Targeting "Big" redbands on the Deschutes?

CreekScrambler

Active Member
I’ve been enjoying this thread and wondered if a Brooks mention would happen. Dude was pretty tough, wading heavy water and sinking big nymphs right down to the boulders. Could it also be called ‘Merican nymphing? This whole thread is also great reinforcement for picking up a 7wt streamer/multipurpose rod.
 

CreekScrambler

Active Member
im not experienced with the D, but in other large rivers I have fished with redband populations I find big fish do use the heavy whitewater in the summer. Prime lies seem to be the transitions from the riffles to the deep pools below them for the big redbands.
Nigh unreachable without heavy gear that gets down fast. Those fish might never see a fly while parked.
 

BC33

Active Member
It's possible people don't really feel the need to "go big" when conventional methods regularly pick up bigger fish in the river and most people consider 20" to be where they top out.
Also since u can't fish from a boat, getting to the slots that don't get hammered, is a big deal on the D
 

DerekWhipple

Active Member
I’ve been enjoying this thread and wondered if a Brooks mention would happen. Dude was pretty tough, wading heavy water and sinking big nymphs right down to the boulders. Could it also be called ‘Merican nymphing? This whole thread is also great reinforcement for picking up a 7wt streamer/multipurpose rod.
Yup, I've got "Larger Trout for the Western Fly-Fisherman" and "Nymph Fishing for Larger Trout". One of those books he talks about how larger trout can prefer water up to 70 degrees. There were guys in NC who would occasionally catch big browns as bycatch fishing for musky and SMB in water that was miles and miles downstream from the "trout" sections.
 

BC33

Active Member
Yup, I've got "Larger Trout for the Western Fly-Fisherman" and "Nymph Fishing for Larger Trout". One of those books he talks about how larger trout can prefer water up to 70 degrees. There were guys in NC who would occasionally catch big browns as bycatch fishing for musky and SMB in water that was miles and miles downstream from the "trout" sections.
I think browns handle higher temps a bit better than bows....although desert redbands not sure about....seems like they'd be built for warmer temps
 

skyriver

Active Member
In the late 80s/early 90s, we used to camp across the river from the gate above Maupin. One of our favorite things to do was tie on a #2 Spruce Fly or Royal Coachman streamer and fish out in front of our camp at night. Back in those days we just used 3 lb Maxima for dries, 4 lb Maxima for nymphs and 6 lb Maxima for streamers.

6 lb Maxima is pretty damn tough stuff. It's a great trout streamer tippet. I use it for sea-runs all the time. I've landed some big trout, pinks & silvers with it.

We would have fish completely break us off with savage strikes. That was usually May so I highly doubt they were steelhead. Most likely big nasty redsides that only came out at night. They're in there.
 

GAT

Dumbfounded
Back during the 80s, I discussed the number of 20-inch redsides in The D with the zone ODF&W biologist. In those days he told me that according to their research, electro shock, scuba inspection, etc., that there were very few genuine 20-inch redsides in The D. They were there but not very many.

That was in the 80s. Maybe things have drastically changed. Don't know. I haven't fished The D in decades but I do know I never caught a redside in the 20-inch range … at lot in the 18-inch range but 20-inchers.... not so much.
 

Clarkman

Huge Fly Guy
WFF Supporter
Back during the 80s, I discussed the number of 20-inch redsides in The D with the zone ODF&W biologist. In those days he told me that according to their research, electro shock, scuba inspection, etc., that there were very few genuine 20-inch redsides in The D. They were there but not very many.

That was in the 80s. Maybe things have drastically changed. Don't know. I haven't fished The D in decades but I do know I never caught a redside in the 20-inch range … at lot in the 18-inch range but 20-inchers.... not so much.

You're one that would actually know too, Gene! That was part of my point above....the tape does not lie (and no, I'm not talking about these 'measure nets').

If I'm strictly after a decent number of 20"+ redbands in Oregon, the Deschutes isn't where I'm headed. I still love that canyon though...always will. I always have to make the trek to a certain run near Maupin where I spread one of my dogs ashes, dubbed, "Tango's Run"
 

Rob Allen

Active Member
Back during the 80s, I discussed the number of 20-inch redsides in The D with the zone ODF&W biologist. In those days he told me that according to their research, electro shock, scuba inspection, etc., that there were very few genuine 20-inch redsides in The D. They were there but not very many.

That was in the 80s. Maybe things have drastically changed. Don't know. I haven't fished The D in decades but I do know I never caught a redside in the 20-inch range … at lot in the 18-inch range but 20-inchers.... not so much.


I concur the Deschutes is just not a big fish river. My biggest ever was 21 inches out of the backeddy at South Junction in September on an elk hair caddis. I have caught a couple in the 18 inch range but most of the big trout people pose are 15 inchers they call 20's. That's just the reality.
My father, uncle and grandfather used to poach right across from the Warm Springs river ( used worms, salmonflies and crawdads as bait, big fish water if there is any on the Deschutes.. There big fish were 18 inchers and those were rare.

Here are Deschutes river truths. Most trout caught during the Salmonfly hatch are smolts and most 18 inchers are 14's in disguise..
 

triploidjunkie

Active Member
You're one that would actually know too, Gene! That was part of my point above....the tape does not lie (and no, I'm not talking about these 'measure nets').

If I'm strictly after a decent number of 20"+ redbands in Oregon, the Deschutes isn't where I'm headed. I still love that canyon though...always will. I always have to make the trek to a certain run near Maupin where I spread one of my dogs ashes, dubbed, "Tango's Run"
I hate "measure" nets. They always add a couple inches.
 

dbaken

Member
When I put a tape measure to the bag in a measure net between the 10 and the 10 marks, I get just under 22". Not sure the measure net is adding the inches, might be something else :).
 

gt

Active Member
only times i have run into BIG redsides, we were drifting and stopped to fish some off bank locations that at first didn't look very inviting. but the big fish were there.
 
Purists are going to hate this - but when I've gotten tired of fighting the wind and hiking way too many miles occasionally I will rig up a spinning setup with a slip float and get some nymphs wayyyyy out into the river at the campgrounds. Still haven't gone 20" but I've had several at 19".
 

Clarkman

Huge Fly Guy
WFF Supporter
Purists are going to hate this - but when I've gotten tired of fighting the wind and hiking way too many miles occasionally I will rig up a spinning setup with a slip float and get some nymphs wayyyyy out into the river at the campgrounds. Still haven't gone 20" but I've had several at 19".
that actually sounds like a damn good idea.
 
Oh it is, but then you start to think about bringing it along "Just to reach that one slot that I can't quite roll cast to". And then you can't just walk past all the juicy mid river water without making a cast. Then one day you'll "accidentally" leave the nymph rod in camp and before you know it you're plunking hot dogs for carp.

It straight up catches a lot of fish in stupid over crowded conditions. Saved my ass a couple of trips. I fish it just like I would jigs for steelhead with a lighter rod.
 

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