DESCHUTES RIVER FISHING REPORT

FLY SHOP HOURS: Open DAILY 8 AM to 5 PM

April 18, 2019

Regulation update - please note that the entire Deschutes River is not open yet. The area around Maupin and north to the Columbia is open year-round. From the Northern Boundary of the Warm Springs Reservation South to the Pelton Dam is closed right now. They keep the river closed in this area mainly to protect steelhead and trout during their spawning season. That section of the river will open on Monday, April 22. The river is currently closed at Warm Springs, Mecca Flats, Trout Creek, and South Junction access points. Those campsites are open but the fishing in those areas adjacent to the campsites is closed. I have had a few phone calls on this and wanted to clarify the regulations for people.

When the upper river does open, please be aware that the trout will still be on their spawning beds throughout the river and it is unethical to harass these wild trout as they are trying to spawn. Walking on the redds will kill the next generation of native Deschutes redsides, so please have a thought towards the future of our fishery and abstain from the temptation of raking your flies through the spawning grounds of the trout. I have never witnessed it, but have heard plenty of stories of fists flying when anglers continue to fish redds after they have been educated as to the damage they are doing by targeting spawning trout.

Read on for the crystal ball forecast of the Salmonfly hatch timing.....

DESCHUTES RIVER FISHING REPORT

FLY SHOP HOURS: Open DAILY 8 AM to 5 PM

April 17, 2019

Over the past several days we have watched the Deschutes River here in Maupin clear up significantly and drop steadily. The color of the water right now is quite fishable, though the river is still much higher than regular anglers will be used to. Out of the dam in Madras, the river is at 6520 cfs which is about 1500 cfs higher than the median flow for this time of year. The river level at the Moody gauge is at 10,900 cfs this morning - which goes to show you how many small tributaries are contributing significant flow volume to the Deschutes over the 100 miles between these gauges. Many creeks and canyons that are bone dry 95% of the year are either trickling or flowing into the Deschutes. The Warm Springs River and the White River are both flowing at around 1000 cfs, and Shitike Creek is at a little over 200 cfs. There are no gauges on a lot of the other tributaries, but we have personally checked out Trout Creek, Nena Creek, Wapinita Creek, Bakeoven Creek, Buckhollow Creek, Jones Canyon, Oak Canyon, etc. and they are all contributing to the high water on the Deschutes. Until those creeks fizzle out, the Deschutes is going to remain high and will be challenging to wade - as if it weren't already challenging enough to wade. If you are in the Maupin area this weekend, the best bet is to stay above town which will keep you above most of the tributaries that are adding to the volume further downstream.

Despite the high water, we have seen the swallows working low over the water, grabbing what we would assume are blue winged olives and March brown mayflies as well as some larger midge that may be popping out of the turbulent currents. There have been a few skwalas spotted as well as caddis, but I know the one question weighing on every Deschutes angler's mind right now......."What can we expect for the Salmonfly hatch???"

This is my 21st year of living on the banks of the Deschutes here in Maupin during THE HATCH and I, by no means, have any kind of crystal ball that helps me see into the the next 4-6 weeks of the big hatch. I do know for certain that the hatch is triggered by water temperature and the hatch will come when the water temperature in the Deschutes is prime for stonefly migration and emergence. I have seen huge hatches (pre-tower) during water as high and dirtier than we have now - times when the water was too high to wade almost any regular spot and too dirty for the trout to be able to see 4-5 inches. The stoneflies were there in the bushes in huge numbers but the fishing was poor because the visibility was extremely poor and the weather wasn't warm enough to get the bugs in the air. So, I am confident that the bugs will come when water temps are to their liking.

Back in the day, before the mixing tower, we could count on the salmonfly/stonefly hatch being strong in the Maupin area by May 17. The pre-tower hatch would start in the lower river and work upstream over several weeks because the very cold water warmed as it flowed down through the canyon and bugs hatched as temps hit the magic number. Post-tower, the stoneflies immediately changed their hatch timing to coincide with the warmer water temps - and that was the first thing that guides on the lower river noticed about the change to the river. Guided trips that historically had been timed to match the hatch on the same three calendar days for twenty years found themselves fishing the very end of the hatch. The bugs had come weeks earlier, the fish had gorged themselves and it was OVER before their trip even launched. Guides scrambled over the next couple of years to get their regular guided groups to launch weeks earlier than they historically had.

So, in order to predict the timing of the hatch, we must look at the water temperatures coming out of the dam. Last year on this date the water temps being released from Madras were 49-50 degrees, and 49-49.5 degrees in 2017. We started seeing good numbers of bugs in the Maupin area in 2017-2018 by the 7th of May. In 2016 the water coming out of the dam on today's date was 53-54 degrees and it was that year that we saw big numbers of stoneflies in the bushes during the last week of April - by far the earliest we had ever seen the timing of this hatch. Today the water temperature coming out of the dam is 48-49 degrees, one degree lower than in the previous two years on this date. We do not know the mixture of the water today - it could be 50-50 surface water and bottom water, or it could be 80% surface water. Since our spring was rather late and we had ice on the lakes in Central Oregon as late as anyone could remember having ice - well into March - we can assume that the hatch is going to be a tiny bit later than the very first week in May. Based on the fact that pre-tower temps on this date were 46-47 degrees and we saw huge numbers of stoneflies in the bushes around May 17-20 in Maupin, I would put my money on seeing stoneflies in the bushes in good numbers in Maupin (barring any freakishly cold or hot weather) by May 8-9. That is my crystal ball forecast. I hope it is more accurate than my NCAA basketball bracket!

Yesterday, Evan and I went out on one of our private lakes to get some good footage of lake fishing for our Vimeo channel and social media. The trout were slashing on the surface from the time we arrived until the time we left - eating large green chironomid adults. I was flying the drone and filming Evan as he hooked a fish on nearly every cast on a variety of flies. He used an orange blob fly at first and hooked an easy dozen on that. He switched to a balanced leech and landed at least a dozen more on that. His new emerging midge pattern was catching a trout on every cast until I forced him to use my dry fly rod with a hatching chironomid pattern on it - simply because I couldn't stand watching him catch a fish on every cast subsurface when the lake was boiling all around our float tubes with rising and slashing trout. Accuracy with the dry was the key to success, that and patience. Evan's most effective technique was to wait until a trout rose to the surface to eat a midge, determine the direction that trout was travelling, and immediately drop the fly as lightly as a feather about 5 inches from the spot where he had just seen the fish rise. The trout's eyes were keyed in on the surface of the lake in that small radius, and the lips of the trout engulfed the fly within seconds of it landing. It was fun to watch but difficult to capture on film. We managed to get some great footage which I will be sharing over the coming weeks. If you want to get some time on our private lakes, please give us a call at the fly shop. We have lots of different lakes in different price ranges and we are happy to match you up with a lake that will keep you in the action all day.

