Owyhee RiverThe Owyhee River, a tailwater fishery below Owyhee Dam out of Adrian, Oregon, is home to one of the most incredible brown trout fisheries in the lower 48 states. Fish here average 17", with fish to 24" common.
Brown trout can be very active risers and often focus on midges in the Owyhee tail water fishery. Midges are available on the Owyhee throughout the year and many times, tiny subsurface midges will be the target of choice over the larger bug of the day for these big brutes.
Midges notwithstanding, this river boasts an impressive smorgasbord of insect life. Pale Morning Duns are a close second to the midge in importance. Beginning in late May, their emergence sparks some of the most exciting fishing on the Owyhee. Emerger patterns will outfish most other types of patterns used to imitate these pale yellow mayflies.
Callibaetis begin emerging in the spring and continue sporadically into the fall. Often the largest mayfly on the surface, they can entice big fish into gentle sipping rises in slower stretches of the river.
Blue Winged Olives are often seen throughout the summer. Their summer hatch cycle ends with the Tiny Western Olives in a size 24, which can be a difficult mayfly to imitate, but richly rewarding when the fish are on them.
Fall brings an interesting mix of bugs and Mahogany Duns, Callibaetis, Baetis, Caddis, and terrestrials can all be on the river at the same time. Matching the hatch becomes maddening, with so many rising fish and so many bugs. Stepping back and just watching at these times can bring a smile to the anglers face.
Winter can also be a great time to fish the Owyhee. Less people and still good action on midges can make for perfect days in winter sunshine.
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