Steelhead Results Mixed In Eastern Oregon, Ice-Off Is Starting
Eastern Oregon Fishing Report
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.
I’ve had and seen more reports within the last that the levels are very low. With the warming temperatures starting this weekend of March 26th onwards, there may be more aquifer fill and subsequent filling of Chickahominy, but this impoundment will still remain low even with some seasonal aquifer recharge. That being said, I may check Chickahominy out myself in a few weeks during the period when it may be filling.
Owyhee River: River levels are steady and will remain so for the next couple of weeks – see the updates from The Anglers Shop below. 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.
I spoke with the guys at The Anglers Shop in Boise (208-323-6768) to get the very latest Owyhee River report. Owyhee has been fishing well. There are solid midge and baetis hatches coming off. There are still some Skwalas on the water, and the folks at the shop are expecting caddis activity soon.
The shop also has news on the flows. The river flows are forecasted to increase beginning April 8th, but more likely the flows will increase middle of the month. That will throw off fish and insect activity for at least a few days.
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: I spoke with Rob at The Joseph Fly Shoppe. The river has been high, but it is a nice green color as of March 25. That being noted, if the weekend warms up, then the river could be too high. As of the time of this writing, Northeast Oregon will be one of the cooler areas. Steelheading has been good; within the past days there was a young angler who caught his first steelhead (on stonefly nymphs!) as well as nice trout.
The word is that the river changes almost daily, so check in with the shop at 541-432-4343.
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 Shoppe at (541) 432-4343 before setting off for the Grande Ronde. Steelhead fishing has been okay.
Imnaha River: The Imnaha is running clear but high…..and reports from the shop are that it is not fishing so well right now. The Imnaha is likely to color up, and possibly blowout if the temperatures warm too much. However, Northeast Oregon is forecasted to be one of the cooler areas in Oregon this weekend. ODFW reports that steelhead are moving through the system, but their own creel surveys show that catches are variable. It would be wise to check in with the Joseph at (541) 432-4343 just as it is with all of the Northeast Oregon steelhead rivers right now.