Deschutes River Salmon Fly Season Wrap Up

Deschutes Salmon Fly Season
The Deschutes River salmon fly season was very good this year but not because the weather was great!

June 6, 2022

We’ve finished our Deschutes River Salmon Fly season and what a season it was! Fishing was good to excellent this year but not because the weather was great. It was a challenging season complete with rain, sleet, wind and occasional sunshine. Definitely not the normal sunny high desert weather we are used to.  The soggy and cool weather put a damper on the big bugs and lengthened the duration of the hatch. Salmon flies and golden stones sputtered along; hatching since the first week of May.

Deschutes River Salmon flies and golden stones were the main meal ticket once things got going but Pale Morning Dun hatches stole the show some days only to be upstaged by the occasional Green Drake hatch. When these giant mayflies showed up trout were fast to switch to this tasty morsel.

Fishing dry flies and droppers was a deadly combo with the multiple hatch scenarios. This is an effective combo that works well for much more than just the salmon fly hatch. Our favorite strategy here is to use a buoyant pattern like a Chubby Chernobyl and tie the dropper right to the bend of the hook, trailing the second fly 2-3′ behind the big dry.  With this technique you will catch fish on both flies.

As of yesterday (Monday June 6) there are still a good number of golden stones in the Warm Springs to Trout Creek section. Pressure has dropped off and fishing has been good.  Watch for caddis fly numbers to increase this month and fish to focus on them as they get more prolific and the bigger bugs fade away.

Also, of interest the bighorn sheep have had a very productive spring- one herd we counted 63 sheep!

Wishing you the best!

P.S. Shad fishing is just getting started almost a half million over the dam already! We’ve got just a few spots left…

Rob Crandall and the WTO guide Team

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