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. This stretch of river is home to Rainbow, Brown, and Brook trout.
The stretch below Little Lava Lake is fishing well. Euro Nymphing can be productive. And a dry/dropper rig is also a great tactic to try. Good dries to have handy are PMDs, BWOs, ants, and beetles. The upper sees lots of angling pressure this time of year, understandably: It’s a really fun fishery.