Bugs Bugs Bugs

When I first started fly fishing I never gave enough credence to the importance of bugs. Now, I think you can’t know too much about bugs. I’m a firm believer that it’s a good idea to “check out the bugs” in the river nearly every time you fish, especially if you’re doing a lot of nymph fishing.  Dave and I were on the Crooked River last week fishing a spot we fish often and started with a bug sampling.  We have a small net that is about 15″ x 15″ that one of us holds in the water while the other turns over rocks upstream.  We then transfer the bugs in the net to a white bowl that aids in viewing and identifying.  For the particular spot we sampled, there were very nigh numbers of olive/tan scuds in sizes ranging from about #18 to #10, as well as black mayfly nymphs that were about #18 and #16 in size.  We both used euro-nymphing techniques for our fishing for the day.  Using #14 and #16 gold or tan scuds, #18 Psycho Mayfly nymphs, and #16 Black Beauties produced a lot of rainbows in the 6″ to 14″ range.  So, knowing the bugs in the water and matching those bugs certainly helped us.  Here are a few photos of the day.

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Look at the diversity in bugs on the Crooked River.

 

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A closer look at the PMD (Black) Mayflies, a scud, and then a small BOW.

 

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The flies that enticed a good number of fish

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A nice 14 inch rainbow – I was able to convince my fly was the real bug!

May Fishing in Central Oregon

Wow – my last post was at the April 28. My goal is to post weekly!  Today is May 29th!  What happened to May. I know what happened to May – I was busy scouting waters, teaching fly fishing classes , a few private casting lessons, and yes a good number of days guiding!  I feel as I have been behind the 8 ball all month. A few days at home this week – and my to do list is getting reasonable.  Key word reasonable – not necessarily done. But you don’t want to read about my scrambling to get my to do you done – you want to read about my fishing.

I will start with a great evening Dave and I had with the Wild Women of the Water. They came over for an overview of building bamboo rods and socializing, of course. You can check out Dave’s Blog to see all the photos – but Kari running a strip through the beveler is my favorite.

Kari Splitting

Getting a short hands on experience with building a bamboo rod. TOO FUN

 

Now back to fishing! I have spent a majority of my time on the Deschutes River – plenty of stone flies out and about! Love the aggressive takes of the big rainbows as they take them. Amazing experience – if you get a chance in the next week get on the water. The hatch will be winding down in a few weeks.  A few photos of the fish, flies, and amazing shots of the real bugs.

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Salmon Flies love grass! So of course they gravitate to bamboo!

 

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Check out the egg sack on the Salmon Fly

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The best part of the Salmon Fly Hatch – aggressive takes!

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And fish in the 16 plus range are common

 

I have also been on the Crooked River imitating the Mother Day’s Caddis hatch with success!

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Stream side on the Crooked. I will never tire of this view

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A tattered but effective fly – a tie of my own

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This rainbow was fooled by my tattered fly – A fly I have been successful with on lots of waters.

 

Winter Fishing on the Crooked River

Our waters and weather have been cold this winter. However, last week the weather warmed up a little, which I hope would warm the waters on the Crooked River. I measured the temperature at 37 degrees. Still pretty cold for the fish. The good news was they increased the CFS to 56. This is still much lower than the average winter flows.

On Sunday – I headed to the Crooked River by myself. I enjoy fishing with others, but I forgot how renewing it can be to be alone on the river. I wouldn’t want to always fish alone – but good to make it a point occasionally.  It was one of those days where I picked the right spot and right flies. In the first hour  Euro-nymphing – I landed six and lost four white fish. No complaints on my part! I was using a #16 egg pattern and a #18 Brian Egan Frenchie.

I headed out on Wednesday with some friends. My goal was to introduce them to Euro-nymphing. They quickly caught on – even with the pesky wind that doesn’t help when Euro-Nymphing.

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Flies that worked – Egg Pattern and Brian Egan Frenchie

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Anne and her first fish Euro-Nymphing

Winter Fishing on the Crooked 12-11-15.

