The water on the other side of the river is always better, right? Any Deschutes River angler that has stood at South Junction has stolen a view of the river left bank, admiring just how fishy that water looks over there. After last Friday, that perceived fishyness has been confirmed.
A friend from The Fly Fisher’s Place won a permit from the Warm Springs Tribe to guide a trip on the water, and I was fortunate enough to get asked to go on the trip. Less pressure, plus so many days of going without a hookup had my hopes high for a tussle with a Deschutes steelhead.
Fall had finally decided to show up – the air was crisp, and the skies were grey as we got underway from a rough launch across from Hobo camp. My excitement was hard to contain as we slipped into the water with the freedom to fish from either bank for the entire day.
We fished some water around South Junction, and passed throngs of dudes piled into the meat hole and below. The first primo water we wanted to hit will be known to me as creepy baby head hole.
I was given the nod to be the first to swing through the hole. First cast – like so many of mine was less than stellar, but the second one swung nicely and line was ripping off my reel in no time. When I went to begin the fight ( prematurely now looking back ) the line went sickeningly slack. Creepy Baby 1, Timmy 0.
The rest of the crew stepped in and began working the water while I re-rigged. The adrenaline of the initial strike still driving me on, I nymphed the water to another hookup. And in no time, Creepy Baby won again. 0 – 2.
A third fish was hooked into while nymphing. Beautiful fish, easily the largest steelhead I have fought with – but the day was full of fight and no landing. As discouraging as this can be – I’m still so happy to have gotten into fish as nobody else on the boat hooked into a fish the entire day. ( Is there a website that documents sh*t steelheaders say? because that line right there is one of them )
We all did fairly well with other species though. Honestly we caught some beautiful redsides – many of which that would have been trophy catches on a trout outing. These Deschutes redsides put up a great fight too, and the colors are amazing.
All in all a wonderful trip down the Deschutes. Some new friends, some new water, some hookups – all of that beats out that damned creepy baby.