This day we pulled out of Milton-Freewater about 5:40 a.m., on our way to the Deschutes River for a day of steelhead fishing. Tom and Bob were doing the driving, while Ginny, Mike, Doug and Dale were along for the ride - that felt good. Thanks guys for pulling chauffeur duty. Having made one short stop in Biggs to fuel up and offload some coffee, we arrived at the river's west side parking lot about 8:30. Weather along the way offered a small shower here and there, but no rain to be concerned about. After gearing up for the day we hiked down to the cable crossing, Dale pointed out some of the particulars of the the river (the need for studded wading boots and a wading staff) beginning at Moody Rapids' cable crossing.
Real Time river flow at Moody Rapids--> http://waterdata.usgs.gov/or/nwis/uv/?site_no=14103000&PARAmeter_cd=00065,00060
Best fly fishing flow is between 4500-5800 cfs, if wading out chest deep. The flow this day was about 5550 cfs, very comfortable wading.From the Moody Rapids area everyone headed upriver to test the waters, their footing, fish for steelhead, and whatever. Having fished up through the Rock Garden, Tom did hook into a sucker and land it out on the basalt flats. Catching was slow this day.This writer wasn't there to witness, but heard that Doug did practice some dancing on the rocks and found out what the next step can hold for anyone fishing the Deschutes... understand he took on some water.
Deschutes River = The Chutes River= scoured basalt river bottom.
While at the basalt flats below Rattlesnake Rapids, we had a fishing pro watching our activities from the grassy river bank. This guy gave us no directions of help or guidance... he was fishing on his own, and catching.
Most of us took a lunch / snack break after fishing the flats except for Mike and he just kept fishing and fishing...Ginny and Bob found a soft pillow of grass along the river bank to ease back onto and have lunch.
It was about 12:30 when everyone was ready to head back downriver to fish out towards the parking lot. This morning we had had several showers pass our way, and most of the day was filled with sunbreaks, and warm temperatures. The Deschutes was slightly off colored as being knee deep in the river one could barely see the bottom of the river. Working downriver everyone stopped along the way at different river access points, and Dale pointed out some spots where he previously had taken a steelhead out for dinner.
After fishing the Outhouse Hole, most of us were getting tired of the round trip 5-mile hike upriver, and standing in the river current for most of the day, not to mention the 4:30 a.m. wake up call.
So as everyone headed back to the rigs for the return trip home, Dale and Mike did stop and fish the Cable Hole downriver to the brink of Moody Rapids. The Deschutes River Cable Hole was the spot that Dale caught his first steelhead in hand.
So all in all it was a great day to have been fishing on the Deschutes River, OR. All-in-All it was not a good day for catching steelhead. Actually it was a no show day for steelhead fly fishing, which reminds one why they call this sport "fishing" not "catching".
A great day to be on the river.
Tight lines and good fishing.