We hope to see you on the water in the coming weeks!

Tight lines, Amy Hazel and the crew at Deschutes Angler Fly Shop

DESCHUTES RIVER FISHING REPORT

FLY SHOP HOURS: Open DAILY 8 AM to 5 PM

April 9, 2019

As many of you might have guessed the river is super blown out due to rain and runoff. Currently the river is a little over 25,000 c.f.s. and still rising but not as fast. Needless to say it is not worth your time to even attempt to fish the river. There is a constant stream of trees and debris coming down with no end in sight. It is pretty cool to see the river this high and how different the rapids look. Sherar’s Falls is probably runnable in raft or kayak, but we DO NOT advise it. Here is what Sherar's Falls looks like:

IMG_1010 from Amy Hazel on Vimeo.

We will keep everyone posted about when the river drops back into fishable condition.

If you need to get out fishing our private lakes are still in great shape and a good alternative when everything else is blown out. The fishing has been good to great over the last week largely dependent on weather but everyone has been having a blast. There is a good mixture of surface and sub-surface action at various parts of the day. If you are going to fish lakes make sure you bring a sinking line along because it really can make a huge difference in productivity when the fish are not on or near the surface. We have availability throughout the week and weekend if you would like to get up there just give us a call (541)395-0995.

Tight Lines,

Deschutes Angler Crew

DESCHUTES RIVER FISHING REPORT

FLY SHOP HOURS: Open DAILY 8 AM to 5 PM

April 6, 2019

Saturday in the store and things are really quiet around here. I guess that's what happens when we write an honest fishing report about what the condition of the river really is - and it came up another 500 CFS last night. So, if you are sitting at home looking for something to do, check out the video that we recently posted on tying up an Equator Shrimp.

I want to thank my good friend, Bruce Berry, for taking the time to tie the fly and to sit with me through many hours of editing and voiceover work to bring this video to our customers. We hope you enjoy it!

Feel free to give us a call here at the shop to get the materials to tie these ultra-cool saltwater flies. 541-395-0995.

We will let you know when the river starts to drop and clear... Tight lines!

Amy Hazel and the crew at Deschutes Angler

DESCHUTES RIVER FISHING REPORT

FLY SHOP HOURS: Open DAILY 8 AM to 5 PM

April 5, 2019

Well unfortunately the river has jumped up dramatically and visibility has declined significantly. There is probably about a foot of visibility as I write this report with optimistic anglers claiming 16 inches. Hopefully it will drop and clear over the next week but it is will be less than desirable over the weekend. If you do brave the high water bring your big and bright colored bugs with you. Often fishing streamer patterns on a dead drift can save the day under these conditions. Make sure you get the flies down because you literally need hit them in the nose.

On a brighter note our private lakes are now open and fishing super well. The fish managed to survive the harsh winter and are in great shape. Early season on the lakes is super fun because the fish are fit, healthy and eager to eat just about anything they come across. Be prepared to fish a sinking line with leeches and streamer patterns early in the day. By mid-afternoon the midges will begin hatching which is a great time to switch to a floating line. Either fish chironomids suspended under and indicator or a midge cripple fished in the film. Both techniques are super effective during the hatch. Once the hatch is over go back to the sinking line. We have availability this weekend so if you are interested give the shop a call at (541)395-0995.

Deschutes Angler Crew

DESCHUTES RIVER FISHING REPORT

FLY SHOP HOURS: Open DAILY 9 AM to 5 PM

March 31, 2019

Just a brief update to my fishing report of last Friday. I was on the river yesterday and the clarity, even below the White River, has improved tremendously. I would say 3 feet easily and probably getting clearer by the day. We saw lots of blue winged olives, caddis, and midge. I didn't see any March Browns but anglers who came into the fly shop in the late afternoon reported seeing them upriver. A few of our friends who were Euro-nymphing all day really crushed it. I did not have a chance to speak with anyone about dry fly fishing. That's the update! Come on out and enjoy the beautiful spring weather we are having. Tight lines!

Amy Hazel and the Crew at Deschutes Angler Fly Shop

DESCHUTES RIVER FISHING REPORT

FLY SHOP HOURS: Open DAILY 9 AM to 5 PM

March 29, 2019

The river has steadily dropped all week and it is now in good fishable shape. Even below the confluence with the White River, the visibility is decent - though that can change depending on the temperatures on the mountain and the amount of rain that makes it to the east slopes of Mt. Hood. The river in the immediate Maupin area, both up and down the river along the access road, is looking good and has dropped down in CFS to more wadable levels than we saw last weekend.

There have been some good steady blue wing olive hatches coming off during the mid-day, so keep your dry flies handy for that action. The other mayfly coming onto the scene at this time of the year is the March Brown (rithrogena morrisoni) which is not really named appropriately for the Deschutes since the bulk of the bugs hatch in April. These are much larger than most mayfly species - particularly in the wing. Look for a mayfly whose wing looks as if it is two sizes too big for the brown bodied mayfly underneath it. We have two March Browns here on the river - one has a very speckled wing which is opaque when first hatched (dun stage) and becomes clear with speckles once the mayfly is ready to lay eggs (spinner stage). The other March Brown has a light tan opaque wing in the dun stage that becomes totally clear when they are in the spinner stage.

Another star on the stage full of dancing insects is the Skawala Stone - yes, a stonefly (the huge salmonfly in May is a stonefly too). These are slightly smaller than the golden stones that we see during the big hatch in May and they are a dirty yellow/green olive. If you enjoy fishing a dry-dropper, AKA hopper-dropper, this is a good way to search for trout. Pop a Euro nymph on some 5-5.5X tippet and drop that about 18"-4' below your Skwala Stone dry, depending on the piece of water that you are fishing.

