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Oregon Forecast for October

By Scott Richmond

Oregon Rivers in General

What to Expect in October:

Typically, October offers (mostly) nice days early in the month, and some nasty, cold weather near the end. And a bit of rain throughout. Rain is good; it puts steelhead, salmon, and sea-run cutthroat on the move.

Rain and temperature--especially water temperature--will determine much of this month's fishing. When fishing for steelhead this month, always measure the water temp. That will inform your choice of fly line--sink-tip vs. floater. The choice can be crucial to your success. For some good advice, see Sink-Tip or Floating Line?.

Trout. Cloudy, drippy days will be good for trout anglers. That kind of weather stimulates the ubiquitous blue-winged olives--a major hatch on many rivers all month. The nymphs will drift in the current throughout the hatch season, and you can take trout on nymph imitations, such as size 16-18 Pheasant Tails and gold-ribbed Hares Ears, from morning to dusk; see Jeff Morgan's article on Tiny Flies for thoughts on these small nymphs. Nymphs can be productive before, during, and after a blue-wing hatch, and even when there is no hatch that day. The key is to make sure your imitation is drifting near the bottom. To achieve that goal, you may want to team your nymph with a heavy fly such as a Kaufmanns Stonefly or Pupatator.

During a hatch of blue-wings, Baetis Cripples and CDC Baetis are good emerger patterns. My hands-down favorite for a dun imitation is a Sparkle Dun; a Parachute Baetis works too, but I think the Sparkle Dun is superior. Rusty Spinners will take care of the final stage. Emergers, duns, and spinners tend to collect in backeddies and slow margins, and trout often just wait there for them to arrive.

Mahogany duns are present on many rivers in the early part of the month. These mayflies migrate to slow water before emerging, and hatches usually take place in the slow margins of the river. Trout are in no hurry to sip the duns, and rises are usually lazy, head-and-tail affairs. Because the action is in quiet water, your approach and casts need to be stealthy. The best strategy is to wait until you see a rise, then cast to that trout. Blind casting usually just puts the fish down. Let your cast settle gently on the water and avoid lining the trout. You may need a downstream presentation. A red-brown size 14-16 Sparkle Dun works well; in a pinch, you can use a Parachute Adams.

October caddis are the big bug of the fall. They are often matched with a size 8 Stimulator, but the traditional orange pattern is a bit bright. Try a browner body and a darker wing. Another option is a Madam X with an orange-brown body.

Many anglers dead-drift an adult October caddis imitation without effect, then conclude that trout don't take October caddis. Wrong. If your dead-drift generates no rises, try a little twitch. If that doesn't work, try skating your fly across the surface. To skate the fly, cast down-and-across, throw in an upstream mend, then raise the rod tip and let the fly skitter across the surface. This can be deadly in riffles, just below riffles, and along current seams. All that dry-fly talk aside, the best plan for the October Caddis hatch is to dead-drift pupa patterns along the bottom.

Streamers, such as Woolly Buggers, Zonkers, and Muddlers, are another good choice this month. They can trigger strikes from big fish, especially from brown trout on those few Oregon rivers that hold them. The browns are getting into spawning mode, so you will find them moving out of lakes and into running water.

By month's end, the nights will be cold enough to slow the fish down, and the best trout fishing will be from about 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The higher (and colder) the water, the narrower the time slot for good fishing.



Oregon Lakes in General

What to Expect in October:

This is the last good shot you'll have at the lakes for half a year, so get in all the casting you can. Fish may be slow to wake up as lake temperatures cool down; fishing will be better in the middle of the day than you might expect.

Callibaetis often have an early-October resurgence, so you may encounter hatches and spinner falls the first couple of weeks. After that, however, forget these delightful mayflies until spring.

On most lakes, the main fare will be the aforementioned Callibaetis, midges, and anything that moves. Look for midge hatches at any time of day, and cast a midge pupa pattern on a floating line when you see feeding trout. Let your cast sit quietly until you see a subtle swirl in the right place, then tighten up.

