The adventures of Josh, Nick, and the Merman...
With COVID in full effect, it seemed like a better way to celebrate the Fourth of July would be to spend a quiet long weekend floating the Deschutes below trout creek.
I started celebrating the fourth on the third and when I put the boat in a trout creek Saturday morning I wasn’t a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as usual (code for hungover.) Fortunately, I didn’t have anyone to cater to so I could be as slow and relaxed as I wanted. I pushed away from the boat launch and floated downriver a mile or so till I found the perfect spot. A big bushy alder that was about 5’ off the water casting a great shadow I could park the drift boat under. I pulled into that shady spot and crawled up on the front bench and proceeded to take a nap for the next two hours. Like I said leisurely weekend float!
When I awoke from my nap I was a whole new man. I pulled on my waders and rigged my rods. 1 euro nymph outfit with some new flies I have been developing, a dry fly rod with a balloon Caddis (the ones that we tied two weeks ago in the newsletter), and a second dry fly rod with a Quigley cripple PMD. It’s easier to pick up a different rod than to change flies in my humble opinion.
I floated downriver to my typical first dry fly spot. One of two spots affectionately known as Eric’s rock. As I came around the tree above the rock I could see an active feeder in the seem in the shadow of the tree. It took me a little maneuvering to park on the rock as it’s out in the river. Normally I drop someone off on it and let them fish. I managed to get the boat secured and grabbed my rod. I went with the Caddis as I could see them emerging under the tree. On my third cast, the one I finally got under the tree, boom it was on. A little mid-day dry fly action was exactly what the doctor ordered.
I floated down towards south Junction and ran into the McGinley family as they were swimming in their backyard. They were in high spirits and we tossed a few happy 4th of July’s back and forth.
I pushed on and found quite a few rising fish all eating my size 14 Balloon Caddis. When I came to a spot that I didn’t see anything happening in I whipped out the euro rod pulled some up from the bottom. I had great success with a CDC red tag nymph and an olive Mic Drop.
I slid into camp around dark and fished the ruffled water right in front of the boat. There were trout coming up everywhere and I got them on both the Caddis and the Quigley cripple. Once the sun went down I was ready for bed.
I was up early drinking coffee and had a visitor show up in camp around 8:00. Nick and Merman put on around 6:30 AM and pushed the 10 or so miles at first light.
We spent the next two days fishing and harassing each other as good friends are prone to do. The fishing continued to be exceptional especially with the Euro rig. We changed out and tried a lot of different flies and just about everything worked.
If you are in question about whether or not the Deschutes is fishing well hopefully your question has been answered. If I had the opportunity I would drop everything and go right now.