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Camp Water

Camp water is close to home. Here you will find information on stuff happening here in the shop and on our local waters. You'll also find our weekly newsletter feature, Trailer Trash Thursday, a fun collection of fly fishing videos, perfect for a midweek distraction. If you don't get the newsletter, be sure to sign up today!

Black Friday Fish-A-Long

Joel La Follette - Thursday, November 30, 2017










Trailer Trash Thursday Old Monkey Edition

Joel La Follette - Thursday, October 05, 2017

Imagine having to fly thousands of miles to enjoy the wonders that are the Deschutes River. Take a look at our special river through the eyes of a traveling angler.  

My First Steelhead Trip in Deschutes Riv. TEST Ver. from CONCRETE WILDERNESS on Vimeo.

Pelton Dam Brawl

Joel La Follette - Thursday, September 14, 2017
Heppner Gazette Times ~ February 12th, 1953

Pelton Dam Brawl
A public hearing on the Pelton Dam controversy Friday brought crowds of irate witnesses and rooters that rivaled the oleo hearing throngs of the legislative session. The large hearing room and wide halls leading to it became sounding boards for sub human behavior. Police were called to keep order.

Two bus loads of central Oregonians who arrived an hour before the time scheduled for the meeting were not all able to find seats. They came to rah for the Portland General Electric Company's proposal to build a dam on the Deschutes River.

Proponents testified that dam would provide 100,000 kW of power. Opponents testified it would only be 42,000 kW and at best would be only a drop in the river to alleviate the power shortage. A proponents said the dam would build up a sportsman's paradise. Others said the dam would ruin fishing for sportsman and commercial fishermen would suffer the loss of spawning beds above the dam that would ruin the planned build up of 3,000,000 pounds of salmon a year.

Deschutes Troutflies

Joel La Follette - Thursday, August 03, 2017

This week's Blast from the Past comes from the May 9th, 1907 issue of the Crook County Journal. Great Uncle Guy La Follette, the editor/publisher of this weekly publication, once again shares the family's fondness for piscatorial pursuits with his readership. One hundred and ten years later, I share it with you.
 
Someone reported last week that the flies of which the trout of the Deschutes River are particularly fond during the early summer had hatched and several Portland nimrods visited that famous stream. Unfortunately the report was untrue and the fishermen were unsuccessful.

Upon their return the anglers said that almost any day now the troutflies, as they are commonly known, may hatch along the Deschutes River following which for a few days there will be fishing unexcelled in this or any other country. This particular period lasts not longer than a week and during that time it is no exaggeration to say that the fish can be caught as fast as a hook and line can be cast in the water.

The trout fly is larger than the salmon fly. In the Deschutes River there is a large caddis worm from which originates the troutfly. When the weather becomes warm enough the worms come to the surface of the water and their thin lobster like shells split in the back and out crawls the troutflies. The insects are beautiful and have four long gauze wings. The insect just after they are hatched are very weak and when they attempt to fly often fall into the stream or fly near to the surface which is just as fatal. For five or six days of each year the flies are numerous.

It is a very easy matter to catch the flies, and when placed upon a hook they are certain death to a trout. When a cast is made the trout will often jump two or three feet in the air for them. it is no rare occurrence to see several large trout jump for the same fly.

During this short period thousands of trout are caught in the Deschutes River. After the flies become less numerous the trout become more wary but can be caught with artificial insects with good results, but nothing like the initial opening of the fly season.

The Yellowstone River is known as one of the greatest fishing grounds in the country, but those who have fished in the two streams declare that the fishing in the Deschutes River is the better. The trout in the Yellowstone River where it connects with the Yellowstone Lake bite with the rapidity of a swarm of sun-perch. How ever as they are so numerous and as the water is warm coming from the Yellowstone Lake, they are not so gamy as the trout of the Deschutes River where the water is always cool.

