We have been out to the Crooked River a few times recently. Although the bigger fish have been hard to find, fishing has been good for smaller trout. Nymphing the small stuff remains the most consistent producer. The fish seem to be concentrated so if you are not finding any players, look for another spot. Small nymphs such as Zebra Midges, Pheasant Tails and the Ray Charles have been good. Use your smallest most sensitive indicators and if you haven't tried the New Zealand Indicator stop by and pick one up. Dry fly fishing has been sporadic but often good in areas where the wind is not too heavy. The famous Purple Haze always seems to be the go-to for many of the Crooked regulars but there's nothing wrong with a Parachute Adams either. If you are a hatch-matcher, small midge adults (dries) and emergers are really what they are eating as we haven't seen many mayflies on the surface. The late winter and spring blue wing olive hatches aren't too far off on the horizon. Read More
Metolius River Report
Saturday December 29th, 2018
We are having another dry (and warm) winter so access along the Metolius is excellent so far. Although hatches are spotty at this time of year, we are seeing some small blue-wing olives and a few yellow mayflies popping on the surface, usually around 1pm. Rise activity is infrequent but the fish gobble the nymphs and emergers pretty well for a short time each day. Euro-nymphing will produce some good numbers if you find the right spot.
Bull trout fishing is excellent right now with many bulls, including some very large ones, being caught. In some of the more pressured parts of the river, the bulls can get pretty stale and get hard to fool. Please make sure you are fishing barbless as I am seeing some bulls with hook scars caused by barbed hooks. Many sections of the river see little pressure and the bulls in these areas will be much more receptive to a large streamer and nymphing can be amazing. White is a great color as are olive, black, bright blue and pale yellow. Bulls generally don't move very far for their meals so plan on getting the streamer or nymph down and in front of their face and make that first cast count. Sloppy presentations usually cause Bull Trout Lockjaw and eventually the fish will hunker down in some deeper water to avoid the disturbance.
El Pescador Lodge, Belize
Thursday December 27th, 2018
El Pescador is located on Ambergris Caye island just north of Belize City. I stayed at this lodge this December and felt like I was home. Upon first arrival, a taxi service picked us up from the airport and shuttled us over to an awaiting shuttle boat. The staff was great and handed us our first complimentary beverages as we water taxied to the resort. We were greeted by the awaiting staff at the dock and assisted us with our luggage. They checked us in and gave us a quick tour of the facility.
Immediately upon arrival, I understood why Orvis endorsed this lodge as the 2017 International Lodge of the Year. Their main lodge offers 14 guest rooms offering 2 queen beds or 1 king bed, plus a small sitting area with air conditioning. All rooms are beachfront and are located near 1 of the 3 pools There is also the option to rent the Villas which can accommodate larger groups. Inside their store are dozens of loaner Orvis H3 rod/reesl to utilize on a first come basis. Parked at the dock were 10 skiff’s waiting to take the next group of fishermen out. After getting all checked in, the General Manager Rob Woodruff explained about the lodge, where we would be fishing, and what to expect for the coming days. Did I mention this is an all inclusive! 3 meals a day, hors d’oeuvres, local soda’s, beer, and rum. Complimentary use of their sea kayaks for DIY fly fishing, bicycles, casting lessons, wifi, pools, pool table, and shuffleboard. Golf carts are the primary use of transportation and available onsite for a daily/weekly charge. El Pescador offers a special for 2 for 1 rate from June 15th to December 14th.
Bonefish, tarpon, snook, and permit were all present every day and I had dozens and dozens of shots at them each day. We didn’t have to travel far to get them, about a 10 minute boat ride first thing in the morning. Other fish like snapper, jacks, barracuda were other species t were caught while I was there. The lodge specializes in fly fishing, but light tackle and reef fishing are available, with the guides and boats on hand to make it happen.
This Belize fly fishing trip is one of the best destinations for your first or advanced saltwater flats fishing trip. The local guides are experienced instructors and there are plenty of fish. El Pescador has a fishing director on staff to help you get the hang of casting 8-weight through 12-weight rods. If you forgot a fly or lost your favorite, the lodge has a wide assortment of flies to purchase on site. What really intrigued me, was this was one of the best destinations in the Caribbean to have an opportunity to catch a grand slam or a super grand slam; catching a bonefish, permit, tarpon, and a snook in the same day.
El Pescador Lodge is much more than a fly-fishing lodge. There are many other activities offered, from snorkeling in the warm waters of a marine preserve, to visiting Mayan ruins, to kayaking among the protected mangrove lined lagoons, to scuba diving. There is no friendlier, better-organized, or more welcoming lodge anywhere in Belize and the staff goes out of its way to treat you as a valued guest. This is a great destination to travel to if you looking to bring your significant other, or just want to bring your fishing buddy.
