The Upper Deschutes River here in Central Oregon is an amazingly multifaceted fishery offering a number of possibilities for fly-fishing anglers to enjoy. From the year-round and convenient stretch through Bend and up to Benham Falls, to the silent ghosting flats below Wickiup Reservoir and down to Sunriver have a diverse offering for any skill level. The brown trout-rich area between Wickiup Reservoir and Crane Prairie and on up to Little Lava Lake for some of the most picturesque brook trout water you’ve ever seen, there is something for everyone fly fishing the Upper Deschutes River.
Starting at Little Lava Lake the Deschutes River begins its life as a spring creek which flows about 12 miles to the first holding water reservoir, Crane Prairie. If you enjoy a high alpine setting through pine forests and lupine-filled meadows with brook trout finning in crystal clear water, this is a place you’ll really appreciate. And whether you like casting elk-hair caddis through singing riffles or stripping large flashy buggers around logs, against banks and through undercuts, there is something for you on this stretch of the Upper Deschutes.
Between Crane Prairie and Wickiup lies an area known as Sheep’s Bridge. Flows fluctuate through the relatively short season for this stretch of the river. But if you catch it right, the fishing can be extraordinary for large, voracious brown and rainbow trout. This is a series of beats you want to get some intel on before exploring. But if the timing is right, it’s a place you will never forget.
Below Wickiup the river flows quickly to Pringle Falls and then meanders the rest of the way to Sunriver. While once widely regarded as a world class brown trout fishery, it is now subject to massive and unnatural flow changes which have reduced it to a pleasant place for a sunbathing float during the summer with the occasional smallish fish to cast for. Another “dam” story!
Below Sunriver the Upper Deschutes again picks up speed as it begins a final descent into Bend. From Benham Falls all the way to Lake Billy Chinook, the river is open to fishing year ‘round and is actually most fun to fly fish during the winter (non-irrigation) months. When the flows drop, the river becomes more approachable for wading and easier to read. There are some good fish through this stretch. This is another area you want to check in with us before heading out. But on the right day, with the right flies, you could get into some really good fly fishing.
We run guided fishing trips throughout this entire system and can do half-day or full-day, groups (small and large) for any skill level. Book a Lower Deschutes River Guided Fishing trip by clicking the image below and you can see all of the different options and amenities we offer with each fly-fishing trip. For more information about fly fishing on the Upper Deschutes river, check out some of our latest Upper Deschutes fishing reports, call us at 1-866-800-2812 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We are always happy to offer information and advise for fly fishing the Upper Deschutes River.