Steelhead Striking On the Wallowa, Rainbows An Option At Chickahominy
EASTERN/SOUTHEASTERN OREGON WATERS
Chickahominy Reservoir: Ice is off, and fish are in the reservoir. Last year, water levels were low, and water remains low this year. That being said, fly anglers were catching fish last fall on streamers and bugger patterns, and reports are that fish are present in the reservoir. I have not found any anglers who have been on the reservoir yet this year, but it is a reasonable trip for anglers based in central and eastern Oregon. Wind is likely to be blowing in this area through the weekend.
Owyhee River: Weather outlook around the Owyhee is looking reasonable through the weekend and into next week. River levels are steady and will likely remain so for the next couple of weeks. Fish this river carefully with these low flows by being stealthy, and watch for fish activity before any blind casting. Nymphing with a zebra midge, or small pheasant tail under a skwala dry fly will produce, as will stripping in smaller buggers.
With warmer weather starting to settle into the far reaches of eastern Oregon, watch for more prolific hatches as we go into the latter half of March. The midges and baetis hatches are increasing. The Skwala stoneflies are making their first appearances now.
Suggested Owyhee River Dries: CDC Hanging Midge #20-22, Trailing Shuck Midge #20-22, Rogue Skwala #8-12, Bullethead Skwala #8-12, CFO Hummer Skwala #8-12.
Suggested Owyhee River Nymphs and Wets: Demon Midge #18-22, Zebra Midge #18-22, Manhattan Midge #18-22, WD Flashy #18-22, San Juan Worm #12-18, Simi Seal Leech #10-12, Wooly Bugger #10-12, Pheasant Tails # 18-20.
NORTHEAST OREGON WATERS
Wallowa River: There are reports of hot steelhead fishing on the Wallowa out of The Joseph Fly Shop. Flows and river levels are up from last week, but the weekend cool down will help keep flows to reasonable fishing levels. Over the past week fly fishers were hooking up multiple times during the day. ODFW checkers are saying that all of the gear guys checked have hooked or caught steelhead. Remember that trout fishing on the Wallowa is now open year-round, so trout opportunities exists.
Grande Ronde River: Water levels have been rising day by day. I recommend checking in with The Joseph Fly Shop at (541) 432-4343 before setting off for the Grande Ronde. Last reports from the shop were that the steelhead fishing was okay.
Imnaha River: Water levels are steady and forecasted to remain that way. Some steelhead catches are being reported.
And from frequent contributor Tim Moran:
Hello everyone! Happy St. Pat’s Day to you all! Seems like we are finally shaking off winter and heading into spring. Yesterday’s weather was amazing and really puts me in the mood to start chasing fish! (Of course I have to put my boat back together first – new floor and anchor system, new seat mounts and I have to get through another knee surgery…but I digress…) The Century Drive lakes wont be open for another 40 days, maybe a bit longer for Lava, Hosmer etc. as they are locked behind the “Snow Gate” but soon the High Lakes will be ready to go. In the meantime, If lake fishing is what you’re into (and who isn’t) we have a great report from two of my favorite lakes, Lake Billy Chinook, and Prineville Reservoir. We also have a report from the Metolius, Crooked and Deschutes rivers and a report of some excellent steelhead fishing in the far off northern corner of the state! This last week the Central Oregon Sportsmen Show kicked off and although I wasn’t able to go, There were lots of seminars, booths and great intell to be shared if you made it. This region of our state is really chalk full of amazing lakes, rivers and ponds to fish and reminds me how lucky/blessed we are to live in such an amazing state! Now let’s get to it!! Over on…
Checking in with The Joseph Fly Shoppe, (541) 432-4343, Steelhead fishing had been HOT the past week. There were reports up and down the river of fish being caught by those drifting gear and swinging flies. One Spey fisherman reported banking 5 steelhead daily. ODFW creel checkers reported most fishermen were banking at least one fish per day.
The best fishing was sun up to noon, then the river would turn a bit milky with the runoff from the warmer afternoon weather. The report is similar on the Grande Ronde with fishing reported as good. On the Imnaha, steelhead fishing has been slow, but fishing for trout has been good with some really nice fish being hooked.
Well, that’s the report for this week. I can’t wait to get out and get after it!