Fly Swap Deals, Stories, Fishing Reports

Fly Swap Deals, Stories, Fishing Reports

The Trout Bum Fly Swap, now happening for the 12th consecutive year, is the ultimate way to sell unwanted fly-fishing equipment. We will display it and get it sold out in the parking lot of Fly and Field over the weekend of April 29th and 30th. People come from high and low to score good used gear. Once you bring your items to us, we will price it aggressively with a price for Saturday as well as a cheaper price for Sunday. If the item sells, you will receive either 100% in store credit at Fly and Field or 70% in the form of a check. If it doesn’t sell you can come by and pick it up or we will negotiate with you to get it sold on Ebay. We will be taking in used gear until Friday afternoon.

On the other hand, if you are looking for great deals on used fly-fishing gear there’s no better place. As just mentioned, we price stuff to sell, so this is easily the best chance you’ll have all year to get into some new-to-you equipment. In addition to the “consignment” part of the Fly Swap we also have some incredible deals available on new items in the shop. From clothing to flies there will be hundreds of marked down merchandise, some up to 70% off. So whatever you’re looking for, good chance you’ll find it at Fly and Field this weekend!


Part Two-The Weekend

Saturday morning dawned, well it just dawned cold. We even had a lovely dusting of snow! As forecast, the extreme winds of Friday were replaced with clearer, calmer skies, and a deep chill. Throughout the previous evening and night approximately twenty people had showed up, and as the early morning progressed more were arriving, either from the Lodge in Summer Lake or from Bend. As some of us got to making copious amounts of coffee, others were in the wall tent, which had been arranged into an awesome kitchen. Austin and Glenn were in there whipping up forty or so breakfast burritos! A fire was made and some folks were huddled around. There was still a decent wind buffeting the property from time to time, but nothing   like Friday. By 9:30 or so everyone was there with a rod strung up. We had a quick meeting around the fire and then broke into group on two of the ponds to work on casting and basic presentations. The wind continued to play havoc with some of the more fundamental casting concepts. So as the morning progressed, some went with learning some distance roll casting and then retrieving their flies, while others worked on indicator set-ups. Pretty much everybody was catching a fish or two while, you know, learning some stuff. As with the previous day, it was a rush to watch some people tangle with big fish out there. Many of them had never caught fish that size and for those of us who may have landed their first big trout oh, I don’t know, thirty years ago, it’s always cool to be present for that occasion.

Admittedly, the day may have devolved a little in the afternoon. Partly, I think that the weather just made it hard to keep everybody together and sticking with the plan. Partly, I was not as task-driven as I should have been. But regardless the reason, throughout the afternoon I wandered the property and found participants either happily fishing on their own or working in smaller groups with an instructor. People took breaks when they needed to. Some went hardcore and stayed on the water most of the day, strolling pond to pond. We did get a respite from the wind and a decent hatch came off for a few hours. There’s one area we call “The Bay of Pigs” that went off with rising fish. For a while there it was full-on Kids Fish Free day over there and although I was on a pond adjacent, the hoots and hollers and exclamations of joy were audible.

I was hanging out with a guy who’s been to a few of our Edu Weekends, trying to get some really big rising fish to eat when Scott came over to tell me my son, Jasper had arrived. He and I had talked about him bringing a buddy over from Eugene for the afternoon, but as the weather turned crappy and other elements conspired to keep them in the valley, I’d come to accept that it might not happen. So when Scott announced that my spawn was on the property, Eddy the dog and I all but ran back to the cabin. Many of you probably know, but for those that don’t, this young man is my favorite human and somebody who I miss daily. So I was beyond stoked that he’d made the trip. He was with Joe, a guy he’s known since they were little dudes and played basketball with all the way through high school. We went off for a cruise around the property and found a spot to fish. Jasper has become q pretty good caster over the last few years. There’s a spot on one of the ponds that requires a fifty to sixty-foot cast to reach a channel where big fish cruise. I got him in a spot where he had the necessary back casting room and let him air it out with a little leech pattern. Of all the fishing at lake in the Dunes, this is my favorite. It takes a really good cast, there’s almost always a good one out there eating, and the long-distance grab is the coolest. It only took a handful of tries before Jasper felt that peculiar, almost surreal, tug and set the hook. And then everything changed. The peace of the afternoon shattered. The relaxing calm flew off in the breeze. And way out there, maybe eighty feet away, a trout the size of a average Deschutes steelhead sailed clear of the pond. There ensued an epic battle during which the fish leaped far above the rippled surface several more times, tearing line, alligator rolling, shaking its impressive head. Every once in a while out there, you tangle with an entirely different beast. Even once I was in the water, net at the ready, it took a couple long minutes before this beast folded in. We got the camera ready and ended with a couple cool shots of fish and fisherman. That was the largest trout of Jasper’s life and to share it with him was rad. I don’t care that we were at a “pay-to-play” fishery; that fish took a really good cast to reach and sublime fighting skills to land.