But back to the Crooked River. My last fishing pursuit was to the Crooked River on December 11th! Water levels are running really low – down to 36CFS. However, the white fish can still spawn. It too a few stops but my friend and I found some spawning white fish. And when you find them you will find rainbows. We had a flurry of doubles in the 30 minutes I was there. She stayed and caught some more. In addition to egg patterns – a orange Ray Charles was also the fly of choice.

 

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You will always find rainbow when you find spawning white fish.

My buddy and I with a double - tough to get a good photo when you have a fish on!

My buddy and I with a double – tough to get a good photo when you have a fish on!

Crooked River Winter 2015

Wow I have been negligent on posting to my web site. My excuse too busy fishing, teaching, and tieing flies. Actually lots of teaching for me this spring – which I enjoy as much if not more than fishing. Nothing more rewarding than the opportunity  to teach someone to the sport that I love, live & breath.

I am loving my new home in Central Oregon! Lots of sunny days in the winter and plenty of water to fish. Almost too much. This winter I focused my days on the water on the Crooked River – a little gem to fish all year round and the winter provides some of the best fishing! I love to fish the Crooked as it has so much structure to analyze and it holds a fair number of fish. Some days the fish are very willing to take your fly and other days the fish just don’t seem to be around, but you know they are there. The structure and the fish make this an excellent river to learn to fly fish.  If you’re looking to learn and you’re in Oregon – you can’t beat the Crooked as a learning paradise!

 

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First day of Fishing in 2015! Yes a little snow but a sunny day – so no excuse not to get on the water!

 

 

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A nice fish in the early April timeframe. Yes that is my favorite bamboo rod – made by my hubby – Dave Dozer

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Dave and a nice Crooked River Rainbow – a great play on his bamboo rod. Yes he does makes time to fish!

 

 

 

 

 

Fall 2014 Central Oregon

Dave and I recently made a move to Central Oregon – allowing us to pursue trout multiple days of the week and in the fall for me to pursue that elusive steelhead.  Good news or bad news between fishing and unpacking I haven’t done many posts – until today.  I have spent my days on the water on either the Crooked or the Deschutes. As you will see with the photos these are two distinctly different fisheries.   To contrast  simply on flows and  water depth.  The Crooked the fall cfs is in the mid 70’s and you can pretty much cross back and forth across the Crooked at most spots. Whereas the Deschutes we’re talking more like mid to high 4000’s on cfs and you typically can’t wade more than 5 to 10  feet into the river.  The Crooked River has murky water and lots of visible structure – great for new and skilled anglers. The Crooked River is loaded with fish always willing to show themselves and take a fly on the surface or sub-surface.  The Deschutes is a large river with clear flowing water, the structure (feeding lies) for fish not as obvious and in the fall the fish rarely give their location. The essence of Deschutes Canyon is a must for new and skilled anglers. However, the  number of fish taken on a  fly is smaller. But when a trout takes you fly it is a strong trout and with the current always a fun game regardless of the fish size.

A photo album of this falls photos will show the spectacular scenery and fish that will treat any angler.

 

One of the many sunrises I saw as I prepared for my day of fishing.

One of the many sunrises I saw as I prepared for my days of fishing.

 

 

 

Looked Down Stream at the Crooked River Canyon

Looked Down Stream at the Crooked River Canyon

 

 

 

Dave fighting a fish on his bamboo rod.

Dave fighting a fish on his bamboo rod.

 

 

 

Don't let the murky water deter you - plenty of fish that take flies.

Don’t let the murky water deter you – plenty of fish that take flies.

 

 

A small Crooked River Rainbow - with splendid dots and colors

A small Crooked River Rainbow – with splendid dots and colors

 

 

 

Later afternoon sun and showers entice another rainbow

Later afternoon sun and showers entice another rainbow

Early morning sun and showers enticed a rainbow - just not the kind that take a fly.

Early morning sun and showers enticed a rainbow – just not the kind that take a fly.

 

 

Chasing that steelhead with my bamboo switch rod

Chasing that steelhead with my bamboo switch rod

 

 

 

 

Dave playing a nice redside on his bamboo

Dave playing a nice redside on his bamboo

Now a steelhead - but a nice rainbow on the swing.

