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Oregon Forecast for July

By Scott Richmond

Oregon Rivers in General

What to Expect in July:

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. It usually does this. 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 Parachute PMD, Sparkle Dun, or PMD Cripple. If the 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 of the pale morning duns. For PMD hatch tips, see Stages of the PMD Hatch. The hatch will become less important by mid-month.

Pale evening duns will be present on many rivers the first two or three weeks 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 Griffiths Gnat can work for a dry fly, especially on high lakes and rivers. A midge pupa pattern is always a good choice.

Take ant patterns anytime you visit a river, especially one on the east side of the Cascades. Beetle imitations, can also be effective. By the end of the month, hoppers will be available to trout on many rivers; a Parachute 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, CDC Caddis, Parachute Caddis, Casanova Caddis, X Caddis, Sparkle Pupa, Soft Hackle, and Diving Caddis are all patterns to have in your fly box this month.

During the caddis season, either fish a Sparkle Pupa near the bottom, or 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, Purple Perils, etc., work well this month. As the water drops and clears to low summer levels, use smaller, darker flies. For some advice on fishing low-and-clear conditions, see Special Conditions, Special Tactics. 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 in General

What to Expect in July:

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. Dougs Damsel and the Marabou Damsel are popular damsel nymphs; look, too, at Jeff Morgan's patterns (see Three Keys to Effective Damselflies).

Trout also take damselfly adults off the surface. A Stalcup Adult Damselfly or Braided Butt Damsel are good flies. 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, Seal 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.



Chickahominy Reservoir

What to Expect in July:

As the east side of the state starts to heat up, fishing will slow down here.

For more on July 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 July:

Summer steelhead come in two surges on this river, one early in the season and one later. July is an in-between time. At the beginning of the month, look for some fish in the McIver to Barton area. Late in July, the second surge should arrive. When that event happens, fishing should improve downstream from Barton.

As the river becomes low and clear, smaller flies should work best. Purple and blue flies are good choices, such as the Purple Peril, Streetwalker, Freight Train, etc. Your best bet for traditional tactics is when the light is low --right at dawn or dusk. You can also attach your fly with a riffle hitch and skate it across the surface. During the day, indicator tactics with a Rubber Legs or Kaufmanns Stonefly might pick up a fish.

For more on July 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 July:

July used to be THE month on Crane Prairie, but that was before the damselfly population went into steep decline. Carry some patterns anyway and hope for the best. In addition to the damselflies, carry size 8-12 olive or brown Woolly Buggers.

Watch for hatches of Callibaetis mayflies (size 14-16 flashback Pheasant Tail before the hatch, Callibaetis Cripple or Sparkle Dun during the hatch), midges, and caddis.

Baitfish patterns remain good imitations to have in your fly box.

The Rock Creek, Cultus channel, Quinn channel, and Deschutes channel areas should improve throughout the month. Trout will probably concentrate in the channels.

July always offers some variability due to weather conditions. Extended periods of high pressure bring light, almost non-existent, east winds and bright days. Fishing will be poor on those days. You can improve your odds by going to a long leader; some anglers will use a 20-foot leader here, but that's a tough beast to cast.

Algae blooms can occur at this time of year. If you run into one, seek clearer water. This is possible in Crane Prairie due to the temperature gradient in the lake. You'll find cooler water at the inlets of the Deschutes and Quinn rivers.

For more on July 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 July:

The Crooked always fades a bit in summer; it's not a good hot weather stream. If you go, take size 14-18 orange Scuds, size 12-16 Prince nymphs, and size-14 Cased Caddis patterns. Micro Mayflies and WD-40s are other options, as are Sprout Midges in size 22-24 (anyone that can tie a size 24 midge, raise your hand; hmmm, I don't see very many hands up).

You should also carry small dry flies, such as size 18-20 Parachute Adams, Elk Hair Caddis, and Griffiths Gnat.

For more on July 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 July:

Trout will be eager for Callibaetis hatches and midge hatches. Look for the former at midday, and the later in the evening. An olive size 8-10 Woolly Bugger can be productive, too; try wind drifting in large open parts of the lake.

Bass fishing should be good. When the moon is full, your best bass fishing will be from an hour before and after dawn and again from an hour before to an hour after sunset. Remember that the regulations only allow fishing from an hour before dawn to an hour after sunset.

For more on July 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 July:

Trout. Caddis, pale morning duns, midges, and pale evening duns are the primary hatches, especially the first two; the PMDs will fade by mid-month, however.

