DESCHUTES RIVER FISHING REPORT

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June 8, 2018

FLY SHOP HOURS: Open daily 8 AM to 5 PM

Hello fellow anglers! With somewhat mixed feelings, I am announcing that the salmonflies and golden stones have had their last hurrah here in the Maupin area. There may be a few around upstream towards Warm Springs, but in the Maupin area we are enjoying great dry fly action on Little Yellow Sallies, Pale Morning Duns, Pale Evening Duns, and Caddis. The fishing is not over when the salmonfly fishing comes to an end, but you might think that it is because the crowds have thinned out significantly. It is pretty shocking how packed the river gets during that hatch, and it bums me out to think that the people who only come to this river once a year (to fish the big bugs) come away from the Deschutes thinking that the place is a total zoo. This time of year you can get a campsite anywhere on the river (hotels can be a little trickier because one wedding or event in town fills up the handful of rooms that Maupin has to offer), fish lots of pieces of water that haven't been pounded minutes before your arrival, and you will actually hook fish because they let their guard down when the pressure eases up.

This weekend looks to be cooler than normal for this time of year, and the clouds are supposed to roll through here on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday - which is definately a good thing for the mayfly hatches. Get ready to fish some big Pale Evening Duns in the afternoon and evening this weekend. The wind is supposed to blow on Saturday, and I know that can be somewhat frustrating for fly anglers. Here is a strategy for you, if the wind is blowing downstream, find a nice big backeddy and work it so that you will be casting with the wind instead of into the teeth of the wind. Backeddies are golden on downriver wind days.

The cooler weather trend has made it possible to keep our private lakes open for a few more weeks. Nighttime lows in the high 40s or low 50s have helped the lakes' surface water temperatures to stay in the low 60s. The hatches have been good and the fish and fishermen have been having a blast up there. Well, maybe the fish have been having less of a blast getting hooked int he mouth and reeled in against their will - but they are all released unharmed.

It has been a bit of a snakey year this year. Please be careful out there and keep your hands out of the rock crevices and out of the riverside clumps of grass unless you take a good look first. John and I have had two rattlesnakes on our ranch that were as thick as my forearm and super angry. The gatekeeper of the Deschutes Club property also caught a huge 14 button rattler recently - so it may be a little snakier out there than usual. If you bring a dog to the river with you, it is a good idea to get the rattlesnake vacciniation for your dog. It gives you a little extra time to get the dog to the vet when they have had this shot. Not all veterinarians offer it - but the vets in The Dalles usually have it on hand.

I have a couple of fun trips coming up this month - new destinations for me, which is exciting to look forward to and also fun to prepare for (at the fly tying bench). The first trip was a surprise destination - the Yamsi Ranch in Southern Oregon at the headwaters of the Williamson River. This is my 15 year wedding anniversary prsent from my sweetie John - so I am looking forward to fishing for large resident trout with black drakes. What rods are we taking? The question should be, what rods are we not taking! We are breaking out the bamboo for sure, but will also bring a 9ft 5 wt Scott Radian, a few CF Burkheimers, and not sure what else. Maybe I will bring the Euro nymphing rod too - afterall, I have been loading my box with flies that I tied following Polly Rosborough's instructions in the old classic "Tying and Fishing the Fuzzy Nymphs." Having the extra reach of the long Euro rod and the long flouroleader shoudl allow me to swim the nymphs downstream in a very natural manner. I will give a full report when we return from that adventure.

My second adventure, also keeping me occupied at the fly bench, is a trip the Craig, Montana to the Missourri River. I hate to admit that I have never fished either of these famous destinations, but I spent my years exploring the world on my 1997-1998 round the world solo fly fishing trip. I got back from that and, bam, I was guiding the Deschutes the next year. After we opened the fly shop in 2003, there was little to no free time to go out and explore, as much as I would liked to have done so. I am joining a big group of women in Craig to have a women's get-together fishing trip in early July. The rivers in Montana may be a little high at that time of year, but we will surely have a blast regardless of the conditions.

I hope you all have great adventures pannned for the summer and I hope that some of those adventures take place on the Deschutes! I do have one other big adventure coming up - every year in early August I host a steelehad trip to the Dean River in British Columbia. This is a pricey trip, but the Dean is, hands-down, the most coveted destination for any serious steelhead angler. I happen to have one last opening in my week (August 3-10) and I would like to fill it as soon as possible. If you are seriously interested in this trip, give me a call at the fly shop 541-395-0995. You cannot get into Canada if you have a DUI on your record, and the trip is pricey (around 8K), but there is no more incredible steelhead destination on the planet. You can't drive there, you can only fly in. Non-BC residents can only fish the waters of the Dean River for a maximum of 8 calendar days in any given year. Eight. For some, this is a once in a lifetime trip. For others, the Dean gets in their blood and no other river can even begin to hold a candle to the huge, crazy, chrome-bright steelhead of the Dean. If you are serious, call me.

Tight lines,

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

DESCHUTES RIVER FISHING REPORT

 

June 1, 2018

FLY SHOP HOURS: Open daily 8 AM to 5 PM

This weekend: Saturday and Sunday are free fishing weekend days! FREE! No fishing license needed. Yes, you still have to follow the rules, but you are not required to have a fishing license this weekend. If you have a friend who wants to give fly fishing a try, this is a great weekend to bring them to the Deschutes!

I went fishing yesterday afternoon for just about one hour and I am pleased to report that the trout in the Maupin area are STILL eating stonefly dries. I did well on a Clark's stone - though the fish that ate the fly took a long time to inspect it before actually eating it. This is a natural reaction for the trout after nearly a month of heavy angling pressure. Try to allow your fly to float drag free for as long as possible - and if it gets sucked under water while drifting, just let it go. Sometimes the biggest trout in the river are waiting for the drowned stoneflies and sinking your natural looking stonefly pattern will be the key to hooking some of the largest trout.

