I was lucky enough to be on the Metolius the last 2 days (yesterday was my 53rd birthday and I have spent A LOT of birthdays on my favorite river. I would guess nearly half of May 14th have been trout fishing on the Metolius. My 52nd I caught a Permit in Belize which was pretty damn good too). I can report that fish are looking for Green Drakes even though the hatch is off to a very light start. I got 3 on drakes friday and 2 yesterday (+ 1 on a PMD film critic). Yesterday I saw drakes flying at about 3:30 with some light PMD hatch a little earlier. Both days saw a lot of caddis, including a bunch of October Caddis (still) that the fish were eating. I am surprised seeing this hatch go so late into May, but I will say a #10 Orange Elk Hair Caddis is a good fly to carry on the Metolius now.
There is no doubt we are very early in the Drake hatch, and that by Memorial Day the hatch will be in full swing and go for 3 or 4 weeks more. It is my favorite hatch and what I dream of when I am away from the river.
PMD hatches are also gaining a foothold. #16 emergers, cripples and duns are all important, and a rusty spinner when you see the female egg layers come back. Usually that is evening, or right at dusk, but keep an eye open for mornings or afternoons too. I can remember a couple of years ago struggling to find the solution to what the fish were rising to on a cool June afternoon. It was Rusty Spinners.
Caddis emergences besides October Caddis is fairly good too and will improve as the days get warmer and drier. It looks like it is mostly Brachycentrus Caddis which are 14-16 grey or grey/olive tones. Pupa, emergers and Adult caddis.
Keep an eye open for Blue Wing Olives too. Not a ton out where I was the last 2 days (Bridge 99 area) but there is no doubt they can be very important every single day on the Metolius.
Nymph fishing is incredibly good right now. Especially euro nymphing. I ran into my good friend and part time FFP guide Eric yesterday and walked up on him in a favorite run landing a good fish on a perdigon. He reported excellent fishing all day on nymphs but had to leave before the hatch to get home for his daughters prom photos. Good dad stuff.
We are exactly a week away from May 22nd, and the opening of the Upper River. Hooray. I love that water and I also love that it opens up 3 miles more of river to spread out on.
The anglers that are really committed to Bull Trout are finding some BIG BOYS on streamers. Some of the photos I’ve seen are just silly. Get some.