Oct 23, 2012

Home Waters, Home Waters, Home Waters

No place like it

Wisdom frequently originates from unusual and unexpected sources. As an example, who would have thought there was knowledge to be gained from a young farm girl from the plains wearing bejeweled shoes who uttered, “There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home”. The older I become, the more I believe in the mantra. I’ve been fortunate enough to have traveled to a number of places in the pursuit of anything that swims and is willing to inhale feathers tied to hook. But each year, I wait in nervous anticipation – much like a little child waiting for Santa - for my annual Deschutes Steelhead Camp. Home waters are sometimes the most overlooked “Destination” fly fishing trips. Having the Deschutes less than an hour away from the Gorge Fly Shop is a luxury I shall never take for granted.

Spey Morning

Not too late for Monkey Dancin

Grip and Grins

My buddies and I have been doing this camp on the Deschutes River, usually in October, for 6 years and the camp has grown from 3 local buddies to the most recent clan of 12. Originally, Tom Larimer served as guide, camp host, cook, and dishwasher. In retrospect, we cheated him with our paltry tips considering how many jobs he held! Each year, the return rate and demand were so high that we’ve increased the numbers of anglers.

Nap Time

This year, thanks to the cooperation of Jeff Hickman, Fish the Swing Guide Service and Tom Larimer, Larimer Outfitters, we did an entire week for a few anglers and split the week up with the rest of the cast. A short jet boat ride from the mouth of the Deschutes takes you to accommodations, simple but very comfortable. The entire camp is already set up and all you need bring is sleeping bag, waders, and fishing gear. Two people share a stand up tent made for 4 with camp cots and a large dining tent serves 3 hot meals each day from the hands of the excellent camp chef and his assistant. I feel spoiled to roll out of my tent, have a hot breakfast sandwich with a cup of coffee and start swinging flies at first light! Midday, after a jet boat ride to fish several runs, we return to a hot meal, reminiscences of fishing stories recent and remote, a quick read, and perhaps a streamside nap. Afternoon, we return to the water to swing flies until dark, and then return for dinner made complete with a malted beverage or two. And though the fishing was slow compared to years past, everyone caught steelhead including two guys new to spey rods and swinging flies.

Seems we've both been through a lot!

Thanks to Jeff, and Tom, my buddies and I made countless new memories that will last a lifetime and we learned countless new tricks to improve our fishing and casting. No thanks to them, I’ll be trying to accommodate the increasing number of people that want to attend our backyard campout. My fishing schedule is already filling up for next year, but I can guarantee I’ll be anxiously awaiting my return to steelhead camp on the Deschutes.

For more information check out:

-Charlie Chambers

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