Friday, August 19, 2011

The Canyon

I had a chance to get over to the Deschutes a couple of times in the past month. The first was a work trip that Chad and I parlayed into a 24 hour jet boat excursion. This was Chad's first trip taking his own sled up from Heritage Landing. Having been a passenger on other boats gave him a good idea on the proper lines to take. If you've been on this section of the river, you know that hazards abound. There are many places where ledge rock is hidden just below the surface. Hitting one of those can ruin your trip in a hurry.

While Chad was a bit puckered going up through Rattlesnake, we made it through fine. The rest of the rapids went off without a hitch and shade was on the water in no time. Coming off a July trip where I was skunked, I was in disbelief when my loop was taken from my finger and line began peeling from my Salmon 1. While the fish wasn't a trophy, the small hatchery fish marked the start of a good night for both of us. At the end of the night, we exchanged stories of each take and enjoyed a cocktail. The next morning wasn't quite as productive, but we still had our share including a big native buck that kept me smiling for some time.

I tried to get a picture of Rattlesnake rapid on the way out. It was a little bumpy, so excuse the finger in the picture below.

Chad playing a hot one

While the jet boat trip was sweet, it was too short. I had to get back. Bernie and I packed up the driftboat and headed back over. Fishing started out slow for me as I hadn't even had a tap in the first 24 hours. That was all forgotten later in the trip when both Bernie and I ran into a pod of fish for an epic night. My size 8 drab little pattern I tied up was getting yanked aggressively. On the 2nd fish of the run, my 7127 Burkie snapped at the top ferrule. I had to collect myself quickly and sprint the 1/2 mile back to camp to exchange rods. Luckily I made it back to the same run and nobody had stepped in. The fish didn't go anywhere either.

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