie is arguably Central Oregon’s most famous lake. It is formed from the damming of Cultus Creek, Quinn River, the Deschutes River, and several submerged springs. The meadows these rivers flowed through were flooded, so the skeletons of old trees are still standing in a good portion of the lake. This rich ecosystem is great habitat for insects, specifically Dragonflies, Damselflies, and Midges, to exist and thrive. All these bugs make great fish food. Crane is known to grow football shaped rainbows affectionately known as Crane-Bows. You can find some good sized Brook trout and largemouth bass also, but the Crane-Bows are king. The reservoir is open from late April through the end of October. Early season has you searching this 3000 acre lake with minnow and leech imitations. Thin Mints, South Twin Specials, Sparkle Buggers, and Ruby-Eyed Leechs are a few good options. The fish tend to be spread out in the colder water so be prepared to move around to find fish. As the spring and summer progress, this very shallow lake(about 15’ at it’s deepest) warms up quite a bit. It’s not uncommon to see surface temperatures exceed 70 degrees. These warmer water temperatures cause the fish to seek the deepest, coldest areas of the lake. Since the lake isn’t very deep, these areas are far and few between. The springs are closely held secrets, so don’t expect to easily get those locations, but the deepest edges of the old river channels are a bit easier to locate. Depth finders can help you locate these places, or look for the old river channel through the still standing timber if you don’t have electronics. Target the outside edges of the submerged river beds with huge chironomid patterns just a foot off the bottom. Slip bobbers are a must when you’re deep chirono-bobbering in this way. Ice Cream Cones and Jumbo JuJu Chironomids in the biggest sizes and all the colors are the patterns we rely on. As fall progresses and the water cools back down, the fish start dispersing and looking to pack on some weight for the impending freeze during the winter. Go back to those bugger patterns and be sure to throw some Carey Specials into the mix.

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  • Davis Lake
    Winter 2016
     

    The southern most of our Century Drive lakes, Davis is one of a few of the “fly fishing only” bodies of water in the state. It is open year round, but does freeze over and access is very limited by snowed in roads in the winter time. This lake was once known specifically for its trophy sized rainbow trout, but largemouth bass illegally introduced many years ago have found a home and grow to tremendous sizes. There aren’t too many places out there where you have the chance to catch 10lb rainbow trout and bass in the same lake! The “fly fishing only” designation means we have to fish barbless, regardless of species we’re targeting. All trout need to be released unharmed as quickly as possible, but there is no limit on the number of bass you can keep. They make phenomenal fish tacos, by the way. The two species have distinct areas of the lake where you’re most likely to find them. The bass like the northern parts of the lake. You can target them along the lava flow that forms the north edge of the lake, the tully islands in the NW corner, the northern third of the west edge, and along the reed lines on the NE side. Hare Grubs, crawdad imitations, natural colored Dali Lamas, poppers, and rattle frogs are all good patterns to throw. Davis’s super weary trout tend to like the southern part of the lake in and around the Odell inlet and channel. Note that Odell channel upstream of the boat ramp at West Davis Campground is considered the creek, so is only open from the end of May to the end of October. Stealthy approaches, long casts, and fine tippet are required for a chance to fool these wary fish. Straight-lining Chironomids(no indicator, just a very slow hand retrieve), Ruby Eyed leeches, Hale Bop leeches, damsel nymphs, and nymph and adult callibaetis patterns will get you in the game.