Thanksgiving On The Deschutes River
December 4, 2013

            We did a four-day Lower Deschutes Thanksgiving float trip from Trout Creek to Maupin last week, looking to catch a few steelhead. The water was in good condition running around 4300cfs and clear, although colder than I had expected with a temperature around 46 degrees. The weather was pretty good for our trip with mostly sunny 50-degree light wind days, but much cooler nights that ran in the low 20’s, which made us have to bundle up for a good nights sleep.

            Our plan was to cover a lot of water in the first two days so we could post up for two days during Thanksgiving and enjoy life without having to breakdown and set up camp again. It’s a great time of year to be on the river, as the weather and holidays tends to keep anglers close to home, or at least close to somewhere warm.

            I had a great start to the trip as I hooked two steelhead in the second run of the day. With the mostly slow fishing reports I’ve been hearing all season, I was pretty jacked to get a couple touches, of which I landed one. We fished our way downriver for a couple of days with everybody getting some steelhead love along the way.

            Our steelhead camp for turkey day was an excellent spot to post up for a few days with lots of good steelhead water close to camp.  Jerry set up a small 10 x 10 tent to help protect us from the elements and provide a place to pass the time playing cribbage during the long winter nights. As par for the course, we ate like kings on our trip cooking up pork loins one night, flank steak another and Jimmy fried a turkey with all the fixings on Thanksgiving Day.

            The fishing was pretty good for us during our trip with everybody getting some action. I’m guessing we hooked around 17 steelhead during our trip and they seemed to be spread out pretty evenly as we stuck fish every day. Jon did take three fish from one spot on the last day. All the fish that I had landed during the first 3 days were pretty small and I was looking (really hoping) for a nice fish to end the trip on. As jimmy and I fished our way downriver to the takeout, I told him he had to put me on a nice fish before we hit the boat ramp. I even promised him a portion of the body warming fluid I keep in my flask, if he put me on a nice one. Jimmy told me he had the spot for me as he pulled to the bank just above a good looking holding spot. I jumped out with my rod knowing it was only going to take a few swings through the spot to see if anyone was home. After a few casts covering the lie, I was thinking there was no one home, but I made the proverbial last cast and sure enough, my line came tight with a beautifully colored up buck that put a nice bend in my rod. After a quick grip & grin picture and release, we jumped in the boat and headed for the boat ramp. Needless to say, our bodies warmed up on the way to the take out.

            It was the perfect ending to a great trip and I was thankful for the opportunity to spend some quality time with some great guys fishing the beautiful Deschutes River.


The Patient Angler

Peter Bowers

Bonefishing Long Island, Bahamas
June 23, 2013

            Well, I’ve finally had a chance to sit down and report on my last Bonefish trip to the Long Island, Bahamas.

            It was a great trip aside from a little weather. The temperature was in the 80’s with mostly sunny skies and a few quick moving thunderstorms that would pass through to make your days interesting. I don’t really mine the clouds or the warm tropical rain, but the clouds make it a lot harder to spot Bonefish on the flats.

            Our home base was Cape Santa Maria Beach Resort (CSM) on the North end of Long Island, Bahamas. CSM was an absolute paradise with private bungalows located on a flawless white powder sand beach overlooking the calm turquoise blue waters of Calabash Bay. I would highly recommend CSM for family or couples vacations as it provides great fishing opportunities for anglers as well as every beach and water activities a resort could offer. CSM has a quality restaurant and bar, great attentive staff and in such a beautiful location, you won’t want to leave.

            I was excited about exploring the bonefishing waters on the Northern end of Long Island, as well as testing some new equipment in the process. I put some time in with CSM’s head fishing guide and water activities director Bert Adderley, as well as exploring and fishing some flats on my own. Bert was a lot of fun to fish with and because he grew up on the Island, he knew the local waters like the back of his hand. He put me on school after school of bonefish where I exercised a number of them before being released.

After a little exploring on my own, I found a few good flats and once I figured out the tides, I started hooking up with some nice Bonefish. Fishing is far more productive with Bert or a number of other local guides, but I do enjoy exploring new water and the challenge of stalking, spotting and trying to catch fish on my own. If I can wade a beautiful flat in 6 inches of 80 degree water with nobody around for miles and get a couple of shots at some double digit bonefish, it just doesn’t get any better than that.