Yesterday afternoon was really windy, and not a day that I would typically choose to go fishing, but I have a drift boat that I bought for one of our guides in training and he was really excited to do a little rowing of the boat that will one day be his. The wind was blowing in all directions and was really strong, to the point where it was sometimes difficult to control that boat and, at times, frustrating to cast into the teeth of a big gust. But despite the wind and the changing weather conditions, the fishing was pretty darn good. I think they might be releasing the maximum amount of water from the bottom of the reservoir because the river yesterday was super clear and clean. The bug hatches were also quite good yesterday - we saw Pale Morning Duns, Pale Evening Duns (they are huge), caddis, and midges in addition to the smattering of golden stones laying eggs on the water. The salmonflies are pretty much done in the Maupin area, so a golden stone imitation will be a lot better than anything orange. Little Yellow Sallies are coming on strong and should stick around for the next month or so.

It seems that the majority of the outfitters who do all of their trout fishing trips during the salmonfly hatch are wrapping up their "season" on the Deschutes. Soon the river will be back to a peaceful, uncrowded, trout fishing paradise. The rafting traffic is the heaviest in July and August, but the weekends are getting busy with rafts, so if you want to avoid the rafts you will want to fish above their launch point (Harpham Flat) or below their last takeout point (Pine Tree). There is plenty of great fishing in the coming months, so don't write off the Deschutes just because the salmonfly hatch is gone.

Stop in to the fly shop when you find yourself in Maupin and we will share our best flies with you as well as help you strategize where to be at what times of the day to get the most out of your fishing experience.

Tight lines! Amy Hazel and the crew at Deschutes Angler

DESCHUTES RIVER FISHING REPORT

 

May 24, 2018

FLY SHOP HOURS: Open daily 8 AM to 5 PM

We are coming up to Memorial Day Weekend and this is really the kick-off of the rafting season on the Deschutes. It is a family-oriented weekend which sometimes means that the fishermen don't show up in droves, but how busy this place is going to get with anglers remains to be seen. I think the busiest part of the salmonfly hatch has passed by the Maupin area. Visitors to the shop tell me that the Warm Springs to Trout Creek section is a madhouse, which is not surprising, the hatch is probably centered in that area right now. The weather we have had in the last few days has been ideal for green drakes - particularly the cloudy weather we had yesterday and what we have today. Let's see, it is 1:20 PM and somewhere on this river there are flocks of white gulls swarming and diving for the emerging green drakes. They emerge in whitewater rapids and that is usually where you will find the heaviest gull activity. If you see that on a cloudy day, switch out your fly to a green drake emerger or adult and hang on! The entire river will boil with huge trout and they only want a big green drake imitation.

On Monday, I floated down below town on the section paralleled by the dirt road and went all the way down to Mack's Canyon. Fishing was spotty in the morning but got a lot better in the early afternoon - fish were taking both the dropper (my secret weapon pattern - sorry, not available in the store) and the golden stone dry fly. We saw a lot of golden stones laying their eggs on the water throughout the day - and we also saw tons of yellow sally adults flying around. Remember that the back side of the hatch is when the golden stones land everywhere on the river to lay their eggs, so the trout are not necessarily only hugging tight to the banks and under the trees - they can be in the middle of the river waiting for their next meal. Unfortunately, the giant salmonflies do not lay their eggs on the water - they drop their eggs, so the orange patterns are far less important to the trout on the back end of the hatch. Don't overlook the Little Yellow Sally stoneflies. They are smaller than the other two but significant to the trout diet as May turns into June. We have a dozen or so great yellow sally patterns here in the fly shop.

I was guiding on the private lakes on Tuesday and (this is mainly for all of you fellow bird nerds out there) I saw a bird that I have never seen before. There was a diving bird cruising around with a bunch of coots and my first gut feeling is that it was a grebe - but the neck was stocky and not long and slender like other grebes I have seen. The bird was fairly shy, so I couldn't get very close to it, but I had my binoculars and a bird book in hand as well as a camera which allowed me a second look when I returned home. What I spotted was a Red-Necked Grebe. The sightings of these in this area are very very few and far between, so that was pretty exciting. One of the guys whom I was guiding was a birder and we managed to spot Western Tanangers, Northern (formerly Bullock's) Orioles, and Lazuli Buntings on the Deschutes on Monday (along with the usual river birds).

The John Day season is coming up fast - floating this river and fishing from a boat for scrappy bass....well, it's just a ton of fun. This is a great trip to take a kid on, a great trip for beginners, and a great trip for anyone that struggles to wade the chunky basalt rocks and swift currents of the Deschutes, and a great trip for guys who want to get better at casting big bugs. If you are planning to do a saltwater trip for bonefish or permit and you want to get some practice in on throwing a weighted fly with accuracy, a John Day float trip is a great way to hone your skills. If you want to experience the very best that the canyon has to offer, consider a multi-day camp trip on the John Day. Other than maybe the Grand Canyon, or the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in Idaho, I doubt there is a multi-day river float trip in the lower 48 as remote and isolated as the John Day River canyon. We can arrange a one night/two day float up to a four night/five day float.

Reconnect and bond with your kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews or friends on a Deschutes or John Day River trip. I promise their cell phones will not work and there is no WiFi, so face to face conversations around the dinner table and a total connection to the outdoors, to fishing, and to each other await you on one of our trips. We do camp trips to the hilt! Our customer tents are large enough that you can walk around in each one like a small cabin, we provide cots and sleeping pads, and we serve excellent meals on tables in the dining tent with real plates, silverware, and linens. Glamping would be a better description of what we do in our riverside camps - glamorous camping. Throw in great fishing guides who know all the intricacies of the river and her hatches, who are experts on the oars, and who are happy to share their knowledge and expertise with you, and you have the full package in a guided river fishing trip. Since 1978 we have been sharing our favorite rivers with people from around the world, and we have learned a thing or two over the last 40 years of outfitting fly anglers. We don't wrap things up and move on after the salmonfly hatch is over, we guide this river year-round and there is a lot of great fishing ahead of us - the summer hasn't even begun! We will see you on the river!