It seems like at least half of the anglers who walk through our doors these days are looking to either get some Euro nymphs or get set up for Euro nymph fishing. We have several amazing package deals on Euro fly rod/reel/line combos to get you started in this game. For those that are already killing it out there on the water with their Euro-rigs, you will be thrilled to find the huge array of Euro nymph fly tying materials we have here in the store. I am currently unpacking about $8000 worth of new materials - which I will be getting up on our web site over the next week. Some of the new things we are bringing in are Jelly Fritz & UV Jelly Fritz in two sizes and many colors to tie BLOB flies (Evan tied some up and absolutely destroyed the big trout on our lakes as well as on the Deschutes); Daphnia Fritz for more BLOB flies or to tie the Fat Arse Blob FAB fly; Predator 9 worm material for bass, carp, trout, and saltwater worm flies; Chewing Gum Worm material for more worm flies; Pre-formed Boobies and Booby foam to tie BOOBY flies - these are deadly on lakes!; Vernille; and multiple colors of Mop fly bodies sold in solid color packs as well as in variety packs. Of course, we have a huge selection already of Euro-style hooks and beads; quill bodies; Coq de Leon feathers; Czech dubbing blends; UV hot bead heads; and all kinds of UV resins - including Gulff UV hot Pink and other great colors of resin to put hot spots on your Euro nymphs.

Our saltwater trip may be over and done with for 2019, but with two weeks booked for 2020 we are already building an arsenal of new flies to use on the flats next February. For the saltwater fly tyer, we have everything you could ever want or need to tie big GT or Tarpon flies; bonefish flies; and flies for every other species that swims the salt. I brought in all of the best types of Eyes for brush flies; more colors of EP Fibers to build the bodies for brush flies; and finally, I have a great video that Bruce Berry and I just completed which showcases the Equator Shrimp (the fish at Christmas Island couldn't get enough of this pattern) - and that video will be posted next week when all the materials to tie it are up on our site. Specialized materials include Chocklett's Gamechanger fly fiber for big fish flies; Enrico Puglisi Gamechanger Eyes; MFC Kreelex Fish Flash; Living Eyes; Pro 3D Shrimp Shells; and much much more! Every year we expand and improve the fly tying selection, so give us a call and we will take care of your tying needs no matter what species you are targeting.

If seeing huge rainbows sipping dry flies all around your float tube on a high desert lake sounds fun to you....well, you are in luck! Our private lakes were late to thaw this year due to a freaky late winter, but thaw they did and they are ready to fish. We did some recon work this past week but didn't have a chance to get to all of our lakes (we have dozens) but those that we visited had happy healthy trout feeding both on the surface and sub-surface. Midges are the main dry fly, but callibaetis should be coming soon. As for nymphs - chironomids will be the main meal, but damsel nymphs, dragon fly nymphs, water boatmen and leaches are all soper effective on the lakes. We have three venues up on the private ranch that we manage and each venue has several lakes. Prices per day range from $100-150 per person depending on the venue that you fish and float tubes are available to rent through our fly shop. Give us a call if you want to have a day of pure fun.

One thing that everyone coming to the Deschutes should know that is new for this year. There are no authorized (or unauthorized) fishing license sales places in Maupin. If you want a hard copy printed version of your fishing license, you have to go to one of the few dealers that remain - BiMart, Coastal Farm and Ranch in The Dalles are the only two that I know of that are still selling licenses. If you go online to myodfw.com you can purchase a fishing license and carry it on your cell phone. If your cell phone runs out of batteries - you will be held responsible for not having a license. Times they are a changing, so make sure that you take care of getting a fishing license before you hit the road.

The weather looks like it is going to be pretty nice this weekend with temperatures in the low 60s and sun and clouds mixed. This should be great weather for fish and fishermen alike.

Tight lines! See you on the water! Amy Hazel and the crew at Deschutes Angler Fly Shop

DESCHUTES RIVER FISHING REPORT

FLY SHOP HOURS: Open DAILY 9 AM to 5 PM

March 21, 2019

During the last couple of days of beautiful weather, most of the mid-elevation snow has melted off of the hills along the river. This has resulted in a higher flow on the Deschutes and some dirty water. Creeks that are trickles or dry most of the year are draining a lot of water and mud into the main stem - so the fishing is going to be a bit more challenging until things dry up a bit. Bright flies will be key to success, and we have a ton of those to share with you. Our tungsten-bead Euro nymph selection is off the charts right now - we spent a lot of time last year designing and contracting with custom fly tyers to bring our customers the very best selection of oversized tungsten bead head Euro nymphs. The bright hot spots or fluoro bead heads on these nymphs make them stand out from all other nymphs when fished on the deep and dark river bottom. When the trout see them, they eat them.

John and I returned one week ago from our two week hosted fishing trip to Christmas Island - aka Kiribati. We took a group of 16 on the first week and a group of 8 on the second week. These trips are so much fun because everyone catches a lot of fish, and there is something for every level of angler. Species landed were many - Bonefish (which seem to be getting bigger each year), Trigger fish (getting smarter), and Giant Trevally (getting stronger) are the bread and butter. In addition to the big three, our anglers caught Golden Trevally, Striped Trevally, Christmas Island Wrasse, Snapper, Sweetlips, Grouper, Swallow Tail Darts, Blue Fin Trevally, Yellow Fin Trevally, Queenfish, Milkfish, and Barracuda. I'm sure I have left out a species or two, but suffice it to say, the trip was a big success. Unfortunately, for me and John, we caught some cold/flu bug on the airplane on the way down and by day two we were too sick to fish. It was a huge bummer to miss several days of fishing, but we did get a chance to fish most of the days of the two week stay.

Having the right fly in the saltwater is so important - especially when presenting flies to fish that see a bit of pressure. I spent the better part of the year preparing for this trip, tying flies, designing new patterns, etc.In the next few weeks I will be producing some new tying videos focusing on saltwater flies and specialized materials that we use to tie them. Stay tuned for that.

