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Crooked River Report

June 8th, 2024

Definitely worth a visit.  If its been a while, give the Crooked a day in the near future.  Good nymphing most of the day with some good caddis and PMD dry fly fishing at times.  Water levels are at a very fishable 245 CFS.

Crooked River Report

May 5th, 2024

Now that the water is down to about 400 CFS we are back out on the Crooked and doing pretty well.  Small nymphs have produced below a small chubby, New Zealand indicator or one of the new small Oros indicators.  Keep an eye on flows but anytime the river is stable and or dropping fishing will be a good option.

Crooked River Report

April 25th, 2024

Still pretty high with flows bouncing around every couple days.  Wait till it drops a bit to 400 CFS or below.  The Lower Deschutes (or the Middle Deschutes) is a better option.

Crooked River Report

April 5th, 2024

The Crooked is now blown out and over 1500 CFS.  Hopefully we will see good conditions again in late April or May.

Crooked River Report

March 31st, 2024

The Crooked was fishing pretty well until the water spiked on Friday the 29th.  Midges and BWO's were on the menu and the occasional Skwala stonefly was showing.  Today the water is at 533 CFS.  That's pretty high but fishable along the margins.  Overall its probably not a great option but there's some rainbows and whitefish around and we expect it to improve quite a bit in the next few weeks.


Croooked River Report

February 1st, 2024

The Crooked is currently blown out at 1550 CFS.  Keep an eye on the Bowman Dam gauge and think about hitting it again when it drops below 400 CFS.  Until then, the Fall River and the Metolius remain viable options.  

Crooked River Report

January 24th, 2024

After a pretty rough cold-front and snowfall, the Crooked is back on the radar for some trout fishing.  Water flows are stable 100 CFS and fishing will be decent for rainbows and whitefish in winter.  Euro Nymphing seems to be the most effective tactic but we also really like the New Zealand indicator to help detect light strikes on the Crooked.  If you haven't tried it before make sure to give one a try!  Midges, Scuds and Egg patterns all work for Crooked fish. 

Streamers should also be a part of your arsenal.  You can swing or slowly strip small streamers for some really fun eats.  Streamer fishing is also a fun way to cover water and fish water types that you would normally skip.  Small Sculpzillas (the size 8 is best) or a Ruby-Eyed Leech are good flies on the Crooked when you want to break from routine and whip a streamer around.

Crooked River Report

November 10th, 2023

Getting some prretty good reports from the Crooked in the last couple weeks.  Dry-dropper, Euro and some dry fly fishing in the afternoons. Fish are generally pretty small but every once in a while a "surprise" ends up in the net.  Flows are at 100 CFS and holding steady.  Worth the drive out there.  Bring your favorite BWO dries and nymphs, midges and a small pale egg pattern can be great in November and December.  

Crooked River Report

October 15th, 2023

We are seeing some pretty decent fishing on the Crooked right now with flows pretty low at 62 CFS.  Think small this time of year.  BWO's and midges rule the day.  Use light tippet and small indicator (if you are using them) or small chubbies if you are Chubby Dropper fishing.  A few fish will eat the chubby especially at the heads of riffles.  You will see some fish eating small dries but nymphing will be your best bet to catch good numbers.  Zebra Midge/ Ray Charles combos have always been a shop favorite.    

Crooked River Report

August 4th, 2023

We continue to see improvements on the general state of the Crooked River to the point you should put this tailwater gem back on the radar as a steady producer of solid trout fishing.  Euro nymphing seems to be the most consistent method for putting good numbers of fish in the net but if you prefer indicator, dry-dropper or dry fly tactics, don't hesitate to give it a shot and you'll find success.  Don't be surprised to catch a few nice fish on hoppers over the next couple months, but generally stick with smaller flies for higher catch rates. 

Crooked River Report

July 27th, 2023

The Crooked is fishing prety well.  ODFW recently released the results from their recent electroshocking survey and the population of rainbows and whitefish both dropped from 2022 but not as bad as some feared.  The bottom line is that the Crooked is a viable fishery once again.

Dry fly fishing is typically pretty slow in late July and August and our guides have reported minimal activity.  Nymphing sparse mayfly, caddis and midge nymphs has been most productive.  On the Crooked, you should always carry some Zebra Midges but don't overlook Two-bit Hooker's, Pheasant Tails and perdigons such as the Fire Starter. You can tightline/Euro nymph, indicator or dry dropper these flies with good success.  Boulder gardens, riffles and flats with foam lines will all hold fish in summer.  

Crooked River Report

June 8th, 2023

The Crooked is back on the radar!  We have been hearing good reports from the Crooked once again.  After a drought in 2022 and very high water in early 2023, fishing in the Crooked is turning back on.

Small nymphs such as Zebra Midges and small perdigons will be effective as well as occasional hatches bringing fish to the dry.  