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

DESCHUTES RIVER FISHING REPORT

 

May 17, 2018

FLY SHOP HOURS: Open daily 8 AM to 5 PM

Wow, nine days since my last report! Time flies when things are busy in the shop and even busier on the river! We have been guiding anglers all week and for the past two weeks the dry fly fishing has been really good using a variety of salmonfly and golden stone adult patterns. The bugs are pretty thick through the town stretch and still in decent numbers on the lower dirt access road down to Mack's Canyon. The hot weather that we have been enjoying for the past week or so was exactly what the doctor ordered for this hatch to fully come into its own. I have had several reports from other guides that the bugs are starting to get more and more active all the way up to Trout Creek and upstream to Warm Springs. The trout are just starting to key into the dry fly action up there. So, no matter where you go on the Deschutes, as long as you are fishing the right type of water and that water hasn't just been hammered by someone else, you will have good fishing with your stonefly patterns.

The mornings have started off slow for most people fishing dry flies but the fishing picks up in the afternoon and evening as things warm up and the big bugs start to fly. If it is slow for you in the morning, try a small but heavy tungsten bead head 30 inches below a dry fly. That has been a winner.

If you are unwilling to or unable to do the following: climb down steep rocky banks, wade really nasty wades, climb under spider-filled trees while up to the tops of your chest waders, smash your shins and knees while slipping and sliding on huge rocks in heavy current, plow through forests of poison oak and stinging nettles, change your fly at the very first rejection, and lose a lot of flies to the trees.....if you are UNWILLING or UNABLE to do those things, then this is probably NOT the hatch for you. You will not be successful during this hatch if you are not GETTING AFTER IT. A guide certainly helps the situation because a guide can pull the boat into some of the spots that you would have had to climb into, but you still have to wade the nasty stuff and make a good cast in order to get the job done.

It is not necessary to see tons and tons of bugs on the bushes and in the trees - once this hatch has happened and is fading from one section of the river, the trout will still be eager to grab the big dry flies, and, in many cases, almost desperate to grab that last big meal before the hatch has passed them by. So, if you travel downstream 20-30 miles and you don't see lots of evidence of stoneflies/salmonlies, that doesn't mean that the fish are not willing to eat them. They are still eating the dry flies all the way down to Mack's Canyon (as of the reports from our guide trips yesterday).

Our private lakes continue to amaze anglers with the size and fight of the big rainbows that eagerly eat dry flies. On some days the lakes boil with rising fish and on other days they are subsurface, but they are always eating and growing over an inch every month - many pushing well over 22-24".

If you can make it out to the river, get away from whatever you are doing and get out here before the hatch passes us by. The weather and water conditions finally came together with the populations of bugs strong and the weather hot and the water slightly low and clear - it is rare, indeed, that it all comes together like this.

Tight lines! See you on the water!

Amy Hazel and the crew at Deschutes Angler Fly Shop

DESCHUTES RIVER FISHING REPORT

 

May 8, 2018

THEY ARE HERE! The hatch is full on in the Maupin area. One of our guides did a three day Trout Creek to Maupin float that got off the water yesterday. They saw bugs up high but the fish were not keyed into them way up river from Maupin. By the time they got close to Maupin the hatch was FULL ON. Now, reports from the river below Maupin and all through town is that the bugs are here and the trout are keying into them. It is usually better in the afternoons because the air temps warm up significantly and the bugs become more active. If you are fishing under trees, you are in the right water.

Shop hours are 8 AM to 5 PM daily.

See you on the river!

DESCHUTES RIVER FISHING REPORT

 

May 7, 2018

I know everyone out there wants to know what the state of the salmon fly hatch is and you are about to find out. There are plenty of bugs along the grassy banks and alder trees in Maupin and more are showing up every day with the warm weather we are having. Fishing isn’t red hot yet but there are plenty of nice fish to be had on the dry if you are in right water (under the trees and along the deep grassy banks). Mornings have been slow on the dry but heavy tungsten dropper nymphs have been effective. Anglers who are addicted to Euro Nymphing have been doing really well at any time of day. The fish will get more and more aggressive throughout the week and it should be super good by the weekend but my guess is it will also get busy. Just remember there is 40 miles of river access and the fishing below the falls has been great for our guides over the last 4 days. Hope to see you out here soon.

Tight Lines,

Deschutes Angler Fly Shop

DESCHUTES RIVER FISHING REPORT

 

May 1, 2018

Lots of calls coming in right now about THE HATCH....so let me fill you in on the latest details of what is going on on the Deschutes River. Are there salmonflies/golden stones in the bushes and a few flying around in the air? Yes, there are a few. The banks aren't crawling with them by any means but the hatch has officially started and will continue to gain momentum as the weather warms. What are the conditions like right now? Well, we have a nice slightly overcast day with temps around 65 degrees. This is not really warm enough to get lots of big bugs flying around, but the weather is supposed to take a turn for the better (and hotter) in the next ten days. Here is what I just got off of the ten-day weatherunderground forecast for Maupin's daily high temperatures: Tomorrow 79, Thursday 85!, Friday 80, Saturday 79, Sunday 80, Monday 81, Tuesday 87!, Wednesday 87!, Thursday 79.... That is about as good as we could possibly hope for (for this weather-dependent hatch). In TWO days it is going to be 20 degrees warmer than it is today - that is awesome!

Lots of folks are calling to find out when the best time is to come out to the Deschutes to hit this hatch. People, there is a reason that many a hard-core angler has purchased a second home in Maupin, there is a reason that trout bums from around the country park their RVs in the Maupin City park for 6-8 weeks starting in mid-April, and there is a reason that you will see license plates from around the country up and down the river road for several weeks in May. You have to BE HERE to MAKE the REPORT. You can't chase this hatch by reading reports - like this one (ha ha!) - you have to be on the river ready to take advantage of the best weather days that coincide with the big bugs being in the bushes. One day will be pretty good, the next day great, the next two days very so-so, the next day terrible, and the next day unbelievably epic. In 18 years of living in Maupin and fishing this hatch, I will admit that hitting the stoneflies on a day when everything is perfect and the bugs are all over the place - landing on your neck, clouding the skies over the river, falling in the water - it is not easy to hit the hatch right on the money. You have to be flexible and willing to drop everything to race to the river in the afternoon or evening as the heat peaks and the bugs start to get their most active. I will have my waders and rod ready to go from now until the end of this hatch - which may be as soon as May 20 if the super hot weather continues.

