Sunday, December 04, 2011

The Deschutes

If you haven't fished the Deschutes, you need to put it on your list.  It is hard to explain, but there is just something about winding down into the canyon to hunt for those hard fighting redsides.  It is a special river, and fishing it on the immediate heels of the Crooked added some flavor.  The two rivers couldn't be more different.  The Crooked is small, with grayish tinged waters and an intimate feel.  I spent the late afternoon on the crooked swinging soft hackles and could cover the entire river with ease.  The Deschutes is big...a brawler with huge heavy currents and deep ledges and pockets.  Near Mecca the river has a different character but around Maupin (where we fished today) the D is a brute.  
I beat Coleman, Chris, and Scott to the water this morning and was standing knee deep in a riffle fighting redside when Coleman showed up to say hello.  I hooked the fish in my third cast.  The rest of the day wasn't quite as easy, but for a December day things were beautiful.  I worked the pockets with a size 14 pink squirrel and size 18 pheasant tail, and the fish came at semi regular intervals.  I landed maybe a dozen trout and four whitefish, with the big key being to take the time to regulate my weight.  The D is awash in ledges and pockets and you need to be on your toes and keep adding or taking lead off your rig to keep the nymphs in the strike zone.  When I got things right, I was usually rewarded with some strikes.  

No one caught anything huge today, probably topping out at around 15 inches but even the little guys like the one above leap and fight like no other trout.  That is the only fish picture I took, my camera was out of battery all day and taking pictures of fish with an IPhone is a nightmare.
Two more items about today. First, I fished my Echo 2 six weight and that is quite simply one of the best rods I own.  Just a fantastic rod.  Second, hard to explain how great it was to be walking the tracks of the Deschutes with Scott, Chris and Coleman.  Time certainly flies by and we have all watched each other's families grow and prosper.  I enjoyed the conversations on the tracks as much as the fishing.  What better place to catch up with friends than on a river?


christopher said...

John, I couldn't agree more. The older we get, the faster time flies, and the easier it is to get caught up in "life". Next thing you know it's been months or a year since last we fished with our friends. It's insidious, and something that requires careful attention to mitigate. Thanks for sharing yesterday.

Brian J. said...

looks sweet-- I've gotta try out an echo sometime soon. I decided to go go with a coastal stream and took a skunking if you don't count one LDR-- think I'd take a dozen trout over that most days of the week...