Who are these people that are saying the stone fly hatch is over ?! It’s far from over. In fact there are still stone fly nymphs crawling from the river. The last few trips out have been wonderful, with the occasional slow spot, the fishing, or “catching as we say”, is still GOOD! Three different stone flies are now hatching, Salmon Flies, Golden Stones and Yellow Sally’s !
The May flies are: Blue Winged Olive, Mahogany Duns, Pale Evening Dun and Green Drakes !!!
The BWO’s are a size 18 and hatch from around noon until about 2 PM. The Mahogany Duns are size 16 and hatch from about 1 until 3 PM. Pale Evening Duns are size 12, and hatch from 1 to 5PM, Green Drakes size 10, hatch anytime from noon to 4PM.
Caddis hatches are the Free Livers size 14, Net Spinners size 16, and the Igloo Case Builders size 20. All three of these caddis typically hatch in the afternoon, anytime between 2 until 5 PM. Some folks are seeing caddis flying around in the morning, but those hatched the day before and are just flying around, landing on the trees and grasses along the bank prepping to mate. After mating, they will return to the river to lay their eggs toward the end of the day.
The middle of the day is still fishing better than the mornings and evenings, but that will change later this spring. Best bet is to fish your May Fly patterns from 11AM until 3PM, and fish your Caddis patters from 2 until 5PM or later. If nothing is happening, try a variety of mid-sized nymphs, (Prince Nymph, Stone Fly Nymph,..), on a two fly grig with a small nymph or emerger with some flashy material.
If you’re getting refusals using the adult stones, trail a “dry” Yellow Sally about 15” behind the adult stone fly. Use no less than 4X tippet material.
Best water types to fish. Back eddies, steep bank runs with foam lines, riffles, and down stream of riffles where the water slows and deepens. Try some of the heavier water a little further out right in the seam just inside the dancing waves.
Deschutes River - Lower - May 13th, 2015
supplied by: Deschutes River Outfitters RECORDED:65 °FISHING: Great
Remember the old Hitchcock thriller 'The Birds?' Well, replace 'Birds' with 'BUGS' and it's been like that on the Lower Deschutes!
However, instead of vicious attacks on humans by crazy feathered critters, we are seeing vicious attacks on salmonflies and golden stoneflies by hunger-crazed redsides! The big bugs are everywhere from Warm Springs to Mack's Canyon. Keep in mind that this hatch 'moves' upstream throughout the coming weeks, and peak hatch-intensity has a lot to due with weather.
This cool weather cycle will serve to slow-down the progression and prolong the timeline of the hatch. Don't worry if you are fishing this week, there are a TON of other insects hatching right along side the stoneflies. Don't get caught in the canyon without size 10 Green Drakes, size 12 March Browns, size 16 PMD's, size 16 tan caddis and size 18 BWO's for starters. It's a veritable smorgasbord right now...and the trout are ready to feast.
Grab a bunch of fly floatant and get down here, the water is fine.....
Deschutes River - Middle - May 6th, 2015
supplied by: The Patient Angler RECORDED:66 °FISHING: Good
Went to the Tumalo area on the Deschutes the other day in search of some Salmonfly opportunities. It was such a beautiful day and I thought it would be great to catch an evening fish session after work. The water was on the low side, but that didn’t seem to affect the fishing at all. Before the sun got off the water the fishing was on the slow side with only a few fish being caught on the adult Salmonflies. There were Salmonfly husks all over the riverbank and bushes, as well as a few adults flying around, so we knew the fishing had to pick up eventually.
As the evening drew on the fishing started to pick up and we were able to tease a few fish into eating our big dries. I was surprised at how shallow some of the water was that was holding quality fish. As long as there was good overhanging structure, a place where Salmonflies could fall out of the trees, there were fish waiting. We caught about a dozen fish within a few hours, all about average size for that area.
