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FISHING REPORT

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

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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 Canyon - but that was mainly because we don't have a cover for the boat and we didn't want a bunch of rock chips on the new paint job. The road down there is quite good but not perfect. It has been grated down to Rattlesnake Campground and the equipment is down there to finish the job on the next rainy day. We saw a few folks out fishing, but not many, and we managed to fool quite a few trout on our Euro nymphs using Euro leaders and rods 10-12 feet in length.


When we got back to town, the guys in the shop couldn't believe how long we had stayed on the water because the wind here in town was HOWLING. It was limb-breaking, roof-destroying wind that kept blowing the front door open all day long and scattering fly tying materials all over the floor. Surprisingly, the wind was dead just 20 miles down river where we were. I have found that to be true quite a bit of the time, so keep that in mind when you are fishing the Deschutes...it may be possible to change your location to find better conditions elsewhere on the river.


The unseasonably warm weather means that our private lakes are open for business as long as they remain unfrozen. We have lots of options at different prices if you want to get your rod bent. The big rainbows in the private lakes are eager to eat dries, and we have seen some decent midge hatches up there this winter. Give us a ring if you want to jump on one of our lakes. We have float tubes that you can rent if you don't have one of your own. Or, fish the lakes from the edges and you don't have to worry about weeds this time of year.


We have been seeing a few hatches on the river but not a ton of fish looking up, so we are sticking with the high-sticking Euro nymph game for now. Since there are not a ton of Euro-style nymphs available commercially, we have been bringing in all of the specialty hooks and beads so that we can help you tie your own. If there is an easier fly to tie in the world, I haven't seen it yet! So this could be a great chance for someone new to tying to stock up his/her fly boxes with a ton of deadly patterns. Of course, the initial investment into fly tying is going to set you back at least $100 minimum - but you will pay for that with the first 40-50 Euro-nymphs that you tie. I am not normally one to say that getting into fly tying will save you a lot of money - but in this case, with the bugs being so easy to tie as well as so easy to lose on the bottom of the river, you might find your return on investment comes more easily than, say, getting into tying steelhead flies. In this golden age of Youtube videos, it is easy to see why the popularity of fly tying is exploding. I have to keep expanding my shop just to find space on the walls for all the new stuff!


Today is a little cooler than yesterday but the wind has died off completely, so I am going fishing. Tight lines!


Amy Hazel and the crew at Deschutes Angler Fly Shop

 

DESCHUTES RIVER FISHING REPORT

 

January 26, 2018

The Western edge of Oregon and the Willamette Valley rivers look to be high and muddy after the recent big rains. Not the case out here in the desert! The Deschutes is absolutely crystal clear right now and fishing well. We did not get the rain and it is quite mild out here with morning temps in the low 40s and the daytime temps in the mid 50s. Is it really January? Hard to tell with the beautiful weather we are experiencing. Yesterday we had a healthy Blue Wing Olive hatch in the mid-day and the caddis are active all winter long, so there is an opportunity for dry fly fishing at least for part of the day. The nymph fishing has been good with the regular old two fly nymph-dropper combo, however, we are using our two weight trout Spey rods and Euro nymph leaders - custom tied here at Deschutes Angler - to explore new ways of tempting the Deschutes redsides. The Euro nymphing has been on our radar for a few years, we have used Czech nymph leaders for almost 10 years now, but nymphing was not as important to our guiding program before the changes in the Deschutes River water management caused many of the dry fly hatches to decline. We used to fish dry flies all day long, but the trout that once fed actively on dries daily are gone from their normal feeding lanes. They are, we surmise, relying on the nymphs down deep where the rocks are free from the nuisance algae that we see on the rocks closer to the surface. So, we are putting our flies where we think the trout have gone and we are finding the trout quite receptive to our offerings. This year at Deschutes Angler you will see a lot of new Euro nymph patterns with oversized tungsten bead heads and UV coated bodies. Most of them will have a hot-spot or two on them - bright patches of florescent floss that glow under UV light. The extra heavy tungsten bead allows you to fish these nymphs without any additional split shot or weight. The leader is key to the style of Euro nymphing - it is ultra thin and long and this allows the nymphs to drop straight to the depths with little to no resistance (which they have when the leader is a regular tapered leader). Stop into the fly shop and we will show you how we set up our Euro nymph rigs.

