The golden stonefly hatch on the Deschutes is without a doubt the most elusive yet rewarding hatch of the trout season. There are many days, especially early in the hatch, where you'll see lots of bugs but no fish rising. Some years spring comes late and the bugs are out but the river is raging in run-off. Then there are those days where spring storms plumet the mercury and the wind blows like hell and despite the hope given by recent reports, the fishing sucks.
None the less, when the stars do align and everything goes right, the fishing can get down-right rowdy! The recipe for good stonefly fishing is stable warm weather and consistent river levels... Something we've had very little of lately. However, that can change in an instant and the fishing can turn on. On a recent trip out to the Deschutes, I saw numerous stoneflies migrating into the shallows. I also caught some great fish on stonefly nymphs.
My favorite nymph for the time of the year is my Copper Back Golden Stone. It was designed for fishing shallow riffles during the early migration of the hatch. Many stonefly nymphs are simply too heavy for fishing in shallow water. The Copper Back is un-weighted except for the heavy copper ribbing on the abdomen. By having the weight in the rear of the fly, the bug drifts butt down, which emulates the biological drift perfectly. Next time you're in Maupin, pick some up at Deschutes Canyon Fly Shop and give them a try. You want find a better bug for fishing shallow riffles.
One thing's for sure, the big bugs are coming in the next few weeks... Are you ready?
More Articles on the Deschutes Stonefly Hatch