Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Deschutes Steelhead 2016

Chalk this one up for the ages, a year when the Steelhead just didn't show up on the Deschutes river.  It's not that no fish showed up but it has been considered my most the lowest return to the Deschutes in forty years.  Due to an extremely hot spring and summer in 2015 combined with near zero snow pack the Deschutes, the Columbia and many other river ran too low and too warm for the class of 2015 steelhead to make it to the ocean.  The class of 2015 that did make it to salt found poor conditions adding lack of escapement.  The end result was catastrophic losses to out migrating steelhead smolts leading to a near zero return of one salt  fish to the Columbia river basin.  The good news is we had a seasonably cool spring and summer in 2016 and good flow down the Columbia all spring so the class of 2016 out migrating smolts should fare much better and 2017 will be closer to normal.  I say closer to normal because if the class of 2015 really didn't make it we will see a shortage of two salt fish in 2017.  For the record, the Deschutes, John Day and Grande Ronde are all primarily one salt fisheries.

My season is starting to wrap up which leaves me some holes in my schedule and I thought I'd take a few minutes to post up a couple fish pictures and formally thank those who weathered the storm with me in 2016.  The fishing was tough this year but I know folks had a good time anyway, the Deschutes is a very special place and I look forward to seeing my old friends and my new friends again in 2017.


Sam Sickles

Thursday, May 5, 2016


I'm over and out until Memorial Weekend so here's a quick report for the two people that check this blog.  The trout are extra thick and well fed, the poison oak is everywhere and I saw my first rattler today across from Johnson Flats.  Lots of bugs,  big bugs, little bugs, all kinds of bugs.  There are salmon flies all the way to trout creek as of yesterday and goldens to maybe North Junction, the fish are willing but not yet stupid for them.  If you are fishing with me in the next week or so congratulations, you nailed it.

Here's a giant that crushed a swung Clark's Stone as I was walking back to the boat to change flies...seriously, biggest "red side" I've ever encountered, what a ride.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

It's Time!

It's time to relax, float the river, camp out of the boat...and catch some trout.  My wife and I took a backpacker style last minute float on Sunday.  Two days Trout Creek to Maupin is a push so we hit one secret spot then floated to Davidson flat (about half way).  Although we saw lot's of adult insects the trout were definitely feeding below.  We caught some very nice fish, fat and happy.

This trip was marked by green hills, big horn sheep, and wild horses and a massive lack of people.  This will all change here in the next couple weeks but for now, I think Ill go back in a couple days!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

March of Dimes!

If you are looking for a report, it's mixed.  Had some days with none had some days with one, had some days with a some.  Tick tock, tick tock...

The Sandy River should fish really well this spring.  We have a nice snow pack, moderately warm weather and lots of dime bright fresh fish.  The big native steelhead show up now through April and Sandy River summer steelhead are showing up as well.  I'm available through April, let me know if you need a ride!


Friday, February 19, 2016


Rain, Rain, Rain...

It's been tough.  High unpredictable flows, but there are fish and if you can find them in the much larger river they are biting well.  Look for soft water and seems, the fish will not hold in the hard stuff.  This morning the Sandy is running high and threatens to go higher, same with the Clack.  The fish below was one of two yesterday in an equally high river.  Rain, rain, rain ... please keep it coming we need it for this summer on the big D.

Todays flows:

Sandy River near Bull Run

Hydrograph plot for ESTO3