The warm days of summer mean it’s time to adjust tactics for finding fish on the Lower Deschutes. There is good opportunity to fish dries in the mornings. PMDs make up the majority of insects, and good numbers of Caddis will come into the mix as the morning progresses. The flows on the Lower D are low, and productive holding areas are different than what we typically see at higher levels. While it may take some time to find the most productive areas, there is a good amount of great dry fly water, and those who are willing to get on the water early should be rewarded with consistent surface action. Nymphing remains the best way to target fish later in the mornings and through much of the afternoon, we see most of our success with light tippet and smaller flies this time of year which can make landing fish a difficult proposition. Don’t be afraid to chase fish downstream and do whatever else it takes to get them to the net quickly and released with minimal air exposure. Fish deep to find fish avoiding the midday sun, and cycle through flies until you find one fish are taking consistently. Fish are more concentrated than normal with the low flows, and fly selection and a natural drift are the most important factors for getting fish to eat.
As for Steelhead, we’ve been receiving pretty solid reports of fish being caught as far up as the lower sections of the camp stretch. Numbers are looking better this year than what we saw at this point last year, and those who put in the time are being rewarded. While the river above Moody remains open, be conscious of water temperatures and focus Steelheading efforts in the early mornings when the water is at its coolest. Get fish in as quickly as possible and keep them submerged while handling/unhooking them to protect the amazing resource that is the Wild Deschutes Summer Run Steelhead.
Suggested Dries: Parachute PMD #14-18, Tilt Wing PMD #14-18, Sparkle Dun PMD #16-18, Purple Haze #14-18, Parachute Adams #14-18, Purple Parawulff #16-18, Cutters Caddis #16-18, X Caddis #16-18, Outrigger Caddis #16-18, Tan or Olive Elk Hair Caddis #16-18
Suggested Nymphs: Purple or Black Juju Baetis #16-20, Red Two Bit Hooker #16-20, Olive or Brown Micro Mayfly #18-20, Newbury’s Purdee John Brown PMD #16-18, Newbury’s Zika Jig #18-20, Depth Charge #16-18, Guide’s Choice Hare’s Ear #16-18, Jigged Hare’s Ear #16, Jigged CDC Pheasant Tail #16, Soft Hackle Pheasant Tail #16-18, Olive or Tan Sparkle Pupa #16-18, Olive Soft Hackle #16-18, Nitro Caddis Pupa #16-18