Please let me know if you have any questions about the El Pescador program as I highly recommend it! ----Nate Hadfield
Lower Deschutes River Report
Monday December 3rd, 2018
Fishing pressure has been very light on the Warm Springs to Trout Creek section of the Deschutes. Weak steelhead returns have obviously influenced the reduction in angling pressure but trout fishing remains solid. Even though steelhead fishing is spotty, trout spey fishing is a solid option to get out on the water you love during a peaceful time of year. Covering water with a 3 or 4 wt. trout spey during the winter is lots of fun and surprisingly productive. Most of the fish have moved into some of the slower seam water and out of their fast-flowing summer haunts. Set your trout spey up with a skagit-type head such as the OPST Commando, SA Skagit Lite or an Airflo Scout. Any of these heads matched appropriately with your rod will get the job done. Use as least some t-8 or heavier sink-tip to get down and you need to get down as the fish don't move as aggressively as they do earlier in the year. Flies to look at using would include the Mini-Loop Sculpin, Near Nuff Sculpin and Sculpzillas. The eats are awesome, the trout often jump right after the hook-up and they will give you a good battle on a light enough rod.
Nymphing remains the most popular technique to fool Winter Deschutes fish and Euro-Nymphing tactics continue to show great results. Egg patterns are always in play this time of year in the Warm Springs area. One of our guys did really well this week on caddis nymphs however so don't hesitate to show some of your confidence flies at them either. Remember, the entire river bordering the Warm Springs Reservation closes to all fishing at the end of the year until late April, so go get your licks in now!
Crooked River Report
Sunday November 18th, 2018
The Crooked is at a low 50 CFS for the winter and will likely remain at that flow for some time. We are having good days for bows and whities right now as the fish are pretty concentrated. The Zebra Midge/Ray Charles combo is working well as are small Black Parachute Midges and the Gould's Shuckoff BWO or a BWO Thorax dry in size 18 or 20. Small peach, orange or chartruese Egg patterns are also a top producer as the whitefish are putting a lot of protein in the river during their spawn. If you have a cold morning to start the day have a nice big breakfast and some extra coffee as the best hatches will usually be later in the day when the sun warms up the water a bit.
Lower Deschutes River Report
Tuesday November 6th, 2018
A warm October has transitioned into a very pleasant early November. Both trout and steelhead fishing on the Lower Deschutes remains pretty good. Of course, you will need to work hard to find a steelhead this year but low pressure on most sections of the Deschutes means you can confidently fish the pieces of water you believe in. Steelhead are being caught from the Warm Springs area down to the mouth and the fish seem to be pretty spread out. We are not seeing many big number days but quite a few anglers are covering water and hitting a fish per day or so. Both swing tactics and nymphing is producing and some of the fish are still being caught with dryline tactics and muddlers or hairwings. Of course, swinging with 10 or 12 feet of T-8 to T-11 sink tips will be the most popular way to roll. Many different color flies can trigger an eat but by far the black and blue flies we carry seem to be the most popular this year. The Aqua Flies Hartwick's Marabou Tube and the Stu's Ostrich Mini-Intruder have accounted for quite a few fish this fall.
Trout fishing is solid. Mostly nymphing with stonefly nymphs with mayfly droppers or egg patterns. Chinook are spawning right now and an egg pattern may be the ticket for a successful day. Swinging streamers is also pretty good. We like Sculpzilla's in Natural or White this time of year but other sculpin patterns and Brett's Klamath Intruder work well. Run that cast straight across the current and put a big mend in it to get that fly to sink. A lot of the fish will eat as the fly gets down and is just starting to swing across the current. We don't get many redsides to eat a stripped fly but they love the dead-drifted and the swinging fly. If you haven't fished a trout spey rod on the Deschutes come on down and pick one up. We have a 4wt. Redington Hydrogen Trout Spey with reel and matching line available to rent if you would like to give it a go for a day.
Lower Deschutes River Report
Monday, October 22nd, 2018
Warm fall weather, hungry trout fattening up before the winter and the occasional steelhead livening things up has made for a fun October. Water temp's remain in the low 50's so both trout and steelhead are active. A recent trip up from the mouth last week yielded a few solid summer-run fish. Angling traffic was light and we could swing almost any run we wanted. Fish ate hairwing flies paired with Airlfo Rage Heads and Polyleaders in the mornings and Black and Blue marabou flies in the afternoon tossed on Skagit's and sink-tips.
