Deschutes River Fly Fishing Report
Fly fishing on the Lower Deschutes River has been really good the first week of June. The salmonfly and golden stone hatch has continued to produce great dry fly fishing from Warm Springs all the way down river to Maupin. Generally the god surface action progresses up river, but it has held out through the entire 45 miles of river for several weeks now.
We started the month with some day trips, both near Maupin and from Warm Springs to Trout Creek. The trout seemed to be a little more educated near Warm Springs, but fishing the right patterns in this stretch resulted in nice big fish. Then we did a four day camp float from Warm Springs to Maupin and had some great fishing. There was a period of slow fishing after the river spiked Monday night from heavy rains. Fishing was really tough Tuesday and Wednesday morning, but picked right back up Wednesday afternoon.
One day near Trout creek a 18 inch bull trout nailed a salmonfly pattern... unusual and very cool!
Other bugs that played a roll in our dry fly fishing included pale morning and pale evening duns, green drakes, yellow sallies, and caddis. Trout were starting to rise in the foamy backeddies the closer we got to Maupin.
Tips for catching educated trout
Doctoring up commercial flies
When the trout refused commercial patterns like the Norm Woods and Chubby Chernobyl, I noticed that a little pair of scissors and a few snips of the fly improved its effectiveness. For the Norm I clip the hackle on the underside of the fly so that it would ride lower and not roll to the side. I also clipped off about half the calf tail wing. Don't pull the wing, or it will all fall out. Just thin it out with a pair of scissors. For the Chubby I snipped about half of each wing off, and slimmed down the foam body. It still floated well and was easy to see. A little doctoring up went a long way.
I like to fish 3X tippet, but there comes a time when trout wise up. My new favorite leader material is Trout Hunter. Their 4X is rated at 6.9 lb test, wich is the strongest 4X to my knowledge. Tippet spools come in 50 meter instead of the standard 30. Their packaging is also water proof and UV resistent, improving their shelf life. Try it out, ask for it at your local shop.
When the pressure is on, trout tuck into the tightest trees possible. When conventional casting and even trick casting becomes impossible, try the bow cast. With only a leader length or so of line out, pull back on the fly and let the rod tip fling it into tight spaces. Hold the reel slightly lower than the rod tip to avoid splashing the tip into the water. Worry about the hook set after the fish hits the fly! Remember to wear natural colored clothing and move at a painsteakingly slow pace.
Looking forward to more great dry fly fishing over the next few weeks. PMD hatches will become an every day occurrence, and caddis activity will increase. Keep a good selection of dries handy!
Here are a few photos from the past week, thanks for reading!