What to Expect in Oregon in December

Importance by half-month
 Super    Major    Minor    Slight    None

Hatches are matched from Westfly's database of "standard" fly patterns.

Trout


► Colder weather will slow trout fishing to a crawl. The best trout fishing--"best" being a relative word, not an absolute--will be from about 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

► Whitefish are the most responsive fish of all in cold weather. This can be a good time of year to not be a trout-snob and hone your nymphing skills on whitefish. They will be taking small nymphs, such as a size 18 Pheasant Tail, and small white flies imitating roe. Drift your fly near the bottom in slow water and the inside corners of riffles.

► You can expect some sort of blue-winged olive hatch every day, but most hatches will get limited interest from trout. Cloudy, drippy weather will offer the best (but still weak) hatches.

► Most places, trout are lying low for the winter. Few are actively seeking food. In cold weather, brown trout are more responsive than rainbow trout.

Steelhead


► Because the sun is low in the sky, you can be productive for a longer time each day and don't need to restrict yourself to the early morning and late evening. Some anglers, however, still like to be on the water at crack-o-dawn so they can have the first shot at receptive fish.

► Put away the floating line and use a sink-tip and standard winter steelhead swinging flies. Or use indicator tactics tactics and standard steelhead nymphing flies.

► While most anglers will have quit summer steelheading for the year, there are still fish around. They continue to enter many river systems until the end of the year. However, they will be more plentiful higher upstream and near the mouths of spawning tributaries.

Importance by half-month
 Super    Major    Minor    Slight    None

Hatches are matched from Westfly's database of "standard" fly patterns.


Pupa

Size 10-22 Chans Chironomid Pupa, Zebra Midge. Black, gray, olive, red, creams, browns

Adult

Size 2-10 Woolly Bugger, Bunny Leech, Hale Bopp Leech, Possie Bugger. Black, browns, olives

Lakes; backwaters and slow sections of rivers: count-down-and-retrieve, slow retrieve, wind drift

Trout


► Cold water renders trout practically comatose, so the next three months will be slim pickings for lake anglers. However, it is possible that you might find some activity in low altitude lakes and ponds in the Willamette Valley or the Coast, especially if there is a "warm" stretch with temperatures in the fifties for a few days.

► This time of year, present a streamer, such as a Woolly Bugger, Hale Bopp Leech, or Morrish Sculpin "low and slow" because the few trout that are active will be lethargic and hugging the bottom.