The entire river is now OPEN
Greetings from Maupin!
The pressure on this section of river is bound to be greatly reduced now that the entire river is open to trout fishing. This means that there will be more campgrounds available to you if you are headed to this section, and a lot more open fishing spots. Warm Springs to Trout Creek is likely to be a bit of a zoo as the masses from Bend and Portland converge on that 10 mile stretch of water.
We have seen decent March Brown hatches up until recently, but they are petering out and the trout are turning their attention to the next plate on the buffet table - stonefly nymphs. This is the time of year - in the week to ten days leading up to the first samonflies and golden stones emerging - that the stoneflies will begin to drift migrate. The stones allow themselves to tumble on downstream in order to build better biological diversity. As they drift and tumble across the rocks they will be gobbled up by trout looking to pack on some calories post-spawn. Stonefly nymphs in black, and brown, and even a light brown/golden will get the job done while nymph fishing. Fishing a large stonefly nymph in combo with an attractive Euro nymph will get the job done.
Those of you who have fished the river in the past two weeks have certainly encountered what we call the "annual smolt fest." This is that time of year when the hatchery releases thousands of steelhead and salmon smolts to fend for themselves in the river and find a way to migrate towards the saltwater. If you so desire, it is possible to stand in one spot and hook a dozen little silver 6-8" shiny fish, as they do tend to gather in the same water types and they stick with their buddies. This makes it a great time of year to bring a budding enthusiast to the river for their first introduction to fly fishing. You can't help but to catch a bunch of the little guys even if you are searching for redbands.
To get away from the hungry little buggers, you can target water that is moving faster and which is more difficult for the smolts to maintain a position. Slower water will be easier for the little guys to navigate and thus they tend to be in the slow pools and backeddies.
FLIES, FLIES, FLIES, FLIES, FLIES, FLIES, FLIES, FLIES, AND MORE FLIES. We've got them. Yesterday I unpacked a box of roughly $90K worth of flies. Do not worry about the salmonfly hatch - we will not run out. All of our flies are picked specifically for the Deschutes River. We don't try to be all things to all people and have flies for every river in Oregon, we concentrate on what works well on the Deschutes and those are the flies that we stock. There isn't another fly shop in the state of Oregon with a selection of flies like ours. Salmonfly, Golden Stones, and Yellow Sally dries - we are swimming in them. The Euro-nymphs we have on hand will blow your mind. Remember that magic blue perdigon that we invented, made popular, and used to have Ben tie in the winter? Well, too many fly shops in Portland (well, actually one in particular) were trying to copy that fly (and who can blame them when all their customers were showing it to them and asking about it) so we are now getting it tied commercially by Montana Fly Co. and we brought in 300 dozen just yesterday to add to the hundreds that we already had in the bins. Sorry, Joel, your knockoff attempt looks pretty lame next to the actual "Hazel's jigged magic" which glows under UV light and draws the trout from near and far. The magic blue fly has a cousin that is green and also earns the name "jigged magic." They both glow and absolutely crush on every river we have tested them on.
The fishing reports will now be coming fast and furious as we approach the first days of the BIG HATCH. I will keep you up to speed on what we are seeing daily in Maupin and on what days I predict to be the best to see the salmonfly apocolypse.
Finish April strong on this beautiful spring weekend. The forecast calls for calm days and warm weather this weekend - in the mid-seventies on Sunday! This will be a fantastic weekend to camp along the river and an even better weekend to get out on the water with your fly rod!
If you are headed downstream on the gravel road that parallels the river from BuckHollow to Mack's Canyon, you will really want to slow down. Since we have been seeing cars and trucks travelling in excess of 50 miles an hour on what is a 20 mile and hour road, the State Police and the County Sheriff will be on patrol. Get pulled over going that fast and you will be looking at a hefty fine. The road is very dangerous, and I would hate to see a fatality accident caused by someone who couldn't take the time to enjoy the drive, look for sheep and deer, and scout out new fishing spots at a leisurely pace. Slow down, please.
We will see you on the river!