Fishing | Travel | TROUT Magazine | Video spotlight

Desert Dries

Steelhead are never easy to catch. If they were … well, they wouldn’t be steelhead.

But they might be especially difficult to catch on a skated dry fly. One western river, the desert section of the lower Deschutes, is known for big, fresh-from-the-Columbia chromers that will, indeed, hit a dry fly on the skate.

Captured by the creative eye of Todd Moen (Catch Magazine), this short film above documents the efforts to get these desert steelhead to hit skated dries. Using a jetboat to get to the roadless section of lower river, and spey casting long lines to willing fish, angler and outfitter Jeff Hickman shows that these autumn fish can be aggressive top-water hunters.

Couple the fishing with some stunning scenery and post-Columbia Gorge fire scenes, and you’ve got yourself a must-see short. Especially if you’ve had it handed to you by steelhead before.

And anyone who’s chased chrome knows exactly what I’m talking about.