May 27, 2017- If you haven't been on the Deschutes in the last week or so, NOW is the time. Although the stoneflies showed up on time in early May, it took a while for the weather to warm up and get them flying. Last week brought some hot temps to the canyon and put the big bugs into flight mode, which finally stirred up some serious action with the fish. We are finally retiring the bobber rods for a while and even snipping the little dropper flies off of the big dry flies. Down and dirty, bow-and-arrow jungle fishing is the name of the game and we couldn't be more excited. This is when the biggest resident trout of our season show up to play. Give us a call and get down here!

Fishing Reports

100 reports totalpages: 1 2 3 4 ... 17 Next >>
Deschutes River - Lower - August 5th, 2019
  • Recorded:
  • Sunny
  • 98 ° F 
  • Fishing: Good
 General Report:  The dog days of summer are upon us, however the river is holding up despite the heat.  Early mornings and shady evenings offer the best condition when targeting fish near or on the surface.  Plan on deeper presentations when fishing during the brighter, mid-day hours.  Cloudy, cooler weather in the forecast?  Drop everything, grab your fly rod and head to the river!

Trout:  Daily caddis hatches continue to impress anglers from Warm Springs to Maupin.  If you're not swinging flies for steelhead in the early morning hours, fish spent caddis and adult caddis patterns on foam lines near shore.  As the air temps rise, switch to adult caddis patterns (tan #16) and fish them upstream, tight to the bank, under the overhanging alder branches.  Keep an eye on back eddies.  Once the surface activity subsides, fish pupa and emerger patterns in the deeper water directly below riffles.  Swinging flies for trout has also been productive using various soft hackles and smaller streamers.

Steelhead:  Despite fish passage numbers over The Dalles Dam, we have been finding very fly-friendly fish.  Don't wait for the 'spike' in numbers or the 'great fishing' reports, just get out there and make a solid effort.  Plan to fish from first light to 11am.  If you're planning on fishing below Mack's, make responsible decisions as the water temps go above 65 degrees in the afternoon and evening. 
Deschutes River - Lower - May 27th, 2017
  • Recorded:
  • Mostly sunny
  • 80 ° F 
  • Fishing: Excellent
 May 27, 2017-  If you haven't been on the Deschutes in the last week or so, NOW is the time.  Although the stoneflies showed up on time in early May, it took a while for the weather to warm up and get them flying.  Last week brought some hot temps to the canyon and put the big bugs into flight mode, which finally stirred up some serious action with the fish.  We are finally retiring the bobber rods for a while and even snipping the little dropper flies off of the big dry flies.  Down and dirty, bow-and-arrow jungle fishing is the name of the game and we couldn't be more excited.  This is when the biggest resident trout of our season show up to play.  Give us a call and get down here!
Deschutes River - Lower - August 3rd, 2015
  • Recorded:
  • Sunny
  • 85 ° F 
  • Fishing: Good
It's been a very busy summer here at Deschutes River Outfitters.

So busy, in fact, that I haven't written a report in over two months!  In the last eight weeks Matt and I have seen it all: Days of 100+ degree heat, periods of dense...and I mean THICK caddis hatches broken up by spells where we couldn't find an adult caddis in 50 miles of river, big trout on small stonefly nymphs in crazy fast water, fish on streamers deep in the belly of the runs, sippers in back eddies eating multiple species of insects on the same gulp(!), bighorn sheep, black bear with cubs (WHAT!?), golden eagles, bald eagles, falcons and cougar tracks, oh my!

Indeed, it's been an abnormal summer of sorts.  You may have heard of the fluctuations in water temps and flows.  This is a long story, but fear not:  The river is in good shape and our favorite anadromous salmonids have already shown up:  Steelhead have been hooked by our guests as they nymph the larger riffles in search of trout.  Yours truly has been able to sneak-in the occasional spey cast and have been rewarded with that addictive tug and the resulting downstream explosion from a fish that has spent the last 12-18 months in the salt.  The lower thirty miles of the Deschutes River is beginning to fill with steelhead as I write this report, and surprisingly the angling pressure has been light.

Currently there is a state-mandated 2pm fishing cut-off in the lower 27 miles of the Deschutes.  This is a good thing.  Our returning salmon and steelhead need this break in angling pressure to more safely navigate the warmer water temps in the lower river.  So what's a flyfisherman to do after 2?  Enjoy the canyon and all of it's hidden treasures that you haven't paid attention to before!  Soak in the camp life.  Crack another coldy.  Take a nap for pete's sake, you've been up since 4am!