Our trout fishing on the Warm Springs to Trout Creek section is good right now. We are not seeing much in the way of dry fly fishing but of course have a couple October Caddis and Purple Haze dries on hand. Most of our success in on stonefly nymphs such as the Double Bead Peacock stone and droppers such as pheasant tails, green rockworms and the Split Case PMD. If you are mainly targeting steelhead (reports have improved recently) size up on the leader a bit and add a little bigger dropper fly in the size 8 to 12 range. Lightning Bugs, Pheasant Tails and Egg patterns are good steelhead nymphs on this section of river. Don't forget the Tribal side of the river closes on October 31st, but the rest of the upper river remains open until the end of the year.
Metolius River Report
Tuesday, October 16th, 2018
October is a fantastic time to try your luck on the Metolius. Whether its to chase the big bulls that are feasting on egg patterns or streamers or to chase the wily native rainbows, a trip to the Metolius will be rewarding.
When chasing bulls look for concentrations of the spawning kokanee and fish near them in side channels and runs with structure. The kokanee are spawning for the next couple weeks so small egg patterns are excellent. Large streamers that imitate dying kokanee are also very effective. The Black and White Dolly Llama in size 2 is a go-to pattern.
The next couple weeks will also have good numbers of rainbows eating midday in specific locations on various mayflies. Blue-wing olives are a staple item in the rainbow diet but be on the lookout for Mahogany Duns in size 14/16 also. October Caddis are bouncing around over the water and are a great meal. Fishing the nymph version is most effective however and can trigger an aggressive eat as the fly is rising in the water column. Fall colors are in full effect and the summer crowds have diminished. Go out and enjoy the river!
Crooked River Report
Sunday, September 30, 2018
Solid fishing out on the Crooked right now. The water was recently lowered to 125 CFS and its running surprisingly clear. The standard midge rigs have been working well and when you find one fish you often find a bunch of them. We also saw some really nice fish caught this past week. Some afternoons are bringing big groups of fish to the surface slurping down PMD's. If they are eating dries we switch over pretty quickly to throw dires but we have had some afternoons where rising fish were sparse so we stayed subsurface. Another great way to fish for the next month or so is to throw a hopper-dropper rig. Use smaller profile hoppers for best results and cover water efficiently. You will often find one or two very nice fish that want to eat the hopper at the top of the run downstream of the faster and more riffly water. Fall is a great time to hit the Crooked if you are looking for an afternoon fix!
Lower Deschutes River Report
Sunday, August 26, 2018
Steelhead fishing is in full swing now on the lower sections of the Deschutes. Most of the best fishing is in the Mack's to the Mouth section but we are also finding fish in the Pine to Mack's section and even a few upstream. Swinging the fly you have confidence in, covering water and hitting the early morning and evening sessions hard will give you the best chances at hooking a steelhead. With the afternoon thermals kicking in on most days try the Airlfo Rage Head to give yourself consistent turnover of your fly. Although the Substation Fire wreaked a tremendous amount of havoc on the lower river, the cooler temperatures make the environment a little more comfortable than a few weeks ago. Look for some more consistent reports of steelhead in the Warm Springs to Maupin area filter in the month of September.
Trout fishing in our Warm Springs to Trout Creek section has held up pretty well but dry fly fishing is hit-or-miss. Evenings still produce some noses up in some areas and in the mornings some fish can be found up top. Most of the easy-to-hit areas have some picky fish so 5x tippet would be a good idea. 6x will definitely get you more eats but it's awfully tough to stop an 18" redside on the run with 6x. Nymphing small stonefly nymphs with small mayfly patterns such as a pheasant tail or split case pmd will make the bobber go down regularly on most days.
One of the things that we really have talked about in the shop a bunch this summer has been the importance of tippet protection on the Deschutes when fishing small dries. Moderate action rods or Fast action rods with softer tips provide so much more tippet protection than standard fast rods. The difference is really noticeable on the Deschutes where the native fish are strong but still picky. We have more than a dozen different demo rod models in our fleet in 5 and 6 wt.'s and by far the best rod for taming big trout on the Deschutes that eat small dries on light tippet is the G. Loomis NRX LP in the 5wt. Regular fast action rods are awesome for all around fishing including throwing big dries (Chubby's!) and double nymph rigs but the amount of break-offs we got on the small dries were reaching unacceptable proportions. The other rod that is awesome for small dries on the Deschutes is the Scott G-Series rod in the 5 or 6 wt. The Loomis NRX- LP and Scott G Series may not be our first choice when throwing the big heavy stuff but if you find yourself throwing small bugs for big trout stop into the shop and test cast these or we have a NRX LP matched up with a Nautilus ready to rent.