Next year's dates for our hosted Christmas Island trips are February 4-11 and February 11-18, 2020 - the two week span will allow 6 people to join John and I in staying for the full two weeks. The trip costs about $5000 for one week which covers the cost of the lodge, guide service, all meals, a flight to Hawaii, a hotel room in Hawaii, a flight to Christmas Island, and all of the gratuities. We run all of these trips through Yellow Dog Fly Fishing and the price you pay is the exact same price you would pay if you booked directly through the lodge. Unlike some fly shops that host trips at Christmas Island, we do not jack the price of the lodge up by $1000, pocket the extra money, and give you some gift with our logo printed on it (like a nipper, reel or rod that costs that shop less than $300). Yes, that happens all the time. As hosts of the trip, our job is to help you prepare for the trip, answer any and all questions you may have about the lodge, the fishing, the customs of the country, and the logistics of getting there. We have spent many many weeks at Christmas Island and have learned a lot about how to maximize the fishing program to make sure that everyone on the trip achieves their fly fishing goals. Some people will have a blast concentrating on bonefish all week, others might get sucked in to the challenge of fooling big triggers, and others are all about the hunt for a big GT. Whatever you want to do, there are a wide variety of challenges at Christmas Island and the place never disappoints. Call us 541-395-0995 if you want to learn more about the trips.

We will keep you posted on water conditions and expect that they will improve greatly over the next couple of days.

Tight lines,

Amy Hazel and the crew at Deschutes Angler Fly Shop

DESCHUTES RIVER FISHING REPORT

FLY SHOP HOURS: Open Mon-Sat 9 AM to 5 PM Closed on Sundays in January, February and Early March

March 8, 2019

There is still snow on the ground as I write this with another inch or two supposedly coming in today. It did rain yesterday which melted the majority of the snow off the access road making it easier to get around. The river is super clear and a beautiful blue color that you only see under cold conditions. The fishing has been surprisingly good despite the cold weather. I fished twice this last week and was blown away with the size, density and duration of the BWO hatch. The BWO’s started popping around 12:30 and continued until almost 3 o’clock on both days. Fish were actively feeding in just about every spot a trout can live so needless to say the dry fly fishing was amazing. The nymph fishing on either side of the hatch was also super consistent and fish were found in variety of water types. I get the impression that the trout are also ready for Spring.

Unfortunately our lakes are still frozen and probably won’t defrost until the third week of March. The fishing after ice off can be spectacular on variety of sub –surface techniques. They have not been harassed for over 4 months and are eager to eat so it is a great opportunity to target large naïve rainbows. We will keep you posted on the condition of the lakes over the next couple weeks.

I also want to let you know that we have 1 spot left in our March 23rd Euro Nymphing class. This is a great opportunity to learn a skill that will really enhance your success particularly in the winter and early spring before we have consistent bug hatches. If you would like to join us give the shop a call at (541)395-0995.

Tight Lines,

Deschutes Angler Crew

DESCHUTES RIVER FISHING REPORT

FLY SHOP HOURS: Open Mon-Sat 9 AM to 5 PM Closed on Sundays in January, February and Early March

March 1, 2019

Still plenty of snow on the ground even though it hasn’t snowed in the last 24 hours but it is still downright chilly and is going to continue to be throughout the weekend. The river is in prime shape with a slight increase in volume from the dam. I prefer the river to be on the higher side for trout because it minimizes those mid-river holding lies. That being said it is only 4700 cfs out of the dam so it is not super high. The clarity is great and if you do find yourself out here this weekend you will probably have the river to yourself.

I did get a chance to get out and do a little fishing in these arctic conditions and it was better than expected. I didn’t see a hatch of any size but the fish were eating nymphs readily in the afternoon particularly between 1 and 5. Stonefly nymphs were the ticket under these cold conditions although I did get quite few on a small baetis nymph during typical hatch time. Didn’t bother to fish the morning when it was 10 degrees outside instead I was rigged and ready by about 12:30 p.m. The hardest part of the day was getting from the road to the river which can be downright dangerous if you don’t pick your spots carefully. It was also tough to retie tippet and flies because my fingers were so numb.

Well that is all from Maupin hope everyone has a great weekend.

Tight Lines,

Deschutes Angler Crew

DESCHUTES RIVER FISHING REPORT

FLY SHOP HOURS: Open Mon-Sat 9 AM to 5 PM Closed on Sundays in January, February and Early March

February 26, 2019

Maupin is buried in the snow at the moment with a solid 16 inches on the ground. Fishing has been a little tougher with drastic change in temperature both air and water. This last weekend was amazing with huge BWO hatches between 1 and 3 p.m. The dry fly fishing was off the charts good during the hatch with fish rising freely in a variety of water types. Hopefully this trend continues when the weather begins to warm again.

This weekend will probably be tough because the high is only 27 and the low is 12. The water temps. will drop significantly which will minimize any hatch and the fish typically won’t feed as actively. If you do brave the cold plan on spending most of your time nymphing in the slower, deeper sections of water. Stonefly nymphs are always good bet under these conditions. The magic time to fish will be between 1 and 4 even if there is no hatch. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but hopefully we will get some warmer weather soon.

One last item to discuss is we still have room in our upcoming Euro Nymphing classes. This is a great opportunity to add another weapon to your fishing arsenal. If you enjoy technical dry fly fishing and love to feel the grab then this is definitely a technique to checkout. Click this link to learn more Euro Nypming Classes. And also check out our huge selection of Euro Nymphs custom tied specifically for the Deschutes River. If you are already into it we have one of the largest selections in the country.

Tight Lines,

Deschutes Angler Crew

DESCHUTES RIVER FISHING REPORT

FLY SHOP HOURS: Open Mon-Sat 9 AM to 5 PM Closed on Sundays in January and February

February 18, 2019

Well the weather report was bogus for the weekend because we ended up with more snow and fairly cold conditions. That being said the fishing was surprisingly good. The nymph fishing was consistent throughout the day and there was a nice blue wing olive hatch yesterday afternoon. I had about an hour of solid dry fly fishing which was a nice change of pace. The river is still in immaculate shape and is about as clear as the Deschutes gets. Tricky part is being sneaky under these conditions because the fish can see you coming from a mile away. Even nymph fishing you will need to approach the water with stealth and try to make your presentation upstream . Fishing broken water was the most productive probably because of the clarity. The slower pools were difficult to sneak up on without scaring every fish away.

The weather is going to continue to be cold throughout the week and weekend with the occasional dusting of snow. The hardest part for most of you is just getting to the river especially with the periodic closing of I-84. Hopefully the extended forecast is wrong and the weather warms just a bit.

