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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!

    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.

    Fishing Law to Be Tested

    Joel La Follette - Thursday, August 24, 2017

    Turn of the century anglers and game officials still were uncertain about the classification of many of our native salmonids which led to game-law enforcement problems. The definition of Trout and Steelhead had not yet been cast in stone so one man found a unique way to force the issue as reported by the Morning Oregonian of January 28th, 1920. While Steelhead in the Rogue River were much more plentiful at the time, we're still taking about Winter Steelhead here. I hope the officer and the lawyer brought a lunch and plenty of hot coffee


    FISHING LAW TO BE TESTED
    Man Will Try to Catch Steelhead in Presence of Officials.

    MEDFORD. Or., Jan. 27. (Special.) - To make a test as to whether a steelhead is a trout or a salmon, and whether the law against catching trout at this season of the year applies to a steelhead, a local fisherman has agreed to catch a steelhead if he can in full view of local fish wardens and Attorney E. D. Briggs of Ashland has agreed to defend him. In the opinion of the fish and game warden the season on steelhead is closed, but there is considerable doubt among the sportsmen which result of this case is expected to remove.

    The Art of the Dry Fly ~ Vintage Fishing Report

    Joel La Follette - Thursday, August 10, 2017


    DRY FLY ART LURES 
    English Branch of Water Sport Is Delicate One. 
    FLIES MUST BE NATURAL 
    W. F. Backus Tells Some Fine Points in Attracting Fish by Artificial Bait; Anglers Now Seek Choice Spots in State.

    BY W. F. BACKUS.

    Just imagine yourself on your favorite trout stream, near one of those rippling pools that ends in a quiet bit of water before breaking into another riffle. You stand below the break, and can barely make out the boulders in the still deep water just above. Your rod is set up, with the casting line well greased to keep it on the surface. Your leader is made up of gut strands of gradually lessening diameter, ending with a piece almost as fine as hair. At the end of this gossamer cast you fasten the daintiest fly imaginable, no larger than a half-opened violet bud, with a fuzzy yellow body and a pair of pearl gray wings cocked bolt up right in a most jaunty fashion. With your eye on the lazy water some 50 feet beyond you commence working out this cast, sending the little fly whizzing back and forth, but never touching the water. Finally, as the fly stretches out at the end of the forward throw, you see that it is hovering just above the desired spot. Then you get your feet well braced, make an extra careful cast and the fly settles calmly on the unruffled surface of the pool.


    Fly is Snapped Up

    In perfect tune with the sluggish flow it comes drifting toward you. Its pert little wings set at a most tantalizing angle, while your left hand is kept very busy taking care of the slack line. Then just as you decide that it's time to retrieve, there is a flash, a snap, and the fly has disappeared in the maw of a hungry trout, who promptly raises a most welcome fuss. That is dry fly fishing, the very highest branch of angling.

    This style of fishing had its inception in England, where the nature of the streams is such as to make Impossible any other method of fly fishing. Their so-called chalk streams are very clear, of shallow depth and with very slow and uniform current. The fish feed almost entirely on the insects which hatch along the banks of the stream, and to fool them you must present a mighty close Imitation. English fly tyers have devoted years of patient study to the making of floating flies, and some of their copies are of a microscopic exactness. They will take a fly no larger than a good-sized mosquito and duplicate exactly every shade of color, and the general shape of the legs and body.

    The favorite method of fishing there is to discover a rising trout and then put their fly over him with all the skill at their command. Not only must the fly drop lightly and naturally, but n must float down stream in perfect ac cord with the current Any drag on such smooth water Is fatal. As most of the English streams are open, it Is often necessary to crawl on hands and knees in order to get a good cast without being seen.

    English Flies Too Small
     
    On most of our Western streams such tactics would be entirely out of place, but there Is no disputing the fact that most excellent dry-fly fishing can be had on certain portions of many of our best streams. A few changes in tackle, however, would be necessary, for instance. It strikes me that the favorite English flies are too small. On account of the extremely clean and comparatively shallow water, their flies are tied on No. 12 and 14 sneek hooks. I believe that for our fishing dry flies dressed on No. 10 and 12 sproat hooks would get better results. Our streams are just as clear, it Is true, but there is nearly always some motion to the water, and the ever-present, foliage tends to darken many of the pools For these reasons it would seem that flies a trifle larger than the favorite English sizes would be better suited to our waters.

    Your regular rod and line will do for this fishing, provided the line is heavy enough to carry up well.

