Editor’s Note: Our resident Fly Fisherman, Chris Santella is off on his three-day Central Oregon excursion–here’s the latest news from his trip and catch the full story in the March issue of Travel Oregon Magazine

After a brief fueling stop in Sandy at Joe’s Donuts – the launching point of many a central Oregon angling odyssey (go for the apple fritter!) –we pushed straight on to Prineville. Though the skies looked a bit dark and ominous to the south as we descended from Mount Hood to Warm Springs, the rain held off. And while it didn’t get quite warm enough to bring the Blue Wing Olive mayflies out in full force on the ‘Crooked this afternoon, some bugs were hatching, and the trout were looking up. We found rainbows on dry flies the whole fishing day – many were small, but there were enough 12 inchers in the mix to keep us paying close attention. The Crooked’s native rainbows are beautiful, with bigger dots than the fish we find on the nearby Deschutes. Constant action, combined with late afternoon sun breaks and the deep hooting of a nearby Great Northern Owl made for a perfect day on the river.

Tonight, we’ll be dining at 900 Wall, a relatively new (and highly regarded) addition to Bend’s restaurant offering. They’ve got a special Pinot Noir cask-conditioned Jubel Ale on tap, a fitting reward for our modest angling success. Tomorrow, we get to sleep in a little (by fisherman standards), as fishing doesn’t kick into gear on the Fall River (south of Sunriver) until mid-morning. The boyfriend of the young woman working the front desk at McMenamin’s Old St. Francis School (where we’re staying tonight) said he’s been hearing great reports for the Fall. Tomorrow is supposed to be a little warmer than today, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed that the hatch will be on in full force.

Photograph by Daniel Root
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