Treated to a Day on the Metolius River

by | Mar 13, 2023 | fly fishing the Metolius River

Fin-and-Fire-Fly-ShopNot many fly shops serve beer.  I’m certain there’s a few, but my favorite is the Fin & Fire Fly Shop in Redmond, OR.  That’s where I have delivered a full day of presentations twice the last couple years including last Saturday and it’s always a good time.  The man who makes this event happen is store manager, Paul Snowbeck.


Fin & Fire also has their own podcast hosted by Jeff Mishler and on the way home from Lake Billy Chinook last night I stopped by and did a show.  Paul was not only there to organize the recording, but he kept his micro brews flowing.  After we finished the show, Paul invited Scott Robertson and I to join him today on the Metolius River.  We went!


Paul-Snowbeck-flyfishingWould you be surprised if I told you the weather was horrendous?  Well, this harsh US winter continues.  The Metolius is in the high country near Sisters, OR and temps hovered around 30° and the snow fell.  We’re used to it though and the three of us worked our way through the Ponderosa Forest in search of runs for sight fishing to bull trout.


Metolius-RiverWe found them quickly thanks to Paul’s lifetime of knowledge of this river.  And Scott sight nymphed one up on the second cast.  It was a burly bull trout and Scott had to chase this fish.  A few slippery steps and Scott went down but he remained tight.


bull-troutI enjoyed watching the pursuit, snapping photos along the way.  Eventually Paul netted Scott’s fish.  A beautiful fish.  These bulls are much darker than the ones we catch on Lake Billy Chinook.


Jeff-Currier-Yeti-PangaAs often is the case, when you catch a fish during the first few casts, things go quiet right after.  There’s no such thing as easy fishing, particularly when chasing big ones.  We found fish to cast too but none would cooperate.  I dredged out a whitefish blind nymphing a deep pool and Paul caught a rainbow.  It wasn’t until we moved to a new spot that I hooked into a big bull trout.  It was my time for a rodeo.


Jeff-Currier-Paul-SnowbeckThe Metolius is difficult to wade.  There are some greasy algae covered rocks but what’s hardest for me is the dark bottom.  It’s hard to see what you’re walking on and today was particularly difficult with the snow clouds above making it further dark.  Without Paul directing my footsteps, chasing my bull downstream would’ve led to a bad swim for sure.  Instead I knew where to stand my ground and force this fish to the net.


bull-troutThis bull is one of my biggest.  Most of the big bulls I’ve caught through OR and MT over the years never were taped.  Today’s went unmeasured also but he’s no doubt, pushing the 25” mark.  He has some shoulders on him too!


MetoliusWe ended the day on a famous pool.  I believe Paul referred to it as the Dolly Llama.  Its no secret.  There’s plenty of room on this large area and there were a few other anglers already in place.  Paul suggested it would be a good place for me to apply my streamer techniques.  I was stoked and went to work.  I ended up landing two more nice bulls.


bull-troutIt was a great day on Oregon’s famous Metolius River.  It was even better to spend the time with new and old friends Scott and Paul.  While Paul’s OR fishing experience is vast, he’s spent very little time on Lake Billy Chinook.  Therefore tomorrow, Scott and I will take him there with us!


Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing


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I started fly fishing at age 7 in the lakes and ponds of New England cutting my teeth on various sunfish, bass, crappie and stocked trout. I went to Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin, where I graduated with a Naturalist Degree while I discovered new fishing opportunities for pike, muskellunge, walleyes and various salmonids found in Lake Superior and its tributaries.

From there I headed west to work a few years in the Yellowstone region to simply work as much as most people fish and fish as much as most people work. I did just that, only it lasted over 20 years working at the Jack Dennis Fly Shop in Jackson, WY where I departed in 2009. Now it’s time to work for "The Man", working for myself that is.

I pursue my love to paint fish, lecture on every aspect of fly fishing you can imagine and host a few trips to some of the most exotic places you can think of. My ultimate goal is to catch as many species of fish on fly possible from freshwater to saltwater, throughout the world. I presently have taken over 440 species from over 60 countries!