Fishing will be fair in the morning hours (watch for caddis and midges in the backeddies in the early a.m.). Afternoons will be slow, but good fishing will return in the evening. You can still pick up fish during the bright midday times, but you have to be more clever about it: look for trout along the banks, under shade trees, and in fast, broken water.

If there's a pale morning dun hatch, it will probably start about 11:00 a.m. and end around 1:00 p.m. or 2:00. If it's a cloudy day, the hatch will start earlier and be more intense. Dead-drift a size 18 Pheasant Tail or Gold-Ribbed Hares Ear near the bottom before the hatch. Then switch to a size 18 Sparkle Dun, Parachute PMD orPMD Cripple when trout are taking duns from the surface. Carry Rusty Spinners in size 18 in case you encounter an evening spinner fall of PMDs.

Following the PMDs, many trout will take a siesta until about 5:00 p.m. when they will begin looking for caddis and midges. However, it is possible to pick up trout on the surface even in mid-afternoon. To do this, look for shady areas near the bank and cast a size 14-16 Elk Hair Caddis or other adult pattern; tan or olive are good color choices. If you can, fish the west side in the afternoon because it will be shaded first.

Carry size-14 tan, size-16 gray and olive, and size-18 black caddis patterns, such as Elk Hair Caddis, X Caddis, Casanova Caddis, or CDC Caddis. Spent caddis patterns can also be effective, especially in the morning. Jeff Morgan's Lights Out Caddis imitates this stage.

You might run into a pale evening dun hatch between 4:00 and dusk, but this hatch is on the way out. Craneflies, yellow sallies, yellow quills, and aquatic moths are other possibilities this month.

Spotted caddis and saddle-case caddis are still hatching. A few blue-winged olives may be in the mix around mid-month. Make sure yellow sally and cranefly patterns are in your fly box, as well. Aquatic moths--which resemble caddis--are another factor at this time of year.

The golden stoneflies and salmonflies are essentially done, although you might encounter a straggler or two. Even so, trout might take an imitation early in the month in the upper river; some habits are hard to break, especially if your brain is the size of a pea (I speak here of trout, not anglers).

As the weather turns sunny and hot, and as the river fills with anglers and rafters, trout might move farther out in the river and into the broken whitewater areas. They will also hug the banks and be in rocky areas. They're seeking safer, more oxygenated water. That's where you need to seek them.

Steelhead. It's not all about trout, of course. This is the month that summer steelhead arrive in fishable numbers. By mid-month, we should be catching some steelhead in the lower 15 miles, and by the end of July we should have reliable fishing as far up as Beavertail, and maybe farther.

The Deschutes is great summer steelhead water, and classic wet-fly swing tactics work well. Good fly patterns include the Freight Train, Green Butt Skunk, and Streetwalker. The best fishing is in the low light periods near dawn and dusk, but it is possible to pick up steelhead at midday. If you can't stand being off the water even when the sun is high, use a sink-tip line and a weighted purple Woolly Bugger; fish will be in deeper water, shady areas, and up under the foam at the heads of riffles.

No matter which species you're pursuing, remember that July weather can be unsettled and afternoon thunderstorms sometimes occur. Be prepared with rain gear no matter how sunny it looks when you start out. Carry plenty of drinking water (don't drink the river!).

Be extremely careful with fire this month. No smoking except in a car or boat. No campfires. No charcoal briquettes. No matches. No Coleman stoves with liquid fuel (propane is okay).

For more on July 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 July:

Evenings should offer fair fishing with caddis patterns. Watch for afternoon pale morning dun hatches; if it's an overcast day, these can be quite strong.

When nothing is hatching, a streamer is a good bet, and sometimes even when there's a hatch on. The river's brown trout can be huge (there are browns over ten pounds here) and they are predatory. They are most likely to strike during low light times, so early morning and late evening offer the best chances.

Late in the month you should try some hopper patterns near the grassy banks.

The stretch between Crane Prairie and Little Lava Lake can have good fishing for brook trout and rainbows. It's just a little creek up there, and a pleasant place to go--but the mosquitoes can be fierce.

Between Pringle Falls and Benham Falls, bank access is excellent from a network of dirt/gravel roads. You can also launch a boat and--unlike the lower Deschutes--you can fish from it. Before you set forth in your boat, however, make sure you know where you are and where you should take out; this stretch of the Deschutes is mostly placid water punctuated by occasional life-threatening cataracts.

