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Lower Deschutes River Report

June 20th, 2024

The famous salmonfly hatch is now in the rearview mirror.  The caddis hatches are now in full-swing and should really get cooking as the weather heats up.  Best fishing times will often be low-light periods early and late but also look for shade pockets.  It's amazing how many fish can stack up in a small area of shade.  

June is a really good dry fly month on the Deschutes but there will be long periods of time where you won't find many heads-up.  Again, look for shade or go early or late for the most number of targets.  You generally won't see tons of Deschutes trout feeding in the open water sections in bright sun but sometimes certain backeddies and slow bank runs will have visible feeders.  When you see visible fish try an X-Caddis or even better try an X Caddis with a Sparkle Pupa trailed off the back (about 18 inches). The Sparkle Pupa is one of the flies that can really make or break a day when fish are eating the emerging caddis.  The Iris Caddis is also very good at fooling picky fish that aren't eating the adult caddis off the surface. Again, use this fly in tandem with a dry fly that you can see such as an adult caddis or even a Purple Haze or a very small chubby.  

Dry dropper fishing/nymphing is good. Many fish will hunker down in fast oxygenated water or deeper water so adjust your depths to locate fish.  We often run 4 to 5 or more feet of tippet down to our tungsten dropper fly to get deep enough.  Dropper flies to consider this time of year include the standard Duracell, the UV Tan Duracell  and the Berry's PCP


Lower Deschutes River Report

May 30th, 2024

Busy, fun, windy, hot, cold, explosive eats on the big dry.  A few words to describe the last week or so on the Lower Deschutes

You have 7 to 10 days left to get it done if you want to fish the big stonefly dries. Fishing will be good (but streaky).  Some trout will shift to primarily caddis over the next week but many won't be able to refuse the big protein meal.  Cover water, look for shade and/or foam lines and you should find some players.  

With most anglers throwing chubbies as their primary dry fly over the last few weeks, have more than just chubbies in your fly box.  The most famous flies at the back half of the hatch are Norm Woods and Clark's Stones.  These legendary Deschutes flies are effective golden stone imitations.  Have some and fish along the grassy banks. 

You should also carry a few big salmonfly patterns.  The Morrish's Fluttering Salmonfly, the bigger size Purple or Pteronarcys Chubby and the Craven's Morningwood Stone are a couple to try.  For certain fish, especially those living on the upper stretches around Warm Springs, give the biggest dry you have a shot. There's some bruiser's around and they will often eat the big fly.   Use a stout leader to turnover large flies.  The Umpqua Perform X Hopper Leader is a great choice in the 7.5 foot 3x size.

Dropper game is good.  Tungsten dropper nymphs make a great insurance policy when the dry action is slow.  You can pick one of your favorites.  Lots of different ones will work.  Have a couple different bead sizes and colors and that should do the trick.  Run the fluorocarbon tippet long if its sunny on the water.  Short tippet can be used in low light but run that dropper deep more often that not.  3 feet minimum. We often run 4 feet plus.

Caddis hatches are building, some mayflies are around on most days and the crowds are about to shrink.  June is a great month on the Lower Deschutes.  We have good guide availability:  Lower Deschutes River | Guided Float Trip - Full Day - Fin & Fire Fly Shop (

Lower Deschutes River Report

May 19th, 2024

The annual hatch of salmonflies and golden stones is now in full swing. 

Go when you can, we will have about 2 to 3 weeks of very good fishing ahead of us with the big bugs in the Warm Springs area.  Goldens and salmonflies are thick in the bushes and are starting to fall in.  Fish are noticing and we started seeing some good dry fly eats a few days ago. We have an incredible assortment of the best stonefly dries in the game and the staff here can help you make sure you have the right bugs. Have some Chubby Chernobyls in different sizes and colors but also have some Norm Woods and Clark's Stones as well as a few other types that not everyone on the river before you was using.  If you like to purchase online and be ready for your trip, you can get them here.

We are still catching many fish on droppers.  Adding droppers is a real way to enhance your ability to catch fish anytime of day even when it's a little slow on top.  We are usually hanging the tungsten dropper 3 to 5 feet below the big dry and using 5x fluorocarbon tippet to attach the two flies.  Its a very effective method.  You can fish at various ranges and angles and doesn't deter much from the ability to catch fish on top so you are essentially getting the best of both worlds.  Here's our online assortment of dropper flies (with even more in-store): Badass droppers.

We talk to a lot of people each day about their experiences on the water and a few key points stand out.  

1.  There's a huge differential in catch rates between the Top 10% of anglers and the Bottom 50%.  The top group are catching lots of fish consistently. I mean a lot.  Anglers in the bottom group are usually getting no fish or scratching out 1 or 2 per session.  There's also a middle group that does pretty well at times but not so good when conditions are not ideal. 

2. Hire a guide for a day. The amount you will learn in one day will make a huge difference down the road for you.  Understanding some of the nuances of leader construction, reading water, knowing when to move and cover water, trout behavior, how to hook and land fish, the list goes on.  You may not catch a ton of fish on a guide trip as this is a challenging river with many variables, but your confidence to fish on your own will certainly increase.  Book a Guide Trip!

3.  Utiize the experience of our shop and the many other experienced fly shops in the region.  Every one of our staff fishes the Deschutes River many times each season.  For quite a few of us, days spent on the Deschutes River number in the hundreds or even over 1,000 days.  Let us help you filter some of the "noise" out there and give you our most important tips to improving your day on the water.  

4.  Enjoy the process.  From the camraderie of friends and family, to a soaring Osprey that dives from the sky to catch a Redside, to marvelling at a desert river as Grand as the Deschutes.  We are blessed to have this opportunity in our backyard and should never take it for granted.  A feisty Native Redside eating your dry fly cast perfectly under an overhanging willow will only make the experience that much sweeter!

Lower Deschutes River Report

May 12th, 2024

Now would be a good time to plan a trip to the Lower Deschutes.  The famous stonefly hatches are now underway on virtually every section of the Deschutes.  Fish are now starting to look for the dry fly especially on the sections around Maupin and are just starting to show interest higher on the river around Warm Springs.  Most of the fish we caught this week were on droppers but a few came on the big dry.  The big dry fishing will only get better this coming week.

Water temps out of the dam have remained fairly low for mid-May and haven't really crested the "magic" 55 degree mark.  What this means is that some sections of river still have sparse numbers of salmonfly and golden stones and other sections are pretty loaded.  This has caused the hatch to sputter a bit.  Long-term that's just fine and all those stoneflies will hatch but some areas aren't prime yet.


Lower Deschutes River Report

May 5th, 2024

Its been a really fun week on the Lower Deschutes with surprisingly good mayfly hatches each afternoon, as well as midges and a sprinkling of caddis.  Dark skies make a huge difference in increasing your odds of seeing feeding activity at this time of year and we were lucky to have cloud cover most of the week.  The backeddies are loading up with fish that are looking for an easy meal during the hatch times which generally begin as the day warms up.  Peak activity on the dries is around 1 to 2pm. 

The annual hatch that seemingly everyone is interested in (the stonefly hatches) will begin in the next few days on the Warm Springs to Trout Section. In the Maupin area they are beginning and will build heavily as we warm up this week.  It's time to plan accordingly.  We will see good numbers of stoneflies in the bushes at Warm Springs in a few days from today (May 5).  Whether the fish are seeing enough to get all excited about them is another story but its always better to make reports than hear others report so its time to get in the game.  This warm front is going to get things cookin'.  We will have guides or staff on the water every day so please stop on in for the latest.  We have incredible selection of stonefly dries for this hatch and a really nice selection of our best sellers online: The Goods

If you aren't seeing any activity keep after it and move around.  Sometimes, it just takes a little warmth as the day progresses to get things going.  Sometimes, you'll need to get into the hard-to-get places that have shade.  Sometimes, fish just prefer to eat subsurface.  If that's the case and you aren't adamant on only catching fish on top, run a dropper.  Fish 3 or 4 feet of 4x or 5x fluoro tippet (we really like the Cortland brand) off the bend of the big dry fly and attach your favorite tungsted beadhead dropper.  Our store is stacked with a huge collection and we'd love to see you in-store, but if you'd like to pick up some and have them delivered in a couple days check these out:  The Heavy Goods

It's go time!

