The Deschutes River is an amazing Oregon fly fishing destination. The Lower Deschutes River flows south to north from Pelton Dam near the town of Madras to the Columbia River, winding through some of the most gorgeous and pristine canyon lands in the U.S. It is famous for the native, genetically pure rainbow trout, known as “Redbands”. These are some of the most beautiful, hard-fighting trout anywhere. The river has fairly consistent flows, ranging from 4000-5500 cfs throughout the year.
It is known as one of very few “Blue Ribbon” fisheries for both native trout and wild steelhead. The river runs over eighty miles from the last dam to the mouth at the Columbia River. The Deschutes River in Central Oregon has been a “must-fish” destination for generations of anglers from around the world. The canyon is epic in every way. Towering walls, basalt pillars reaching tabletop ridge lines, archetypal high dessert terrain, diverse birds and wildlife, and all the while an ancient, powerful river tugs at every synapse you possess. It is a place that awes and inspires on every level.
The season typically begins around the end of April. The big bugs begin hatching soon thereafter and abundant insect life defines the river throughout the summer and into fall. Late spring is renowned for the Salmon Fly hatch with stonefly as long as your pinky! The dry fly fishing from mid-May to early June is some of the most explosive you’ll ever experience. The rest of the summer is spent pursuing the Redbands in any fashion you desire. You can spend the days wet wading riffles, fishing nymphs under an indicator, working every seam. Or prowl the banks looking for heads tipping to caddis and PMDs behind overhanging branches. Or swing large articulated “Skulpzillas” through drop-offs for truly exhilarating grabs! Read some of our Deschutes River fishing reports to learn more about our experiences over the seasons.
Late summer brings steelhead season. Beginning in the lower reaches and progressing up river and into the short, cold days of late autumn, steelhead fly fishing can be done on swung flies with spey rods or with large subsurface offerings under an indicator using single-hand rods. Whenever and whichever species you prefer to fish while on the Deschutes River, the surroundings will capture your heart and soul every time you look up from the water’s surface. It is so easy to imagine the history of the canyon; the massive migratory tribes that set up camps every year to greet tremendous runs of salmon and steelhead; the fierce battles waged over prime fishing areas; great herds of elk and deer. The spirit still breathes through the canyon in every afternoon zephyr.
Fly and Field Outfitters here in Bend, Oregon offers Deschutes Fly Fishing guided trips down every mile of the Lower Deschutes. From single-day drifts to multi-day camp trips, we will show you everything the great river has to offer. Check out our Oregon fishing guided trips page to learn more about what options are available for Fly Fishing the Deschutes River and which trip best suits your needs. If you already know the trip you’d like to book, click below on the “Book This Trip!” image. We are honored to have such a mighty river to call our office! And proud to continue the great tradition that is fly fishing the Deschutes River in Central Oregon. We look forward to having you down there! Please don’t hesitate to contact us directly at the shop for more information on Oregon Fly Fishing. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-866-800-2812.