My fishing buddy Clyde and I had each driven by this
stretch of Oregon stream on a number of different
occasions. It's right on the way to some "trophy" trout
streams, and there is some great steelhead fishing
farther downstream. There's also a reservoir along
the way that's pretty well known and draws crowds
of fishermen on the weekends. But this particular
part of the river has remained more or less untouched.
With it being so close, Clyde and I figured it would
be worth investigating, so we loaded up his truck with
our gear and headed to the river for the weekend with
hopes of catching some fish. Clyde and I each found
a fellow fishing buddy and 'boo' nut meeting up here
In the first couple of hours of fishing on our first
day there, I caught over a dozen healthy cutthroat
trout, ranging in size from little 6" dinks up to
about 12". Certainly not "record" sized fish, but
without a doubt the most amazingly beautiful fish
I have ever caught. There wasn't any real "hatch"
as far as I could see, but that didn't really seem
to matter to these hungry little fish. They were
taking PMD's, Humpys, Stimulators, EHC's, Griffiths
Gnats- just about anything that looked buggy and had
a bit of flash to it. I even managed to pull three
fish from the same pool on a Royal Wulff (which by
now was starting to look a bit ragged).
After Clyde found me (I tend to get "lost" up/downstream,
especially when the fish keep biting), we drove up a
little farther to another good-looking stretch of river.
We made our way upstream, and came across some tasty
wild blueberries, as well as some salmonberries (though
these were kind of bitter). After scrambling over some
rocks and deadfall, and pulling out a few more cutts
from some pools along the way, we found a beautiful
waterfall with a nice deep pool below it.
We each fished to one side of the pool and proceeded to
catch fish after fish after fish, each one prettier that
the last. They took our flies so eagerly that I can't
imagine these fish had ever seen a fly before that day.
Some would attack with such gusto leaping up in the air,
you'd swear you'd hooked into a nice 12" fish, only to
reel in your line and find that a little 6" dink had
taken your size 10 hopper. Between the two of us that
day, Clyde and I had probably caught about 40-50 fish,
all nice fat wild cutthroat.
On our way back to camp, we stopped in at another pool
where Clyde caught what we think must have been a
retarded rainbow. He hooked it three times before he
managed to land it and release it. Then he hooked and
landed the same fish three MORE TIMES! Now, it's possible
it was three different fish, but they all looked the same,
and he took them all in the exact same spot! He also
managed to land a nice sized (14") cutt-bow hybrid
out of the same pool, on the same fly (Royal Wulff,
This trip turned out to be one of the best fishing trips
I've ever been on. I'm not going to reveal the location,
so don't ask, but it really isn't that hard to find. Next
time you head out to that great trout or steelhead stream,
just don't forget to explore those stretches along the
way - you never know what you might be missing out on.
~ Joe Martin