Cool July morning on the Lower Deschutes River. Prime time to swing floating lines for summer steelhead.
During the early part of the season fishing was awesome but we had a horrible hook up to landing ratio... July fish are so hot!
Bill Shaw cradling a mint hen on a late July morning. This was during the 2:00 pm closure that was in effect for about two weeks after most Oregon rivers became too low and warm to fish. The Lower Deschutes is historically more resistant to drought than other Oregon streams. There were more fish landed each morning than anglers seen. it blows my mind that some folks actually canceled because of the unusual restriction. The world belongs to those who show up!
Anglers enjoying a float between runs under the skillful oarsmanship of River Runner guide Nick Rowell.
Casey Betz putting his rod to work... and quite possibly blowing his anchor :)
Lynn Langland enjoying a classic Deschutes River moment. The Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad chugs by a few times a day and always makes me think what an undertaking those railroad projects must have been over 100 years ago. That's a lot of rail to drag in to the canyon!
Michael Gould relishing a chance encounter with a beast of a summer steelhead. Michael and his buddies never doubted the conditions or our strategy, showed up for their trip, and guess what? They NAILED it. This was immediately following some very tough conditions and horrible internet fishing reports. Forget the forecast people.
An immaculate buck taken in the best way possible. Not much to say other than congrats Kurt Huegin on your first skater fish! It takes guts to fish a skater especially when the fishing isn't red hot.
Kloan. A famous stretch of river with great water and an amazing toilet.
Diane Morrell with a truly appreciated fish caught during a spell of tough fishing. Hi rod in camp once again.
Jeff Alighieri has good taste... a beautiful muddler variation tied by Nick Rowell. A lot of the hair has been chewed off but they just keep getting fishier.
Victor Inouye tailing one of three fish he hooked in 20 minutes. They are where you find 'em! I believe this was Victor's most productive trip with us despite unfavorable river conditions.
Dramatic morning light and distinctive cliffs on the Deschutes River.
Spoiled for life!
Rattlesnake Canyon on the Lower Deschutes. Looks like something out of a Ridley Scott film.
Canyonglow... its kind of like alpenglow.
Face to face with one of the more badass fish we found so far, on the upper river in fact. The upper river is benefiting from a good escapement of fish this year, one of the silver linings of the White River situation this season.
Flavio tails a nice fish at a reliable afternoon stop.
Chris James and Perry Purcell soaking in for a few minutes on the upper river.
The rugged and majestic land and riverscape through Whitehorse Rapids never gets old. Some cataclysmic s*** happened here a bizzilion years ago that created this rapid. Evidence of the massive landslide is obvious as you drift through the Mutton Mountains.
One of the problems with floating the upper river for steelhead is the distraction of world class trout fishing. I encourage folks to be opportunistic when fishing the Trout Creek to Maupin run this time of year.
Another morning light show.
Dave Hess is the manager of Tight Lines Fly Fishing in Jew Jersey. He fished the Deschutes nine out of ten days this summer, raising the bar for steelhead bums. Dave also sets the bar for hosting groups on fishing trips.
How sick do you have to be to tie flies in the rain while floating between runs? About as sick as Dave Hess and Mike Bannon from Pennsylvania. A cure? Hasn't been discovered yet. An intervention? Maybe, but we hope not!
One of the impressive rock walls where the Lower Deschutes failed to carve through the tail end of the Mutton Mountains. This is a much older and harder rock than the basalt that typifies the Deschutes Canyon.
A dandy hen taken the first evening of the trip from an insanely cool piece of water.
The Max Canyon. A dressing developed by Doug Stewart that has stood the test of time. One of my all time favorite steelhead flies hands down.
Twilight, one of my favorite upper river steelhead runs. Guido Rahr named this run many years ago (grandfather of Guido who runs the Wild Salmon Center).
No, the canyon isn't on fire. Its just Kurt Huegin fishing a great run under a fiery sunrise.
Wading through steelheading history on the Lower Deschutes.
Steve Obrien... lucky or good? Maybe both. He is going to get skunked some day, just not today.
Mike Bannon and I stoked for the third fish from the third stop between he and his mate.
Dave Hess specializes in following people through the runs.
John Angelica landed his first few wild Pacific steelhead this summer in high style while fishing with Nick during a four day float trip from Mack's to the mouth.
View from camp on the lower river. Nothing but good water in sight.