Elvis aficionados notwithstanding, I probably should add one more “girls” to that title as that’s how many hens I brought to hand over two days on the Deschutes with Chris O’Donnell last week. These (all but one) wild girls were a comely 6 – 9 pounds and full of ass-kicking life.
Likely the largest steelie broke off as it bolted upstream skillfully wrapping mono ’round a submerged boulder. Nothing like seeing a fish jump 90 degrees off your rod tip. “Huh?” or “Wow.” is about all that can be said at that point.
In all we landed four, with yet another slipping the hook within inches of the net (it was so close to hand some more relaxed than me would say that was the fifth), and of course that oh-shit brute who jumped an upstream bullet train with fly and most of the mono in tow. Good times.
The steelhead gods were smiling upon us this time as chances were pretty high if she grabbed, we got her.
It was a fantastic time to be on the Deschutes around Maupin. It seems August typically gets ignored by those steelheading by accepted lore about when fish are in a system. Lucky for me there was nary another steelhead angler on the water all the way down to Beaver Tail, and not many of those pesky rafters either. On the first day we saw only one other guide boat, and on the second only John Hazel himself (with fish-on as we passed him while bombing for Ledges) at daybreak. To quote Chris- “August is money!”.
After such a productive couple of days fishing, it made meeting family members at the Bend Brewfest that much festier. While many of the local craft brew offerings were solid, precious few were truly outstanding. After tasting most of the over 60 beers offered, we couldn’t find any we’d put down a Pliny for (so sorry, dear Oregonians). But many worth mentioning, including Worthy’s Lights Out Stout, Breakside’s IPA, Fort George’s 3-Way IPA, Ninkasi’s Tricerahops Double IPA, and the best of the bunch- Boneyard’s RPM IPA. Yeah, we kinda favored the IPA’s.
We found tasting early at the event was key to productive “evaluation”, as when it got dark it seems more of the raucous contingent would arrive generally reducing our mobility. That, and the later we drank the more we tended to like pretty much everything.
Many younger tasters patiently lined up for the Rhubarbarian cider at Two Towns Ciderhouse‘s tent, which made me worry deeply about this country’s future. Although at least they didn’t back up our beer lines.
Absolutely two thumbs up to the town of Bend (and the awesomely patient local volunteers) for putting on the event. Like the steelies we love, we’ll be back next year.