ODFW Commissioner Bruce Buckmaster reports from the Trail this week as he recounts his adventures with publishing icon, Frank Amato.
It is so easy to settle comfortably on a favorite trout stream and forget that you really have some appealing options. For the intrepid angler, Oregon offers an embarrassment of riches. Fellow traveler, Frank Amato was eager to make a trout loop around Southeast Oregon and who could argue against such a plan? 1250 miles and four rivers later eagerness was rewarded with fond memories. Beginning on the Williamson we missed the height of the fabled Hex hatch, but found plenty of large fish willing to take a sealy bugger on the swing. After an easy drive up the bucolic Sprague, we fished for Great Basin Redband Trout on the Chewaucan River. While there was no evidence of either the wild potato that gave the Chewaucan its name or 30 inch Redbands that once grew in downstream marshes, respectable trout are available in the pine forest west of Paisley.
Being run off the Blitzen was too ignoble an ending for our trip so we headed north and east through the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. The infamous Refuge office is still closed but a quick discussion with three USF&W employees convinced us to visit the Malheur River at ODF&W’s Riverside Wildlife Management Area. The river at the WMA is a handful of miles below the Warm Springs Reservoir and is a beautiful tailwater fishery when water levels are ideal.
The formula is simple. 1. Bid farewell to your homewater. 2. Enlist a friend skilled in map-reading, history, and fishing (in no particular order). 3. Head out on the Oregon Trout Trail, and 4. Be awed, amazed, and inspired by all that Oregon has to offer!