            The other benefit of wading the flats is seeing all the other amazing creatures that inhabit the flats ecosystem. Sting Rays, Shrimp & Crabs, Barracudas, Sharks and a vast array of birds make the flats their home and all can be seen on a daily basis.

The highlights of some of the new gear I tested were the SA’s Mastery Textured Chard’s Grad Slam line which shoots like crazy and can turn over big flies if needed, but lands a little heavy for spooky fish on skinny flats. I used a new Lamson Speedster 3.5 reel with its 4.5” super large diameter that picked up line quickly after long Bonefish runs, and a smooth drag system during blistering first runs which I got to test a number of times. The Fly Du Jour was the everyday Tan Gotcha in size #2 thru #6 depending on how skinny the water was.

It was a great trip and I wish I was still there taking in another beautiful sunset with an ice cold Kalik in hand and wondering what the flats will offer tomorrow.

Peter Bowers
Salmon Fly Hatch Lower Deschutes
May 19, 2013
I floated the ever popular Warm Springs to Trout Creek section of the Deschutes yesterday hoping to hit the salmonfly hatch. The bugs were all over the bushes the fish just didn't seem totally keyed on them, with most of our fish being caught in tough to reach spots or quite a ways off the bank. We fished golden stone patters in size 8 through 12 and did fairly well, with the Clarks Stone and the Rogue Stone producing the most hits.

New Patagonia Ultralight Wading Boots
April 17, 2013

The New 2013 Patagonia Ultralight Wading Boots. These comfortable felt soled wading boots are extremely light and flexible while providing stability, durability and foot protection. They have a vastly improved lace system and are available in sizes 5 - 14.

The Patient Angler
Fishing the Deschutes near Lava Island Falls
March 15, 2013
     I fished the Deschutes River in the Dillon Falls / Lava Island area again the other day. It was a nice sunny day and I was looking forward to spending the afternoon on the river. As I walked up the river trail that runs along the river, I came to a spot where there was shallow area in the river where I could see the bottom. I movement caught my eye and I stood there and watched a Brown Trout that had to go 4 or 5 pounds chase a little fish all over the place. Back & forth and around in circles they went for about 15 seconds before the little fish escaped and the big Brown disappeared into the deep. Very cool! I started to scramble to put my rod together and get a streamer in the water, but just as I was tying my fly on, a dog came running down the path and jumped into the water for a swim. Bummer!
     I fished streamers in a few spots without any luck, so I changed tactics and started nymphing the riffles and started to pick up fish. I caught a couple of Rainbows and a bunch of White fish in the next few hours. Nothing big, but it was nice to have some action on such a nice day.
Korkers Studded Rubber iterchangeable outsole
February 19, 2013

With the growing popularity of Korkers Wading Boots and their interchangeable outsoles system, I thought I would highlight the Studded Rubber Soles that I like to use for my winter traction needs. These rubber soles have 14 - 3/8-inch durable carbide studs that give you the ultimate traction in snow, ice, mud and wet grass banks when walking along your favorite river, yet still providing excellent traction in the water. The rubber soles don’t collect snow like wet felt and they help prevent the spread of invasive species. The carbide spikes are threaded for easy replacement if lost or damaged. The soles cost $39.99 and I have the most common sizes in stock.

If your tired of slipping in the mud, having trouble getting traction while climbing up a river bank or banging snow off your felt soles every ten steps, this is the answer to you problems.


Peter Bowers

Fishing the Deschutes near Lava Island Falls
January 25, 2013

      The other day was so sunny and nice that I had to get out and fish somewhere. I only had the afternoon, so I grabbed my box of streamer flies and a 6wt rod with a streamer line on it and headed out to the Deschutes River just upstream from town to see if I could find a few fish. I hiked up and started fishing below some riffle to run areas concentrating on working my fly through the slower water as close to the bottom as possible. I twitched and stripped a 3 inch lead-eyed Tan Hare Sculpin at different speeds trying to find the right movement that would attract a fish. My first fish came while I was just swinging the fly through a slow pool like swinging a fly for steelhead. My fly came to a stop with a bump and I had a nice 12-inch Rainbow bending my rod. A short time later, again on just a swing, I found a 14-inch Brown Trout that thought my fly looked like an easy meal and fought him to hand for a quick release. I hit a dry spell for a while and changed my luck by moving to another pool where I caught another Rainbow and later hooked something big that broke me off right after the take. I’m sure it was that big Brown I was looking for. That was all the action I had, but it was all I needed to scratch that fishing itch on such a nice day.