We will keep you posted as we hear more specific reports and we venture out there ourselves.

Crooked River Report

April 29th, 2023

The Crooked is unfishable at the moment with 2700 CFS coming down the canyon.  It was only a couple weeks ago that the river was at 50 CFS.  Once the flows drop below 300 CFS you can consider making a trip.  Before the huge water releases, fishing was fair (with a few anglers reporting good results).  We do expect to be back out there soon and we'll let you know what we find.

Crooked River Report

November 22nd, 2022

The Crooked River has reopened and is flowing at 50 CFS.  Conditions are not prime by any means but we heard of some fish caught after it reopened.  None of us here at the shop have ventured out for a first hand report but you'll have to make your own call whether to rest it or not.  At least the days of 10 CFS are behind us and we look forward to better days out there.

Crooked River Report

October 6th, 2022

The Crooked River is closed to fishing until at least October 31st due to extremely low flows.  

Crooked River Report

September 11, 2022

The Crooked River below Bowman Dam will be reduced to 10 CFS starting September 15th and will stay at that critically low flow until November 1st.  We are not recommending fishing the Crooked River at this time.  We will keep you posted on any major developments. 


Crooked River Report

September 5th, 2022

We are in a "wait and see" mode on the Crooked and not guiding there at this time.   We are hearing of decent fishing at times with an occasional good report and some large fish in the mix.  Most fish have been caught on small nymphs (Zebra's, Perdigon's, Pheasant Tails) but small streamers should be employed also.  Water flows remain steady at 180 CFS but the possibility of a cut-off of water from Bowman Dam is a real possibility as the reservoir is at only 13% with virtually no incoming flows.  Water temps have also spiked quite a bit lately as the water coming in from Prineville Reservoir is warm.  Keep an eye on temps if heading out there.  If fish are sluggish when caught, its time to call it day. 

Crooked River Report

June 26th, 2022

Flows are at 85 CFS and are expected to drop to extremely low levels in August.  Water temps are great and the fish are feeding pretty actively through the day.   At this time, the Crooked is fishing pretty well with a mixture of caddis, PMD's and midges on the menu.  Nymphing and dry fly fishing are both productive with lower light periods better for dry fly action.  Euro nymphing tactics continue to grow in popularity and the Crooked is a perfect place to hone your skills.  A few really nice fish have been caught in the last week and they are often in surprisingly shallow broken water.  

Once we get to July 1, we will be suspending our guide operations on the Crooked until flows are returned to better levels this fall.  In the meantime, book a guide trip on the Lower Deschutes with us for our full-day float trips.  The Lower Deschutes does not have the same issues with extreme low water that the Crooked will face this summer.

Crooked River Report

June 6th, 2022

The Crooked is settling into its summer rhythms and will always be an option for you when looking for a place to fish.  The flows are at about 150 CFS which is a good level to wade safely and access most spots.  Water remains off-color and will likely stay that way for some time.  With some nice rainbows in the mix, the Crooked can provide some fun almost any day, rain or shine!

Euro nymphing and dry dropper fishing are the most consistent methods to catch fish. You will find success with Fire Starter's, Thread Frenchies and other Perdigon style nymphs.   

The hatches to expect will be PMD's and Caddis.  Look for risers in the afternoons but if it finally gets hot out, you may find good fishing early in the morning or evenings also.  Smaller midge patterns are always important.  Of course, the Zebra Midge is a great choice in a light indicator rig but pick up a few Jig Zebra Midges also and try them suspended below a small chubby when covering water.  You'll often pick up a few nice fish on the chubby.

Guiding is in full swing on the Crooked.  If you'd like a fun day on the river with one of our professional guides we have dates available in June:  Crooked River Half Day Guide Trip - Fin & Fire Fly Shop (

Crooked River Report

April 7th, 2022

We have been fishing on the Crooked lately and fishing has been a little better than expected. By no means is the Crooked in great shape with low and dirty water below the dam, but we have been finding solid numbers of bows and whitefish on our visits.  Most days have a pretty good Blue Wing Olive hatch starting up around noon once the water warms up.  Once the water warms up the trout get much more active and most any tactic will find some players.  Euro nymphing, dry dropper and standard dry fly fishing will work well.  Some of our top flies include the Olive Hot Spot, Juan's Tungsten Slim Shady and the always good Purple Haze.  

Crooked River Report

Guest Author: Ron Romeis

February 5th, 2022

 This winter has been unusual on the Crooked River.  At least, as my relatively short number of winters has experienced.  I normally look forward to fishing the Crooked in the winter for a number of reasons. Generally, there are far fewer anglers, the whitefish spawn is always a fun time to fish, and the water is very clear. Low flows are the norm, sadly, the management of the river is for irrigation, not for trout. But, with a little effort, trout can be located and enticed to eat a variety of small flies. This year, things have been different.