Metolius River Report
Sunday, August 26, 2018
From now though late October is one of the best times each year to hit the Metolius. Not only are the bulls moving around the system on their way to the spawning tributaries some of the best dry fly fishing of the year is in the coming weeks. PMD's, Caddis, Rusty Spinners in the evenings and assorted stoneflies including the Little Olive Stone are on the menu. If you see a small "caddis looking bug" flapping it's wings as its stuck in the surface film that's usually the Little Olive Stone and the trout really key in on it. The classic Henryville Caddis and Hemingway Caddis in size 16 or 18 are your best bet to fool a fish or two. Some larger stones are also in the mix and it's not a bad time to throw a small chubby chernobyl in purple or a Peacock Parachute PMX in likely looking spots.
Crooked River Report
Sunday, August 26, 2018
Crisp and cooler air has triggered excellent hatches of PMD's on the Crooked. The afternoon dry fly fishing is excellent right now and evening spinner falls can keep the fun rolling till dark. Use size 16 and 18 PMD Winger Parachute's, Sparkle Duns and HatchMatcher's are good right now. Nymphing is very good also. The Split Case PMD and the Two-Bit Hooker are good as well as Zebra Midges, Winker's Midges and JuJu Midges. Another fun way to fish the Crooked this time of year is run a small hopper pattern (size 12 is good) with a small beadhead hanging on about 18 inches of 5x tippet off the bend of the hook.
Lower Deschutes River Report
Friday, August 10, 2018
The dog days of August are upon us out on the Deschutes but fishing remains fair to good with nymphing the most productive method. Although we haven't landed any steelhead on the day stretch (WS-TC), a couple of very large fish hooked have smoked our clients pretty well so we believe they must have been early returning chrome. This is a good time to fish a larger nymph as part of a two nymph rig with the chance to hook and land one of the early returning steelhead which are entering the day stretch. Small nymphs to try would include the Green Rockworm, Guide's Choice Hare's Ear, and the Dirty Bird. Small flashy nymphs such as a red Copper John and the Batman nymph are also shop favorites. Caddis dry fly fishing was excellent from mid June through early August this year. We expect there still to be some good opportunity in the back eddies and seams over the next month on the dries. Low light periods will continue to be the most productive times. Small low-riding caddis dries such as the X2 caddis should be in every anglers box for the next month.
Steelhead fishing from the Mack's Canyon area to the mouth is in play despite the serious damage to the vegetation caused by the Substation Fire a couple weeks ago. Shade is at a premium this fall as much of the river corridor was scorched. Pressure has been fairly light so far. Now is the time to break out the Scandi heads and hariwings and fish hard in the mornings while monitoring the afternoon water temps., which have been running very warm and are dangerous for catch and release fishing with our precious wild steelhead stocks.
Crooked River Report 8/10/2018
Friday, August 10, 2018
The Crooked is holding up pretty well despite the recent heat wave. Our guides are reporting good fishing on nymphs through the day and some fun topwater opportunities in the afternoon (in some areas). Small PMD nymphs, especially the Split Case PMD, as well as sparsely tied Pheasant Tails and the Panty Dropper PMD nymph have been excellent below small strike indicators in the riffles and runs. The Zebra Midge/Ray Charles combo has been hit-or-miss but it's a staple out there. The dry fly fishing in the afternoon has been primarily fueled by some nice PMD hatches. We like the Winger Parachute PMD in #16 and #18 as well as the Gould's Shuckoff PMD and Purple Haze's. If you find some picky fish downsize the leader to 6x and/or try one of the sparse PMD nymphs or a midge emerger off the back. The midge emergers seem to fool some of the picky fish you will encounter in the afternoon and evening.
Lower Deschutes River Report 7/24/2018
Tuesday, July 24, 2018
We are quietly having one of our best summer in years on the Lower Deschutes River. The dry fly fishing ranges from good to "are you kidding me good" on most days. The caddis hatches bring many great Deschutes Redsides up top and chowing down on various caddis dries and emergers. Focus on smaller sizes from here on out. Size 16 is good. Size 18 seems to be in the zone right now. You are going to find a few fish that might eat just about anything but put the odds in your favor. Sparkle pupas and the CDC Bubbleback Caddis are outfishing the dries right now. Fish a dry such as the X Caddis with a Pupa off the back and you will see the light. We have played around with a lot of leader/tippet combos this year but know that 4x is pretty heavy. Use 5x will get you many more eats but risk breaking off many more. 4.5X Trouthunter has been very good to us this year.
Nymphing remains good, but quite frankly, when the big heads are up sipping, the nymph gets put away. There are some days where the dry game slows down and the bobber rod comes back out. Fluorocarbon tippet is good. Again, use 4x to 5x tippet in most situations. We may even have to resort to 6x but we have not done so this year. Soft hackles, various caddis pupa such as Silvey's Beadhead Caddis and small attractors like the Batman nymph and Red Copper John are good choices right now. Don't hesitate to try a zebra midge either. Swinging a sculpin has also been very good. So few people are trying it but those that do usually can be seen grinning from ear to ear.
