View Full Version : Drift diving the Deschutes River

06-25-2009, 12:45 AM
Went out today to work on my freediving skills and to test out my new, hold me over until my gun build is done, fish killer - my home made Hawian sling. This baby cost me about $6 + some old stuff I had laying around the house, not a bad price to pay to hold off the urge to rush that gun build.




Here in Oregon the taking of freshwater gamefish is illegal. For some reason that includes damn near everything but whitefish, suckers, and other bottom feeders:mad:. As such, I was limited to trying my new spear out on those elusive species...as I drifted by two dozen 18"+ Rainbow and Brown trout:eek:. I did not see any whitefish/bottom feeders to shoot, but I did find a new use for an unused spearshaft. It works great as an Oregon lobster (commonly reffered to as "crayfish" or "crawdad") tickle-stick and "pinner." I would find the crawdad, tickle him out of his protective cover, and pin him to the ground with it so I could get a hold of him.

I spent about 3 hours floating the river, repeating the same stretch 3 times. Depths ranged from 2' to 20', with vis hovering around the 6-8' range, depending on if I was swimming directly down stream of where I had just kicked up silt, or if I was tacking. Because of the game laws, I didn't even bring my sling on the first pass because everyone and their mother was "floating" the river on rafts, blow up mattresses, and truck inner tubes. I ended up practicing my breath hold while collecting trash. I found a bunch of good trash, including a rusted block of a red ryder BB gun, an unopened 40 oz PBR, and a parking meter!

I ended up spending a good amount of time diving to a rock pile in about 10-12' looking for crawfish. I left with 10 decent sized crawfish, which I took home and cooked. Unfortunately no dive pics as I was not accompanied by a buddy, and I forgot to take pics of the crawfish...next time.

06-27-2009, 09:02 AM
ya it sucks that we can't take anything in freshwater. i also thought i should let you know that ODFW considers whitefish to be a game fish now, so you can't shoot those either. i've snorkeled the deshutes before and man is that river powerful! so much water moving along pretty fast. i was mainly looking for sunglasses when i did it though.

thanks for the report

06-27-2009, 01:43 PM
No kidding! I must have assumed whitefish fell in with suckers and the like when I read the game laws. Thanks for the heads up!

The current can be your friend. I float the river, do my breathe up's and when I drop, I don't really have to exert any energy, the water moves me. All I have to do is be at the ready!