This years Crooked River Fish-a-long was very well attended with 14 members; thanks to everyone that made the trip, it was a great outing with everyone getting fish!
Saturday’s weather was cloudy and the temperature was warmer than it appeared as the hills still had a bit of snow hanging on. Paul warmed us up with hot coffee, donuts and a campfire and then later we had Cheryl’s homemade Sloppy Joes and Coleslaw beside a refreshed fire.
The water was low and clear. The flow out of Bowman Dam was 85 cubic feet per second and the water temperature 39-40 degrees. We all went for the deeper water spots and found a fair number of willing whitefish schooled up in the shallows. The “hot fly” was anything small and dark. Euro nymphing tactics accounted for most of the action but several members did well with small wet flies.
While most of the fish were in the 8” range we did get a few bigger ones, with some whitefish pushing 15” long and trout to 14”.
After the fish-a-long several members continued on to the Owyhee River with Lane Hoffman. A report of this trip will be in March Fishing Reports due out soon.
This month’s Fish-A -Long will be held Saturday March 23rd on the Crooked river near Prineville.
The Crooked River is one of the state’s best rivers for rainbow trout. The river boasts a population of 3000 trout per mile along with big numbers of whitefish. It’s a great place for beginners.
The Plan: We will meet at Big Bend Campground about 1 mile below Bowman Dam between 8am and 9 am. Coffee and doughnuts will be provided.
Water conditions will be much the same as last year: low water flows with water temps in the low 40’s. Most of the fish will be found in the larger deeper pools.
Gear: 3 to 6wt rods with matching reel and floating line. Dry fly fishing can be good with Midges and Baetis dominating the hatch this time of year. The most effective technique is indicator nymphing with small glo-bugs (they look like scuds) and/or smaller sized standard nymphs like Pheasant Tails and Zebra Midges. This is also a good place to swing soft hackles or small wooly buggers.
The rocks can be slippery so bring felt or cleated boots and it will likely be cold in the morning so prepare and dress warm.
Lunch: Cheryl will not be there but is providing the food again so it will be good.
John DeVoe, executive director of WaterWatch of Oregon, will be CFF’s guest speaker Tuesday, March 19th.
John will explain some of the very important water allocation issues we are facing both now and in the future. Lisa Brown from WaterWatch will accompany him to explain her ongoing work on our own Clackamas River. It will be a very informative presentation.
Here’s some links to recent news articles where WaterWatch has defended some of CFF’s favorite waters:
Thanks to everyone who braved the snowy driving conditions to make it over to the Crooked River last Saturday. Several of us drove over on Friday and it was cold, snowy and had us questioning our sanity. Fortunately the weather cleared! We all had a great Fish-A-Long with everyone getting fish.
Saturday dawned clear with blue skies. The hills had a light dusting of snow and the morning temps hovered around 27 degrees. Paul warmed us up with hot coffee, donuts and a campfire. With the cold weather there didn’t seem to be a big rush to wader up and hit the river but we got there eventually.
The water was very low and clear. The flow out of Bowman Dam was only 53 cubic feet per second and the water temperature 42 degrees. We tried the usual pocket water spots first but seeing no fish activity, we quickly went in search of bigger pools with deeper water, finding some rising, active fish. We targeted these using a dry fly/dropper setups. The dry fly didn’t seem to matter much but the best dropper pattern was a Zebra Midge, a money pattern for Crooked River, especially in the winter.
While most of the trout were in the 6” to 8” range we did get a few bigger ones up to 12” to 14” long. The big fish of the day was a real surprise; Dave K’s 22” rainbow that took a Zebra Midge fished deep under an indicator in a big pool. Besides rainbow trout, we caught Whitefish from 4” to 14” long as well.
This months Fish-A-Long will be held Saturday March 24th on the Crooked River by Prineville.
The plan: meet at Big Bend Campground about 1 mile below Bowman Dam between 8am and 9am. Coffee and doughnuts will be provided.
Gear: 3 to 6wt rods with matching reel & floating lines. Dry fly fishing can be good with Midges and Baetis dominating the hatches this time of year. Another standby technique is Indicator Nymphing with small glo- bugs (they look like scuds) and/or standard nymphs like Pheasant Tails and Hair’s ears. This is also a good place to swing soft hackles or small woolly buggers.
Waders with felt or cleated boots for slippery, moss covered rocks and layered clothing as it will likely be cold in the morning.
Lunch: Lunch will be provided.
This is a great time to fish the Crooked River for trout and whitefish. Fishing can be excellent!