Trout fishing can be simple and it can be hard, your choice. On the Deschutes there are several constants one needs to consider and the biggest one is no fishing from the boat. Being a bank angler assures you won’t ever have enough room for a safe back cast. The second constant is the overall size of the Deschutes River…it’s large, deep and swift with trees hanging well into the water. The third constant is the difficult wading, large slippery boulders and swift currents. The fish are numerous, big, and strong. Last but not least, it’s windy and when it’s not it’s really windy!
We need equipment that can get the job done in close quarters, medium distance and from a far. Casts into the wind and under the trees with accuracy is a must. There are riffles and runs for nymph fishing that go on for a hundred feet. Some of the flats, or steelhead runs call for really long casts and run out for a couple hundred yards.
Here’s what I fish and why:
Nine Foot Five Wt. The 30-06 rifle is a deer gun, it’s and elk gun, it’s an everything gun. The 30-06 of trout fishing is the 590 fly rod, or 9 foot 5 weight. The 590 can do it all and it can do it all well. For the most part this rod gets fished hopper dropper. Hopper dropper is fishing a dry fly with a “dropper” nymph dead drifting off the back, this is by far my favorite way to fish. This rig can be modified to a lite nymph rig by using a sensitive strike indicator on leu of the “hopper” fly. If this is the only rod you have it is also a tried and true traditional nymphing rod
Ten Foot Five Wt. My dedicated nymphing rod is a 5100, 10′ 5 weight. The extra helps with tension casting, roll casting, mending, stack mending, getting drag are drifts and extending mends. The extra length of this rod ensure you will miss fewer strikes when setting the hood. A good fly line is critical to the success of this rod, I use Scientific Angler Anadro. This rod needs to be able to turn over two big flies, a couple split shots and agood sized strike indicator.
“Euro” Nymphing. I fish the 10 foot 3 wt. NYMPH NRX. Without going into all the details, click here for that, euro nymphing is deadly at close range, relies on the weight of the flies, and is a form of tight line nymphing. I find myself doing more and more of this style of fishing but keep in mind if you go down this road you better start tying flies because you will lose a bunch. The good news is you don’t need near as many patterns since the weight of the fly trumps pattern always.
Trout Spey. I am a big advocate of swinging flies for trout. Just like steelhead fishing, swinging flies can be effective but it is not the most effective. I enjoy casting and fishing a spey rod, I like getting grabs, getting pulled hard and the chance of putting my fly somewhere the fish don’t usually get fished for. Trout spey are generally shorter than full spey but not always. For the most part trout speys are just that, spey rods light enough for trout. The majority of my trout spey activities involve skagit lines, sink tips and some form of large sculpin type fly.
I am a regional GLOOMIS Pro and my trout rods are GLOOMIS IMX Pros. GLOOMIS was born in the Northwest and so was I. I fish these rods because they are the best available rods for what I do and they don’t break the bank.
A quick note about reels. Reels are like jewelry for fisherman so get something with some eyeball appeal. I have a lot of nautilus trout reels, the discontinues FWX is my favorite I have three, I also have three of the X, a Galvan Rush, an old Ross and a Bauer RX. The most important thing is how the reel balances the rod. I like a neutral balance in my 590’s, and rods that right tip up for everything else especially nymphing.
Fly Lines. I like Scientific Angler fly lines for trout, I think they are the best, they’re expensive but worth the investment. My favorite feature is the lines are stamped with line size and type to keep the confusion down.
590 IMX Pro, Nautilus X, SA MPX fly line
5100 IMX Pro Nautilus x, SA Anadro fly line.
NRX 10′ 3 weight Nymph. Airflow euro nymph line, ross gunnison G3, euro nymph leader or 10′ 20#maxima with sighter and tippet ring, 4/5x to the flies.
3111 &4111 IMX Pro Trout Speys, Bauer RX, SA Skagit Light w/integrated running line, Airflow Skagit Scout w/verivas running line, 10 sink tips t8-t14
This is my down and dirty and these are the rods you’ll find in my boat when I’m fishing. Please feel free to contact me with any questions!