Swung into Chickahominy for a water check on the way by yesterday and was pleasantly surprised to see that the water level has come up considerably. Earlier, there was just over one dock section afloat at the ramp, while currently four sections are usable. And with the moisture we received last night (an inch of snow here in town, but just looks wet on the Riley TripCheck cam) and what's forecast, it should rise more. With the increase of water and spring winds, the water is very off color. I've had several calls reporting that fishing really slowed down to turned off once visibility decreased. Expect turbid waters until we have several days of calm.
Reports are that Krumbo is fishing fair, with most fish in the mid-teens.
No reports from the Blitzen, which currently is flowing less each day (226 cfs right now) with maximum flow around midnight. Expect high flows again with warmer weather.
Beulah if filling nicely, with the Bureau of Reclamation website showing it at 67% full. There is a lot of snow in the hills, so it should continue to rise for some time, or until the flood gates open for downstream irrigation. If you haven't heard, word is that there is a significant population of smallmouth now inhabiting that reservoir, with quite a few in the 3-4 lb range. Not what we needed for what can be a superb trout fishery, but not totally unheard of nowadays....
"This is as good as it gets!". That was the feeling after the first 45 minutes at Chickahominy yesterday as we braved the sub-freezing temps, snapped ice out of the guides, and warmed our fingers between fish. Then things slowed down, but stayed interesting. Frequent trips to a warming fire, chased with some hot cocoa, kept the blood flowing to the extremities. When the day was called after a couple of hours of pounding a small section of the reservoir, nearly a dozen fish to 19" had been brought to hand, with close to another half dozen benefiting from a long line release. The fish are strong, have a liking for a slowly stripped leech (you know which pattern!) or Prince, and return a subtle but solid take for the offering. It's gonna be a good spring, indeed!
Well, there hasn't been much to report on for a few months due to water bodies froze up or very low. I did hear once that the Blitzen was fishing "slow" a month ago, but no real data to back that up. And, I've been focused on coyotes and bobcat with spare moments since November. But now it's time to think FISHING!
I've had several inquiries regarding when I think CHICKAHOMINY will be ice free. Recent weather in the region has been rather odd, with the area around Burns being more mild than in Central Oregon. Even the Hampton and Brothers areas have been much, much colder than Burns. So, I was quite surprised to read on a popular fishing/hunting website just minutes ago that CHICKAHOMINY IS 2/3 ICE FREE!! I will stop in and check it out tomorrow on my way to Bend, and possibly have a fishing report by weekend's end. If you see no edits or additions to this by Saturday, then I found that it is, indeed, showing some open water.
Get those buggers ready!!!
This is more of a public service announcement than a fishing report!
With the recent high temperatures, the water temp of the Blitzen continues to increase. With flows now below 30 cfs, the stream has seen temps hit the 80 degree mark and higher this past week. Please respect the fish in this system and let them be until the days and nights cool off this fall. Redbands are tough fish, however, can't take a lot of stress in this water. Thank you!
With the air getting warmer, so are our water bodies. I've had several inquiries about the Blitzen the past week. With the exception of the thunder storms pushing the stream up over 200 cfs a couple of times, the river is flowing in the mid-80 cfs range. Temperatures are mid- to upper 50's, to just below 70 degrees daytime, and rising with each passing day. If the trend continues, watch for warnings regarding stressed fish before too long.
And if you fish there, again....load up on mosquito repellant.
No recent reports from Chickahominy, however, I know some nice fish were caught there last week. Anticipate algae.
No reports from Krumbo.
Beulah is currently at 45% full, while Warm Springs is 53% this evening. No recent reports.
I haven't tossed a fly in a handful of weeks, however, did manage to bring this dude up from the depths. Unfortunately, I left the flies for surface black rockfish in the rig and didn't get a chance to cast to surface feeders last week. Maybe soon....
Now a few days into June, Harney County sees temps in the 70's and 80's in the forecast for the next couple of weeks, with only a couple days dipping into the 60's. This means to start filling the boxes with damsel flies, both nymphs and dries, for your stillwater excursions. The June Fly-of-the-Month will be a very simple to tie, and quite effective, damsel nymph. I hope to have the tying instructions up by Wednesday of this week.
No recent reports have come into the shop recently, and now that we've cleaned up from the 60-70 mph "straight line" winds which affected the area, hopefully locals can get back to fishing and I can hear some reports, since I'm not seeing myself getting out again this week. (I do hope to start posting some saltwater reports from the southern Oregon coast by the end of next week, however.)
