Brian Johnson

While growing up in rural Nevada I learned to tie a few rudimentary flies from a fly tying kit at the age of 12. That kit sat essentially unused until my college years in Reno when the big, picky trout of the Truckee River hooked me deep in the psyche and the vice came out. With easy access to a fly shop and a beautiful trout river, I spent nearly 120 days on the water in my first year and a half of fly fishing and I have many grand memories of long weekends, skipped classes, and extended work lunches, that all took place on the river. Eventually, fly tying became as much of an obsession as fishing, and my collection of fur, feathers, and synthetics, teeters between an involved pastime and an obsessive-compulsive disorder.

My involvement with fly fishing photography spawned at exactly the same time as my conversion to catch and release fishing. The beauty of the fish and the accomplishment of catching them on home-brewed flies is something that deserves sharing. Thus I entered the growing world of blogging, of which photography is often the core (my most recent iteration can be found at I now reside in the hipster-republic of Portland, Oregon and earn money for tungsten beads and steelhead irons as a consulting engineer. Here in the Northwest I’ve managed to take the obsession even further with broadened access to anadromous, warm-water, coldwater, and ocean-going fish. While the Truckee will always be my home water, I’ve had some magical days wading in waters such as the Metolius, Crooked, Deschutes, and Sandy Rivers as well as some equally exciting days pursuing carp in the Columbia river basin and trout in the cascade lakes.

The Deschutes

One of the well known gems in the fly fishing world is the Deschutes River. To be honest it was a river I avoided at first due to the large crowds. On the third trip there it clicked: really clicked. It’s now a river I think about when I’m fishing somewhere else, despite the inevitable crowds that never seem to lighten up. It’s the kind of gem where a trout fisherman can expect to hook a steelhead and the chrome-head can expect to hook a nice trout. Against all odds wild anadramous fish are thriving here and are a joy to catch – or to hook and lose as is often the case with these spunky fish.

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