Ziggin' and Zaggin'

You know its raining when that wet bag of a hood just has to come off your head... its worse than being soaked.  We are wading deep into winter steelhead season.  The rivers are high.  Steelhead are streaking comets.  We have been doing out best to soak our flies in the traveling lanes... you can barely call them holding lies.  Most of the time we are zigging and the fish are zagging.  You have to get lucky and zig when a fish zigs.  Can you dig it?

Picture perfect winter steelheading.

Picture perfect winter steelheading.

Sporty buck we crossed paths with... a miracle really.

Sporty buck we crossed paths with... a miracle really.

Eye of the rainforest.

Eye of the rainforest.

Pinch dat barb... easier to remove from your face that way.

Pinch dat barb... easier to remove from your face that way.

A 20 pound class fish that made someone very happy.

A 20 pound class fish that made someone very happy.

I can't get enough of this place.  Easy on the eyes.

I can't get enough of this place.  Easy on the eyes.

Life is short.  Do what makes you happy.

Life is short.  Do what makes you happy.

The Slick Jacket and a Nod to Simms Repair

A few years ago I picked up Simms slick jacket from my pals at Deschutes Angler in Maupin.  Designed with winter steelheading in mind I couldn't dream of a better shell.  The pockets dont get in the way when you cast or row, and there is more than enough room for flies, tip wallet, and leader... all a winter steelheader needs.

I torture my gear and after a few seasons one of the cuff's stitching came undone and the zipper got fouled up.  Bummer!  With winter season upon us I sent the jacket back to Simms.  Assuming it takes a few days to get to Bozeman and a few days to get back to Bend, I'm pretty sure my jacket was at the Simms repair center for a matter of hours.  When I blow through my waders I can't say I've ever sent a pair in for warranty... they take care of guides very well and I never had the heart to send my waders back.  Needless to say I am more than impressed with my first experience with Simms repair.

Chris

Prior to repair, the Simms Slick Jacket (to the left). Jason Hartwick photo

Prior to repair, the Simms Slick Jacket (to the left). Jason Hartwick photo

2016 Summer Steelhead Preview

With around 124% of snowpack on Mt Hood this winter I am guessing the White River won't be as problematic as it was during much of the 2015 season.  The White tends to blow out easily once most of the snow surrounding its upper reaches melts away.  Not only are we sitting on above average snowpack in the Cascades, but it is the kind of dense high water content snowpack that will hopefully last well into the summer.

There is still time to plan your 2016 summer steelhead float trip with us.  Late July through November is prime time.  Visit our Deschutes River Float Trips page for details.

Here is a shot of Victor Inouye during a four day float last August.

A beautiful steelhead caught during a camping float trip on the Deschutes River

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,

Chris