Central and Eastern Oregon Fishing Reports
From avid fisherman Tim Moran
Fall has arrived and with it, lot’s of good – bad – good weather!
Crane Prairie – Fishing was good and bad and good. Last Thursday and Friday were great! We had a group fishing flies and another fishing small spoons, spinners and Rapalas and everyone was catching fish. Cast masters and black bladed Panther Martins were the big producers. The Fly guys were fishing leeches on an intermediate sink line in size 6 and 8. The more sparsely tied ones seemed to work best. I like a brown, black and maroon mix with a muted metal head as my lead fly and a smaller leech or wooly behind it in black. There were some locals fishing with chironomids and they were catching fish too. Fish these about a foot off the bottom with a small bobber indicator to suspend them. Saturday started out good too but the weather deteriorated quickly to a rain and snow mix…Sunday was full on snow so we packed it in early. The good news is the weather is going to get nice again with Sunday and Monday downright warm so if you can get out…Fishing should be good at Crane or any of the Century Drive Lakes.
East Lake – Generally colder and windier than Crane but could be worth it this weekend with warmer weather! BWO’s and PMD’s should be on the hatch. Balanced leeches, prince nymphs, and buggers are great options if fish aren’t rising.
Lower Deschutes River – Fishing is good from Warm Springs to the mouth. Guides are getting into nice trout to 20″ and Steelhead too. PMDS, BWO’s and caddis are the dries you can depend on and pheasant tails, caddis pupa’s small stones and copper johns are great nymphs if the trout aren’t rising. It’s not unusual to hook Steelhead nymph-ing so kick up your tippet to 3x fluorocarbon. Swinging flies for Steelhead has been fair from Maupin to Max Canyon. Terminal fishermen are getting fish on spinners, Steely Spoons, and jigs. There are some Fall Kings in the river too but I’ve not heard how that fishery is doing….any reports from our readers would be great!
Metolius River – The colors right now on the river are worth the trip alone! Fishing is pretty good too! There are a few green Drakes around and BWO”s and PMD’s. Caddis and mahogany duns are coming off too. The Kokanee spawn is ramping up so small egg patterns will start being a mainstay on your nymph rigs. Bull Trout are in the river and fishing for them is good on big streamers and sinking lines.
Crooked River – We have winter flows now at 140 CFS…the fishing is good! BWO’s, PMD’s and caddis. You can’t go wrong on the Crooked in October!
Owyhee River – No report yet but some hardcore fishing buds are headed that way tonight so I’ll have a report next week.
The smaller lakes in the upper NE mountains are still fishable and I’ve seen more fish pics from my deer hunting friends than deer pics. Don’t forget to throw in a pack rod this fall when you’re out stomping around for deer and elk. This is a great way to get an amazing camp meal or two!
This should be a great weekend to get outside!
Anglers have been catching decent numbers of steelhead on the lower Deschutes River from the mouth to Sherars Falls.
Chinook and coho fishing continues to pick up on the lower Deschutes, with most fish being caught in the bait-allowed zone below Sherars.
Recent sampling revealed good numbers of good-size bass in the Ochoco Reservoir. And trout up to 18-inches.
At Antelope Flat Reservoir, water conditions are excellent and recent sampling showed lots of trout available within 40 of the bank.
Trout anglers should consider Jubilee and Pendland lakes for their weekend fishing. The summer crowds are gone and cooler temperatures have put trout back on the bite.
Trout fishing on the Grande Ronde and Wallowa rivers has been good and should be good throughout the cool days of fall.
Fly-fishing on the Chewaucan River has been excellent, with one angler landing a 28-inch redband!
The Klamath River below Keno Dam is the best bet for good fishing in the Klamath Basin.
Fly-fishing for trout has been fair on Chickahominy Reservoir.
Fall is a great time of year to target trout in Cottonwood Meadows Lake and Duncan Reservoir.
Balm Creek Reservoir is holding a fair amount of water this year, as well as a fair number of trout in the 8- to 15-inch range.
Large redband trout are beginning to enter the Sprague River from the Williamson on their spawning migration.
A recent sampling at Fish Lake (Wallowa Mountains) showed there are good numbers of both stocked rainbow and naturally-produced brook trout. Combine with cooler fall temperatures and fishing should be great.