Other than that, it's nothing fancy. Woolly Buggers and Seal Buggers on an intermediate line should entice willing fish (there will be lots of unwilling fish this month, too).

Watch the weather on the lakes. It can quickly turn cold and nasty, especially on the big waters where there's nothing to stop the wind. Most lakes close at the end of the month, but weather is bigger factor than a bureaucrat's time schedule.



Chickahominy Reservoir

What to Expect in October:

Leech imitations and Woolly Buggers should do well. Watch for midge hatches, too.

For more on October tactics and flies, see the Lakes in General report. See the Chickahominy Reservoir report for current conditions, hatches, guides, and other information.



Clackamas River

What to Expect in October:

Coho should be in the river. Look for them between Eagle Creek and the mouth.

Cooler weather should improve the attitude of summer steelhead. Fresh fish will enter the river this month, and maybe even the vanguard of winter steelhead by the end of October.

For more on October tactics and flies, see the Rivers in General report. See the Clackamas River report for current conditions, hatches, guides, and other information.



Crane Prairie Reservoir

What to Expect in October:

If the lake is high, trout will be spread out. If it's low, they will be concentrated in the old river channels. Water temperature will be dropping quickly; when the lake is cool, you will often find the most receptive trout in the main (southern) part of the lake because the water stays warmer there.

When the weather's nice and the wind is from the east, the lake stays very calm and fishing is poor.

Marabou Leeches, Woolly Buggers, and Seal Buggers are your best fly options. Use brown, rust, dark olive, or yellow-olive patterns. Size 16 Pheasant Tail nymphs may also take fish. Watch for Callibaetis hatches early in the month.

Watch, too, for midge hatches. While a static midge or deep midge tactic can work, sometimes a slow retrieve with an intermediate or floating line can be very productive.

There's nothing like a little wind riffle to improve fishing on Crane Prairie. Use a long leader (15-20 feet).

For more on October tactics and flies, see the Lakes in General report. See the Crane Prairie Reservoir report for current conditions, hatches, guides, and other information.



Crooked River

What to Expect in October:

Expect afternoon blue-winged olive hatches. To imitate the blue-wings, carry size 18-20 Baetis Cripples, Sparkle Duns, or Parachute Baetis. Sometimes you can do better with a nymph dead-drifted near the bottom even when you see trout rising on the surface. Blue-winged olive hatches will be best on cloudy days. If it's sunny, look for them in areas where shadows fall on the water.

Hopper imitations will continue to work early in the month, especially if it's warm; after the first major frosts, however, hopper patterns will quickly lose their effectiveness. Parachute Hoppers are a good choice on this river (and many others).

Mahogany duns might be important for the first half of the month. For the mahogany duns, put size 16 reddish-brown Sparkle Duns or Parachute Hares Ears in your fly box. These bugs hatch in the slower parts of the river, generally in the margins.

In addition to mahogany dun and blue-winged olive imitations, carry small Prince nymphs, orange or pink Scuds, Micro Mayflies, and cased caddis imitations (Peeping Caddis, Cased Caddis, etc.). Some October caddis may also be encountered, so be prepared.

For more on October tactics and flies, see the Rivers in General report. See the Crooked River report for current conditions, hatches, guides, and other information.



Davis Lake

What to Expect in October:

Callibaetis early in the month; midges all month,especially in the evenings in the first half of the month; streamers such as Woolly Buggers all day and all month.

Bass fishing should be good early in the month before cold weather shuts them down.

For more on October tactics and flies, see the Lakes in General report. See the Davis Lake report for current conditions, hatches, guides, and other information.



Deschutes River, Lower

What to Expect in October:

Steelhead. Steelhead should be well-spread out between Sherars Falls and Warm Springs, and there will still be a few fish between Sherars and the mouth. Some anglers feel that by this time of year the fish are more receptive to drab patterns and smaller sized flies--probably because the fish are seeing lots of anglers.