Lower Deschutes River Report

April 24, 2024

The entire Lower Deschutes from Warm Springs north to the Columbia is now open.  Opening day was Monday the 22nd and fishing was good for some and slow for others.  We saw some really nice fish caught on nymphs with typical stonefly rigs and euro-style flies leading the way.  Water is a little off-color but the flows are great.  The next two weeks are good time to hit it as the crowds will start build around the 10th of May or so when you can expect the first salmonflies and golden stones to appear around the Warm Springs area.  

The Firestarter Nymph crushes BTW.  Pick up a few in each size (#14 with a 3.2mm tungsten bead and #16 with a 2.8mm tungsten bead) before your next visit to the Lower Deschutes.

Lower Deschutes River Report

March 31st, 2024

With just 3 weeks to the official opener on the Lower Deschutes from Warm Springs downstream to the Northern Boundary of the Warm Springs Reservation now is a good time to book a trip with us.  We expect water conditions and fishing to be really good this spring.  Lower Deschutes River | Guided Float Trip - Full Day - Fin & Fire Fly Shop (

Lower Deschutes River Report

January 1st, 2024

The Lower Deschutes River between Pelton Dam to the Northern boundary of the Warm Springs Reservation is now closed.  This closure includes Mecca Flats, Trout Creek and South Junction.  This section of river reopens on April 22nd and demand for our single and multi-day trips remains very high so its not too early to book a trip.Guide Service - Fin & Fire Fly Shop (

The Deschutes River near Maupin all the way down to the mouth where it meets the Columbia remains open all year and can be a good option to wet a line through spring.  The access road parallels the river both up and downstream for many miles and provides easy access to many miles of fishable water.

Most fish are caught nymphing this time of year but as winter loosens it's grip look for Blue Wing Olive hatches to build in February followed by March Browns and Skwala stoneflies which make appearances at the end of March and into April and can help with some dry fly opportunity.


Lower Deschutes River Report

December 13th, 2023

Fishing remains good on the Lower Deschutes for trout with just enough steelhead around to keep things interesting.  With daytime highs in the 40's and water temperatures hovering in the high 40's, we have a couple more good weeks until the annual closure of the river down to the North Junction area takes effect.  

Nymphing remains your best bet to catch fish.  Of course there are a few trout eating the occasional Blue-wing Olive hatch (around 1pm most days) but nymphs are accounting for a vast majority of the fish caught.  The good ol' Slush Egg is our most popular fly in November and December.  There's still some chinook spawning and the egg represents a great meal for a fish that senses it's going into a lean time of year.  Perdigons (especially those with the Metallic Pink beads) and stonefly nymphs are also producing.

Steelhead fishing is decent.  More fish are being caught on nymphs but the swingers are putting in the time and getting some also.  For swinging, it's time to break out the Sink-tips, send it and mend it.  We usually use the Rio MOW Tips in T8 or T11 at this time of year.  As for steelhead flies, confidence is key.  Black/Blue and Orange seem to get the most attention. 


Lower Deschutes River Report

November 2nd, 2023

Trout fishing keeps rolling on the Deschutes into November.  Keep in mind that the whole left side (Warm Springs Reservation side) is now closed (until April 22nd) so stay on the right side (the BLM lands).  

Most of the larger caddis have faded out but you will still see some October Caddis, micro-Caddis and few assorted caddis on the warmer days.  The overcast or drizzly days are seeing good numbers of Blue Wing Olives out.  Look for these size 18 and 20 mayflies around 1 or 2pm.  If you are in the right place and right time expect that you can see decent surface activity, especially backeddies and slower runs.  When nymphing ahead of or during a Blue Wing hatch, downsize your nymphs. Most recently, the best has been the Olive Hot Spot Jig by Fulling Mill.  Thread Frenchies and other slim nymphs will also do well. 

Chinook are spawning so don't be afraid to run nymphs with pink (metallic pink is best) or orange beads also.  You can also run Slush Eggs.  They work!

Steelhead fishing is fair on the Warm Springs to Trout Creek section with a few caught on swung flies and a few more while nymphing.  This should improve through the month of November.  Steelhead fishing in the Maupin area has been a little better than up high.  Keep in mind that water temps are still quite warm for this time of year so you can still use your Scandi lines and smaller flies with confidence.

Lower Deschutes River Report

October 1st, 2023

October is a great month for anyone that loves fishing the Lower Deschutes.  Steelhead and native redside trout are available along the entire river.  Fall colors taking hold, pleasant days and crisp evenings. What's not to like?  Take a day off and hit the river.

Trout fishing is good.  Hatches of assorted caddis have been solid with a surprising abundance of dark small caddis in the mix.  October Caddis are also increasing and can trigger an explosive eat (sometimes on the surface but more likely as a nymph).  Mayfly hatches will keep you on your toes.  Chinook salmon are starting to show and the egg drop will commence soon.  Eggs provide an amazing food source for the native trout and if you see spawning salmon there will be fat trout nearby.

Steelhead are now being caught daily from the mouth to the dam.  Lots of feisty A-run fish in the river and a few bruisers in the mix.  Swingers and nymphers are all finding fish.  Cloudy days seem to really help the catch rate but go when you can.  Water temps are good for dryline fishing or skating a fly.

If you mostly fish for trout on the upper section don't be surprised to catch a steelhead while trout fishing like Russ did the other day on the Firestarter and 5x fluoro.  It's actually surprising how many steelhead eat the small jig nymphs.

We've added some of the most effective and time-tested steelhead flies to our website.  From tube flies and intruders to the classic hairwings, check out our new offerings or stop in the store for a timely report and even more choices.   Our guides and staff are on the water daily and would love to share their information with you.


Lower Deschutes River Report

August 24th, 2023

Excellent trout fishing occurring during the smoky skies we have experienced the last couple weeks.  You'll still find good fishing when the smoke clears.  If you can tolerate the smoke it brings fish into shallower water and lowers their guard. Judging by their girth, they eat very well when smoke fills the canyon.  You may find fish in as little as a foot of water when the skies are dark.  That same spot on a sunny day will be very slow and fish will retreat lower and deeper into the pools.  

Hatches are good but a real mixed bag right now. The dominant hatches are Caddis in a wide range of sizes from size 14 into around a 20. They are not as abundant as June or July but still the most important bug in August and early September.  Small size 18 PMD's and occasional but heavy midge hatches have been present on the Warm Springs to Trout Creek section.  Overall dry fly fishing is spotty right now but be ready.  Evenings (usually in the last hour) are good with some big heads showing up most nights.  Dark smoky skies improves the daytime fishing on dries but it will still be inconsistent.  

Nymphing is dominating the scene.  Fish are eating what we are throwing.  Firestarters and the Pearl & Orange perdigons have been crushing. Get them in size 14 and 16. August has been lights out with those two jigs.  Pick up some next time in the shop. 

Sexy Walt's, the Roza's Black Perdigon and Duracells are always good bets also.  Use a Duracell or Sexy Walt's when you see caddis around and the Black Perdigon when nothing seems to be working. 


Steelhead is GAME ON!  Fishing has been pretty good if you hit a good day with fish around.  Some days will be slow but that's OK as we understand the game. Most fish are being caught on small hairwing patterns but there's no one way to catch a steelhead.  Get your fly in the water and cover water efficently.  Water temps are fantastic for this time of year (low 50's coming out of the dam). Fish will move to the fly and August fish are hot, so get after it!

Lower Deschutes River Report

July 27th, 2023

Caddis hatches are strong but slowing a bit.  Fishing remains good with some dry fly action (especially early morning and late evenings).  Nymphing (all methods) will be your best bet for most of the day when light is on the water.  Our best nymphs have been Sexy Walt'sand Duracell's.  If its bright on the water and using Chubby Dropper tactics run that dropper tippet long ( 4 or more feet) to properly hit deeper water and dropoffs.  

If you can't deal with the crowds of the salmonfly hatch in May now would be a good time to check the river out.   Most days see just a few anglers working in the Mecca and Trout Creek Campground areas and only a handful of guide boats per day.  Weekends are a little busier but nothing at all like the craziness of May.  


