This is a magical time on the upper 10 miles of the Lower Deschutes. As sad as we are to see another season coming to a close, there is always a flurry of activity down there as late-fall leans into winter. There are chinook salmon now on their redds and the whitefish are beginning their spawn too. This means that there is a lot of egg protein floating around. Every fish in the river keys in on this and gobbles anything looking “eggy”. We’ve had some amazing days recently fishing a variety of “Steak and Eggs” (stonefly with some version of a glo-bug behind it).
Everything from fat Redbands to obscene whitefish to massive Butterbellies to the occasional steelhead has fallen for the rig the last couple passes through the “Day Stretch” so not much trickery in the fly selection process down there right now. We’ve also hooked all the above mentioned flies on smaller nymph rigs. The traditional Prince in a #18, Rubber Leg Hare’s Ear in #16&18, small black Jimmy Legs, #18 Olive Soft Hackle.
keep an eye on the flows. We recently saw a spike up to 6200cfs, which, while still fishable, is an awful lot of water to wade in. Anything around 5000cfs is perfect.