View Full Version : Deschutes Report
08-22-06, 03:46 PM
The Deshutes has been very good to me this past week. It is only about 15 miles from here, so I can leave work at 6:00, and be in a good run by 6:50. I have managed to fish it the last 6 days in a row, and have hooked 6 fish.
Wed nite I hooked 2, 1 broke me off, and the other was a 12 lb wild fish that made a 120 yard run downstream before I could stop it.
Thurs I took my buddy John, and he caught this hatchery fish on his 4th cast. You can see where it got tangled in some Indian fishing nets and got away. This is the first hatchery fish that John has ever released, ol' fishmonger is rubbing off on him!
Friday nite no steelies, but did get a smallie.
Sat morning I hiked up another mile, and got this wild fish.
Sunday morning I hiked up another mile past my Sat spot and got 2 more natives.
I went back in the evening with John, and he caught one. We talked to the State creel checker (they keep track of fish caught), and only 8 fish were caught for the day, 3 being natives. So, I'm making a pretty good showing here for an out-of-towner.
Went last nite, hooked one but it came unbuttoned. No worries though, there is always tonite!
08-22-06, 04:15 PM
Oooooooooh Weeee that looks like fun!
Glad you are figuring them out!
Thats some awesome pretty water.
08-22-06, 04:47 PM
May your fishing luck only get better, and may your camera batteries last longer than that blasted pink bunny! :cheers:
Man.....Those are sweet!!!
In the words of another missing member who moved out west... You suck..:)
08-23-06, 08:09 AM
Mighty nice fish. You're making me homesick. Just think, the prime time on the Dechutes is just now getting underway. My best times on the river were in mid Sept. By the way, keep all those hatchery fish. Don't want them mixing up the gene pool. They taste mighty good too. Try the John Day in late Sept thru mid Oct. Great river to break out the long rod on. The folks at the Welches fly shop fish it a lot and can give you some good info on the John Day.
08-23-06, 11:12 AM
Nice pics. I don't recognize the lure in the bottom pic. Is that a purple Panther Martin? :confused:
08-23-06, 04:25 PM
Gorgeous fish, FM!
08-23-06, 09:30 PM
Trey, These guys are REALLY fun, I think Steelhead are my new favorite fish. They make me wonder what a big sea-run Brown would be like.
Don, I have learned the battery lesson the hard way...
Dennis, I know I suck, you remind me constantly! I'm going on a drift trip on Sunday with a guide on the Klickitat River in Washington, there are Steelhead, Chinook, and a few Coho in the river right now. Now I really, really suck, huh :p
Skip, You are right about the folks at the Welches Fly Shop, that is exactly where I got my directions for good access to the John Day. I went there in December last year, but it was too late in a small run, adn was during a cold snap. It may be better this year, I sure hope so. I've caught steelies in 4 different rivers so far, I want to add a 5th!
hawgleg, That is a #3 purple Blue Fox. Purple is the color for the Deschutes right now, although the one that broke me off had a black body. Orange is the color for the Klickitat and the White Salmon, and gold for the Hood. I bet they would be good in GA too, in a smaller size.
Rusty, You wouldn't believe tha range of color that steelhead exhibit. They come in from the ocean chrome bright, black on top and silver on the sides, and slowly turn red as they spend more time in the water. The chrome fish are much better fighters and better eating, but the colored up fish are much more dramatic looking. I posted a pic of one last winter that was very bright red, it looked almost electric on the cheeks.
Thanks for the replies guys,
09-01-06, 03:34 PM
I lived in Portland for five years before I came out here and I know exactly where you took that picture on the D. Just up around that bend is where the money spot is for steelhead. I hooked a steelhead every time I went there two years ago. Needless to say I'm jealous. very very jealous. IMHO it doesn't get any better than steelies on the D. and you're right purple is the ticket on the Deschutes. Keep the freight train running.
09-15-06, 04:42 PM
I just joined the site, what a great place! I am an Atlanta translate living out here in the Portland area (am seriously considering moving back to Atlanta, though I would miss it out here).
Anyway, I know folks are usually hesitant to share fishing locations but I am looking to broaden my territory somewhat. I am fairly new to fly fishing (just a little over a year) and am not knowledgeable about locations to go (I know, I know… that’s half the battle, finding your own spots). I have fished the Deschutes twice this past month, both times in Maupin and would like to find some easier spots to fish (the fishing there is difficult with steep rock banks and no room to back cast). Of course there is never a guarantee of catching fish in any location (luck and skill go hand in hand). I've had a couple nice trout on (4 of them broke off, mainly due to my lack of skill I’m afraid), though I did catch a nice 13" redside (I’m a catch and release guy, but I had to keep this one due to a severely injured mouth… she wouldn’t have made it), but would love to hook into a steelie or some lunkers. So, if you can clue me in on some spots I’d be much appreciated.
Just to add to the site here, I am posting a picture of the spot I have been at lately. It is obviously incredibly gorgeous there in the high desert.
