We provide guided fly-fishing on the lower Deschutes year round!
DESCHUTES RIVER FLY-FISHING FOR TROUT
The Deschutes River is an amazing fishery full of riffles and runs and custom built for trout fishing. Fish density is around 1500 adults per river mile. From Pelton deregulation dam to the mouth at Heritage Landing is 100 miles. The most popular section during trout season is Segment 1, Warm Spring to Trout Creek, Trout Creek to Maupin. Segment 2 has some great trout fishing and good road access but is best known for white water rafting. Segment 3 offers excellent access for anglers of every type thanks to the Deschutes River access road. Segment four is the lower lower Deschutes, Macks Canyon to the mouth, Heritage Landing, This is best accessed with a jet boat.
The Deschutes has good trout fishing year round! Known for its’ Salmon Fly hatch most anglers miss out on some of the best trout fishing of the year. We run guided trips year round on the Deschutes but peak season is April-June.
Wintertime January-March Winter fishing is a mid-day event, sleep in, have an extra cup of coffee and a full breakfast. Most of the action is mid-day in the winter. The water is cold and the fish are hungry. With a winter diet of midges and blue winged olives you’d be hungry too. Deschutes “resides” will smash anything that looks like calories. No respectable trout angler should be without a Pats’ Stone …especially in the winter. One Stonefly Fly nymph outweighs a lot of midges and BWO’s, that’s calories. For the same reason these fish will chase down a streamer. It turns out the majority of what trout eat in the winter are big things but that doesn’t keep us from keeping a watchful eye. Windfree days when the sun is muted out you may see fish feeding on adult BWO or even midges. When the wind is up try emergers or soft hackles, adult wings dry too fast to keep them on the water for long.
Springtime…April Sometimes we refer to this as pre-hatch, pre stoneflies. This time of year can produce epic days with big fish. My favorite days are when March Browns pop off. I don’t know what it is about MB’s but trout will not hesitate to eat them when they are around. I routinely step into a fish heavy spot tossing a March Brown pattern in the complete absence of adults, this is how you catch bruisers. These early hot spring fish can be a handful…a soft rod is recommended. Swinging soft hackles though these areas often elicits massive grabs. Of course you should nymph behind yourself as well. If you do not yet euro nymph you should try it, you will be surprised how well you do fishing behind yourself.
Nymph Migration Stonefly nymphs live on the bottom and move and crawl around a lot. Some people think they migrate all along the river at time throughout the day. What I do know is they make their way to shore when it’s time to hatch. During this migration the bugs lose their grip and are carried away by the current, this is when the fish eat them, in fact they gorge on them. As the season moves along these bugs make it to shore, crawl out of their exoskeletons and become adults. This cycle last 2-4 weeks depending on weather and water temperature. On the lower river closer to the mouth we can find bugs the first few days of May. The hatch moves upriver a day at a time and by late May, bugs are present in large numbers at Mecca Flats.
THE DESCHUTES RIVER SALMON FLY HATCH This is the most explosive dry fly fishing of the year. The draw is the size of the bugs and the willingness of even the wiliest fish to crush dry flies on the surface. Salmon flies begin to make their migration from water to land about the same time as the golden stones and the yellow stones, it’s a bug smorgasbord. As the Salmon fly hatch fades off the river comes alive with caddis and mayflies and trout fishing remains consistent into the summer.
Deschutes Jet Boat Trips for Trout. There are a lot of guides on the lower Deschutes and they are all good but they all offer the same experience, we offer something truly unique, truly better. We offer Trout fishing on the lower 25 miles of the Deschutes river via jet boat. This section of the river is home for us and we know it very well. When you meet us at the boat ramp you will notice there’s no line, there are no other vehicles in the parking lot. You might even question if this is a good fishing location. Rest assured, anglers who experience fly fishing for trout on the lower lower are amazed at the lack of anglers, the scenery and most importantly the quality and size of lower river rainbow trout. Due to the fact that we have the place to ourselves and that we have access to a jet boat our fishing opportunities are very diverse allowing us to cater to any level of anglers.
Jet Boat – For those with a desire to get off the beaten path, we offer overnight camp trips from Heritage Landing. For those who haven’t been below Mack’s Canyon trout fishing, you need too! Fewer anglers better fish! The lower 25 miles of river is best accessed by a jet boat at river mile zero, Heritage Landing. This is the most difficult section of the river to access with multiple class three rapids in the lower ten miles. Our “All Out” Camp is set a fixed location with a heavy emphasis on location. For those of you who have been to Steelhead Camp, the accommodations are the same; roomy tents with cots and pads, a luxurious dining tent and really good food! There is also a “basic” version which is a down and dirty single overnight get after it kind of trip for the budget conscious. These are exclusive trips often accompanied without any human interaction except your guide. The trout found in the lower 24 miles are plentiful and get very little angling pressure.
Drift Boat – The upper river is very popular and there is no jet boat access so we use drift boats! We offer multi-day camp trips from Trout Creek to Maupin. For those who haven’t been below Trout Creek, this is a bucket list trip! We will float thirty five miles through the wild and scenic Deschutes River Canyon. There’s only one way out and it’s downhill in a drift boat or raft. This section of river is best left to the experts. The notorious Whitehorse rapids is class III+ and plays gatekeeper, letting only the most experienced boaters through. Along with Whitehorse, there are numerous classed rapids, breathtaking scenery, and wildlife abounds! Deschutes Drift Boat Trips for Trout. click here for more details.