A long overdue fishing update from Maupin and the Lower Deschutes!
We have been on the river in case you were wondering! Little time for the blog and facebook so please accept my apologies and thank you for being patient.
September was spent doing three and four day float trips from Mack's Canyon to the mouth. Fishing was awesome, but the weather kept interfering. Each trip was accompanied by a bad ass lightning storm and isolated downpours. One storm in particular had my hair standing up, watching lightning strike the canyon wall across the river from us. It is counterintuitive to hunker down with no shelter but that is the safest bet during bad lightning. For at least 30 minutes it rained harder than I have ever experienced, even in New Zealand! Nick thought he forgot his rain jacket and his waders literally filled up with water. The best part was he had the jacket under his seat the whole time. The lower river blew out a few times in September, only once for more than a few days. But when the river was in shape fishing was solid. The best fishing was probably during our Tight Lines (NJ fly shop) trip. Coincidentally most guys on that trip fished skaters most of the time with awesome results. Dave Hess stepped into a run, saw a nose come up just twenty feet or so away, made a cast with a PDF bomber (bomber with foam instead of calf tail) and the same nose came up and ripped the fly off Dave's tippet. The next four casts produced two more fish, the third one a ten plus pound wild hen. Does it get any better?! Here is a link to some photos from this trip, mostly taken by Ken Packie.
This month I have guided a few multi day trips from Trout Creek to Maupin (one was supposed to be lower river but it blew out, the other was a steelhead/trout combo trip) as well as a few days from Warm Springs to Trout Creek (folks staying in Sunriver). I usually fish the lower river during steelhead season but I have been stoked to see a good number of steelhead in the upper river this year. Most of my days this month have been from Pine Tree to Mack's Canyon. This stretch has been fishing well, although there are a ton of Chinook in that area. I love that part of the river this time of year because you can fish floating lines all day by fishing the right spots at the right time and using good sun angles to your advantage.
I have heard a few thoughts on the fish this season being smaller than normal. I have seen some small steelhead (for northern Oregon standards) but I have also seen way more fish over ten pounds than usual. I think that because there are so many wild fish this year there is a lot more genetic diversity and less cookie cutter fish. Exciting to see!
Overall fishing this season has been consistently good, one of the better seasons I have seen. Here are a few recent photos...
Thanks for reading,