Tight Lines,

Deschutes Angler Crew

DESCHUTES RIVER FISHING REPORT

FLY SHOP HOURS: Open Mon-Sat 9 AM to 5 PM Closed on Sundays in January

February 15, 2019

The snow has been furiously melting here in Maupin all day and is now a light dusting which makes accessing the river a hell of lot easier. The weather looks super promising over the weekend with light winds and highs in the mid to low 40’s. The river is in fantastic shape and the flow has remained steady out of the dam which is honestly quite surprising given all the snow over the last 10 days. There is a tinge of color from the tributaries but consider it an angling advantage over the gin clear water we have had for the last month.

It is primarily still a nymphing game but with weather creeping into the low to mid 40’s I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see a good BWO hatch between 12:30 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. Every day I have been out when the weather warms up I have had a solid hour of dry fly fishing. Even with the cooler weather the fish are pretty spread out in a variety of water types. Typically the slower pools are productive in the morning and the faster pockets and heads of riffles start fishing in the afternoon. Rock walls have been hit or miss depending on the day and eddies are better fished in the afternoon. Be ready to change flies throughout the day because the fish have not been dialed on any particular fly.

Also want to give you all heads up that we have received a huge shipment of custom tied Euro Nymphs for the Deschutes and they are on the floor and website. There are right around 50 to 60 new patterns that have been fine tuned to fish the fast heavy water of the Deschutes. If you are interested in getting into Euro Nymphing or you want to fine tune your existing skills we still have spots available in our up-coming classes. Give us a call at (541)395-0995.

Tight Lines,

Deschutes Angler Crew

DESCHUTES RIVER FISHING REPORT

FLY SHOP HOURS: Open Mon-Sat 9 AM to 5 PM Closed on Sundays in January

February 2, 2019

Happy Groundhog Day!! In Maupin we are being hugged by a heavy fog, so the groundhog didn't see his shadow and this means that we will have an early spring! The trout fishing has been fantastic lately, FANTASTIC, yes, I said it. We have been seeing regular mid-day blue winged olive hatches and have been catching mucho trout on nymphs. No shocker here, jimmy legs have been doing quite well for anglers this week. However, many people are catching on to the fun and effective style of fishing known commonly as Euro-nymphing. The flies that we have in the shop that are tied for this type of fishing are tied with tungsten over-sized beads, often on jig hooks, and usually slenter and sleek to allow them to plummet to the depths of the river with little or no resistance. Many of these patterns have been custom-tied for our shop by our local tyers, so they are not available in any other shops and they are downright deadly.

Using long leaders, no additional weight, a sighter section of bright mono as your indicator, and very fine diameter tippet, this style of nymph fishing allows anglers to present their nymphs to scores of trout that have never seen a fly move so naturally. Because the leader diameter is so fine, the nymphs move along at the slower pace of the water flowing through the rocks on the bottom. In traditional indicator nymphing, the flies tend to rip along at the pace of the indicator (the pace of the surface current) and thus they are moving faster than natural nymphs would travel at depths where the current is a fraction of the speed of the surface currents. The Euro-nymphing technique can be frustrating at first, and some find that instruction is critical to fully grasping the nuances of this technique. Others are happy learning through trial and error at their own pace. For those who want to get mainlined into the proper technique, we are offering clinics every month - held on Saturdays - and these clinics are filling up quickly. Guys who took a clinic last year saw their catch rates soar on the Deschutes and were sending me emails saying that this was the best investment they had ever made in fly fishing. One guy wrote to me in the late fall (a couple of months after he had taken the clinic) to tell me that he had an "okay" day of fishing - which in past years would have been one of his top days ever - but it was just "okay" because he had only Euro-nymphed up 30 trout instead of his new normal of 40-60.

If you want to get some excellent instruction, and spend the day honing your new skills by catching fish, sign up for one of our Euro-nymphing clinics. These are the 2019 Euro clinic dates: March 16 & 25, April 6 & 20, (we are also doing April 13 & 27 but those spots are being sold at the Deschutes River Alliance fundraiser), May 4, June 8, June 22.

Other fun trips that we are offering this year include several camp trips which have spots open to be filled by anyone who wants to do an incredible overnight float trip. We are so fortunate to live in a state where we still have wild rivers that we can float upon for days, stopping to camp along the journey, and feel as if we are a million miles away from civilization. If you have ever considered doing a trip like this, you may have run into the issue of having to wrangle a bunch of people in order to reserve the guided trip. Many outfitters require 6 paying anglers before they will launch for an overnight trip - we know it can be nearly impossible to coordinate schedules to make this happen. So, we are offering set date camp trips for bass on the John Day River and for trout on the Deschutes River during the prime dates for the species we are targeting. On the Deschutes, the camp trips are on May 22, 23, 24 and again on June 2, 3, 4. These are chosen dates for the salmonfly hatch and other great dry fly hatches. On the John Day River, we are targeting smallmouth bass June 17, 18, 19. You owe it to yourself to see and experience the canyons of these rivers, the excellent food and comfy camps that we provide, and the skilled guides who will share with you their tips for success.

One more shout out for the Christmas Island trip that we have coming up on one month. There is one remaining spot on this trip March 5-12, and we want you to be there to share this incredible experience with us. $2790 is the price for a week at the lodge, all guided fishing, food, and lodging are included at that price. Airfare will set you back another $1400. All in/all done with tips and everything, you can do this trip for less than $5000 for a full week. The thing I can tell you for sure is that this is a catching trip. I have been to many saltwater destinations all over the world and there are few that can match the experience and variety of fishing venues that Christmas Island has to offer. You owe it to yourself to get there before the island is gone - because the largest coral atoll on the planet is only 4 feet above sea level and that sea level is rising quickly. Call us at the shop to grab the very last spot: 541-395-0995.

The weather forecasters are calling for some snow out here in the high desert starting on Monday, so this is a great weekend to get your fishing fix before the flakes start falling.

Tight lines,

Amy Hazel and the crew at Deschutes Angler Fly Shop

DESCHUTES RIVER FISHING REPORT

FLY SHOP HOURS: Open Mon-Sat 9 AM to 5 PM Closed on Sundays in January

If you have been waiting for a perfect weekend to get out on the water, we have one scheduled for you in the next three days! Temperatures are forecast to be in the low to mid 50s on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and the winds are forecast to be calm. The river is in good shape right now and the trout fishing has been good lately. Evan had a guide trip on Monday and he and his guys had really good fishing using, what else, Euro-Nymphs! Yes, Euro nymphing is not just a passing fad, it is an effective and deadly technique for hooking big numbers of trout on any outing any where. We can get you started on this journey with a private Euro-nymphing lesson or a full day Euro-nymphing clinic which includes a full day float and lunch. $250 gets you into the clinic and we will provide the Euro-nymph rods, reels and lines. These are the 2019 Euro clinic dates: March 16 & 25, April 6 & 20, (we are also doing April 13 & 27 but those spots are being sold at the Deschutes River Alliance fundraiser), May 4, June 8, June 22.