Now a steelhead – but a nice rainbow on the swing.

 

 

A classic Deschutes sized rainbow

A classic Deschutes sized rainbow

 

 

 

Back on the Crooked River!

After way too long, Dave and I finally got out for a couple of days of fishing on the Crooked River in Central Oregon last week.  The water level was nice but we found fishing success was a little slow.  Some bugs were flying in the afternoon (caddis, BWO, and midges) but very few fish were coming up. I swung streamers with one of Dave’s 10′  6″  5 wt bamboo switch rods but the fish didn’t seem to want the larger flies. Casting the switch rod was a blast. Dave fished his 8′  0″ slow action 5 wt bamboo rod from his Spring Creek Series and had decent success with French nymphing techniques and indicators.  The slow action of this rod cast the lightly weighted nymphs well and the soft tip helped with detecting light strikes.   We both managed to pick up some decent rainbows and whitefish in the 10″ to 12″ range, typical sizes for the Crooked River.  A small #18 black AP nymph or a #8 stonefly nymph fished on the bottom with French style indicators proved to be the most successful. Here are a few photos from our time on the Crooked River last week:

 

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Crooked River November 2012

Dave and I fished the Crooked River today and yesterday. The weather was absolutely amazing – not to mention the scenery. We had temperatures in the low 60’s and plenty of sun. It was hard to believe it was November.

The view while fishing the Crooked River

We pre-dominantly fished sub-surface using EuroNymphing Techniques with a 10 foot and 11 foot 3 wt Grey’s Streamflex. Both of us found using a sighter indicator verus a slinky to be more effective. At a CFS of about 55 this was the technique to use. Dave did dry fly fish today for a little bit. We got ton’s of fish in the 8 to 12 inch range sub surface. Flies that worked #18 BWO bubble back, # 16 Sparkle Caddis Pupa, #16 Double D, #16 My little Deschutes fly (pheasant tail with a purple thorax), #16 psycho mayfly, # 14 to #16 grey and light brown soft hackles, and a #14 green rock worm.

Not the biggest fish of the day - but also not the smallest!

Check out the colors!

Flies that worked on Sunday - similar flies worked on Monday!

Fly Fishing – Central Oregon October 2012

After a busy summer guiding in Idaho, Dave and I treated ourselves to a week of fly fishing and camping in Central Oregon.

For the first few days (Sept 30 to Oct 2) we floated the Deschutes River (Warm Springs to Trout Creek). Dave demonstrated his ability with French Nymphing Techniques and Slinky Indicators, landing many nice trout in the 14” to 18” range on #10 October Caddis Nymphs, #18 Beadhead Pheasant Tail Nymphs and #16 DD Nymphs. Below is his first catch of the trip.

Nice Trout French Nymphing!

I opted to chase steelhead in early morning and evening hours. I got a couple of grabs but no solid hook-ups. In the afternoon I decided to trout fish with a traditional dead drift and French Nymphing. I landed some nice trout fishing both techniques – but French Nymphing provided me with my largest trout of the trip. Check out the nice red side.

Nice Trout French Nymphing

We then moved to the Crooked River for the remainder of our trip. My goodness I hadn’t been on the Crooked River in years. I forgot how stunning the scenery is on that river and how many fish there are in that river.

Looking downstream on the Crooked River

Fishing on the Crooked River was extremely good during mid-day hours, with decent midge, caddis, and mayfly hatches between the hours of 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM. #20 Zebra Midges, #14 tan Elk Hair Caddis, and any form of #18 or #20 Blue Winged Olive worked well. Most of the fish we landed were in the 8” to 12” range. We fished dries and nymphs with a traditional drift and French Nymphed. Again french nymphing was more productive sub-surface. But to me nothing is funner than fishing small dries on a bamboo rod!

Another trout - French Nymphing

In the end – again French Nymphing proved to be the most successful technique for hooking and landing fish on both the Deschutes and Crooked River!

I ended the trip with teaching an intermediate fly fishing class. All the structure on the Crooked makes for a great classroom to teach line management!