Steelhead are showing up down low. Enough to give you a chance to get the spey rod flexing. We had several guides on the the Mack's to the Mouth section the day that the Substation Fire blew up and the photos are shocking but nature is resilient. We think fishing is going to be pretty good this year. We are steelheaders so we are hopeful. We are booking trips now for the months of August through November so if you are looking to crack the code make sure to give us a call and let's make it happen!
Crooked River Report 7/24/2018
Tuesday, July 24, 2018
The small nymph game continues to be our best way to get onto good numbers of trout out on the Crooked. We have been doing quite a bit of guiding out there this summer through our Trout School 101 and our clients are having a great time learning how to catch fish. Our starting 5 would include Zebra Midges in Black, Winkers Midge, Ray Charles, JuJu Midges and the Two-Bit Hooker. Keep them small and sparse and you will find some fish. We are starting to see a few hoppers also. The hopper bite can be inconsistent but look for some fish to gobble a hopper in the late afternoon if some wind picks up. We find a lot of fish at the top of the runs willing to eat a hopper. If you feel like it run a Zebra Midge off the bend of the hopper hook and cover water. Small midge dries and purple haze's in sizes 16 to 20 are also great flies to have right now.
Lower Deschutes River Report 7/14/2018
Saturday, July 14, 2018
July is a great month to try your hand at some of the most rewarding but technical trout fishing the Deschutes offers. It can be a little easier during the last 45 minutes or so after the sun sets when the trout come in close to feed on caddis and the occasional mayfly spinner fall. When you see the mayflies out at night (usually PMD's) it can be effective to use a #16 or 18 Purple Haze or Rusty Spinner. Our best caddis patterns right now are the X and the X2 Caddis, CDC Caddis, Sparkle Pupa and the Harrop's CDC Bubbleback Caddis. The Garcia's Mini Hot has also been awesome and is a great searcher pattern . The X2 caddis is also good in the morning when fishing dead caddis . When nymphing before the hatch try the Silvey's Beadhead Caddis. It's a money fly when the trout are chasing down the emerging pupa. Other good patterns are the Dirty Bird, Bird's Nest and Hare's Ear. When dry fly fishing use 5x and when nymphing use 4x or 4.5x Trouthunter Fluorocarbon.
Steelhead fishing near the mouth is now underway as is our guide season on the Mack's to the Mouth section. We got one small chromer on our short trip there this week. Now is the time to get those drylines out and hit your favorite run with skaters and classic hairwing patterns fished off a Scandi or Rage head and don't hit the snooze on the early alarm wake-up call. We have seen a nice spike in numbers coming over the dams so far and we are quite a bit ahead of last year's numbers (but still way below 10 yr. average). Enjoy the process, dial in the casts and look for the home run ball. The canyon will be hot in July but so will be your first Deschutes steelhead of the year.
Tuesday, June 26, 2018
Well the heat is on and so are the caddis. Summertime fishing is here and the heat has kickstarted the caddis hatches into the next level. Consistent evening hatches of caddis have been outstanding. Bring your headlamp and fish straight past sunset as you legally can fish up to one hour after sunset. Right now is some of the best trout fishing the Deschutes offers. Our favorite patterns are the X and X2 caddis, EC Caddis in tan and olive and the Mini Hot Garcia in purple. Size 16 is about right on most dries but should also have plenty of 14’s and 18’s also. If you really want to get after it and don’t mind the fuss of throwing 2 patterns at the same time, throw a small Tan Sparkle Pupa or the Harrop’s Bubbleback Emerger about 18 inches off the back of the other caddis. This emerging phase is so important to the trout. They just love hammering the emergers as they struggle to push to the surface. Mornings can be very good also with spent caddis patterns or other low-riding patterns. The X2 caddis is one of the best patterns for all times of day. As the caddis are very active during the heat of the day (often in the shade of trees) the good old Elk Hair Caddis can also be productive.
Nymphing is also very productive during those times you cannot find any noses up. Our guides are using a variety of flies right now but some of the favorites are the Trina’s Angel Case Emerger (PMD), Red Copper John’s, various Hare’s Ears and soft hackles. Look for oxygenated water and riffles at this time of year. A few folks are also out throwing the trout spey rods around and most are having very good success with some really impressive redsides munching the sculpin and leech patterns. Sculpzillas, Near Nuff Sculpins and the Loop Leech are getting it done. Fish these on about 10 feet of T-8 and hang on.
