Lonesome Duck on the Williamson River and Fishing with Guide, Marlon Rampy
On Oct 10, 2012, Mike Brinkley and I met at the Lonesome Duck for the start a two day fishing trip with Marlon Rampy, head guide for the Lonesome Duck. Mike had already checked in with Debbie and Steve Hilbert, owners and gracious host and hostess of the Lonesome Duck. Debbie and Steve had donated a discounted stay for our Conservation Fundraiser in February and I was the lucky winner. Learn more about the Lonesome Duck by visiting their web site at www.lonesomeduck.com. Since Mike and I wanted to catch up on each other’s activities, we enjoyed a glass of wine while sitting on the deck overlooking the Lower Williamson River and watching a few big fish rise just beyond casting distance from the shore. As the sun set behind the trees, the fish stopped rising – too late to get in the pram on the shore to get to those big fish. As the light began to fade, Mike got out the hamburger to BBQ a couple patties on the grill on the deck. Marlon was planning on picking us up at the cabin at 8:00 AM. We were excited about catching the big Williamson River Rainbows and we retired early.
Mike and I awoke to clear skies with the temperature below freezing and frost covering everything. A warm cup of coffee and some breakfast warmed us for an anticipated exciting day of fishing. Marlon was very prompt as he met us at the cabin for the short drive to the drift boat put-in up river near Chiloquin. As we drove, Marlon discussed with us the proposed plan for the day. The fishing season was nearing the end for the year and Marlon told us it was unlikely we would catch large numbers of fish; however, the fish we would catch would overall be larger than average. Since the season was winding down, we were one of two boats launching. We almost had the river to ourselves. After Marlon rowed the short distance up river from the launch site, we were prepared to fish streamers from the boat. There was no need for waders since we spent the entire day fishing streamers and small flies on the swing. Both Mike and I used a 6 weight rod with a clear intermediate fly line with a 9 ft. 4X leader, 4X tippet and started with a tan sparsely tied tan Clouser tied by Marlon. The run below a fast water riffle was normally a great holding place for some big Rainbows. After thoroughly covering water that usually held large numbers of fish and getting no strikes, we started moving lower in the river fishing likely holding water. I had one strike but no hook up. Marlon changed our flies frequently but with no action. We did catch a few small fish as we moved lower in the river. When we got into the slower moving water, Marlon started to see fish. We then began to get more action and I was able to catch 2 Rainbows – one about 18” and the other 20.” After a fun day on the river, Marlon dropped us off “at the door step of our cabin” at the Lonesome Duck. After a glass of wine and some snacks, Mike prepared a simple but good meal in the cabin. For the next day’s fishing, Marlon planned to put-in lower in the river where we had our best success. We were prepared for an even better day tomorrow.
We again awoke to clear skies and freezing temperatures. The drive to the put-in was even shorter since we just drove to the upriver end of the Lonesome Duck property. We started our day fishing the end of a riffle that entered a deeper run. I soon had a beautiful Rainbow of about 20” that liked the tan Clouser. It was a good start to a great day of catching large Rainbows of at least 20”. The remainder of the day we swung flies in very slow moving water which I would have passed up if I were fishing the river without knowing the river. Marlon knew where the fish would be and chose the flies that were effective. Both Mike and I caught some of the biggest Rainbows we have ever caught using Marlon’s very effective flies and technique. We ended the day with 8 Rainbows over 20” with the biggest about 27” to 28” and an estimated weight of 8 pounds. I know that other Flycasters have caught bigger fish up to 14 pounds, but Mike and I were very satisfied with our catch results.
Mike and I highly recommend guide Marlon Rampy. We have always had a great day of fishing with Marlon. Other members of Flycasters have expressed having outstanding days of fishing with Marlon. To learn more about Marlon, visit his web site at www.flyfishoregon.com. We look forward to having Marlon as our guide next year.