With temperatures nearing 100 degrees, steelhead fishing has been slow to moderate across the state. Out of town friends made for inflexible Deschutes plans, so we stuck with our Monday through Friday float from Macks Canyon to Heritage. Five days for such a float left us with plenty of time around camp, ducking the hot weather and avoiding the myriad bugs and rattlers that were our constant companions on the D.
Fishing was luke warm, with reports from guides and ODFW personnel giving less than stellar numbers. We saw plenty of fish during the float, but most of them looked pretty lazy, and the fish we did hook put up mediocre fights before coming to hand. Temperatures are fore-casted to drop next week, so this is a great time to book a few days as fishing will continue to improve as the water gets cooler. Lower Water Green Butt Skunks and Signal Lights got the job done.
We also took along a Watermaster Grizzly, and it far exceeded expectations and held its own through all of the class IIIs on the lower D. It also pulled double duty as a river ferry when the fishing was best on the opposite bank from camp. With one on the oars and angler on the back, we were able to make it across without issue. A great addition to our float and it was clear the Watermaster could hold its own or work well for a solo trip.