We are in the THICK of it NOW!
Hello Fellow Anglers!
It is HAPPENING in Maupin right now. The river is in shape, back at a normal flow, and all the hype that you hear about the salmonfly hatch is literally coming true on the banks of the Deschutes right now. The golden stones have started flying and laying eggs on the water - this means that the bugs are available to the trout in more ways than just under the trees and along the grass lines. Now, you can pitch a golden stone out into the middle of the river and there is a good chance that it will get crushed by a huge rainbow.
In addition to gobs of stoneflies on the bushes and trees and in the air around Maupin, there is a flying buffet of mayflies, caddisflies, and little yellow sallies hitting the water. The trout have their choice of the following mayflies: pale morning duns (light yellow bodies, size 16), pale evening duns (brown on top, pale yellow bellies, size 12), and, sometimes,.....if all the planets align......green drakes (fat, huge, sausage-like bodies, dark brownish green, dark grey wings, size 10). The sheer biomass of caddis is incredible - they emerge in the afternoon/evenings and form clouds of flapping bodies that hover over the sagebrush all along the river. There are many ways to fish a caddis imitation - you can nymph fish with a fly that has bright green accents, or a green rock worm, or a green or tan caddis pupa swung in the surface. You can also fish the elk hair caddis or other adult dry fly imitations right up until the last light in the canyon. In the mornings, the trout are typically sipping dead caddis in the foam lines all along the river's edges. We have dead caddis imitations, but you can also create your own dead caddis by trimming the hackle off an elk hair caddis, mangling the wings to spread them out and make the fly look flat. A trout that is eating dead caddis will never be making slashing rises, it will calmly and casually sip from the foam and the rise form will be so subtle that most anglers will never see the trout lips as they gently engulf the spent insects.
Here is a really cool video snippet by Phil, a friend of the fly shop, who happened to be camping between Warm Springs and Trout Creek when the big storm hit on Friday the 19th of May and blew out the whole river. Watch to the end and you will see why the river got so muddy. He was standing on the downstream edge of the Luelling place looking across the river at a little canyon that doesn't have a name.
Well, those muddy days are over and the river is clear and fishing well!
The long and the short of it for this report, which I started writing yesterday, is that you want to have a wide variety of bugs ready to go during this time of the year, Don't hesitate to fish a smaller bug if the hatches indicate that trout are eating something other than stoneflies. Have fun out there!