Deschutes: 9/7 Report [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Deschutes: 9/7 Report

09-09-2010, 07:34 PM
Hi, Gang,

Drifted the Deschutes from Pine Tree to Heritage Landing from Monday to Wednesday. Our big strategy was to put in just as everyone else was quitting the river at the end of the Labor Day weekend. Big Joke, as about a million other avid Steelheaders had the same idea. All the places I like to camp and fish were taken when we arrived in the area I was targeting (two sled guides with four clients each were also operating in the area),

We did find a nice place to camp, and, with a little walking and hustle, found some unoccupied drifts. The river was a bit high, but very clear and was host to a bunch of small, but evenly distributed Steelhead, mostly stream-origin Type A's, but some larger hatchery fish as well. We caught a few fish every day. Nothing larger than seven pounds. Because it was nice and overcast, and the wind was down, we had pretty much ideal conditions for dry line fishing during our stay.

On a trip two years ago, Juro left an October Caddis imitation stuck in the cross brace of my driftboat. This fly, with three stubby black wings, black hackle and burnt orange seal dubbing (?) was a consistent producer until my friend lost it and thus lost my type pattern. Rats! I searched the archive of Steelhead flies and couldn't find it. I need that recipe!

Good to back behind the oars again. I've missed that, although with an overloaded boat (four adults, mountains of gear, a warehouse of food, and a dog) it was a workout getting down to Heritage. My senility, I was relieved to note, has not progressed yet to the point where I've forgotten the routes through the rapids, although I did get a bit of an adrenaline rush coming into Rattlesnake.

One thing, though: I thought I could manage wading without stream cleats or equivalent. Big mistake. I checked out numerous Steelhead lies from the fish's point of view, soaked my fly boxes, battered my shins, and smashed my tailbone to a fare-thee-well. Thank God we had good Cruzon dark estate rum and lime ade (I know it's a violation to mention non-sponsors, but I have to give those little ol' rum makers in the BVI credit for an excellent pain killer, so there!) in good supply to kill the pain, otherwise no sleep at night. I know I have some stream cleats stashed around somewhere. Never going on that river again without them. Felts just don't hack it, for me at least.

The real October Caddises were not hatching out yet in any numbers. Nevertheless, our orange patterns: Max Canyon, Thunder and Lightning, Ackroyd Orange Butt, et sim. did well.

That's about it, I guess. Can't wait to get back.



09-09-2010, 08:23 PM
Thanks Eric, I guess it's time, eh.

09-09-2010, 09:28 PM
Eric -

I just sent you the wrong recipe for my riffler, where that sounds a wet caddis I whipped up on a whim and did well with otherwise it would not have been on the helm. I wish you had a pic; I don't really remember how it was tied :)

But the burnt orange seal is right on, I got that up in BC. I'm sure your experimentation will yield a reasonable facimile. Glad you had luck with it!

Can't wait to swing the Deschutes again!

09-09-2010, 10:29 PM
Nice Eric :smokin:

I hear it's been HOT and a bit cold on the D.

beleive me compared to what we have back East you have PLENTY of room on that

09-19-2010, 10:11 PM
It's been raining hard and rivers are up. Fish will be on the move up the Columbia to their home rivers.

09-21-2010, 10:22 PM
I'll be headed for the Snake River up river from Asotin, Wa. on October 30 for a week. Have to complete cross country season first. It gets cold and chance of snow at that time of year but fishing is still red hot as long as cold fronts don't move through but that can happen all fall. Crowds are down by then, sun is lower so fishing in afternoon is finally good for more than just an hour. Fishing is still on top, no need for sinktips and fish are still bright. There is plenty of room on the river and camping, drinking, eating and cigar smoking are the way to go. Big fires after fishing, listening to lots of good BS, coyote's yips and elk doing their thing.
Thinking some east coasters might want to come out if they can handle cold feet and hands.:devil:

10-12-2010, 11:13 AM
I may still be there when you arrive if its during working hours you may stop and park behind my rig LOL.

10-12-2010, 07:09 PM
Is this the culprit? We bought a bunch of these in Washington when we fished the Cowlitz on the way down to meet you.

10-13-2010, 12:55 AM
No, Dave, it isn't. But it looks like a winner. Thanks for posting. I want to tie up a few of these!



10-14-2010, 12:33 PM
Just returned from Kispiox, Bulkley,Suskwa, Copper etc over the past 2 weeks.
Many rivers blown out including the Dean w/ the worst flood in recorded history.
The Dean will be forever changed after this years event.
Most everyone agreed this season was the best in the last 10-15 yrs. Many
fish caught when conditions allowed, but my catch rate was hampered by
high water conditions. If you happened to be at the right river on the right day
magic did occur. My buddy Tom Starke, 82 yrs. old fishing w/another older gent
@ ZBoat lodge landed 17 steelies ALL on a dry fly(single handed rod) in 1 day on the Copper.
My personal best was a 18lb. hen from the Kispiox. Already dreaming about next years trip.

10-15-2010, 12:25 AM
Very interesting post, especially regarding the Dean. Haven't fished the river in over a decade, but seriously considering a visit next year. I wonder if perhaps only the braided channel portion of the river (from the Sukumtha (sp?) on down will be changed. Years ago, when we first went to the river, the area around Raccoon was changed to such a degree that a party who had successfully fished a stretch the year before spent their eight days fishing a dust bowl wondering where the fish had gone.

Was there a restriction on the lower Skeena net fishery that may be correlated with the high success rate this year? The stocks are so mixed in this system, that one good escapement year would not provide such an overall improvement in catches that you describe.

Hope springs eternal!



10-15-2010, 12:38 PM
The flooding on the Dean was so bad that at least one and possibly both of the
lower river lodges were washed completely away! In some areas a new main
channel was carved through the woods. Bella Coola airport was closed for 3 days
and some of the houses in town were under 11 ft. of water. All road access to
town was washed away and a state of emergency lasted for 3 days.
And yes, for the first time ever, all of the nets at the mouth of the Skeena were
bought out which was the main reason the entire drainage had such large steelhead returns.
If the rivers recover from the last high water event(last week) everyone is
talking about how fantastic the fishing will be thru mid Nov.
Better take your woolies w/you.

10-15-2010, 04:47 PM
Re: Dean and Bella Coola: OMG!

Thanks for the update.