Deschutes River Fishing Report September 12th, 2012

Just a quick report on the steelhead fishing from the lower Deschutes.  I skipped out of work at noon this past Wednesday and headed to the lower Deschutes River.  After a quick sandwich at the pizza shop in Maupin I picked up a snack for the afternoon at the market and headed down river to my goto spots.  The plan was to land a few fish on the spinning setup then try out my new Watermaster Kodiak Raft and swing some prime water with the two-handed fly rod.  I am still trying to figure out my mojo with the whole swinging thing and need some more time behind the cork.

I banked two fish in my goto lies in 30 minutes.  Two nice wild fish.  Got my self photo, and thanked the steelhead gods for the oh so nice feel of the throb on the rod and buzz of the drag.

wild steel strikes again!

I headed back to the rig and unloaded my Watermaster for the first time on a bluff over looking a likely steelhead run where fishing from a bar in the river was always on my mind.  I did not have an anchor so I rummaged through my truck and found the bag that housed my jumper cables and decide that if I filled it with rocks it should to the trick.  I packed the vessel and my essential gear down to the river, made my anchor and pushed off.

I started with Idlywilde tube and cone weight to reach what I felt was the desired depth for action.  My goal was to hook up,  but more so work on my casting stroke and swing.  Just about when I was getting into the grove the slack in my skagit head took off as I was setting up a nice swing.  Missed strike!

I continued through the run and then changed files.  Saw a few fish roll in the tailout, but no more tugs.  Maybe next time.  I jumped back into the Watermaster and ferried back to shore.  I feel this boat will (or already has) changed the way rivers are fished.  Enough said.

This site is not about spots or secrets.

Thanks RIch!

It was pricy, but for some reason I already know that I will “catch more fish”

Regardless of the reports on the Columbia there are fish in the Deschutes.

Looking for the perfect loop

Turb

With the Kodiak endless opportunities await

2012 Bow Hunt–The Stink Is Off!

My goal every year is to at least hunt the first and last day of each bow season here in Oregon (tags permitting).  Nothing beats the anticipation and excitement of opening day.  For the past few seasons I have hunted the first week of the season out of an eastern Oregon camp.  My friends set up camp on the Thursday prior to the opener to ensure we have the best spot for our base of operations.  A quality camp makes the hunt better.  Early season brings warm days with cool nights, plus the infamous dust that grows each day as hordes of hunter pound the roads.  Being off the beaten path and way back on rough roads the trailers, four wheelers, and generators don’t travel makes our camp pleasant.

Home sweet home

Our camp is high in the mountains on the only flat spot for miles.  We do not see many other hunters up here because it is so steep.  It refreshing to know that you, your friends, and the elk and deer are the only ones out there on any given day.  The most common question in camp is: “Where are you going tomorrow?”  All of the hunts or “bow hikes” as I regularly call them are good ones.  Fresh sign is usually every where.  Climbing, descending, and side hilling are always part of every hunt, and will test any pair of boots.

This country requires “The quads that god gave you.

Image    The “hole” as it is know around camp

A brief description of “the hole” is needed to set the stage.  The hole is owned completely by fine the tax paying citizens of the USA.  It is void of any roads and motorized entry.  Water is present in the form springs, side draws, and a perennial stream that tumbles through the entire length of this formidable canyon.  The north slopes are loaded with blowdown, old growth timber, and stands of dark timber.  The south slopes are drier with pine, older stands of tasty mountain mahogany, sage and bunchgrass.  Game trails traverse “the hole” and provide a relieving break from the unforgiving terrain while bow hiking or on an early season walkabout.   A few open meadows are dotted on some of the softer slopes.  Any way you shake it “the hole” provides everything an elk needs in September.

A positive sign of bulls in the area

The first couple days were slow with no signs of the big bull.  A 45 yard shot I took at a nice respectable 4×4 muley was rudely interrupted by a twig.  Sightings of numerous velvet deer was encouraging along with the fresh elk sign.

On Wednesday of opening week I decided to hunt a remote ridge line on the edge of “the hole”.  While inspecting a old hunting cabin I stepped on a twig and set off a growling bull in some dark timber just off the rim of “the hole”.  I played cat and mouse with a nice bull for over an hour while the wind decided which way it wanted to blow for the day.  My hesitance to push in close resulted in a nice sighting of the bull slipping off into the remote depths and folds of the side canyons in “the hole”.

On the long warm walk back to camp I ran into two of the dumbest deer on the mountain.  I spooked them and they ran towards me.  I positioned and then repositioned for the shot.  At 34 yards I pulled the trigger.

My 2012 muley. You can see the stink lifting

With the stink lifted, I slept in the next day and went after an elk for the remainder of the week.  I had been running into quite a few grouse and was running low on lunch meat so I focused my efforts on a few “pine chickens” on the walk back to camp.

Lunch served 

The week ended without an elk on the ground, but I was happy with my deer and fresh afternoon lunch.  With the rest of the season in front of me I set my expectations accordingly, dusted of my gear, packed up and headed home.

The bar is open and the drinks are on the house

Shoot straight, use the quads that god gave you, and leave the aiming fluid in camp.