For more on July 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 July:

Callibaetis hatches are rolling. Look for hatches in the shallow water (less than 20 feet deep) off East Lake Campground, by the resort, and along the west shore. A Callibaetis Cripple or Adams in size 14 or 16 works well on the lake's Atlantic salmon, kokanee, and rainbows--and occasionally on the brown trout. Fish from 12-17 inches are common.

Traveling sedges sometimes hatch here. Size 10-12 flies, such as a Goddard Caddis, can work when skated across the surface.

A tactic for big browns is to cast large streamer patterns on a sinking line. Fish the legal maximum: be on the water and fishing at one hour before dawn, and fish in the evening right up to one hour after sunset. The reason is that the browns are nocturnal and feed more aggressively in low light. Concentrate on areas with rocky structure.

The first thing I do at East Lake is check the prevailing wind direction. Then I fish the shore that the wind is blowing towards. That's where the food piles up, and trout follow the food

Black bears are common in this area. If you camp, store your food in the car.

For more on July 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 July:

A reliable producer, Fall River should fish well all month for stocked rainbow trout (above the falls) and stocked and wild rainbows and browns below the falls. It will be a busy place, however, especially at the park around the fish hatchery; pretty, though

Midges, caddis, and pale morning duns will dominate the hatch scene. For the midges, try a Sprout Midge or a Griffiths Gnat. A Renegade is another fly to try. You may need a 7X tippet and a downstream presentation. You might see some caddis, so carry a few cream-bodied or olive X Caddis in size 14 or 16 in your fly box. A size 16-18 Parachute Adams is always a good fly on this river.

For more on July 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 July:

Waiting for September's steelhead.

For more on July 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 July:

Callibaetis hatches will bring fish to the surface during the day. Be prepared with size 14-16 flashback Pheasant Tail nymphs and Sparkle Duns or Callibaetis Cripples.

Midge patterns and damselfly nymph patterns are also good bets this month. Hosmer's Atlantics love adult damselflies, so carry some patterns such as Stalcup Adult Damselfly and Braided Butt Damsel. The best opportunities are when the wind is light or calm.

Evening hatches of traveling sedges can be expected. Try skating a size 8-10 Goddard Caddis across the surface.

Black size 16-18 caddis might be active in the evenings.

Expect Hosmer to be busy, especially in the channel between the two halves of the lake.

Fishing typically slows down here in late July because of summer heat. When it slows, the best fishing will be in early morning and late evening. Sometimes you can find willing Atlantic salmon in the upper lake; look for them over the dark lines in the bottom.

For more on July 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 July:

The main lake gets soupy at this time of year due to weed growth and algae, especially after hot weather. This pushes fish into the Rocky Point/Pelican Bay area, which remains productive because there are numerous springs in the area and the water quality is better than in the rest of the lake.

July is a good month for hooking very big fish (over ten pounds) from this incredible resource. It's a tricky lake to fish, however. Concentrate your efforts along the tules of Pelican Bay, at the mouths of the Williamson and Wood rivers, at the "fish banks" (just outside Pelican Bay, to the north), and in the inlet creeks that feed Pelican Bay.

A great fly here (and on other lakes, too) is Denny Rickard's Seal Bugger. Retrieve it with a stutter retrieve: short, quick one-inch strips.

Midge patterns can be effective in the evening. All the Klamath trout, including those that head up the Williamson, are receptive to red midge pupa patterns.

If you don't pick up fish in 20 minutes, change to a new location. Keep moving until you find fish. When they stop taking your fly, move again. These are highly mobile trout.

For more on July 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 July:

The Keno stretch closed June 15 and will not re-open until October, but the river below the Boyle powerhouse will provide good hatches of spotted caddis all month. Fat 12-16 inch rainbows are ready to terrorize drifting surface bugs. Look, too, for yellow sallies in the size 12-14 range. The golden stonefly hatch is fading fast, but an imitation, such as a size 10-12 Clarks Stonefly, can still catch trout because they just keep looking for those big bugs. A few small hoppers should be dropping onto the water, and later in the month hopper fishing can be excellent.

A size 10-12 yellow attractor pattern such as a Stimulator, Madam X, or Humpy, works well here. It looks like everything from a yellow sally to a hopper to a golden stonefly--all bugs that are on the river this month.

The road into this part of the river makes the Deschutes access roads feel like super highways. But if you persist for three miles past the Boyle powerhouse, you'll find a slight improvement in the road and excellent fishing. Unless you hate your car, it will take you almost half an hour to cover the three miles. The good news is that you won't have much competition.