Casting those big Salmonfly dry patterns can kind of be a pain, especially when it is windy, but I was able to lessen that with a 3X 7.5ft leader. I found that the shorter leader did not affect the fish and it made casting big flies through the wind a heck of a lot easier. To the leader I attached a few feet of 4X fluorocarbon tippet and it was game on.
Before we left for home, I found a nice bank of overhanging trees and thought I had to cast a fly under them. The water was only half a foot deep, so I didn’t expect anything large, but to my surprise I caught my best fish of the day! This nice brown hit my fly hard and took off running, and I finally got to hear my new Hardy Ultralight DD reel sing. After landing this fish, we took a quick picture and released it to live another day.
Rogue River - Upper - November 10th, 2014
supplied by: Roe Outfitters Oregon Guide Klamath Falls Fly Shop RECORDED:60 °FISHING: Excellent
Steelhead on the Rogue River has been very productive. The summer run of fish is still very strong. We anticipate fishing well into December on the upper river.
Klamath River - November 10th, 2014
supplied by: Roe Outfitters Oregon Guide Klamath Falls Fly Shop RECORDED:60 °FISHING: Excellent
The section from Keno Dam to J.C. Boyle Reservoir (Topsy Reservoir) is open for fishing as of October 1st, 2014. The section from Keno Dam to J.C. Boyle Reservoir (Topsy Reservoir) is open to fishing! Deaddrifting sculpin and muddler minnows under an indicator is successful. Also, fish are keying in on caddis and mayfly emergers.
The Klamath River Wild and Scenic section is fishing excellent.
The Klamath River between JC Boyle Dam to JC Boyle Powerhouse Is an excellent place to dry fly fish when water levels are low (usually early mornings and late afternoons) check water flow estimates before heading out. Fishing can still be productive when water levels are up, but one will have to change fishing tactics. Dead drifting rubber leg stone flies with a small pheasant tail or copper johns can be productive. Also, swinging streamers (leach and seal bugger patterns) across the current can produce fish.
Wild and Scenic: Fish a big caddis and let it swing at the end of the drift-if the fish are picky, use a smaller fly. Also, look for mayfly hatches and match the fly accordingly. Have a fun time!
Klamath Lake - November 10th, 2014
supplied by: Roe Outfitters Oregon Guide Klamath Falls Fly Shop RECORDED:60 °FISHING: Great
November is possibly the best month to fish Upper Klamath Lake. Eat your Wheaties. This is a true still water fishery and your casts must be on target in order to be productive.
Wallowa River - November 5th, 2014
supplied by: Joseph Fly Shoppe, LLC RECORDED:60 °FISHING: Fair
11/5 Trout season closed 10/31, BUT you can continue to fish for whitefish (just release all those nice trout). Or you can get a steelhead catch card and fish for steelhead (release all those nice trout). A few early steelhead are being caught. You will have the river to yourself. I will be out of the area for the next three weeks - unable to update reports. The flyshop in Joseph will be open, but river info and technical support limited.
10/24 - Rains have bumped up flows - which will continue to suck steelhead up the Ronde. If you want to fish the Wallowa you will have the river to yourself - your pick of runs. Why not (?) - some big bows, an occasional bull, and a few early steelies.
10/18 Same story as 10/3. Nobody fishing and big feisty fish. Where else do the fish make repeated three foot leaps - and not another fisherman in site? And you are trying to figure out if the fish you just landed is a trout or steelhead?
10/3 Some very large trout are being caught on the Wallowa. Pressure is light. Use stimulators for the October Caddis, but try a big/small bh nymph combo for the biggest trout and perhaps an early steelhead.
9/11 - Good fall fishing - beautiful Indian Summer days. Water flows are average, but avoid the long shallow sections. Fish are kegged-up in the deeper holes and "structured" water with boulders. Pretty hard to beat a size 8 or 10 prince nymph with a size 18 flashback hare's ear dropper - fished under a strike indicator. Or put on a bigger stone fly nymph with some split shot and fish the bottom of the deeper troughs for the big trout on the bottom. Hoppers and stimulators will also bring trout to the surface - best when the water is shaded.
