This reader report is from Caddisfly Customer Brian Bell. He was accompanied by Roger Saydack and Tim Herrmann from Eugene.
What is the magic about the Opening Day of Trout Season, especially if you have already been fishing through the winter and into early spring, trying to lure trout to March Browns?
For the Deschutes, it is a time of reawakening, luring trout who have not seen a fly since Halloween, the short-lived bright green canyon vegetation that will all too quickly change to its normal desert hues, while perhaps most of all it is a special time and a place to share with special people who care about clear rivers and wild trout as much as you do.
Yes, it is also about new gear, flies and techniques; a chance to put to practice the last six months of reading, asking questions, thinking about your evolution as a fisher and a steward. It is about the change in the aquatic cycle of the trout you are after, or are you really after something else?
On the river before the sun spilled into the canyon we placed the first flies downstream, dead-drifted runs and swung stone flies over the cobbled bottom before any other fisher this year. We saw how fat the Osprey have grown since last fall. We passed the many campers at Mecca who were struggling to trade warm coffee cups for cold fly lines, offering us first dibs on water that would all too customarily been theirs. We only hit one spot,allowing the three of us to each fish totally different water with a range of patterns from small to large, before the campers had walked down the trail. From that point on, all of the walk-in water was left to the walk-in anglers.
It was the harmony of moving the boat with the river, feeling the wonderful tug of the oars, the joy of coming to a stop to wade that is akin to parallel parking your car while the road underneath you is moving, and so the fish don’t look up and think you are a gapper.
What is it about building a sandwhich out of the cooler, the first taste of a cold beer, the mischevious joy of a normally forbidden Oreo’s cookie?
Opening Day also is about the increasing joy of working new pieces of water, no matter how many times you might have cast your fly through this drift before; last year or years before that. Discovery. You have changed and the river has.
With the boat on the trailer, the gear stowed and the slow and painful, bumpy drive up out of Trout Creek underway, perhaps it was the silence of satisfaction amongst three better friends whose thoughts were already zooming ahead to how much fun Opening Day on the Deschutes will be in April 2009!
Despite the absence of anglers since November 1 on this top section the fishing was slow, even with big stone flies and a various assortment of droppers fished by each of the three of us. Catching picked up in the late morning so we had steady action through the rest of the day with rainbows in the 10-12 inch range. We saw one large redside go airborne three times for one happy angler who had been working a back eddy, but otherwise the hookups for others seemed to mirror our fortunes.