Here are a few things to keep in mind during the mayham that is the hatch...first off, be respectful of other anglers. If someone is in a spot working their way upstream with a dry, don't HIGH HOLE them and cut off their day of fishing by stepping into the river just upstream from them. It is rude. If someone is in the spot that you wanted to fish, you will have to go to another spot. That's just the way it is. The river is going to be really busy. Really really busy. That is what happens every year during this hatch and this year will be no exception. Can you get away from people? The short and easy answer is, no you cannot. There will be a lot of boats floating and stopping, people driving up and down the road, people hiking into the roadless places, and there will be people riding their bikes along the river too - where that is allowed. You can ride your bike between Warm Springs and Trout Creek but you cannot ride your bike above the locked gate. It is clearly explained on the sign that hangs on the locked gate. Please don't break this rule. Another thing about the hatch - at the same time that the salmonflies and golden stones are hatching, there are a lot of other hatches popping. Don't put on blinders and ignore some of the epic mayfly hatches and caddis hatches that coincide with the big bugs. Trout will turn off of eating big bugs if they have a chance to eat a pile of PMDs or Pale Evening Duns or Green Drakes or Pink Alberts (all mayflies that can and do occur in May-June). Don't only fish imitations of the salmonfly - the golden stone is a little bit smaller but just as important as the salmonfly. Smaller yet, the little yellow sally is a trout favorite that usually sticks around long after the bigger bugs are gone.

Our private lakes are in their prime right now with hatches of callibaetis and chironomids going off daily and huge trout slurping down dries. Weekends are getting tight, but the weekdays are still quite open and available for anglers to get a spot on one of our many private lakes.

John Day River bass trips are right around the corner - the ultimate family trip! Want to be the coolest grandparents on the planet? Take the grandkids on a John Day River overnight camp/float/fly fishing trip and see one of Oregon's most spectacular wild and scenic rivers.

I announced the Euro-Nymphing Clinics on the last fishing report and they are nearly filled up. We have a couple of spots left on the July 1 clinic and we will take names down for future clinics because the level of interest in this highly-effective technique is growing like crazy. Call us if you want to get one of the very last spots. We have increased the class size to 8 students with 3 guides, our guest instructor, Tom Jarman, and one staff member who will be along to cook an awesome BBQ lunch for the class attendees. There will be 1 instructor for every 2 students. $260 for the full day float - and we will provide loaner Euro-nymph rods if needed.

Well, that report was a lot more fun to write than the last one! Can't wait to help you with flies and get you out on the river!

Amy Hazel and the crew at Deschutes Angler Fly Shop

DESCHUTES RIVER FISHING REPORT

 

April 28, 2018

I had a chance this week to put a few days in on the water fishing for myself. I was Euro-nymphing again - testing out a new Euro rod design by Gary Anderson. The rod is in the prototype stage and performed beautifully - stay tuned, we are working with Gary on Euro-rod designs which are going to be in a mid price range. I did not see a single stonefly in the bushes or on the edges of the river. Evan saw a handful of golden stone adults on his guide trip and he successfully hooked several trout on dry flies during his day of fishing. The trout are ready for the big bugs to show up and they are staging themselves in the most productive feeding lanes in order to consume as many stoneflies as they can in the coming weeks.

The big salmonfly/stonefly hatch has changed dramatically over the past 8 years since the PGE tower went in. In the past, we would see this hatch start way downriver and it would work its way upriver over the course of weeks. Now, the hatch pretty much comes on all at once in the entire river because the operators of the dam are releasing far warmer water into the Deschutes than they used to. Those of you who fished the Deschutes quite a bit in February and March of this year will notice that the river has now gone from super clear and blue to a pea soup color. This is the Crooked River water full of algae and gook that the dam operators pour off the top of Lake Billy Chinook. I noticed a huge change in the river from the last time I went fishing to this week - it was a bit shocking.

The trout seem to be moving back into their summer holding water. We found them in deeper faster water this week - because trout are willing to work a little bit harder as water temperatures warm up. A couple of weeks ago the trout were in shallow riffles eating like crazy - now they are in deeper riffles eating like crazy. I am finding trout on Euro-nymphs and stonefly patterns, jigged and non-jigged flies, they seem pretty happy right now.

Everyone is getting pretty excited about the stonefly/salmonfly hatch coming right up. We have seen the first few bugs along the banks but nothing too crazy yet - one here and one there. Hotter weather is what we need to get the hatch really rolling. We will keep you posted on that front.

Our private lakes continue to have outstanding action - reports on most of the lakes is that the fish are abundant and many are larger than we have seen in past years. Weekends are our busiest times, but we usually have a spot for you if you want to fish on a weekend. If you have a flexible schedule and you can come out on a weekday, we have more flexibility on which lakes we can put you. The lakes are a ton of fun - big rainbow trout slurping down flies all around you. If you really need to hook a bunch of hogs, they are waiting for you on dozens of lakes just 25 minutes from Maupin.

