The Metolius River is one of the area’s most consistent fisheries in terms of accessible water and fish behavior. While the river may not boast the greatest numbers of fish per mile, its large and elusive Redbands and Bull Trout make for one of the most challenging and rewarding native trout fisheries in the state. As certain area waters begin to warm and fish become less comfortable in the summer heat, the cold waters of the Metolius provide excellent opportunity to find fish using any approach.
Early mornings are good for swinging and retrieving big streamers for BTs, and while it will be some time before we see many fish from the lake there are plenty of resident fish around. Dry fly anglers will find opportunity to find fish on PMDs and Caddis through most afternoons-evenings, and a few Golden Stones are around during the heat of the day. Watch for groups of rising fish and select flies based on insects in the air and fish behavior. If various bugs are out I’ll often start with a PMD adult or emerger if fish are rising slowly, and throw an adult Caddis to big, splashy rises. The most consistent approach will with a deep nymph rig, which provides potential to find Redbands, Whitefish, and even a big BT at any time of day. The fast and clear waters of the Metolius demand an appropriate presentation that is best achieved with heavy flies and fluorocarbon tippet. Presentations are typically best with little to no split shot, so we utilize heavily weighted flies with tungsten beads to get down quickly in the water column. Indicator fishing and Euro techniques both work well on the Metolius, and we’ve been having a great time with both.
Suggested Dries: Tilt Wing PMD #14-18, Hackle Stacker PMD #14-18, Parachute PMD #14-18, Purple Haze #14-18, X-Caddis #14-18, Tan or Olive Cutter’s Caddis #14-18, Henry’s Fork Caddis #14-18, Tan or Olive Edible Emerger #14-18, Norm Woods Golden Stone #8-10, Clarks Stone Golden #8-12, Golden Chubby Chernobyl #10-12
Suggested Nymphs: Lex’s Improved Golden Stone #8-12, Poxyback Golden Stone #8-12, Tan or Olive BH Sparkle Pupa #14-18, HE or Olive Soft Hackle #14-18, Guide’s Choice HE #14-18, Jigged Tungsten HE #14-16, Jigged CDC PT #14-16, Bullet Quill #14-18, Duracell Jig #14-16, Frenchie #14-18, Zika Jig #16-20, Two Bit Hooker #16-20, Olive or Brown Micro Mayfly #16-20, Black or Purple Zebra Midge #16-20, Pearl or Black Rainbow Warrior #16-20, Black Super Sinker #14-18