I wanted to get back to the Deschutes while the weather was still decent, so I arranged for a couple days off work, dialed up a fishing buddy, and off I went.
Todd and I left Lane County on Wednesday and arrived at the D later that night. After a brief sleep, 4:30 am came pretty early. We drove down and staked claim at a run, only to have somebody just take the pullout below us and step in. Oh well, not worth getting mad at, but annoying none the less. We fished through the run with no tugs for either of us. It was a good time for a breakfast regroup and to launch the boat.
After we got on the water, the sun broke through and was on pretty much every run. No grabs all morning. By the afternoon, the clouds came in the fishing got a little better. I had hooked up with the first steelhead of the trip only to lose it a few seconds later. We pushed down river to our final destination of the float. I had Todd drop me off and I would meet him at the next run down after fishing through. About 5 casts after Todd left, I had a violent grab followed by that famous tearing of line from the fly reel. A smile came to my face as I fought what felt like a good size Deschutes fish. After a few minutes the fish was coming closer to hand when the hook came unbuttoned and I was left chromeless for the day.
Good news though! After hiking down to meet up with Todd, he had landed a nice native buck of 31 inches on a hitched steelhead caddis. What a great way to end the day. Hitched the boat up in the dark and capped the night with some brats and discussion of dry line steelhead tactics. Todd's the kind of guy who has ultimate discipline. He can watch somebody hook fish on wets, but never lose focus on what he does, fishing the waker for summer steelhead. It was great to get his perspective and hear his stories from BC. Luckily for me, we were outside, so the drool didn't end up anywhere but the dirt.
The next day we fished a nice run in the morning. I ended up hooking and landing a small hatchery fish. It put up a nice fight and, after all, it was a steelhead on the beach. The weather was perfect for the rest of the day. We had some off and on rain with cloud cover and little wind the whole day. It was awesome! All the way until you get to the catching part. We didn't touch a thing for the rest of the day. That's steelheading for you wrapped up in a nutshell.