Proper line choice--sink-tip or floater--is very important this month. The choice is not always simple. See Sink-Tip or Floating Line? for some advice on the subject.

Something that a lot of anglers ignore is salmon spawn. This can be very important between Sherars Falls and the mouth. Trout (and sometimes steelhead) take spilled roe from spawning salmon. So look for areas with salmon, then cast an Egg Fly below it. Take special care not to disturb the salmon or walk on their redds (nests; distinguishable by the clean-scraped gravel).

Trout. Trout fishing should remain good for most of the month. Some green caddis (Rhyacophila) and saddle-case caddis (Glossosoma) are still around in October; mostly the latter. Size 14-18 Elk Hair Caddis with either tan or olive bodies are good fly choices; see Jeff Morgan's CDC Everything for a good pattern. Soft Hackles or other emerging/egg-laying imitations in sizes 14-18 should be in your fly box, too; use flies with brown or gray bodies.

Blue-winged olive hatches can be heavy at times. Two types of blue-winged olives are present: size 18 and size 20 (the latter is the genus Acentrella). Be prepared for both and carry some olive size-18 and size-20 Sparkle Duns. Similar sized Pheasant Tails are always a good choice at this time of year.

October caddis are still present, so fishing the banks with an orange-brown size 8 Stimulator or Madam X with a brown-orange body is a good strategy. Some anglers match this hatch with a bright orange imitation, such as they'd use during the salmonfly hatch. I find that fly too bright for the October caddis and prefer a more subdued body and a darker wing.

When casting October caddis dry flies, look for water that is 2-4 feet deep and flows at a moderate pace; a rocky bottom is a real plus. Sometimes a dead-drifted dry fly works well, especially on cloudy days. If the trout are ignoring you, however, try skating your October caddis imitation across the surface.

Another way to pick up trout during the October caddis season is to tie on a size-8 Soft Hackle or Serendipity with a creamy-orange body; let it tumble near the bottom. Local fly shops carry good October caddis pupa patterns.

Midge hatches will be a frequent evening occurrence this month. Carry a seine so you can check the size and color of whatever is drifting down the river. Midge fishing is best in quiet runs, in backeddies, and near rocky banks that create mini-eddies. You'll find whitefish feeding in the slackwater areas, and trout where there's more current; sometimes only a couple of feet will separate the two species of fish. A midge pupa pattern is usually the best choice during a midge hatch, but a Griffiths Gnat can also work well.

A few mahogany duns, aka "paraleps" (Paraleptophlebia) are still hatching, but they should taper off by mid-month. A size 14-16 Sparkle Dun with a dark brown body is a good choice when they're hatching.

If you're having trouble picking up trout on dries, don't hesitate to go subsurface. It's a good month to cast a two-nymph rig with a big stonefly, such as Rubber Legs or Kaufmanns Stonefly, on the point and a size 18 Hares Ear or Pheasant Tail on a dropper or trailer. Cast into slightly riffly water or runs of moderate speed.

This time of year you will find more trout in backeddies and in slower water near the bank than you will in faster water. The best trout fishing should be in the late afternoons and evenings.

Keep in mind that it's October. Expect cool days and sometimes bitter winds. Bring extra clothes in case you slip and get wet. If you're headed over here from the Willamette Valley, be careful on the roads. I had a narrow escape a few years ago when an isolated shower of freezing rain coated Hwy 26 with ice. I hit the ice at 60 mph while towing my boat and left the road. It's not an experience I wish to have again, and I hope you avoid it too.

If the river suddenly rises, such as following an intense rainstorm, fishing will be poor until the extra water subsides or stabilizes at a consistent level for a few days.

White River can still be ill-behaved during October. A major rainstorm on Mt. Hood can cause major murkiness below this river's confluence with the Deschutes. If you're concerned, call a local shop such as Deschutes Angler Fly Shop or Deschutes Canyon Fly Shop.

For more on October tactics and flies, see the Rivers in General report. See the Deschutes River, Lower report for current conditions, hatches, guides, and other information.



Deschutes River, Upper

What to Expect in October:

The river is closed from Little Lava Lake to Wickiup Reservoir. Farther downstream--below Pringle Falls--try a size 16 Parachute Adams if you see surface activity. Large attractor dry flies, such as Royal Wulffs, can also be productive if there is no noticeable surface activity.

If you want big fish, cast a large streamer, such as a Zonker or Matuka, near the bank and retrieve it fast. This can generate massive strikes from big brown trout--if you're lucky. When casting streamers, focus on water near the bank and any place the river deepens and slows.

For more on October tactics and flies, see the Rivers in General report. See the Deschutes River, Upper report for current conditions, hatches, guides, and other information.



East Lake

What to Expect in October:

When the weather is on the mild side, fishing will be good. When it gets cold, it will shut down. This high lake (nearly 6,400 feet) gets cold fast. As the weather cools, night temperatures will dip into the teens and below, and fishing will cool off as well. When the thermometer heads south, the best fishing will be midday and evening. And after an extended cold spell, the best fishing will be next June.

Early in the month you might find midday (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.) hatches of Callibaetis. Both dry flies, such as a Callibaetis Cripple, and nymphs, such as a Flashback Pheasant Tail, are good choices to pick up brown trout and rainbows.

A good choice for larger brown trout is a streamer.

East Lake used to be an excellent late season choice due to the large number of brook trout (brookies are more tolerant of cold water than rainbows). But brook trout stocking ended years ago and very few of the eastern imports remain.

If you camp here, be sure to store your food well. There are black bears that are looking for an easy meal.

For more on October tactics and flies, see the Lakes in General report. See the East Lake report for current conditions, hatches, guides, and other information.



Fall River

What to Expect in October:

Midges, mahogany duns, caddis, and blue-winged olives are the dominant hatches. Griffiths Gnats and Sprout Midges are good flies for the midges. You may also encounter a hatch of slate-winged olives (or flavs).

For the mahogany duns, try a size 14-16 dark brown Sparkle Dun; focus on quiet water along the margins. The mahoganies will taper off and not be much of a factor by mid-month.

Baetis Cripple, CDC Baetis, Sparkle Duns, and Parachute Baetis will imitate the blue-winged olives when they are hatching.

Early in the month you might encounter size 16-18 caddis. When imitating caddis on the slow sections of this river, use a good slow-water pattern such as the Casanova Caddis, CDC Caddis, or CDC Everything.

You also might try a Yellow Jacket fly. Sometimes these nasty little wasps are numerous, and trout will suck them down when they fall onto the water. An extended spell of freezing weather will bring these guys to an end, however.

By mid-month, you can expect cold mornings and evenings; your best fishing opportunities will be from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Remember: the river is closed below the falls.

For more on October tactics and flies, see the Rivers in General report. See the Fall River report for current conditions, hatches, guides, and other information.



Grande Ronde River

What to Expect in October:

The Grande Ronde is a one of the most appealing steelhead rivers in the West. Not only does the river flow through a beautiful canyon, but it boasts classic water in which traditional tactics work well and most runs are obvious to anglers with only modest steelheading experience.

October is normally the best month to fish this river. The big question is WHEN in October. Optimum flows are 800-1200 cfs, which should be enough to draw fish in from the Snake. A little rain would help. On the other hand, the Grande Ronde can blow out big time during a storm, and can take several days to drop back to a fishable level.

A floating line should be sufficient for most of October, and early in the month you might even take some fish on a skater. But if the water temperature dips below 48 degrees switch to a sink-tip. Once the weather cools off, the best fishing will be between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Muddlers and other traditional patterns, such as Green Butt Skunks, work well.

