Deschutes River Steelhead Report
From mid September through October, Oregon's Lower Deschutes River is a great place to be. Steelhead can be found in good numbers from Warm Springs to the Columbia. Big redside are often rising to caddis in backeddies. Chukar are cackling from the hillside, taunting us prior to opening day.
There's always that first morning on a camp trip from Trout Creek to Maupin, when I realize I am still packing clothes for summer weather. Clutching a hot cup of coffee, huddling around the Camp Chef for warmth, I wonder, "where's my beanie and wool jacket?" Fall is here!
Steelhead Report: Fishing has been tough... surprisingly so for anglers spoiled by last year's already legendary fall fishing. We have had only one fishless day since my last post, most days producing one or two steelhead. The river level had finally stabilized until today. Irrigation season has ended and the canals have been shut off. The flows bumped up a little overnight. The river was already a bit high, so it only spiked about 300 cfs. That is the good news. The bad news is the White River has put the lower river out of shape for over two weeks now, making the Deschutes marginally fishable below the confluence. Fishing pressure has been heavy on the upper river. That said we have had a decent week, averaging two hookups each day.
Trout have been showing themselves in backeddies, rising to most caddis patterns. A few of the trout seem to be highly educated, as you might expect after a long summer. Others seem oblivious to our intentions, providing a nice distraction from the unseasonably tough steelhead fishing. Swing a run, stop at an eddy for ten minutes, hit the next steelhead run. The dry fly fishing (trout) should hold with the fair weather.
Yesterday Jerry Hayes closed the day with two great looking steelhead. Both fish were taken on sink tips and intruder style flies, including Morejohn's Purple Bantam Intruder. Nice work Jerry!