Euro-nymphing is really taking off, and for good reason! The technique is so effective and so productive that anglers who have tried it can hardly believe how it has changed their overall Deschutes experience. We are fairly new to the technique ourselves - though we have been using Czech leaders off and on for the past 5-6 years. There are a few good video productions online that speak to the technique and the effectiveness of the technique, but nothing beats hands-on lessons by a professional. So, we teamed up with the Fly Fisher's Place in Sisters to bring in a Euro-nymphing expert all the way from the land down under. Tom Jarman will be teaching a select group of fly anglers his Euro-nymphing techniques. These are short-line techniques used in international fly fishing competitions - techniques popularized in the mid 1980s by competitions between the Poles, the Czechs, the French, and the Spanish (and probably lots of others) fly anglers. Tom has been competing in these international tournaments for Australia's National Fly Fishing Team and he is willing to teach us some of the tricks of Euro-nymphing. Here are the details: Six anglers will be floating the river for the day with our guide staff and Tom Jarman as the presenter of Euro-nymphing techniques. We will meet here at the fly shop at 8:00 AM, and we will get everyone geared up for the day - some of you already have Euro-nymphing rods, while others may need a loaner rod for the day. We have you covered. We will float the river, stopping along the way to fish in a bunch of different spots with Tom giving us instruction and insight along the way. The day will wrap up around 4:30 when we return to Maupin and the fly shop. The price for the full day float with Euro-nymphing instruction is $250 per person plus a fee for the boater pass (about $10). The dates of the two classes are set: The first class will be on Saturday, June 30 and the second class will be on Sunday, July 1. There are eight angler spots per class. We will fill these spots quickly, and some spots are already spoken for, so give us a call if you want in on this educational experience. 541-395-0995 or drop me an email: amy@deschutesangler.com

We are open seven days a week now from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM - so stop in and check out the best fly selection in the entire Pacific Northwest!

See you on the river! - Amy Hazel and the crew at Deschutes Angler Fly Shop

DESCHUTES RIVER FISHING REPORT

 

April 15, 2018

A quick update to the fishing report.....the Deschutes River opener (for the section of the river that runs along the Warm Springs Reservation and which includes Trout Creek, Mecca, South Junction, etc) is NOT, I repeat, NOT on a Saturday this year. For some odd reason, after opening that section on the third Saturday in April for, I guess, FOREVER, they have decided to open it on a Sunday. In the name of simplification of the regulations, maybe, who knows? So, I previously reported the opening on Saturday and it is actually on a Sunday this year. In addition, Thanksgiving is going to be on a Friday and Mother's Day is going to be on a Monday.

Fishing on the river yesterday was outstanding - according to my undercover sources. Evan had a guide trip and used dry flies all day (come on in and I will show you the magic patterns) and Euro-nymphing was highly effective for other anglers with whom I spoke. The private lakes were off the charts and will be again today for the lucky few who will be fishing there. Tight lines!

Amy Hazel

DESCHUTES RIVER FISHING REPORT

 

April 12, 2018

Springtime in the high desert often means lots of wind. This week has been no exception - today, particularly, is one mean hombre of a day to be out on the water trying to cast a fly. The winds are supposed to roar out of here for the most part by the weekend, though it will still be breezy through Saturday. Sunday looks to be the best day of the weekend, weather-wise, so pack your gear and head on out to Maupin for a little fishing. The river all around Maupin is open for fishing year-round but the river above Maupin (Warm Springs, Trout Creek, South Junction, Mecca Flats, etc.) is not open until the Saturday after this one.

Euro-nymphing continues to be VERY productive and I have been astounded by how many people have taken the plunge, purchased a specialized Euro-nymphing rod, Euro-nymphing leader, and are out there making magic happen. The technique is not something that is super easy to master right out of the gate, there is certainly a learning curve to casting a twenty foot leader with little to no fly line out of the tip of the rod, but once people ge tthe hang of it, they become RIVER NINJAS out there with their Euro-nymphing set-ups. One of the really fun things about Euro-nymphing is that it opens the door to a whole new world of fly tying for those who have been on the fence about taking on a new hobby. If ever there was a time to take the plunge, buy a vise, get the tools, and start cranking out your own flies, THIS IS THE TIME. Euro-nymphs are fun to tie, easy to tie, can be tied in under 5 minutes per fly from start to finish, and they offer a world of creativity to those new to the tying bench. For example, last week I had a really nice young man and his father in the shop and he expressed interest in getting into tying. We got him set up with the vise and the right materials to get started and I sat down to show him a simple Euro-nymph pattern that he could then go home and create on his own. Young Joseph took to the vise like a fish to water - he dove in head first and started cranking out dozens of Euro-nymphs for his next fishing trip. He and his dad came into the shop about a week later, fresh off of a three day float trip, and raved about the number of trout they landed on Joseph's new creations. I saw picture after picture of fat healthy rainbows with Euro-nymphs in their mouths - sent to me by their guide. He reported that the Euro-nymph was, hands-down, the top producing fly of the trip - which says a lot at a time when so many big stonefly nymphs are actively crawling around and drift migrating. Ben, who works for us, will be in the shop on Saturday to demonstrate fly tying Euro-nymphs, so stop on in and check it out. We have all of the materials here in the shop for you to create your own highly-effective Euro-nymphs. We have Firehole Sticks hooks - these are Euro-style barbless hooks that hold fish better than any barbed hook and come in a 36 pack for only $7.25. We carry 36 packs of tungsten beads and will be happy to share with you the best match that we have found for each of the hooks that we sell. Euro-nymphs are typically sized up with a larger bead than you would find on a traditional nymph, this is because we are using only the weight of the nymph to get down while fishing and not relying upon split shot to do that job. In addition to beads and hooks, we have the UV glues, UV flashlights, all the glowing body materials, and the critically important Coq de Leon tail material in seven, yes, SEVEN, different varieties. Build yourself an arsenal of killer nymphs!

