The Upper Deschutes River starts its journey as a narrow stream exiting the southwest corner of Little Lava Lake. In the shadow of Mount Bachelor, the Upper Deschutes continues roughly 7 miles southward until it enters the north end of Crane Prairie reservoir. Although generally in the 6-9 inch range, anglers can enjoy the fantastic brook trout and redband fishing in this stretch. Casting dries and terrestrials during the summer months can offer hours of excitement. Undercut banks and fallen timber provide excellent habitat for these fish, but can make casting a bit challenging at times. The remaining stretch downstream from Wickiup Reservoir to Bend is generally meandering, shallow gradient, and sand bottomed.
The upper Deschutes is now closed from Benham falls up to the headwaters until next spring. The river in town has been fishing well with euro-nymphing techniques as well as meaty streamers being the most popular methods.