Tuesday, June 26, 2018
We just recently went through a week of electroshocking by ODFW on the Crooked below Bowman Dam and we expect the results to be encouraging. Our Trout School 101 has been very successful this year teaching new anglers how to cast and fish more effectively. Dry fly fishing has been decent but on most trips we are tossing small indicators with double nymph rigs. Our most successful fly continues to be the Ray Charles in Natural color but the Zebra Midge, Juju midge and split case PMD are also finding fish. Sometimes the hot fly in one run will be quiet in the next. Water clarity seems good this year so we are starting with 5x but don’t hesitate to go to 6x if needed. If you don’t have a 3 wt. rod yet and you fish the Crooked often, it’s amazing how fun the smaller rod pairs nicely with the smaller flies and fish out on the Crooked.
Tuesday, June 26, 2018
We have about one more week of the Green Drake hatch on the Metolius. Pressure has been pretty heavy but some gorgeous fish have been landed in the last few weeks. The drake hatch brings some fish to the surface that are hard to find other times of year. If you are fishing this week, bring the Neally’s Green Drake, Film Critic and and the Paradrake. Also look for caddis hatches in the evening. X 2 caddis, sparkle emergers and the Harrop’s Bubbleback Emerger are great to have if you stay late. PMD hatches can be found at different times of day but early afternoons are the most likely. We like the Winger PMD in size 16 and 18 as well as various CDC PMD’s matching different hatch stages. Look for the Golden Stone hatches of the upper river to get going very soon also. Once they get going, bring some Stimulator’s, Norm Woods and our favorite, the Clark’s Stone.
Some nice fish are being caught nymphing also. Pheasant tails and hare’s ears are a good place to start on the Metolius but because of the diversity of bug life on this spring creek, you may want a good variety of sizes and bugs. Euro Nymphing continues to grow in popularity on the Metolius and elsewhere and we now carry a solid assortment of Jig-style nymphs and leaders.
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
Now that the last of the salmonflies and golden stones have faded the crowds have too! Make an effort to enjoy the Deschutes this summer. The trout fishing was excellent last week and will remain so into the dog days of summer sometime in August. If you are looking for dry fly fishing, make sure to get on the water very early or late on most days except when cold fronts roll in which seem to slow things down. Mid-day caddis fishing can be explosive also if you are in the right place and right time. Hot days with some breezes are often excellent in the little shade pockets of the overhanging trees or grassy banks. When you see trout eating dries use an X Caddis or X2 caddis, Elk Hair Caddis if high floatation is critical or a Parachute caddis. Big fish move into the backeddies to eat dead and dying bugs. Low profile patterns mimicking spent caddis are really important as are small mayfly patterns when you see the big bows lazily sipping dead bugs. Lengthen the leaders for help eliminate drag and go back to 5x when fishing dries. Of course, 6x will hook a few more fish but keeping the bigger fish from breaking you off is a challenge.
Nymphing is good right now. We have had good success on the red copper John with a Silvey’s beadhead caddis trailing. Small micro-stone patterns were good on one of our recent guide trips as were sparkle emergers on the warm front evenings. This is also a good time to break out the simple soft hackle’s and let them hang down in the current at the end of your drift. Be ready to get smashed as the eats are often savage.
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
The Crooked has now settled into Summer water levels of 220 CFS. Fishing is good throughout the day for the angler that likes to change tactics as the conditions change. Midge activity is good in the mornings. If you find fish feeding in the morning on top use small black midge dry flies such as the Black Parachute midge or CDC midge. Dry fly fishing during the rest of the day can be hit-or-miss but look for caddis and PMD hatches to predominate. We love the Purple Haze to cover many different situations.
Nymphing remains excellent on most days. I would say our number one nymph has been the Ray Charles in size 16 or 18 in the natural or gray colors. Small sparse mayflies have also been very good. Some of our favorites are the Split Back PMD, Micro Mayfly and the Tailwater Tiny. Keep the flies sparse as the Crooked fish don’t seem to be big fans of overdressed patterns. Streamer fishing is an often overlooked tactic but give it a try sometime. If you are not sure where to start with streamer fishing on the Crooked, stop by and chat with us.
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
Green Drake season is here! The Metolius marquis hatch is here and the next two weeks are the best time to hit “one of those days”. The power of the drake hatch is impressive. The river really comes alive during the short window when the bugs pop. The hatch is a late afternoon hatch and make sure to be ready around 4pm when many of the bugs will hatch. You may see a few bugs a couple hours earlier but the drake hatch is one of the most consistent hatches on the river. Of course if you get there early look for PMD’s and if you get there late on the warmer evenings caddis may be important. We have a couple dozen killer drake patterns at the shop that will get the most discriminating trout to commit. As always, enjoy the river for its beauty and the opportunity to try to fool one of its PhD level fish.