 

As long as it is mild our private lakes are open for business and the fish are eager and strong in that cold clean winter water. Call us to get a day on the lakes. $100-$150 per day.

 

John is enjoying the warmth and sunshine of Christmas Island right now with a group of wonderful anglers. Thanks to a little satellite device that we carry with us on trips like this one, I can text daily with John to get the up to the minute report on his trip. Yesterday John got a nice Giant Trevally to hand and one of the other guys on the trip got a nine pound bonefish! The weather is warm and sunny - perfect for spotting fish - and not as windy as it was when I was at Christmas Island for two weeks last month. I had great fishing - caught all three species of Triggerfish and many GTS. John had to stay home while I was on Christmas Island and now I have to stay home while John is there because neither one of us wants to leave our old geriatric dog, KD, in the hands of a dog sitter. Those of you who come into the shop regularly have met the old girl, KD. She was the finest pointing hunting dog we have ever hunted behind, and we are making her golden years as comfortable as they can be. She has a litany of health problems now, lots of lumps, a few big tumors, Cushing's Disease, and so on. She has some tough nights with a bit of groaning, but she wakes up every morning with a furiously wagging tail and an appetite that is shocking. She's a tough old girl who has lost the hair on her ears and her flanks, but she wants to get up and go every morning!

 

Looks like a little rain might creep over the mountains tonight, but Saturday is going to be mild with overcast skies - perfect for mayfly hatches! We will see you on the river!

 

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

 

 

DESCHUTES RIVER FISHING REPORT

 

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Happy New Year !!! I know we haven’t wrote a report in over a month but just like everyone else it is hectic during the holidays. Fortunately we all survived and are back at it here at Deschutes Angler. Well the fishing has been surprisingly good over the last couple of weeks for both late fall steelhead and trout. We have actually been putting quite a bit of time in on the water for both species because the weather has been pleasantly mild.

On the steelhead end of things sink-tips and larger flies have been the ticket particularly when fished on the Airflo F.I.S.T. Skagit head. The triple density material really slows the fly down without even having to work for it. As usual for this time of year the fish have come out of the slower moving runs or the slowest part of whatever run we have fished. The quality has been great with most fish still bright and in healthy condition especially below Sherar’s Falls. I’d say we have another couple weeks before these fish will move into the tribs.

Trout fishing has been quite good over the last couple of weeks. Haven’t really seen many hatches but the nymph fishing has been solid. If you know how to Czech or Euro-style nymph then the fishing is going to be great because the fish are lying in the deep water right off the steep banks. Most people indicator nymphing the more traditional looking riffles have had less success. Top flies have been the Jimmy Legg in whatever color and size and a tungsten jigged pheasant tail. Hopefully we will start to see some blue wing olive hatches soon because it is the season.

In addition to the river, the Grass Valley and Shaniko lakes are defrosted and open to anyone looking to find some big rainbows. This time of year plan on using sinking lines and larger streamers to entice these beasts. You may see a midge hatch but typically the fish are hunkered down in the warmer water near the bottom of the lake. If you would like to get up to lakes give the shop a call at (541)395-0995.

Tight Lines,

Deschutes Angler Crew

 


DESCHUTES RIVER FISHING REPORT

 

Friday, November 24, 2017 6:30 AM

 

All of us here at Deschutes Angler hope that you had a very nice Thanksgiving and that you are ready to get out on the water somewhere to enjoy the weekend ahead. For those of you who live in Oregon or who may be visiting Oregon or who have out of state visitors, the good news is that this Friday and Saturday are FREE FISHING days. This means that no license is required for fishing in Oregon waters today or tomorrow. So, drag your relatives out of bed, tell them to buck up and deal with their turkey hangovers (or other hangovers, as the case may be) and show them your beloved rivers or streams or lakes this weekend! It sure beats straggling around in a stupid shopping mall.