For more on July 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 July:

As the weather heats up, trout will move into deeper water, and fishing may slow down. Look for evening midge hatches as well as midday Callibaetis hatches. You can also be productive with streamers, such as green or black Woolly Buggers.

The best fly fishing is along the shallow north shore, the west shore, and to the west of the resort. Look for shallow shelves that are near deep water; that's where you'll find fish, especially in the morning and evening. Avoid the deep northeast area where the Powerbait and Velveeta anglers congregate.

For more on July 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 July:

Wait for fall before coming here.

For more on July 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 July:

There should still be some green drakes in the upper river--not many, but those that pop up are quickly consumed by trout. A few golden stoneflies should be available, too. Both those bugs are on their way out, though. The green caddis hatch has tapered off on this river.

Hatches of midges, yellow sallies, caddis, and a few pale morning duns and blue-winged olives will be present this month. Fishing will be best at the end of the day--so don't quit too soon! As you get near the Willamette confluence, you find more quiet water where midges gather and trout may seek them. Try a Griffiths Gnat or similar fly at dusk.

In general, though, the best July trout fishing should be in the upper river, above Blue River. The higher up you go, the better the daytime fishing. Expect to find trout receptive to large attractors as well as well as the imitations mentioned above.

This is a caddis-rich river, and that means Soft Hackles are always good choices. Present your fly with a surface swing. If the caddis start hatching (or laying eggs) and the trout are looking up, bring Elk Hair Caddis. The caddis species are diverse, so you'll find everything from size 12 to size 20 on the water. You can't go to far wrong, however, if you bring size 14 tan and size 16-18 brown or olive patterns.

Steelhead are still arriving, but with the advent of bright, sunny days they will be harder to catch. Focus your efforts during the early morning and late evening. Indicator tactics will probably prove the most productive.

For more on July 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 July:

Green drakes are fading and will soon be gone. Hatches can occur as early as 11:00 a.m. or as late as 5:00 p.m. If you encounter a hatch, try a Green Drake Paradrake or a Green Drake Cripple during the hatch. You might cast one of these patterns even if there isn't a hatch; toss your imitation to places where you THINK trout are lying. This strategy can work between 4:00 and 7:00 when trout are thinking there might be some drakes around.

Caddis, golden stonefly, and pale morning duns are all on the menu this month. The PMDs are going to provide much of your dry fly action in July. Carry Parachute PMDs, PMD Cripples, and Sparkle Duns in size 18. Hatches could occur anytime in the afternoon and early evening. If it's hot during the day, then doesn't cool off much at night, the PMDs can hatch early in the morning.

A size 18 Rusty Spinner should be in your vest for evening falls of PMD spinners. Cast the fly into flat water and areas that collect drifting material, such as slow backeddies. Yes, flat water is hard to find on the Metolius, so you're going to have to do some searching. Look for slow water near the bank; it may be hiding under some overhanging tree limbs.

The golden stoneflies--a major biomass on the upper part of the river--are another big attraction in July. They start their hatch season now because of the cool, spring-fed water. If you missed this hatch on other rivers or just can't get enough of it, come to the Metolius in July. Clarks Stonefly and MacSalmon patterns are good choices. The best stonefly fishing is between the Allingham Bridge and Lake Creek. Don't start fishing the adult patterns until you're sure the bugs are out and that trout care about them. Caddis activity should be good, too. Look for evening activity, and possibly early afternoon hatches. Carry size 14-16 X Caddis, CDC Caddis, or EC Caddis with olive or tan bodies. A good rig is an emergent caddis pattern, such as an X Caddis or CDC Caddis, with a Sparkle Pupa on a short dropper.

Yellow sallies are another possibility here in July. And you might spot an occasional blue-winged olive hatch; they'll be small: as little as size 20-22.

Stay out of the water if possible--it's harder for the trout to spot you or hear you if you're not in the river. Long leaders of 12-15 feet and with a 5X to 7X tippet will improve your chances on this river.

In general, there's no point in hitting this river before 9:00 a.m.

For more on July 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 July:

Expect pale morning duns and midges in the slow sections, and occasional Callibaetis hatches at midday. Midges are always a factor at dusk, and streamers can be productive at any time.

For more on July 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 July:

The salmonflies (and crowds of anglers) will have departed the Holy Water by the end of June. Trout fishing in the main river is decent, although the fish are not large. You may find the tail end of the golden stonefly hatch in early July. In the Holy Water, you can still take trout, even though the easy-pickin' days of the salmonfly hatch are over. Try a sinking line with a leech or Zonker pattern. You may have hatches of pale morning duns and caddis.

