Monday, August 18, 2014

Fly Fishing the "Friday Night Hole"

Deschutes River Fly Fishing Run
There was a special place on the Deschutes River that I’ll never forget. It was an area above Max Canyon that, other than rafting, you could only reach by hiking or driving down an old switchback sheepherder’s road. My dad preferred to drive. It was a pristine stretch of water that in the early years was only inhabited by fish, birds, deer and rattlesnakes. Verdant overgrowth and windswept alders guarded the banks of some of the most classic fly fishing water on the river. Here we caught many Redside trout and also hooked, but did not land, plenty of fish that Dad assumed were large trout. In later years we realized that they were actually summer steelhead.

This was the place where I learned a lot about casting, reading water and fly selection. Unfortunately, sometimes good things can come to an end. Not only did the property owner close the access to this Shangri-la, but a new road was constructed all the way to Max Canyon. Fortunately, it took several years for people to find out about this new area, and that allowed us to continue fishing uncrowded water for a while.

Years later, my friend Steve Dorn got one of the first jet sleds on the river. This allowed us easier access to the water that Dad and I fished years before. From that day forward, we became steelhead addicts. We would often hurry over to the river at the end of the work week to fish that spot; thus, it was called “The Friday Night Hole.”

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