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    Some Wonderful Trout in the Deschutes

    Joel La Follette - Monday, June 19, 2017

    My great uncle Guy La Follette at one time owned the Crook County Journal in Prineville, Oregon where this week's Blast from the Past was gleaned. The following was pulled from the front page of the August 15th, 1912 edition. I'm pretty sure Guy would give me permission to recycle this vintage news 105 years later...

    Dolly Varden trout more than three feet long, and capable of putting up a fight which would make a shark look weak, are reported from the Deschutes River. Sufficient evidence percolates through at intervals to satisfy the skeptical of the existence of such monsters, despite the fact that any fish story is doubted until a sworn, sealed and bonded statement is furnished as to its veracity by someone not connected with the catch.

    Engineer C. W. Riddell solemnly avers that he caught a Dolly Varden 38 inches long in the West Fork of the Deschutes, just below Pringle Falls, six miles from La Pine. Riddell has been engaged in making a survey of the power possibilities of the falls, and while operating thereabouts received numerous assurances of the fact that some monsters of the trout order visited the deep pools just below the falls. Not content with declarations of what had been done he made several casts at various times, and with varying success. Sometimes he got large trout, but not until he had hooked the 38-inch fellow did he experience the struggle of the career as an angler. Patience won, and at last the noble Dolly Varden was safely ashore, and until this day it is stated that no other such catch has been made in that part of the Deschutes. 

    A Dolly Varden measuring 30 to 32 Inches is thrown out frequently, and creates no more thought up there in the La Pine country than the landing of a silverside salmon on the Columbia. One veteran fisherman of the Deschutes has a stuffed skin of a Dolly Varden which he said weighed 22 pounds just after being landed. Other evidence of heroic achievements in the angling world has been unearthed along the Deschutes, but it is believed that the 38 inch patriarch, drawn out by Engineer Riddell, will for long years be hailed as the peer of all others taken in those waters by hook and line.

    Pulled from the front page of the Crook County Journal August 15th, 1912

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