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Even strong proponents of public access to fishing waters will protect their hidden gems or find justifications for the occasional visits to waters not available to the less privileged. All private water isn't created equally (to say the very least), and some pieces of guarded water are truly special. In some cases, private water offers those of who don't have the budgets to travel to Alaska or Kamchatka the next closest thing to unspoiled wilderness.

Regardless of how often I wince when previously public waterways go private, due to weak or unclear laws protecting public access to water, I never miss a chance to fish my favorite private trout stream -- a remarkable little spring creek in central Pennsylvania, kept in family hands for generations and fished by less than 30 people per year. No matter how quickly I'll jump at a chance to shit on money-minded investors that snatch up land surrounding public fisheries in order to privatize historic streams with healthy wild trout populations, fill them with pellet fed hogs, and serve wine stream-side all in the name of "conservation" and $30k per year membership dues (Donny Beaver), I don't share the location of or encourage public access to my favorite bass pond, also family controlled and family protected for generations.

big bass love frog patterns smacked on the water

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.

a view of the old water tower on the Deschutes