This last week I was lucky enough to spend 7 days driving around central Oregon with two of my best friends, Nick Soper and Jason Alexander, fly fishing some of Oregon's greatest rivers. Nick and I have been fly fishing together since first meeting in college but up to this trip all the fishing was done on another kind of trip, like mountain biking or climbing, and we always talked about doing a long trip dedicated to fly fishing. Nick bought his ticket to Portland in January for a late May-early June trip and we were able to convince Jason and his camera to join us at the last minute. We were serious about this one!
We figured we needed to fish some Cascade water and some high desert water to mix things up a bit. We spent two days fishing the upper Mckenzie River above Eugene. We camped right on the super famous Mckenzie River Trail and hiked up and down casting into the deep, turquoise pools that dominate the upper river. I've ridden the trail numerous times, shuttling to the top and ripping down to camp always telling myself I needed to fly fish this river.
After two days we jumped over the range to the Deschutes River to fish the tail end of the salmonfly hatch. These are huge 2 inch bugs that hatch in great numbers and the trout go nuts for a few days eating tons of them. When fishing a hatch like this, it's all about the timing. A few days before or after the peak may lead to a 2 or 3 fish day instead of the 12 fish day we hope for. I think we were a few days too late but still had an awesome time. Not a lot of fish but every one was super healthy and incredibly strong!
Most of the days were spent watching each other fish or just staring out to the water or canyon walls hoping to spot a big horned sheep. On the drive back to Portland we stopped at the absolute headwaters of the huge Clackamas River where it is only a tiny spring creek. I fished this stream a few years ago and wanted to come back again. Super peaceful and full of aggressive brook trout. Great trip! Can't wait for next year. Now back to work, Nate!