 

We have had a few days of rain in central Oregon and this, along with some increased flows out of the dam near Madras, has caused the Deschutes River to rise pretty significantly in the last couple of days. If you go to the tab LOCAL INFORMATION located right next to the FISHING REPORT tab, you can see the two water flow gauges for the lower Deschutes. The Madras reading tells you what the river is going to be like above the White River and the Moody reading (taken at the mouth of the Deschutes where it reaches the Columbia) tells us what the river looks like below the confluence with the White River (the main tributary which enters the Deschutes about 8 miles north of Maupin). The White River was looking pretty high and a bit dirty when I drove over it on Wednesday and it looks like it went higher yesterday but started dropping again overnight. The Deschutes will seem high to those of you who fish it all summer and fall, and it may have a tinge of color in it through the Maupin area and certainly a bit more than a tinge of color down below the confluence with the White River.

 

If you are trout fishing, your success rate will depend on fishing softer water and using three to four BB shot to get your nymphs down to the slower water near the bottom of the river. We just got some tungsten shot in stock - a new product from Montana Fly Company. Tungsten is a natural element that we often use in flies as bead heads. In relation to brass beads, a similar sized tungsten bead is 4 times heavier. So, this is the stuff to use for high water or fast water if you want to efficiently get to where the fish are. Another good strategy is to use a Czech style nymphing leader. Unlike a normal tapered leader which is thick at the top and tapers down at the end where you tie on your flies, the Czech leader is ultra thin and ultra strong from the top to the bottom. When you pitch your flies out, the ultra fine leader cuts quickly through the water and your nymphs start bouncing along the bottom immediately. Nymphing Ninjas know the advantage to the Czech leader - and one leader will last you years since they are easy to rebuild again and again. Stop in and we will show you how these specialized leaders work.

 

Fly-wise, trout anglers will want to have one big stonefly pattern and one bright little bead head as a trailer. You double down on your chances of hooking up with this combo. Trout are now settling into the winter water that keeps them from working too hard. The backeddies and slow tailouts will be key to your success. Riffles of summer have been abandoned by trout due to cooler water temps.

 

Speaking of cooler water temps, the Deschutes still has steelhead around and they too will be hanging out in some of the slower tailouts and deeper pools where they don't have to expend too much energy to hold their ground. Though we don't get any winter run fresh fish in the Deschutes, this time of year can be surprisingly good because the maximum number of fish are in the system, they are settled into a holding pattern, and there are very few people around targeting them. Water temps have actually risen significantly in the last week due to warm air temps or possibly due to water being released off the top of lake Billy Chinook, but whatever the reason, water temps are now around 52 degrees instead of the mid to low 40s which we saw last week. You could easily get steelhead to eat surface and near surface flies on floating line at these temperatures, but you have to find the right water type that will hold fish and not be too deep. Sink tips might be a better option while the water is high because the water near the surface moves a lot faster than the water near the bottom of the river. With high water, steelhead tend to drop down to take advantage of the slower water and rocky substrate that the bottom offers. No need for huge intruders, these steelhead are eager to eat small and mid-sized flies. Stop in and we will share some killer patterns with you.

 

The weather has been great - it was 60 degrees yesterday! Sure, conditions are less than perfect, the river is high, but it appears to have crested and should start falling today. A rising river brings fish in and moves them around and a falling river is good for the bite.

 

If you just want to do the All-American thing and shop 'til you drop on Black Friday, we can help you there! We are open today and all weekend and we have some great deals in the shop on Simms G3 Waders, a handful of Spey Rods, Hatch Finatic reels, and Deschutes Angler insulated water bottles. Remember, this Saturday is Shop Small Saturday. If you want to support a small family-run business, shop at Deschutes Angler! If you can't make it in to see us in person, jump on our website or give us a call. We are here to help.

 

Have a great weekend and TIGHT LINES!!

