Possible damper on weekend steelhead plans...
Well, folks, I didn't want to have to write this post, but the White River started misbehaving on Tuesday afternoon. Brian Silvey came in and told me that the lower river got quite dirty by 2:00 PM - and those of us who know this river understand that steelhead in the Deschutes do not like dirty water. They didn't grow up with silty water and it really seems to turn them off....in terms of biting the fly.
I drove down to look at the White River mouth yesterday morning (Wednesday) and this is what it looked like:
I knew that two things could happen to the White during the course of yesterday, it would either drop and clear or rise and get muddier. With rain on Mt Hood on Tuesday evening, I was guessing things were going to get worse, and reports came back to me in the afternoon that the river had gotten more muddy and was impacting the Deschutes more heavily than in the picture above. In fact, it got WAY worse. Then it got way better by this morning.
In fact, it looked as if nothing had changed from the morning before (although it is a little trickier to see with the cloud cover today):
We have fairly heavy cloud cover today and it has been spitting rain on and off - this is great for both trout and steelhead fishing. We are going to have a push of anglers coming up from the lower reaches in search of clear water to fish, though the overall numbers of anglers on the water is still very low. These holiday weekends also tend to scare off those who consider themselves to be "serious" anglers, because they assume it will be overcrowded. In reality, Memorial Day Weekend, 4th of July Weekend, and Labor Day Weekend and three of the most mellow weekends in Maupin.
This is pretty much the last hurrah for the rafting parties. School will be starting soon, or it has already started, and the summer crowds are disappearing quickly.
Steelhead are spread out throughout the Maupin area, and there are enough around to give you hope while swinging the clear clean water up here. If you must fish the dirty water, this is the only time that I would suggest fishing a large black or black and purple fly - something that they can see through the silt. But, if you don't have to fish that water, come on up into town and enjoy the 15 or so miles of road water above the White River.
While you are in town, stop by the Riverside Restaurant (right off the end of the bridge) to celebrate the Deschutes River Alliance's 10th birthday. The party starts at 5:30 PM and we are expecting some live music. Jenn Grinnels of Siren Songs will be playing outdoors on the stage by the bonfire - starting at 6:00 PM. The party is sponsered by The Riverside Restaurant and Freebridge Brewing - THERE WILL BE BEER! There will also be a raffle drawing for fabulous prizes donated by Patagonia, Orvis, Loge Hotels, and other great contributors.
I leave you with all the pics of the White River that I have taken over the past two mornings. The sunny photos are from Wednesday morning and the cloudy ones are from this morning around 10:00 AM. This information is as up to date as I can get you. There is no new information to share, even if you call us on the phone today. I will have any drastic changes posted here.
Wednesday Morning, 8/30:
Thursday Morning 8/31: