Season of the White (River)

I'm sitting at the bar in our new house in Bend watching snow fly... winter seems to be firming its grip on Central Oregon and I am happy to be inside with my girls and a fire.  Reflecting back on the past five months of chasing steelhead on the Deschutes I learned some new things about this unique watershed.  Seeing new things after years of being on the water is humbling, but ultimately strengthens my understanding of the river.  It also reinforces the fact that the Deschutes is living breathing thing.  Fishing was spotty and difficult overall this summer and fall but we never went too far in between really good or at least solid fishing.  We caught plenty of beautiful fish this season, the only frustrating thing was fishing sink tips so much of the time in August and September, even during low light.  Gotta put food on the table though so T-8 it was.

I want to give a huge thank you to everyone who fished with us this year or seasons passed.  We're fortunate to have clients that we enjoy being with and can call friends.  You're good people.  Thank you.

Happy Thanksgiving,


2015 Deschutes Summer Steelhead Season Check In

Wow, I just looked at the last post I made in July... forget all about that noise I don't know what I was thinking.

This summer has been one to remember on the Lower Deschutes River.  Due to the extreme low snowpack in the Cascades the White River has been imposing its will against the Deschutes, discoloring the lower river and making for some tough hunting.  There were a lot of days where the river was colored but with 18 inches or so of visibility we still caught fish.  Under those conditions we did best with T-8 sink tips and unweighted flies with a decent sized silhouette.  There were a few shutout days but not many.  And then there were days when the river cleared up overnight, the crowds had cleared out, and the crazy good fishing I am always hoping for happened.  I believe this has been a healthy reality check for everyone.  With the dirty water there seems to have been a good escapement of fish into the upper river, as it has been fishing well for us early this year. 

Currently the river is in great shape regarding volume, color, and temperature and it's been a floating line show.  There are a ton of Chinook in the lower river right now so the steelheading is spotty but they are there.  We finished up our most recent trip with what I consider a solid tally of hookups and landed fish.

I have been trying hard to take lots of photos and not just of fish.  I compiled a small gallery of images from our 2015 summer steelhead season on the Deschutes, almost entirely camping trips on the lower river and a few on the upper.  Each morning on the water I get to watch the sun creep down the canyon walls and back up again each evening, so I included some shots of the dramatic lighting.  They do not do the real thing any justice!   Click the link at the bottom of this post to check it out.

Thanks for checking in and being patient while we plow through our busiest time of year!  We have another few months of steelheading on the Deschutes to look forward to.


The simple pleasure

I have to admit that I am very much a dry fly type of person, and all swing when it comes to steelhead... but I also can't deny the simple pleasure of indicator fishing for trout in a heavy riffle.  Maybe its the water rushing around your legs, or the unknown that lies beneath the broken surface.  It could be the rhythmic cast-mend-drift.  After crouching under trees, hiding behind grass, and straining our eyes to spot rising fish it is relaxing to just stand in a good riffle and cast away.

Our steelhead season starts the day after tomorrow and the river is currently running 62.4 degrees at the mouth.  Looking forward to wading the runs and watching the morning sun creep down the canyon walls towards the river.

Cool and wet,


July Trout Fishing on the Deschutes

Here are a few photos from the past few weeks of fishing the caddis hatch on the Lower Deschutes.  Hot weather, lots of bugs, and rising trout.  What more do you want?!

Salmonfly Aftermath

Spring is rolling into summer quickly on the Lower Deschutes River and we are feeling the HEAT in Maupin right now.  We are several weeks ahead of schedule on the bug program.  The salmonflies and golden stones have come and gone.  We caught our first trout on stones down stream from Maupin (but above Sherar's) at the end of April.  Our first trout on salmonflies from Warm Springs to Trout Creek came on May 3!  This year's hatch was good despite the usual atomic bomb of fishing pressure that goes off.

With the recent blast of heat the caddis have made their presence known to the trout.  Yellow Sallies have been on the menu as well.  We have been spending our guide days on all parts of the river from Warm Springs to the mouth, hunting for happy trout and the perfect hatch.  The relative slack in crowds combined with a huge biomass of food makes for a pleasant day of solitude and plenty of big fish sight casting opportunities.

For the next month we will be focused purely on trout fishing the Deschutes.  There are a few days open late in June and early July if you feel the itch to hunt trout with us (or is that poison ivy?!).  Life is good on the Deschutes... summer time and the living is easy!