Remember in my last report when I stated that it would be a couple of weeks before the stone fly adults would start laying their eggs ?! Well,.. They’ve started ! This is about 3 to 4 weeks earlier than normal. For the most part, trout are still focused on the stone fly nymphs, but it won’t be long before their interest in the adults on the surface become tempting.
The current river level is 4,280 CFS (cubic feet per second), which is normal. The water temperature has been 53 to 55 degrees for most of April, which is about 4 degrees higher than normal. This is way the stone flies are hatching early.
So, it’s still a good idea to fish stonefly nymphs along the shore line. A good plan is to stand on the bank, make a short cast with a shorter than normal leader, using a high sticking technique to keep your presentation under control. If that doesn’t work, switch to smaller caddis larva / pupa or mayfly nymph patterns and fish those slightly further out.
Fly patterns that are doing the job are Stone Fly nymphs, size 8’s & 10’s, Possy Buggers, 8’s & 10’s, Lightening Bugs, 16’s, Z Wing Caddis Pupa, 16’s & 18’s, Rainbow Warriors, 16’s &18’s. Hares Ear Soft Hackle, 14’s.
Other patterns that you should have on hand would be an assortment of Prince Nymphs, Sparkle Pupa’s, Soft Hackles, CDC BH Pheasant Tails and San Juan Worms.
I encourage you to click on “Monthly Hatch Chart” to see what you can expect during this month. Its also a great way to get a sneak preview of hatches in the months ahead.
For now, you’ll probably want to spend more time fishing wets and nymphs. I recommend fish a 2 fly rig. Size 8 to 12 is a good choice for your first fly, and size 16 to 20 for your point fly. Adding a split shot or two would be a good idea. It’ll help you get the flies a little deeper in some of the heavier runs.
April is usually the time when our beloved Redside trout spawn. Keep in mind they don’t all spawn at the same time. That means the trout that are not spawning are you can still catch fish.
If you come across spawning trout, stop fishing, do not disturb them and move to another area to continue your fishing.
If you have Q’s, Please don’t hesitate to call, we will be glad to help!
Wallowa River - November 12th, 2015
supplied by: Joseph Fly Shoppe, LLC RECORDED:50 °FISHING: Good
11/14 This will be our last river report of the year. The shop will be open until 12/21. Have a good winter.
The two steelhead hatcheries on the Wallowa will have a larger than normal return this year. Some steelhead are currently being caught. However, the big push will come in Feb/Mar/Apr - when fish return to their tribs to spawn.
0/27 Just got back into town. Lots of anglers on the river last weekend, so must be some earlyy steelhead in the river. I'll report as I get more info.
10/7 - 10/25 SORRY NO REPORTS WILL BE AVAILABLE FROM 10/7 THRU 10/25
10/4 Yup - nice 5lb steelie caught in the Wallowa above Minam yesterday.
10/2 UPDATE: Just saw pictures of one thick 17" and one thick 18" bow - caught on adult October Caddis dries on the Wallowa yesterday. OVERCAST - lots of bugs on the water! Also two fishers yesterday caught over fifty trout between 7" - 14". Blue wing olives are coming off and they did well on small pheasant tails fished deep and on foam October caddis. They were impressed with how thick and strong the trout were - a 14" fish took them to their backing.
10/1 Trout fishing has good for small bow on dries and bigger bows on Oct Caddis nymphs. The bad news is that following the rain/snow we reported in the 9/5 report, there has been no rain and river levels have dropped from 250 cfs to 180 cfs. There is no rain in the forecast this week. When fishing the "canyon" between Minam and Wallowa avoid the long shallow and "slick" sections. Otherwise, cool water temps have moved trout into the riffles, pockets and tail-outs. October Caddis are out in good numbers, but trout are not yet targeting the adults. Try a sz 6 or 8 possie bugger or rubber legged squirrel in the riffles where the emergers are hatching. We prefer the tan colors to the typical orange October Caddis patterns. Residual steelhead smolt in the 7" - 11" range have been attacking dries - but cloud cover would help the dry fly fishing. Irrigators in the Valley have finished their season and the trout in the upper creeks and ditches are dropping down into the Wallowa.
9/5 Good news! It has been raining hard for the past twenty four hours (4" of snow on top of the tramway). The fires are out, the mountains are capped with snow, the rivers are on the rise, and the temporary 2:00 PM closure was lifted 9/1. Fishing on the Wallowa has been good to very good. The hunters are all in the woods, the kids back in school, we have beautiful "Indian Summer" weather, and you will have the Wallowa to yourself. Irrigation ditches and creeks in the upper valley are dropping and fish are dropping back down into the lower Wallowa River. Use large yellow or orange stimulators for fall caddis, or large stone fly nymphs with small droppers. The fish should be starting to spread out into the riffles and pocket water.