Lower Deschutes River Report

July 16th, 2023

Angling pressure is low, fishing is really good.  What's not to like?  Yes, it can be quite hot during the day so make a good gameplan and stick to it.  Try an early morning trip.  How early?  Be on the water at 5am, fish till 10 or 11am and call it a day. The lazy eats of morning sippers are really cool to watch. The early morning is a wonderful time to fish in summer on the Deschutes.

If you're floating and doing the routine midday float look for shade and/or oxygenated riffles.  You'll also find fish in slow moving runs (similar to winter water) where fish are conserving energy and hanging deep enough that the ospreys can't get them   Wet wade and stay hydrated.  Take a short nap under a shady tree when things get slow.  Enjoy some great food at a Mexican restaurant in Madras on the way home.

Evenings are the best time to fish the Deschutes in July.  We fish after work almost every night and it ranges from good to stupid good. Wind can be an issue but it usually calms just in time for primetime which is the last hour before dark.  We walk out with headlamps. As a reminder you can fish up to 1 hour after sunset in Oregon.  Most nights you'll find us carrying 2 rods each. The first one is a 5 wt rigged up with the Chubby Dropper program.  We catch a few really nice fish on the chubby (especially in low light) but its really a glorified bobber with a hook on it.  The chubby is the modern mult-tasking bobber.  Chubbies do catch fish but mainly they let us know when a redside has climbed on the dropper.  As far as droppers go, pick your favorite confidence fly and go cast.  We like flies tied on jig hooks.  We really like flies tied on jig hooks.  Virtually every dropper we fish is tied on a jig hook.  Our top selling flies in the shop are jigs.  Firestarter's, Pearl & Orange, Sexy Walt's, Duracell's, Blowtorch's, PCP's.  There's a bunch of other really good ones.  Have an assortment of bead and hook sizes.  Our most common size hooks are #14 through #18.  Use 5x tippet off the chubby.  3 to 5 feet is our most common length between the dropper and the chubby.  Make adjustments as needed and think about shortening the distance as the night goes on as fish are moving higher in the water column.

The second rod should be rigged up with a small dry fly or a small dry fly with a pupa off the back.  We mostly use 5 wt's but a 4 wt. does the trick also and has the added benefit of extra tippet protection.  This is a caddis show with a few supporting characters.  The main star is the caddis.  Have a good assortment of caddis in tan, brown and olive.  Tan #16 seems to cover many situations but don't sleep on the smaller #18's as summer progresses.  Our staple fly is the X Caddis. Various CDC Caddis, Missing Links and the Finfetcher Caddis are also good to carry.  If you find a picky riser that's not eating your fly, you can change it, but better yet, make sure you are getting a good angle and drift.  You'll also see some mayflies out and about.  Every once in a while, mayflies are the difference maker. PMD's are the most common mayfly in summer.  Fish a Sparkle Dun PMD or a Winger PMD in #16 or #18.  A Purple Haze also works magic at times.  

The tricked out method for catching rising fish on the Lower Deschutes is to fish the Sparkle Pupa off the back of another dry.  Just try it next time you find a fish that does not readily take your caddis or mayfly dry.  Pick up some #16 and #18's in tan and add about 12" to 18" of 5x (or 6x if you're brave!) from the dry fly and hang on.  

Water temperatures are great in the Warm Springs to Trout Creek section but it does get pretty warm as you head to Maupin.  Keep an eye out for water temperatures above 65 degrees as summer progresses.  We have a bunch of the handy Fishpond Thermometer in stock so that you can easily check the temperature wherever you are.

We are keeping our fingers crossed on the steelhead runs.  There's probably a few down by the mouth (OK, OK, there have been a few reports of fish caught!) and we'll keep you posted on the conditions.  We look forward to swinging a dryline very soon.

Lower Deschutes River Report

July 5th, 2023

Caddis, Caddis and more Caddis.  That's the name of the game right now.  Dry fly fishing in the right spots is really good.  Obviously look for shade and foam lines to find the bigger players.  Also, when the sun hits the water in the morning look for some heads up as the bug activity heats up. Good casting fundamentals really matter at this time of year.   Carry a good assortment of X Caddis (always have a plenty of this key Deschutes fly).  Elk Hair Caddis have their moments for sure, Finfetcher Caddis (visible in certain light conditions) and a few of the tricked out CDC varieties. Sparkle Pupas are another key fly in July.  Fish one behind a dry and see why we love this little classic pattern.

Evening caddis hatches are excellent. Bring the headlamp and finish late.  It's pretty amazing how much the Deschutes turns on after the sun goes behind the canyon walls.

The subsurface (nymphing) game can be very good also.  Some spots are loaded with fish while others are quiet.  Keep moving till you find action. Chubby dropper fishing is excellent when you find fish. This technique works best for anyone willing to work a run and not get fixated in one spot.  Top nymphs in July include the Duracell Jigs (or other CDC nymphs) Sexy Walt's, Pearl & Orange and Lite Brite Perdigons.  Most of these should be in sizes 14 to 18 and lean to the smaller sizes if fishing quiet water bank water or backeddies.  Riffles are also holding fish.  If fish are up high in the riffle you'll often get them right away as they don't have much time to make their mind up.

We have good guide availability on most days in July.  Treat yourself to a memorable day in the beautiful Deschutes canyon.


Lower Deschutes River Report

June 15th, 2023

Other than a few lingering golden stones and salmonflies above the Warm Springs Launch to Pelton Dam stretch, you can safely say the Stonefly Hatch of 2023 is now in the books. For some this is bad news, but for those of us that love the river, its actually a relief.

The good news is that the caddis hatches are building rapidly while the crowds are drastically diminished.  This is a great time of year to fish Central Oregon as the Deschutes trout are hungry and looking for lots of small meals and available to catch with many different tactics.  

With lots of room to roam, even on weekends, this is a great time to look for heads up in the shade and toss dry flies or you can nymph the riffles to your heart's content. If you like to swing a fly whether its a soft hackle or a streamer, be confident in knowing it just takes a good cast in the right place to hook into one of the strongest trout in the West: The Native Redside. 

We of course would love to show you the section of river that still has healthy trout populations.   Book a guide trip with one of our seasoned and skilled guides on the Lower Deschutes and find out why we like this time of year so much!

Lower Deschutes River | Guided Float Trip - Full Day - Fin & Fire Fly Shop (

Lower Deschutes River Report

June 8th, 2023

Stonefly hatch is winding down on the Warm Springs to Trout Creek section of the Lower Deschutes but its still on and fishing has been excellent this week!Keep in mind that we had a late spring this year and the last few years timing is not a great guide to what's going on out there right now.  You will still see decent numbers of big bugs in the bushes and on the water for the next 5 to 7 days.  Dry fly fishing with the big bugs is good and in spots where bugs are falling in fishing can be dynamite.  Many fish will refuse the larger chubbies now but still fall for the smaller size 10's and 12's as well as the classics duo of golden stones which are the Clark's Stone and the Norm Woods.  We also have had good recent success with a new bug for this year called the Mason's Fallout Golden Stone.

Chubbies still working but don't only carry chubbies.  Fish the smaller stuff.

Dropper fishing has been excellent.  Many different flavors to choose from but Duracell's, Hustler's, Sexy Walt's and Firestarters are on.  The Roza's Black Perdigon is really good also.  It's pretty sparse and has a little red hot spot that just glows underwater and the fish are noticing it.  Try this one in the morning when the midge hatch starts and hold-on. 

A great redside caught by our buddy Austin.

Caddis season is here.  X Caddis in Tan and Olive as well as Sparkle Pupa should be in your box.  Some fish will absolutely ignore the big stone patterns in favor of the more abundant caddis.  Time to drop your tippet size down to 5x to get these fish to eat.

You may see some yellow mayflies (either PMD's or PED's).  Size 14, 16 and 18 will cover virtually anything that you will encounter.  You can also keep it simple and run a Purple Haze #16 and that will fool a good majority of the players (but not all).


Lower Deschutes River Report

May 25th, 2023

Its Go-Time on the Lower Deschutes.  The stonefly hatches are in full swing and the fishing is getting better every day.

We are still in the early stages of the hatch and some spots have "keyed-in" fish and others do not. Dry fly fishing is good at various times of day.  On colder mornings the best bites have occured when the water and the air temp warms and gets the bugs moving.  Evening bites have gotten much better in the last few days so don't get off too early as shade always improves the dry fly fishing.  