    The leader must be at least six feet long, while a nine foot is even better, and if tapered to a fine point will work admirably. Tapered leaders are expensive and rather hard to find, so an excellent substitute can be had by attaching a six-foot light midge leader to a three-foot length of medium weight gut. In this way the difference between the heavy line and the fine gut is gradually equalized, and a more delicate cast is sure to be the reward.

    Prescription Ought to Do
     
    With an outfit such as I have described, and an assortment of No. 10 double-wing floating flies, including, the Coachman, Governor, Black Ant, Flying Caddis and Blue Upright. I believe you can get some high-class sport on most of our streams. At any rate I intend to try my own prescription on the McKenzie very shortly, and may have some stories to tell a little later.

    Portland anglers are now making excursions to all corners of the state. Dr. E DeWltt Connell and E. O. Mattern left recently for a trip to Alsea Bay, and are prepared to handle anything from a 10-inch trout to a 50-pound salmon. The Chinook salmon have begun to enter the bays along the coast, so these anglers are quite likely to find the big fellows waiting for them.

    Devereaux Expects “Time”

    E. L. Devereaux is another local angler who expects to have a big time next week, as he left for the McKenzie River a few days ago, taking along enough bucktail flies to feed a hundred hungry trout. This grand river should be at its best during the next few weeks, and E. L. will probably get his share.

    Bass fishing at Sucker Lake has been good this week, and the fish are taking more interest in artificial lures. Dick Coles took six fine ones there during an evening's casting, one of which weighed almost four pounds.

    Clackamas is Prolific
     
    The Clackamas River has yielded several good catches during the past 10 days, in spite of the fact that it is still too high for real good fishing. Herman Schneider, who hands out the anglers' licenses at the Courthouse, brought in a fine basket last week. He had 42 fish, all of nice size, with a few of the long ones we are all looking for, and he caught them all on flies. That old reliable fly the Gray Drake, proved the most attractive to the trout, and most of his fish were taken on this pattern.

    Fishing on the coast rivers is improving dally. As the vacation season approaches, these streams are sure to be visited by many local anglers, as the getting there is now an easy matter. You can hardly go wrong In selecting any of the Tillamook streams for an extended trip. The fish there take the fly very eagerly and there are still enough of them to make things interesting for you.

    This report come from the pages of the Sunday Oregonian circa June 23, 1912

    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.

    A Streams that Teems with Trout

    Joel La Follette - Thursday, July 27, 2017
    From the September 25th, 1906 edition of the La Grande Evening Observer

    Devotes of the rod and reel who have fished many streams unite in declaring that for accessibility, beauty and scenery and (what is of more importance) lots of trout, Catherine Creek, in Union county is the finest stream that flows.

    The dainty rainbow trout is elusive any and everywhere, not to be captured without both skill and work. While voracious, his appetite is variable, and he will scorn today the lure that was most acceptable a week ago. During August flies are effective and is ail that is necessary, but the same fly seldom works I on two days in a row.

    Grasshoppers are by all odds the best bait late in the season. A fat, yellow-legged hopper will attract the most wary trout, if properly handled. But that's the rub. No noise must be made, no shadow of self or rod must cross the trout's vision. Nothing but fingerlings throw caution to the winds and bite recklessly despite noise or shadow.

    Catherine creek is full of rainbow trout. They lurk in every pool and play on every riffle. If some "city fellers" fail to catch many, the fault is not because the trout are not present and ready to do business if properly approached.

    Last Friday, two lowly newspaper men who have been working for the Observer left Union at 6:30 a. m., drove 14 miles, walked a mile, and at noon cleaned and cooked more trout than they could eat in two meals. They were hungry too.

    Less than two hours fishing over a part of the creek that was literally alive with campers a few days ago netted these two men 34 rainbow trout ranging from nine to thirteen inches.

    Dave Stewart says that trout can see twice as far as any other living thing, hear four times as well, and have a highly developed sense of humor. La Grande's theatrical magnate ought to know, for he is a constant fisherman. When Business interferes with fishing, Dave quits business.
    But to return to Catherine creek. Everyone with a piscatorial bent should visit the stream. If you know how. you will catch plenty of trout, and in any event you'll enjoy the trip. You will find the expense trivial, and in health alone the returns will be ample.

    It is best to go up the creek as far as J. B. Thompson.s ranch and fish upstream. You will then be far away from the maddening crowd, and in all probability will meet no one unless it be a prospector or another angler. Take plenty of blankets with you, for the nights are cool. Carry the grasshoppers with you, for catching grasshoppers on a steep hillside is mighty hard work. It's better to hire a few small town boys to catch the hoppers and confine them in a perforated can or mosquito bar bag.

