It won’t be long before we head East to Montana on this year’s fly fishing road trip. We fish in beautiful places during our road trips, but the last couple of weeks, I’m reminded why I live in Sisters. It turns out we have good dry fly fishing on my local waters, the Metolius River. Like normal, the river has been hit and miss for us. Here are a few recent images I hope you enjoy.

Metolius Rainbow - June | www.riverkeeperflies.com

At this time last year, we were fishing the Henry’s Fork of the Snake River Brown and Green Drake hatches. This is a wonderful time to fly fishing anywhere. I’ve read about Brown Drakes on Silver Creek, ID and PMDs on the Missouri River.

Yes, this is Green Drake time on the Metolius and to be honest, there are good days and ones where we shake our heads. That’s the Met. In fact, we’ve been watching for rising trout more often than fishing for rising trout. To reinforce this point, we met another fly fisher walking the trail yesterday who said “it’s the most beautiful river to be skunked on” and decided to head to the Deschutes where he could catch fish with his nymph setup.

But on those days the fish gods are smiling down on us, we catch some beauties.

Here is an upside-down Green Drake I captured floating downstream last week.

Green Drake Upside Down | www.riverkeeperflies.com

While Drakes are the draw for many anglers, don’t forget about PMDs, PEDs, BWOs, a variety of olive stones, and this Caudatella mayfly.

Caudatella Mayfly - Metolius River | www.riverkeeperflies.com

Many might think this is a smaller Green Drake, but they are size 12 – 14 and sometimes the fish prefer eating them.

I still marvel at the beautiful fish we are able to catch.

Metolius Rainbow Trout | www.riverkeeperflies.com

The colors are spectacular, taking on the greenish hues of the surrounding forest and underwater rocks. Their color scheme really allows them to hide in plain sight.

Healthy Metolius Rainbow | www.riverkeeperflies.com

I never tire of admiring their beauty.

Here is a double my fishing partner and I were able to hook and land at the same time.

Metolius Double | www.riverkeeperflies.com

And someone measuring to see which is bigger!

Measuring Rainbows | www.riverkeeperflies.com

You guessed it…mine was the smaller one!

And a quick snap of my Olympus TG-6 for an underwater shot.

Underwater Metolius Rainbow | www.riverkeeperflies.com

Some of these fish were taken with PMDs.

Here are three flies I’ve been using:

Remember, the Metolius River is known for its prolific hatches of a variety of insects. And you never know which ones the fish are keying on. That’s what I enjoy about this river

Rainbow from Metolius | www.riverkeeperflies.com

It keeps me coming back for one of these.

Metolius Rainbow Going Home | www.riverkeeperflies.com

Lastly, let me end with a story.

It had been a long afternoon with more casts than I care to count and no fish to show for my efforts. A few Green Drakes were floating down-river and an occasional fish rising to eat them. The fish below finally ate my fly after several casts floating through its feeding lane.

Metolius Rainbow Taken with Green Drake | www.riverkeeperflies.com

I played this strong fish as it fought in the fast current. Out of the corner of my eye, I notice something flying not far above the water. I take my eye off the fish for a quick look and a bald eagle begins circling me as I continue to fight the fish.

Bald Eagle on Metolius River | www.riverkeeperflies.com

I landed the fish and Karen took a quick picture before releasing it back into the water. I looked up and the eagle was watching the whole thing from a perch.

Enjoy…go fish!

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4 Comments

  1. Hey John, Were you near the Dolly Hole when you saw the eagle? I saw it the other day as well. Beautiful!

  2. John I enjoy reading your accounts and the pictures really are fabulous. I find myself fishing vicariously through you! I particularly enjoy the blogs on local spots. This particular one is on my bucket list. I was going to fish it with my son earlier this year, but things didn’t work out. May be on his next visit. Thank you for sharing.

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