Crooked River 3/24

We’ve got nothing but good reports coming in from the Crooked. While throughout the day fish can be caught with nymph rigs and Dry/Dropper action, the afternoons have seen great dry-fly fishing. As always this time of the year, the big pools can be fished with swung leeches and leech-dropper rigs. This winter has seen an unprecedented flow pattern that has, without a doubt, improved the fishery. Having said that, we are nearing the time of the year when big changes can occur. To stay abreast of the most recent flows by visiting This is a brilliant resource for us here in Oregon. The gauge for the Crooked is “Below Prineville Resv”. As of today, the river is around 91cfs and on a slow drop, which is still awesome! This is certainly a flow to check before venturing out. Also worth checking for the foreseeable future is the Prineville BLM Office for potential access limitations 541-416-6700. As of no everything is open out there.

The entire stretch of public water has fished well for the last couple months, so find an area that appeals to you and how you’d like to fish, and get after it! As for when and where and what to use… First of all, you will need spools of light tippet, both nylon and fluorocarbon for the majority of your fishing on the Crooked until we get into a higher flow. 5 and 6X gets most everything done out there. Most nymphs should be on the fluoro as the water still pretty clear. The only need for 4X would be with the leech. You shouldn’t need much in the way of split shot. And a little bobber might come in handy.

As for the bugs… The mornings are still mostly a midge game. Whether you’d rather get a little multi-nymph rig under a little bobber, Euro-Nymph in some of the deeper slots and quick riffles, Dry/Dropper pretty much anywhere or swing a leech/dropper in a pool, most of the fish will be on smaller stuff. We really like little black Two-Bit Hookers (#20), purple or black Zebra Midges (#20 & 22) and Palamino Midges (#20) behind a slightly bigger, heavier bug. The purple Perdigon (#18) has been crushing our there. As the day progresses, start thinking a little more mayfly. Good, old-fashioned Pheasant Tail nymphs (#18 & 20) usually fool fish as do olive Anato-May, olive Micro-May, Psycho Prince (all #20) work well as the hatch gets going. Once the bugs are out

-anytime from 2-6pm- go to a Purple Haze, Parachute BWO, Brewers Butthead, Hilda’s Spring Creek BWO (all in #18). The Para Wulff BWO is great in riffle water or if you’d like to drop a small nymph off the back. For leech or leech/dropper fishing, we all love the Ruby Leech in both black and olive out there this time of the year. It has the right profile and sink-rate. I really like to put the Olive Soft Hackle (#16 & 18) about 16” behind the leech on some 6X fluoro. This is a lethal combo in the big pools. Just let the current put a belly in your line and then give it a really slow, twitchy retrieve. Lastly, don’t shy away from getting a little “dirty” out there. Red San Juan Worms and glo-bug eggs can crush it on days when it’s slow otherwise.

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