After not making it out to Oregon at all last year, I was able to find a couple days to get back on the Deschutes this year. Despite wishful thinking, steelhead are not abundant in the river yet. As a result, I chose to not even target steelhead on my first day on the Deschutes, and decided to fish the Maupin area for famous Deschutes redside trout.
I headed out with guide Joe Ringo on July 9, who has been fishing the Deschutes for longer than I've been alive. As Tom Larimer likes to say, "Joe knows every trout in the Deschutes by its first name". While I can't confirm or deny that, there's no doubt Joe knows the river backwards and forwards. As is the case whenever I step foot on water of any kind, all bugs of any size or shape immediately ceased all flying and/or landing activity (barring mosquitoes) and took cover wherever bugs take cover. The days was spent mostly nymphing with good success. Over a dozen fish were caught, with many hooked but lost, including the most beautiful redside I've ever seen which took a hook deep and snapped my 5x tippet just as I thought the fish was going to be landed.
My second day, July 13 was spent on the lower river with Tom Larimer. We swung flies for steelhead for an hour or two, but after only a tug or two and no hooked fish, decided to go redside hunting as well. Again, many fish were caught and many lost. Surprisingly, fewer fish came to hand than on the previous day and fewer big fish as well.
Unfortunately, I don't have any fish pictures available yet, but I'll get them posted as soon as I get my hands on them. In the meantime, I've included a few pictures of the river. One of the most alluring aspects of fishing the Deschutes is the overwhelming beauty of the river and its surroundings. I can think of few rivers that even begin to compare to the Deschutes in this regard.