Deschutes (oregon) 2009

John Hicks

Owner and operator of Sea Run Pursuits
James Mello and I pulled a bit of a suicide mission to the Deschutes last weekend. The weather was great in the mid eighties, cooling off to fifties at night. The fish were there. The river wasn't crowded. Wow, what else could we ask for. Well how about some chairs James, you numb nut. Yes we had nothing to sit on but the cooler. Oh well, that was nothing. This was my first trip to Oregon for steel, so I was pumped to be on the river.

James met me at my work on Friday at midnight, when I got off. We quickly loaded my rig up and headed out. Three hours later we left the pavement and headed down a dirt road. James had warned my (not really), that the road was going to be a rough one. It was not really a road but more a Jeep trail. I however was driving a Toyota Highlander, hmmmm this was going to be interesting. Driving down a trail that has absolutely no room for error in a vehicle that yes is AWD but built on a Toyota Camry chassy, is about a 5 on the pucker factor. Good thing it was pitch black out, so I couldn't see the drop off on my side of the car. After some tricky driving with a Toyota Four-Runner up my ass, we made it to the camp site, safe and with no load in my pants.

After an hour sleep we got up and geared up for the morning fishing. Two-handers in tow we were off to the river. The first run was a short one but it turned out to be money for us. I went through it once without so much as a tug. After a quick rethinking of the fly selection I started in behind James at the top of the run again. After shaking the leader out of my rod and making two cast to the fast water at the top, my line stopped. Well, howdy doody, fish on. The fish ended up being the catch of the trip and the only one that we have photos of. A nice 7 or 8 pound Steelface....Nah fuck that shit, who says steelface anyway, not me. A nice energetic steelhead came to hand, was given its photo op and off she went back to the river. After all the excitement settled, James and I noticed that the sun was quickly making its way onto the river. We decided to pack it in and take a nap back at camp. We got back set up the tent and had a cold Beer in celebration of my first Deschutes steelhead.

The rest of the day we spent exploring up river and chatting with the few people we did see on the river. James landed a nice fish and we got over heated in the dessert sun. That evening James headed down to the home pool for some more fun. I opted to get out of my waders and drink some more beer. Nothing cures dehydration like Mexican beer. It turned out that the home pool was the place to be after all. James had several grabs and crackered two more fish, oh well.

The next morning we were excited to get back on the river but upon showing up at the banks we noticed that it was totally blown out. After talking to a fly shop guy in Hood River later that day we were informed that there must have been a thunderstorm over the White river. The white being a glacial river quickly puked the deschutes into a milky mess. We decided to cut our losses and head north for some more favorable fishing conditions.

Anyway here are some pics from the trip I hope you all like them. I'm planning on heading back down there in October for some more fun.


the Menehune stole my beer
great report John, I believe I know that road.......and the pucker factor.....did you see any rattlesnakes?

Nice steelfaces!

John Hicks

Owner and operator of Sea Run Pursuits
Nope no rattlers for me. Although we almost camped in this nice little spot that was sett up on the river with benches and shade. Later we found out that it was rattler heaven in there, good thing we were too lazy to lug all our shit down to the river.


Oh, this is so good it just HAS to be fattening.
I was there yesterday. River was just starting to come back in shape. Fishable, but only a few feet of visibility. Standing in knee deep water and could not see my boots. It was clearing fast. Lets hope the White river doesn't act up again.


Where's the Bucket?
What's amazing about that spot is that it is such a bitch to get in there, you scratch the shit out of your rig on the sage brush and your vehicle essentially gets beat to hell yet there can still be multiple vehicles down there! We did lug our shit down to the river and we did see three rattlers down there. The guys camping next to us lugged in a weed wacker to trim the grass in their campsite to get rid of rattler hiding places.

Sweet fly water down there, though. I just can't believe how much pressure it gets considering it's a total bastard driving in there. And if it rains while your down in there, good luck getting back out. With all that silt on the "road" you're pretty much fucked.