Blue Stream Fly Fishing
Fly Fishing Report for:

John Day River - Service Creek - Oregon

Hatch Chart - Best Access/Spots - Local Fish - About

Water Flow Chart

Using Water Flow Charts & Weather Reports: Begin with our water flow charts to grasp stream velocity and volume – look for stable or rising trends to pinpoint ideal fishing times. Learn to interpret sudden spikes or drops, which can indicate potential challenges. Next, consult our weather reports to understand ambient conditions. Pairing the two, you can anticipate fish behavior, choose the right gear, and select the best fishing spots. Use these tools together for a holistic approach to your next fishing adventure.

In-Depth Weather

Directions To Location

Hatch Chart

Month Hatch Time of Day Recommended Fly Sizes Popular Fly Patterns
January No notable hatch N/A N/A N/A
February No notable hatch N/A N/A N/A
March Stoneflies Afternoon 10-12 Golden Stone, Black Stone
April Stoneflies Afternoon 10-12 Golden Stone, Black Stone
Mayflies Morning 10-14 Blue Winged Olive
May Mayflies Morning 12-14 Blue Winged Olive
Caddisflies Evening 14-18 X-Caddis, Elk Hair Caddis
Stoneflies Afternoon 10-12 Golden Stone, Black Stone
June Caddisflies Evening 14-18 Elk Hair Caddis, X-Caddis
Stoneflies Afternoon 10-12 Black Stone, Golden Stone
July Terrestrials Midday 12-16 Foam Hoppers, Beetle Patterns
August Terrestrials Midday 12-16 Ant Patterns, Foam Hoppers
September Terrestrials Midday 12-16 Ant Patterns, Foam Hoppers
October Terrestrials Midday 12-16 Ant Patterns, Beetle Patterns
November No notable hatch N/A N/A N/A
December No notable hatch N/A N/A N/A

While we strive to ensure the precision of our hatch charts, some reflect broader river region insights. Through ongoing partnerships with local guides and fly shops, we’re committed to refining our data. Should you notice any inconsistencies or have feedback, we welcome you to reach out. 

Best Fishing Spots

The John Day River – Service Creek is a favorite spot among fishing enthusiasts. Its pristine, clear waters and abundant fish population make it an ideal location for a rewarding fly fishing session.

  • Service Creek Campground: With easy access to the river, it is an exceptional spot for fly fishing.
  • Kimberly to Spray Section: Known for its high fish density, it is an excellent spot for beginners.
  • Clarno to Cottonwood Bridge: This stretch has a variety of fish species, making it a thrilling place for experienced anglers.
  • Lower John Day River: A relatively undisturbed area, it’s great for those seeking a quiet fishing session.
  • Painted Hills stretch: It offers breathtaking views, adding to the overall fishing experience.

Remember, the river is catch and release, maintain respect and care for its ecosystem to enjoy fly fishing for generations to come.

Best Access Points

The John Day River – Service Creek is a great destination for fly fishing enthusiasts. Here are some of the best access points:

  • Service Creek Stage Stop: This is the most popular starting point for fly fishing. It offers easy access to the river and also provides additional services like food and lodging.
  • Twickenham Bridge: Another excellent access point with plenty of places for fly fishermen to explore.
  • Cottonwood Bridge: This access point is near the mouth of the river, making it a good spot for catching a variety of fish species.
  • Clarno Bridge: This location does not have a developed boat launch, but it’s perfect for those who prefer less crowded areas for fly fishing.

These sites offer opportunities to catch species like steelhead, smallmouth bass, and mountain whitefish in a beautiful landscape’s background.

Local Fish

  • Chinook Salmon: One of the most popular game fish targeted by fly anglers. Known for their strength and size.
  • Smallmouth Bass: One of the most abundant fish species in the John Day River, suitable for fly fishing due to their aggressive feeding habits.
  • Steelhead Trout: The John Day River is renowned for its winter run of wild and hatchery Steelhead Trout, making it a popular option for fly fishing.
  • Bull Trout: Although not as common as other fish species, the Bull Trout’s high weight and length make it a thrilling catch.
  • Rainbow Trout: Due to certain areas of the river being stocked by the local fish and wildlife department, Rainbow Trout are an accessible option for fly fishers.
  • Large Mouth Bass: These are pursued by fly fishers for the huge sizes they can reach and their aggressive behavior when hooked.
  • Bluegill: Bluegill are a smaller fish that’s very popular among fly fishers due to their prevalence and willingness to take a fly.
  • White Sturgeon: Sturgeons are a unique and challenging species for fly fishing because of their size and the fight they offer.

About The River

Discover the wonders of the John Day River – Service Creek, a cherished resource known for both recreation and natural beauty. The John Day is the third-longest undammed river in the U.S., offering a haven for a wide variety of fish, including steelhead and Chinook salmon.

Its history is deeply intertwined with the Native American tribes who once thrived there, particularly, the Nez Perce Tribe. This tribe occupied lands around the river for thousands of years and their impact on the area is still tangible today.

The river’s name derives from a fur trapper named John Day who was part of the Astor Expedition. While he never actually saw the river himself, a landmark near the river was named for him and subsequently the river inherited this name.

  • Abundant wildlife.
  • Well-preserved fossils.
  • Rich cultural heritage.

Spend a memorable day floating on Service Creek or engage in its vibrant fly fishing scene. Regardless of how you choose to explore this jewel, you’ll have an unforgettable experience!


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