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View Full Version : Drift diving the Deschutes River


Devildiver
06-25-2009, 01:45 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.


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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.

lovdasnow
06-27-2009, 10:02 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

Devildiver
06-27-2009, 02:43 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!