8/22 - The Wallowa is fishing good - producing some bigger than average trout lately. Water flows are also good and water temps have dropped to a nice hard to 60 degrees. Fish are finally starting to come up for larger hoppers/stimulators/madam x's - in addition to evening caddis hatches. Trout have started to move into the riffles, but the big boys are still being caught above and below big boulders or in the deeper slots with stonefly nymphs. We get lots of reports of how thick and active the rainbows are. Then there are the two fishermen who have caught steelhead in the Wallowa this past week!!! Yes, it is early, but "evolution" protects the run by sending a few fish ripping upstream every year. We always catch some steelhead in the Wallowa in September. By the way, one of the steelhead caught was a bright 30" hen - landed on 5X tippet after an acrobatic show that lasted 45 minutes.
GENERAL INFO - WALLOWA RIVER (our area’s best trout stream): Two forks of the Wallowa River tumble down the steep Wallowa Mountains and fill Wallowa Lake at the south end. A small irrigation dam at the north end releases water throughout the summer and fall. Upon leaving the lake, the Wallowa River enters mostly private property for approximately 25 miles before entering a canyon 3 miles west of the town of Wallowa. In this beautiful “Canyon Section,” between the towns of Wallowa and Minam, the Wallowa River is closely paralleled by Highway 82 for 8 miles and is accessible to the public. Most trout range from 8” to 12”, but fish in the 14” to 20” range are also caught. Despite the highway, this section of river receives only light to moderate fishing pressure.
Native rainbows need to be released in the Canyon Section, but fin-clipped steelhead smolt (those that were not inspired to move downstream to the ocean) take the place of stocked trout and may be kept. The Wallowa often runs too high to wade until mid July, but depending on the snowpack this can vary by as much as a month. A few steelhead enter the river in September (there are two steelhead and one salmon hatchery that serve the river) but most steelheading in the Canyon is done between February and mid April. Trout season runs from Memorial Day weekend until October 31, but one can fish for white fish until April 15. Steelhead Season runs from September 1 until April 15. A “Special Salmon Season” is sometimes opened in early summer if salmon runs are sufficient .
Imnaha River - November 5th, 2014
supplied by: Joseph Fly Shoppe, LLC RECORDED:60 °FISHING: Good
11/5 - Nice rains the past few days bumped the cfs to 160 from 130. This should help move steelhead into the river from the Snake. It is raining lightly today. Higher water levels provide more holding water for the fish and spread out the fishers. Unfortunately I will be out of town the next three weeks - unable to update these reports. The flyshop in Joseph will be open, but fishing information and technical assistance limited.
10/24 Lots of rain this week - just what the DR. ordered. Steelhead fishing has been good to very good. Flows are up to 125 cfs and today the water has a little color. It is still raining today - so we will watch the color, but it would take a lot more rain to "blow-out" the Imnaha. Check with the Joseph Flyshoppe for the hottest patterns.
10/18 Man - you should have been here last Wednesday and Thursday. Not too many people, but every hacker was catching steelhead. We got about an 8% bump in water levels last week from rains, not much, but enough to move more fish out of the Snake into the Imnaha system. We have the best run of steelhead in the last four years, and they moved right up the Columbia and Snake rivers. Now we need more rain to move fish upstream on the Imnaha.
The Imnaha has been running 100 cfs. If we could get a week of storms, maybe even a wet snow, we could bump the river to 250-300 cfs. This would accomplish two things: it would move more fish upstream AND provide more holding water for the fish and the FISHERS - spread um out boys.
