I was lucky enough to fish the Metolius 3 days since the last report. I have to say, yesterday for me was much better than it was the 1st weekend of September. Last weekend we struggled to find drake feeders, finding a few in the canyon and none around the hatchery. I know Brad (FFP Shop Mgr and his brother Eric, FFP Chief of Security) had some very nice caddis fishing, and our good friend Carolina Phil was doing well on PMD’s. It goes to show how even a 100 yards difference in river location can change the outcome quite a bit. Add a good 15 miles of great fly fishing water to the mix and results can be all over the board. Like real estate, Location location location. And I guess adding a damn #20 flying ant to the dry fly box might help.
What we didn’t expect was a flying ant hatch. Tiny ants, about an 18 or 20, all over the place last saturday. I am still wondering if they were the culprit of the tough fishing Tina, Dove, Mike and I had near the hatchery which resulted in exactly zero fish for the 4 of us that afternoon. Skunked.
The next day was better with fish coming to drakes for us, and the same yesterday for me. So, the drake action is increasing.
Flav hatches were incredible in the rain on Friday I heard from my friend Chester. With rain back in the forecast this coming friday and saturday be sure to prepare for many of the mayfly hatches to pop even harder in wet conditions.
Our good friend John Kreft who has a cool blog/website called River Keeper Flies and is an institution on the Metolius (along with his wife Karen) published a piece this week on his blog that new research suggests the huge stoneflies we have been calling Willowflies for decades are probably being misnamed, and are actually a lesser known stone called a Cascade Stone. I can tell you, whether they are Cascade Stones or Willowflies, they were hatching heavily this week and should be around for several more days to a week.
Golden Stones are continuing to hatch, especially from Gorge CG up to the Headwaters, but look for them from day to day down to the Candle Creek area too.
A few Salmonflies are around, especially near the hatchery.
My point on these stoneflies is tuck 2 or 3 big dries for Salmonflies, some Clarks Stones for Goldens, and a Dark Chubby or Sofa Pillow in your pack for the next week or 10 days because you might get lucky and run into an area where they are on the menu.
And, don’t forget those little Olive Stones #16-18 over the next couple of weeks too. One of the most important stoneflies on the Metolius in my opinion, just due to sheer volume and length of hatch. Trout eat a lot of these.
There are a whole bunch of Caddis hatches going so be prepared with Iris, CDC, Hemingway, X and Cornfed’s for surface action and Pupa’s under the surface.
A good number of BWO’s, PMD’s and some Mahogany Duns too. Mahogany Duns will increase from Mid-September into October. We love a fly called an Upright Rusty Spinner to match Mahogany Duns. We also love Quill Gordons Grey Comparaduns and EP Sparkle Duns to match this hatch. BWO, PMD and Mahogany’s will be all over from Camp Sherman to Candle Creek and will be heavy on the trouts diet for quite a while into the fall.
Bull Trout fishing is good with Streamers and we highly recommend coming in to check out 2 patterns I had specially tied by Dreamcast in Roseburg. One is a huge conehead articulated all black with rubber legs, and the other is a black and purple articulated conehead that is one of my personal favorites for bull’s. With Steelhead season on the ropes down the Deschutes, Bull Trout swinging might be a good way to keep the spey game on point and enjoy some big tugs from some big char.
Finally, don’t set that Euro Nymphing rod aside, it is an incredible way to catch fish on the Metolius now and throughout the fall and upcoming winter months.