Winter is Coming!
Yes, it has been QUITE a while since my last fishing report. I returned from Christmas Island a few weeks ago and have been playing catch-up ever since. What I can tell you about the Deschutes is that the trout fishing has been quite good recently and the steelhead are still few and far between, but the reward for hard work is that much sweeter when you finally hook a steelhead. Derek fishes nearly every day – and he hooked up with a 9 pound steelhead this morning on floating line, sinking poly leader, and a hair wing traditional steelhead fly (size 6).
Anglers who are out there keeping the faith….cast, swing, step, cast, swing, step……are rewarded, or interrupted, (depending on who you ask) by the very active and voracious trout. This is the time of the year that our rainbow trout are on a mission to pack on the pounds (or ounces, as the case may be for trout) before the cold weather descends upon us. We have been enjoying a fairly mild stretch of weather with temps in the 60s on some days. This has kept water temperatures from getting too cold too quickly, and it has also kept the bugs fairly active. Cloudy days are full of Blue Winged Olive mayflies hatching, and sunny days are the days for the caddis to get real active. The caddis are dark and small and can be quite abundant in the evenings.
We believe that we may have seen the last of the White River blowouts for this season. Now that things are starting to get a wee bit colder up on the mountain, the White River mudflows should ease up a bit. The river dropped fairly dramatically over the past 8 days from a flow of 245 CFS on November 8 to a flow just a shade above 140 today. No matter how muddy the White River is, with a flow as low as 150 CFS it cannot impact the Deschutes very much below the confluence of the two rivers.
We do not have a fresh run of winter steelhead on the Deschutes, so the steelhead fishing pretty much wraps up here by the end of December. If you are looking to continue fishing for steelhead into the new year, you will want to find rivers west of the Deschutes like the Sandy, Clackamas, or any of the coastal rivers.
As things get colder out here the trout fishing will continue to be good with nymphs and streamers. Mid-day mayfly hatches will continue all winter long, even on snowy days. If you need a little sun, you can usually find it here in Central Oregon. If you want a really great dose of sun, read the second fishing report which is all about Christmas Island.