I had the whole Deschutes to myself the other day. Worked my way up one side and ran back down to the car and went up the other side. One nice tug, but no steel to hand. I may have to go one more time for my birthday, but the gauges out on the coastal rivers are catching my eye.
While if Thehaddiscatch can do a post with his three week old baby I don’t know why I cant scrape one together. Lets see…
I have been out to the Deschutes a few times this season, but since my trip with Tom Larimer my belief in using a swung fly and a two-handed rod to land steelhead has really come full circle. I have tied up some awesome little tube flies that Alex and I used on a recent trip and we had some great hook ups all around. I even landed a Chinook (I am pretty sure that is what it is. If you know different please let me know in the comments).
I also got into a nice steelhead just off a deep ledge as I have really learned the joys of T16 with the skagit head.
Alex got into what he called “a monster” with the same fly, but after a violent head shake the fish took the fly off to his hole. No doubt that fish is collecting flies and listing them on ebay. Punk.
Since the wife had the kids I went down to a favorite area on the McKenzie and got into some dry fly trout action before the season wound down. There were BWO all over the place and the fish were gorging in typical fall fattenting up style. Several 14 to 18 inch wild fish were brought to hand.
I even managed to find one 16 inch hatchery guy and brought him home for dinner. Some chantrelles I grabbed on the way home, a delicious spring salad and my box wine and I was rocking a serious bachelor meal.
Can’t wait for the Deschutes to fall into shape so I can go bug some of those steelhead again. This weekend though is Lego’s and swimming with my family.
I have only been to the Metolius River a handful of times seeing that it’s a three hour drive from me, but every time I would get skunked. So after a recent trip with not a lot of action on the McKenzie I thought I would run over and put some miles hiking along the Metolius to try to spot some good water. Now bear in mind I have been to the Metolius several times and been skunked so I was elated when I told myself “ok, last cast” and I got this fish on:
Definitely not the largest fish, but I was so happy to catch anything that was not a fingerling on the river that I thought it a bit of a blessing and packed up and took a leisurely stole back out to the car. So fast forward to my dad and his fishing buddy coming out for the steelhead trip. Of course we were not going to hike up the Deschutes as we were going to spend three days up there (and I did not want to show them how to spey cast, leave that to the pro). They wanted to go somewhere beautiful and scenic to catch trout so the Metolius it was. We got some great advice on water type from the fly shop in Camp Sherman and headed out. Half way through the day I got into the beautiful fish below in some nice fast water. Again not the largest fish ever, but damn look at those colors.
(thanks for the photo CJ)
I am super excited to get back there and see what I can do with my new learned knowledge. I think I may have to take my 7 weight along to swing for some of those bull trout monsters too.
I have talked for so many years to my dad about coming out to Oregon to do a trip up the Deschutes that I was starting to think it would never happen. Low and behold though, from the 20 to 22 of August I got to go on a really fun camp trip up the Deschutes with my dad, his fishing buddy and my brother from Austin. I think all of them were a little blown away by the size of the river and the flow. We met up with our guide Tom Larimer at Heritage Landing and did the ever fun ride up the river. I will never get tired of shooting up rattlesnake rapids like that!
We got all our gear tossed in the tents and we went down to the river where my companions (who had never spey casted before) had a wonderful 45 minuet spey lesson.Tom had them out and casting line in no time. In fact my dads buddy was into a fish within hours of the lesson.
We had an awesome steak dinner and I had (at least) a few Ninkasi’s before stumbling off towards the tent. I got most of the way there and then looked up. I love being in remote places where I can see the arm of the milky way in the sky so the 30 second walk to the tent ended up taking 30 minuets or so. EARLY the next morning Tom made the rounds and as quickly as possible got food in out bellys and shuffled us into the boat.
I worked a great section near sunset bar and found an interested fish. After the first hit I went through three flies before the fish settled on one it liked and I got it to hand. It was a fun little 6 or 7 pond fish, but had my early morning juices going.
Now I just decided to set back and enjoy the blackberries and watch my dad fish across the river.
A little later in the day I was fishing near water tower hole and went through the run with three flies with no luck. Tom came to pick me up and asked how I did. In disbelief that I found nothing he pulled out an amazing fly and said “let’s try this” a few casts later I landed this gorgeous fish below.
It was a completely awesome experience to be up on the river for so many hours in a row and to be up so high on the river. I cant wait for everyone to come out and do it again.
I managed to get in one more great day on the Deschutes before this years stonelfy hatch is done. I hooked up with The Haddis Catch (thanks for the fun time!) and we busted a move to the river.
The big bugs were not really moving around as it was one of those crazy windy days on the river that can blow you over if your not ready for the burst of wind. It was great fun to see how another fisherman works the river. I need to remember sometimes that I need to just sit back and observe. It’s hard though when I only get out maybe once a week. I want my line in the river as much as possible and even my photos are showing a lack of observation.
I did however hook and loose the largest trout on the Deschutes that I have gotten into. In all fairness it was in a spot with giant standing waves and once the fish took the stonefly and bolted into the crazy fast water he probably just laughed at my 5x tippet. Of course I fished that spot for ten more minuets to see if he had a buddy there, and you can guarantee I will hit it up every time I go back now. I just may switch to 3x first.