 

John and Amy Hazel and the crew at Deschutes Angler Fly Shop

 

 


DESCHUTES RIVER FISHING REPORT

 

November 12, 2017 9:30 AM

 

Hello fellow anglers! Yes, things are winding down around here. As the foggy fall weather rolls in, most of the fishermen/fisherwomen have wrapped it up for the year. There are still steelhead in the river moving around, but the water is getting cooler and the fish seem to be getting less grabby and aggressive towards flies. Now is the time to transition into slower water, maybe put on a light sink tip, and fish a fly that has a slightly larger profile. The Deschutes does not have a winter run of steelhead - so the last steelhead of the year are just now entering the river. The steelhead won't spawn for 4 more months so the greatest number of steelhead are in the river now just waiting for spring and their spawning time. Late in the year we get a nice push of fresh fish, which we nickname the October Brights. There is a decent chance of hooking a steelhead in the 12-15 lb category this time of year on the Deschutes - so, your suffering in cold weather through the month of November might just be rewarded with a big wild buck or hen.

 

Trout fishing this time of year will require that you find the slower froggier water that trout prefer in the winter. Think back eddies, slow moving slicks, anything but the fast oxygenated water that you find trout living in during the summer months. It's mostly a nymphing game, big stonefly trailed by a small bright beadhead, but there have been pretty decent mid-day mayfly hatches (BWOs) during the mid-day. Unfortunately, the big trout don't seem to be too keyed-in on the dry flies this fall, though you might find pockets of trout looking up.

 

Our private lakes are fishing well - the weeds have dropped back, the fish are happy and well-rested, and we will be sending anglers up to the lakes until they freeze over.

 

The next few days are supposed to be pretty WINDY, which may make the fishing challenging. We will have a lot of leaves in the water as they blow from the riverside trees.

 

Tight lines,

Amy Hazel and the crew at Deschutes Angler

 

 


DESCHUTES RIVER FISHING REPORT

 

November 4, 2017 12:05 PM

 

Happy Saturday morning! We have a cool overcast day here in Maupin and the river is in really great shape. Reports of steelhead being hooked are spotty but there are pods of steelhead moving around. Typically, if you hook a steelhead in a run, it pays to fish that run one more time to be sure that you presented your fly to every fish in the run. Fish are moving more slowly now that the water temps have cooled. We are still hooking steelhead using floating lines and small hairwing patterns, but the shift to slightly larger flies and light sink tips is a matter of a few degrees away. As water temps get down in to the high 40s, the steelhead won't move as fast and far to grab your fly, so it is time to take the fly to the steelhead. How late do we fish? Our guided trips have tapered off now but we enjoy getting out for fun trips this time of year and fishing will be good through the month. The bucks are pretty colored up now - we are talking double red stripes on some of these guys - but the hens stay pretty bright in the late fall. The lower access road has been graded and is very smooth now, but the washboards will slowly work their way back over the coming weeks.

 

Our private lakes are still fishing well - until they freeze, you have an opportunity to hook dozens of 20 + inch fish per person per day.

 

We hope to see you in the shop!

Amy Hazel and the crew at Deschutes Angler

 

 


DESCHUTES RIVER FISHING REPORT

 

October 25, 2017 12:05 PM

 

Shortly after I wrote the last report, the water came up on the entire river and it blew out for the entire 100 miles of the lower river. I hesitated to write anything because this bump in the water out of the dam (Madras gauge) was a reaction to the rainfall that we had over the weekend. They spilled extra water from the dam and jacked the river up 600 cfs overnight. It immediately started to drop after that, as did the White River, and it was cleared up and fishable by yesterday morning in the section of river above Maupin. The whole river is now in decent fishable shape, though a bit higher than average flow for this date. When the river gets high and dirty, or even just dirty, I will use a little bit larger and darker fly to be sure that the steelhead can see my offering. I might even put on a light sink tip to get the fly in the mid water column - but I switch back to floating line and smaller flies as soon as the clarity improves.

