Stonefly Nirvana

I have not had good luck with standing up in rivers lately. I am not sure if the felt on my boots is getting too thin, or there is just a lot of algae on the rocks, but I have taken a dive more times than not lately. This last Saturday on the Deschutes I got into the nice fish in the picture above. He took off down a heavy set of rapids and all I could do was chase him down the river. I was trying to be careful and before I knew it I was over my hat in water. I jumped back up as quick as I could and kept fighting the fish down the river. When I landed him the passing rafters let out a great cheer for me (only time I have ever thought it was fun to see rafters go by). I went back up to the spot I had fallen and found a 2 foot deep and 4 foot across hole in a rock that was shaped exactly like a bowl—and covered in moss to boot. I went to the bank, laid down, and threw my legs above my head and let all the water run out.

The fish are holding tight to the banks and they are still keying in on the Chubby Chernobyl or a Norm Woods Special. A few were found with a nice heavy Stonefly nymph but if there is any chance of large dry fly action on the Deschutes I have to go there.

There was one fish spot in particular that I was super excited to be able to get to. I bushwhacked my way down to the river (paranoid of rattlers in the grass from last week) and then walked up the river on the slick rocks for a good distance until I was thirty feet below the spot I wanted to be. A big rapid to my left, blackberries right up to the water for 100 feet in either direction and a large tree hanging out over the water. The trees branches were about two feet off the water and below the tree there was a large submerged rock. I was either going to loose a lot of flies to that tree or find a really nice fish below it looking straight up for the falling Golden Stonefly. I took a deep breath and got a good casting rhythm going and laid my fly a few feet up under the low hanging branches and just in front of the rock. SLAM! I was so excited to have found the fish that I ended up taking the awful photo below. But the fact that I was able to get my fly in that spot had me super psyched. Its fun when you can tell you are better then before.

I can’t believe I have barely seen anyone out this year for the stonefly hatch. I saw only a dozen or so fisherman all day (almost all on the other side of the river, and it’s a big river) and last weekend there were about the same amount.  I am glad to have the river to myself.


“The finest gift you can give to any fisherman is to put a good fish back, and who knows if the fish that you caught isn’t someone else’ s gift to you?” Lee Wulff

“My biggest worry is that my wife (when I am dead) will sell my fishing gear for what I said I paid for it” Koos Brandt

“Twice I had the feeling…of a sudden anticipation of catching a fish so strong that it amounts to certainty. I suppose it is partly the harmony of effective presentation when everything else is auspicious, so that a take seems in that moment to be the only feasible conclusion” J.R. Hartley

Chubby Saturday

I finally nailed the Stonefly hatch on the perfect day. I mean catching this on a big fat size 8 Chubby Chernobyl rocks:

So I hooked up with Alex early Saturday morning and we visited all the regular spots that we had found fish in before but only managed to find fingerlings. After a few hours of roaming around the river we headed to the car for a lunch break and we decided to head up to Dechutes Angler to try and figure out what we were doing wrong. After a pep talk from Amy and Travis we went back down to the river and hiked in to some of the water type that they were describing. The first place we found and “Fish on!” We found spot after spot and every one of them was good for at least one fish, some even put up half a dozen or more.

One spot in particular I caught a nice fish and Alex went right after and pulled another nice fish from the same hole. I went back over and tossed my line over the hole and this time Alex was shooting a little video for me:

This was the fish in the video:

The hole was good for almost a dozen fish with Alex and I switching off one after the other. One fish even exploded out of the water to try and take my fly before it even touched the water.

On Sunday we met up with White Fish Can’t Jump and hiked a less traveled part of the Dechutes. Not to long into the hike I got into that gorgeous fish at the top of this post and he fought like a monster. Zipping up to the shallow ledge and back into the deep pool he would rip line off and make my heart race at the sound and the feel of that power. Deschutes trout really know how to put up a fight. All three of us got into some really nice fish on Sunday and all of mine were on that same Chubby Chernobyl that I used both days. Here’s Alexs fish with the Chubby in the perfect spot:

If you want to tie a Chubby Chernobyl check out this link.

Oh, and careful in the tall grass. The Rattlesnake I almost stepped on was kind enough to hiss and rattle at me instead of biting me.

Lost Lake, arrgghhh

I have gone up to Lost Lake in Clatsop County for the last two weekends and seen several really large trout cruising the shore and all I can catch are little guys. This anchored my pontoon and waited for the large ones to come by and would cast out twenty feet in front of them , but nothing. I almost wish I couldn’t see the large fish then it wouldn’t make it so bad when I just catch the little ones. If anyone has any ideas of what I might throw in front of those large fish let me know. I would love to catch one.