On Sunday October 17th, several CONC members went in search of fall colors along the Metolius River. The group, led by CONC president Jerry Sebestyen, began at the Wizard Falls state fish hatchery (still closed because of Covid) and hiked roughly three miles upstream to the confluence of Canyon Creek and the Metolius, and then back to their starting point.
This segment of the Metolius offers an easy out and back hike that can be reached by driving through Sisters on Highway 20, turning off at the Camp Sherman exit, and then following the signs along the Metolius River to the hatchery.
The group had a slightly overcast day with pleasant temperatures of about 55 degrees and with little or no wind. Another plus was that despite the nice fall weather, the trail was only was only moderately busy with Sunday visitors. Jerry noted, “We saw not only hikers but many with fly rods trying their luck.” According to the Deschutes Land Trust, the Metolius “supports a diverse fishery of native rainbow trout, bull trout, brown trout, brook trout, white fish and kokanee salmon,” and is “one of the finest and most challenging dry fly-fishing waters in the West.”
The Metolius, designated as a National Wild and Scenic River, is an amazing sight with its spectacular blue water and the uniqueness of the springs that initiate and feed the river. Right now, bright reds and golds stand out from the aspen, tamarack (western larch), and other hardwoods that line the river.