The flows on the crooked have continued to climb, at 218 CFS it is a great time to head East of town to find some rainbows. The increase in water volume has opened up much of the structure not available to the fish during low winter flows, and there is a lot of good water to be found in the first 8 miles below Bowman Dam. Fish are enjoying the warmer weather, and throwing a two-fly nymph rig provides excellent opportunity to catch great numbers of rainbows and whitefish. We’ve been doing well with the standard Crooked River assortment of small mayfly and midge nymphs, small stonefly nymphs have also been producing fish. Pheasant tails, micro mays, and copper microstones in sizes 14-18 make for tasty lead flies. Follow them up with winkers midges, zebra midges, and beadwing midges in black, red, or purple, sizes 18-22.
The occasional squala will bring a fish to the surface, and running a small olive chubby with a light dropper can be a fun way to mix things up. There are also great opportunities to swing or strip small streamers and leech patterns as the water continues to rise. Bunny busters and wooly buggers in brown or rust colors and sizes 6-8 are a current favorite.