This restriction is only in effect from Mack's Canyon to Heritage Landing and will not affect our trips in the upper 70 miles of the Lower Deschutes tailwater.

We are looking forward to a productive August and September of fishing the entire 100 miles of the amazing Lower Deschutes River and still have some small gaps in our booking sheet.  Want to swing for steelhead in the morning, fish for trout mid-day and finish with a relaxing return to the spey rod in the evening?  Now is the time!  Let Deschutes River Outfitters show you the WILD side of this amazing river.... 


Deschutes River - Lower - May 13th, 2015
  • Recorded:
  • Partly cloudy
  • 65 ° F 
  • Fishing: Great
Remember the old Hitchcock thriller 'The Birds?'  Well, replace 'Birds' with 'BUGS' and it's been like that on the Lower Deschutes!

However, instead of vicious attacks on humans by crazy feathered critters, we are seeing vicious attacks on salmonflies and golden stoneflies by hunger-crazed redsides!  The big bugs are everywhere from Warm Springs to Mack's Canyon.  Keep in mind that this hatch 'moves' upstream throughout the coming weeks, and peak hatch-intensity has a lot to due with weather.

This cool weather cycle will serve to slow-down the progression and prolong the timeline of the hatch.  Don't worry if you are fishing this week, there are a TON of other insects hatching right along side the stoneflies.  Don't get caught in the canyon without size 10 Green Drakes, size 12 March Browns, size 16 PMD's, size 16 tan caddis and size 18 BWO's for starters.  It's a veritable smorgasbord right now...and the trout are ready to feast.

Grab a bunch of fly floatant and get down here, the water is fine.....

DRO Guide Staff

Deschutes River - Lower - April 15th, 2015
  • Recorded:
  • Partly cloudy
  • 58 ° F 
  • Fishing: Good
We've been fishing in the Maupin area over the last few weeks and the trout have been surprisingly active!

Don't let the water color discourage you...trout gotta eat!  Not to mention that this is the time of year when our trout kick into high-gear when it comes to feeding.  The cloudy water won't keep these fish from their favorite menu items, so take some notes, grab your waders and hit the water rigged for success:

Early mornings- What are you doing up so early?!  Being down in a shady canyon means chilly mornings and little bug activity.  Pour another cup of coffee, tie another stonefly at the vice and pump the brakes, Sport.

Mid-morning/Early afternoons-  Now you're talkin:  Wadered-up with one rod rigged for nymphing and one for dries.  Start off with one of my favorite methods for finding trout who are keyed on the first big meal of their day; stonefly nymphs.  But wait: take off that bobber and wade the faster water with plenty of chop....almost like setting up for a summer steelhead run.  Cast your weighted stonefly nymph perpendicular to the current, throw a quick mend and hang on...we're swinging stoneflies for trout!  Work the run with a step in between casts and make sure to swing those big, leggy nymphs all the way to the bank.  We're imitating the seasonal migration of the stonefly nymphs as they stage near the banks in preparation for the big hatch in a few weeks.

If swinging stoneflies isn't getting the job done, make the quick switch to a dead-drift presentation with or without a bobber. Attach a smaller (#14-#16) March Brown mayfly nymph or an even smaller (#18-#20) Blue Winged Olive emerger as a dropper behind the big bug and work the slower seams on the inside of the faster moving water to find your fish.

Early/Mid-afternoons-  The wind is down and the sun is warming the banklines.  Grab your dryfly rod, rigged with a 9' mono leader tapered to 5x, add a little more 5x tippet and tie on a #16 Blue-Winged Olive Dun.  Slow your approach.  Find the seams where the foam is organized and watch:  Did you see that?!  These fish don't give up there locations easily.  No splashy rises, just a dimple as a big, smart redside quietly slurps a crippled BWO from the surface.  Cast well above the rising fish and get ready.  If they don't eat a few good presentations, you'll have to play their game:  change sizes, maybe slight color variations and finally try emergers.  There have been plenty of adult fish working the surface in the afternoons.  If you're lucky, you'll have the chance to catch one of the more prolific March Brown mayfly hatches right after the BWO's finish up around 2:30pm.

Early evenings-  Before the sun dips below the canyon walls and the calm afternoon is blown-out by the biting wind, finish your day drowning a few nymphs under the slower seams in search for greedy trout who have yet to fill-up on mayflies.  Get dirty and throw a pair of stones under a bobber.  At the end of a nice dead-drift, drop the rod tip and patiently swing the flies into the downstream bank line.  Search diligently and have fun.  Please be mindful of your wading and don't step on spawning gravel, as our summer steelhead are doing their part to ensure another generation of wild anadromous salmonids return to our stream...

