Browns and Rainbows on the Middle Deschutes River

I finally got out to fly fish yesterday on the Middle Deschutes River here in Central Oregon. The river is pretty spectacular, with a brief hike down into the canyon to the river. It’s small water down there, with some great nymphing opportunities. I took out my 9′ 0″ 3 wt EuroNymphing Bamboo Fly Rod for the day and wasn’t disappointed. The Salmon Fly hatch was over about 2 weeks ago but the fish were happy to take Golden Stonefly Nymphs. For the day, I caught about 15 whitefish, along with 6 rainbows and 9 brown trout. Here are a few photos from my day.

The Beautiful Middle Deschutes River
A nice Brown Trout
A feisty Rainbow
Another 12″ Brown Trout

Bamboo EuroNymphing on the Middle Deschutes River

I finally got back out recently on the Middle Deschutes River about 25 minutes from my house with a couple of good fishing friends. The river is fairly small in this area due to water being pulled off for irrigation…but that makes for some great fly fishing water. The salmon fly hatch from two weeks previous was over so I expected that fish would be holding close to the bottom…sounded like a good opportunity to try some Bamboo EuroNymphying. I took out my 9′ 0″ 3 wt Bamboo EuroNymphing rod for the day and wasn’t disappointed. The rainbows, browns, and whitefish were happy to take small nymphs, but the majority were less than 12″ long. But, I was lucky to pick up one very nice brown on a #20 two-bit hooker pattern. Here are a few photos of my day.

The Middle Deschutes River
Fishing with my buddies Bill, Vince, and Lynn.
A nice little rainbow
A beautiful big brown that took a #20 two bit hooker pattern.

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.

Fishing Bamboo on the Middle Deschutes River

I got out on the Middle Deschutes River about 30 minutes from my house yesterday with my good friend, Jonathan Walter, from Denver. What a beautiful day on the river. I set Jonathan up with one of my medium fast action 7′ 6″ 5 wt bamboo rods and I took out my 9′ 0″ 4 wt bamboo EuroNymphing rods. We had a great time tempting the feisty browns and rainbows…Jonathan did well swinging wet flies through the riffles and I picked up quite a few fish on a yellow sally nymph in the faster water. Here are a couple photos of our afternoon.

A beautiful sunny afternoon on the river for Jonathan and me.
Here is Jonathan swing wet flies through a beautiful riffle.
A nice little brown that took my nymph.
A colorful rainbow.

What Is The Best Reel For A Bamboo Fly Rod?

I get asked occasionally “What is the best reel for a bamboo fly rod?”  Well, there is no one answer to that question.  But, a lot of the modern day reels are very light weight and don’t balance a bamboo rod very well, while many of the older reels that were made years ago are heavier.  And, there is just something about putting a reel with a “classic look” on a fine bamboo fly rod.  When I’m out fishing, I usually have an older classic reel on my rods.  I have several old Hardy reels and Pflueger reels, and also have a very nice Saracione reel and a Bellinger reel for my two-handed Trout Spey rods.  Here are a couple of photos of my set-ups:

A beautiful old Pflueger Gem Reel on my bamboo 3 wt Euro-Nymphing rod on the Metolius River.

A classic Hardy Sunbeam on a 7′ 0″ 4 wt medium action rod on Whychus Creek.

A Hardy Perfect on a 7′ 6″ medium fast action 5 wt rod on Silver Creek.

Casting an 8′ 0″ slow action 5 wt rod with a Saracione reel on the Metolius River.

Again, my old Pflueger Gem reel on my Euro-Nymphing 9′ 0″ 3 wt rod on Hat Creek, CA.

My old Hardy Sunbeam on the Upper Deschutes River.

My Bellinger reel on my 10′ 6″ Bamboo Trout Spey rod and a beautiful Cutthroat from the Salmon River.

My Hardy Lightweight on my 8′ 3″ Medium Fast Action 5 wt rod on the Salmon River and big Cutthroat.

Incredible colors on this nice cutthroat taken on my 8′ 3″ medium fast action rod with my Hardy Perfect reel on the Salmon River.