    Why not go next week? The trout are waiting for you.

    Acres of Sharks

    Joel La Follette - Wednesday, July 19, 2017

    March 30th, 1911

    Acres of Sharks

    The following story in the Sunday Portland Telegram reads like an extract from one of the marvelous stories of Jules Verne :

    "Presumably having been frightened away from their accustomed haunts by an earthquake or a volcanic eruption, thousands of Asiatic man-eating sharks darkened the sea over an area of 10 miles long and eight miles wide, off the Oregon coast yesterday. From 7 until 10 o'clock the American-Hawaiian liner Falcon, Captain Schage, arriving from San Francisco last night, was steaming through the great school and she was reeling off 10 miles an hour.”

    “Except an occasional stray now and then, the officers of the Falcon said this morning that they never saw a man-eating shark so far north before. They were crowded together, and each appeared to be about 3O feet in length. J. B. Heal, the chief engineer of the steamer, said they were adorned with fins as large as the centerboard of a sailboat. They seemed to be headed in no particular direction. Aside from scurrying away to keep from being struck by the prow of the Falcon, the monsters appeared to be in no hurry, leisurely working back and forth in the huge procession.”

    "Just how far the mass extended out to sea could not be determined. Sharks still were visible for a distance of four miles on either side of the vessel. Nervous and fidgety, the man-eaters led the officers of the steamer to the belief that they had become panic stricken over some upheaval in Oriental or Southern waters, and, like human beings, they fled for their lives.”

    "One theory advanced is that after being driven from the warm seas in which they make their home, the sharks followed the Japanese current across the Pacific. In this manner, it is explained, they would be in water of fairly high temperature. Others on the Falcon say that they may have come from down about the Hawaiian Islands. However, all are agreed that the sharks must have been forced to take flight on account of a disaster of some sort.”

    "Chief Engineer Heal, First Officer A. Sorrenson and William Goodwin, the cook, declare that in all their experience at sea, they never saw any thing to compare with this monster pack of sharks in any other part of the world. Even in the home of the man-eater, they never ran across anything to equal the sight they beheld yesterday. The steamer began to run into the sharks in the latitude of Yaquina Head."

    CONSTRUCTION BEGINS ON DESCHUTES RAILROAD

    Joel La Follette - Thursday, July 13, 2017

    From The Bend Bulletin ~July 7th, 1909

    CONSTRUCTION BEGINS ON DESCHUTES RAILROAD LABORERS AND HORSES ARE NOW AT WORK 
    Crews Are Being Moved into the Canyon By Way of Grass Valley 
    Agents Buy Right of Way in the Madras and Redmond Sections, Paying a Fair Price.

    Actual construction has been started on the Deschutes railroad. A telegram received in Bend last Saturday by Hunter & Stoats stated that work on the road would he commenced Monday, and Saturday's Portland papers brought the same news. In order to be able to confirm or disprove these reports, The Bulletin phoned to The Dalles yesterday for information as to whether work had really been started on the long-promised and long-desired railroad. The encouraging news came back over the wire that the reports were all true, and that men, teams and construction tools were already at work on the roadbed.

    You can read the Front Page of this issue here

    Home Again from the Pacific

    Joel La Follette - Wednesday, July 05, 2017
    From The Sunday Oregonian September 28th, 1919

    The automobile has been named the annihilator of distance. Vacation haunts that were removed by long days of travel, not so long ago have been brought near to the city, and their enjoyment is no longer occasional. The length and breadth of the land is veined by new highways, routes that penetrate the wilderness at a thrust and place the city within an hour or so of forest and stream. Vacationing has been made various and easy, through the necromancy of the motor.

    Yet distance is not all that dies when the invading motor-car reaches its objective. Before it the game falls back, seeking safety in more impenetrable seclusion, vastnesses that are not yet tapped by constant travel. The hill streams, stocked with myriad trout, come to know well the swish of the line and the splash of the lure. Depleted and discouraged by daily toll, the trout become scarce in a few brief seasons, and the white water and the deep meditative pools hold but fingerlings or an occasional wary old warrior who has escaped capture through a blend of luck and sagacity.