The Chubby Dropper system continues to work well.  Pick your favorite Chubby.  Ours are usually the Fin & Fire exclusive Chubby Beaver as well as Purple Chubbies and Chubby Pternonarcys.  Our most effective droppers are the Sexy Walt's, Tasmanian Devils and Pearl and Orange.  We have an amazing selection of flies in-store and online:  Flies - Fin & Fire Fly Shop ( Your leader to the chubby should be 7.5 feet tapered to 3x and the tippet material to the dropper should be 5x Fluorocarbon.  There's tons of great fluoro in stock but the shop favorite is Cortland.  It's very strong!

If you'd like to skip the dropper nymph and go with just the dry, it's time to have at it. You can still fish a chubby but even better would be fish the classics.  The Clark's Stone and the Norm Woodsare legends for a reason.  Don't leave home without them.  For these flies we are usually using about 3x or 4x tippet so that we get a nice presentation.  

Have fun!

Lower Deschutes River Report

May 20th, 2023

After a huge thunderstorm that hit the Lower Deschutes River near Warm Springs on Friday May 19th that sent huge amounts of mud and trees downstream, the river is clearing very nicely.  You should feel confident heading down there again. The roads to Mecca Flats and Dry Creek(which had a flash flood) may have some road work going on so be flexible.  The road to Trout Creek is good.   As of Friday, the hatch was in full swing and fish are now looking for the big dries.  Its time to pull out your favorite Chubby Chernoby's, Norm Woods or Clark's Stones and hit the banks.  As the water is still high, most of the fish are in very tight to the bank.  Dropper game is improving also as caddis hatches have really taken off with the warm days and warming water temperatures.  Sexy Walt's, Duracells and Berry's PCP are getting 'em. 

Photo from the River at Trout Creek Campground at 230pm on May 20th. It's still a little off color and high but clearing fast and will drop.

Lower Deschutes River Report

May 13th, 2023

The annual Stonefly Hatches have now begun on virtually all sections of the Lower Deschutes.  The recent heat-up has moved most stonefly nymphs in tight and we are now seeing a few adult bugs as high as Warm Springs.  

Water levels have dropped to 5400 on the Madras gauge which is higher than the last few years but very normal for May. It's time to get after it as the next few weeks will be your best shot at hooking really nice trout on big dry flies.  

Nymphing large stoneflies in the higher water has been our best tactic this week and you should still be prepared to fish nymphs even when you see adults in the bushes as many fish lean heavily subsurface early on.  As the hatch builds, be prepared with a good assortment of different size and color dry flies to imitiate the prevalent Salmonfly and Golden Stone hatches.

We do have some guide availability from May 16th through the 22nd and also in the first week of June.  Lower Deschutes River | Guided Float Trip - Full Day - Fin & Fire Fly Shop (


Lower Deschutes River Report

May 7th, 2023

The Lower Deschutes at Warm Springs has dropped to a very fishable level (5100 CFS).   Fishing has been hit-or-miss but many anglers have done very well nymphing.  Stonefly nymphs, San Juan Worms and various heavy perdigons have been getting it done.   We haven't seen any stoneflies in the bushes yet but that is coming soon.  Water temps are still a little low for the stonefly hatches to start but the warm front next weekend should get things rolling.  

Swinging with a trout spey rod has been a blast this spring.  Near Nuff Sculpins and Sculpzillas are always a killer choice but don't be afraid to show them something different.  Confidence is key.  Cover the runs efficiently and enjoy the peace from stepping in a run and working it well.  

Lower Deschutes River Report

April 29th, 2023

The entire Lower Deschutes River from Warm Springs to Trout Creek is now open.  April 22nd was the opener and the river fished well.  Over the last week, the river gained a ton of volume and as of today the river is very high.  The Madras gauge is at 6400 CFS on Saturday the 29th. 

Keep an eye on the flows before you go and make sure to wade very carefully.  If you have mostly fished the river in the 4,000 to 5,000 CFS, the fish are often much closer to the shore right now at these higher flows.

For the next couple weeks, stonefly nymphs should be in your starting line-up.  A few of our favorites are the Cheeseburger Nymph, Lex's Improved Stone and the Pat's Rubber Legs.  These are best fished with a traditional indicator set up and some split shot.  

For those of you that prefer the Chubby Dropper approach, focus on the slower water and adjust the bead size of the dropper fly until you are finding bottom.  Most fish aren't going to move very far to eat the nymphs in the off color water.  

Before the high water event, Trout Spey/Streamer fishing was very good.  Black Sculpzillas were getting it done.   We were using our 4 weight Trout Spey rods and sink-tips in the T-8 or T-11 range.  Always go barbless as you will incidentally hook steelhead smolts in the process.  

When will the hatch start?  The famous stonefly hatches look like they will be a little late this year.  Remember, the bugs need around 55 degree water to migrate to shore and we are at 50 degrees right now.  With lots of cold water entering the system, be prepared for a hatch to start later than the last 5 plus years.

We do have good guide availability in the months of May and June including May 6th to 23rd and in June.  Book today to reserve a spot:  Lower Deschutes River | Guided Float Trip - Full Day - Fin & Fire Fly Shop (

We hope you have a great season on the wonderful Lower Deschutes River and come and see us!



Lower Deschutes River Report

December 20th, 2022

The season is winding down on the Lower Deschutes in the Warm Springs area.  Cold fronts have made fishing and access a challenge lately but if you  find a good window of warmth in the 30's or 40's you'll find fish.

Steelhead are still being caught and November turned out pretty good.  From the dam down to the South Junction area we saw quite a few fish caught.  The last couple weeks have been a bit slower but that is normally the case when it gets cold out.  Both swung flies and nymphing will get eaten.  Water temps out of the dam are now in the mid 40's so slow that fly down.  

Warm Springs section hatchery Steelhead caught on 5x Tippet and a size #14 Pearl & Orange Perdigon while trout fishing. 

Trout fishing is best on days on warmer days.  You'll find a pretty decent Blue Wing Olive hatch to occur around 1 pm on most days and the fish are noticing.  Look for water that is not moving fast, often backeddies and tailout of runs to find fish. 

If you are going to match the hatch and see fish eating dries, go small (around #20) and carry some different patterns.  Some fish are eating the emergers and your high-riding dun may not get it done.  This is the predominant hatch on the river for the next few months.

Euro-nymphing, Chubby Dropper and indicator style fishing is good when the fish are on the hunt.  Again, warmer days ( and warmer parts of the day) are best.  Our best flies have been the Pearl & Orange, Olive Hot Spot and the Slush Egg. Trout spey and streamer fishing has been hit-or-miss but always worth some time and often produces some of the best fish of the day. If you would like to learn more about this amazingly fun way to fish you absolutely need to check out Skagit Master 5from our friend Jeff Mishler.  The footage from the Deschutes is Prime!

Even though the Warm Springs section closes on December 31st until April 22nd, keep in mind the Lower Deschutes remains in the Maupin area all year and trout fishing can be good with excellent roadside access.  

Its been another great year of trout fishing on the Lower Deschutes.  Make 2023 the year you experience and learn one of the great Western rivers.  

Lower Deschutes River Report

November 22nd, 2022

The Lower Deschutes remains a good option for the next few weeks.  Steelhead fishing has held up surprisingly well in the Warm Springs to Trout Creek section and we have seen many steelhead caught.  With water temperatures now below 50 degrees we have put away the dry line set-ups of fall in favor of sink-tips and small intruder style flies.  You certainly can find fish with double nymph rigs using stonefly nymphs and/or egg patterns below an indicator.   Warm weekends have seen a fair amount of angling pressure but there's plenty of water if you're willing to move and cover water.  

The trout game is still really good in select spots where the water slows down some.  You are going to find the most active trout when the water warms up a bit especially if its a cold night.  Unlike the summer when its best to get out really early or stay late, winter fishing can really turn on midday.  Dry fly fishing is slow but the nymphing game is good with perdigons such as the Firestarter, Pearl & Orange and Spanish Bullets leading the charge.  You should also try a Fulling Mill Slush Egg if you are so inclined.  Slush eggs really get fish if trout are looking for eggs in your chosen spot. Chinook eggs are a vital source of food on the Lower Deschutes each fall.  As usual, we are fishing Chubby Chernobyl's as our indicator and running about 4 feet of 5x fluorocarbon between the Chubby and Dropper. 

