Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Big Fly = Big Fish trip on the lower “D”

salmon fly on the Deschutes

Deschutes River Redside
We started our day early and arrived at Trout Creek recreation area around 9:30 A.M, of course we got lost first. There actually happens to be a sign about 10 miles from the turn off that say’s “trout creek the other way” how awesome, just wondering why they didn’t put the sign a little closer.
We tied big salmon fly imitations on our lines and got our spinning rods together and headed down the trail. First spot we stopped I caught a couple 10 inch little red bands on the salmon fly, it looked like the day was going great. After that the fishing was absolutely slow for 4 hours. In fact after catching two northern pike minnow I almost threw the towel in and quit. Good thing we didn’t quit.
As Shai was taking a nap on the trail I was watching the river closely and saw a very large red side slapping the surface in some heavy rapids next to the bank. And I also noticed that the golden stones were out and flying around and falling in the river. So what better thing to do but tie on a golden stone dry and cast it up to that big bastard. First cast and nailed it, I have been waiting a long time for that. A nice big red side tearing down the river with my fly in it's mouth. I yelled up to the road and Shai came running down to help land it. A nice 18 inch beautiful red side came to hand and was returned after a few snaps of the camera. We caught plenty more trout on golden stone dries but no more pictures we were both too busy catching to take any pictures.
Fish On!
The moral if this story is the salmon fly hatch is not what it is added up to be. The fish really like the golden stone flies better, and frankly I think they might even be scared of the big salmon fly or maybe they are sour, hell I don’t know. Just one thing certain, on June 4th 2011 the red band trout of the Deschutes river wanted to eat Golden Stonefly adults.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

5/31/11 The Ultimate Five Day Blizzard at Diamond Lake.

View of Mt. Thielson
Last time I checked the weather when it hit the end of May we were looking at some nicer days in the Cascades and maybe getting some nice sunny weather into the 60’s. And maybe look something like this ----------------------------->

Not so for Memorial day weekend of 2011. Instead we got this.

Snowy Memorial Day on Diamond Lake
We drove up on Wednesday night in a snow storm/blizzard. I had thought maybe the weather would clear sometime during the trip, but that was not to be. We set up camp in the snow in a spot the forest service plowed out at Diamond Lake campground. The bathrooms were locked and found out later that the campground was not officially open until the Friday after, Woo Hoo two nights for free. Anyways you know the drill, tarps over the whole camp and a huge fire, and thankfully we brought plenty of blankets, raingear, coats, and sweaters.

 As we woke up frozen on Thursday morning there was no end to the weather, snow and wind. We decided to stay up there on the “good” advice from our children, quoting my daughter, “Daddy we like camping in the snow”. I gave them options even, like “let’s go to Madras where it’s 80 degrees and you can ride your bikes and play in the sun”. Nope we stayed freezing our ASSES off, with five feet of snow in places and snowing some more. Despite the weather, we did make it out on the lake twice everyday that we were out there, and we did have some calmer moments.

Now I am going to tell you what we were fishing out of, we have a 17 foot Coleman fiberglass canoe with no motor. A little crazy in a blizzard and a temperamental lake that looks a little like the Pacific Ocean when it gets mad. Oh, well we did just as good or better than most of the folks out there in the nice boats with heaters and even one pig party boat with a BBQ, propane heaters, canopy, the whole nine yards (what a sweet boat). I’ll put it to you this way; we caught 22 rainbows, 4 were over 16” and one that was 18”.

Big Diamond Lake Rainbow Trout
All but a few fish were caught on spinners and plugs, we caught a few drifting worms around as the wind pushed our canoe around the lake like a dandelion fluff. At one point the lake calmed down, it got sunny, and there were fish rising to the top. We got them from casting and retrieving size 3 spinners from the boat. We are testing a new size of trout lure and it was killing them.

After 5 nights in the cold we came home and relaxed in the sunny skies of Bend and slowly put our gear away. It felt good to warm that blood back up. I am sure the kids had stories to tell at school. Like when my daughter and I got caught out in the lake in a snow squall, and had to pull the canoe in to the shore to walk back to camp soaked in wet snow. Oh well, it was a fun, and little insane trip, and now we have some nice fish in the freezer.

Next weekend to the lower “D” to do some salmon fly fishing in the warm sunny weather.