Every Day in May Challenge: Home Waters
No fabled home water out my back door or even an average stream with suitable trout. I can walk or drive five minutes away and brownline at the Columbia Slough for Carp. I have done that a time or two. Twenty minutes away is the Sandy River. A once above average Steelhead/Salmon river, it still manages some nice fish but at far less the runs of when I started exploring the waters. The Salmon River, which flows into the Sandy River, use to also be a nice Summer fishery for Steelhead and Rainbow trout. The Clackamas River is an hour away at most and it too has reasonable runs of Steelhead and Salmon, but a lousy put ‘n take trout fishery. Decent rivers, but they don’t light a fire on my passion meter.
No, if I want to have space, better fishing and beauty, I have to drive a little farther: The Deschutes River/Maupin in 90 minutes; The Crook River 3 hours; The Hood River 90 minutes; The Wilson River 90 minutes; The Metolius River 3 hours; The McKenzie River/Middle Fork Willamette 2.5 hours are but a few home waters that I strive to fish each year.
If I had to pick one “home waters” fishery that was out my back door, by that sign, it would be the Deschutes River. All of the others I listed have merit, plus others I didn’t mention in the vicinity. But, for year around fly fishing, remoteness and space plus desert beauty the Deschutes River would be it. Steelhead, Salmon & Trout occupy its length. All the insects are there. From the bank or from a water craft you will find solitude and the chance to hook beautiful fish. But, if I have to drive the 90 minutes to Maupin and fan out from there, that’s not too bad a deal either.