When should you come? The longer you wait the more fish there will be BUT the more fishers there will be - until the weather gets too cold. Actually, for many years I would fish the Imnaha between mid October and Christmas - unless the river iced-up. At some point the gear guys move in pretty heavy. Steelhead fishing can also be good in Jan. - mid Apr., but the fish tend to be more spawnny. I liked fly fishing best in the fall/early winter.
What gear to use? Its a small river, so you can single hand or spey. Swing or nymph? Up to you. In fact on a small river like the Imnaha there is no clear break between the two. If it is a nice wide run, swing it. If it is a boulder run or slot, nymph it. Or do what we did before the days of steelhead strike indicator fishing. We put on a heavy sink tip line and black beadhead woolly bugger and either swung it or high-sticked nynphed it when the run called for it.
Finally, on the Imnaha, early in the run, you can catch some small steelhead in the 18" - 20" range - mixed in with the big boys. See you at the shop for the best selection of steelhead flies in Eastern Oregon/Washington.
10/1 The Imnaha steelhed run will be the best since the big run of 2010-12. They are steadily moving up the Columbia and into the Snake. So far 32% of the Imnaha that crossed Bonneville have crossed Lower Granite dam (the last dam before the Imnaha). However, we could sure use more rain to get them moving out of the Snake into the Imnaha. Imnaha CFS is holding around 100cfs. All the same, 4 hatchery steelhead have crossed the pit tag counter at Cow Creek, which translates to a total of 50 -60 above Cow Creek. I spoke with a fisher today that caught one of those fish yesterday. If you know what you are doing, you too should find steelhed in the limited holding water.
8/26 - Trout fishing has been good on the private and public access above and below town. Bull trout have followed the big salmon run upstream, and some are being caught in the upper reaches. I assume bass fishing is good on the lower river near the snake.
STEELHEAD ALERT: OK Kids – it's going to be a good steelhead run this year. Based on counts over Bonniville 17,000 plus fish are headed to the Wallowa (passing thru the Grande Ronde) and Imnaha Rivers. These numbers should equal or exceed the good run of 2011/12. Better yet, over 50% fo the Wallowa/Ronde fish are the big (25”-28”) two salt fish. The Imnaha will have roughly 37% two salt fish. Many of the steelhead are still hanging in the Snake, so we will report as soon as fishing picks up on the Ronde and Imnaha.
GENERAL INFO – IMNAHA RIVER: The Imnaha is a spectacularly beautiful little river. It flows for fifty miles from the base of the Eagle Cap Wilderness to Hells Canyon. The upper river is nestled in huge ponderosa pines. The lower river has steep rocky walls, cactus, and a few rattlers. Fish run up and down the river like a freeway – salmon, steelhead, bull trout, rainbows, whitefish and even bass in the lower river.
The lower river is a wonderful little steelhead fishery. The mid river can be a fair to good trout fishery. The upper river near the FS campgrounds off Hwy 39 is a poor trout fishery because: native trout are not protected; the river is not stocked with trout; the river is glacial fed and does not have many nutriants; and campers tend to “fish-out“ this section of river.
Thanks to the Nature Conservancy and Forest Service, the lower river (the bottom 12 miles from Horse Creek to the Snake) has good public access. There is also a good easement upstream (south) from town for the first three miles. However, the mid river above and below town is mostly private and should not be trespassed. Oregon laws are tough. It is ILLEGAL to hunt or fish on private property without permission – it does not have to be fenced or posted. However, recent information from the Oregon Attorney's Office suggests that if you can float a river in a boat, you can wade and fish it below the high water mark - if you don't trespass when accessing the river.
Grande Ronde River - November 5th, 2014
supplied by: Joseph Fly Shoppe, LLC RECORDED:60 °FISHING: Fair
11/4 I downgraded the rating to "fair" this week. For the last two weeks people have been catching steelhead most days - but they have been working for them. That could all change for the better with the nice rains the last few days. Unfortunately, I will be out of town for the next three weeks so these reports will not be updated. The flyshop in Joseph will be open, but river info and technical support will be limited. Tight Lines.
