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Desert Redband Trout Backpacking Trip

Native Redbands in the Desert

We recently took a trip to the desert in search of native Redband trout. Redbands are a native subspecies of Rainbow trout that inhabit different areas in the Columbia River basin. Though their habitats have dwindled in the past, there are now efforts to rehabilitate these habitats to ensure a more long term survival of the fish. We decided to check in on one particular habitat and we must say that the Redbands were thriving in the desert.

When we first dropped into the canyon the first thing we noticed was that the water clarity was good. It was Springtime here and there is always a chance of runoff. And with this canyon being pretty tight in some spots high water would mean less area to fish. Luckily it was overcast and not too hot so we had some really good conditions for clear water, and small native fish, and didn't have to worry much about rattlesnakes. Fishing in the desert in Summer would certainly mean encounters with snakes.

The first fly we tied on was a little tenkara fly. And we caught a fish on the first cast, so we knew it was going to be a good day. We always joke when we fish together that we are cursed because countless times we have gone out and the conditions aren't right, wrong time of year, we just missed a hatch, etc. But lately it feels like the curse has been lifted and this backpacking trip helped prove that. After fishing kebaris for a while we switched to dries just to see how they would take them. Dries were extremely successful so we tried some streamers which also worked. When you can get almost every fly to work (they didn't eat the mouse unfortunately) you know its a good time fishing. Watch the video if you haven't already and we give some more explanations.

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