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Has anyone fished the Owhyee River? I'm making a three day trip there starting the middle of next week. Its my first trip to the river, I'll be camping below the dam. If anyone would be willing to share some fly choices with me I'd appreciate it. I've heard that small nymphs are the way to go.

Casey
 

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Fall 2004 there was an article in NW Fly Fishing about Owyhee River written by Kent Goodman. Good article if you can find it. He mentioned Elk Hair Caddis, Stimulator, PMD PT Nymphs, Brassie, Griffith Gnat. Normal stuff. I have relatives that farm the area in Ontario and Nyssa and they used to talk about fishing it. I never fished it since I was a kid, but supposed to have more browns than rainbows. Good Luck.
 

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"Chasing Riseforms"
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I haven't fished it that time of year, however. You might find some callibaetis this time of year hatching there since it has slow sections of river. I have found them hatching there. Bring very small midge patterns size 18, 20, 22's , small beadhead pheasant tails and others. Try a dry with a dropper. The river may be running higher now. Wear fleece under your waders. The water is extremely cold. Watch for "dimples". Some of those big browns can suck the hair off a Gnats ass very quietly... Don't be discouraged of the water color. It always looks that way. It sort of turns you off at first. Fish below the dam down to the bridge. Stay above the bridge.
 

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I fish the O.

Small is the way to go....size 18-22 is the right range in my opinion. Even smaller is good but not necessary.
Mayfly imitations seem to work consistently. For dries I usually go with a PMD or Adams. For nymphing a small hare's ear, pheasant tail nymph, copper john, etc. are pretty consistent.
I've also had good fishing early morning swinging soft hackles.
Another approach I've seen work well this time of year is to fish a Skwala dry with a small nymph trailer.
There's some good camping about 2 miles above the tunnel, with a lot of good camp water.
 

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i just pulled out the article that Mark was talking about a few posts up from the fall '04 issue of Northwest Fly Fishing. the flies listed in the article are: elk hair caddis, stimulator, pmd, mahogony dun, baetis, hoppers, skwala, flashback pheasant tails, brassies, griffith's gnat, scud, bloodworms, and crawfish patterns. the article also says that there are some weeds on the bottom that the fish like to get all hung up in once they are hooked so a heavier tippet might not be a bad idea, the water is a bit murky usually so the heavy tippet wont bother the fish much. Let me know how the trip goes, ive been wanting to make a trip down there for a while now but have never had the chance.

good luck!

-Connor
 

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Fished it for the first time this past March. Saw a few Skawalla adults and caught fish on BWO dries and streamers. Very different and unique fishery. Was surprised with the amount of people, most with Idaho plates. Wasn't my favorite but I'd go back. Hard to wade due to color...I'm not used to not being able to see the bottom. Flows were real low, like 30 cfs. Probably a lot higher now for irrigation.
 

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Where's the Bucket?
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The "O" is arguably the best dry fly trout stream in the PNW and harbors browns as long as your arm. My trip there last June was good and the fish averaged a solid 18" with several in the 23-25 inch mark. But it's gotten so crowded over the past 5-6 years that I probably won't head back for my 6th consecutive season.

It's a very special fishery if you hit it right.

CS
 

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I used to fish it when I lived over there. Great river, however its main weakness is being an hour away to a 1 million+ population base, i.e. the treasure valley (Boise). This river gets hammered. Lots of 1-A idaho plates.

Dirty water, desert type stetting, and big well educated browns, but surprisingly they are not as difficult to catch as you might think. Like others have said, small flies are the ticket. During low light conditions however streamer fishing can be good. Few people do this, which is surprising considering the overall popularity of streamers for browns.
 

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Only one thing to add, might be obvious...but bring some small white strike indicators, especially if you are going to nymph size 20s. Really small indicator. Just in case, but they work on browns elsewhere.
 

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I just talked to a friend that fished last week and the Callibaetis were hatching so have some flies to match them. The ties for blue wing olives should be sparse. During the middle of the week you should not have much trouble finding a place to fish. You can see a lot of the river from the road and it can be worth your time to find a spot where the fish are active.
 

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"Chasing Riseforms"
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There are a few nice hot rainbows in there also if you are lucky enough to find them. It is somewhat crowded at times because of people from Boise heading there. It can become a place where people "hole up" for the day and don't move out. Watch for rattlesnakes.
 

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This will be the first time in 4 years that I have missed fishing it this exact time of year. Every year I attend a conference in Boise the 3rd week in may- unfortunately not this year. The caddis hatch (mother's day caddis) will be unreal in the evenings, and I mean unreal if it goes off, which it will. during the day fish green wooly buggers swung slow through the runs and small para adams when noses pop. If all things come together be prepared for some of the best trout fishing in the lower 48. 30 plus inch browns no less.
 

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Fish the O and do quite well

Soft hackle midges in 18-20 . Use moose mane for the abdomen. Very effective. 18-22 Griffith pattern and of course beatis.
Don't use an indicator, Grease your leader with a serendipity. Red or brown.
Fish at night throwing streamers bunny leeches for the browns .

Beautiful area and fishery
 
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