Make sure you have licenses and tags for both Washington and Oregon; good fishing doesn't stop at the border. For maps and more information on this river, see Grande Ronde River for maps and details on this river.

This river's charms are not a secret. Expect crowds.

For more on October tactics and flies, see the Rivers in General report. See the Grande Ronde River report for current conditions, hatches, guides, and other information.



Hosmer Lake

What to Expect in October:

The Atlantic salmon are suckers for a moving white fly at this time of year. Some anglers insist on a fast retrieve, but in my experience it doesn't matter how you pull the fly. A white Woolly Bugger or similar pattern works well. Pink or yellow can also work.

Early in the month you might do well with an ant pattern, and you should keep your eyes peeled for a Callibaetis hatch or spinner fall.

Brook trout will be concentrated around the boat ramp and any rocky area. They will play hard-to-get, but if you approach them near dark with a deep midge tactic you might get a take.

Because Hosmer is at the north end of the Cascade Lakes Highway and backs up to South Sister, winter weather hits it earlier and harder than other fisheries in the area. Winter could come by the end of the month.

For more on October tactics and flies, see the Lakes in General report. See the Hosmer Lake report for current conditions, hatches, guides, and other information.



Klamath Lake

What to Expect in October:

Most of the migratory fish have moved into the Wood or Williamson, or are in the small spring creeks that feed the lake. You might find some fish in the Rocky Point area. Streamers such as a Seal Bugger should produce for you, but you'll have to keep moving around to find these highly-mobile bruisers. If--when--the weather turns frigid, forget this lake until spring.

For more on October tactics and flies, see the Lakes in General report. See the Klamath Lake report for current conditions, hatches, guides, and other information.



Klamath River

What to Expect in October:

The Keno section opens up on October 1. For agile anglers who hike down the canyon, there are good numbers of 14-18 inch rainbows, and not a few trout around five pounds. Use large, heavy flies, such as purple or black Rubber Legs, and drift them along current seams, into slower water, and near rocks. Use trout indicator tactics.

The area below the Boyle powerhouse and the Frain Ranch section about three miles below the powerhouse are good choices. This is great water for big dry flies. If frosts haven't killed off the hoppers, try a Parachute Hopper near the grassy banks. Cast your hopper into riffly water that has some sun on it.

An orange-brown size 8 Stimulator works well in the is section, too. It imitates the October caddis. There are other ways to present this fly than dead-drifting; I've seen the trout in this river ignore a beautiful drag-free presentation of an October caddis pattern. The same trout slammed the same fly when it was skated over the same water. To skate the fly, cast down-and-across, then lift the rod and let the fly slide across the surface. You want your fly to move slowly, but stay on the top and leave a V-wake.

For more on October tactics and flies, see the Rivers in General report. See the Klamath River report for current conditions, hatches, guides, and other information.



Lava Lake

What to Expect in October:

Look for trout along the western shore, northwest corner, and the south shore near the lodge. You should find some Callibaetis hatches at midday in the early part of the month. The rest of the time, midges and Woolly Buggers are your best choices.

For more on October tactics and flies, see the Lakes in General report. See the Lava Lake report for current conditions, hatches, guides, and other information.



Mann Lake

What to Expect in October:

Before the cold weather settles in, Mann is worth thinking about. Fishing can be good in the fall, and the crowds are down. Try large brown nymphs or streamers about size 6-8 . Vary the retrieve; you might find that a very fast retrieve works best.

For more on October tactics and flies, see the Lakes in General report. See the Mann Lake report for current conditions, hatches, guides, and other information.



McKenzie River

What to Expect in October:

Salmon should be on their redds, so egg flies should work for steelhead all month. The heaviest salmon populations are between Leaburg Dam and the town of Leaburg.

Also try size-8 orange-brown Stimulators to match the October caddis, and size 16-18 tan, cinnamon, or brown Elk Hair Caddis to match other caddis. Hatches are heaviest in the upper river.