Stay tuned for more reports from points upstream on the Lower Deschutes near Warm Springs!  The trout season opens above the northern boundary of the reservation on April 25!

Deschutes River Outfitters is a small, local, family-owned business specializing in single and multi-day fishing trips on the Lower Deschutes River.  We are equally prepared to show the beginner flyfishing enthusiast the ropes as well as you crusty, seasoned pros.  Our camps are comfortable and the food....well, some of our guests just come for the food.  Give us a call, we'd love to chat.  Interested in a trip?  Dates are filling fast, inquire about a reservation today!  Call (503) 804-9926 for more info.

Deschutes River Outfitters
Insta: @deschutesriveroutfitters
Deschutes River - Lower - September 29th, 2014
  • Recorded:
  • Mostly cloudy
  • 65 ° F 
  • Fishing: Great

Piles of leaves in the yard, kids back in school, cool mornings and warm afternoons.... what a great time of year!  Fishing on the Lower Deschutes has been solid over the last few weeks.  Thanks to lower water temperatures coming out of the dam and plenty of overcast weather days, the river has consistently produced the right conditions for finding steelhead on the swung fly!

Have you checked the fish counts at The Dalles Dam and Sherar's Falls?  If so, you are well aware that good numbers of our favorite gamefish are steadily moving upstream through the system.  Along with the steelhead, we are seeing a bunch of chinook salmon rolling and jumping in the bigger pools of the lower 30 miles of the Deschutes.  These brutes are less likely to grab a fly, but are great to see nonetheless.  As the Fall progresses, we can expect the entire 100-mile length of the Lower Deschutes River fill with grabby steelhead.  Everything is lining up nicely for another fun season of drifting the canyon, camping and swinging flies for these sea-run redsides.

In the early morning hours before the sun creeps above the canyon walls and hits the water, we've been happy to find steelhead who are eager to take skated dry flies as well as traditional hairwings.  Well known patterns like Bombers, Steelhead Caddis and Grease Liners have worked well on the surface, while the usual Green Butt Skunks and Fly Dujours do the job when presented just at- or under the surface.  We like to fish smaller sizes when the river is busy with other fisherman, so pick your flies in sizes between #4 and #6 or even #8 if you can find them.  Take smaller steps in between your casts when you know your fly is swimming through particularly 'greasy' water and make sure you are showing-off that fly!

Plenty of opportunity to find your fish in the middle of the day exists now that Fall is here to stay.  Cooler daytime temps and longer shadows on the water make this possible.  Get down and dirty with a medium sink tip in traditional runs or go dredging with heavy tips in the belly of the pools. Fish your bigger-bodied patterns like leaches and intruders in order to incite aggressive strikes.  Stick with simple color combinations like blue/black, purple/pink, black/chartreuse and just plain all-black and swing your way through the day in confidence.  

We like to keep one spey rod rigged with a floating line and long leader for fishing skaters and hairwings, another spey rod rigged with a sink tip and a leach.  This ensures total flexibility as we proceed downstream in pursuit of that TUG.

Keep moving, cover water and HAVE FUN!  You'll find your fish this time of year.

Keep Deschutes River Outfitters in mind when visiting the Lower Deschutes River.  We specialize in designing single and multi-day trips around your needs.  Let us provide you with the right gear for a fun, successful experience in this wild canyon we call our 'office.'  We prepare hot streamside lunches on our day trips, while a tasty gourmet menu compliments our fully outfitted multi-day camps.  Large tents, sleeping cots and covered dining areas provide our guests with the means to recharge after a long day on the water.  With October (our favorite month for steelhead) fast approaching, be sure to call and inquire about available dates.

New to spey casting?  No problem.  We've got the rods, experience and the patience to get you into the swing of things.

Come on down and join us for a trip you won't forget!  Our calendar is filling fast.  Call today to reserve your dates!

Tight Lines,
Deschutes River Outfitters
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  • Matt Carter

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Fishing Reports
  • August 5th, 2019
    Temperature: 98 ° F 
    Fishing: Good
  • May 27th, 2017
    Mostly sunny
    Temperature: 80 ° F 
    Fishing: Excellent
  • August 3rd, 2015
    Temperature: 85 ° F 
    Fishing: Good
Stream Flows
  • Flow (cfs): 4000
    Temperature (°F): 45.68
  • Flow (cfs): 5110
    Temperature (°F): 44.24