 The drought has taken its toll on the water level on the reservoir above the Wild and Scenic stretches of the Crooked. Consequently, the water being dribbled into the river at 50 cfs is the color of something close to coffee with milk. Laden with the clay that lines the banks of the reservoir, the water is pretty unattractive and among other things, makes wading a challenge. But the fish still have to eat and if they eat, they should eat my flies, right? Well, that part has been little more of a guessing game.

 Earlier in the season, you could expect to have some fun offering egg patterns to the spawning whitefish. On a lite 2 or 3wt rod, those winter whitefish can be a lot of fun. Occasionally, one of those egg patterns will get inhaled by a rainbow taking advantage of the eggs being broadcast into the riffles by the whiteys.  There are a number of spots in the Crooked that could be pretty certain to produce enough whitefish to make for an entertaining morning.  An egg laying female on a Tenkara rod is a lot of fun, too. But, this year the spawning period just didn’t produce the expected results. Of course, my timing may have been off, the fish may have been in different spots, or it could have been the muddy water.

 When not targeting the whitefish, my fishing companion and I have several wintertime locations that have produced enough fish to entice us out on those frosty days. It was difficult to see the muddy conditions, day after day, but we were still trying all those things than normally worked. Tight line nymphing with small perdigons and nymphs were very hit or miss. Some spots that were normally pretty good holding water, just didn’t seem to have fish in them.  Another method that produces most winters is dunking small midge pupae, such as a z-midge, suspended below a New Zealand wool indicator. Hitting deeper water and keeping the fly just above the bottom seemed to be the pattern that worked. This year we seemed to be lucky to scratch out a whitefish or a small trout or two.

 My friend and I aren’t claiming to be the best fishermen on the river, but we normally catch our share. After several trips, we just about concluded that the muddy water was changing things and we just weren’t getting it right. Talking with other anglers on the river, supported that we weren’t the only guys struggling. There were reports of some very nice trout being caught, and the speculation was these fish were coming into the river from the dam’s discharge. I did get reports from some friends who did land some large trout fishing in spots that we all know well. So, what was the difference in their approach and ours. For the most part, nothing. They were doing what they normally do, fishing areas familiar to them, and hanging in there and fishing despite the muddy conditions.

 After giving the river a rest for several weeks, my friend and I returned to one of the spots we like to fish.  We tried all the usual tricks and three hours had produced absolutely nada. As we were licking our wounds and contemplating that cold beer that normally follows our fishing day; an idea occurred to me. I rarely fish streamers on the Crooked. Knowledgeable anglers have told me I should give it a try. Earlier that week, I had been experimenting with pine squirrel patterns on the tying bench. I came across a pine squirrel zonked strip sculpin pattern that looks interesting. I tied one up just for grins and had it in my box that day. I told my friend I would like to cast that sculpin a couple times to see how it behaved before we headed to the truck. Naturally, on the second cast and nice whitefish nails the sculpin.

 Well, I guess I should have listened to those friends suggesting that fish will eat streamers on the Crooked. After tying a few more of the sculpins, I hit one of those winter spots this week. I should have known that a large protein snack would be just what the doctor ordered on a cold winter morning. Four really nice rainbows in the net, and four more solid takes that didn’t make the net convinced me. Maybe it was just my lucky day, maybe I just was in the right spot at the right time. But, my partner who was upstream nymphing away didn’t score a fish. I did offer him a discount on one of my sculpins, but he grumpily declined.



Crooked River Report

January 31st, 2022

The Crooked is just fishing OK.  With low 50 CFS flows, off-color water and 33 degree water temps, the Crooked is not in prime time.  Even though it's been off on the Crooked, we are seeing some awfully large fish caught.  Some of these appear to be small summer steelhead while others look like they came from the reservoir.  Either way they are a welcome surprise on a slow day.  Fishing will improve as the weather warms moving into spring.  If you do venture out don't hesitate to swing or strip small streamers such as #10 Woolly Bugger in black or olive.  This old-school and overlooked fly can find some good fish out there.  

Crooked River Report

December 31st, 2021

Pretty frosty out on the Crooked right now.  Shelf ice has developed on many sections.  Flows are steady and low at 50 CFS with some scattered reports of success.  Target the afternoons once the water has warmed up.   Nymphing the small stuff (zebras, perdigons,eggs) will get some hook-ups. Dry fly fishing will be poor.  Slow stripping or swinging smaller leeches/buggers (size 8-12) may entice some of the bigger fish to commit.  If you do go make sure to bring an extra set of clothes, some warm drinks, and enjoy some winter peace.