    There isn't an argument permissible over the statement that most of those who toss the duffle in their autos, and whirl away to forget business and town for a day or so, are bent upon fishing. Nor can there be any controversy over the frequently repeated assertion that "fishing is not what it used to be." So it is that the streams near at hand, those most readily reached by an hour or two of travel, have lost the glamor of the days when every cast produced its suicidal rush and flurry of tossed foam. Faster than the hatcheries can put them back, the rainbow and cutthroat are taken from the streams of their nativity. Were it not for the fact that the fisherman never lacks a friend more potent than a dozen commissions for the restocking of Oregon rivers and creeks, the full creel would have gone the way of the dodo long since. That friend, never failing, is the Pacific ocean, from whose illimitable reaches the replenishment arrives season after season.

    It is to the so-called salmon trout, prey of the salmon-egg angler when the fall rains swell the coast streams, that the debt of replenishment is in large measure due. When streams grown quiet with drouth, denuded of sport by the constant demands of the summer angler, feel the rush and vigor of the first rains of autumn. The tingle of an urgent message races down to the sea. And weather-wise fishermen, looking with approval at the pouring skies, remark that the salmon trout will be running soon. Nor do the trout fail them. Up from the Pacific, drawn to the veriest trickle of fresh water that enters the breakers, the lusty sea-trout begin their pilgrimage to the spawning beds. Fat and full of fight, gleaming with the brilliance of newly minted silver, they follow the running salmon inland. On riffles brown with silt, riffles that were barren aforetime, there springs the radiance of leaping litheness again. The trout have come home!

    Like to the salmon, whose nests they raid with the sangfroid and enjoyment of so many small boys in melon season, the salmon trout are answering the matrimonial urge. Late in the winter, or through January or February, they will drill their own noses into the gravel, deposit their own eggs, and charge the hungry grayling with all the vengeance of alarmed parenthood.
    Thus is the stocking of Oregon coast streams accomplished, in large part, at least. With the coming of the salmon trout nature laughs at the inroads that men have made upon her larder, and struggles to maintain the people of the streams. That she does so successfully is attested by the fact that the winter brings always its quota of finer fishing, and leaves for the spring an abundance to delight the early angler. To the average fisherman the sea-run trout is always a "salmon trout," a fish of unknown and mysterious genesis, sent from the bountiful sea for the delectation of anglers. His simple name suffices, and the silver mail that sheathes him that fairy gleam of tiny velvet scales is sufficient to mark him as a species apart. But close observers agree that the salmon trout, in most instances, is merely the adventurous cutthroat or rainbow whose girth and spirit sent him down to the ocean the season before, wild as any sailor for salt water. He is the piscatorial "tar" of the coast streams, back from his cruise, when he returns.

    It is significant that the smaller creeks tributary to the Columbia, entirely drained of large trout during the summer months, become by mid winter, well toward their head waters, the residential quarters of large cutthroat trout, black of spot and vivid of throat slash. Whence came the replenishment? The only answer is that these are the silvery "salmon trout" who passed upward a few weeks before, and whose inherent markings have been restored in full beauty by the caress of their native waters. As a matter of record, the actual test has been made. Sea-run trout, typical of their kind, have been imprisoned for a fortnight on their return to fresh water. The observers agreed that the transformation began almost at once, that the tribal markings passed from faint blotches and hints of color to the full regalia of the spotted cutthroat. Tests of this character, it goes without saying, have nothing whatever to do with actual infant salmon, possessing the evident characteristics of the salmon, and which are in some localities referred to as salmon trout.

    So long as trout run to the sea and they will run to the sea while there is a trout to answer the call the coast streams of Oregon are assured of annual replenishment, and anglers may look toward the morrow with a reflection that nature, like mere mortals, has a tolerant regard for the fellow who fishes.

    Catching Speckled Beauties

    Joel La Follette - Wednesday, June 28, 2017
    The Sunday Oregonian April 28th, 1912

    PORTLAND fishermen enjoy a novel privilege. With but a single day of leisure at hand, or even with half a day, the local Isaak Walton is able to put in the day to good advantage on trout stream or salmon pool. For after all the years of arduous fishing the streams hereabouts continue holding up under the strain and yielding fine catches. Although the fishing season has been legally open for the past month the real angling and casting period is just starting towards its zenith. In the course of the next month the sport will come to its very best in a score of streams. It is the impending transition from bait casting to fly casting that rings out the full army of Portland's exponents of rod and stream. With the average city dweller fishing trips are events to be dreamed of and realized once or twice in a year or a decade. While love of rod and stream is bred into hundreds of thousands a majority of these find no indulgence in the sport because of the busy swirl of metropolitan existence.

