Central and Eastern Oregon Fishing Reports
From avid Angler Tim Moran
Well – this report is a bit thin as winter has settled into the cascades and points east. The forecast is for 50 to 70 inches of snow in the passes in the next 6 days so it may be a good week to get your gear in order near the fire with your favorite libation! But for those of you willing to brave the snow and bone-chilling cold here are a few options.
Lower Deschutes River – I haven’t gotten an update from the Deschutes in a while but trout fishing should be fair in the canyon between the locked gate and Sherars’s Falls. Fishing nymphs and a possible BWO’s hatch in the afternoon will be your best chance of success. With all the snow you won’t have to worry about people.
John Day River – Steelhead fishing was fair in the river from Cottonwood to Clarno last we heard. It’s going to be really cold and you’ll have to deal with iced up guides and cold fingertips. Swinging flies and fishing the tailouts and pool heads with flies or bobber and jig will be your best chance of success…But success may be measured in casts made and not fish to the net. I’d wait for the cold snap lessen before I try.
Metolius River – I fished here last weekend and it was a bit tough as it was snowing pretty hard at the time. I managed a few fish on a two nymph dropper under and indicator. The fish were in the seams. The Metolius is in a pretty heavy snow zone and I’d expect lots of snow this weekend and next week. I can be dangerous to enter the river when the banks are high with snow so use caution.
Fall River – I can’t imagine this will be too accessible for the next week or so. I’d wait until the skies/roads clear.
Crooked River – this is your best bet as it won’t get as much weather. Fish late in the morning to early afternoon. Your window will be about 4 to 5 hours. Fish small midge imitations and micro midge nymphs on light tippets and small nymphs.
Prineville reservoir – This was really fishing well last week. Large bows were caught fishing with small spoons, spinners and night crawlers too. Fishing has been best by the dam in the rip rap. Prineville should continue to fish well all winter.
Stay warm and safe out there!
South Twin Lake has been recently stocked with 100 Cranebow brood fish.
Steelhead fishing on the lower Deschutes continues to be fair. Though numbers are fewer this year, fish are well-dispersed from the mouth to the angling deadline.
The first winter steelhead are just beginning to return to the Hood River.
Taylor Lake has been stocked this fall and fishing should be good.
Trout anglers can target the Crooked, lower Deschutes and Metolius rivers, where fishing for native redbands is open throughout the year.
Recent cold weather has slowed steelhead fishing on the John Day, but flows and minimal ice conditions are good for fishing.
Fishing conditions on the Umatilla are good. Steelhead anglers should focus on the lower sections of the river above and below Threemile Dam.
Ice fishing on Kinney Lake and Magone Lake has been good.
Anglers have been ice fishing on several waterbodies including Lofton Reservoir, Phillips Reservoir, Unity Reservoir, and Yellowjacket Lake.
Winter can be a good time to target wipers in Ana Reservoir.