Along the Deschutes River but few fish are lost when once hooked if the troutflies are about. The fish will swallow the hook often before the line becomes taunt, and while they put up a noble battle, they are easily landed. The only thing to guard against is the line which may break if the fish are pulled in without being given time to exhaust themselves.

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

ODFW Sets Summer Salmon and Steelhead Seasons

Joel La Follette - Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Press release from ODFW


Monday, June 12, 2017

CLACKAMAS, Ore. – Oregon and Washington fishery managers have announced the 2017 summer and fall salmon and steelhead seasons for the Columbia River.

The summer season is similar to last year, except that the daily bag limit on hatchery steelhead has been reduced to one fish due to poor expected hatchery and wild steelhead returns. The season begins this Friday, June 16 with a daily bag limit of two adult salmonids, which may include up to two hatchery Chinook, but no more than one hatchery steelhead. Sockeye may also be retained as part of the adult daily limit. The season is expected to remain open through July 31.

Fishery managers are forecasting a return of 63,100 summer Chinook and 130,700 summer steelhead, and 198,500 sockeye salmon, all lower than last year’s actual returns.

The fall season, which begins Aug. 1, includes the popular Buoy 10 fishery near Astoria and the fall “upriver bright” Chinook season in the mainstem Columbia. Upriver bright Chinook are well known for their larger size and aggressive nature. Fishery managers forecast that 582,600 fall Chinook will enter the river this year, which is down from about 640,000 returning fall Chinook in 2016.

Due to the low projected returns for upriver summer steelhead, additional protective regulations are needed this fall including area-specific steelhead retention closures. The rolling 1-2 month closures start in August and progress upriver following the steelhead return to reduce take of both hatchery and wild fish. These closures affect the mainstem Columbia and the lower reaches of specific tributaries. When retention is allowed, the 1-steelhead bag limit will also remain in effect throughout much of the fall.

Anglers are reminded that Columbia River fisheries are managed to quotas and that regulation changes and in-season modifications can happen quickly, based on actual returns and harvest rates. ODFW recommends that anglers make sure they understand the latest season dates and regulations before venturing out on the water by checking the Columbia River Regulations Update Page online.

New Trout Fly Called "Williams' Special"

Joel La Follette - Wednesday, May 31, 2017
New Trout Fly Called "Williams' Special"

Stone Fly Made True to Life By Portland Tier - Comes in Two Size Hooks

A brand new trout fly has made its appearance in Maupin and by those who have tried them have proven to be the best ever. The new fly is called "Williams' Special" and was made after a pattern supplied by Johnny Williams of this city.


Last summer Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Motley, Portland, were visitors at the Maupin Camp grounds. While here Mrs. Motley told of being a fly tier and Johnny Williams caught several small stone flies and asked could she duplicate them. The lady said she could, thereupon the camp ground man gave an order, specifying the flies must be true to the sample. Saturday he received an initial shipment of the flies. They have been tried and exceeded all expectations, those using them making good catches of good trout. The flies received by Johnny come in two sizes - 12's and 14’s - and are as true to nature as is possible to make them.

Mr. Motley writes that among her orders for flies this spring has been one from President Coolidge, while Congressman Hawley has ordered many for friends at Washington, D. C.

Meier & Frank of Portland want the exclusive sale of the new fly. The hook on which the fly is tied comes direct from Oslo, Norway, none of the kind desired being made in this country. The first order for hooks placed by Mrs. Motley brot but 1500, and as these have been tied and the demand so great, the lady has ordered a large supply to be delivered as soon as possible.

Multnomah Anglers club members who have used the Williams Special, are enthusiastic over them. Mrs. Motley searched the state over for the right feathers for the special finally securing what she wanted from near Roseburg.

The Maupin Times April 26th, 1928

WARDEN ASKS THAT ALL FISHERMEN OBEY LAW

Has No Desire to Arrest Violators
Therefore Asks That the Laws Be Adhered To


With fishing season now open Harold Clifford, state game warden, make an urgent request that all citizen observe the law that have been made for the protection of fish.

