Deschutes in Olympia, amazing!

Today was an amazing day on the Deschutes here, in Olympia. The sky was clear, blue and cold! Fog had frozen to the vegetation all along the stream banks forming a white, ice snake up the valley and ice droplets were glistening all around.

My friend John and I had the day off and decided to hit the river. I was looking forward to getting out. In the back of my mind, I had wished to catch a fish today, just to top it all off. (I have always kept my expectations fairly low in these conditions this time of year).

We got to the river and I went up and john down. After working some nice looking boulder water I saw a deep, slow pocket on the other side of the river. It looked worthy of a cast. The first one brought in a nice Cutthroat of 10” or 11”. Farther upstream, a large, deep pool gave up a larger fish of 13”-14".

This fish was not in the seam between fast and slow water I had been intending the cast for. I had overshot the far seam and landed my fly in the "frog" water beyond it. I mended once and let it drift. Just as I was about to recast to the area the fish would be holding in, down went the indicator! Lift and separate--the "mistake" from the “discovery".

When I joined John below, he had had no luck working a classic piece of trout water. It looked difficult to get farther down river to the next section of water. The flow today was 321 CFS, a little high. The water temperature was an amazing 34'F'!

We did a bit of daring wading and continued down to the next section of river, a series of several long, slow, deep pools. We were both fishing egg patterns with indicators.

I learned two interesting things today. The first is about water temperature. Over the years, based on my success rate (or lack there of...) I had developed a story that went: "If the water temperature is below 40'F', turn around and go home. That is very cold water and the chances of hooking a fish are so small your time would be better spent tying, reading, sleeping, etc." I had also told my self the story: "This particular section of river is frog water and there never seems to be fish there; move on."

Today there were many willing fish in this section of river, mostly in the deep, back third of the pools. John and I landed twelve or so nice Cutts in a short section of river in a few hours. The takes were almost unnoticeable, the fights strong for their size.

I love it when the idea that “I have it figured out” is smashed and a new experience and subsequent learning come crashing in to my fishing mind. These fish are more than willing to bite in water temperatures near freezing, slow water holds fish this time of year, egg patterns rock!

Happy fishing! (ALL YEAR LONG!)

New to all this... chose the wrong section of the form.

BTW, I almost never take fish photos. If I have tired a fish out to the point it will lay still next to my rod, it is likely oxygen starved and depending on water O2, may die. I basically don't take fish photos.

I like to yard them in, thank them and turn them loose untouched.

That's just me.
I'm heading down tomarrow and we will see what happens. Couldn't touch the cuttys last week with eggs and bobber but mabye i will try egg paterns with the fly rod or bobber and jigs. Mabye the few steelhead will be hanging around!
Excellent post George.
You provided good images with your writing.
It's nice learn something new when out fishing a favorite river.
I found a new location on the Skykomish to fish from a local gentleman (gearhead) who was kind enough to share his secret with me..