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 12th, 2015
supplied by: Joseph Fly Shoppe, LLC RECORDED:50 °FISHING: Good
11/12: Last steelhead report for the winter. The lower Imnaha (below Cow Creek) is full of steelhead (and Fall Chinook). Recent rains/snows should keep moving the steelhead upstream. ODFW expects a hatchery return of 3,000 steelhead - a good return. So far we have seen more two salts than normal (26"-28"). Egg flies have been hot (or other pink head/body nymphs). However black buggers, prince nymphs, and other stone flies also work. Most guys strike indicator nymph, but "high sticking" and swinging sink tips can also be effective. Be sure to check flow rates and weather for possible icing.
HAVE A GOOD WINTER. THE SHOP WILL BE OPEN UNTIL 12/31. wILL BE BACK ONLINE IN MAY 2016 - WITH A NEW WEBSITE!
10/27 Just got back in to town. Apparently steelhead fishing on the lower Imnaha has been good. Only 100 cfs, but the fish seem determined to move upstream. I'll add info as I get it over the next few days. Rained last night.
10/7 - 10/25 SORRY, NO REPORTS WILL BE AVAILABLE FROM 10/7 - 10/25
10/4 ALERT: Yup - steelhead starting to keg up at the mouth.
10/1 I have no reports yet of steelhead being caught in the Imnaha or at the confluence with the snake - doesn't mean there haven't been. However, without rain for the past three weeks the river has dropped to a very low 80 cfs. The steelhead run is predicted to be a good one - once we get some moisture.
9/6 Rains and cool night have put us right back in the saddle. At 100 cfs this morning the river is at pretty normal temps and flows for this time of year. Try: fishing the three miles of easement south of the town of Imnaha for small to med. size trout; the upper river near Indian Crossing for bull trout; or the lower river near Cow Creek for bass, bows, bulls, or an early steelie. The temporary daily 2:00 PM closure was lifted 9/1. Hopefully continued weather systems off the Pacific will provide enough water to move steelhead and fall chinook upstream this fall. Stay tuned.
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 12th, 2015
supplied by: Joseph Fly Shoppe, LLC RECORDED:55 °FISHING: Good
11/12 This will be the last online steelhead report for the winter - although the shop will be open until 12/31.
It been a great fall for steelhead, and will continue thru the winter - weather permitting. Check river flows and weather for flow problems or icing. Big run this year. The guides have mostly pulled out for the winter, but any good weather windows will still produce some great fishing.
WE WILL BE BACK ONLINE IN MAY, 2016 - WITH A NEW WEBSITE! hAVE A GREAT WINTER.
10/26 Just got back in town. Steelhead fishing in the Troy, Oregon area has been great! The ODFW creel checker reported 4.1 hrs/fish - the lowest I've seen it. This average includes a lot of hackers who don't have a clue, so think what you could do if you any good. A bait fisher in the shop this morning claimed to have landed (hooked?) nine steelhead before 9:00 AM. I'll follow-up with more info in the next day or so. PS The river is getting pretty crowded with anglers, so bring your own rock.
10/7 - 10/25 sORRY NO REPORTS WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR THIS PERIOD
10/3 ALERT AGAIN: A group fishing between Boggan's and Heller Bar landed 28 steelies. Grant Richie's guide service out of Minam estimated they hooked 15 between Minam and Pawatka - and good numbers of big trout and bulls.
10/2 ALERT: The boys camped at Heller Bar, swinging flies, are catching fish daily - slightly earlier than normal. Fish are up high in the water plain. Steelhead are pouring over Lower Granite Dam. Looks like a great steelhead year.
10/1 Steelhead are being caught at Troy and Boggans, and a few between Minam and Troy. Nobody is really fishing yet, so you should have the river to yourself. The problem is that we have not had rain or snow for three weeks and the river is dropping again.
The current flow at Troy is 494 cfs and dropping. These are minimal levels to get a large gear boat downstream from Minam or a drift boat downstream from Boggans. However, I recently spoke to an egg/roe fisher who caught 5 steelhead, 9 chinook, and "lots" of nice trout over three days - spread over the last two weeks near Troy. However, the ODFW creel checker reported 30 hrs/steelhead last week.
ODFW, based on their chip tag counts over Bonneville, expect 21,000 steelhead to return to the Wallowa and Imnaha combined. This would be the best run in five years. Steelhead continue to move up the Columbia and Snake - 4,000 a couple days ago. Now we need rain to move them into our tribs.
9/8 Just in from the local ODFW office: ".... based on our PIT tag data, this year's run is looking very strong for both the Grande Ronde and Imnaha. To date 19,000 have crossed Bonneville ... equal to the entire run last year."