It is that time of year, my annual stay off the redds post on the fishing report.... if you don't know what a redd is, then you are absolutely the angler that I am trying to reach with this information! Redds are the areas of the river where trout spawn and lay their eggs. At no other time of year are the trout of the Deschutes as vulnerable as they are when they are gathered on their redds for spawning. It is absolutely critical that all anglers stay away from these trout and from these areas during this time of the year. How will you know that you are near a redd? You will typically be in shallow water with small pea-sized gravel all around you. The gravel where the trout lay their eggs looks cleaner than the gravel all around it and is very often in a mound. The trout will be hovering over this gravel, will be dark red, and will not be spooky because they are determined to procreate. It is not only unsportsmanlike and unethical to fish for these fish while they are on their redds, it is also shortsighted and ignorant to do so because you are endangering the future generations of trout in the Deschutes. Redsides, or rainbow trout in the Deschutes, are not dumped into this river by a hatchery truck. Man does not have any part in supplementing the population of these wild native fish, they procreate and repopulate all by themselves if they are given a chance to do so. When anglers fish over spawning trout they disturb these trout and move them off the redds, when they hook the trout they exhaust them and waste precious energy, milt, and eggs by handling these trout, and they crush and destroy eggs by wading on the spawning gravel. It is up to us to lead the way and set the example by not fishing in these shallow gravelly areas during this time of year. If you see someone fishing on redds, please say something. They may be uninformed and not really understand what they are doing (this is what I have found in about 90% of the cases) and your kind words of education may help them become educated ambassadors for the protection of spawning trout. There will be a small percentage of people out there who don't give a rip about the Deschutes trout and who feel that it is their right to do anything they feel like doing on the river...if you run into those folks, take a few photos of them while they are reefing trout off the redds. Chances are good that if they don't care about protecting spawning fish they also don't care about some stupid regulations on not killing big trout. We don't have enough law enforcement to cover the thousands of miles of rivers in Oregon so we all need to say something if we see bad angling behavior because the future of our trout fishery depends on it.

This month and next are absolutely PRIME TIME for fishing our private trophy trout lakes. No dredging required, bring a floating line and a five weight rod and get ready to have the time of your life!!The trout are cruising the edges of the lakes sipping chironomids and damsel nymphs as well as callibaetis nymphs and adults. Hoo boy! If you want to have the time of your life with huge rainbow trout on the end of your line over and over again, give us a call and we will get you on the lakes.

We hope to see you on the river this weekend! Tight lines,

Amy Hazel and the crew at Deschutes Angler

DESCHUTES RIVER FISHING REPORT

 

April 6, 2018

We have had some very nice high overcast fishing days this week and today is another great one. Tomorrow, however, the forecast looks a little rough - lots of wind. Looks like a front is roaring into Oregon this weekend, which may make casting a little tougher out there. Sure, you could stay home and watch the Masters and tie flies, but the river is a lot more fun. Trout fishing has been good to great lately - though it is mostly a nymphing game. BWOs have been popping in the mid-day - so have a selection of those in your fly box ready to go. We have also been hooking a few trout in the evenings on dark caddis, about size 12. Mixed in here and there, we have seen smatterings of skwala stoneflies in the late afternoons and they provide a nice opportunity to fish a big dry fly on the surface - a little practice for the real stonefly hatch coming at the end of this month. Yes, you read that right, we expect to see the adult salmonflies and golden stones crawling from the river's depths onto the banks by about April 29-30. Don't wait until late May to fish out here, you could easily miss the whole thing. Though the timing of this hatch has changed in the last eight years since the PGE tower was implemented, we have not yet seen a huge decline in bug populations for this one hatch. However, the stoneflies have a three year life cycle which is much monger than that of mayflies and caddis, so the poor water quality in the Deschutes has only impacted 2 generations of stoneflies so far.

The private lakes are coming into their prime fishing times now - April and May are mind-blowing up there. If you have never given yourself a gift of a trip to a private lake with huge blanket hatches of mayflies and huge rainbow trout eating them all around you - well, you owe it to yourself to a day of gluttony. We have several private lake venues which are all located within an easy 20-30 minute drive of our fly shop. You call us to book a trip, stop by the shop the morning of the trip or the day before to get a map and a combination to the locked gate, a good fly selection, tippet and leader, maybe a rental float tube and fins, and you are off to a great day of catching. Rent a cabin for a couple of nights and stay for a few days. We know you will love the experience.

We hope to see you on the river this weekend! Tight lines,

Amy & John Hazel and the crew at Deschutes Angler

Click Here for Deschutes Angler Blog

DESCHUTES RIVER FISHING REPORT

March 24, 2018 The beautiful weather we had earlier this week has deteriorated into cold and blustery conditions. It isn't windy yet, but it may get there this afternoon. I am sure that the nymph fishing will still be good out there, and any day of fishing is better than a day of sitting around doing nothing, so....

If you are sitting around and doing nothing, here is a video to give you something to do with your free time, TIE EURO-NYMPHING LEADERS! YAY!!

This video is on the Deschutes Angler You tube channel. We have other fun videos on that channel and we are working on more content every day. When I am not in the shop, and every day after and before I go into the shop, I am working on media content.

The guys that hit the private lakes this week, during the calm and beautiful days that we had, absolutely had a great time. The fish are eating midges and the nymph forms of other insects that live in the lakes (damsels and callibaetis). On any given day, and more days than not, you will have an opportunity to hook big trout on dry flies on our lakes. So, don't let another spring slip past you without booking a day on one of the three venues that we offer for private trophy trout fishing.

Hopefully the weather will improve and warm up over the next week. The Deschutes has so much to offer the angler during these shoulder seasons it is a shame not to get out here to see how beautiful and uncrowded the Deschutes can be.

TIght lines,

Amy Hazel and the crew at Deschutes Angler Fly Shop

Click Here for Deschutes Angler Blog

DESCHUTES RIVER FISHING REPORT

March 16, 2018 Friday afternoon on the Deschutes and the trout are biting. Another very happy Euro-nympher stopped by the shop a few minutes ago and reported great fishing today. If I could have been out there, I would have, but the sick fairy has been waving her wand over my staff lately and they are dropping like flies to this flu bug. I refuse to fall ill, so my daily routine of bathing myself and all phones/keyboards/cash registers in Clorox Disinfecting Wipes seems to be doing the job thus far.

The day started off rainy and a bit chilly, but it has turned out to be a rather fishy day - high overcast and calm. Tomorrow looks to be partly cloudy and breezy with winds up to 16 mph and getting calmer on Sunday. Since St. Patty's day is on Saturday night, I expect that a lot of youngsters will be down with the green bottle flu on Sunday (also known as the Maupin Flu around here!). So, take advantage of an empty(ish) river this weekend and catch some trout!!

