Late-June - the crowds are GONE
Well, the salmonfly hatch is officially OVER and gone with the salmonflies are the crowds of anglers that follow that hatch like a bunch of Deadheads. The campgrounds are cleared out and the fish are now enjoying the beginning of their restful season with little to no angling pressure. Rafting has just started but won't be in full swing until July and most of that activity is centered around the paved stretch of road through Maupin.
The visiting angler has well over 40 miles of river available along the access road up and down stream of Maupin. There are many campgrounds along the river where you can park a truck or pitch a tent. The river corridor is managed by the BLM but the land along the river is not available for dispersed camping. You must camp in designated campsites only, which means that you are likely to get ticketed if you park and camp on the side of the road. Save the fine, pay the minimal fee to camp in a campground, and you will have a toilet at the campground to use. This keeps our river corridor a lot cleaner - less butt wipe flapping in the breeze.
The dry fly fishing has been pretty good for folks who are willing to get out there, get after it, and stay on the water until dusk - dusk (just before it gets dark) is the easiest time of day for any angler on the Deschutes to hook trout. They loose their cautious and wary defensive behavior as the sun leaves the water. The caddis hatches in the evenings are your best dry fly bet.
Because so many caddis hatch off in the evenings, the morning session will consist of trout eating dead caddis in the pocket water, in the riffles, in the foam lines, and (especially) under the branches of the trees that hang over the river. When trout eat dead caddis they do so very casually - there is no hurry, the bugs are dead. The trout are sipping and they will not be obvious to the casual observer. If you quietly sneak up the river and wait below a tree (there must be a rocky bottom and flow and depth in order to hold decent fish). and OBSERVE for three or four minutes - you will see the sippers and you can get your fly up and under the branches to catch them.
Yellow sallies have been around on most days - this is the last of the stoneflies to hatch out of the three species that hatch out in May. The sally patterns can serve a dual purpose since they are small enough to be taken as a Pale Evening Dun mayfly - one of the two yellow-bodied mayflies we have hatching on the river right now.
Nymph fishing will remain good throughout the summer - get em down fast and try to fish em on as light a tippet as your fly rod can cushion. Euro rods are preferred if you want to fish 6X, but we have some great leader systems from Scientific Angler which allow you to mimic the tight line nymphing set-up that makes Euro-nymphing so successful. This is a Right-Angle leader.
We will be closed on Sundays through the summer. With a skeleton crew in here, we need to have one day off per week. Most weekend fly anglers are here on Friday and Saturday - so we feel that most will be able to get their supplies during the times that we are open.
Have a great weekend! We hope to see you when you pass through Maupin!