There should be a few steelhead in the upper Rogue by mid-July; it's a low-percentage game, you there's still the chance of a connection.

For more on July 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 July:

Hot weather will turn the Sandy milky with glacial silt; this river got its name for a reason. Storms could have the same effect. After a hot spell is supplanted by cool weather, or a storm blows through, give the Sandy 2-3 days to clear up before trying for summer steelhead.

Look for steelhead between Marmot Dam and Dabney Park. Below Dabney, the river has very few good fly fishing spots.

For more on July 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 July:

Steelhead fishing will keep getting better throughout July. As the canyon heats up, focus your efforts on the low-light times of day. Be on the water at the earliest light for safe wading, and beat the heat and the crowds. Don't wear yourself out during the bright, hot times of the day--take a siesta and hit the river again in the evening. On the other hand, if it's cloudy you can have good fishing all day.

Standard patterns such as Muddlers, Green Butt Skunks, Freight Trains, etc. work well here. A sink-tip line is okay, but shouldn't be necessary at this time of year.

Fish should soon be spread throughout the fly water. Don't ignore the stretch above Steamboat, especially near the end of the month. The casting is more difficult, but the crowds are reduced.

For more on July 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 July:

The Hexagenia hatch starts in early July. It is heaviest from the Hwy 97 bridge (five miles below Chiloquin) through the lower reaches of the river. During the Hex hatch, use a size 6 yellow Quigley Cripple or Hexagenia Paradrake. A Burks Hexagenia nymph can produce when presented on a bottom-to-top vertical retrieve. Hatches occur after sunset. See Quick Tip: The Hex Hatch for some tips on this hatch.

Other than the hex hatch, the Williamson's biggest trout will respond best to size 8-12 leech patterns and Woolly Buggers in brown or black. Present these on a clear sinking line in the slower water. Work the ledges and drop offs--which you better know where they are because if you're not 60-70 from the fish, you're going to have trouble generating any interest. Use a stutter retrieve: quick one-inch pulls. Soft Hackles are another good fly option. Most anglers don't use them here, so trout aren't used to seeing the fly. Try a size 12-16 pattern with a peacock or pheasant tail body, or a gray size 16-18 pattern; put this one behind your leech or Woolly Bugger.

Expect evening caddis hatches. In general, however, you'll pick up bigger fish if you stick with the leeches and Soft Hackles.

Sunny days can be tough here. If it's hot and sunny, be very stealthy; you'll do best if you fish early in the morning and late in the day.

The public access points have been locked up by guides, so this is pretty much a private fishery now.

For more on July 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 July:

Three Creeks Lake near Sisters should fish well all month. Mosquitoes should be expected--and how. The lake offers stocked trout as well as some hold-overs. It fishes more consistently when the weather has been warm. Size 10 winged Ants, Callibaetis imitations, and the usually midge and Woolly Bugger patterns are good options here.

Lost Lake on Mt. Hood has a great Hexagenia hatch in July. Call the Gorge Fly Shop in Hood River (541-386-6977) or The Fly Fishing Shop in Welches (503-622-4607) to check on the status of this hatch. When fishing the Hex hatch, start with a Burks Hexagenia a couple of hours before sunset. Use a long leader on a floating line. Cast and let your weighted fly settle near the bottom, then raise it up a couple of feet. Then let it settle back down. Use this lift-and-settle presentation until you've taken in enough line so you need to cast again. Once the hatch starts (just after the sun goes down), switch to a Hexagenia Paradrake or Quigley Cripple pattern; use a heavy leader, such as 2X. Let the fly sit for awhile, then twitch it and skitter it around a bit. Since it's pretty dark during the best action, carry a flashlight or headlamp. And tie up several dry flies on leaders; use a loop-to-loop system to hook these up when your leader gets hopelessly tangled in the dark. (This latter event is not a possibility; it is a lead-pipe cinch). The Hex hatch is not the only game here. Try working Woolly Buggers along the edges of drop-offs.

Timothy Lake also has a Hexagenia hatch. Call the shops listed above for Lost Lake to check on the hatch status.

Laurence Lake on Mt. Hood should continue to fish well through July. Use Woolly Buggers during the day and look for evening caddis hatches.



Willamette Region

What to Expect in July:

The Middle Fork of the Willamette has good hatches of pale morning duns in the morning and evening, and caddis in the evening.




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