Happy Father's Day!
I took a week off from the fishing report, sorry for leaving you all hanging! It has been busy in the shop playing catch-up on all the things that got put on the back burner during the salmonfly hatch. I wrote a few reports, but they were not good enough to post. So, here's the skinny on the Deschutes over the last few weeks.
The river is much lower than it would be on an average year. The super hot weather that recently descended upon us will not help that situation, and the low water is having an impact on where the trout are holding. They are seeking either highly oxygenated water or they are sitting deep in the water column where the temps are the coolest. They were tough to find yesterday.
Early mornings and evenings after the sun comes off the water will usually be the best and most productive times for dry fly fishing. Caddis will be the main menu item, but yellow sallies are still in the mix. The salmonfly hatch is long past, so you can put those big bugs away until next year.
Fire danger is extreme right now. A fire flared up last night (Friday night) near the junction of 216 and 26 right around Bear Springs ranger station and on the part of the reservation south of Hwy 216. The smoke is quite visible from the flat leading into Maupin and it is now blanketing much of the Deschutes River Canyon. Since this fire is in the forest and on the reservation, I doubt that it will be extinguished any time soon. I have no news on how the fire started - probably people being irresponsible with campfires. There is a fire ban out here for the rest of the summer and most of the fall - so leave your bundles of wood at home as well as your charcoal grills.
The fishing crowd has died way down - most people simply forget about the Deschutes once the salmonfly hatch is over. They are really missing out on some of the best fishing of the year with consistent hatches of caddis, mayflies, craneflies, and aquatic moths. Sure, these bugs are a little smaller than the huge stonefly dries, but the trout feed on them all day long and they don't get overly full as they do after just a couple of salmonflies.
The rafting is just starting to ramp up and I think that might be an excuse that a lot of anglers use as a reason to avoid the Deschutes in the summer. Newsflash, people, there isn't a river anywhere that doesn't have a rubber hatch on a hot day. I nearly got run over by a stampede of stand up paddleboards while fishing the preserve at Silver Creek. How to avoid the rubber raft parade? Fish other sections of river where there are no rafts - the majority of the day tripper rafts are only floating between Harpham and Lone Pine. Fish super early in the morning or after the sun is off the water in the evening. The rafts are only on the water during the hottest times of the day. Or, you could fish smaller creeks that are not accessible by boat. There are many options available to you to avoid the rafting traffic.
Tomorrow is Father's Day and I would like to extend a huge congratulations to all the dads out there. I hope you are all able to find some special time to spend with the kiddo or kiddos tomorrow. Take them fishing! My dad took me fishing and later, when I became a guide, I was able to take him trout fishing and helped him catch his first steelhead on the fly. I treasure those memories and wish that I could spend just one more day on the water with him (he has been gone since 2013). So, if you still have a dad or you are a dad, go out on the water and have some fun! Tight lines!