Blue-winged olive hatches should be expected on cloudy days; the hatches should intensify as the weather turns cooler and wetter. Mahogany duns will also be present; watch for them in the slower water near shore in the late afternoon and evening.

Gray drakes are another October event, and you can match them with a size 10-12 Parachute Adams. You may also find pale morning duns early in the month; look for evening activity.

While most of the steelhead are below Leaburg Dam, there can be significant numbers above Leaburg, between the Helfrich ramp and the lake. They can respond well to traditional tactics.

For more on October tactics and flies, see the Rivers in General report. See the McKenzie River report for current conditions, hatches, guides, and other information.



Metolius River

What to Expect in October:

The small western green drake (Drunella flavilinea or flav) should still be hatching. This is the smaller cousin of the big green drakes (Drunella grandis) that everybody gets so excited about in June. Use the same patterns as for the big green drakes (Green Drake Paradrake for adults, Poxyback Green Drake for nymphs) but in sizes 10-12. Other good fly choices are Sparkle Duns and Comparaduns. This hatch occurs below the canyon area (below Pine Rest campground) on downstream. Flavs should be present through the first week of the month, then they'll be gone.

These are not the only mayflies on the river, however. Expect some mahogany duns and blue-winged olives, too. The former are found in quiet margins. The latter will hatch both in the morning and afternoon/evening.

The Cinygmula mayfly is another October emerger on this river. Match this cream-yellow insect with a size 16-18 Sparkle Dun, or similar fly.

October caddis are also common this month. Despite the "rules" of fly fishing, you can use a 6X or even 7X leader with a size 8-10 orange-brown Stimulator. You need the thin leader on this river, even with a big bushy fly. This rig is no fun to cast, but it fishes well. About half an hour before dark the October caddis will be most active and may be taken eagerly by trout.

Olive stoneflies are still available. Size 14 patterns are needed.

In the evenings, expect some cinnamon-colored caddis as well as olive-bodied caddis.

For another week or so, pale morning duns may be seen from noon on.

Golden stonefly nymphs are always on a trout's menu in the Metolius. Another sub-surface fly choice for October is an Egg Fly. Kokanee move up from Lake Billy Chinook, and a roe imitation can catch trout when drifted behind the kokanee.

Bull trout are also moving up from the lake and into the river this month. Large streamers are needed.

This is an absolutely gorgeous time of year to visit the Metolius. The vine maples are wearing their fall colors in the canyon area, the air is crisp, and trout are available to persistent and careful anglers.

For more on October tactics and flies, see the Rivers in General report. See the Metolius River report for current conditions, hatches, guides, and other information.



Owyhee River, Lower

What to Expect in October:

This is usually a good month to visit this far-eastern gem. Look for brown trout in the slackwater pools, and rainbows in the riffly areas. They may be taking blue-winged olives, midges, or mahogany duns. The flows should drop as the irrigation season comes to an end.

If there is no hatch, use an intermediate line and a streamer pattern, such as a Matuka, Woolly Bugger, or Bunny Leech, in the slackwater sections; focus on deeper water near rocks. Don't be put off by the murky quality of the water.

For more on October tactics and flies, see the Rivers in General report. See the Owyhee River, Lower report for current conditions, hatches, guides, and other information.



Rogue River, Upper

What to Expect in October:

Low cold water is the norm for the dam-controlled upper Rogue at this time of year. That puts the river's wild chinook on their spawning redds. When the chinook are spawning, steelhead wait below them and take spilled eggs. So a good October strategy is to cast a two-fly combination such as a Big Bird or Kaufmanns Stonefly and an Eggo. Cast the rig over spawning salmon. It will reach the bottom just behind them. Let it dead-drift near the bottom where steelhead should be waiting. Don't harass the chinook or try to catch them. Above all, DON'T WALK THROUGH THE SALMON REDDS! You can identify them by the clean gravel patches amid algae-covered gravel.

