July, 2012 has been awesome. Trout fishing on the Deschutes felt more like a trophy fishery than ever; we saw more trout in the upper teens than in previous years and even a few in the twenties. The hatches might be earlier the last couple of seasons, but that does not seem to have negatively impacted the health of the trout fishery. Steelhead on the North Umpqua, while still a challenge to catch, have been hot. I have witnessed two fish this year take almost everything from a reel. By the time my friend had lifted his rod on a steelhead one evening, the fish was already deep into the backing. Needless to say, that was one of those “unlandables”.
We still have a week or so of Deschutes trout season in us. While the majority of the caddis hatch might be finalized, smaller buggy episodes are likely to occur each day. Trout will feed when they get the opportunity. Yes the may also be smarter in August, however, there are less people to compete with and that could make a huge difference. We have been guiding the single-day stretch and the float from Trout Creek to Maupin.
The North Umpqua will continue to be the challenging river. As the season progresses, more fish will pull into the fly-water, giving anglers more chances for a fish. However, summer conditions can make finding a “player” tough. Having a guide can make a huge difference. Enjoying the river is one of the keys to success when it comes to the North. Being able to appreciate the time spent between fish, with the wildlife and scenery, will make the time without action better. As most fisherman know, once you relax and take your attention off the pursuit, action comes to hand. Off course, you will still have to cover lots of water well to increase your chances. We will continue to guide the North Umpqua into the end of September and some in October.
Lastly, we will start our lower Deschutes steelhead season next month. August-September we float the lowest section of the river, ending where the Deschutes flows into the mighty Columbia. These trips can be spectacular, giving anglers a chance at hitting big numbers and hot fish. We operate floats in a unique manor that we think gives our clients the best chance for success. 1-4 people are suggested. Later in the season, September-November, we opt to float the section down to the town of Maupin. This float is more traditional with awesome camps and great water. We can accommodate small to large groups on this venue. Please gives us a call for information on our Deschutes trips. Don’t miss out!
P.S. everyone: Handle these summer steelhead with care. August and September can be tough on these fish. Rising water temperatures can increase mortality on caught steelhead. Handle them with care if you plan to release them and take a quick picture if you want. Don’t hold them out of the water for a long time. Remember, these fish are going to have to wait until winter before they spawn. Thank You!