Flows have started to climb on the Crooked as we enter the spring season here in central Oregon. Now at 177 cfs, we expect to see a steady increase in flows over the coming weeks. The higher flows have been pushing increasing numbers of bugs off of the bottom and fishing has been great! We are continuing to have success with the standard Crooked River selection of midge and mayfly nymphs, and are still seeing some good BWO hatches when the conditions are right. Keep in mind that large nymphs and leech patterns will become more important as flows rise and the fish spread out.
Nymphing a two-fly rig will continue to produce steady numbers of fish in a variety of conditions, try leading with a weighted mayfly and trailing a midge pattern below. Effective patterns include brown or olive micro mayflies and anato-mays in sizes 16-20, as well as pheasant tails, prince nymphs and black copper johns in similar sizes. As for the small stuff, try zebra midges in black or purple, beadwing midges, or bwo emerger patterns in sizes 18-22. Watch for BWO hatches to come off in the early afternoon of cloudy, calm days. Favorite dries include sparkle duns, parachute adams, and the purple haze in sizes 18-22. Don’t be afraid to tie on something larger like a wooly bugger or bunny buster in sizes 8-10, especially as spring conditions spread the fish out.