It’s an exciting time of year on the Lower Deschutes, and there is plenty of talk of the big Salmonflies in fly shops throughout Central Oregon. It sounds like there was excellent fishing to be had in the Maupin area over the weekend and into the early part of this week. The highest concentration of big Stoneflies was below Sherars but there presence has extended well up into the camp stretch of the river between Trout Creek and Harpham. Our guides have reported seeing limited numbers of adults through the day stretch, and while its a little early to expect too much from fishing a size 6 dry our guides have been picking up fish on big Chubbies on a relatively consistent basis. We’ve got some interesting weather conditions playing into the various factors that trigger the hatch, and we may see a little bit of a stall in the progress of the big bugs with the cool and cloudy weather that’s in the forecast.
The good news is that the overcast weather will make fish more comfortable in coming to the surface so there are still chances of finding an opportunistic fish looking for a big meal on top. A big dry dropper is certainly a fun way to fish during the various stages of the hatch, I’d expect to see more fish come on the nymph at this point on the day stretch. A couple of nymphs below an indicator provides better flexibility in adjusting depth and fishing deep water, just make sure to have a big stonefly nymph in the mix and maintain a flexible approach to meet the conditions and feeding activity that are present on any given day. The Salmonfly hatch is notoriously difficult to “time,” and the anglers that will see the most success will spend a lot of time on the water in the coming weeks and be willing to adjust tactics for the conditions as they change day to day.
Suggested Dries: Chubby Pteronarcys #6-8, Golden Chubby Chernobyl #6-8, Chubby Norm #6-8, Egglayer Salmonfly #6-8, Orange Stimulator #6-10, Clark’s Stone #8-12, Norm Woods Special #8-12, Purple Haze #14-18, Parachute PMD #14-18, Tilt Wing PMD #14-18, Parachute Adams #14-18
Suggested Nymphs: Black or Brown Jimmy Legs #6-8, Brown or Black Trout Retriever #6-8, Double Bead Peacock Stone #6-18, 20 Incher #6-8, Jigged CDC Pheasant Tail #14-16, Soft Hackle Pheasant Tail #14-18, Jigged Hare’s Ear #14-16, Guide’s Choice Hare’s Ear #14-18, Psycho Prince #14-18, Pearl or Black Lightning Bug #14-18, Red or Black Copper John #14-18, Red or Black Two Bit Hooker #14-18, Sparkle Pupa #16-18, Olive Soft Hackle #16-18