My kind of New Year’s Eve party!

Yesterday evening I looked at the weather and made a last minute decision to spend the final day of 2022 floating the Deschutes River from Warm Springs to Trout Creek. I rarely get to fish alone and looked forward to using my pontoon boat for the first time in over a year. It’s absolutely the best way to fish the Lower Deschutes, you can get into places that you can’t in a drift boat and there are spots where you can simply stand up in the middle of the river. As you can see, it was very cold when I launched, my boat was covered in ice, and the fog was very thick. As my Swedish ancestors would say, there is no bad weather only bad clothes. I have good clothes and it turned out to be a very good day.

I landed a whitefish, 3 bull trout, a record for me in one day on the lower D, and 2 of them were in the 18″ to 20″ range. I also landed 10 redbands, the biggest was at least 20″. (No, I did not take any of these fish out of the water to measure them or take photos, but I have done plenty of that in my 39 years of fly fishing and know what 18″ and 20″ fish look like.) All 14 fish were super healthy and feisty. I don’t care what anyone says, the lower D is in great shape.

In the afternoon the fog lifted and it turned into a beautiful day. It was a pleasure to spend the day catching fish, watching the eagles and herons, and basically having the river to myself after I passed the crowds near Mecca Flats. I only saw 3 other boats and none of my spots were taken. A great way to end the year.

Happy New Year to you. I hope 2023 is fishy for everyone.