9/6 Rain and snow in the mountains - just what the doctor ordered. The cfs at Troy this morning was at 580, not that far from the 690 average for this time of year (and way up from the 390 cfs from several week ago - the lowest I have seen it in 25 years). Steelhead are streaming up the Columbia - we will include dam counts in the next report.
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)
Lostine River - September 6th, 2015
supplied by: Joseph Fly Shoppe, LLC RECORDED:65 °FISHING: Fair
9/6 Recent rains have been great. The fires are out and the smoke is gone. At 35 cfs the river is at a nice level for fishing for small native trout.
8/24 The Lostine is a great spot for dry-fly angling for smaller native bows' (with the possibility of larger Bull trout too). Recently we recommend fishing the canyon section (above Pole Bridge) to a patron and he landed 24 fish in a morning of fishing, and two Bulls on small surface dries! The wading and creek walking can be bouldery and challenging but the deep pools and gin-clear water, and native trout are more than enough reward.
GENERAL INFO: To catch small, pretty, native rainbows you need to fish away from camp ground areas. Unfortunately native trout are not protected on this river. Release them - you can eat all the brook trout you want from the High Lakes.or upstream from Two Pan.
Wallowa Lake - September 6th, 2015
supplied by: Joseph Fly Shoppe, LLC RECORDED:65 °FISHING: Fair
9/6 Trout fishing on the lake has slowed considerably in recent weeks. Kokanee fishing has been poor all summer.
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".
Flyfish for stocked trout at the south end where the river comes in. Cast into the stream current, throw a few mends, then strip line off your reel and let the current carry it out, then strip it in. Try a green woolly bugger or damsel fly with a small orange soft hackle trailer. Or simply dead drift a prince nymph in the current.
Kenny Lake - September 6th, 2015
supplied by: Joseph Fly Shoppe, LLC RECORDED:65 °FISHING: Poor
9/6 Alert. ODFW is poisoning the lake this fall to kill the over populated bull heads. Changes in the State regs call for opening this lake year around and permitting the use of small boats. That would be great. Stay tuned
GENERAL INFO: This is a great little flyfishing lake only 15 minutes from Joseph. HOWEVER, unlike most Oregon lakes/ponds it is only open during the stream trout fishing season (Memorial Day weekend to October 31), and you CANNOT use boats or tubes. It is a irrigation reservoir that is stocked by ODFW. In low water years it does not fish well in late summer. It can be a good fishing lake for young kids using bait.
In the fall of 2015 it will be poisoned to kill the bullheads. ODFW believes the combination of bullheads and trout keep either species from good, normal growth.
Deschutes River - Lower - August 3rd, 2015
supplied by: Deschutes River Outfitters RECORDED:85 °FISHING: Good
It's been a very busy summer here at Deschutes River Outfitters.
So busy, in fact, that I haven't written a report in over two months! In the last eight weeks Matt and I have seen it all: Days of 100+ degree heat, periods of dense...and I mean THICK caddis hatches broken up by spells where we couldn't find an adult caddis in 50 miles of river, big trout on small stonefly nymphs in crazy fast water, fish on streamers deep in the belly of the runs, sippers in back eddies eating multiple species of insects on the same gulp(!), bighorn sheep, black bear with cubs (WHAT!?), golden eagles, bald eagles, falcons and cougar tracks, oh my!
Indeed, it's been an abnormal summer of sorts. You may have heard of the fluctuations in water temps and flows. This is a long story, but fear not: The river is in good shape and our favorite anadromous salmonids have already shown up: Steelhead have been hooked by our guests as they nymph the larger riffles in search of trout. Yours truly has been able to sneak-in the occasional spey cast and have been rewarded with that addictive tug and the resulting downstream explosion from a fish that has spent the last 12-18 months in the salt. The lower thirty miles of the Deschutes River is beginning to fill with steelhead as I write this report, and surprisingly the angling pressure has been light.
Currently there is a state-mandated 2pm fishing cut-off in the lower 27 miles of the Deschutes. This is a good thing. Our returning salmon and steelhead need this break in angling pressure to more safely navigate the warmer water temps in the lower river. So what's a flyfisherman to do after 2? Enjoy the canyon and all of it's hidden treasures that you haven't paid attention to before! Soak in the camp life. Crack another coldy. Take a nap for pete's sake, you've been up since 4am!
This restriction is only in effect from Mack's Canyon to Heritage Landing and will not affect our trips in the upper 70 miles of the Lower Deschutes tailwater.
We are looking forward to a productive August and September of fishing the entire 100 miles of the amazing Lower Deschutes River and still have some small gaps in our booking sheet. Want to swing for steelhead in the morning, fish for trout mid-day and finish with a relaxing return to the spey rod in the evening? Now is the time! Let Deschutes River Outfitters show you the WILD side of this amazing river....
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.