Crooked River Report

November 14th, 2021

Fishing on the Crooked is decent but the low flows (50 CFS) are making light presentations and finding the fish the main concern.  Egg patterns are working well as are the standard small nymphs such as Zebra Midges in Black or Red, small perdigons and pheasant tail nymphs.  Blue Wing Olive hatches will occur in the afternoons on some of the warmer overcast day.  Size 18 or 20 Purple Haze's as well as Sparkle Duns will get some topwater eats.  The canyon gets pretty limited sunlight this time of year so we find its best to look for areas that get at least some sunlight to stimulate some bug activity.  Areas that stay dark all day always seem quiet.

Crooked River Report

August 19th, 2021

We have been having consistently good fishing on the Crooked.  Its still a PMD show with some midges making some appearances.  Dry fly fishing is best in the afternoon and into evening but very early mornings can see some good activity on top also (usually midges).  Stick with size 16 and 18 dries such as the Sparkle Dun and Comparadun (or try the Hot Spot Comparadun which uses some bright blue in the wing for visibility).  Smoky days (as much as we hate them) offer good dry fly opportunity as fish post up in shallower water and look up even more.

Chubby dropper fishing and Euro Nymphing tactics have been cleaning up when fish are not on top eating.  We really like the Olive Hot Spot Jig as well as the Firestarter and the Frenchie Jig.  With a great year so far on the hoppers you can expect it will get even better going into fall.  Keep the sizes relatively small like a size 12.  Hoppers are rarely going to catch a ton of fish on the Crooked but don't be surprised if your best fish of the year falls to a hopper. 

Crooked River Report

July 23rd, 2021

Fishing has been pretty good out on the Crooked in the 5 or 6 miles below Bowman Dam  We are getting some decent PMD hatches and finding some fish eating on top.  PMD patterns such as the Sparkle Flag PMD, Sparkle Dun and the Gould's Shuckoff are getting some decent fish.  If you find a really picky fish you can try a sparse emerging PMD or Midge pattern on some 6x and that may make all the difference.

Overall the best fishing has been on the nymph rigs.  Most of the bigger fish we've seen caught have also been on the nymphs.   Our guides are mostly fishing Chubby dropper tactics with the Firestarter or Olive Hot Spot Jig hanging below a small chubby.  Don't be surprised if a decent trout comes up and smacks the chubby especially when the shade hits the water.   Most guides are fishing during the late morning from about 9 am to about 2pm.  If you fish later in the afternoon into evening pressure seems to drop quite a bit.

Flows are at around 200 CFS and there is no issues with water temps right below the dam as its under 50 degrees for most of the day. 


Crooked River Report

Guest Author: Ron Romeis

It’s Salmon Fly season in Central Oregon

 The big bugs are here. Anglers from far and wide are all aflutter over the seasonal Salmon Fly hatch on the Deschutes. I look forward to it too, but not for the reason most others do. I head to smaller waters where I can avoid the masses and often have some water to myself. It may be coincidence that the upper stretches of the Metolius River open on May 22, about the same time as the big bugs arrive on the Deschutes. While every drift boat in the state are bunched up on the Deschutes, I’ll be wading some quiet water that hasn’t been fished for the last several months. I spent a beautiful day last week wading a stretch of the Metolius with not another fisherman in my path all day.

 But, there’s another hatch that occurs this time of year that I find more exciting than the big bug’s arrival. The Mother’s Day Caddis hatch on the Crooked River can be amazing. Anyone who has turned over a rock on the river bed will find caddis cases on nearly ever rock in the river. Literally, there are millions of these cases sheltering the caddis larva as they mature and await their big day. Coincidentally, this occurs at about the same time of year as the Salmon Flies show up on various stretches of the Big D. I understand the allure of that surface take on that chubby chernobyl or other large dry fly, but while those guys are getting that fix; I’m getting hooked on a much smaller bug.

 The Mother’s Day Caddis gets its name for a reason. The big hatch usually occurs somewhere around Mother’s Day… go figure. This year it was a little late. Two day ago, March 26, I was fishing a popular stretch of the Crooked River when the river banks were swarming with adult caddis flies. A relatively small caddis, about a size 16-18, mottled wings and dark bodied, the adults spend little time on the water surface. On this day, only the swallows seemed to be aware the hatch was underway. At times the swarm would be quite substantial and the birds were feasting. The trout, however; seemed to not notice the potential feast available. So I spent the day brushing caddis out of my hair and attracting a few fish on my perdigons with a caddis pupa dropper. Alas, the only trout of the day ate the perdigon and whitefish ate the caddis pupa.

 But, what a difference a day makes. Yesterday, I returned to the Crooked despite the forecast of 20 30 mph wind gusts. Apparently, the fish figured out the caddis were there over night. Early in the day the fish were still not present and I started the day with a standard indicator rig to try and deal with the wind gusts. I had on a perdigon again and a caddis larva or pupa pattern. I picked up a couple white fish on the perdigon and even though there were a few trout rising, none were taking my flies.