You may experience a mid-day hatch on the river of Blue Winged Olives, a few larger caddis, and the odd stonefly any time during the winter months. It is pretty quiet out here on the water in the winter, so don't worry about finding a spot to fish - there are plenty of great pieces of water available all up and down the river in the Maupin area. Remember, the river on both sides where it borders the Warm Springs Reservation is closed to all angling. If you are fishing in the Maupin area, even slightly upstream from the locked gate, you are in waters that are open year round. We have 40 miles of great access to the river, so be sure to call Maupin your home base during the winter months of trout fishing.

We are leaving for Christmas Island in about one month and I want to let you know that we have one spot open in our second week March 5-12. This is an epic trip! I can say with confidence that everyone who joins us for this adventure will come away from it with great stories to tell, new species of fish under your belt, and a huge desire to return to the island for MORE. There are 4 of us who will be at the lodge for two consecutive weeks and four more people will be flying in to join us at the lodge for week two. Of those four spots, three are filled and one spot is available. Bruce Berry and his wife Kathi are in week two and Bruce went with us last year, so he knows the ropes and will be somewhat of a group leader along with JT Milroy, our fly shop manager. Bruce is one of the finest fly tyers I know, and he also happens to be an industry rep for Pro Sportfisher, Hatch Reels, Beulah Fly Rods, etc. We have been tying super cool shrimp patterns and baitfish patterns in preparation for the trip, so you will see a couple of mad scientists at work product testing flies out on the flats. The price of the trip is $2790 for the week. We are staying at The Villages - a fantastic spot with cabins right on the beach, fantastic guides (1-1 guide to client ratio), and great food (the best of any lodge on Christmas Island). That price includes your accommodation, guided fishing for 6 days, an allotment of bottled water per day, all meals, and transportation to and from the airport. It does not include airfare to Hawaii and to Christmas Island (CXI airport code), tips, taxes, and extras like beer. The last spot will go to the first person to grab hold of this great opportunity to fish in an absolute paradise right on the equator. Call today! 541-395-0995.

If you are headed out to do your first fishing trip of the year, please be aware that there are no stores in Maupin selling fishing licenses anymore. You can purchase your license online by downloading the ODFW app from the app store. It takes a while and the system is full of glitches, but you can now carry your license on your phone - but you better keep it charged up because a dead phone is like not having a license. You have been warned! Ha!

Tight lines, Amy Hazel and the crew at Deschutes Angler Fly Shop

DESCHUTES RIVER FISHING REPORT

FLY SHOP HOURS: Open Mon-Sat 9 AM to 5 PM Closed on Sundays in January

Happy New Year from Maupin! We hope that all of you had a great holiday season and that you are excited for the new year ahead. We are making some major changes to the layout of the shop this winter, so it might feel like a new experience when you walk through that door next. We are moving a few things around to help the flow of the store.

Looks like we have rain in the forecast for the next few days and through the weekend - which should not have a big impact on the Deschutes. If it rains really hard on the mountain, there is a possibility that the White River could bump up enough to put mud in the Deschutes, but there are many miles of clear clean water above the White River in the Maupin area and upstream. Remember to purchase your fishing license before you hit the road - there are no longer any fishing license sales agents in Maupin, so you have to make the purchase online. This new fishing license can now be carried electronically on your phone - but they have not made it easy to purchase one. I think you have to have a very up to date phone, you have to download the app called MYODFW, and then you really need to know your angler number from past license purchases. I am still working through the process. I think the big box stores like Fred Meyer and Bi mart will still be selling licenses the old fashioned way.

The Lower Deschutes River, where it borders the Warm Springs Indian Reservation, is now closed to fishing for all species. The Deschutes in and around Maupin is open year-round for Rainbow Trout and Steelhead. If you are on any of the roads that parallel the Deschutes going upstream or downstream of Maupin, then you are in open waters. If you have access to property above the locked gate, the river is closed from Two Springs Ranch upstream. The only place on the road downstream from Maupin that might be closed in the winter time is the area adjacent to Sherar's Falls and possibly down to the first railroad trestle. Check the regs and look for signs in that area, it changes throughout the year.

More and more anglers are discovering the fun of Euro-nymphing on the Deschutes, especially in the winter. This is a fun and productive way to search the depths of the river for trout using only the weight of the nymphs to get down. We have a huge supply of Euro-nymphs here at Deschutes Angler - most of which have been custom tied for us locally. We also have a huge selection of the best Euro-nymph tying supplies - lots of stuff imported from the Czech Republic - stuff you won't find elsewhere. Come on in or give us a call and we can walk you through it.

We hope to see you on the water this weekend. Our shop is going to be closed on Sundays in January, mainly so that we can have a day off to do some fishing. We hope you are all excited for a new year of fishing!

Tight lines,

Amy Hazel and the crew at Deschutes Angler Fly Shop

DESCHUTES RIVER FISHING REPORT

FLY SHOP HOURS: Open daily 9 AM to 5 PM

Quick update on river conditions - we had one mega rainstorm last night and, surprise surprise, the White River blew out. So the Deschutes is muddy below the White but fishable and fishing well with good visibility above the White. The entire river has now bumped up to normal flows. A friend on the river reported seeing only one measly mayfly during the normal hatch period. This is pretty odd for a cloudy day. The funny thing about mayflies, in my experience, is that the hatch can be dense and obvious on one stretch of river and almost or completely non-existent on another stretch of river - even if those stretches of river are mere miles apart. Heavy water - like a big class three rapid with lots of whitewater and lots of foam - is often the preferred habitat for mayfly emergence. So, if you are standing in an area just below big whitewater, you are more likely to experience an in-your-face mayfly hatch than if you are standing at the bottom of a long stretch of glassy calm water. Maybe I shouldn't say that the whitewater stretches are the preferred place for mayflies to hatch, it makes more sense that these areas offer mayflies the easiest place to break through the surface tension of the water due to the churning waves and huge up-wellings. Glassy calm water is more difficult to penetrate when you are just a speck of a bug rising up from the bottom of the river. Atmospheric pressure also changes from day to day, so that certainly should have an impact on hatch timing. I will have to go to the library of entomology to see what is written about these things.