 

Trout fishing would have been poor over the last two days due to the muddy water, but things should be back to normal now. We have seen excellent hatches lately of blue winged olive mayflies as well as caddis and larger green body mayflies. Keep your eyes peeled for those hatches around noon, particularly on cloudy days.

 

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


DESCHUTES RIVER FISHING REPORT

 

October 22, 2017 12:05 PM

 

Well, I jinxed it. After writing a glowing report about how the White River hasn't been a problem for the Deschutes all year, it happened last night....the White River blew out. It is a muddy mess and the Deschutes River from the White River downstream is unfishable. It is dirty, folks. This is a rain-caused blow out, so it should come back into shape during the week, because the weather is supposed to be nice all week, but it just may take a couple of days for that to happen. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but you will be hard-pressed to find a river on the west-side or possibly even on the east-side that hasn't come up fairly dramatically thanks to the river of rain that blew through the Northwest. Skies are clearing in Maupin right now, so the rain may be finished. The rivers that I have checked have mostly crested and are now dropping, but they are still high and mighty on the coast and near Portland and Hood River. Even the Grande Ronde flows are rocketing upwards. So, the Deschutes in the area from the White River upstream might be your best bet for fishable steelhead and trout water in the state of Oregon right now. However, expect that it will be a bit crowded.

 

Tight lines! Amy and the crew at Deschutes Angler Fly Shop

 

 


DESCHUTES RIVER FISHING REPORT

 

October 21, 2017 11:30 AM

 

Quick update - we had a heavy rain last night and we expected that it could have an impact on the Deschutes. We had a customer call this morning and he told us that the river was muddy at the mouth - he drove over the Deschutes where it enters the Columbia. We immediately drove down to the White River to see if that was the source of the mud and it was not very dirty at all. The White River is not currently putting enough color into the Deschutes to impact it, so the brown water must be coming out of another tributary further down river. It was a rain event like this several years ago and a mini flash flood that formed the rapid that we know as Washout - so any little side canyon of the Deschutes has the ability to cause instant muddy water. It may clear quickly - which is likely if it was just a small canyon blow out and not a major tributary blow out. We will keep you posted if we hear anything else.

 

Tight lines!!

Amy Hazel and the crew at Deschutes Angler Fly Shop

 

 


DESCHUTES RIVER FISHING REPORT

 

October 20, 2017 7:30 AM

 

Sorry for the long delay in getting this fishing report out! Between guiding, getting the flu, having an awesome string of visits from our favorite fishing friends, and working every other day in the fly shop - I have been really busy. The first three weeks of October are already past us and the steelhead season has been far better than we could have hoped for on a year of doom and gloom predictions. When we work hard and the cold fronts aren't pounding down upon us, we are managing to eke out a steelhead or two per day and a few more on days when we get lucky. The daylight is not an issue now - the sun is low in the sky and we are fishing pretty much all day long with a short break for lunch.

 

Floating lines and small hairwing flies are still the method that we use until water temps drop down into the mid to low 40s. Right now water temps are around 51-53, so all the surface stuff is still a good choice. Favorite flies for this time of year: Lady Caroline, Tiny Dancer October Caddis, Hazel's Recon, Dutt's Addison, Night Dancer, and Max Canyon. I always wonder how the Max Canyon name got muddled - because the canyon on the Deschutes for which the fly is presumed to be named is Mack's Canyon. My guess is that the name was printed wrong in a book when it first came out, or, the name was slapped on it as a twist on the real canyon name. Either way, the fly, with the orange on the back, is a good choice during this time of year when the October Caddis are actively emerging.

 

Speaking of October Caddis....they are still coming off int he evenings but the real bounty for the trout in the past three weeks has been the insane number of mayflies hatching off - especially on cloudy or rainy days. All summer long, when the water released into the Deschutes was of poor quality, warm, and an off-putting green color, we couldn't find a mayfly to save our lives. Now, the water releases from the dam have been coming off the bottom of the reservoir because the Deschutes has been cold, clean, clear, and LO AND BEHOLD insects are happily hatching off in droves. Unfortunately, the trout have pretty much moved out of the normal feeding lanes where they used to hold and wait for dry flies to hatch. Rafts of mayflies are coming down river and there are very few trout sipping from the surface. The trout are still around, but most have resorted to eating from the bottom of the river the majority of the time. Sure, you will see trout rising for dry flies here and there, but our trout fishery has been severely damaged by the short-sighted actions of the operator of the dam complex - PGE. For more about this, I refer you to the Deschutes River Alliance web site. www.deschutesriveralliance.org.