Thanks for sharing if you are able (a PM is welcome if you don't want to broadcast to everyone).
09-18-06, 01:04 PM
There are lots of good spots near Portland. Many are tough to fly fish due to the wooded banks. Some good West side (of the Cascades) spots are Big Creek and the Klaskanine River near Astoria (late Nov-Jan). The Nestucca River, Nehalem River, and Wilson River on the North coast (Dec-Mar). The Sandy River just East of Portland. October brings great fly fishing for Steelies on the John Day in Central Oregon. In NE Oregon the Grand Rhonde and the Wallowa rivers are good too. For trout one of my favorites is the Santiam above Detroit Lake on hwy 22. Good Steelhead fishing below Detriot Lake, but not much for flies, the current is too heavy to get a good drift.
09-18-06, 04:32 PM
Thank you for the locations. I'll try and check those out this fall/winter. I've been to the Sandy (not much success... but as my skills improve, hopefully so will hooking onto some fish there).
I went to the Deschutes (lower Deschutes, at the State Park near the mouth as it empties into the Columbia) yesterday and had limited (but still good) results. There were lure fisherman all around me who were having great success in getting Steelies (one guy standing pretty close had 2 Steelies in an hour just below where I was, and 2 earlier up above... 'taint fair!). I had my floating line and just couldn't get the flies down far enough to entice the big boys (even with split shot, I was just throwing crap out there...). I finally just said to heck with it and started fishing dries (EHC) and got a nice 10" ‘bow. A little later I could see fish rising to the hatch, and threw the dry just up stream from them, and nailed about 5 this way (around 10-13" each). What they were though , is what I guess are called, "Mountain White Fish". The fought okay (trout are much more active I have found than these fish), it was nice just to feel that weight and shaking of the rod and line.
Still, all in all, was a fine time. Even if all I had were those smallish fish and not the Steelies I was hoping for, I had a great time.
Moving forward, I think I need to switch out the sinking tip line I have on my other real for a real shooting head line (what I have is one of those black weighted lines you attached to the front to create your own sinking tip line... that this is a true "chuck and duck"... have a terrible time throwing that line!) and try my hand again (next week?).
I noticed before I flew down here to California today, that it started raining in Portland, so that should bring the fish up in droves.
Thanks for listening!
09-19-06, 12:16 PM
You are on the right track by fishing at the mouth of the D right now, there are lots of fish still coming into the river. I am waiting until next month to head to Maupin. I saw from your pic that you were at Hells Canyon, that water looks good but is virtually unfishable with a fly rod. Keep going up to the locked gate, park, and walk up stream, for better water and casting room. You should also go downstream from Maupin on the access road into Mack Canyon, that is truely an incredible place. Follow the access road downstream out of Maupin until it hits the state hwy at Shearer's Falls, get on the hwy for about 1/2 mile, then get back on the access road on the left to head into the canyon. Make sure that you have a good amount of gas (don't ask me how I know:yikes: ), it is a good 20 miles into the canyon until the road ends. Macks Canyon is already fishing pretty good, the river above Maupin will be slow for another month.
As far as a floating line, that is the preferred method, and the attraction, for Deschutes steelhead, until it gets colder. Switch to a sinking head later in November. That being said, yes, the spinning rod definately gets ALOT more action, which is why I have been using one alot. You can just cover alot more water more efficiently, and I think that the extra flash and vibration from a spinner or spoon alerts more fish to your offering.
Maybe we can hook up some time, let me know when you are headed up.
FM (Mark Keller)
09-20-06, 11:12 AM
Yes, that was Hell's Canyon (love the name... and love the scenery... very, "primal"). That's the reason I was asking about other spots on the D, trying to side cast upstream while perched on those rocks on the bank is almost impossible. No back casting... just rough, rough, rought. The fish hold right there by the rocks or the foam line about 5-10 feet off. The last time I went I didn't see any fish (and was lucky to catch that one).
I think I just walked up to the first bend after the locked gate, but as I said that was after a full day of fishing and climbing up and down those banks, and I just didn't have it in me to make a real effort.
The fly shop told be about fishing downstream from Maupin but warned me (not about the gas problems you had), but about all the punctured tires that were happening recently (sharp rocks, nothing nefarious). Hmm... now that I read your post again, I'm not sure I'm talking about the same spot. I will have to get my map out and check. Mack canyon sounds like a nice place (half the fun is looking around and seeing the sights... at least to me it is), I’ll definitely check it out.
I was throwing "purple" stuff at the steelies last weekend (didn't break out the egg patterns)... nothin'...
This weekend looks like it's going to be nice, so I'll head back to the mouth on Saturday. I’ll try again and use those eggs patterns too. Just in case, I’ll also bring by 5wt rod witht the sinking tip.
I'll let you know when I get down to Maupin (probably in October). I would love to hook up (no pun intended!) with you for a day of fishing.
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