My Bamboo EuroNymphing Rod on the Lower Deschutes River

I got out on the Lower Deschutes River yesterday for a day float with Mary Ann, and our good friends Alice and Mike, who are both guides from West Yellowstone, MT. Mary Ann, Alice, and Mike took out their two hand rods and chased steelhead for the day. But, I was more interested in looking for the larger rainbows in the Deschutes River with my 9′ 0″ 4 wt bamboo EuroNymphing rod. I had some great action with small #18 and #20 mayfly nymphs, with several fish in the 15″ to 19″ range landed. My 4 wt rod managed these larger fish very well, and I never felt I wasn’t in complete control. And the sensitivity of the rod made it easy to detect the light takes on these small flies. I even hooked a nice steelhead momentarily on one of my small nymphs, but after a few head shakes, it easily broke my 4X tippet…not sure how well my 4 wt rod would have handled that fish.! Here are a few photos of my day.

Fighting a nice fish.
First fish of the day.
Another nice one.
Colorful Deschutes River Redside.

More on Dave Hughes’ Wet Fly Techniques

I’ve been reading Dave Hughes’ book “Wet Flies” recently, and it’s caused me to think a lot more about how I fly fish.  On a brief outing to the Middle Deschutes River last week, I took my 8′  0″  5 wt slow action rod to swing some of Dave’s recommended patterns for the local browns.  The “Silver Invicta” in a size 14 proved to be a great fly to swing through shallower riffles, and it brought many feisty browns in the 7″ to 12″ range to the net.  I think I’ll be using Dave’s wet fly techniques a lot more in my fishing outings, especially on smaller water.  Check it out:

Wet Flies by Dave Hughes

The Silver Invicta

The browns in the middle Deschutes River couldn’t resist a swung fly.


More Bamboo on the Deschutes River

Mary Ann and I got out again two days ago on the Deschutes River to see how the Salmon Flies were doing.  I chose my 7′  6″  5 wt Freestone Series bamboo rod for the day.  While there were lots of Salmon Flies and Golden Stoneflies on the bushes, and a few flying around, the fish seemed pretty disinterested in them during the sunny afternoon.  Instead, I again caught several nice rainbows on a #18 Tan Lafontaine Caddis drifted towards the bottom.  I may have been the only angler on the river during the day who was not throwing big ugly bugs.  But, once the sun went down, the fish turned on to a #8 Clarks Stonefly on the surface.  This pattern has proved to be the most effective adult stonefly for me lately.  Even when the giant Salmon Flies are out, the trout have always seemed to prefer the smaller Golden Stonefly imitation.  Here are a few photos of our day.

Golden Stonefly

Giant Salmonfly

#16 Tan Lafontaine Caddis

Clarks Stonefly

A nice rainbow putting a big bend in my 5 wt bamboo.

One that came to the net.

Drifting the Deschutes River

Mary Ann and I braved the high water on the Deschutes River yesterday and drifted the Warm Springs to Trout Creek stretch of the river.  Yep, the water was fast and high (6500 cfs), but the color was decent and we found a few spots where we could get out and drift our nymphs.  It’s still too early for the legendary salmon fly hatch on the Deschutes but we found some willing rainbows interested in a tan LaFontaine Caddis drifted near the bottom with a Czech Nymphing style.  We didn’t get any huge fish, but it was still fun to get out and tempt the smaller ones.  Here are a couple photos of our day.

Mary Ann on the sticks!

A small immature stonefly that crawled up on our boat.

The hot fly of the day….a #16 tan LaFontaine Caddis.

A nice rainbow for the day.


Yesterday on the Middle Deschutes River

Mary Ann and I made it out to the Middle Deschutes River yesterday for a couple of hours to try our luck.  The water levels have been quite high but they are starting to drop…yesterday was high, but fishable.  Water clarity was good, but boy, the water temperature was very cold.  We both tried EuroNymphing techniques to tempt the fish.  Not much was hatching but we managed to pick up a few smaller browns on nymphs.

The two anglers!

A feisty brown that I picked up drifting a nymph.

A beautifully colored brown that Mary Ann got on a #16 red snowcone.