Gotta run....customers coming in have torn me away from the fishing report multiple times - not complaining - so I have to wrap it up and get home.

Tight lines!!

Amy Hazel and the crew at Deschutes Angler

DESCHUTES RIVER FISHING REPORT

March 10, 2018 It is a beautiful Saturday out here on the Deschutes River and YOU should be out here enjoying this beautiful weather! The river around the Maupin area is open year round so you can fish anywhere you like up and down the access road that parallels the river north and south of Maupin. Any part of the river that borders the Warm Springs Indian Reservation is currently closed (both sides of the river) - which means that Warm Springs,Trout Creek, Dry Creek, Mecca, South Junction and North Junction are all closed to angling until the entire river opens on April 22. This is just a clarification, because that rule changed a few years ago to open the river year-round, but it was changed back the very next year. Don't get caught fishing closed waters! If you are in the Maupin area driving up to the locked gate or down to Mack's Canyon, you are in waters that are open year-round.

I have been getting a little flack from my readers about not posting the fishing report as often as I have in the past. Yes, I am guilty as charged. But, the reason for not posting is a good one, I have been taking time off from the fly shop to fish. I have been really delving into this Euro nymphing technique and getting it dialed in. In the evenings I tie up Euro leaders and Euro nymphs, and by day I have been sourcing and bringing in new hooks, beads, and materials to sell to those anglers who are interested in this technique. At first, I will admit, I hated every second on the water trying to fish this long leader and tiny nymphs - it was a bit frustrating. I kept at it for a few days and it became a little bit more fun, and then, last weekend, I saw the light.

A friend and I went out on Saturday and absolutely lit those trout up! We were using no weight, no indicators, just specialized hand-tied Euro leaders that we tied ourselves (video coming soon - I am still editing it). All of our flies were tungsten bead head nymphs, some jig-style, some on down-eye hooks, most of them small but sometimes we fished a heavier stonefly nymph on the bottom of the leader. On Saturday, we got a bit of a late start, we fished for about 5 hours and each landed 30+ nice rainbows. On Sunday, we took the jet boat down river and stopped at a bunch of spots between Beavertail and Pine Tree - one spot was insane, I did not move my feet once and hooked 20 trout in the same riffle. To be fair, the trout were in some spots thick as thieves, and in other spots it was difficult to find even a few. We looked for spawning trout, since water temps are getting warmer, and we did not see any on any of the known spawning redds. Some of the trout that we landed looked as though they might have spawned recently, but we expect the bulk of the trout spawning to happen in the next month or so. Please be aware that all of the trout in the Deschutes are wild native fish and it is extremely important to leave them alone when they are actively spawning. Fishing over spawning fish is not ethical, you do major damage to eggs that have already been buried in the gravel which you are grinding under your boots, and you harass and scare off the fish that are in the midst of their most important job of the year. Think of future rainbow trout and stay off the redds. If you see other anglers wading over fine pea gravel that appears to be clean, kindly educate them about the damage that they do to future poopulations of Deschutes trout by wading in those delicate areas.

I have been tying Euro-style leaders in the evenings and sorting tungsten bomb beads into packets of 36 to match the Firehole Sticks hook packages of 36 hooks. Let me say this about the Firehole Sticks hooks - they are unbelievable! These competition nymph hooks are barbless, which warms my heart, but they are also the best-holding trout hooks that I have ever used. The point of each of these hooks has an ever-so-slight upward curve right at the sharp tip of the point. They sink into a trout's lip and stay there through all the jumping and pulling that a Deschutes trout can deliver. I had to use my forceps ever time I removed a hook from a trout lip because these hooks are so perfectly designed. They cause no damage whatsoever to the trout, they just hold really well.

One interesting thing that happened in the past 3-4 weeks, and happened two times that I know of first hand, is that anglers walking along the river's edge have stepped in and had their leg caught in metal leg-hold traps. These traps are there legally - the trapper is registered and has his name on each and every trap - and the traps are, supposedly, marked with flags - but apparently they are not that well-marked because two guys stepped in them and had to have help getting out of them. Each person stepped in the trap while fishing along the Deschutes. One trap was about 1/4 to 1/2 mile below the Nena boat launch and the other was about 1/4 mile below the Buckhollow boat launch. These locations are at least 20 miles apart, so it would be reasonable to assume that the snap traps are strung out from the locked gate all the way downstream to Mack's Canyon. The trapper is trying to get beaver, mink, and otter pelts - perhaps even bobcats, and coyotes, but they pose a real and present danger to kids and dogs and anglers in general walking along the river's edge. Keep your eyes open on the river and watch where you are stepping.

We had a bit of a cold snap about ten days or two weeks ago, but the weather trend now looks to be good for the foreseeable future, so our lakes are just opening up this weekend. Those at a higher elevation, like Shaniko and Jackknife, are going to be frozen in the morning and thawing through the day. The Grass Valley lakes, however, are thawed and ready to fish. Conveniently, in the early spring, the lakes are easily fished from shore. As the season goes on, it is necessary to use a float tube to get away from the weeds that ring the edges of the lakes by early May. Give us a call if you want to get your line wet this spring on some private lakes with absolutely beautiful huge rainbow trout. We have nearly 30 lakes to choose from, so it is not difficult to find you a place to fish.

For those of you interested in tying Euro nymphs, give us a call or stop into the fly shop and we can get you set up with the right materials to tie flies that really catch trout. Day by day, I am adding beads, hooks, and tying videos to our site. I will add links here in the fishing report in order to direct you to the media you need to see in order to get on the right page with the Euro-nymphing craze.


Tight lines!