Trout streamer fishing is hit-or-miss but very fun when you find unpressured fish that aren't jaded by all the steelhead flies going past.  A 4 wt trout spey is a perfect choice for the Lower Deschutes especially for the sink-tip game and but 3 wt's work well also.  


Lower Deschutes River Report

October 11th, 2022

Overall, trout fishing is good through the Warm Springs to Maupin section of the Lower Deschutes.  We have been on the water a ton and continue to find very healthy redsides and the occasional bonus steelhead.  The warm weather has been awfully nice and if you are thinking about a day (or three) on the water just go do it.  The canyon in fall is spectacular.  

If you are targeting trout you'll find good fishing through the day (not just low light periods).  We continue to use the very effective Chubby Dropper style of fishing and finding fish in many different water types.  Hot flies include Pearl & Orange perdigon, Roza's Pink Hare's Ear jig, Tasmanian Devil and the various Thread Frenchies.  With chinook arriving and spawning occurring soon, egg patterns should also be in your box.  October caddis have been active and in spots the fish will chase the pupa down or even eat the dry.  We are not seeing much dry fly activity overall you may see some localized and strong caddis activity from smaller sized caddis.

Steelhead fishing seems to be a moving target.  We found some pretty good success from Warm Springs to Mack's Canyon. When you find a fish you often find a couple more.  We have caught fish on the swing with Scandi lines and traditional hairwings, sinktips and marabou flies and on the jig flies while trout fishing with Chubby Dropper tactics.  In other words, good things can happen when you have a fly in the water.  

Lower Deschutes River Report

September 5th, 2022

Steelhead fishing is open and we are getting mixed reports from the lower river downstream of Maupin.   Most of the fish we have seen have been caught in the Mack's to the Mouth section but you can expect to see more upstream fish from here on out.  This is a great time to break out the Scandi Line, floating or intermediate polyleader and your favorite hairwing or muddler.  We will be out there quite a bit over the next few weeks so stop on in to get that fresh report.

Trout fishing is just coming out of the "Dog Days of Summer" which happens every August.  Its been pretty slow overall with a few good days mixed in. September will see good improvement in the fishing.  Don't be surprised to encounter a steelhead while trout fishing.  When we have been finding trout, they have been hot and robust and are obviously feeding well in spots we just don't access well as fly anglers.

Chubby dropper, indicator, Euro and swinging a streamer are all in play and now is a good time to try some water you don't normally fish.  The easily accessible spots have been pretty hammered over the last few months.  Although mornings and evenings are still the best times to fish, you will see midday fishing improve through the month.  Smoky skies (common here in the September) can also really move fish in tight and lower their guard.  Days with smoke in the air also improve the dry fly fishing which is generally pretty slow in late summer.

Lower Deschutes River Report

July 29th, 2022

We fully expect the Lower Deschutes will open for steelhead on August 15th.  Good numbers of fish have passed over Bonneville and many of those are entering the Deschutes now or very soon.  This is good news and we look forward to getting downstream of Maupin in August to swing flies again.

The heat is pretty intense right now but if you can give up your AC and play your cards right, trout fishing on the Warm Springs to Trout Creek section is very good.  The key is to fish very early and late.  Early is from 5am to about 10am and late is from 7pm until a little after sunset. If you do have to be on the water midday stay hydrated and find shade.  

Caddis dry fly fishing is excellent in the right places in low light periods and the Chubby Dropper fishing is holding its own most days. On top, have the X Caddis in Tan as it has been our most consistent player but have some dark olives ones also.  Dropper flies catching fish include the Olive Hot Spot, Duracells, Blowtorch's and Thread Frenchies.  Don't be surprised to catch trout on a chubby here and there also.  Whether the fish see the chubby as a hopper or just a big meal, its hard to know but we like those bonus fish and the eats are often aggressive. 

Another fine Deschutes trout that fell for the Chubby in the Chubby Dropper system in late July.  

We have also been swinging with good success for aggressive trout.  Early mornings before the sun hits the water is your best bet.  Generally a 4 weight trout spey is our favored option.  We have an awesome selection of trout spey rods (and the right lines and tips to match) and can get you dialed quickly in the basics to get you on the right path.  The most consistent swung fly for us with Deschutes trout is the Black Sculpzilla.  

Lower Deschutes River Report

July 17th, 2022

Fishing remains solid on the Lower Deschutes.  We did have a bright full moon last week that definitely had a negative effect on the trout fishing, but its improved over the last couple days and should improve again this week.  

Most fish are falling to caddis imitations and dry fly fishing is good.  Overall strength of the hatches have declined recently but the hot weather in the forecast may help a bit.  The best dries are X Caddis, Finfetcher Caddis or various CDC styles such as Jake's Hi-Vis caddis.  We often use the Sparkle Pupa as the trailer.  The Sparkle Pupa fly is still very important If you have rising fish in front of you and the normal pattern isn't working or consider downsizing the fly size to an #18 or drop your tippet size.  For this fish hunting you'll benefit from a slower action rod in a 4 or 5 weight and leave the fast rocket launcher 6 weight at home. Lastly, look for shade. The big trout are most often feeding in shade. 

Mayfly hatches have been sparse but always be on the lookout for an occasional PMD or PED.  A Purple Haze is rarely a poor choice to fish at dark when fish go on the heavy feed.

Nymphing has been good, but some days are a little tough.  Again, the bright moon seemed to be hurting the normal tactics.  Chubby dropper fishing has been producing but not as wellvas a month ago.  Duracell's and Walt's are getting it done when fish are around.  Play around with different flies until you find one that is working.  Smaller flies are effective in summer but you can try flies with the big tungsten beads to get down and stay down in faster water.  Being flexible in approach pays off. 

The Chubby in the Chubby Dropper style has been surprisingly effective lately.  The Chubby is not just an indicator.  We have been catching many fish on the chubby and the eats have been aggressive.  

A Deschutes trout that fell for a #6 Royal Chubby Chernobyl in riffle water in full sun in July. 

We fully expect steelhead season to open in August this year.  Numbers are looking very positive over Bonneville Dam.  We are really looking forward swinging a fly again in 2022.

Lower Deschutes River Report

June 26th, 2022

The Lower Deschutes is fishing awesome right now.  Other than the occasional cold front that shuts things down some (last Friday the 24th for example), now is the time to get out to the Deschutes and get after it.  Caddis hatches are huge and fish are chowing on caddis pupa and finally eating caddis dries in the mornings, evening and in shady spots along the river.  Our dry fly routine is pretty simple right now.  Run an X Caddis, Finfetcher Caddis or another #16 Tan or Olive Caddis and trail a Sparkle Pupa off the back.  When you see rising fish and they are consistently feeding this should get an eat (as long as the presentation is sound). It's lots of fun headhunting rising fish, and with time on the water, it will happen.  For best results on the surface, try an evening trip sometime.  8pm to dark (about 930pm this time of year) is primetime.  A headlamp is a necessity for the inevitable break-offs to retie. 

Our prospecting technique when things on top are slow are Chubby Dropper tactics.  Run a small chubby that you see well enough, dress it appropriately with Fly Agra, Top Ride or your favorite floatant and run about 4 feet of 5x Fluorocarbon tippet to a Jigged Euro Nymph.  Although we still love to use the classic sparse perdigon styles (such as the now legendary Fire Starter) it's time to play with flies that have a little better movement.  Duracells, Blowtorchs, Soft Hackle Pheasant Tails, HDA Fav, and various Walt's type flies are great when caddis are abundant.  Not only do they eat them dead-drifted, but the swing up at the end of the drift will be noticed also.  

Euro Nymphing is very good right now.  You will find fish in tight to the bank in choppy water as fish move to the tops of the runs this time of year.  Use the same flies as the Chubby Dropper tactics except play around a lot with size of bead.  You should have an assortment of flies with tungsten beads in the 2.4mm to 3.8+ size.  

Trout spey has been hit-or-miss lately.  Mornings before the sun hits the water is best.  Small sculpin patterns in black have been getting some killer eats. 


