May 28, 2013

Leave the Nymph's at home

leave the nymph at home
Leave these at home
Word came that the Deschutes river Salmon fly hatch was going off pretty good and I happen to have a day I could delete from the calendar and make the voyage. Shamefully I must admit that I have lived within 2 hours of this trout mecca for 6 years and could not even find the time to experience this hatch I have heard so much about. I was excited to get there even though I have been running on low hours of sleep and would need to take time off work to make the trek but the adventure was right in front of me and couldn’t let the opportunity pass. I met up with some friends on a chilly desert canyon morning with my last cup of coffee in hand after sipping down two others on the 2 hour drive there. My friends had camped overnight and were just getting going when I pulled up.” What’s the hurry” Dave says jokingly, “Fish won’t start rising until 10:30am”, or so someone had informed him the day before. I find it funny that we humans can place God’s creatures on a time schedule.

So we geared up and drank up and headed beyond the locked gate just a few miles south of Maupin, Oregon. Two maybe three miles on foot further up river we hiked away from the easy vehicle pull outs. No one up this far on the river fishing this weekday morning, I suppose that may not be the case on the weekend. The only other fisherman I witnessed was the Ospreys.

Deschutes River Salmon Fly - In Action
We reached the destination and already rigged up with a Rubber Leg Norm Woods dry fly as instructed by my fishing friends, no time was wasted as they lead this rookie right to a sweet spot and gave a brief instruction of where to cast. Two casts later and the rise came. Fish on I yelled and just like that started off a day of absolute dry fly fishing joy.

Following a quick release of that first fish we then parted ways to continue on our way from spot to spot in a leapfrog fashion working our way back down the river.

I really start to have fun at this point! Just working on a better presentation with each cast and covering water from the river’s edge to a few feet out from it. The rod I chose to fish with this day was a Winston B3X 5 weight. I found my casting rhythm in this rod quite easily. It carries a large dry fly effortlessly into the distance and it is just as comfortable in close.

Deschutes Trout Snacks
The rises came all day as I worked my way down river. I hooked a few and missed twice as many while sometimes changing to a Clark Stone Fly and getting a comeback. I saw lots of refusals but just continued to cover water in search of the next rise. A Caddis hatch started off in the late morning and when the fish would not rise for the stonefly I switched to a caddis and found the attention I was looking for. While I didn’t land any fish with true bragging rights, I did hook one that surely would have qualified. After eating the Norm Woods, he quickly took to the current and had my line on reel in no time only moments later before I could get any control he managed to do a quick release on me!

Afternoon came and we found ourselves back at the truck. Ate a lunch and swapped some stories as we watched the birds going crazy over the caddis fly hatch. My fishing day ended as a one of those truly feel good days of fishing. Maybe it was the company of friends, the mass of Salmon flies hanging around, the eager rises of the Deschutes Redsides or maybe the simple enjoyment of fishing a dry fly. I’ll pass along my advice for the Salmon Fly hatch season on the famous Deschutes River, Leave the Nymphs at home!

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