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Dom
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Hi all. Been out of the game lately but this year me and my bud decided to fish Dechutes. We would like to hike and camp by the river. Personally I want to give a surface fly a shot. Is it that A or B rins are more keyed on surface? Any input on best timing and maybe a specific area that we should give a shot that you dont mind sharing? Burkie 7127 or 7134?
 

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Awesome trip...

When are you planning to go? Either rod will be fine, I’d lean toward the 7134 personally. I’d focus on surface presentations early and late in the day, probably fish tips when the sun is high. Just my opinion, I’m no expert, but have spent some time on the Deschutes
 

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Either will be fine. Personally, my go to rod for the Deschutes is a 13 ft 6 weight. Usually, my 7 weight is outfitted with a Skagit and tips for mid-day. Only time I have been outgunned on the river was when I hooked a fall Chinook on a size 7 steelhead fly. Finally pointed the rod at the fish and broke it off.

Mark
 

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A couple of pointers....
Make sure you bring a good wading staff and good boots. The bottom is treacherous in a lot of places.
Bring earplugs if you want to have any chance of sleeping at night with the train traffic 😜
 

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I like the train.
Maybe it's because I grew up with a train track not far from my house and the rhythmic sound used to put me to sleep so there is some nostalgia there.

The train is part of the charm I think though if I could magically make the lower 20 train free I would.

I was camped at Mack's a few years ago waiting to launch the next morning when the Eagle Creek fire in the gorge was terrible.
The smoke was thick and I was hanging out, sitting on the picnic table drinking a beer in the dark and wondering if I should even go. This weird light started glowing in the canyon and became more and more intense, I was wondering what the hell was going on before I finally heard the train and realized what was up. Coupled with the smoke it was a really bizarre sight.
 

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Many might also advocate just taking a nap there between 11 am and 6 pm. The fish there have the midday sun directly "in their eyes".
 

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Timing? Not an expert but I would go sometime between late August and early October.
 
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I’m another that doesn’t mind the train. Also, I love the epic/comic story of its origin. The cleared out line on the opposite side (river right) from the existing line was also the route of some railroad tracks - built by another company! Apparently, from what I’m told, there was a race on both sides of the river with the contract money going to the winner - first to finish. I guess they did contracts old school back then. :)

There is also a small airstrip in the Canyon I think 8-10 miles below the macs put in. One time the guide I was with had to pick up a client for the next day there who had flown his own plane in. With the depth of the canyon and some of the crazy winds there I imagine that has to be pretty hairy sometimes.
 

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I fished the Deschutes quite a bit last season and did relatively well for a steelhead newbie. I did land a B-run steelhead and saw several other B-runs landed. I also saw a chinook landed that was high teens, possibly 20 pounds. This was on the lower 20 miles of river. Quite a river. Very difficult wading. I am a strong wader, but I don’t think I have gone a day there without getting some water over the waders!

Jake
 

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I don't know if mind or don't mind is the right terminology, but it will wake you up lol
As Falstaff could tell you, you haven’t really lived until you’ve heard “the chimes at midnight”. :hihi:
 

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Besides the train, wind, and treacherous wading, the other iconic part of any Deschutes River experience is rattlesnakes. It's the first place I ever stepped on one.

From my most recent October steelhead trip. When I heard that special sound I looked down and he was about a foot away. And who says humans can't levitate...and sling lightning bolts of profanity!
 

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For those interested in the history, I heartily recommend The Deschutes River Railroad War by Speroff. Not only does it detail the story of bringing rail to the river, it includes a great description of the fascinating geology of the canyon and surrounding region.

Also, Cowboy Tom's comments regarding snakes is very appropriate. We have many, many recollections of them. I also have a faint recollection of Frank Amato talking to a friend about rattlesnakes as one crawled through camp between them; maybe he even named a few. I have vivid names for all of them!
 

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Dom
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Thank you gents! Looks like I will be headed there by the end of August. Very excited. Is it allowed to camp riverside? Would like to escape the crowd as much as possible.
 

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I kind of like rattlesnakes. I found this old timer and let my son catch it. We took it off the road and into the sage because an encounter with a human is usually the end of the line. When my wife saw this picture, she gave me an ear full.

I caught my first one without adult supervision at about same age as Graham. When my mother saw it in my snake cage she went ballistic. My father, bless his heart, told her if I could catch one without getting bit I probably knew how to keep it as a pet.

Rattlesnakes were under appreciated by the most important women in my life.
 

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You can camp next to the river in designated campgrounds, but there are a certain number of campgrounds and once they are full there is no camping allowed in the undeveloped areas. I have had pretty good luck always being able to secure a spot though.
 
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