Lower Deschutes River Report

June 9th, 2022

Crowds are diminishing, trout are fat and happy and the canyon is green.  The next few weeks should provide an amazing opportunity to chase the Deschutes trout.  

Evenings are epic right now with huge caddis hatches occcurring.  Don't leave too early as the best fishing is from 8pm to after sunset. Bring your headlamp.  We are seeing tons of smaller dark caddis (size 18 or so) at the moment but be prepared with a few others especially tan size 16 which will get cracking soon. Caddis dry fly fishing is just getting going which means most fish are being caught on emerging phases (pupa) and are caught just below the surface.  If you see aggressive splashy rises these are most likey pupa eats. 

Chubby Dropper tactics were really good this week.  Still running at least 3 feet of tippet between flies but going even longer (to 5 feet) if its very bright out.  Fish are moving around a lot and one spot that is full of feeding fish will often be void of fish when the light changes.  The caddis style droppers have been crushing.  Duracells, Walt's Worms, Sexy Walt'sand PCP nymphs have all been streaming out of the shop bins quickly.  Silvey's Beadhead Caddis is also killer in June and July.

Walt's Worm.  You should try it.  It's deadly this time of year.

You still have a few days of decent stonefly dry fly fishing.  Probably not going to be epic all day but we have seen some good surges of activity the last few days.  There are definitely a fair amount of  golden stones and salmonflies left in the Warm Springs to Trout Creek section and some pockets that are heavier than others. The hatch is gonna linger longer than the last few years.  We have done better on the smaller chubbies size 10 or 12 but the Clark's Stone has been the best fly.


Lower Deschutes River Report

June 5th, 2022

The Lower Deschutes is fishing fantastic these days.  Although the salmonflies and golden stones are winding down, the fish are in full seek-and-destroy mode on the smaller insects that make up it's summer hatches.

If you are looking to catch fish on the larger stonefly dries you certainly want to get to the river in the next few days as they are fading quickly.  Fish are still looking up in some spots.  The ol' Chubby Chernobyl is a good choice, but the Norm Woods, Clark's Stone, DeMoe's Mill Creek Golden Stone and other more subtle patterns will get chomped at a higher rate.  If you're goal is to catch fish on the stonefly dries it's time to fire up the engine and get after it.

If your goal is to catch fish and you don't really have a preference how you catch those fish, its an awesome time to employ the Chubby Dropper tactics. Use the size 10 or so Chubby and trail about 3 feet of 5x Fluorocarbon tippet off the bend of the hook.  Add your favorite jig-style nymph (commonly referred to as Euro Nymphs or Perdigons).  Our favorites are the Fire Starter, Sexy Walt's Pearl & Orange and the Duracell.  The Duracell is really good right now with the small dark caddis that are hatching.  

You will also start seeing a bunch of caddis and some mayflies on the water over the next few weeks.  You can stay with the Chubby Dropper tactics for most of the day but don't forget to bring some X Caddis, Sparkle Pupas, and Purple Hazes as they cover many different scenarios when you want to fish on top.


Lower Deschutes River Report

May 16th, 2022

The stonefly hatches of on the Lower Deschutes River are now in full swing and should continue for the next 3 weeks or so in the Warm Springs to Trout Creek section.  Golden Stones and Salmonflies are thick in the grass and foliage along the banks and are just starting to fall in and get noticed by the trout.

Overall, dry fly fishing has been affected by the unseasonably cool spring.  Water temperatures in particular have us finding many of our fish in slower water that we often fish in spring and late fall.  We started getting some good eats on the surface in the last few days, but it has not been red hot on top. If you work at it, you'll get them on top and if you stick with it, you can hit some good surges of activity.  We have been employing the Chubby Chernobyls in various colors and sizes.  You should carry an assortment of chubbies as well as some Norm Woods and the Clark's Stone in particular for golden stone imitations.  We finally got restocked on our famous Chubby Beaver pattern that gets it done.  This is a great salmonfly pattern.   Dry fly fishing will continue to improve as more fish see the bugs fall in.  Any warming trend will be a good thing so keep an eye out for that.  

Dropper fishing has been fantastic with Firestarter's, Sexy Walt's, Pink Tag Jigs and Blowtorch's finding plenty of players.   Continue to employ 5x Fluorocarbon tippet to the droppers.  Cortland Top Secret Fluoro remains our best seller for good reason.  

We have been seeing some other bugs on the water including a few PED's, PMD's and a couple Green Drakes. Caddis hatches are also present but not quite strong yet.  

Our guide calendar is pretty full, but we do have a couple spots open in May and June.  You can book a trip here:  Lower Deschutes River | Guided Float Trip - Full Day - Fin & Fire Fly Shop (


Lower Deschutes River Report

April 29th, 2022

Opening weekend produced well especially on Friday the 22nd.  As a cold front rolled in things slowed some, but overall we really like what we're seeing on the Lower Deschutes.  

For this weekend, you'll want to focus on nymphing as dry fly fishing has been sporadic at best.  Most days we are seeing very little in hatch activity but that will be coming soon.  With 50-degree water temperatures and limited insect activity, we are finding most fish in the bottom ends of runs where the water slows down quite a bit.  Slow walking speed water with a few feet of depth and a foam line is a good place to hunt out some redsides right now.

Flies that our guides and staff have done well with this week include a new pattern to us called the Dark Knight, the Butano Lite Brite Perdigon and the Sexy Walts.  Aidan reported really good luck on the Roza's Pink Tag Jig also. With little doubt stonefly nymphs should also be in your arsenal.  Every day we get a couple bonus fish up top on the Chubby Chernobyl (aka our indicator), but the famous hatch is still a couple weeks out.  

We have streamer fished some.  Opening day was lights out and since then its been fair. Ryan had a field day on Friday with the Black Sculpzilla on his Loomis IMX Pro Shortspey.  As we often say you gotta have the streamer in the water to catch fish on the streamer.  If you catch less fish swinging less there's nothing wrong with that at all.  Each grab, jump and catch becomes just that much memorable.  


Lower Deschutes River Report

April 21, 2022

We are excited about the Lower Deschutes River reopening for fishing on April 22nd.  The river is flowing at about 3700 CFS (quite low for April) and water clarity is good.  The trout are well-rested and haven't been fished for since December.  The water temps are hovering around 50 degrees.  The world-famous stonefly hatches should get started around May 5th to 10th in the Warm Springs area.

You may see some blue wing olive hatches that can bring some fish up to the surface but keep in mind that if you are catching mostly shiny trout around 10 inches it's time to move on as those are likely steelhead smolt that you should leave alone.

Many bigger fish may also be on their spawning beds which are also to be avoided at all costs.  Dark-colored, visible fish in fairly shallow water are to be left alone to do their important business.

Nymphing is generally the method for early season Deschutes trout.  Running a stonefly nymph with a small mayfly dropper (Pheasant Tails are often the best bet) has always been a great early season tactic and now is a good time to run some of your favorite stone nymphs along the bottom.  

On our first trips down the river, you can bet we will be running the Chubby Dropper tactics we talk about so much.  We don't expect to see much surface activity yet but the dropper nymphs such as the Firestarter, Pearl & Orange and Thread Frenchie will find plenty of willing participants.  We will also swing our favorite sculpin patterns such as a Sculpzilla in the hopes of finding an early season pig. More than anything else we look forward to connecting with our old friend the Deschutes.


Lower Deschutes River Report 

March 26th, 2022

We are super excited about the upcoming reopening of the Lower Deschutes River on April 22nd.  The section from Warm Springs to the Northern Boundary of the Warm Springs Reservation will reopen at that time.

In the meantime, the Maupin area is a good option with many miles of public access.  Fishing has been improving on that section and is pretty good right now.  From Blue Wing Olive hatches to Skwala stones and the beginning of March Brown hatches, now is a good time to put some time in.  

Besides the various and improving spring hatches, swinging a streamer on the trout spey or switch rod is a fun way to get some action right now.  We have always liked the Sculpzilla series of flies in Black, Olive or Natural and the Whitlock's Near Nuff Sculpin, but simple beadhead Woolly Buggers or egg sucking leeches can be equally effective.