 Around midday everything changed. The hatch was thick and the swallows were there by the hundreds. Suddenly, so were the trout. Fish were rising everywhere, constantly. My fishing companion for the day was a dry fly guy. He had been trying to entice trout all day with a variety of caddis dries. He did pick up a couple while I was nymphing. How he managed in that wind was pretty amazing. But, as soon as the trout started showing themselves with regularity, I switched to my favorite method. I quickly changed leaders and tied on a pair of caddis soft hackles. In Dave Hughes book “Wet Flies”, he describes a day he spent fishing with Syl Nemes during a Mother’s Day hatch. Dave was struggling to entice the frenzied trout on dries and various emergers. Nemes had his Mother’s Caddis soft hackle pattern and was doing quite well. I too had learned that I had better luck swinging soft hackles through the swarm than I had on dries. Mainly, because I can’t see the small dries that imitate those small caddis. I had tied on a classic partridge and green on point and Nemes soft hackle on the dropper.

 Between the howling wind gusts I was able to start picking up fish. I convinced my partner to switch to soft hackles as well. The Nemes soft hackle was the favored fly of my pair all day. All I can say was it was one of the most exciting afternoons of fishing I had experienced in a long time. I’d hate to think how many trout we could have caught had we had just a normal windy day. At one point in the day, I just had to stop and marvel at the cloud of caddis flies over the water, the hundreds of swallows over head, and the trout rising as far down the river as I could see.

 The moral of this story is go enjoy the Salmon Fly hatch. Go fish the upper Metolius and enjoy the beauty and solitude. If you are lucky enough to hit the Crooked River when the Mother’s Day Caddis hatch is on it will be amazing.

Crooked River Report

May 18th, 2021

The Crooked is fishing very well. Dries, nymphs, soft hackles, attractor patterns. If the crowds on the Deschutes are too much, take a look at some time on the Crooked. 

Fish size has really improved this year and numbers are good.  Afternoon caddis hatches have been strong and nymphing will always find some fish. If you are nymphing, stop in and pick up the Fire Starter nymph as its been really good. Zebra Midges, Ray Charles, and Frenchies are also great flies to try. 

Crooked River Report

March 16th, 2021

With daylight savings time now in place, trout fishing is becoming an afternoon show on the Crooked.  Peak hatches and trout feeding activity will be from noon to about 4pm on most days.  Blue-wing olives and midges are hatching and fish are up and eating them.  Don't be surprised to see whitefish eating dries also.  You will have to have good aim and a clean drift to hit them square in the kisser.

Sparkle Duns and Gould's Shuckoff for dries will get it done.  Size 18 and 20's for the most part.  Have some Griffith's Gnat's also. Last but not least, there is a modest Skwala stonefly hatch. The next 3 weeks are when to expect to see a few.   Silvey's Little Olive Stone in a #12 or #14 is our best pattern.

Nymphers will find success with sparse mayfly nymphs.  The Juan's Tung Slim Shady fits the bill.  Heavy for its size but still sparse. Use very light indicators (such as a New Zealand Indicator) or a small Chubby Chernobyl for light strike detection.  If you are Euro fishing you know how important being light-handed is.  If you are using plastic Thingamabobbers or Air-locks in the 50 CFS Crooked you are missing fish. Period and end of sentence.

Crooked River Report

March 8th, 2021

Guest Author: Ron Romeis

Winter fishing on the Crooked River can be a guessing game. Management of the river for irrigation forces flows to be 50 cfs or less, compared to summer flows of 200+. Many areas of the river are pretty much unfishable and void of fish this time of year. However, we’ve had a relatively mild winter and the weather has been favorable to get out on the water and go in search of the plentiful trout and whitefish.  Locating the fish is the biggest challenge. When you do find them, catching them is another story.

Stephen, Tim, and I fish together regularly. We’ve had the good fortune to have located some healthy numbers of fish in the last few weeks. During the coldest months, while the whitefish were spawning, it seemed any egg pattern was the only fly you needed. As the spawn tapered off, the trout were still eagerly inhaling eggs when the opportunity presented itself. The last couple weeks, however, the fish were totally ignoring the protein they’d been so willing to eat the previous weeks.

Regulars on the Crooked know that midges and scuds are plentiful in the winter. A “Ray Charles” is a favorite fly for many but I’ve found that concentrating on the midges and BWO mayflies has been more productive this year. My friend Tim is a former guide and when fishing with him, it pays to pay attention to what he’s doing. The man can catch fish!  He’s a skilled Euro style nympher, and will switch to a dry fly rig when the trout start rising to the tiny bugs on the surface. This year, I noticed that he was using a different tactic. We were fishing a stretch of relatively flat water. The water was somewhat deeper than much of the river this time of year. I had been tight line nymphing with a two fly rig consisting of an egg fly and a mayfly nymph. I had been doing pretty well, especially while the trout were still eating eggs and the whitefish as well. Stephen loves to cast dries and was picking off his share of trout with small dry flies. But, Tim was just killing them. His 90 degree set up with a New Zealand wool indicatorwas out fishing us considerably. After all he’s former guide, right.

