Jul 8, 2015

Deschutes River Streamer Fishing


A few weeks ago I had a chance to hop in my buddy Tom Larimer’s jet boat and shoot up the Deschutes for a day of trout fishing with Tom. Most of all hopefully a day of swing streamers to Deschutes Redsides with little Winston Micro Speys! Yes there were still a few stones around meaning you could still catch a few trout on stone dries, but for me swinging a streamer on a little two handed rod and getting drilled when an 18 inch Redside hammers the streamer is much better.


We blasted up river to the first little riffle that had been producing fish for Tom. I was rigged with a 11’ 4 weight Winston Micro Spey, 330 grain (4.5 wt.) Airflo Streamer Switch, 10’ of T-8, 3’ of 1x tippet all loaded on my Abel Switch reel. For a fly Tom had me tie on one of his olive colored creations, similar to a size 8 Sculpzilla. I was ready, “Tom where do you want me”. Tom said “go to the top where the riffle is faster, but starts to drop off”.

Got a couple of fish on dries
I made it to the top of the riffle, pulled some line off my reel made a short cast throwing a belly in my line downstream, bouncing my rod tip with one foot quick jabs, finished the swing and pulled 3 more feet of line off my reel and repeated one more time. Bam I was freight trained, lost it the steelhead angler in me forgot to set the hook. Trout bite and let go quickly requiring you to set the hook quick. In two more cast I was hit again. This time I did everything right and landed a typical 14 inch Deschutes redside. I held it up for Tom to see and slipped it back into the water.

I continued down the run hooking several more fish, landing a few. Then it happened, I was working my fly across the run when my rod was about yanked out of my hand. I set the hook and the trout quickly boiled, this was a honest 18 to 20 incher, a Deschutes football. It started to peal line off the reel and then was off. That was a rush, that is why I like to fish streamers on Micro Speys.

Walked down and met Tom at the boat, we loaded up and heading to the next run. That is the way most of the day went, stop at a run get several hard takes, land a few nice Redsides and move on to the next run. It was a great day of fishing, if you are not swing streamers on mini two handers, you need to try it. Why do I like it so much? How much time do you have?

First of all I have hit that point in my life that my shoulders do not stand up to a day of single hand casting for very long. My trips to Montana where most of the fishing is all done from the boat with single handers really wears on my shoulders and about kills me, fun, but I pay for it. Just like fishing two handers for steelhead, mini two handers for trout are very easy on your should. I can fish all day and not have to come home in pain.

Why do enjoy it so much, if you are a two handed steelhead angler you will get this. Standing shin deep in a riffle casting a mini two hander is a dream, anglers love the casting, it is relaxing. Amazing the cast you can make with these rods. Once again just something you won’t understand until you do it.

Next standing with your feet firmly planted on the river bottom swinging a streamer you will get violent strikes that you just don’t feel when you are floating down a river, casting to the shore and retrieving. Tight line downstream takes on a streamer is like no other. Not that trout are not hitting a streamer as hard when you are casting from a boat, they are. It is just you do not get to feel it as much.

Is a streamer fishing on a mini two hander more effective? Sometimes, but most of the time not. Why do it then? Because it is a blast!!!





Travis Duddles
Owner and CEO | Gorge Fly Shop
541.386.6977






"Fly Fish the World with Us"


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