Deschutes River Fishing Report

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Starting at Little Lava Lake in central Oregon, this 252 mile, southward flowing River, takes a turn at the Wikiup Reservoir, defies gravity and flows north until it empties into the Columbia River. Archaeologists will tell that for eons, the Deschutes was an important route for Native Americans as they traveled to and from the Columbia. Later, in the 19th century, Historians will tell you that the river was an important marker for pioneers, eventually becoming part of the famous Oregon Trail.

oregon-rivers-map

Today the river is considered an important part of our national heritage due to its extraordinary beauty and bountiful fisheries. Over 145 miles of the river have been designated as a National Recreational River while another 30 miles are crowned with National Wild and Scenic River distinction. Typically thought of in three sections – upper, middle and lower - the river passes through high arid country, flower filled meadows, and steep canyons.

As an official “blue ribbon” river, the Deschutes is perhaps most famous for its Columbia River redband trout, known locally as redsides. These trout have an unusual, bright red stripe that covers the bottom half of their bodies; the spots on the upper body are darker than other wild rainbow. Depending on where you are on the river, there can be as many as 1,700 redbands per mile, ranging from 8 – 16 inches. 

plan-fishing-trip

Warm Springs to Macks Canyon is the preferred stretch for catching redbands. There is good redband fishing along Warm Springs Tribal Land but special permits are required. The section from Pelton Dam to the River’s mouth has high concentrations of wild trout, including summer steelhead. The entire river is managed as a wild trout fishery.
 
Tributaries:
Columbia River
Source:
Little Lava Lake, Cascade Range
Mouth:
Columbia River
Length:
252 miles
Seasonal Conditions
Season
Hatches
SpringBWOs, Midges, March Browns, Salmon Flies, PMDs, Green Drakes
SummerCaddis, PMDs, Crane Flies, Mahogany Duns, Golden Stones, Hoppers
FallCaddis, Mahogany Duns, BWOs, Midges
WinterNymphs
Guide Reports
Water levels are still high, but not enough to scare off anglers. While not necessarily ideal conditions, the fishing is still pretty good. The river is down 100 cfs to 400 (normally ... morearound this time of year it’s in the 90-150 range). A lot is coming from the Little Deschutes. Once the runoff winds down, fishing should be excellent.

We’ve had success on the river with Jigs and Micro Mayfly Nymphs. Also heard someone caught a decent sized brown with a sculpin over near Tumalo. High angler traffic in the Lower Bridge area due to reports of strong March Brown hatches along with Grey Caddis, Midges, and some Blue Winged Olives.
Fishing Water Report:
Date:
Friday, 21 Apr, 2017
Fish Caught:
4-8 fish
Fishing Trips
Day and overnight, guided fly fishing trips on the Lower Deschutes River in Oregon are available for wild "Redside" rainbow trout and summer run steelhead. Listed as one of the fifty ... moreplaces an angler needs to fish before he dies, the Deschutes River is a must do for most serious anglers!

Deschutes River Guided Day Trips:
Day trips are available on the Lower Deschutes for both wild "Redside" trout and steelhead. A Deschutes River day float is a great option for those looking to experience the Deschutes and don't have the time or resources to take on an overnight adventure. Half day floats are available during the summer!

Deschutes River Outfitted Camp Trips:
One of the most spectacular Deschutes River fly fishing experiences is a 3-5 day float in which you float, fish, and camp your way down over thirty miles of river. Luxurious camps are standard fair and the fishing, and scenery are incredible. Deschutes camp trips are available for both trout and steelhead!

Deschutes River Steelhead Trips:
The Deschutes River has one of the best runs of summer run steelhead in the lower forty eight. Dam controlled flows and ideal water temps, combined with hatchery and wild steelhead makes the Deschutes River a very consistent steelhead fishery. A must visit destination for most serious steelheaders!
DESCHUTES FLY FISHING GUIDES & STEELHEAD GUIDES Regulations & Fishing Methods: Lower Deschutes River regulations prohibit fishing from a floating device, which means that ... morewe wade fish exclusively. As well, the regulations only allow fishing with artificial lures and flies on the Lower Deschutes, so we do both. We primarily fly fish for trout, but we always have a couple of spinning rods along just in case the fish aren’t hitting the fly. We focus our Steelhead fishing efforts swinging flies with spey rods in morning and evening and use a combination of nymphing techniques, throwing lures and using side planers with plugs through the middle of the day.