Amy Hazel and the crew at Deschutes Angler Fly Shop

 

 

DESCHUTES RIVER FISHING REPORT

 

February 15, 2018 We are coming into a long holiday weekend and one that is also a FREE FISHING WEEKEND for everyone - whether you are an Oregon resident or not. Unfortunately, the weather looks like it may go back to a more wintery mix with strong winds and possible rain/snow mix. Why is it that we typically have beautiful weather all week only for the weather to get crumby on the weekend??? It doesn't seem fair to the weekend warriors... but I suppose that's why you call yourselves warriors, you are ready to do battle with anything that mother nature can throw at you! If camping has little to no appeal with a forecast such as this one, remember that all of the hotels in Maupin have winter rates and they are CHEAP! The Riverside, our local restaurant and watering hole, will cook your hot meals for you and we will be here to help you with fly fishing gear, tips, and information.


Last weekend was a big one - we went into Portland on Saturday to the Deschutes River Alliance fundraising auction and it was a huge success. John was the emcee and he was in rare (not really) form drumming up high bids on all of the auction items. We successfully raised a good chunk of money, which will help our organization fight on for the health of the Deschutes River. If you want to get up to date on the latest news go to www.deschutesriveralliance.org. Please take a look at the latest DRA video which shows how the changes in the river have impacted the economic base of Maupin:

Click Here for A River Worth Fighting For

 


We drove home on Saturday night because Sunday is our one day off and we wanted to go trout fishing. So, we got out on Sunday with our buddy, Matt Krill, and we had a really good day of trout fishing on the Deschutes. We were testing out a new rod made by Echo which is called the Echo Shadow. This rod is specially designed for Euro nymphing, which is a technique that we have been employing since the river has undergone such massive changes in bug hatches (see DRA website above). Since the rocks close to the river's edge are now covered in nuisance algae, and our trout (once known worldwide as some of the finest dry fly eaters anywhere) don't have nearly as many dry flies from which to choose, we figure that they have changed their eating habits and we now must change our fishing style on order to find them. So, we are embracing the Euro nymphing tools available to us, and one of those tools is the Echo Shadow 2 weight 10 foot rod specifically designed for Euro nymphing. This rod can be modified with an aftermarket upgrade (which includes an extension section and some counter balance weights) to become an 11 foot 2 weight with extra weights in the butt section in order to balance out the extra length. Matt put his trout reel on this rod with a floating line, we attached one of our hand-tied Euro leaders (available here in our fly shop) tied on two flies, and we hooked and landed some really big trout as well as a bunch of middleweights.


The flies were all of our own creation - a heavily weighted golden stone as the bottom point fly and a euro nymph (Frenchie or perdigon) as the dropper fly. The water that we fished mostly consisted of a big riffle that poured into a deep slow slick. By tossing the flies in the riffle, they were instantly in the zone thanks to their weight and the specially designed leader that cuts right through the water allowing fast penetration of the nymphs. The takes were quite subtle, but the brightly colored indicator section of the leader let us know immediately if our nymphs hesitated for even a moment. You just can't get to "Fly Fishing Ninja" status with a big bobber on the water - it causes too much drag if not fished with absolute prescision, and even then, your flies down deep are rarely in line with your indicator six feet or eight feet above them on the surface of the water. What many people don't realize is that the water on the surface of a river moves at a faster pace than the water near the bottom of the river. This is why, when water temperatures are quite cold (as they are on the Deschutes right now) the fish will opt to be further down in the flow so they don't have to expend as much energy to hold their position in a feeding lane. Temps right now are 44-45 degrees throughout the entire river and the water levels have dropped to normal or slightly below normal flows for this time of year.


Euro-style nymphing has opened up a Pandora's box of fun goodies for us to bring into the shop. We are bringing in a slew if new flies (not here yet - but coming soon) as well as a gob of fly tying materials for tying up the ammo that you need for this style of fishing. Several styles and brands of Euro hooks, jigged and other, are either on the walls of the shop now or are due in this coming week. We have every available color of Coq de Leon feathers for the tails of these flies, tungsten bead heads in every color and with or without slots, UV resins of the highest quality, CDC in every shade imaginable, and all of the other materials necessary to create these cool little nymphs. Not a fly tyer yet? Thinking of giving it a try? There is no easier fly to tie than one of these Euro nymphs. We can help you get started.


We expanded our leader and tippet wall to include TROUTHUNTER brand fluorocarbon leaders and tippets. These super strong leaders and tippets will help you fool the pickiest trout and, the unique feature of the tippet material is that it is available in half sizes. If 5X tippet is spooking your picky trout, but 6X is so fine that you are sure to break that pig off when you fool him, why not shift down to 5.5X tippet? Trouthunter has you covered.


I have been tying a lot of these flies in the evening at home in my wo-mancave and it is one of the reasons that John and I have been out on the water fishing more this winter. Another reason? Sundays off. Another? It is fun to fish with my hubby! Another? Oh yeah, he finished working on the boat that I bought him (a wooden boat that turned out to be quite a project) and he is really having fun using it on the Deschutes this winter. The boat is a 22 foot long Dean River Dory purchased from a lodge on the Dean River in British Columbia and originally built by the Blewett family. There are very few of these boats in the world and I have been infatuated with them since I first laid eyes on them on the Dean River about 18 years ago. My father was a wood boat guy - he built one, he had tons of books about them, he had a subscription to Wooden Boat magazine, and he eventually got his dream boat - a 1952 Chris Craft runabout, which he named Amy. So, my love for wood boats runs deep and so does John's (though he would not have called his feelings towards this boat anything close to love while he was refinishing it). We have been cruising around in the boat for about two months now, just getting to feel comfortable running it up and down the river. It will be our fun boat - not a work boat - we will continue to do all of our guiding in the drift boats. If you see us out there, you will see a beaming smile on John's face because he is loving his new toy and we are getting time to fish and enjoy it during this unbelievably warm winter.


Tight lines!

Amy & John Hazel and the crew at Deschutes Angler

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DESCHUTES RIVER FISHING REPORT


February 9, 2018


The weather we are having this winter has been unreal! Yesterday felt more like May than February. John and I went trout fishing down below Sherar's Falls and took our new (old) Dean River Dory out for a spin. It was a long drive down to Mack's Canyo