The Deschutes is a desert river flowing north through deep, rugged canyons and has some of the biggest trout water that an angler will ever see. High-side drift boats or inflatable rafts help anglers easily cover large stretches water, but numerous class III and IV rapids make the Deschutes appropriate for experienced whitewater boaters only. Keep in mind, there is no fishing from a boat allowed on the Lower Deschutes. This roughly 100 miles of river boasts abundant insect hatches, healthy populations of Rainbow Trout, and a run of Summer Steelhead. The Deschutes basin’s strain of rainbow trout, called “Redsides,” grow thick shouldered, and are surprisingly strong for their size.
A popular float with plenty of fishing time and great views is the almost 10 mile stretch from the Warm Springs boat ramp to Trout Creek Campground. Beyond Trout Creek, boaters must float 30-35 miles before arriving at one of the three next possible takeouts. The first is a boat ramp at Nena Creek, followed by Long Bend, then the biggest at Harpham Flat, then finally Wapanitia. We fondly label this lengthy section of river, the "Camp Stretch", where numerous BLM campsites dot the river's edge, and provide boaters a chance to camp. Towering canyon walls and challenging whitewater guard the beauty and remoteness of this section of the river from over fishing. A float on this Wild and Scenic stretch of the Deschutes is our most popular guided fly fishing trip.
Well, it has came and gone. The stonefly hatch is over on the Lower Deschutes and we are now looking forward to the epic caddis hatches that happen every evening from here 'til fall. There have been some good green drake hatches happening on these overcast and stormy days, so when everyone else stays home, grab a handful of green drakes and experience some of the most exciting dry fly fishing out there.
Stonefly nymphs, trailed with a caddis pupa or a PMD nymph have been producing the best results all day. If you're itching to do some swinging, grab your Trout Spey and your favorite sculpin pattern (mine is the Sculpzilla) and swing your typical Steelhead water to find some large, carnivorous Redsides!
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