Well, this may be my last fishing report before the new year. Thanks for tuning in for the reports of 2018. I will keep them rolling in 2019 - my 16th year of writing these reports for our website. Thank you to all of you who did some holiday shopping with us. We could still get gifts to you in Portland or Seattle if you order tonight or by tomorrow at 2:00 PM. We are closing on the 23rd and staying closed through the 1st. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and I will be another year older when you read the next report.

Tight lines!

Amy Hazel and the crew at Deschutes Angler Fly Shop in Maupin, Oregon.

DESCHUTES RIVER FISHING REPORT

FLY SHOP HOURS: Open daily 9 AM to 5 PM Holiday Closure: December 23-Jan 1.

December 14, 2018 11:30 AM

Christmas is just around the corner, but it is not too late to drop a big hint to your loved ones about that fishing item of your dreams. We have a huge inventory of Wheatley fly boxes in stock in time for the holidays - a Wheatley fly box is a treasure that will last a lifetime! Gift Certificates are available here too - we can get those out the door up until the very last minute.

Onto the fishing report...I got a good look at the White River on Wednesday and what I saw was not pretty. The river was a rolling mud ball and was certainly blowing out the Deschutes below the confluence of the two rivers. The White River appears to be dropping since its crest on Wednesday night, so I would guess that the lower river will be clearing up by the weekend - it should certainly be fishable by Saturday barring any other big rain event.

Trout anglers are finding trout in the slow and deep waters, not so much in the riffles that trout love in the summer. More and more people are catching on to the Euro-nymph craze and we are here to help. Our stock of Euro-nymphs is good now, but in a very short time we will have an incredible selection of custom-tied Euro-nymphs in stock. We are also beefing up our selection of Euro-nymph rods and will have lots of options in lots of price ranges. We are also offering two Euro-nymph clinics per month on Saturdays in March, April, May, and June. These are full-day clinics with lunch provided - limited to six anglers at $250 per angler per day. The basic concept of Euro-nymphing is that you are fishing down deep by using only the weight of your flies (no split shot or additional weights) and you are using a specialized leader that is extremely fine and sensitive. You do not use an indicator of any kind - other than a bright section of multi-colored material that helps you to see when a trout has sucked in one of your flies. The rod that we use for Euro-nymphing is specialized too - it is typically a long rod of 10-11 feet with an extremely sensitive tip that can launch the long indicator and flies and will cushion very fine fluorocarbon tippet. This technique takes a little bit of time to perfect - and it can be frustrating at first - but once you start to catch on, you will see your catch rate sky-rocket. This technique works well year-round and on just about any type of river you might try.

Steelhead fishing is open year-round on the Deschutes, but we do not have any winter run fish here, so once we get into the new year, most anglers on the hunt for steelhead will choose to chase them on the West slope rivers where they are chrome-bright and fresh. Our steelhead will be dark and somewhat lethargic as the winter goes on. For right now, however, there are still some pretty fresh steelhead around and they are still eager to grab a swinging fly. The water levels are good, and the White River should be clearing by tomorrow.

We wish all of you a very happy holiday season! We will be open through December 22 and closed from December 23 through January 1 reopening on January 2. We will be closed on Sundays in January.

Tight lines,

Amy Hazel and the Crew at Deschutes Angler Fly Shop

DESCHUTES RIVER FISHING REPORT

FLY SHOP HOURS: Open daily 9 AM to 5 PM

November 28, 2018 9:30 AM

We hope all of you had a nice Thanksgiving holiday and you were able to enjoy a day of rest with friends and family. I did not realize that ODFW created a free fishing weekend right after Thanksgiving, but the number of people out here giving the Deschutes a try certainly brought that fact to my attention. It was actually free fishing on Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving but not on Sunday. If you keep that in mind for next year - assuming they continue to offer such a thing - this is a great opportunity to share the Deschutes with those who visit you over the Holiday week.

We have had some significant rain over the past two days and, though the gauges on the Deschutes show no indication of bumping up, the White River flows jumped a few hundred CFS yesterday but the White still looked good when I drove past it at 4:00 PM last night. The thing to keep in mind when you come to the Maupin area to fish is that you will still have ample fishing opportunities upstream of the White River (15 miles or more) if it happens to get muddy for a day or two.

Trout and steelhead fishing are still the game here in the Maupin area, though the steelhead return hasn't been the best we have ever seen. There are, however, steelhead in the river and they are still grabbing flies - so there is always a chance of hooking one any day you make the effort to do so.

The trout are slipping back into the slower pools and easy winter water where they don't have to work so hard to stay in the current. They will be in larger groups in the winter than they are in the summer - so if you find one you will often find several in the same spot. Please be aware that we have already seen trout that look like they are in their dark spawning colors and that spawning can occur any time between now and July - different populations of rainbow trout spawn at different times of the year. What to look for to avoid harming spawning fish and their eggs - avoid shallow gravelly areas with fine pea gravel - particularly if some of the gravel looks clean. If you see groups of trout on shallow gravel beds, you can bet that spawning activity is taking place. Avoid these places and remind fellow anglers to do the same because the future of our trout fishery depends on it.

I was reading a New York Times article this morning, some of you may have seen it come across your news feed too, titled "The Insect Apocalypse Is Here." It is a lengthy article about the rapid disappearance of many species of insects over the past few decades, which is obviously a very short time span in the realm of science. While there were many things that struck me while reading the article, a couple hit close to home and I want to touch upon those for those of you who care to read on as I ramble. The article starts out with a snapshot of a Danish man who is out biking with his son when he realizes that his son is not experiencing the same bike ride that he did as a boy. When the man was a boy, he had to keep his mouth closed while biking in order to keep from swallowing hundreds of insects during his ride and he always ended up swallowing bugs anyway - not pleasant, but a memorable part of his childhood. This feeling of loss, this feeling that something was missing, and that something had changed, is one to which any fly angler who fished the Deschutes regularly 15 or 20 years ago can certainly relate. The clouds of evening caddis had all of us wearing red or blue bandanas over our mouths - like a bunch of cowboys about to rob a bank - in order to keep from choking on the massive numbers of bugs. The clouds of caddis have disappeared - and the timing of the disappearance coincides directly with PGE's changes in water management at the Pelton Round Butte complex. Now we have many anglers, and possibly the majority of the guides on the river, who never knew the Deschutes hatches before the changes in water management, before many of these hatches disappeared. It is not their fault that they only started fishing the Deschutes in the last ten years, not their fault that they never experienced these huge blanket hatches that dominated the summer and fall months and provided dry fly fishing opportunities all day and every day. Bank-feeders lined the edges of the river and sipped on insects as they were trapped in the foam lines and delivered to the fat trout patiently looking up and feasting on a floating buffet .

