Central and Eastern Oregon Fishing Reports
From avid fisherman Tim Moran
Note: If this report looks a lot like last week’s it’s because not a lot has changed in a week but a few things have!
Crane Prairie – Fishing for “Cranebows” is holding up and should get better as we head to the closing date in October. This is THE BEST time of the year in my opinion to fish Crane! Intermediate sink lines with size 6 and 8 leeches in black, rust and olive will catch fish. The fish seem to change on the color during the day so play around with color until you find what they like. Orange and red heads on your leech patterns work! Bass fishing is fading in the cooler weather.
East Lake – It’s probably going to snow and be chilly this weekend at East but sometimes the fishing can be great even in a flurry! Callibaetis hatches can break out anytime so be ready. When the hatches aren’t coming off try beetles and ants near the shoreline. Balanced leeches, prince nymphs, and buggers are great options too.
Lower Deschutes River – A shout out to Amy Hazel at Deschutes Angler Fly Shop. I rely on her reports during the year when I can’t get down there myself or don’t have a buddy or group there. She has a great rant on their site about ungrateful people complaining about the White River mud blob…It’s entertaining and I feel for you, Amy! That said, the Deschutes below White River has catchable numbers of Steelhead but the river continues to be on again off again due to WR mud. We are getting into a time when you should fish above the WR confluence if it’s muddied up the big D. There are fish throughout the river. Spinners, spoons, and jigs are taking fish every day. Swinging flies like Green Butted Skunks, Purple Perils and Freight Trains are taking fish along with bigger streamer patterns. Fish are being caught up to Trout Creek so the fish are spread through the system. As for trout, I’ve seen some monsters this week coming from the Mecca Flats and Trout Creek areas. Guides have gotten clients into Red-sides to 26 inches fishing caddis patterns.
Metolius River – Fishing is good on the river with BWO”s and PMD’s. Caddis and mahogany duns will make an appearance during the day as well. Big Bull Trout are in the river and fishing for them is good on big streamers and sinking lines.
Fall River is kicking out some nice fish too. Small dries and nymphs are getting fish. Check-in with the Sun River Fly shop to get the latest info and flies. The staff there is knowledgeable and friendly!
Crooked River – Really good! BWO’s, PMD’s and caddis. This river is a fall mainstay!
Owyhee River – There may be a snow flurry or two on Sunday but this is a great Fall fishery. Look for small BWO’s PED’s and PMD’s as well as Caddis and Midge hatches. If the fish aren’t rising then fish streamers and move up to 3X tippet. The Browns here are as big as any in Argentina and a 28″ Rainbow was landed there last week!
Best of luck everyone!
Fall can be a great time to hike into one of high elevation lakes ODFW stocks with trout. The weather can be great, the mosquitos are gone and the trout are trying to put on a few ounces in preparation for the cold winter months.
Recent sampling revealed good numbers of good-size bass in 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.
The lower Deschutes is open for Chinook until Oct. 31.
This is the last week to fish McKay Reservoir, which closes to fishing for the season on Sept. 30
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.
Hunters in the area of the Umatilla and South Walla Walla forest ponds should remember to take a rod with them and enjoy a cast-and-blast weekend.
The following waterbodies are scheduled to be stocked the week of Sept. 23: Teepee Pond, Salt Creek Summit Pond, Luger Pond, Honeymoon Pond, McGraw Pond, Hunter Pond and Kinney Lake.
Trout fishing was excellent this past weekend at Blue Lake in the Gearhart Wilderness.
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.
Fishing for yellow perch can be excellent in the Lower Williamson River, Pelican Bay of Upper Klamath Lake and Crystal Creek, if you can find them!
Fishing for brook trout is excellent this time of year in the Upper Sycan, Upper NF and SF Sprague, Upper Williamson, Long Creek and a few high elevation lakes.
Recent rains are great news for fish and the cooler temperatures this weekend should create better fishing and more importantly catching.