The Metolius River has to be one of the more famous stream in Oregon and one that somehow I had never managed to make it over to for any fishing. However when Colton and I planned our trip out that was something that I had hoped to change. With high flows and rough weather on the first stream we had fished we hoped that the Metolius would be a little more accommodating. Being in essence a bit spring creek the flows definitely were not an issue, in fact the Metolius in a bit unique in that comes out of the ground as a full fledged river.
The source of the Metolius
Although there was some wild weather with a bit of a nasty hail storm before we got the river, We were able to wait it out with a stop at the local fly shop and an awesome bbq joint in Sisters' Or. and by the time we got to the river the weather didn't look half bad. The crowds however seemed to be the bigger concern as we got one of the last two camp spots left where we stayed. Without a whole lot of daylight on our side, we decided that we would just hang around camp wait for the morning to fish the river.
With the rising sun we set out upstream and before long we found a decent looking stretch of water. However after literally covering it top to bottom by doing everything from swinging streamers for bull trout, nymphing a fishing dries we were unable to find anything in the area so we headed further upstream. After hiking for about a mile or so we came upon some promising water and once again started covering it as throughly as possible. Hoping for a bull trout I started off swinging a big rainbow trout imitation, while Colton tried his luck nymphing. Not surprisingly Colton's luck seemed to be a bit better nymphing and although he didn't land any, he did manage to hook into three decent fish, while the bull's seemed to make a complete no show. While I love nymphing, I would rather fish dries if it is worth it and with some good hatches that were "supposed" to be happening this time of the year it looked like a good possibility. It seemed that the other fisherman also preferred dries and most didn't even consider nymphing an option as the favored strategy was sitting on the bank waiting for the the hatch to happen. However after hours of fishing and not seeing a single rising fish and no greendrakes and just a few pmd's nymphing seemed like a much better option than sitting on the bank. After covering our section of the river I gave up on the bulls and started nymphing like Colton and within a few castsI have a good take and got a nice solid hook set.
Although the fish felt decent sized, it wasn't fighting like a trout and before long I had a beautifully colored whitefish in the net.
After landing the whitey we gave the river another hour for things to pick up, but when the didn't we decided to head out on the road again, this time making for the Deschutes River. Next Part 3 - Salmonfly time....