The Patient Angler

Peter Bowers

Marlin On The Fly In Mexico
January 14, 2013

Just got back from a trip down to sunny Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. It actually wasn’t as sunny and warm as usual with the tail of the cold front that swept across the west coast passing over the Baja peninsula. It was still a lot warmer than at home, but a jacket was needed during the chilly early morning hours of fishing out on the boat. I went down to chase Marlin on the fly and test out some new gear with Grant Hartman and his experienced crew of Baja Anglers.

Timing was good for the trip with a favorable moon phase, good water conditions and light winds, but the cold front made marlin fishing on the fly a little tougher as it tends to keep Marlin down and not as accessible to the fly.

When fly-fishing for Marlin, we normally troll a spread of hookless teasers on top of the water behind the boat that imitates a small school of fish with the hopes of bringing a Marlin up from the depths thinking he’s found something to eat. Once the Marlin shows himself and tries to eat one of the teasers, we pull it away from him and reel the teaser in quickly trying to lure the fish closer to the boat. They normally don’t like loosing their free lunch, so they chase it down rocketing toward the boat half out of the water like a torpedo trying to catch their meal that got away. When the teaser and the following Marlin are brought to within 20 yards of the boat, the teaser is pulled from the water at the same time a cast is made with the fly. If all things work as planned, the Marlin stops when his lunch (the teaser) is pulled from the water and then attacks the fly when it hits the water thinking it was the lunch he just lost. Then all hell breaks loose when you set the hook and all you can do is hang on and hope he doesn’t take all your line or break you off since Marlin leaders are normally made with 20-pound line. Then it’s just you and one of the biggest fish in the ocean in the ultimate game of tug of war.

As it turned out, we only saw and got shots at three Marlin during the trip. The first was a Marlin we spotted cruising on top, but had no interest in anything we had to offer as far as teasers were concerned and casually swam off. The second Marlin we encountered came in on the teasers and Captain Alex did a great job teasing him in for a shot. I made the cast and the marlin shot across to my fly and wacked it with his bill, but didn’t eat it and swam away. Alex immediately grabbed a pitch bait teaser and cast it out to try and bring the Marlin back to the boat. The Marlin jumped on the pitch bait and chased it back in for another bait & switch cast, but again turning away from the fly at the last second. Alex skillfully brought that fish back to the boat seven times for cast attempts, but results were the same, he just wasn’t lit-up enough to commit to the fly and we were once again searching millions of gallons of water for another fish.

Later in the day, “Third time’s the charm” was all I could think of as another Marlin crushed the farthest teaser back and wouldn’t let go of it. Captain Alex grabbed the teaser rod and fought to rip the hookless teaser bait from the Marlins mouth. Once Alex tore the bait free and quickly reeled it back to the boat, the Marlin exploded from the water racing with half it’s body out of the water trying to reclaim it’s prize. This Striped Marlin was hot and lit-up and the fish you’re looking for when casting a fly. Alex pulled the teaser just as I made the needed cast, placing the fly just to the right of the incoming Marlin. I made one strip popping the fly on the surface and this big beautiful fish turned and shot over and hammered my fly. I set-up on him making sure I had a good solid hook-up and with line screaming from my reel the Marlin started the first of three long runs. He leapt and bound across the ocean surface like a jet ski until he was just small splashes on the horizon taking a most of my 800 yards of backing with him. After 45 minutes of fighting him back to the boat, I finally could see my fly line again and right when you start thinking you’ve got him beat, a heavy head shake indicated the start of another blistering run taking another 300 yards of my line back out into the blue. After fighting him back in, he made one last short halfhearted run and I knew he was tired I had him beat. After an hour and a half on the rod, I was glad when Alex finally got hold of his bill and we boated the Marlin for a quick picture and release.

With my arms feeling like rubber bands after achieving my goal of catching a Marlin on the fly during this trip, we decided to fish the inshore and had a blast casting to Roosterfish, Jack Crevalle, Green Jacks, Yellow Tail and Sierra right along the beach.

I hadn’t been down to Cabo for about a year and as I was taking my seat on the plane for the flight home, I wondered why. With great people, great food and great fishing, it’s hard to not have a great time!


The Patient Angler

Peter Bowers