on The Deschutes
Fire Report 07/28/02:
The lower access road has been re-opened.
As many of you may know, a fire started 07/26/02 across the road from White River on the lower Deschutes and for a period of time the road down stream from Maupin to Mack's Canyon was closed. The lighting caused fire grew to 24,000 acres, but has been contained. If you need to know more, contact BLM in Maupin: 541-395-2778. They are open 8am to 6pm.
Be sure to check our our ALL NEW Fishing Reports Section !!!
WHY STEELHEAD EAT FLIES (Come-Back Flies)
When fly fishing for summer steelhead on inland rivers such as the Deschutes, Klickatat, John Day, Imnaha or Clearwater, the most popular approach is with the floating line and a cast that brings the fly across the current under tension. Usually the fly is fished sunk, but only slightly. When everything works right the
fly rides inches inches below the surface and the fish rises from the bottom of the river and intercepts it. The steelhead takes the fly and turns back toward the bottom and hooks itself.
The angler lands the fish and feels smart and is proud of
Some of these players will not take no matter what you do. But most will eventually take the fly if you are patient and do not loose your cool.
are some tactics that have hooked and landed many of these exciting
and difficult fish.
keep and eye on where your fly is.
There are days when steelhead don't make very much disturbance
when they approach your fly. If
you don't see them, you may not cast to them a second time.
If a steelhead boils or plucks your fly, recast the exact same
amount of line with the same fly and repeat the presentation that rose
the fish. If the fish
doesn't take on this second cast, wade at least ten full steps
upstream and fish down to the fish again one step at a time.
This will usually pump the fish up enough to take on the second
the second pass doesn't result in a solid hook-up.
Changing the fly is the next best option.
There are many choices that have worked, but the most
consistent approach is to go smaller and darker.
Some steelhead have only enough aggression to attack very small
somber flies. For this
reason I always carry two dull colored patterns that have bailed me
out in difficult water conditions and often succeed with difficult
fish. They are my
favorite "come-back" flies.
These two flies are the Doc Spratley and my Prism.
These are dressed sparse on size #6 hooks.
No flashabou or other flashy material is added except for a
fine rib and tag. They
are part of the "must have" Deschutes fly set. The
largest steelhead I ever hooked on the Deschutes River came to a #6 light wire Prism on an
August trip with Murlin Gregg in '79. "God, it was hot;
blistering bake-oven hot...clear, low, warm water, dog
day of mid-August. No fish came to the fly for 9 hours of wadin'
& slingin'. My hard as a rock, bar room brawlin' buddy
Murlin finally caved in from the heat; stretched out on a soft sloping
patch of short grass river bank and pulled his cowboy hat over his
eyes,... and left me with the hard work of castin' and wadin' in the worst
patch of fast flowing riffle. In it were scattered pockets of white water
between big angular boulders. Working slowly down stream, it
became apparent the the spaces between the boulders were pockets of
water much calmer than they first appeared to be. Then I came to
an area where a perfect pocket of slick water formed in a triangle of
very large submerged boulders.
Deschutes Steelhead Fly Set
|DESTFLST||Must Have Deschutes Steelhead Fly Set||$34.95|
| It was authoritative and very,
The fish looked unbelievably large as it left
the pocket at high speed and bolted into the near-by rapid, ripping 50
yards of backing from the reel with a shriek. The sound of my Hardy
reel brought Murlin out from under the coy boy hat and onto his
feet. Down the river I went with the fish in tow. Soon I
was wading in waist deep white water and had to scramble to shore through
a mine-field of very large cobble. Murlin ran a hundred yards down
the beach while followed the fish while wading in knee deep water.
We both caught up with the fish when it simply stopped in a slick
mid way down through the rapid. Suddenly I found myself only 30 feet
from the fish as it holed up in ten foot deep water only 20 feet from the
bank. My next move was down stream at a 45 degree angle so I would
have maximum leverage. I lifted the 8 weight rod to the near
breaking strength of the 10 pound Maxima leader. At first I thought
that the fish had wrapped my line around some underwater obstruction.
Slowly the steady pull moved the giant fish inch by inch for ten feet
toward me. Then with several oscillations of its tail, the fish went
back to its deep water lair. I moved the fish several times this way
in the next forty minutes. Finally, I "over-did" the
pressure and the fine wire
hook and the flesh parted. The fish went free, escaping the
indignity of being filmed. It lives on, only in the memory of the
two men who were witness to the event. |
On another day in October of approximately the same time period, Rod Robinson showed me how to catch steelhead with a Doc Spratley by pumping it through the riffles. But, that's another story. That day was magic.
Thanks for the show Rod, wherever you are.
Thomas & Thomas Spey Rods
Two hot new models at The Fly Fishing Shop
Our good friend, Simon Gawsworth from Rio Line Products is one of the most respected two-hand fly rod casters in the USA. He uses Thomas & Thomas Rods for his demonstrations and casting classes. With their elegant cosmetics and fast powerful actions, it's no wonder that Thomas and Thomas Rods have created their own fan club. These rods are designed to help you facilitate all of the new circle and snake roll casts as well as more traditional spey and over-head casts. Here are the two most popular models for both summer and winter steelhead fishing:
Model DH1307-3 is designed to cast best with WindCutter 6/7/8, MidSpey 6/7 or XLT 6/7.
Model DH1409-3 is designed to cast best with WindCutter 8/9/10, MidSpey 8/9 or XLT 8/9.
|Thomas & Thomas Rods|
Do your Christmas Shopping in July!
Vests, Fly Fishing Vests
The 39.95 Fishing Vest
|V3995-M||The 3995 Fishing Vest||Medium||$17.95||
|V3995-L||The 3995 Fishing Vest||Large||$17.95||
|If you would like to read past "Insiders", click Archives|
|Your commentary is always welcome. Drop us a line: mailto:email@example.com|
Fishing Shop, Welches, OR
Fish long & prosper,
Mark Bachmann & Patty Barnes