"We have no desire to arrest men or women for violation of the law," he said last week. "We want them to know, that all citizens of Oregon they are harming their state and themselves by angling in closed streams, taking more than the legal limit or catching fish under six inches in length. Our warden make it their business to educate the fishermen. They make arrests only when they find fishermen willfully and viciously violating the laws. If a man is angling for trout he is entitled to sixty fish in one week they are his fish if he can catch them. When he takes more than that number he makes it necessary for the warden to do his duty and make an arrest that will mean punishment."

The Maupin Times April 25th, 1929

Trailer Trash Thursday The Stones Edition

Joel La Follette - Thursday, May 11, 2017

This is kind of a throw-back Thursday as we revisit a short film that came out over 4 years ago. The Outside Bend Productions crew has evidently had to get real jobs as we haven't seen much from them in awhile. That's really too bad as they do good work and even took home a Trashy Award a few years back. 


the stone sessions vol. II: expectations from Outside Bend Productions on Vimeo.

What is Black Spot?

Joel La Follette - Wednesday, May 03, 2017

This photo of a Deschutes Bull Trout infected with Black Spot was taken by Nick Wheeler on May 1st on the Warm Springs to Trout Creek section of the Deschutes. 

A few weeks ago I mentioned that a parasite that infects salmonids was becoming more prevalent in the Deschutes with many anglers reporting catches infected with the telltale “black spots.” To answer some the questions floating around I turned to biologist Greg McMillan and asked “Just what is Black Spot and why are we seeing an increase in cases in the Deschutes?”

Greg responded, "Black spot disease is caused by a flatworm (trematode) parasite known in the scientific community as Uvulifer ambloplitis, and also known as “neascus”.  This parasite has a complicated life cycle that starts with eggs in water, which hatch and become juveniles known as miracidia, which in turn infect aquatic snails.  In snails this form of the parasite matures into the next life form, known as cercariae.  Cercariae are shed by the snails and become free swimmers, which attach to fish.  Once the cercariae have attached to the flesh of fish, the fish develops an immune response that causes the dark spot.

Kingfishers are the next host, which become infected when they ingest infected fish.  The cercariae develop into adult flatworms.  The parasite then produces eggs, which are shed in feces by kingfishers, and deposited in water where the life cycle is reinitiated.

These flatworms do not appear to be fatal to fish, or other hosts.  There are scattered reports of fish stressed from other sources dying while infected.  No human infections have been reported, but there is no real surveillance mechanism to detect human infections.  Although probably safe for human consumption after thorough cooking, there is no study data to confirm that.

None of us who have fished the lower Deschutes River for decades can say that we’ve seen many, if any fish with this condition until a year ago.  There are reports indicating there have been infected fish in the lower Deschutes River and tributaries in the past, but they aren’t common.  So what has changed?  Is this random?  Or linked to the ongoing ecological changes we are all seeing in the lower river?

This might be related to an increase in the snail population in the lower Deschutes River. Portland General Electric’s Year 1 Data Summary Report from their Lower Deschutes River Macroinvertebrate and Periphyton Report Study published in 2014, indicates that there has been a significant increase in snail populations in the lower Deschutes River.  This increase in population in the intermediate host (snails) might be related to the increase in black spot disease noted in fish.  The snail population increase is likely linked to the increase in algae in the lower river.

Is this a catastrophic occurrence?  Probably not, but it could be another indication of ecological change in the lower Deschutes River."

As Greg said, Black Spot is probably not catastrophic, but it is of concern. Finding out more information on the disease occurrence in Oregon is hard as it seems to not be of concern to ODFW at this time. Perhaps if more cases are reported by anglers, ODFW will finally take notice and look into the cause of this increase in cases. 



I would suggest that anglers fishing the Deschutes carefully photograph and report cases of Black Spot to ODFW. Take note of where the catch was made and how many cases were observed. Please make an effort to leave fish in the water when handling and photographing them. If you send a photo of infected fish to me I'll add it to this blog post. Again, please handle all wild fish with respect and care.

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