The Metolius in March is a wake up month for sure

The Fly Fishers Place

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The Metolius in March is a wake up month for sure. We begin seeing a lot of positive things, probably mostly in the form of more bigger trout are done spawning and moving back to the middle and lower river to take up residence again after being up near the headwaters for a while, doing their thing. Jen Luke of ODFW told me at a breakfast meeting in November of 2021 that the February/March 2021 spawning surveys they conduct each year showed a record number of redd’s (redd’s are spawning nests for trout) and they were pleases to see this positive trend. We await the 2022 numbers but expect them to show a continuation of the positive trend.
I believe the USFS Woody Debris/Log placement projects that the Sisters Rangers District did has been a key to protecting juvenile fish and that is why the Metolius is seeing a good uptick in fish populations.
Remember the Upper River from Allingham Bridge up to the Headwaters remain closed until May 22.
Right now on any given day on the Metolius expect a decent to good mayfly hatch including both Blue Wing Olives (#18) and Cinygmula’s (#14-16 yellow bodied duns). Caddis are getting more active too, and we likely will see the October Caddis and Silver Stripe Sedge varieties for about another month, but adding many more smaller and more drab colored caddis over these next few weeks. Tan #12-16, Grey #12-14, Olive #14-16 ought to cover you well when matching pupa and adults.
This is a good time of year to strip smaller streamers for trout too. Sculpzilla and Pine Squirrel Minnows are favorites.
Euro Nymphing is likely your #1 fish catcher right now (maybe anytime), and we’ve been seeing good catches everyday using a variety of Jigs and Perdigons. Some of these nymphs are very clearly just impressions of food, and that the weight of the bead and color of the fly and bead combined are what the fish are hitting. Others are certainly matching the “hatch” of the what is in the drift.
Bull Trout catch rates remain good too. A lot of my good customers have been catching Bull’s Euro Nymphing, but we always stay strong to recommending a streamer on any given outing.
***Do you need some inspiration? Listen to our friend John Kreft on the Destination Angler Podcast this week talk about the Metolius. John is certainly one of the best anglers on the river, especially for hatch matching technical trout.


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