Oct 29, 2013

2013 Deschutes Steelhead Season in Review

The 2013 Deschutes River steelhead season really surprised me. Prior to August, everyone was saying "If you want to catch a steelhead this year, go north to Canada."

Rich Kornbroth with Steelhead
Rich Kornbroth finds a nice one in camp water. -Photo by Tom Larimer

Indeed early July was few and far between. However, we saw a nice push of early chrome rockets by the end of the month. The momentum continued to build through early August, and the fishing was pretty damn good. We saw some warmer weather in late summer which put the brakes on the fish in the Columbia. -There was good days to be had but you needed to hunt. The cooler nights of September rolled in as did the Chinook salmon. The kings pushed the steelhead out of the main holding lies and into what I call "peripheral water"; tail-outs, shallow pockets and micro buckets. The fishing was flat out smokin' if you knew where to look. As summer turned to fall in October, we were hit with a big storm and lost the river for the better part of the week. However, once it came back into shape it was game on. Naturally, the river sees less fish as the fall progresses. But every year we get a push of big, bright two salt fish known locally as "October Brights". Last week I had a guest land a beautiful 13 pound wild doe... Amazing fish! I look forward to the solace of the late season. While the fish are more spread out, the crazy crowds of summer are gone and the river is once again quiet.

On a final note, it was encouraging to see lots of one salt wild fish this year. It's my belief that we had good reproduction in the smaller tributaries due to the past three springs being wet, cold and relentless. Whatever the reason, it's always nice to catch the wild ones.


Tom Larimer
Larimer Outfitters


Larimer Outfitters Steelhead Camp

Early dawn breaks in the Deschutes canyon and you’re wakened by the kind voice of Larimer Outfitters’ camp host Julia Knadler. “The coffee is on and breakfast will be in fifteen minutes,” she tells you through the tent door. It’s the beginning of another day of Spey fishing at Tom Larimer’s steelhead camp. - Deschutes Steelhead Camp




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