We’ve finally reached the April 22 opener on the Lower D! With the entire lower river now open to fishing, there is plenty of opportunity to float or wade into some great water and hungry fish. This is one of our favorite times of year to fish the Lower D, the redbands haven’t seen artificial flies in a while and they’ll become pretty voracious in the weeks leading up to the Salmon Fly hatch. A large stonefly nymph followed by a pheasant tail, hare’s ear, mighty may, or two bit hooker in size 14-18 is a good go-to rig this time of year. Jimmy legs in brown, black, or peacock, size 4-8 should attract plenty of attention and produce fish.
There are good opportunities to fish dries on the right day, with a multitude of different mayfly species and the occasional squala coming off at various times keep an eye on back eddies and tailouts for rising fish. Effective patterns include the olive chubby in size 12-14, parachute adams, purple haze, and tilt wing dun all in size 14-18. If you feel the need to swing a fly, a 3-4 weight trout spey with a small sculpzilla can be a great way to find an aggressive rainbow or two. There’s no better time to get out on the river, spring in Central Oregon is at it’s finest!