Most folks were back around “camp” by five or six. It had been a long day in the elements. A fire was made. Most everyone who came down brought a pile of wood so we were feeling well-provisioned. Once again, Austin and Glenn were busy in the big tent preparing dinner for the 30 clients and staff. Some folks were already on their way home, having just come for the day. Among them were Joyce, Daphne and Bob, from Paisley, who have been at the last couple events down there. They’d spent the day with one of our guys and were so full of thanks at having learned a ton, caught some nice fish, and enjoyed the day completely. As much as we’re down there getting paid to be somewhere cool, the biggest reward is always in knowing that we’ve enriched someone’s life with an experience they’ll remember.

The evening descended slowly around the fire. We still had the occasional squall push through, even dropping a little snow once or twice. But everyone was now acclimated and dressed appropriately. There was not one complaint that I heard at any point in the day or night. We set up a makeshift dining hall in the cabin for twenty or so. It was cozy in there as we served a hearty plate of pasta with red sauce and sausage, Caesar salad and garlic bread. It was the meal we all needed; warm, fortifying, packed with protein and carbs, perfect for campfire-revelry preparation.

We began the night with a massive stack of wood, twenty or so chairs in a big circle and a beautiful moonlit sky. I was awed by the amazing diversity of the crew. And felt honored that so many people from so many walks of life were there, out in the elements, far from home or any semblance of normalcy, had taken the time, made the trip and were now feeling rewarded. So much laughter comingled with the flames. Great conversations circled the fire. It was a night I’ll never forget for sure and on a personal note to have my son there celebrating the night with the rest of us was the ultimate topper.

Sunday morning dawned calm and clear. We had a slightly smaller group for the last day, but almost the same number of instructors. So after a hearty breakfast, everyone filtered out onto the property in search of feeding fish. This was a day where “structured” education was all but lost to the fun of roaming freely from pond to pond, catching fish, sharing laughs and stories. The Bay of Pigs went off again with just a crazy number of fish feeding on or near the surface. There were a couple of hot rods over there in the early afternoon, but none hotter than Joe Devencini, friend of the shop and creator of the best sandwich in Bend, at his deli/restaurant “Plankers”. He was just relentlessly hammering nice fish on a #20 Griffith’s Gnat, having found a cove in the Bay where the little bugs were getting blown into a concentration. There were other fish being caught, but Joe was on a roll and it was fun to watch.

A few of us did break off to go begin the putting away of “camp” while others kept fishing. It was a glorious afternoon out there with a slight breeze tickling the ponds, bugs coming off, fish feeding freely. By three o’clock folks began packing to get on the road. There were so many smiling thanks, so much appreciation for the shared experience.

In retrospect now, a couple weeks after the event, the one regret I have, the one thing I wish I’d done differently over the seventy-two hours I was there, is that Sunday afternoon I didn’t go back out to fish for a while before hitting the road. In the moment, I was feeling the cumulative effects of long days and nights, exposure to some pretty harsh elements and a pang of homesickness. Jasper and Joe were making their way back to Bend to spend the night with us. I suppose the chance to see my kids hanging out together was more appealing than enjoying a beautiful afternoon at Lake in the Dunes, which I suppose tells you how much I love my kids!

            Until the next time…. I suggest you make the trip with us!

Prime Salmonfly dates just opened up on the Camp Stretch! We had a cancellation for dates that should be perfect this season. If you have a few friends and some vacation days to use, get with this program!! The dates are May 24-26. All signs point to this being absolutely killer timing. CLICK THIS LINK to learn more about our Camp Trips. Or better yet, pick up the phone and book these dates! You’ll love our awesome Lower River crew and recently upgraded camp.

We’ve updated many of our Fishing Reports for the season. CLICK HERE to check out the latest

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