Surely, he was fishing with a tiny nymph under that indicator and dredging the bottom. Nope, when pride was swallowed and we inquired what he was using, he shared it was a size 16 Z-Midge (Zebra Midge), no split shot.  Couldn’t be, the fly was too big, and not on the bottom. Well, as I said earlier, when Tim speaks, pay attention. Being astute listeners and having no shame, both Stephen and I changed strategies and quickly began having a greater measure of success. Tim’s rig was perfect for the conditions we faced. It called for a delicate presentation, a fly that mimicked the midge pupa, and was suspended in the right depth. The subtle takes were transmitted by the wool indicator and we were producing more trout and fewer whitefish. And , if any of you think all the trout in the Crooked are 6-8inches long, think again.

I’ve had the opportunity to be on the water more often than has Stephen and Tim lately, The Z-Midge for a couple weeks was by far the most productive fly. Then it just seemed the fish had wised up. They wouldn’t touch an egg, and just sniffed at the midge pattern that had been so productive lately. I’m a believer that sometimes it pays to show the fish a fly they’ve never seen. I had a number of Z-midge variants that I had tied in my box. The classic pattern, black thread, silver bead, silver rib is a standby. A little different bead, different ribbing, and a little flash seemed to just what was needed to get the fish interested. The last two outings have produced some outstanding trout for the Crooked and reinforced my belief in changing things up. Of course, having a former guide to point you in the right direction doesn’t hurt.

The moral of this long story is that there are some really knowledgeable anglers in this area. Your local fly shop is a ready source of knowledge and if you are lucky enough to have friends much more experienced than yourself, pay attention. You might learn something.


Crooked River Report

March 6th, 2021

Fishing has definitely picked up on the Crooked.  Improved hatches and slightly warming water has our local tailwater on the upswing.  Look for Blue Wing Olive hatches from noon to 3pm on most days and have a good assortment of bugs.  We like the Sparkle Dun as a good place to start but carry some Parachute syles in smaller sizes (usually #18 or #20) as well as some lowriding emerger styles.  We have a good assortment of CDC flies which often fool the smart fish (as long as you do your part and make a good cast and drift)!

Nymphing is steady and fish will eat well-presented midge, mayfly or caddis nymphs.  Many have switched over to Euro Nymphing with great results or you can try Dry Dropper tactics and have good success also.  Crooked fish don't usually move too far to eat a fly so getting your drifts to mimic the natural drift of the bugs will make a huge difference.  Our selection of tungsten-beaded nymphs is at an all-time high with a great assortment of bead sizes, profiles and colors.  

Crooked River Report

January 30th, 2021

Decent fishing on the Crooked River in the afternoons after the water warms up a bit. Flows are low (49CFS) and will likely remain that way into March. Fish are often in the frog water conserving energy. Stealthy and quiet presentations with the New Zealand Indicator is a popular tactic as is Euro Nymphing.  Not a lot of bugs hatching but you will see some blue-wing olives and tiny midges. Most afternoons will have some fish eating on top around 1 or 2pm. Using a size 20 Sparkle Dun will get some fish to commit or you can nymph the standards such as a sparse Pheasant Tail in size 18 or 20, Zebra Midges in 18 or 20 or a small Perdigon.


Crooked River Report

December 27th, 2020

The Crooked is fishing fair to good.  With limited sun penetration and light hatches we are likely in the slowest time of year but still a good option if you get the urge to fly fish in the winter.  Access is good and the water is low.  Fish light leaders and small flies and look for trout to be conserving energy in the slower runs.  

We see Euro nymphing gaining in popularity every year and the Crooked is a great place to work on your skills.  Either a 2wt or 3wt Euro rod is perfect for the Crooked and its modestly sized-fish.  We just got a fresh shipment of the Echo Shadow II rods that are well-suited for our area and the Crooked in particular.  Echo has always been at the forefront of the Euro game and these mid-priced rods are really good sticks.  Please let us know if you have any questions about how to get started with Euro nymphing in our area.

Crooked River Report

December 4th, 2020

Go small on the Crooked.  With low flows and moderate to heavy pressure for December use light presentations and smaller flies.   Occasional midges and Blue Wing Olives will bring some fish up top midday but your best bet will be nymphing the small stuff.  If you are tightline/Euro nymphing use small perdigons and jig flies.  Alternate between flashy (brighter perdigons for example) and natural colored flies (match-the-hatch) to dial in what the fish want that particular day.  Egg flies are also working well with the whitefish on the spawn.

