Thursday, June 2, 2011

Deschutes River Fly Fishing Report - May 28th through May 31st

Golden Stoneflies
The stonefly hatch was full throttle from the get go at Trout Creek boat landing, and you can see the salmonflies and golden stones thick in the bushes. The boat launch was not too bad considering it was Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. There were very few people and  most of them were just running the river and rafting down. It was looking good for fishing and the weather was steady enough to not be thinking we were going to get rained off the river.

It turns out that the weather went sour on Saturday for most of the day, but it really enticed the flies to hatch out hard. There were green drakes coming off with fish explosively detonating on them. Pale Morning Duns were hatching and between the swallows and the trout; it is amazing that any of them make it to have another generation. The stoneflies were not too active, but the shear numbers created an ample food source in the fish's feeding lies due to the wind and rain. Fishing was simply awesome out there, and there were fish rising everywhere, and it seemed like you could catch rainbows everywhere you threw your fly. Fishing was on Chubby Norms, even though there were all sorts of flies hatching, it did not matter, and a dead drifted surface stone was all you needed. They were greedy and 3X tippet made it easy to wrench them in fast; only to cast out and yard in another one. At days end, the high pressure overpowered the low pressure system that sulked into the canyon. The sun was out and it was cozy and warm enough to try and goof off from the bank at camp without waders to take a few more fish on the surface.

Nikki on tight with the best rainbow of the trip.
Sunday was a nicer day from the start weather-wise. The fishing was alright off the bat, but not quite as fast and furious as Saturday's fishing. After a little while, some cloud cover rolled in and the winds came also, and I assumed there was going to be that same mayfly hatch from the day before. It never got going though, and the wind never seemed to get the stoneflies falling into the drink in significant numbers either. The sun and clouds battled, but the sun never radiated enough to warm up the stoneflies to stimulate them to fly around and create the scenarios where they start egg laying. Fishing was darn good by day's end, but it was all blind fishing more or less, with a few spots being the exception. We caught plenty of nice trout, and they were all on the surface using Chernobyl Chubby Norm and Clark's Stones.

One of the many rainbows that fell to the surface stonefly presentation
Monday ended up being a really awesome day for fishing again, and many spots offered several fish at a rapid pace before having to make several casts without any attention given to the dry fly. Fish were ready to see a drifted surface stonefly, and when you offered it; they were ready to explode on it. We fished casually taking turns from spot to spot, and some of the spots would yield from 3-7 fish; while other spots offered from 1-3 fish, and once in a while you would be surprised to not have anything look up at your fly. We assumed those spots may have been fished already; since they looked so nice and had to have fish in them. Once again, we fished the same Chubby Norm dry fly that was on for the first two days. At camp we dinked around once in a while from the beach without waders when a really nice rise would occur. We had another fine day of Deschutes trout fishing!

Fish on! - Deschutes River
Tuesday was the final day of our trip, and it was a nice day after a crazy downpour hammered on our tent while we were trying to get sleep. Also we were freaked out;  after having to remove way too many ticks to count from my dog and us. Luckily they were trying to get embedded into us, and none had succeeded. A few latched onto Filbert (the dog), but they were so superficial; to the point where you could just pull on them and they would pluck off. Nasty!! Ticks on the lower Deschutes are really bad right now! Be aware of the fact that certain areas have ticks really thick right now. As we got lower down, it seemed like there were more of them. 

Plenty of wildflowers around....
The fishing on Tuesday was the slowest day, but we still caught a fair number of fish. We also fished with the least effort after being so satisfied already from the first three days out there. Fishing was still good on the surface, but you can tell that the hatch is waning down there towards Maupin. There are still literally a lot of stoneflies around the Maupin area, but compared to higher up; you get the impression that the hatch is past peak down there. The fish will still be all over the large dry flies for a few more weeks, but there were barely any salmonflies down in Maupin and the Golden Stones were not even so thick compared to higher up river. Most other anglers we saw were nymphing, and I was not too interested in that method, after catching lots of trout on dry flies for three days. We managed to still catch a good number of fish on Chubby Norms, and after a while we decided to call it a day and wrap everything up to head back to Portland again. 

Gorgeous views all over along the Deschutes canyon.....
As usual, it was a great time over on the Deschutes. The river was very low in the fishing pressure category, and I am pretty sure that the wild and scenic section has very little permits sold for this coming weekend too. It is awesome out there; so get yourself out before this wonderful fishing opportunity ends. If you have not fished the Deschutes during the stonefly hatch, then you need to experience it. 

Chubby Norm pinned in the grill.....
Also, if you are interested in a Deschutes multi-day guided trip, then call or email me so I can set you up with one of the Deschutes BLM Permitted Outfitters. I do not hold a BLM permit, but I can set you up with one of the finest outfitters on the Deschutes. He is pretty much booked up, but there are still a few slots possibly open for the next several weeks.

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