Fall temperatures have cooled the high desert and the vivid colors of the season are the perfect blend to the beauty of the redband trout and blush cheek of fall steelhead to be found here. Water levels have started to rise as the irrigation season in central Oregon draws to a close and the PGE regulated waters at the dam are now releasing the cool clear bottow withdrawl waters of the Metolius river-the Deschutes once again looks like an incredible spring creek it has looked like years past. Emerald waters with healthy plant life and abundant bugs have been seen thriving in the few short weeks that PGE has been using the bottom withdrawl water. (Why they do this now is beyond me! For more info on the status of Deschutes River water we invite you to get educated at: www.deschutesriveralliance.org)
Trout fishing has been fantastic and the native redband rainbows seem to be responding to the improved water quality we’ve been seeing. These fish are super fat and healthy looking right now and with good reason- bug life has been very active! We’ve been seeing the big October caddis in good numbers, midges, spatterings of smaller Caddis, some Mahagony duns and some incredible Blue Winged Olive hatches!
Steelhead remain sparse but low angling pressure helps make the odds better for the angler willing to stay devoted. Big Horn sheep and mule deer are starting to rut and the wildlife activity has been fantastic to watch; add in an occasional bald eagle or golden eagle and it’s truly a remarkable place when you consider it’s only a couple hours from Portland, OR.
When it comes to steelhead fishing the dedicated swing floating lines and smaller sparse patterns in classic styles. With mid-day sun consider swinging a leech pattern that doubles as deadly for trout like the Crandall’s Devils Candy pattern.
Good luck on the water!