Lower Deschutes River Salmonfly Hatch Report
The hatch is happening from Warm Springs to Maupin and down river. We just finished three multi day trips on the upper river, from Trout Creek to Maupin.
On the first trip (May 8,9) we saw only a couple of adults. However, trout were eating adult imitations on day one. Day two they were not. Sometimes they are looking up when nothing is hatching. Don't just automatically assume you have to nymph, unless you want to.
Trip two: Working with master trout guide Dan Bastian. Lots of adults from South Junction down river. Trout were actually keying into them wherever adults were found. The high flows (6500 cfs) had the trout right on the banks, where the salonflies are. Didn't take them long to figure it out.
Trip three: Rowing with Dan again. Trout were eating stoneflies aggressively right away at Trout Creek. Flows bumped to nearly 6900 cfs. Fishing slowed some, but rebounded quickly. We had to really study the river to find where trout were hiding and still feeding. Class III Buckskin Mary rapids is huge at this flow!
The hatch happened early again, within a week of last year. So at this point I am not going to consider an early May salmonfly hatch early.
It is GREAT to be back on the Lower Deschutes!