So I didn't ride the Outback, but was feeling some serious envy for the riders posting gear lists and getting ready for the ride. So when Russ from The Path Less Pedaled asked if I wanted to take trip up the Deschutes River to camp and fish the stonefly hatch over Memorial Day weekend I jumped at the chance.
Because of all the other folks riding the Outback the same weekend, and the fact that we were using the trailhead at the Deschutes State Rec Area (the end point of the Outback) it just made sense to call this trip the Oregon Troutback.
In preparation of a long weekend of fishing, I tied up a bunch of stonefly patterns, both wets and dries. I used a foam dry pattern with rubber legs and a deer body wing. I tied these with both black and tan foam in size 6 with 3x long hooks. For nymphs, I used a size 6 nymph hook and tied black and golden colors both with and without beads. I also tied up some golden stone dries using the Kevin's Twisted Stonefly Adult pattern. I also brought a collection of traditional dries, like parachute adams, BWO, elk hair caddis, and whatever else was in my small dry box. I decided to take my 9' 5wt rod.
The bike needed a little love before it was ready to hit the trail. My main concern was the wheels, this is the original wheelset on this bike and my confidence in it is waning quickly. However, I haven't had the time or money to build a couple of new wheels. So, I hoped with a quick true and check I could get away with it for the weekend. Immediately this happened:
Things got weird fast. So, it was off to 21st Ave Cycles for a handful of new spokes and nipples, and a bit deeper into wheel repair than I wanted to get.
But, after it was all done the bike looked ready to get rad.
I'll follow up on some more prep and the actual ride in another post.