Giving Thanks

Giving Thanks


After a spell of pretty frigid weather, things are going to warm up a bit just in time for a little post-turkey day fishing. A little warmer weather will certainly be something for which we will be very thankful. Black Friday will not only be a great day to storm the gates at your favorite mall, it will be a great day to storm the door of a little fly shop in Maupin. We currently have some incredible sale items - including quite a few rods that are available first to our in-store customers before they are posted on the web.

On Friday and Saturday (but NOT Sunday) the fishing will be free to all and no fishing license is required. ODFW does this a couple of times each year to get people to take friends and family fishing.This is a great time to bring your relatives to the Deschutes to share this magical place with them and they can try their hand at fishing without needing to buy an expensive fishing license. Of course, all regulations must still be adhered to, so check the regulations before venturing out there. 

The Deschutes in the area of Maupin is open to fishing year-round. The Deschutes that has a border with the Warm Springs Reservation closes to all fishing beginning on January 1. This means that South Junction, Trout Creek, Mecca Flats, and Warm Springs will all be closed at the end of the year to give protection to spawning steelhead and trout. 

Trout fishing around Maupin has been pretty good lately. It is mainly a nymphing game, using heavy nymphs to get down to the depths and either fishing with an indicator of tight line nymphing. We have a great selection of Euro-nymphs which are tungsten-bead heavy (relative to their size) nymphs that became popular amongst competition anglers but which are now the most widely used style of nymph for the Deschutes and other Western rivers. Pink beads and silver beads are the top producers this time of year, and we have a lot of varieties and options to share with you when you stop into the shop.

Steelhead fishing is petering out a bit. The fish are here, but they are slowing down and hunkering down and are not as aggressive to the fly as they were when they were freshly in the system. Water temperatures have cooled down significantly over the past two or three weeks and that has slowed down the steelhead action (although it never was all that red hot). Water temps are between 43-49 degrees, which calls for a sink tip. I would suggest 12.5 feet of T-11 just to get the flies down a bit to present them to the steelhead in their holding water.  Flies to fish can be anything from a size 5 hairwing to a HohBo Spey to a Burnt Chicken to a muddler. The muddler on a sink tip has a lot of BOOGIE - it drives steelhead wild.

John was out on the water yesterday and today fishing with his buddy, Steve. They had a tiny bit of sun, a lot of clouds, a torrential downpour, and one steelhead landed. The photos in this report were taken by John over the last couple of days of steelhead fishing. He did not, however, bother to take a photo of the steelhead he landed today. He is at that level of fishing Zen. 

November and December are the last months of legitimate steelhead fishing. It is cold out here and we don't have any fresh fish coming in, (we only have a summer run on the Deschutes) but the fish still fight well. The later we go into winter, the darker and skinnier the steelhead will become.  Once we hit the new year if we want to steelhead fish we head for the coast where fresh winter run fish are hitting the rivers from December until April. 

The weather over the next couple of days looks to be warming up. It was chilly and wet today - we got a little bit of the rain that Portland experienced today. It is hard to say if that heavy but brief rainfall will do anything to the river. If I hear of or see a blow out over the next 24 hours I will certainly update this fishing report to let you know what the current conditions are. The huge blow out that we experienced on Saturday November 5 was due to a ton of rain on top of snow in Bend. The dam operators freaked out and jacked the water significantly. When the water dropped nearly as fast as it had come up, we saw piles of weeds that had been scoured from the shallow areas of the Deschutes. Here is a picture of how bad the weeds are and how important it will be for us to get another really high water event in order to scour the river beds of these disgusting invasive weeds:

We are going to be closed on Thanksgiving Day, open on Friday and Saturday, and we will be closed on Sunday (as we are closed on every Sunday in the winter). Have a very happy Thanksgiving holiday!

1 comment

  • thank you for the update Amy! Hope to see you and our little Maupin after Thanksgiving! Hope you and John have a wonderful feast!


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