Saturday, June 2, 2018
We have a few more days of the salmonfly and golden stone hatches left in the Warm Springs to Trout Creek section of the Deschutes. Fishing has been very good with big bugs still in good numbers in the Warm Springs area. Smaller golden stone imitations such as the Clark’s Stone and the Norm Woods will produce well along the grassy banks and backeddies where the opportunistic trout look for one more big meal. Use the Clark’s Stone anytime you are seeing dead golden stones on the water. This fly just flat out catches some of the wariest trout on the river. Still some salmonflies being eaten in the upper stretches by Hwy. 26 and below. We are using the Chubby Beaver and Purple with good success especially as the river comes alive in the late morning and again when the shade hits in the evening.
Caddis hatches are beginning to grow also. Caddis emergers are doing best in the evening with many fish landed on small caddis pupa patterns such as the Silvey’s Beadhead Caddis hanging from the larger Chubby. Dry fly fishing with caddis adults should begin soon as the heat becomes more consistent. Some solid PMD hatches have been bringing fish to the surface and some fish get keyed on the PMD where some will still eat the stonefly pattern. With the caddis hatches getting going it’s time to start lengthening the leader and bring on the lighter tippet. One of our favorite leader material for dropper rigs or nymph rigs during caddis season is the 4.5X Fluorocarbon Tippet from TroutHunter. The 50 meter spool will last you all season.
Friday, May 25, 2018
The Lower Deschutes River Salmonfly hatch is in full swing. The big bugs should remain for another 10 days or so on the Warm Springs to Trout Creek stretch. Dry fly fishing is the order of the day. Nymphing works and often works well but we focus on the dry fly fishing this time of year. Stonefly dry fly fishing is very good on the warmer days. We find anytime of day can be good but never miss an evening session when it’s hot. Not only will you see huge flights of the big bugs but early season caddis hatches bring many fish inform the depths to munch on emergers .
Of course the big bugs get all the hype but when the caddis get going it’s up to you whether or not to change up or add a dropper. It will probably increase the opportunity to get more eats. For the salmonflies we are fishing the Chubby Purple and the Chubby Beaver in sizes 6 to 10. For the Golden Stones we like the classics, the Norm Woods and the Clark’s Stone, in sizes 8 and 10. When you see fish porpoising for caddis, try and emerger pattern off the high-riding stonefly. Silvey’s Beadhead Caddis, Sparkle Pupa’s and Graphic Caddis will bring some aggressive takes. We also have seen a few Green Drakes on the overcast days as well as pretty good hatches of Pale Evening Duns in a few spots.
We have a few openings in late May and early June for Deschutes guided trips targeting the salmonfly hatch.
Friday, May 25, 2018
The Crooked is a reliable source for good action-packed fun fishing for the native rainbow and whitefish. We are just moving out of the Mother’s Day Caddis hatches which had us fishing dry flies and emergers every afternoon. We are still seeing some caddis as well as mayfly hatches but nymphing is good with the typical small fare. Zebra Midges, Ray Charles and Juju Midges below strike indicators are working as well as sparse mayflies. A size 18 or 20 non-beadhead pheasant tail is excellent. If you are Euro-nymphing we have a good selection of modern jig-head flies that get down into the zone quickly and help eliminate snagging bottom on every drift. As we move into the summer months look for fish to nose up into the faster water sections of the river. Angling pressure has not been too heavy with many of the area’s anglers hitting the lakes as they opened and the Deschutes stonefly hatches.
Friday, May 4, 2018
The annual salmonfly hatch has begun across most of the Lower Deschutes River. The big bugs are getting thick around the Maupin area and will march upstream quickly. Expect plenty of big bugs in the Warm Springs area on the week of May 7th. Overall the hatch is a few days behind the pace of last year but warm weather in May can accelerate the hatch.
The big bugs love to fly around when the temp.’s get up into the 70’s and 80’s and a little breeze can make the clumsy bugs hit the water. Of course always look for the jungle water and make the cast close to the overhanging brush. We mainly favor 9 foot 6wt. rods to push the big bugs hard into the tight cover. Don’t hesitate to throw some shots in the foam lines also. We have found some really nice fish in the last few years hanging out under foam lines pretty far from the bank. A 4 wt. trout spey or switch can be an amazing tool to hit the spots that are nearly impossible to hit with a single-hand rod.
We have one of the best assortments of salmonfly and golden stone patterns anywhere in Oregon. Last year, our best sellers remained the Clark’s Stone and Norm Woods as well as the Purple Chubby Chernobyl and an exclusive pattern we call the Chubby Beaver. The Orange and Black underbody on the Chubby Beaver gets some great fish to commit. Especially when you fish the larger-size chubby flies, size up on the leader. Our favorite leader for this time of year is 7.5ft 3x leaders. Even 2x has some use and is great in the overhanging bush and jungle situations. They turn over the big bugs well and help prevent the big boys from breaking you off on the hook set. Of course, there is still some room for 4x and 5x leaders in the bag and use the lighter stuff when fishing the smaller Norm’s and Clark’s Stones tight to the grass lines where a more delicate presentation is important.
