Speywater Reprise

Can anything be too good to be true?  How about this?

Daytime temps in the sixties
 Nighttime temps upper thirties to forties
New friends
Old friends
Sexy steelhead flies
A big pull
Adipose fins
A morning cup of camp coffee
Incredible scenery
Bright starry nights
Full moon
Bighorn sheep
Bugling elk
Canyon wrens
October Caddis
Dining by moonlight
The last campout of the year
A zillion things that I've forgot

My wife Jo and I floated and fished the Grande Ronde River with the crew from Speywater Guide Service last year.  Jo had such a good time that we decided to go back.  Hell, we had to, she bought herself a spey rod. She really had to twist my arm to go back.  Only kidding, I bought a new rod too! So, we re-booked the trip last December.  Flywater Travel arranges most of the trips.

The post from last years trip is here……so, I won't rehash the daily routine.

The why of the trip.  Of course, fishing is the primary reason for going. But, for us, first and foremost, it was a vacation.  It's an opportunity to meet some great folks, meaning guides and clients, too. Some go on guided trips expecting to catch a boatload of fish.  Failing that, they haven't got their money's worth.  Pity.  Even if one doesn't fish (and I hardly did after the second day due to back issues), the trip is a worthwhile experience.  Anyone with a good eyeball can't help but revel in the surroundings of the Ronde.  It's a great place for a camera and binoculars, a real naturalists paradise.

A trip such as this is also about learning.  When it comes to all things steelhead, Scott, Dax, and the rest of the Speywater crew know their stuff.  I picked up a few tips and better understand spey tackle and rigging.  Maybe something about reading water too.  But my casting?  It's still a work in progress.  Scott summed it up on the second day while critiquing my (dismal) casting.  "You get it out there, but you're not getting better".  Ditto from Dax.  Darn.  I have this nasty habit called "hooking".  My cast that is, not fish. Oh well, I'm trying.  Someday, I'll get it.  To cast well, consistently, takes... practice, practice, practice. Jo on the other hand did better.  She's not jacking out hundred foot casts, but she's making fishing casts.  Coaxed and coached by great guides, she's gained a little confidence with wading too.

So, without further ado…..trip photos!  Mousing over the photo will show a caption.  Click on an image for a larger version.

Wirehaired Griffon on the Grande Ronde

October Caddis

Geese along the Grande Ronde River

angler fighting steelhead on Grande Ronde River

Anglers napping along the Grande Ronde River

What I learned most is…..never take anything or anyone for granted.  Even the simplest task.  Like being able to bend and tie a shoe or wade a river.  Sharing experiences is good too...


  1. Beautiful float trip, Lester. That's the way to vacation, breath-taking. Thanks for sharing the experience!

    1. Walt, thanks for coming along. Truly a unique trip. The fish and the fishing are special too. High desert steelhead, hundreds of miles from the ocean.


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