Literary Angler – The Magic Hour

Matt Pyrch - Deschutes Salmon Fly Hatch

Matt Pyrch – Deschutes Salmon Fly Hatch

Aim for the Magic Hour on the Deschutes 

Aiming for Salmonfly time on the Deschutes in late spring is a great fishing experience. However, fishing during the magic hour at the end of a hot day during the summer caddis hatch in July can be an unbelievable experience.

Fishing with my Central Oregon fishing buddy and former guide, Tim Quinton, we have aimed for the magic hour on drift trips the last few years. The first time, Tim planned to end in a nice riffle to end the day and said, “Use this” – an Iris Caddis.


Iris Caddis

I had never used this particular emerging caddis style fly with a trailing schuck and loop wing to help see the fly as darkness approached. We used the tan body version size 16 and used floatant on the loop wing and let the rest of the body and schuck trail below the surface. We stood side by side 10 ft apart casting slightly up stream into the riffle, dead drifting until it swung below us . . .  and let it hang. Over the next 45 min we hooked over 20 fish between us with two or three doubles. Unbelievable frenzy of hooking, losing, landing fish up to 18”.  I got broke off on my last fish and couldn’t see to tie another fly on so I headed for the boat. Use 4x like Tim! He hooked two more by the time I got to the nearby boat. What a night!

Tim said it happens quite often and he was right. We repeated the success the next July. The Iris Caddis should always be in your flybox and plan on fishing during the magic hour in your favorite riffle on the lower Deschutes. I’m looking past Salmonflys to July.

Come to find out the Iris Caddis is a Craig Mathew’s fly from Blue Ribbon Flies. Checkout the YouTube video to tie the pattern.

Rich Fitterer


The Magic Hour

Evening shadows gather, ready to chase the sun over the ridge. Retreating rays dance on the riffles and make them glow. Light wanes further still as it slowly surrenders to the blanket of night. And just as the final vestiges of day fade, the water comes alive.