Blitzen: 118 cfs as I write this, and a temperature of 65 degrees at 4:20 in the afternoon. It appears from the graph that while the water level is dropping each day, the daily "high" volume hits around 6 AM. Low temperatures have went up from the high 40's to 55 degrees over the past four days, with a steady increase in daytime high temperatures.
Fish Lake: The road opened last week. No reports.
Watch for snakes when in the area. I've already seen two rattlers on the road. And pack some good bug spray. And sunscreen. And water!
The strong winds the past week have hampered fishing efforts, although it appears that there should be a calm coming over the region starting Sunday. We can only hope!
USFS Lakes/Reservoirs: It appears that the lakes and reservoirs in the forest have held over, with fish in the 14-18" range being caught, along with their smaller cousins. Smaller flies seem to be working best, such as traditional Hare's Ear, Pheasant Tails, and other nymphs in #14-16. There have been some good chironomid hatches, too, so be prepared.
KRUMBO: Krumbo has been planted, however, there are larger fish being caught, which often isn't the case until a few weeks after the plant. I wish I could give you a good report from my time there with my father last weekend, however, after the winds suddenly picked up about 5 minutes after we launched the boat, pushing us hard to the far side of the lake, it became kind of miserable. In fact, we know that there were gusts at least over 30 mph....when there was a SNAP of an oarlock breaking. &%$%!! After tossing out two anchors to keep from being blown into the reeds, some Harney County ingenuity with a sliced up piece of anchor rope, and hard rowing back across the lake, I can't say we fished much at all. I did land one 12" trout while waiting for the gusts to subside (they never did), while my dad did hook a small planter. That was it. We plan on hitting it again this week. Two trips before that I had a wheel bearing go out of the little trailer I use for hauling around the pontoon. Lovely. All trailers have since had either new bearings installed or simply repacked. Hoping that's all for surprises for awhile...
Chickahominy: Fish continue to be caught as weather allows, with fish being found in the deeper, 8-12' of water. I haven't seen how much it's dropped the past two weeks, or if algae has started, so be prepared for the possibility.
Blitzen: The Blitzen did hit over 300 cfs this week, but is falling the past 24 hours as I write this, currently flowing at 172 cfs. If it keeps dropping, it should fish well on the fall. If it starts rising again, watch for days of little fluctuations or continual falling flows.
I hoped to give a report on the water level at Chickahominy before last weekend, however, between being quite busy at the coastal property (and an hour or two of fishing!), and not being able to access the site earlier this week, I wasn't able to keep my word. Apologies!
I did stop in to look at the water both coming and going from the area, and it appears it's in fine shape. For those who may have thought what appears to be the high water level for the spring is substantially above the current level, it looks like it's pretty close to the same height as it was at ice out, as that visible high water line is from last year...and before. I think we are good for the spring until things "green up" in the early summer. I think... I am hearing that fish caught this last week continue to be plugged with leeches, beetles, and a few snails. Plan accordingly.
The Blitzen is currently running at 120 cfs and holding fairly steady since hitting around 200 cfs a week ago.
The weather today has been everything from snow and ice coated ground (and vehicles) this morning, winds in the 20-30 mph range with higher gusts, flurries, sprinkles and anything but warm spells. No "great" weather in view, for over a day at a time, for about a week. Spring in Harney County!!
SO.....took my dad out to Chick Friday afternoon. The water has dropped this past week, and not sure why - maybe up to 2 feet...? It appears it dropped more this past week than previously from ice out. Very concerning, as we haven't had "evaporative" conditions. Still in good shape, clear, and fishing well when the weather permits!
I've had a couple of reports come in that Chickahominy fished quite well over spring break when the wind wasn't blowing. That's the norm for this time of year. I also had a report that the water level has dropped some over the last month, but no measurements on that to verify how much. I'm hoping to stop in and take a peek at the boat launch area on my way through in the morning, and will provide an update on the level by the weekend.
Reports also stated that the fish are fat, healthy, and full of leeches and beetles. Also heard some had some snails in the gut. This all shows that the standard flies - buggers, Prince nymphs, scuds - should all produce.
The Blitzen has been running fairly consistent between 75 and 85 cfs, so should be in good shape before runoff occurs. As always, I encourage those planning a trip to watch the USGS site for levels, and beware of rising flows or upcoming warm temperatures which will cause the water to get quite off color and normally any bite to turn off.
A new feature is being added to the website under STORE. Each month KCFS plans on sharing tying instructions for a Fly of the Month (FOTM), including info for purchasing finished flies. I can also help with purchase of materials. Since I have made quite the ruckus about the brown Woolly Bugger, and have been asked for instructions/suggestions for tying, that will be the FOTM for April.