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Fishing Reports

Spring Trout Rendezvous Report

Joel La Follette - Thursday, April 06, 2017


The first annual Royal Treatment Spring Trout Rendezvous is in the books and it was a rousing success. Close to 40 anglers joined us for a little river side fellowship this past Sunday on the banks of the raging Deschutes. While high water kept fishing opportunities limited, there was plenty of casting action and we even broke out the “Wader Up Challenge” adding to the entertainment factor. Representatives from Loomis, Sage, Winston and Echo rods were on hand with their latest offerings allowing all who wished to test drive a new rod the opportunity. While the Scott rep was tyed up, he did send us a few sticks to fish as well.




Then there was the food. Our “Stone Soup” potluck and Taco Bar made sure no one went home hungry. Planned or not, we had a south of the border theme with plenty of beef tacos, pork carnitas, chips, salsa and tubs of guacamole. Our buddy Brent went off menu with a pot of Cajun shrimp that tucked into a tortilla nicely and were delicious! 



When it came to dessert what happened on the Deschutes, stays on the Deschutes. I’ll just say there was plenty of tasty after Taco treats to cleanse the palate and add to the waistline. I didn’t even know there was such a thing as vegan cupcakes…


High water didn’t slow down the dedicated anglers who showed up to fish. After the Taco Bar closed, big nymphs and San Juan Worms wreaked havoc on the resident rainbows in the waters above White River. While the fish wouldn’t break any size records, they definitely helped chase away the cobwebs of winter. Kimi thought she was tied into a monster Trout when she scored this impressive bottom feeder. Our own Nick Wheeler did the netting and releasing honors. While it is the policy of this editorial staff to #keepemwet and not show fish out of water, this image needed to be shared. Please, #keepemwet. 






A special thanks goes out to factory reps Tom Larimer, Erik Johnson and Eric Neufeld for joining in on this inaugural event and sharing their expertise. I also need to send out a very big thank-you to my lovely wife, Kellie, and the best mother-in-law in the business, Sally Walker, for their hard work in pre-cooking, baking and organizing this picnic. Thanks to all who contributed and attended! We’re doing it again next year on April 1st. Mark your calendar!


Green Drakes make a showing/Salmonflies slowly depart

Joel La Follette - Thursday, May 19, 2016
The Deschutes is the focus again this week as the Salmonfly hatch garners most of you Trouters attention. The big bugs are slowly fading away below Mack’s Canyon, but fish are still grabbing plump offerings bumped off the grass and brush. Same holds true in the Maupin area, with spotty clumps of Golden Stones still hanging on. Those of you venturing to these areas may wish to arm yourself with a collection of other spring patterns just to have your bases covered.

On Tuesday, I was the guest of Marty Sheppard who chauffeur Shane Blitch and  myself downriver below Mack’s Canyon to do a little exploring. There were hanger-ons in the bushes and a few dropping eggs, but the 2016 Salmonfly hatch was pretty much over. Fish still rose to Goldens, but March Browns, PMDs, Caddis and Green Drakes were more prevalent. Flocks of Seagulls working like Swallows over riffle water are a sign that something big is hatching. After observing several mid-air grabs I was able to spot a few Green Drakes taking to wing even on a bright sunny day. I even convinced a few fish that those might be a good idea.


Above Maupin fishing has been very good as the big bugs continue to be the main course in dining rooms next to the bank. Josh and his buddy Eric did the Trout Creek to Maupin run with great success this past weekend. They reported that the set up to run with is a Hopper/ Hopper/Hopper rig, which for the less adventurous of us is a Salmonfly dry, with a Yellow Sally Dropper, with an Elk Hair Dropper. Not the easiest collection of fluff to toss into the brush, but it does offer fish dining options. Just take a lot of flies with you.

Continuing up the creek we find the hatch is spotty in places and off the hook in others. No doubt this is due to the changes we’re experiencing in the post Pelton Dam mixing tower era. Consistency is not a word that describes any of our insect hatches and that may be the new normal until the issues facing the Deschutes are  rectified. Look for Salmonflies and Goldenstones to continue to hang around for a few more weeks in places up and down the river before fading into memory. It's time to start thinking about that other fly box filled with the bugs of summer and prepare for a variety of hatches over the coming months.

Have fun and be careful! 

Deschutes Temperature Research

Joel La Follette - Thursday, July 16, 2015
Last week while I was researching water temps and opinions regarding the safe temperatures for angling opportunities, I learned that one of my contacts has a built-in thermometer. No, not a cyborg like implant, but a uncanny ability to read the water temps accurately with his bare skin. I decided that this revelation required further research so I arranged to meet up with him on the river and put this superhuman skill to the test. Besides, a day of fishing in the name of research is not a bad thing.

I met up with Mr. Silvey in Maupin and we loaded the required equipment into his rig before heading upriver. I carried several rods, reels, fly boxes, misc. tackle, sunscreen, rain jacket, cameras and my handy FishPond thermometer. Brian had a couple rods rigged up, tippet, nipper and a box of flies.

Knowing beforehand that the water was rumored to be 58-59 degrees we both decided that wet wading would be uncomfortable, especially with darkish clouds to the south threatening to rain on our research. While Brian launched his modified Cataraft I took a temp to set a baseline and reported our starting temperature to be 59 degrees. Brian stepped into the water and reported the very same. Like I said, uncanny.

At our first stop we split up, with Brian heading upriver, while I fished the water near the boat. Caddis shucks covered the shallows and a variety of adult insects fluttered from the stream side brush. Misc. small Mayflies also took to wing and danced in the morning light. After covering the water and raising a few fish, unsuccessfully, Brian returned and reported that in his opinion the water was perhaps a degree cooler that I had previously reported. He had not taken into account the insulating properties of his Simms G4 waders and to confirm his suspicions had ceremoniously stepped into an indentation in the river bottom exactly 3 inches over the top of said waders. With a much better sampling of the water he was able to accurately place the water temperature at 58.5. This number was confirmed when I calibrated my thermometer the next day and recorded a +.5 degree difference. Taking that into account, the maximum reading at the end of day was 60.5 just above Sandy Beach. A very good range for healthy interactions with fish.

While to many this exercise may seem trivial, it is an example of the kind of dictated research I have often found myself involved in all in an effort to bring you up to date angling information.

Once we had established an official baseline for water temperature we continued to sample the fishing and temps as we worked our way downriver. Caddis patterns on the surface, or Hopper Dropper combos with a Caddis Pupa or Silvey’s Super Sinker fish around 19 inches below proved to be the ticket, requiring very little from the multitude of fly boxes I carried. All of the many fish we sampled were healthy, happy and very active. All were played quickly and carefully released.

It is important to note that very little angling pressure (none) was observed during this float. At the same time, several rafts filled with yellow helmeted Minions did splash the giggle their way down river, but they did not cause any ill effects on the angling while providing some interesting comic relief.

Overall, the success of this trip was solely due to the knowledge and dedication of my guide and good friend, Brian Silvey. His understanding of the river, it’s invertebrates and it’s fish proved to be the winning combination for a great day on the water. While low water and high temps threaten many rivers and streams across the west, the Deschutes from Warm Springs through the Maupin area is in fine shape and capable of producing some very memorable days. Contact Brian if you'd like to see this very talented river guide in action.

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