The Crooked is fair, and I do think it will get a shot of better fishing soon when they run water from the reservoir down to the farms closer to Prineville. I doubt we will see water flowing at normal summer rates (which is about 250 cfs historically) and they might only have enough water to last until mid summer this year. It’s a tedious future on the Crooked and that is scary.
I don’t really know what happens above the reservoir, but I do pay attention to in-flows into Prineville Reservoir and have seen atrocious flows incoming for the past few summers. Sometimes ZERO cfs. So, it seems to me, the irrigation districts and landowners need to be working hard on conservation all over that basin or they, and us (those of who love trout and fishing the river below Bowman Dam) are all going to lose.
Right now, the river is running about 52 cfs. Whitefish action is good on nymphs. Some smaller trout are looking up to decent BWO hatches in the afternoon.
I truly believe that many of the larger and more mature trout have learned to migrate way down river during these low water years and don’t make a return to the areas below the dam until the water pops back up. I have no way to collaborate that other than knowing about several stories of people finding bigger fish closer to the city of Prineville and all of us who fish the river knowing that within weeks of higher water we are all happy to see the bigger fish on the ends of our line near the dam.
I’d sure love your story if you want to write me and tell me what you are finding.
I’ve been fishing the Crooked since the mid-80’s and my grandfather used to fish the river when he came over to Prineville as the rep for Blue Cross in the 60’s. We have a history on the river and at no point have I ever been more worried for it’s trout.