Fishing on the Deschutes for steelhead this fall has been a mix of tough and tremendous. Fish counts at the Columbia river dams have been below expectations and that shows on our favorite runs. Few fish means that we have had to work for each one. Making each one count is imperative-when we do encounter our favorite anadramous quarry they have been on average big and amazing! Covering a lot of water has been the key-find the fish. Meanwhile Deschutes rainbows have proven resilient and are getting even more husky as we slip into fall.
When fishing is tough, how do we make each one count? Be ready! Have your drag set properly. Check for line wraps or loops of line on your reel; these
can spell disaster when a solid strike happens. Be prepared to let the fish grab the fly allowing a series of tugs before it all comes tight and the fish is on- don’t yank that fly out of it’s mouth! Check your fly- is your hook wrapped up in the leader? Did that last bad cast result in a wind knot? Check it! You don’t want to be unprepared when you do encounter that increadible amazing creature that will rip you up and leave you gasping if you are not ready!
Trout on the Deschutes seem to be faring well with a variety of caddis from micro-caddis to the big October caddis on the menu. Some days big hatches of Mahogany dun mayflies are thick. We have even seen a resurgence of craneflies!
Water above White River has been super clear and seemingly cold- it reminds me of the Metolius river. Honestly I can’t say I can remember the water being this clear and cold in late September. Perhaps the pending lawsuit against PGE dam operations has made some changes happen?
Best of luck on the water and remember to take the time to be ready!