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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-13-2018, 02:21 PM Thread Starter
GWJ
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Deschutes River

Long overdue for some river time and swinging flies, so I'm planning on floating the lower canyon to the mouth next week, 8/19-8/21 or 8/22. I'd like to see the post fire damage in person and it's been too long since I've visited the canyon. I will be solo in a small raft, so if a fellow Spey Page member would like to join on this trip (you'd need your own boat), shoot me a PM.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-13-2018, 03:34 PM
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I thought I'd heard that the river was closed to fishing in the afternoons. Might want to check with Deschutes Anglers. Maybe it was the Umpqua.

Also, if you have room, one of those popup canopies would be nice. I heard that the shade burned up. Take tie-down cord. Winds can be ferocious!

Have a good trip.

"No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it is not the same river, and he is not the same man".--Heraclitus

Last edited by Bob Budesa; 08-13-2018 at 04:47 PM.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-13-2018, 06:08 PM Thread Starter
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Bob,

Thanks for the suggestions. Definitely planning on bringing a river wing for shade and am very familiar with the afternoon winds. All the reports I've read on the river post fire recommend bringing your own shade. I may just set my camp chair in the river to cool off during the day. I'm not aware of any hoot owl restrictions but I know the mouth was closed where it enters the Columbia. Water temps have actually been a bit cooler the last couple of days. Not sure if its due to cooler air temps or more cool water being released from the tower (likely both). If water temps shoot back up I'll likely bag the trip.

Thanks!
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-14-2018, 11:27 PM
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Originally Posted by GWJ View Post
Long overdue for some river time and swinging flies, so I'm planning on floating the lower canyon to the mouth next week, 8/19-8/21 or 8/22. I'd like to see the post fire damage in person and it's been too long since I've visited the canyon. I will be solo in a small raft, so if a fellow Spey Page member would like to join on this trip (you'd need your own boat), shoot me a PM.
I'd be curious to hear about the conditions after your trip if you are so inclined.

It's looking like a buddy and I will be doing it the first week of Sept. regardless of the ash.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-15-2018, 12:37 AM
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I'd be curious to hear about the conditions after your trip if you are so inclined.

It's looking like a buddy and I will be doing it the first week of Sept. regardless of the ash.
Ditto for me about a trip report. I have a pass for mid-September but am unlikely to go due to several reasons. First, we will be moving into our “new” old house after completing a major renovation in early to mid-September. Second, I’m not too excited about camping in ash and soot. Amy Hazel suggests bringing dust masks as well as shade. It could be brutal in some of the afternoon and evening winds that kick up on the Deschutes since we have not had any rain since June and certainly none since the fires.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-15-2018, 12:45 AM
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I thought I'd heard that the river was closed to fishing in the afternoons. Might want to check with Deschutes Anglers. Maybe it was the Umpqua.
It was the mouth of the river, but temperatures have moderated. In August, they start introducing cooler water back into the river, so the temperatures have cooled. That tower needs to be disconnected! It has a huge negative impact on both the resident trout and steelhead fisheries on one of our great rivers!

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-15-2018, 02:20 AM
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Yes. Would like to hear a report as well for both fish and campsite conditions. Our trip a few weeks back got canceled when they shut down access due to the third fire. Between Cookie and myself we have passes for a couple weeks post Labor day.

Edited:
More thoughts on the fire issue:

I'd not claim to be a serious old timer on the river, but experiences date back to about 1976. I'll admit that fire is part of our ecosystem, but also feel we've allowed things to get out of hand. My earliest memories along the river have pictures of tall sage brush, green grass to the shore, some great shaded campsites beneath old alders, lizards in abundance, a lot of people, and upland fires but few extensive burns along the corridor right to the rivers edge.

Over the years grazing was removed from the lower 90+ miles, and many know we had some amazing alder recovery. We also have had a couple floods that took the alders out, but within two or three growing seasons they again expressed themselves.

Today, we are having fires sweeping through extensive reaches of the corridor and consuming all to the river's edge. These burns are not leaving any sort of riparian vegetation to filter the sediment that comes down slope with the first post fire rains. I think part of our river bank/fire issue today is that we have cured 4-foot tall standing forage, measured in tons per acre, right to the rivers edge from Warm Springs to the mouth. Basically a long fuse from about mid-June to mid- September just waiting for ignition year after year. Even now it's more of a problem as the vegetation is converted from perennial bunchgrasses to a continuous carpet of cheat grass.

As a partial solution, I'd propose the management agencies return to some sort of controlled grazing program along the river to knock back the tonnage of fine fuels. Perhaps a program where stretches of a mile or so are grazed by cattle, horses, or herded goats every other or maybe every third growing season. Herded sheep are out due to health concerns for upland bighorn. Such management would provide some income for the animals' owners and create fire breaks that might limit flames to runs of only a mile or so along the stream. With proper management, the alders and their reproduction could be sustained.

Just my thoughts on one potential tool. I know there are some that would have a calf if they spotted a cow sipping water from the stream, but there can also be some ecological benefits to their presence.

Have a good one and do contribute some thoughts to solving our problem

Last edited by OkieDokie; 08-15-2018 at 03:36 PM. Reason: Additional thoughts.
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