It may seem that the last few days of precipitation have rinsed away any hopes of getting out this weekend for some pre-holiday angling opportunities. Not true, my friends! While Salmon swim across roads and through trailer parks on the coast, and our local rivers got a bit silly, the east side rivers are showing only slight increases in flows. Both the John Day and Deschutes spiked just a tad this week as the mother of all rain storms pounded the region. The trend is now for dropping levels throughout the coming week as temperatures drop into fleece zone. The long range prognostication has Maupin chilling down to a nippy 32/17 combo by Thanksgiving. Layer up and get those boots wet.
These cooler conditions may produce ice in the guides for the first part of the day, but once the sun clears the canyon it should be downright balmy. Checking in with Rob Crandall last evening produced an optimistic view for the Deschutes report. Rob and the Water Time Outfitters crew found good numbers of fish on their last outing from Trout Creek down to Maupin, with plenty of fish in the Maupin area. A few of this critters even looked to be fresh new arrivals. While floating lines may find success, a sink-tip will be handy if water temps drop with this big chill down. Trout fishing is a possibility if weather conditions allow. I did not see much activity on my adventure there this past week. Two BWOs and an October Caddis that overslept does not make a hatch.
Reports from the John Day have been mixed with most anglers checking in with little success. The cast count per fish has risen above the traditional 1000, but that should improve. Early season water levels have slowed the migration, but hopefully more fish be on the move after this wet system rinses the trail dust out of their noses. As mentioned, despite the slight bump forecasted for the weekend, the John Day looks to be stable through the Thanksgiving holiday.
Trout chasers can bundle up and head over to the Crooked River for some holiday peace and quiet. Midges and the occasional BWO hatch should provide some fun. Small leach patterns fished on a slow strip can break up the boredom of bobber watching if the hatch fails to appear. No need to be there at the crack of dawn, 9:30 is plenty early. Take your time and have a nice breakfast. It’s the most important meal of the day you know.
Don't forget the Black Friday Fish Fest coming up on November 27th. Get signed up today!