When using the indicator tactics mentioned above, keep your indicator about six feet from the first fly, then use a 12-18 inch dropper for a second fly. As the water temperature drops into the low 40s, steelhead will not chase down your fly. So make sure your fly is truly dead-drifting; even a little drag will kill your chances.

With low water, you need to be a good oarsman. Watch for rocks. If you're floating through Rattlesnake Rapids (between Dodge Bridge and Tou Velle Park), you're going to bang your boat when you pass through the chute on the right (the only passage); this is not an IF, it's a WHEN.

For more on October tactics and flies, see the Rivers in General report. See the Rogue River, Upper report for current conditions, hatches, guides, and other information.



Sandy River

What to Expect in October:

This is a good month for coho fishing.

For more on October tactics and flies, see the Rivers in General report. See the Sandy River report for current conditions, hatches, guides, and other information.



Umpqua River, North Fork

What to Expect in October:

Chinook will be spawning this month, and they always stir things up as they thrash around; this makes the steelhead wary. But it's October, and the chinook will soon be rotting carcasses, and a little rain will fall. That makes October one of the best months to fish the North Umpqua. Crowds are down in October, especially on weekdays. At this season the North Umpqua's canyon stays mostly shaded from dawn to dusk, so you can cast your fly all day.

October caddis are active, and that can stimulate the fish. In addition to the usual purple or black steelhead patterns, a Steelhead Caddis, Steelhead Muddler, or other brown or orange pattern might entice the steelhead at this time of year.

Don't wait too long: if we get some heavy rain, many of the steelhead will shoot up the spawning tributaries, and you can't fish for them there.

As the weather turns cold at the end of the month (or before), you might as well sleep in and let the water warm up before going fishing.

For more on October tactics and flies, see the Rivers in General report. See the Umpqua River, North Fork report for current conditions, hatches, guides, and other information.



Williamson River

What to Expect in October:

Most of the migratory rainbows will be above Chiloquin this month. To fish this section, take a pontoon boat. You can't fish from the boat (regs), and you can't walk the bank (private property), and there's no place to launch a bigger craft. So park near the Collier Park turnout on Highway 97 (by the wagon wheel). Carry your boat to the river, and float downstream to the "ramp" below Chiloquin.

Use a small (size 10-12) Marabou Leech, Woolly Bugger, or Seal Bugger in olive, brown, black, or burgundy. A jerky retrieve works best: after quartering your cast downstream, pull in a few inches of line, then stop for two seconds, then repeat. Use a full-sinking line, such as a Type II.

You may find morning hatches of blue-winged olives or midges, and you can pick up some decent resident brown trout or rainbows on surface or emerger patterns. However, the big fish will be much more receptive to the small leeches and streamers mentioned above.

Set your expectations: this is not the prime time to fish the Williamson. While large fish are available, they are tough to catch in the upper section and are very wary.

It seems to me that this area cools down faster than any other part of Oregon, so an October cold snap can definitely slow the fishing. Don't wait too long to make a trip.

For more on October tactics and flies, see the Rivers in General report. See the Williamson River report for current conditions, hatches, guides, and other information.



Central Region

What to Expect in October:

It's possible to have good fishing in the high lakes in early October. But the weather is iffy, even dangerous, so anglers need to be well-prepared and to keep a careful eye on the weather.



Southwest Region

What to Expect in October:

As water temperatures drop below 60 degrees, bass fishing will decline seriously. But there are still opportunities in early October for smallmouth in the Umpqua main stem, and for largemouth in lakes such as Tenmile and Siltcoos (hit the water early--pre-dawn).



Willamette Region

What to Expect in October:

On the Middle Fork of the Willamette, look for hatches of blue-winged olives, tan size-16 caddis, and October caddis.

The North Fork of Middle Fork of the Willamette is a beautiful spot to visit this time of year; look for October caddis and blue-winged olive hatches.




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