We are happy to say that the warmest days of the year on the Lower Deschutes have come and gone. With the consistent cool weather and temperatures dropping nicely at night the Redsides on the Lower D are becoming more active and eating a little more consistently as a result. Fishing will vary day to day, but the days with consistent action are becoming more numerous. We are seeing the most success nymphing, and fish are still favoring many of our smaller flies at this point. A small Stonefly pattern like a Copper Microstone, Hare’s Ear, or Pheasant Tail are good flies to lead with, follow them up with a small Mayfly nymph or a Caddis pupa. Caddis aren’t quite as abundant as they were through the summer, but there are still plenty around and we should start to see increasing October Caddis activity in the coming weeks. The big October Caddis Pupa patterns can be great lead flies if the Stonefly patterns aren’t producing. There is some good opportunity to fish dries depending on the day, cloudy days have been producing pretty solid PMD hatches mid day and into the afternoon.
The Steelhead numbers for the Columbia Basin continue to be well below average. So far the numbers are pretty comparable to what we saw last year. Unfortunately, this means that Steelhead are not easy to come by, but those who have been putting the time in are seeing fish here and there. Water temperatures are becoming less of a concern for most of the river and have been slowly and steadily dropping towards temperatures that are less stressful on both trout and Steelhead. However, with numbers as low as they are it is important to emphasize proper fish fighting and handling techniques. Use appropriate gear to ensure fish can be landed quickly, and keep wild fish in the water to minimize catch and release mortality rates. Folks have been finding fish both swinging and nymphing, and fish are spread throughout much of the lower river.
Suggested Dries: Tilt Wing PMD #16-18, Sparkle Dun PMD #16-18, Butthead Sparkle Dun #16-18, CDC Thorax PMD #16-18, Zelon Cripple PMD #16-18, Purple Haze #16-18, Cutters Caddis #16-18, Henry’s Fork Caddis #16-18, X-Caddis #16-18, Parachute Adams #16-18
Suggested Nymphs: Jigged Tungsten Hare’s Ear #14-16, Guide’s Choice Hare’s Ear #14-18, Flashback Pheasant Tail #14-18, Copper Microstone #14-18, Olive or Hare’s Ear Anato-May #14-18, Black or Red Two Bit Hooker #16-20, Micro Mayfly #18-20, Black Juju Baetis #18-20, Tailwater Tiny #18-20