If you are indicator fishing, get yourself a New Zealand Indicator kit and some Aquel to keep it floating properly.  The New Zealand will work much better than a Thingamabobber or Air-Lock.  They work better by detecting the light strikes that occur when fish eat small flies in low water.  Use your favorite tiny flies such as Zebra Midges, Pheasant Tails or size 18 perdigons with this method.  Water is low enough you probably won't need any split shot to get down.  Have fun and enjoy a day on the Crooked in December!

Crooked River Report

November 15th, 2020

The Crooked remains a good spot to spend a day in November.  Fishing is holding up quite well with the best action midday from about 11 to 2.  You will get some topwater action on most days with small blue-wing olives.  A size 20 Purple Haze is always a good place to start if you see some fish eating on top.  Nymphing is very good and we have seen some great trout in the 17-18" range caught recently.  If you are indicator fishing the Zebra Midge/Ray Charles combo is always on the menu.  We are now restocked on the New Zealand Indicator. We think its the best indicator out there especially in the low flows of winter.  If you are fishing tightline/Euro tactics try a small Perdigon in size 16 or 18 and hold on.   You can also expect to see some whitefish spawning so small egg patterns are going to get it done.  

Crooked River Report

October 20th, 2020

Water levels are at a low 47 CFS which means anglers and fish are concentrated pretty heavily but fishing is holding up pretty well.  You will do very good with tightline/ Euro nymph tactics and some nice fish can be found eating dries at times.  Look for Blue Wing Olives over the next few weeks if you make it out there.  With the cooler weather this week forecasted you can expect that midday (warmest part of the day) will be best.

Crooked River Report

October 1st, 2020

With the splash and giggle crowd fading, trout are up and eating almost every day. This summer was good but it was getting pretty frustrating that the Crooked got discovered as a floating destination for the summer tourists. With the onset of fall trout are looking to put on some weight before the lean times of winter. Small dries like a Purple Haze and a Parachute Adams are a good place to start but always have some more tricked out patterns like the Stalcup's Winger PMD in size 18. Soft hackles can be very good also.

Euro nymphing is becoming huge on our local waters and the Crooked seems to be the epicenter. If you haven't got into it yet we have the new Orvis Clearwater 3wt.Euro Nymph combo in stock for just $309.00. Add some jig flies, fluoro tippet and time on the water and you are on your way to improving your success on this productive tailwater.

Crooked River Report

September 17th, 2020

The smoke covering the region looks like it will dissipate this weekend so it might be a good time to get on the Crooked. Fishing pressure has been light and hatches were building pretty well before the fires and smoky sky took over. You can expect some good PMD hatches every day as well as good hopper-dropper fishing, especially in the late afternoon. Nymphing will produce of course as it always does on our local tailwater gem. Try small Perdigon's, Split Case PMD's and Zebra Midges this week.

Crooked River Report

September 7th, 2020

Pretty darn good fishing this week on the Crooked River with steady midday PMD hatches and great nymphing opportunities. The rubber floaty hatch on the Crooked was pretty extreme this weekend but the fish still were eating on top for much of the day. Emerging PMD patterns in size 16 and 18, as well as soft hackles, were very effective. Small hoppers are abundant along the banks so you can play the hopper-dropper game also. Smallish size 12 hoppers are generally going to outfish the big foam monsters out there.

Crooked River Report

August 29th, 2020

Overall its been a nymphing game on the Crooked with some great but sporadic dry fly fishing mixed in. Small PMD's mixed with some midges are keeping the hatch matching dry fly enthusiasts on their toes. You may also do well with the occasional hopper. Flows are stable at 215 CFS and water conditions are decent except for the junk in the drift which can be annoying at times.

Nymphing is very good with tightline/ Euro tactics dominating. Small perdigon's jig pheasant tails and Duracell's are getting it done. We really feel sparser is better so when tying or buying flies. Crooked fish can surprisingly stingy at times but sparse flies that sink quickly are key.

Expect that Labor Day weekend will be very crowded. Evenings will be the least fished times, so plan accordingly.

Crooked River Report

August 20th, 2020

The Crooked River is fishing well right now. Expect some company out there as everyone seems to be finding some fish especially the Euro nymph crowd. If you haven't tried the Euro style of nymphing, the Crooked is tailor-made for the technique. Short precise drifts with smallish nymphs have always been the order of the day but with Euro nymphing the tools are vastly better than most other techniques. The most popular set-ups are 10 or 10.5 foot 3wt Euro rods. The 2 wt. models also have some play on the Crooked but might be undergunned for some rivers especially the Deschutes. Tippet size matters also. Generally 5x and 6x Flurocarbon are best. 7x tippet is even back on the radar in our shop when it previously collected dust on the shelves or went out with the occasional Fall River angler.