Lower Deschutes River Report

December 31st, 2021

The Lower Deschutes River from Warm Springs to the Northern Boundary of the Warm Springs Reservation is now closed and will remain so until April 22nd.  Keep in mind there is tons of good water to fish and explore upstream and downstream of Maupin until then.  Steelhead fishing in that section remains closed but trout fishing can be very good if you play your cards right.

Looking back on 2021 we saw some high highs and some low lows. 

Steelhead runs hit a new low.  The river was closed to steelhead fishing for the first time in recent memory.  The early part of the run was devastatingly poor with only a trickle of fish moving up each day.  The latter half of the run was inline with what we have seen over the last few years but at that point the decision had been made to close it down.  We are hopeful for a rebound in 2022.  

Trout fishing was excellent this year.  Consistent fishing with many really nice fish in the mix was the hallmark of 2021.  Our trout guides had their best fishing in recent memory and the amount of stoked customers we see in the shop reinforces what we see when we fish.  As our methods continue to evolve and move away from traditional indicator tactics to Chubby Dropper tactics (and Euro tactics), make a point to stop in the shop or book a guide trip to get you dialed in. 

Lower Deschutes River Report

December 9th, 2021

Fishing for trout remains good but is slowing on the Lower Deschutes.  The warm weather we had last week helped the fishing quite a bit but it has slowed recently due to the colder temps.  

Best fishing is often around noon or 1pm to about 3pm when you will see a slight rise in water temps coming out of the dam.  This slight increase seems to stimulate a bit of a midge or mayfly hatch and the fish become more active.

Chubby dropper system is our go-to method.  Firestarter's, Pearl & Orange, Roza's Hare's Ear and Blue Lite Brite Perdigon's have been effective.  5x fluorocarbon remains our main tippet material between the chubby and the dropper.

Although spawning activity from the Chinook has diminished, egg patterns can be highly effective on the Deschutes trout.  The Slush Egg (tied jig style) from Fulling Mill is good as well as the Unreal Egg.  

We have just reopened our bookings for next year's trips on the Lower Deschutes.  The season starts on April 22nd.  Fishing was excellent for much of the year and we would love to get you out on the water with us in 2022 . A day on the river with our fun and highly skilled guides makes an awesome gift.

Lower Deschutes River | Guided Float Trip - Full Day - Fin & Fire Fly Shop (

Lower Deschutes River Report

November 14th, 2021

Trout fishing has been very good on the Warm Springs to Trout Creek section.  This section is open until the end of the year and will close until April 22nd.  The next 2 or 3 weeks will remain good out there.  Quality of fish is high as the chinook have been spawning so the trout have been feasting.

Of course egg patterns can dominate if you are near active spawners but our favored hot spot style perdigons run below a Chubby such as the Firestarter, Pearl & Orange and Olive Hot Spot have accounted for many great fish lately. 

Swinging for trout on the Deschutes continues to grow in popularity and its a great way to stay sharp on the two hander.   Grabs can be addictive.  If you haven't tried it before give it a shot sometime.  Small black streamers such as the #8 Sculpzilla have been our best tool lately.  We also like the Near Nuff Sculpins.

Steelhead fishing is closed. If you run into a steelhead on accident please handle them with care and get them back on their way quickly. Now is not the time to be fishing black and blue intruders and call it "trout spey fishing". 

Lower Deschutes River Report

October 29th, 2021

Steelhead fishing is closed on the entire Lower Deschutes. Its a real bummer and we miss the regulars in the shop and river that absolutely love this time of year.  We are seeing a fair number of incidentally caught steelhead while trout fishing so keep that in mind and make sure all fish are handled quickly and released to do their important business.  This is not the year to target steelhead on the Deschutes.  

Every once in a while you will hook a steelhead when you least expect it and when you are absolutely not targeting them  This hatchery steelhead came up and ate a small purple chubby chernobyl off the surface and was promptly released.   

Trout fishing was outstanding for much of October and we expect it will remain so for the next few weeks.  Once it gets really cold you'll find some slow times but midday can be great and low light periods can still be good at times(especially warmer days). 

There are still some October Caddis around and we have caught quite a few fish on the dry this fall.  Chubby Norm and an Orange Stimulator accounted for some great eats.  You'll find most fish will eat (or not) on the first pass through a piece of water and you're chances diminish quite a bit after each successive cast.  Small mayflies and midge emergers can be locally important to select pieces of water but don't expect a ton of surface activity.

We have been having field days on the Chubby Dropper tactics.  Our guides and staff have had numerous stellar days on the Deschutes lately and fall colors have just made it that much better.  From Warm Springs to Trout Creek the fish have been very active and fattening up before the winter. It does seem like there are less Chinook in the system this fall so less eggs are being munched than the last few years.

Our top producing fly has been the Firestarter once again.  Fish it aggressively, cover water and run it on 5x Fluoro under a Chubby.  Some of the best fish we've seen have been in surprisingly shallow water that won't be effectively fished with a heavy bobber/split shot rig. We also find plenty of fish in 4 or 5 feet of water suspended below the Chubby. If you run 3 or 4 feet of Fluoro to the jig you'll be amazed how rarely it hangs up on bottom and how well it fishes at different water heights.

One of other top flies is very similar in style and results.  The Pearl & Orange Jig is just deadly and you should be fishing this fly.  Have an assortment of sizes also in 14 thru 18.  

Of course there is not one secret fly and only one way to catch trout but if you consistently put the time in on this great river with these flies and tactics you will be rewarded with some of the coolest trout found anywhere.  

Keep in mind that the Warm Springs Reservation (West) side of the river closes on October 31st to all fishing but the East Side of the river stays open till December 31st.  After that you'll need to travel down to the Maupin area to area get your winter fix of Deschutes fishing.

Lower Deschutes River Report

October 4th, 2021

As most of you know the Deschutes River is closed for steelhead for the rest of the year.  Steelhead counts remain low and we are hopeful that next year things improve and we can once again chase our favorite fish in our favorite place.

Trout fishing remains good on the Deschutes, especially nymphing and swinging small streamers.  Traffic is usually light and fish know that they need to fatten up before the onset of winter.  You will still see some sporadic hatches of small caddis and Blue Wing Olives as well as some midge hatches.  October Caddis hatches are also strengthening and you will find some fish really looking for the pupa.  If you are streamer fishing try black sculpzillas or any orange/burnt orange streamers that replicate crayfish.  We definitely feel that the bigger trout are eating crayfish when available.

Chubby Dropper fishing remains good also with solid numbers of fish eating the Firestarter, Olive Hot Spot Jig and Duracell in recent days.  You may also get a few fish to eat the Chubby. 

Fall is a great time to spend a day on the river despite the lack of steelhead in the river.  From the fall leaves to the solitude and the aggressive takes of our native redsides we are still pretty lucky to have this amazing resource in our backyard. 

Lower Deschutes River Report

August 19th, 2021

We have definitely had some slow days down on the Deschutes in August.  The Dog Days of August are real but mornings and evenings remained consistently good.  With the cooler days ahead now would be a good time to get back on the water.  

Caddis remain the main bug on the menu but are sparser than a month ago.  You may see a few PMD's also.  With the caddis, carry a mix of sizes and colors but know that you can rarely go wrong with tan and size 16/18 on the Deschutes.  Some of our best flies lately are the X Caddis in Tan and various low-riding CDC versions.  Backeddies are still seeing some heads up but these are some of the pickier fish around. Bring your A-game.

When the sun is on the water we are looking for slow runs (fish move there to conserve energy) and we are covering water efficiently with the Chubby Dropper tactics.  Some fish have been hooked on the smaller chubbies but most are caught on the jig.  Use 3 or 4 feet of 5x fluorocarbon and the better flies have been the Tan Duracell, Natural Blow Torch and the He-Man from Rio (basically a Hare's Ear).  

Some riffles are producing also but if they are easy to fish and get fished often most of the fish are getting picky or sore-mouthed at this point.

Don't forget to bring the Trout Spey rod also.  We have been having tons of fun throwing the Trout Spey rod around.  We generally use 4 weights and small streamers like the #8 Sculpzilla but we have also been finding success on bigger flies which may be imitating the abundant crayfish on the river.  Its really fun and you should give it a try. 


This beauty gave Austin and his new Dually 4wt Spey a workout.