The New York Times article quotes a 1995 study by Peter H. Kahn and Batya Friedman, of the way some children in Houston experienced pollution summed up our blindness this way: "With each generation, the amount of environmental degradation increases, but each generation takes that amount as the norm." The article goes on to describe marine biologist, Loren McClenachean's take on decades of photos of fisherman holding up their catch in the Florida Keys. He points out that the size of the fish in the trophy photos got smaller and smaller over the years - the most recent "trophy fish" are literally dwarfed by fish pictures from three or four decades earlier, YET...."the smiles on the fishermen's faces stayed the same size." This is what has been described as the "shifting baseline syndrome" where the world never feels fallen because we grow accustomed to the fall.

I don't want to grow accustomed to the fall. I don’t want to grow accustomed to not fishing dry flies on the river that I love, that I live on, that I work on, and that I have built my life around sharing with others. I know my personal unscientific baseline data on Deschutes hatches, and I want that insect population back! Unfortunately, in this day and age, polluters can use global warming or declining insect trends as a reason for the decline in insect populations on the Deschutes because "Scientific" baseline data on insect populations is very poor. The NYT article describes the reason why scientific baseline data on insect populations is lacking and in most cases non-existent: "With so much abundance, it very likely never occurred to most entomologists of the past that their multitudinous subjects might dwindle away. As they poured themselves into the studies of the life cycles and taxonomies of the species that fascinated them, few thought to measure or record something as boring as their number. Besides, tracking quantity is slow, tedious and unglamorous work: setting and checking traps, waiting year or decades for your data to be meaningful, grappling with blunt baseline questions instead of more sophisticated ones.... "When entomologists began noticing and investigating insect declines, they lamented the absence of solid information from the past in which to ground their experiences in the present."

The NYT article is a long one, but well-written and thorough. If you sit down and read the entire article carefully, you may come away from it with the feelings I did – I was alarmed, I felt discouraged, and I was, above all, disappointed in our role as human beings in the decline of insect species. We are directly responsible for climate change. We are the ones who came up with insecticides and other poisons in an effort to maximize our crop production. We have put our survival above all else on this planet. If insects disappear so too will the animals that rely upon them as a food source and the plants that rely upon them for pollination and all of the little jobs that insects do for our ecosystem will go undone. As gross as it might be to come across a decaying deer or mouse covered in maggots, without those maggots the flesh rots and decays for weeks or months longer. Insects do a myriad of jobs, many more than we even recognize, and we need them to continue to exist and thrive or else we will have catastrophic collapse.

So, where does this rant lead us? Where am I even going with this whole huge fishing report that turns out to not even really be that much of a fishing report? One of the things that the NYT article shines a light upon is the importance of the involvement of amateur naturalists in data collection. We need everyone to open their eyes and ears and take note of what they see in their own bubble of an environment. If you see changes, speak up! This is how the Deschutes River Alliance was formed. Amateur aquatic entomologists known as fly anglers and fly fishing guides noticed the sudden changes on the Deschutes – disappearing caddis, disappearing mayflies, disappearing craneflies, lesser population densities of stoneflies, and we spoke up. We raised money to get the “real” science done, the gathering of data in a controlled scientific way that could then be analyzed by a non-biased party and presented in such a way that would be acceptable data to use in a challenge to the polluters who said that nothing was changing on the river and that the insect populations were healthy. Amateur entomologists called fly fishing guides and avid Deschutes fly anglers gathered data for the past four years and reported their observations of hatch types and hatch densities to a professional aquatic entomologist for analysis. Much like the story told by the NYT article, the amateur naturalists on the Deschutes River can and are making a difference. If you want to be part of the annual bug survey, you must first study and familiarize yourself with the aquatic insects of the Deschutes River. You don’t have to have skills as extreme as those described in the NYT article where “people train for decades with other amateurs to be able to identify beetles based on their genitalia” but you do have to be able to identify caddis, mayflies, stoneflies, craneflies, and midge. Within those general categories, you will need to know the difference between a salmonfly, a golden stone, and a little yellow sally or between a March Brown, a Pink Albert, a Pale Morning Dun, a Pale Evening Dun and a Blue Winged Olive. Becoming an amateur entomologist is a natural part of a fly angler’s growth and maturity in the sport. Beyond being able to merely identify of these species, you will start to understand more and more about their behavior (once they become a priority for you to observe and document). When you bring these insects into your awareness and begin to understand how they behave in their environment, you will, without a doubt, become a better angler. If you tie flies, knowing more about the insects that you are imitating will make you a better fly tier. No, the knowledge of aquatic entomology won’t make you a better fly caster, a lesson will help there, but the more you know about the river and the creatures that rely on the river, the more enriching your day on the water will become.

My takeaway from this article that has really impacted my thinking and my outlook on the future is the same takeaway that we tried to provide for people who viewed the second video from Deschutes River Alliance called “Song For The Deschutes.” In this video, Rick Hafele, one of the leading aquatic entomologists in the country and a board member for the DRA, gives the opening talk at the DRA fundraiser and he paints the picture of the Deschutes. Though it is bleak, Rick’s final message about the insects of the Deschutes is that they are nothing if not resilient creatures that, given half a chance, have the ability to bounce back from catastrophic environmental degradation. DRA Website

In the NYT article the same glimmer of hope shines through: “Scientists hope that insects will have a chance to embody that resilience. While tigers tend to give birth to three or four cubs at a time, a ghost moth in Australia was once recorded laying 29,100 eggs, and she still had 15,000 in her ovaries. That fecund abundance that is insects’ singular trait should enable them to recover, but only if they are given the space and opportunity to do so.

Just a reminder, the Deschutes River Alliance annual fundraiser (and one Hell of a fun party) is on Saturday, February 9, 2019 in Portland! Go to the DRA website in the above link to get your tickets today!

Tight line