Tag Archives: Salmonfly Hatch

Deschutes River Salmonfly Hatch 2015

Steve Hanson with a football-shaped Deschutes River redside.

Steve Hanson with a football-shaped Deschutes River redside.

Yes, as we creep through the dog days of summer, this spring’s stonefly hatch on the Deschutes seems like old news.  My good friend Matt Ramsey, another veteran flyfishing guide in the Eugene area who I often collaborate with, recently sent me a bunch of great photos he took while working with our crew on the Deschutes for this year’s salmonfly hatch.  Matt takes great pictures, and was generous enough to share them with me.  They are a great reminder of the beauty of the Deschutes River canyon in the springtime, the awesome dry fly fishing opportunities for hard-fighting Deschutes redsides.  The overnight Deschutes canyon camping trip during the salmonfly hatch is one of the best fishing trips around.  From the fishing, the quality and dedication of the guide staff, to the camp amenities and food, it is a top notch experience.  For more information on overnight Deschutes trips, please click on the Deschutes link at the top of the page.

A flash in the water as a big Deschutes Redside puts a serious bend into a 5 wt.

A flash in the water as a big Deschutes Redside puts a serious bend into a 5 wt.

Now is a great time to start organizing and scheduling a Deschutes salmonfly trip for 2016.  To guarantee the best dates and best guides, it is a good idea to start the ball rolling early.  The peak dates for the hatch and the best dry fly fishing are any time between May 10 and the end of the month.  Within this window of opportunity, the Deschutes salmonfly hatch is not a hit or miss type of thing; the hatch is consistent within these dates, and when the bugs are around, the fish will be looking for them.

TJ Rosengarth, preparing to dig a big trout out of dense brush with a bow-and-arrow cast.

TJ Rosengarth, preparing to dig a big trout out of dense brush with a bow-and-arrow cast.

Brushy spots often offer good dry fly opportunities during the salmonfly hatch.  Unlike most of the bugs trout feed on, the salmonflies and golden stoneflies first migrate to the bank as nymphs and climb up onto stream side rocks and vegetation to emerge as adult insects.  As a result, the trout will often lie in wait adjacent to grassy banks and overhanging limbs, waiting to ambush the big bugs.  As the insects become active and begin their mating flights, however, they become available to the trout in all sorts of different types of water, including mid-stream seams and riffles.

Tim Becker takes trout after trout from the seams surrounding this mid-stream rock pile.

Tim Becker takes trout after trout from the seams surrounding this mid-stream rock pile.

The scenery in the Deschutes Canyon in the springtime is hard to beat.

Evening light on the Deschutes and a drift boat gliding downstream.

Evening light on the Deschutes and a drift boat gliding downstream.

A dramatic sky, precursor to an afternoon thundershower.

A dramatic sky, precursor to an afternoon thundershower.

The salmonfly hatch is hands-down the most fun and most productive time to fish the lower Deschutes for trout.  Good-sized, hungry rainbow trout and big dry flies are a great combination.

Eli Krainock with his rod bent on another nice fish.

Eli Krainock with his rod bent on another nice fish.

Phillip Dean with a well-fed Deschutes rainbow that pounced on a Norm Woods Special.

Phillip Dean with a well-fed Deschutes rainbow that pounced on a Norm Woods Special.

Providing the best fishing trips possible really is our family business!  Below, my wife and I are busy packing and reloading camp boxes and coolers while 4 month old Henry looks on from the shade of the boat stack.  We are getting ready for another trip the following day!

Teamwork at Ethan Nickel Outfitters.  It is a family affair!

Teamwork at Ethan Nickel Outfitters. It is a family affair!

Now is a great time to get in touch with your fishing buddies and organize a trip for next year’s salmonfly hatch.  Book early to secure the best dates!

MJ Lyons with a beautiful wild trout.

MJ Lyons with a beautiful wild trout.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Lower Deschutes Salmonfly Melee

We just arrived back in Eugene from a week-long stint on the Deschutes. We did a four day trip followed by a three day trip. We had great weather, great groups of guests, and the fishing ranged from good to outstanding. The dry fly fishing was good enough that we did very little nymphing. The salmonflies and golden stones were out in force up and down the river. We had warm weather, which makes the bugs more active, and some of the most exciting fishing happened when we had some wind blowing; in effect chumming the water for us with naturals. Top producing patterns were the Norm Woods’ Special and Clark’s Stone (#6-#8), though other patterns work as well. When some anglers hit the Deschutes this time of year, they come armed with legions of stonefly patterns the size of badminton birdies. With the exception of very fast-water spots, I almost always do better with smaller, somewhat more drab imitations.

Deschutes River Fly Fishing

If you are heading for the Deschutes this week, bring a few Green Drakes as well, I saw a couple naturals, but we didn’t really have the weather for the hatch to pop. If you happen to be in the right place at the right time on the Lower Deschutes, the Green Drake hatch can be some of the most exciting dry fly fishing of the year. The Golden Stone and Salmonfly hatch should linger on the upper reaches until past the middle of the month. Later on in June and throughout the summer, dense hatches of small caddises and mayflies will become the most important items on the menu for the Deschutes Redsides.

Deschutes River Fly Fishing

We still have some availability for the rest of the summer and fall if anyone out there is interested in an outfitted and guided trip down the Deschutes. All the guides we work with have over a decade of experience guiding fishermen on the Lower Deschutes. The camp features lots of creature comforts and amenities and gourmet food. The trip is hard to beat.

Deschutes River Fly Fishing

What really makes the Deschutes incredible, however, are the fish, the setting, and the hatches. If you have not done so already, you owe it to yourself to experience Oregon’s finest trout stream.

Deschutes River Fly Fishing

Deschutes River Fly Fishing

Deschutes River Fly Fishing

Leave a comment

Filed under Deschutes River