What's New

New items on the Home page:

  • "What's New" section (you're in it). Tells you what's new on the website.
  • "What's Happening" section. Click the headers to find out about what's going on in Oregon's rivers and lakes.
  • List of seasonal articles on the right below "Hot Topics". These are core articles--places, tactics, fly patterns--that are especially appropriate for this month. Follow the advice, and you'll catch more fish!

New features coming up:

  • Current fishing reports. More than just the "expectations", these will be the latest info on how the fishing has been and what to expect next.
  • "Standard Flies". An updated list of flies that are widely available/easy to tie and proven to work. If I don't spend too much time fishing--hard to avoid in May!--there will be new photos. In time, the standard flies will be worked into all the fishing reports.
  • Improved website look-and-feel.

Tight lines,
Your Uncle Fuzzy (aka Scott Richmond)

Oregon Rivers

It's not unusual for June to end with cool and occasionally drippy weather. Locals call it "unseasonable" and wonder when summer will start. People, it's normal! June has its hot, dry weather, but there are often cool, showery days, especially at the beginning and end of the month. Predictable, dry, warm weather begins on July 5. Sometimes it starts a little earlier, but not often.

The lesson for July is: whatever fishing has been like, it's about to change because the weather is going to change. It's going to be warm, it's going to be dry, and there will be some very hot days. Take that to the bank.

Trout. During hot weather, trout fishing will be best early in the morning and in the evening. If the sun is up, look for shady water; that's where you're most likely to pick up trout. Hot spells don't last forever, and fishing can rebound quickly after a couple of days of cooler temperatures. Anglers should be alert to these weather trends and head for the rivers when a cool stretch comes along.

On many rivers, pale morning duns will be one of the big stories at the beginning of the month. Pre-hatch, use a size 18 Pheasant Tail nymph with a small split shot (if the regs permit). Drift it near the bottom, then let it rise on a swing to simulate a nymph heading for the surface; sometimes a downstream mend can give a more natural rise to the nymph when it is downstream from you.

Hatches usually begin around noon. As the hatch progresses, trout will begin taking duns. When you see rising trout, switch to a size 18 Sparkle Dun Film Critic. If trout turn up their noses at your dry flies, try a size 18 Soft Hackle with a yellow body; present it with a surface swing. A size 16-18 Rusty Spinner will imitate the spinner stage of the PMDs, so carry a few in your box in case you encounter trout sipping this final stage. The hatch will become less important by mid-month.

Pale evening duns may be present on some rivers the first two of the month. Hatches usually occur in the mid-afternoon to evening hours. Although this hatch is fading out, trout may still take the duns from habit.

Watch, too, for midge hatches in the early morning hours and at dusk. When trout are midging, a Sprout Midge or Griffiths Gnat can work well. A midge pupa pattern is always a good choice.

Take ant patterns anytime you visit a river, especially on the east side of the Cascades. Terrestrial beetle imitations can also be effective. By the end of the month, grasshoppers will be available to trout on some rivers; a Morrish Hopper works very well on most streams. For tips on terrestrials, see Western Hatches: Terrestrials and Tying Better Ant Patterns.

Mostly, though, July is caddis month. Elk Hair Caddis, X Caddis, Parachute Caddis, Sparkle Pupa, Soft Hackle, Deep Sparkle Pupa, and Diving Caddis are all patterns to have in your fly box this month.

During the caddis season, present a dry fly downstream (or downwind) from overhanging alders. When caddis are hatching in the evening, use the pupa pattern or a Soft Hackle near the surface, or a Diving Caddis (or Soft Hackle) on a surface swing.

Egg-laying caddis like the broken water of a riffle because it's easy to penetrate. Once they're through the surface, they swim to the bottom and lay their eggs. Use a Soft Hackle, Diving Caddis, or similar fly with a surface swing in riffly areas.

Steelhead. Summer-run steelhead will continue to arrive in Oregon. By mid-month, fishable numbers should be present in the Deschutes, upper Rogue, North Umpqua, and other rivers. Traditional tactics with standard flies, such as Green Butt Skunks, Freight Trains, Streetwalkers, etc., work well this month. As the water drops and clears to low summer levels, use smaller, darker flies such as a Purple Green Butt. On low rivers, steelhead will be concentrated into a smaller number of deeper, cooler spots. Also, fewer fresh fish will enter the river, and those that are already in the river will develop lockjaw.

