Upper Deschutes River- Her Many Faces of Beauty
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 down to Sunriver, the brown trout-rich area between Wickiup and Crane Prairie, 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.
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Starting at Little Lava Lake the Deschutes River begins its life as a spring creek which flows around 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 is 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 Sun River. While once widely regarded as a world-class brown trout fishery, this area 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 will 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. Call us for more information 1-866-800-2812 or email email@example.com.
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We run guided trips throughout this entire water system and can do half-day or full-day, groups small and large, and for any skill level. Book an Upper Deschutes River Guided Fishing trip by calling 1-866-800-2812 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about fly fishing on the Upper Deschutes River, check out some of our latest Upper Deschutes fishing reports. If you still have questions, we are always happy to offer information and advice on the best techniques for fly fishing the Upper D. Come and see us at the store located at 35 SW Century Dr. in Bend, Oregon.