The Metolius continues to be impressive with some good afternoon dry fly hatches and very good, consistent nymph action.
So far for March, most of the hatch activity has centered around BWO’s. We do expect to see more of the Yellow Mayflies (cinygmula sp.) as we move through this month and into April. I overheard a fella in the shop talking to Mattias yesterday that he ran into a good hatch of them somewhere on the river yesterday. So it is coming. #14-16 Yellow Sparkle Dun, Yellow Comparadun and Yellow Parachutes will serve you well if you run into that hatch. For the BWO’s #18 is the sweet spot and you’ll want emergers, cripples, duns and a nymph for pre-hatch.
Plenty of mixed caddis about. You know I am an advocate of orange dries from #8-14, whether that be a stimulator, Clark’s, foam elk hair caddis or amber colored Corn Fed Caddis. But more importantly an orange or amber pupa is the meat and potatoes of the these caddis this time of year.
We are now seeing what I would guess are brachycentrus caddis too. Usually the pupa on them is green and the adult is grey. There were some of these on our table tonight at Hola where we ate outside and enjoyed nachos and margarita about a 100 yards from the river.
When these caddis get going it can provide some better late afternoon and evening fishing, which is just getting started for the spring season now with longer daylight hours and warmer days. I have also experienced good hatches of cinygmula’s in the evening after work in late March and April. The river is past being a noon to 3 winter fishery and is springing to life for more hours of the day.
I have personally experienced a revival and love affair with sightline nymph fishing using my Sage ESN HD 10 1/2′ 3 weight euro nymphing rod, and it is all from fishing the Metolius these last few weeks. I am refocused on the nymph game and loving it, and catching quite a few fish. PS- you should be too.
I don’t know exactly when ODFW stocks the Chinook Smolt, but it can be chaotic for the Bull Trout when it happens. It should be soon. In the meantime, keep fishing the big streamers and hooking up with these apex predators of our river.
Also, having spent some fine days on the river over the last few weeks I am pleased to say that I have not seen anyone fishing up in the closed waters. Good to see.