We still have a few weeks before the irrigation season starts. Until then, the river upstream from the town still poses a bunch of good opportunities for fooling fish. There is a gauge to keep your eye on https://www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/destea.html This is Bureau of Reclamation site and has a very easy to read page for our region in particular. The gauges to watch are BENO and DEBO. The first is basically up around Benham Falls, the second just below the last irrigation canal in Bend. That first one is especially pertinent to “Town Water” Now it’s right around 550cfs, which is an awesome number! Whether you want to fish just downstream from Benham, around Dillon Falls, Big Eddy access or Meadow Camp, this is a number you love. The river has been fishing well of late. Not a ton of dry fly, but if you enjoy fishing classic water under a bobber or want to work on you Euro game, these areas are perfect. We like fishing a large nymph trailed by something imitating a BWO or midge nymph. A typical rig will be starting with a 9’ 3 or 4X leader. Off the end of that will be 14” of 4X to a #10 stonefly nymph. Peacock Jimmy Legs, Black Lex’s Improved, Double-Bead Peacock, Poxyback Golden. They all work. Another 14” of 5X off the big nymph to a Pheasant Tail, Anato-May, Micro May, Two-Bit Hooker, Zebra Midge. In the end, the drift is far more important up there. To that end, we like to experiment with our weight and depth constantly. Having a good assortment of the split shot is critical. And a nice big bobber! If you want to go play around on our most local of waters, you’ve only a few,
Middle Deschutes – Bend to Billy Chinook
This is a stretch of river to keep your eye on. The gauge for this zone is https://www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/destea.html The DEBO number is the one of interest. When irrigation season starts in a few weeks, that number will get down around 200cfs. As long as it stabilizes anywhere under 250cfs, it’s “game on!” down there. Access for Sawyer Park and Tumalo State Park area, Twin Bridges, Lower Bridge Access, Steelhead Fall and points in between can all fish really good from mid-April to the end of June. Stay tuned for more on that.