 

Christmas Island - who wants to go to a warm tropical destination where the bonefish are plentiful and robust, the triggerfish are insane, and the Giant Trevally will bring you to your knees? We have a few spots available on our Christmas Island hosted trips coming right up in December and January. Don't put off for another year the experience of this amazing saltwater destination! People think it is hard to get there - not true! Fly to Hawaii, sleep, get on a 3 1/2 hour flight the next morning and BOOM just like that you are in the most remote tropical environment you will ever experience. Here are the dates: December 5-12, December 12-19 (this allows you to stay for two weeks), and January 23-30, 2018. Call me at the shop if you want in - I can best sum up the Christmas Island experience with a quote from one of the guys that we took last year: (stepping off the boat after the first full day of fishing) "I caught more fish today than I have in the last 6 trips to Belize - combined!"

 

This has been a glorious year because our water conditions have been absolutely pristine. The WHITE RIVER has been clear and has not blown out the Deschutes as it has so many times in past years. YEAH!!!!!! We still have a lot of great steelhead fishing ahead of us - so come on out to the Deschutes to enjoy the return of the big October brights (large wild fish that enter the river in late October).

 

Tight Lines! Amy Hazel and the crew at Deschutes Angler Fly Shop

 

 


DESCHUTES RIVER FISHING REPORT

 

September 29, 2017 9:30 AM

 

Fall is here! Nice crisp weather and overcast days make for the perfect conditions for steelhead fishing. We were chatting with our friend, Brian Silvey, in the shop yesterday, and he and John were remarking on the beautiful condition that the river has been in all fall. The clarity hasn't been this good in years, and the White River has not had any negative impact on our fishing - which is a refreshing change from years past. As those of you who follow the counts closely have, no doubt, observed, the numbers of steelhead passing over Bonneville have dropped off, but they are still coming over The Dalles dam in decent numbers and the counts right here on the Deschutes at Sherar's Falls have bumped significantly in the past week - which means that the steelhead are spreading out into all reaches of the Deschutes.

 

As we head into October, we expect a few things to happen as they normally do in October. First off, we are still in prime time for steelhead and that means that a lot of anglers will still be coming to the Deschutes for their annual trip. We may see numbers of people bump a little bit this year if the folks who normally fish the Snake and Clearwater Rivers decide to head west where the numbers of steelhead are better than on their home waters. We also have seen a lot of anglers coming down from the north - Washington and Canada. On the flip side of that coin, many anglers who have been fishing the Deschutes for steelhead since August may decide to try their luck on other Columbia tributaries like the Grande Ronde. Anglers who also hunt will feel the pull of deer or elk camp or perhaps will choose to hike the hillsides in search of upland birds rather than fishing. October has a lot of sporting opportunities that tend to pull some anglers away from the river. By November, the Deschutes gets pretty quiet, and sometimes quite cold, but it can be a very pleasant time to be hunting steelhead.

 

For trout anglers, this is the time of year when we start to see bug bugs again. The October Caddis are out in full force already, so you will see them in the last light of the day hovering around the riverside trees. The emergence and main activity of the October Caddis is nocturnal, but the nymph, pupa and adult imitations will all work sporadically throughout the day when presented to an eager trout. The trout are moving out of the fast riffle water into the slower pools where they will spend their winter conserving energy and feeding on a mid-day hatch of Blue wing Olive mayflies and large slate-wing mayfly species. Besides the huge October caddis that come at this time of year, the trout will also be dining on brown caddis in size 14 and 12 - so the larger patterns in your fly box will come into

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