Don’t forget a selection of some dropper nymphs (red copper john’s are great) that you can throw behind the big bug as well as a couple Green Drake dry flies just in case you find yourself in the middle of one of the elusive but awesome Drake hatches you will see on occasion.
The Lower Deschutes River from Warm Springs to North Junction is now closed to all fishing and reopens on Sunday April 22nd. The stretch of river near Maupin remains open all winter and can provide some solid fishing on the right day. Read More
The Crooked is fishing pretty well this winter for native redbands and whitefish. Although the sun barely makes it over the canyon walls, the warmer days have seen pretty good hatches of small blue wing olives and midges. Subsurface patterns have been producing the best as dry fly fishing has been OK but mostly smaller fish have been up and eating on top. If you are going to fish the dry, a size 18 or 20 Purple Haze can get it done. Nymphing the Zebra Midge and Ray Charles combo is a great place to start but small and sparse mayfly nymphs will produce well also. We like the JuJu Baetis patterns, sparse Pheasant Tails, and the Tailwater Tiny will get some nice fish to commit. Enjoy the scenery and make a great half day of fishing one of our favorite local rivers! Read More
Bull trout fishing on the Metolius has been very good this fall and we expect it to continue into the winter. The kokanee spawn lingered well into November this year and the bulls were really going after large flesh flies as the kokanee died off. Move slowly as the bulls can be spotted by the observant angler that takes more time looking and hunting for fish than just blind casting. 7 and 8 wt. rods are the order of the day here. Read More
Even with the colder weather finally hitting Central Oregon, the Crooked is holding up remarkably well. The solid improvements in fishing we saw in the fall are continuing. Midday seems to be the best time to find active fish as the water warms up a bit. Zebra Midges, Ray Charles, small pheasant tails and a handful of size 18 and 20 Purple Hazes will bring solid numbers to hand on most days. Small Egg patterns are also great right now with the whitefish grouped together and spawning. Bring a hot thermos of coffee and an extra layer and enjoy winter fishing on the Crooked! Read More
The Deschutes River from Warm Springs down to Trout Creek closes at the end of December for all fishing. Now is a great time to get after it with some very nice redsides being caught lately as well as a decent number of summer steelhead. Although a few trout might be up and eating in some slow water and backeddies midday, nymphing and swinging is the order of the day at this time of year. We like to swing of course and some very nice redsides and a few steelhead have fallen for our swung flies. Our selection of mini-intruders from Aqua Flies seems like it needs to be restocked every other day here at the shop as they continue to put fish in the net. A good way to fish for trout but have a realistic shot at steelhead is to swing the Black Sculpzilla or nymph a stonefly such as the Jimmy Legs with a flashy dropper such as the silver or red Copper Swan off the back. Egg patterns will also get it done as the Chinook are spawning in the area. Read More
The Crooked River is fishing well for native rainbows and whitefish at this time. The best chance to run across a hatch will be midday with some fish up top eating blue wing olives or midges. Most days using small nymphs imitating slender blue wing olive nymphs and midge larva will account for the most fish. Size 18 and 20 Juju midges and Juju Baetis, pheasant tails, zebra midges and the two-bit hooker in tan will get the job done. A few Ray Charles as well as some small egg patterns will make round out a good assortment of nymphs to have over the next month. The warm days here at the end of November could be a great time to get out before the cold really sets in. Read More
Our favorite river the mighty Deschutes River, is producing well for trout and steelhead. The steelhead are now spread out all along its reach from the Columbia up to the Warm Springs area with best concentrations from the Maupin area to the mouth. Dry line tactics have made some very happy anglers this year. Many of our regular customers are reporting catching steelhead on dry flies this year even after gear or nymph anglers fished the run before. In other words, have faith in the dry line approach as the next couple weeks are some of the best to run your favorite Steelhead Muddler, Berry’s Euphoric Muddler, or Gerath’s Curb Feeler. Read More
The explosion of vine maples along the Metolius might be enough reason to fish the Metolius in October but add in the chance of hooking a massive bull trout or a beautifully colored Rainbow and it makes the trip always worth it. Read More
The Crooked is fishing very well. Flows are down to about 100 CFS and both dry fly and nymph fishing has really improved. Fishing is good most of the day with many fish rising when hatches occur and when the shade hits in the early afternoon. Blue Wing Olives and a few straggler PMD’s and caddis are bringing many fish to the surface. Also keep an eye out for October Caddis as they are active. Running a small nymph off the October Caddis dry is a fun way to cover water. Read More