Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Fall River Oregon - The Perfect Place to Teach Kids

Anyone familiar with the Fall River near Sun River, OR, a spring creek tributary of the Deschutes River would, at first blush, say I'm crazy....but hear me out.  This 8-mile technical fishery is know for making grown men cry, but despite this being one of the most frustrating, 15ft-leader, 7x tippet, #22 fly, perfect drift rivers, there is a section along the fish hatchery which is regularly planted with nice Crane Bows of catchable size. Though they're hatchery fish, they learn the ways of the river quick, and while they're not exactly simple to catch, there are enough of them that your bound to hook up.  The terrain and stream shore is very kid friendly and the water is crystal clear so the kids can see the fish they're targeting.  The river hydrology is quite conducive to roll casting with an indicator which is perfect for younger guys.  These fish are real jumpers and put up a healthy fight and most are wary, requiring that you switch up leaders and flies to get the take.  There is just enough action and technical skill involved to keep both child and adult engaged for hours.

PS: You'd have to see it to believe it, but after a few days on the river I learned that under one of the log jams in one of the deeper holes, when the sun shines just right you can get a visual on 3 VERY large fish, I mean 22, 24 and 26 inchers; right smack dab next to the hatchery.  No doubt these fish feed on the planters that get released there weekly.  During the day they're almost impossible to see and even more difficult to cast or drift to, however, at dusk they'll come out into a feeding lane where a carefully mended drift on 7x can spark some interest.  Again, you'd have to see it to believe it but I hooked the biggest of the bunch, more like a steelhead.  I'd put him at 26" (6-7lb) and I'd put the duration of the fight at 4-5 seconds before he broke the surface and was off.  Even if he stayed buttoned up, the chances of landing a fish that size in that tiny river in between about 6 criss-crossed logs, 2%, but holy crap, I couldn't believed how big some of those fish are in such a small creek, now I know why its so famous!  During the entire trip I probably saw 3 similar sized fish but only hooked the one.


Brian J. said...

sounds like an awesome trip! I had no idea there were some big guys in there; wish it were open to night fishing...

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