Above Maupin (River Mile 52): The famous Deschutes Redside Trout are the focus of our efforts above Maupin from mid-April through September when Steelhead begin to show up in the 50-miles above Maupin. September and October provide an opportunity above Maupin for “combo” trips where we target both Redside Trout and Steelhead in the same trip. November and December can be some of the best Deschutes River Steelhead fishing of the year if you are tough enough to brave the cold weather!

Below Maupin (River Mile 52): Beginning in mid-July, when Steelhead start to enter the Mouth of the Deschutes, we focus our Steelheading efforts to the last 50-miles of the river, below Maupin, where the Deschutes meets the Columbia River. Trout are common in this section of the river as well, but the main focus of our attention are powerful and fresh Deschutes River Steelhead.
Current Forecast
Water Flow
Fishing Access Sites
From its source at Little Lava Lake 133 miles downstream to Lake Billy Chinook, the Deschutes River has excellent year-round trout fishing. There are several access points for both ... moreboat and bank fishing.

At dawn or dusk try casting for rainbow trout as they sip at mayflies and caddisflies. Grab your raft and float with your feet dangling into the cool water during the heat of the summer. Take a hike and explore one of the river trails as they gently wind through canyons created by the untamed river. Watch deer forage for food just as the sun creeps below the rim of the canyon. Listen as coyotes perform their haunting call, announcing the sunset and the coming darkness. Smell the sweet fragrance of sage and juniper as the dew drips off its branches. Sit quietly in the evening and let the stars put on a show of their own. All of this plus a quiet, quaint campground where your family can stay in a yurt, or camp in your own tent or RV.
Fishing Water Reports:
Activities:
Fishing, Camping, Picnicking, Hiking, Wildlife Viewing
Campground:
Campsite
From its source at Little Lava Lake 133 miles downstream to Lake Billy Chinook, the Deschutes River has excellent year-round trout fishing. There are several access points for both ... moreboat and bank fishing.

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Fishing Water Reports:
Activities:
Fishing
From its source at Little Lava Lake 133 miles downstream to Lake Billy Chinook, the Deschutes River has excellent year-round trout fishing. There are several access points for both ... moreboat and bank fishing.

Sites 1-3 are huge and have been made into group sites, but could be used as a medium group site each with parking for up to about five large RVs or more and up to 30 people. Each has isolation from others in the area. The other sites are smaller but still have plenty of room. The campground has a boat ramp on the Deschutes River that is free for camper's use. There are a total of 23 sites that are popular, but the campground is rarely full and is a good one to go to if you are getting into the mountains late in the weekend at a busy time of the summer.
Fishing Water Reports:
Activities:
Fishing, Camping
LaPine State Park offers good bank access to the upper Deschutes and Fall rivers. //
Fishing Water Reports:
Activities:
Fishing, Camping, Picnicking, Hiking, Wildlife Viewing, Photography
Campground:
Campsite, Campground
From its source at Little Lava Lake 133 miles downstream to Lake Billy Chinook, the Deschutes River has excellent year-round trout fishing. There are several access points for both ... moreboat and bank fishing.

//
Fishing Water Reports:
Activities:
Fishing, Camping, Picnicking
Boat Services:
Ramp
Campground:
Campsite
Picnic Site:
Picnic Table
From its source at Little Lava Lake 133 miles downstream to Lake Billy Chinook, the Deschutes River has excellent year-round trout fishing. There are several access points for both ... moreboat and bank fishing.
Fishing Water Reports:
Activities:
Fishing
Sanitation & Water:
Toilet
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Rated as one of the top trout fishing rivers in the US byBob Mallard, author of 25 Best Towns - Fly Fishing for Trout
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