Usually once a year, we see a fish caught that breaks some sort of “rule”. Shade is definitely preferred when fishing the Deschutes. In the day light, with or without a sink tip, swing fisherman pay attention to where the sun is positioned in relation to the direction of the fish. In a best case scenario, we would like the sun to behind the fish so that they might better see our flies and not be blinded. If the angle is bad, some anglers opt to move on to the next water or to wait it out, not ruining their chance with poor lighting.
On the last trip with Steve and Dave, Steve landed a fish in the poorest lighting I have ever seen. The sun was low in the sky and directly upriver. The water is slow at the top of the run so our sink tip was fairly moderate; not getting down much. If you looked upriver, the sun was blinding, however, this would be our last spot before camp and the evening fishing. Regardless to what experience might have said, the fish hammered the leech.
Goes to show that the steelhead is the one making the choices. Sometimes, especially on a river like the Deschutes, an angler might do better not questioning the motives of the fish. Just get out there and start stepping.
By the way, we got some openings in October and the second week of November. Come enjoy the river with us.