Play around with light tippet if you have a true Euro-rod. Your Euro rod is designed to protect tippet. Not only is the rod longer to give you a reach advantage, but its softer flex pattern has shock absorption that is not found in most rods. Light tippet will allow your flies to sink faster and get "in the zone" much faster than other tippet. Light tippet hooks more fish than heavy tippet. The question becomes how many break-offs can you tolerate. Everyone hates breaking off fish but some hate it more than others.

Dry fly fishing is good in the afternoons with some hopper-dropper action, PMD's and some midges. If you are a dry fly fisher and you aren't really into nymphing the good news is that traffic declines quite a bit in the late afternoons when dry fly fishing is better. Many in the Euro-crowd arrive early so you can time your day accordingly.

If you are out on the Crooked on one of those Tough Days with a capital T, try a small woolly bugger or leech pattern. Dead-drifted or stripped, the small streamers can save the day when nothing else seems to work.

Crooked River Report

August 13th, 2020

Good fishing on the Crooked right now with Euro Nymphing and Dry Dropper fishing leading the way. Small profile mayfly nymphs and perdigon's continue to be the most popular patterns. Tungsten is your friend out here and all but eliminates the need to fish external split shot. For your dry fly in the Dry Dropper rig now is a time to start fishing some smallish hopper patterns such as a Parachute Hopper. Indicator fishing with a Zebra Midge and a Split Back PMD or Juan's PMD Slim Shady is good also for anyone that prefers this method. Dry fly anglers are doing well most afternoons on PMD emergers and dries as well as small Purple Hazes and Parachute Adams. Flows are stable at 215 CFS and you can expect fishing will only improve into late summer and fall. Generally 5x tippet is perfect for the Crooked but carry some 6x also especially when the fish are being picky and the sun is on the water.

Crooked River Report

August 6th, 2020

We are having a good summer on the Crooked. Flows are down to 215 CFS after running a touch higher than normal. Fish are chowing down the nymphs every day and anglers that have precise drifts are finding a lot of fish. Perdigon's, Thread Frenchies and the ever-popular Duracell are getting it done. You can swing some soft hackes also, particularly in the afternoons. Dry fly fishing is hit-or-miss right now but look for afternoons and evenings to be the best time to find some fish feeding on top. Midges and PMD's are best. We generally fish a Purple Haze size 18 day-to-day unless the fish are thumbing their noses at it and then we will change into a little more match-the-hatch bugs. Often just changing your angle on a picky fish will do the trick. The Crooked is a great place to build skills and after catching a bunch of fish with one tactic look to catch a few with a tactic that you are not as dialed-in with. Doing this will make you a better angler and is respectful to the resource.

Crooked River Report

May 1st, 2020

The Crooked spiked pretty big today to 560CFS. The ODFW is attempting to aid the down migration of salmon and steelhead smolts by increasing the volume of water from the dam. We recommend waiting until the flows drop back into the 200-350 CFS range before making the drive. When it drops back into shape look for the Mother's Day Caddis hatch to become the main driver of activity for a week or two.

Crooked River Report

March 10th, 2020

Psst. Don't tell anyone but the Crooked is fishing pretty well. Is it as good as it was back in 2015 (our last great year out there)? No, probably not, but we have seen a nice increase in the average size and many anglers are catching good numbers again. March should be a very good month to get reacquainted with our little tailwater gem. The consistent water flows all winter seemed to provide good habitat for both the fish and the insects.

Nymphing will remain the most consistent method to fool some fish. Whether you are an indicator or tightline-style angler, get those flies down and in the strike zone and get those flies dead-drifting. Crooked fish see a lot of natural insects going past their noses all day so they don't normally chase too far for their meals. Flies to consider on the Crooked would include the Perdigon's, Hot Spot Pheasant Tails, and the good ol' Zebra Midge. When you see some fish start working the surface in March, put on a Griffith's Gnat, small Parachute Adams (sizes 18 -22), Midge Emergers such as the Juju Midge or the VC Midge and look for the odd Skwala stone towards the end of March.

Crooked River Report

January 31st, 2020

The Crooked is fishing pretty decent right now. Overall nymphing is your best bet with very sporadic fishing on dries at this time. Nymphing with New Zealand Strike Indicators is the way to go unless of course you are one of the many that have converted to Euro Nymphing in the last couple years. Euro Nymphing is quickly finding its way into the mainstream here in Central Oregon and the Crooked is one of the best places to hone your technique. Whether you are fishing with indicators or Euro-style, Perdigons, Duracell Jigs and Hot Spot Pheasant Tails will get it done. Access is excellent with no snow along the banks, water condition is excellent and the average size trout seems to be increasing. If you haven't been out to the Crooked lately, definitely put that back on your list again this winter or spring.