Mid-December on the Deschutes
HOLIDAY HOURS: Monday-Friday 9:00 AM -5:00 PM
CLOSED: December 23 - January 1 for holiday break. Reopening on Jan 2.
Hello friends of the fly shop! Here is a photo taken from the bridge at 8:55 AM on Tuesday, 12/12. The river looks a tiny bit high, but it is clear and fishable. The overcast weather might just bring us some Blue Winged Olives today.
It has been a bit of time since my last post - mainly because I have been away from the shop since the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. John had a full hip replacement two weeks ago today and I have been at home keeping an eye on him, cooking for him (poor guy), and keeping track of his meds. He is slowly getting around a bit better each day, doing laps with his walker and using a cane when going up and down the stairs. Having your backside opened up, your femur bored out and a metal rod pounded into it, and a new socket installed for a hip joint looks to be about as much fun as it sounds.
So, while I have been out of the office, Derek has been doing a great job of running the show around here. We are fulfilling holiday orders left and right - keeping our UPS guy busy. Our inventory is now live on the web site - this is the big project that we have been working on for the past 6 months. Other than flies, which we have not been tracking individually, but we have most of the flies on our web in stock and ready to ship.
We have quite a few good sale items on the web right now. Check out the closeout page and you can see all the things that are deeply discounted. Now, let's talk about the river....
There are very few people out here fishing right now, but the weather is pretty mild and the river is back in shape after some high water about 10 days ago. The little bit of rain we have had does not really impact the Deschutes, but the White River can be up and down depending on how much it is raining on the mountain or on how warm it is up there where the White River starts. Look at the graph in the Quick Links section of our web page - Stream Flows will have a link to the White River graph. Looking at it today, you can see a big spike. That would be caused by rain/warmth on Mt Hood and it is certainly going to be muddy at those elevated flows. I drove over it yesterday and it was clearing up, but it appears to have blown out overnight.
If the White River is dirty, that shouldn't really be a deal-breaker for fishing the Deschutes. All you have to do is stay above the point where the White River flows into the Deschutes. Last night just before closing, I got a report from fellow guide, Brian Silvey, that the entire river seemed to be on the rise while he was doing a float trip upstream from Maupin. Looking at the Madras flow, it looks like the flows bumped again last night, which will mean that the rising water will arrive in Maupin sometime today (probably around noon). Here is a close-up photo of the water from the bridge this morning:
Water levels bumping around is typical in the winter months - so, what you read here could change within hours of the report being posted. Check the water levels and be prepared with some other fun stuff to do, should the river blow out. There are some great hikes and mountain bike trails in the area, as well as fun things to do in Maupin - like taking photos of interesting sites or hanging out at the fly shop!
The trout are seeking out pink beaded flies, bright orange flies, and other bright patterns in these winter months. They have moved into softer water - places where the living is a little easier than a constant upstream swim into the teeth of a riffle. Move around a lot and try new waters that you might not try in the summer months. The great thing about fishing is that the conditions are always changing, trout are always moving into different holding areas, and the hatches and bug activity are rarely the same from one day to the next.
I want to personally thank all of you who made an effort to spend some of your holiday dollars here at our little shop. Things are very quiet out here in December, and there are days when only one or two customers stroll into the shop. Making it through the winter is always a challenge, so every little sale helps us keep the doors open until next spring when we will be slinging salmonflies in May.
We will be here in the shop until Friday, December 22 - but shipments are not likely to get to your house if you wait much longer to place orders. For people on the west coast, the latest date to order if you can expect to get an item before Christmas (assuming that you are placing an online order) would be early next week. This week will probably be the last week for shipped packages to reach the East Coast before the holiday.
We will be closed December 23 through January 1 for the holiday week, as we have been every year since we opened 21 years ago. Have a wonderful holiday season and thank you all for your support over the past year.