Oregon Lakes

Most days will see a Callibaetis mayfly hatch from late-morning to mid-afternoon. For several hours before the hatch, trout will feed on active nymphs. Cast your fly and retrieve it very slowly, using an intermediate line with a long leader. A Flashback Pheasant Tail, size 14-16, should work quite well.

Trout will also be feeding on midges; look for evening hatches. The trick is to match the size and color of the pupae (size is more important than color). When in doubt, try casting two or three flies at a time, with different size/color patterns on droppers. This lets you find out which patterns the trout prefer. Once you've got it figured out, just cast a single-fly rig.

Damselfly nymphs will be migrating this month, which will excite trout in lakes where the insect is abundant. Nymphs migrate near the surface, often in the top inch of water, so an intermediate line or even a dry line works best. The venerable Marabou Damsel works well; look, too, at Jeff Morgan's patterns (see Three Keys to Effective Damselflies).

Trout also take damselfly adults off the surface. A Foam Adult Damselflyis a good choice. Just chuck one out and hope something happens. The best times for casting adult damselflies is when there is very little wind. They can also work well when cast tight against shoreline reeds.

When you're not casting to trout feeding on midges, mayflies, or damselflies, it's hard to go wrong with a Woolly Bugger or leech pattern on a slow sinking line, such as an intermediate or a Type 3.

High mountain lakes should be opening up by mid-month. Before you head for your favorite alpine stillwater, call the Forest Service and ask if the trail is open and if the ice is off. Ask, too, how long the snow has been gone from the area you're planning to visit. That's important to know because the mosquitoes can be intolerably thick for the first three-four weeks after the snow leaves. Following that, they're merely annoying. Keep bug repellant away from your flies and your fly line.

Just curious.... Started by Hugh O'Donnell. Lastest reply by Gene Trump, 07/20 13:19

Flows out of IP on Henry's Fork. Started by Ozzie. Lastest reply by Mel-S, 07/18 07:42

July 2017 Arts and Crafts. Started by Caddisman. Lastest reply by admin, 07/19 10:45

Thank goodness for skinny five-inch fish. Started by J.R.. Lastest reply by jd77, 07/20 17:19

Double Header - East Lake/Deschutes. Started by paulj992. Lastest reply by admin, 07/19 10:37


Better Fishing in July?
Read One of These!

Spey Casting Tips from Mia Sheppard. World champion spey caster Mia Sheppard shares some tips on spey casting. (Video)

John Day River Smallmouth Bass. Marty Sheppard shares tips on fly fishing for smallmouth on the John Day River. (Audio)

Tactics: Hangout and Hangdown for More Steelhead. Many steelheaders omit or shortchange one of the most important aspects of their presentation.

Dry Fly Steelheading on the North Umpqua. Guide Dean Finnerty tells us how to skate dry flies for steelhead on the North Umpqua. (Audio)

Lower Deschutes Steelhead with Sam Sickles. Get Deschutes steelhead tips from guide Sam Sickles. (Audio)

The Forgotten Terrestrials. Trout eat more terrestrials than just hoppers, ants, and beetles. Learn about these forgotten bugs.

Last-Minute Stones. Salmonfly/golden stone season is upon us. Try putting these three patterns in your fly box!

Choosing a Steelhead Fly Color. What color of steelhead fly should you choose for different conditions? Three pros offer their thoughts.

Beyond the Big Stones. When the big bugs are gone, trout focus on little green and yellow stoneflies. Be ready with these slick patterns.

Tying Better Ants. Ants can be a major part a trout's summer diet in both rivers and lakes. What makes effective fly?

Three Keys to Effective Damselfly Nymphs. Many stillwater trout grow huge on a diet of damselfly nymphs. But what kind of fly best fools them?

Epeorus: The Yellow Quills. This hatch baffles many fly anglers because they don't understand the bug's unusual habits.

Dragonflies. Dragonfly nymphs are big meal that's available year-round for stillwater trout.

Net Spinning Caddis. Net spinning caddis are a major food source for Western trout. What flies and tactics work for each stage?

Little Yellow Stoneflies. Little yellow stoneflies are more important than most spring/early-summer fly anglers realize.

Terrestrials. Trout food comes from above as well as below.

Quick Tip: The Hex Hatch. Hexagenia time! Tips to get the most out of the hatch.

Quick Tip: Wind Drifting. This simple tactic for lakes is like cheating!