10/24 Tell your boss you will be sick next week. Rains this week were just what the Dr. ordered. This past week the fishing was tough, but the higher flows will move the steelhead upstream. We will try and report if water color becomes a problem.
10/18- Man you should have been hear last Wed-Thur. Little rain - cloudy AND the steelhead were on the bite. The rain bumped the river last week from 650 to 700 - enough to move the fish and put them on the bite. One of my friends picked up five on the swing - everyone picked up at least one around Troy. Now you just have to watch out for the crowds that will descend on this small steelhead Mecca. We have the best steelhead run headed our way in the last four years. And, they moved right up the Columbia and Snake this year. If we could only get a week of nice storms - maybe a wet snow in the Wallowas or Blues - watch out. Over 50% of this year's run up the GR (Wallowa hatchery fish) are the big two salt boys. Come into the Joseph Fly Shoppe for the best selection of steelhead flies and advice in Eastern OR/WA.
10-1 The "good" rating is an average of a "fair" numbers of steelhead, "great" Indian Summer weather, and "good" access to the best holding water (ie: not too many fishers). Grande Ronde CFs is 650, a bit low, but high enough to sneak a raft from Minam to Troy, or a drift boat from Bogans to Shomaker. I am getting regular reports of fish caught at Troy. This will be our best run since the large run of 2010-11. To date, 22% of the Wallowa hatchery run (the run that passes Troy on their way to the two hatcheries on the Wallowa) that have crossed Bonneville have crossed Lower Granite dam - the last dam they cross. Steelhead are being caught in fair numbers in the Snake at the mouth of the Ronde, so we just need some rain. Better schedule your trip soon before the Ronde is too crowded .
9-12 STEELHEAD ALERT: OK Kids – it's going to be a good steelhead run this year. Based on counts over Bonniville 17,000 plus fish are headed to the Wallowa (passing thru the Grande Ronde) and Imnaha Rivers. These numbers should equal or exceed the good run of 2011/12. Better yet, over 50% fo the Wallowa/Ronde fish are the big (25”-28”) two salt fish. The Imnaha will have roughly 37% two salt fish. Many of the steelhead are still hanging in the Snake, so we will report as soon as fishing picks up on the Ronde and Imnaha.
GEN INFO: The Ronde produces some nice size rainbows and bull trout, but because it gets too warm in the summer it is not as good a trout stream as the Wallowa. It is a great steelhead river in the fall/winter/spring (known nation wide for it's top water action). It is also gaining quite a reputation as a small mouth bass strean in it's lower reaches (Troy down)
Wallowa Lake - October 3rd, 2014
supplied by: Joseph Fly Shoppe, LLC RECORDED:70 °FISHING: Fair
The lake has not been stocked since early August and, as a result, fishing for trout has been poor. The lake also became over populated with Kokanee and the fish are very small and the fishing poor.
8/9 The lake was stocked with 6,000 fish this past week - one flyfisher reported catching over 50 on fly this morning.
7/30 Lake has been freshly stocked and is fishing good to very good for trout. Flyfishers are having the best luck swinging nymphs near the river inlet at the south end of the lake. Stike indicators are also working. Moss Green woolly buggers, carey specials or green matuka have done well. Trail these patterns 15" - 20" back with a small, sz 16 - 14 beadhead nymph to give the fish several looks. Small orange soft hackles as a trailer are picking up small Kokanee (no minimum size, so keep these for a nice breakfast)
Kokanee fishing thus far for mid size and large fish has been poor to terrible. As the summer wears on a few in the 6-8" range are being caught.
GENERAL INFO. ODFW is a reporting in a significant shift in the Kokanee fishery. Small kokanee under 10" have increased in recent years from 70,000 to 900,000. The daily catch limit was recently increased from 10/day to 20 (but only 5 over 12". There is less probability of catching the record size fish being caught a few years ago.