Austin McPherson's blog
After the beat down I took on the Deschutes it was time to switch it up. I had planned on fishing the Deschutes from sunup to sundown but I realized the wind and hordes of anglers were not going to make this a pleasant day. Instead, my friend Matt and I got in our cars and crossed the Columbia River into Washington State. Matt lives in a small town on the Washington side of the Columbia and fishes the local rivers there. We hopped in his drift boat, which was more of an armored vehicle and we crashed our way down the river.
You know a place is windy when it’s known as the windsurfing capital of America. That is exactly what Hood River, Oregon, is known as. Driving through the gorge you can see windsurfers dotted along the Columbia River whitecaps. The Columbia forms the border between Oregon and Washington and also happens to be in the middle of a giant wind tunnel causing the great windsurfing conditions.
Let me start by emphasizing that I moved to Oregon to fish for steelhead That being said, sometimes you need a break from the big rivers to get out and hike in to a small tributary that holds small, wild trout. On this day, we decided it was time to hike a few miles to a river that is fed by the runoff
I have already begun to hear stories of the lower Deschutes blowing up with aggressive summer-run steelhead. Although the summer fish are smaller now than in prime time, they are also more aggressive. Landing more than one steelhead on the same day in the winter is rare, but having a multiple fish day in the summer is a definite possibility. Switching from sinking lines to floating lines and fishing wet flies that hang just below the surface or sometimes waking dry flies is a welcome transition. However, on the local Portland rivers, that line adjustment is not made as quickly or often.