    And here In Portland is the happy combination, a great busy city with trout streams in profusion close at hand. Year after year these streams continue yielding their good catches. Occasionally the fisherman returns with empty creel, but he generally is encouraged by a fair catch and during the season is certain of many exceptional takes if he persists. An hour of travel from the heart of the city, for example, will take the fisherman to the haunt of "minnows" weighing from five to 50 pounds. This "big game" fishing is now excellent and is getting better. The scene is below the Willamette Falls at Oregon City and the game Is the Spring run of Salmon. These big scrappy fellows take a spoon readily and once you hook one there is half an hour or more of an animated struggle.

    Big Game Fishing
    Every day scores of fishermen are enjoying his splendid sport which never gives out during the season. The supply of salmon seems inexhaustible. Now and then a fisherman returns from the Falls with nothing to show for his outing, but the average catch is from one to half a dozen and when you consider that the average fish there will run better than ten pounds you need not feel the day lost if you catch but one fish.

    It is a common occurrence for the fisherman to catch more fish there than he can carry home. Those big fellows, you see, run into weight fast. You get one weighing 40 pounds, an other weighing 20 and a couple of more in the 15 pound class and you will need stout shoulders to tote away your catch. This big game fishing is done mainly from boats. Spoons are cast out and drawn up and down until a Chinook, his curiosity aroused, strikes it "like one dog biting another" as the fishermen say. Then commences the battle. The gamy fish invariably takes one prodigious sheet across the river, leaping several feet out of the water and shaking himself in the process. For the first ten minutes of play the fish fights with every ounce there is in him, darting and thrusting, striking with his tall and dashing up and down. It is not until his splendid strength begins to wane that he gives in to the inevitable and the instinct of self-preservation is rendered nil. Slowly he Is brought up to the boat and as he catches a flash of his tormentors he puts his remaining strength into a final flurry. In the end he is drawn up and "gaffed" and then lifted into the boat.

    Comparatively few fishermen go in for this magnificent sport, however. It is the smaller fish of the trout streams that lure the majority. There are half a hundred of these small streams within a radius of 25 miles of Portland and each stream is the favorite place of scores of fishermen.

    The Clackamas River is the hardest fished stream in Oregon, if not in the Northwest. You can strike the Clackamas in a run of 45 minutes by auto or streetcar, or you can travel for hours and even days up towards its source. Notwithstanding the inroads of tens of thousands of fishermen during the past 50 years the Clackamas can be relied upon for good catches the year around. It is particularly the standby of the bait fisherman, who is especially busy at this early part of the fishing season.

    Big Fish In the Clackamas
    Although the fisherman may meet an occasional day of hard luck in the Clackamas, it is unusual to return there from with empty creel. The beauty of fishing in the Clackamas is that it is the haunt of schools of big fish, and it is not at all unusual to get into a likely pool only to have the one and two-pounders begin fighting for first place on the hook. It is not, to be sure, a stream where the unskilled man may go out and get a day's record catch. The old river has been so hard fished that the fish, especially the larger ones, become quite fastidious as to the bait they take. So the man who doesn't know how to drape his salmon eggs, disguise his leader and let his bait fall with the water in a natural fashion, is reasonably certain of failure. It is not an uncommon sight to see two men fishing side by side one with empty creel and the other with a fine take. Until late in the Summer bait fishing prevails on the Clackamas, which has an average width of some 50 yards. In its upper reaches it passes through rugged country that is difficult of access, and here some exceptional sport is to be had fly fishing in August and September.

    Among the network of trout streams directly east of the city are the Little Sandy, Salmon River, Bull Run, Clear Creek, Deep Creek, Eagle Creek, Johnson Creek and the North Fork of the Clackamas. West of Portland is a number of splendid early trout streams. The water in these does not run off the icy mountains, and is of a temperature that admits of good catches much earlier than in the typical mountain streams. In the list is Scroggins Creek, Patton Creek on the Tualatin, Gales Creek and Dairy Creek.

    Small tributaries of the Columbia also afford much good sport easy of access. The best early fishing is on the Lower Columbia, the streams most fished being Scappoose Creek, Tide Creek, Clatskanie, Big Creek and the Necanicum. When you go into the topic of fishing in Oregon the field is a big one. No better fishing, perhaps, can be found any place on earth than in some of the unfrequented streams of this state. Every county has its renowned trout streams, the most noted fishing places being the McKenzie River, out of Eugene; the Deschutes, in Eastern Oregon, and the Rogue River, in Southern Oregon.

    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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