Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Orvis Crew Gets Together to Pursue Some Chrome

Recently we had a cool "get together" with a bunch of guys who affiliate in one way or another with Orvis, and people came from all over the country. Adam McNamara, store manager at Orvis Portland decided months back it would be a wonderful idea to invite some people from Orvis to partake in a Pacific Steelhead Outing. He invited a bunch of guys from the company, and it evolved into a trip where people came from Vermont, Louisiana, California, Washington, and nearby Bend, Oregon. As the steelhead gods work, this winter had been magical for steelheading, and as luck would have it,  the conditions would change. When they all showed up for this trip it hadn't rained for weeks, and it was like spring out in northwestern Oregon from Valentine's day on. The crew showed up March 4th to fish March 5th through March 8th. We were planning on fishing regardless of how low the water was, and now matter how long it had been since it rained. It turns out we ended up having fair fishing, and the fish we got into were really nice. Below is a bunch of photos, and these are mainly my pictures from the guys I was out fishing with. There were more rivers and more fish that were experienced by everyone else involved with the trip, but here is what I snapped pictures of.....
Lucas Bissett, Orvis Endorsed Guide (Low Tide Charters) from Louisiana, never waded or attempted to cast with a Spey rod before this trip. He took his fishiness to the next level as he hooked in a wild little chromer on his wade out to the spot.
Lucas landing his first winter steelhead in the first spot I took him to.
Not bad for a Louisiana Redfish Guide fishing the first spot ever in Oregon for steelhead.....
Lucas admiring his catch before sending it off.....
Lucas is thinking "adios winter steelhead"!
Lucas hadn't seen a scene like this where he fishes at home......
Working a probable run for winter steelhead
Anticipating the tug.....
False alarm for the steelhead, but another fish Lucas hasn't seen in Louisiana.
Checking out an incidental catch of a coastal cutty.....
Gorgeous dots speckle the Coastal Cutthroat Trout
The underside of the gill has a faint cutty slash
Sweet winter steelhead water
Back to swinging for the target species - winter steelhead
Lucas only fished one handed rods on Louisiana, and now he knows how to spey cast too.
Working the run step by step.....
Lots and lots of agates littered around the gravel and cobbles....
A little hidden drop off deep in the downstream end of a run
A little different than getting from spot to spot in the redfish marshes.....
Lucas experienced everything from cobblestone runs to bedrock ledges to fish from.
Swinging through a likely bucket above a constricted set of rapids
The random here and there Salmonfly you see in March and April on the west side of Oregon rivers.
Lucas was able to have areal casts across the entire river. I was impressed by how fast he picked up enough two handed casting ability to be able to fish effectively on his first day out for winter steelhead. 
After Lucas fished through this tailout, a driftboat passed through and said they saw a nice fish holding in it. Too bad that fish didn't want to tussle with Lucas.

Another great cast.....
Right when Lucas and I decided to see how Tom Evenson was doing, a winter steelhead decided it was time to play.
Bombs away! This fish took the air too many times to count!
Tom getting the fish in closer.....
A few last charges for the fish before it yielded to Tom. Lucas, Tom, and I were so stoked at this moment!!
Tom tailing this fine winter steelhead
Wowsers!! What a fine snowbellied chromer! A nice winter steelhead specimen!
The Black & Blue wet fly couldn't be left alone by this sea lice ridden fine winter steelhead.
As good as it gets!
Lucas had to wade out there and see if any other fish were willing to play after Tom landed that amazing acrobatic fish. Especially after a drift boat went through and let us know they saw a couple more steelhead laying in the run.
Airing out another nice cast.

Sending a cast off to prepare for another swing across the run.
You can see the fly (anchor) pulling free from the water in this picture.
One last swing for the day before we called it quits and had to get back to meet up with the rest of the group.
Lucas and Tom reminiscing about the fun day we just experienced.
Charlie Robinton sending off a beautiful tight looped two handed cast.
Jacob Gorman swinging with a switch rod in the Pacific Northwest for the first time.
A little bank-side scenery
Charlie scrambling down the bank while hooked up with a fish.
Rob Tibbett tails Charlie's fish. Woo hoo! Success in the first spot on day two!
Rob passing off this fine fish for Charlie to Admire.
Chrome as a dime - Winter Steelhead
Charlie Robinton admiring this winter steelhead.
This chromer fell for the black and red "Nightmare" wet fly.
"Nightmare" wet fly pinned in the grill
Fish like this bring big smiles!
Charlie and Alex chilling and enjoying the sunshine
I saved this bumble bee from the river and let it dry and warm up on the safety of this rock.
Jacob working a likely winter steelhead holding spot
Jacob waiting for the line to tense up and feel that grab.....
Rob working a spot that had fish rolling in it; revealing their presence to us.
Sunny warm weather March is the opposite of the cold and snow Rob has been experiencing in Vermont before he showed up for this trip.
Rob sending a cast off to prepare for a swing across this probable tailout feature.
There is some serious bend in this rod! Prepare for liftoff!
Rob working the water cast by cast....
Rob fishes a sweet run near a major tributary of the river we had been fishing.
Alex Beene walks through the moss to get to another fishing spot.
Rob swinging through likely steelhead holding lies
Alex working a nice run
A highly probable tailout of the run before it spills over into the next pool down.....
Alex sending a cast off into a likely submerged boulder garden
Rob and Alex about to head downriver for more fishing, and I am heading back to the PDX metro area.