Metolius River

River Levels

6 am
7 30 year


Recent Reports


Jeff at The Fly Fisher's Place reminds anglers that the Metolius is closed above Allingham Bridge. He notes that pale morning duns, cinygmula, and mahogany dun mayflies are still hatching and catching the interest of trout. Anglers are doing well with size 16 yellow dry flies during hatches. However, these hatches are fading quickly with the coming of winter weather, and conditions are changing from day-to-day. As we cool off, expect more action to come from blue-winged olive hatches. During non-hatch times, go subsurface, go with a golden stonefly nymph or October caddis pupa teamed with a small nymph such as a micro mayfly.

Bull trout are available; opt for a large white streamer and sink-tip line (e.g., 200 grain head).


Major Hatches for November

Importance by half-month
 Super    Major    Minor    Slight    None

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


Size 16-20 Pheasant Tail, Hares Ear. Brown, brown-olive

Moderate runs, just below riffles: indicator, tight line, rising nymph


Size 16-20 Sprout Midge, Film Critic, Hackle Stacker. Olive-brown body, gray wing

Flats, runs, backeddies: standard dry fly


Size 16-20 Sparkle Dun, Comparadun, Hairwing Dun. Olive-brown body, gray wing

Flats, runs, backeddies: standard dry fly

► Emergers, duns, and spinners tend to collect in backeddies and slow margins, and trout often just wait there for them to arrive.

► Cloudy weather stimulates the blue-winged olives.

► 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 beadhead Prince. You might want to look at Jeff Morgan's article on Tiny Flies for thoughts on these small nymphs.


Size 6-8 Stimulator, Madam X. Body: light orange; Wing: tan

Bankwater near foilage: standard dry fly


Size 6-8 Stimulator, Madam X. Body: light orange; Wing: tan

► There might be a few adults around early in the month. They can be matched with a size 8 Stimulator.

► You need the 6X or 7X leader on this river, even with a big bushy fly. This rig is no fun to cast, but it fishes well.


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

► When trout are midging, a Sprout Midge or Griffiths Gnat can work well, but a pupa pattern is always a good choice.

► Trout can be very picky about size and color of the pupa. You may need to swap flies several times to find the right combination. You can speed up this process by fishing two pupa at once and noting which one the trout show more interest in.

► Be prepared for midge hatches at any time of day.


Size 2-8 Muddler, Woolly Bugger, Clouser Minnow, Possie Bugger. Browns, olives, silver, greens

Lakes; rivers over gravel and cobble, undercut banks: count-down-and-retrieve, slow retrieve, wind drift, deep swing


November Tips


► Bull trout have moved up from the lake and into the river this month. Large streamers are needed, such as a Morrish Sculpin. Work your fly near structure such as rocky points, logs, and other ambush points that bull trout might use. A 200 grain sink tip on a seven weight rod is a good idea.

► Because the Metolius is spring-fed, it's seldom affected by winter storms. On the other hand, it is at a high elevation, and the cold air temperature can make a difference. As the temperature drops to near freezing or below, the best fishing will be from noon to 2:00 p.m., with marginal fishing an hour either side of that.

► You will see spawning kokanee in the river, distinguishable by their moderate size and red heads. They are not a fly fishing target.

► The river is open all year below Allingham Bridge. Usually, the Metolius fishes well until around mid-November, after which it slows down. Trout, whitefish, and bull trout are available.


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