Steelhead fishing is slow with a few fish caught from Maupin to the Mouth.  Numbers are historically low and the water has been very warm.  

Lower Deschutes River Report

July 23rd, 2021

Fishing is holding up pretty well on the Lower Deschutes.  We are fishing and guiding the Warm Springs to Trout section nearly every day and finding good dry fly fishing most days.  Still focus on low light periods or shady stretches.  We really like the mornings if you can be on the water as early as 5am to 8am and evenings are consistently good.  This is still caddis season so we are fishing X-Caddis in tan followed by a Tan Sparkle Pupa on the surface.  We are occasionally seeing a few mayflies around.  A PMD Sparkle Dun or Purple Haze often takes care of business at those times.

Chubby dropper fishing continues to put the most fish in the net.  We have had to downsize our droppers recently and mostly fishing some smaller 16's and 18's such as the Duracell, Pearl & Orange and Olive Hot Spot's.   As always, bring an assortment of sizes and colors and cover water to find the water types where the fish are feeding. 

Great fish caught by Austin on the Tan Duracell

We get a lot of questions about water temperature at this time of year.  As you move way down river past Maupin its very hot and you should limit your efforts to early in the day.  In our Warm Springs to Trout Creek section the water temps are well under the range that concern us.  Even during the hottest days we are not seeing water temps above 60 in the Warm Springs area.  With that said, fight the fish you hook hard, keep them wet, minimize handling and send them on their way.

We have not really heard much on the steelhead front.  We will keep you posted as we get some intell. 

Lower Deschutes River Report

June 29th, 2021

If you can work around the stifling heat, fishing on the Lower Deschutes is outstanding in the mornings (5am to 8am) and again from 8pm to about 930pm.  We are not recommending fishing during the day at this time due to the extreme heat. There will be good dry fishing in shady spots if you do venture down. Fishing pressure is very light.  Water temperatures have gotten terribly hot downstream of Maupin and we do not recommend fishing that stretch. The Warm Springs to Trout Creek section is running at a great temperature well below 60 degrees.  Of course, fish hooked should be played quickly and released without being subjected to hot air temperatures.

Our best flies when we spot fish rising consistently are the Tan X Caddis followed by a Tan Sparkle Pupa.  Size 16 will cover most needs but carry a few 18's.  You may see a few mayflies, generally PMD's.  A Gould's Shuckoff PMD is a solid choice but we always carry some Purple Hazes too.  

For nymphing with our Chubby Dropper tactics we are doing great with the Duracell and various CDC type jig flies.  We are also using the HDA Fav as a searcher and swinging at the end of the drift.  We are mostly using 5x Fluoro tippet between the Chubby and the Jig although 4.5x fluoro can be helpful in heavier water.  

If you are on the indicator system you will do well with Guide's Choice Hare's Ears.  The Red Copper John has always been a good summer fly.


Lower Deschutes River Report

June 23rd, 2021

Caddis season is in full swing down on the Lower Deschutes.  Heat and caddis go together and the outlook for next week is HEAT.  With that said, pick your times carefully, bring a headlamp and don't over do it midday. 

Whether you are nymphing or throwing dries make sure to bring an assortment of different caddis patterns. If you prefer dry fly fishing, focus on the morning and evening but with the heat there will also be some pockets of feeding activity (usually in the shade) you'll see intense feeding on adult caddis.  Have an assortment of X Caddis, Elk Hair Caddis, EC Caddis and CDC Caddis.   Colors are often tan but we have been seeing tons of small dark caddis also.  Try the tan sparkle pupa in a 16 or 18 if you find selective feeders.  You can run it behind a dry caddis (on 5x nylon or fluoro tippet) to help you see it.  It's super fun stalking big Deschutes redsides with small dries and the next few weeks will be some of the best times. 

Nymphing is very good and with tradtional, Euro or Chubby Dropper systems.  We have had best luck on smallish dropper flies such as the Duracell, Roza's Violet Tag Jig, Blow Torch's and the CDC France Fly.  All of these flies have CDC collars and do a great job dead-drifted and swung at the end of the drift. Don't hesitate to throw a Fire Starter either as it continues to rack up some really nice fish.  Chubbies won't catch many trout (it does get a few in low light) but their effectiveness as a subtle indicator can't be underestimated.  Run 5x Fluoro off the chubby to the tungsten dropper and don't set the hook too aggressively.


Lower Deschutes River Report

June 11th, 2021

Although there are a few stoneflies left in the bushes near Warm Springs you can safely declare the 2021 Stonefly Hatch (Salmonflies/Golden Stones) on the Lower Deschutes is over. You will still catch some nice fish on big dries in select spots.  Clark's Stones are great for the remaining fish looking for adult stones. 

Fishing is very good on the cloudy days with many fish remaining along the banks feeding opportunistically.  Sunny days have been a little tougher with fish sulking in deeper water.  Evenings are excellent with a noticeable spike in feeding as soon as shade hits the water.  Although the summer caddis hatches are just getting rolling, we have already had some outstanding 1 to 2 hour sessions before pitch black takes over the canyon.  

Our predominant style is using the Chubby Chernobyl for the dry and trailing a jig dropper about 3 feet off the chubby.  We have been using the Duracell's, Roza's Pink Tag Jig, Fire Starter's and Pearl & Oranges with great success. 

Deep nymphing with indicators, split shot etc... will also find some fish and will be a good tactic when the sun is bearing down straight in the eyes of fish looking upstream.  


Lower Deschutes River Report

June 2nd, 2021

Big bugs are still pretty thick in the Warm Springs to Trout Creek section but starting to fade pretty quick downstream.  The next week or so will be end of the hatch in the WS-TC section.  Caddis hatches have exploded with the heat and they are quickly becoming most important.  You can definitely get some great fish to eat the big dry but overall caddis pupa and nymphs are the main menu item.  Our typical routine stilll has us throwing small chubbies (#10 is good) and running tungsten jig droppers 3 feet off the hook bend of the chubby.  Our best droppers remain Fire Starter's, Pearl & Orange and Duracells

5x fluorocarbon tippet between the 2 flies is most commonly used.  Consider upsizing to 4x if you fish a fast-action rod as you might get broken off on 5x.  Our favorite rods this time of year have some flex to them and include the G Loomis NRX LP 5wt or 6wt,  Scott G Series 5wt and Beulah Platinum G2 in the 5wt. 

If you'd like to stay with the dry only, (Go Big or Go Home!) take the chubby off and try Clark's Stones, Norm Woods and the Rogue Foam Stone. Low-riding patterns will outfish the high-riding dries from this point on.  

X-Caddis, Caddis Pupa (Sparkle Pupa is great!) and Silvey's Beadhead Caddis should be in your box.  Size ranges from 14 to 18 are most prevalent in our summer caddis hatches.

Lastly, with the heat look for mornings and evenings when the sun is off the water to be the most productive times.  Bring your headlamp!

Lower Deschutes River Report

May 29th, 2021

Fishing is excellent on the Lower Deschutes right now.  The warm front that moved in has got the big bugs on the move and the caddis hatches are getting good.  Dry fly fishing with the stone dries will not be awesome all day.  That is very rare.  Most often its a couple hours here and there.  Evenings should be very good this week but mornings increase in importance as more dead bugs hit the water. Have larger salmonfly patterns and smaller golden stones.  Purple chubbies will work in the evening. Expect another 7 to 10 days of good stonefly eats on the Warm Springs section. Carry some caddis from here on also.  An X Caddis and Sparkle Pupas are in most seasoned Deschutes angler boxes. Crowds are pretty intense for the Memorial Weekend but you will see a slight lessening on Sunday and Monday.  

Dropper nymphs continue to put some big numbers of fish in the net. Bright sunny days are still in play when you use tungsten droppers.  Even when the dry fly fishing is slow you should be hooking lots of fish on droppers.  It really is that effective.  Our best droppers this week were the Pearl & Orange Perdigon, Roza's Pink Tag Jig and the Black Perdigon.  The Duracell will be a really good fly as the caddis hatches build. Dead-drift under the Chubby and let it swing into the bank at the end of the drift.  Eats are aggressive and happen as the line comes tight.  This is also a good time for classic soft hackle fishing and quite a few fish will move into the quiet bankwater and eddies to eat caddis.  You may also see some PMD's and PED's this month.  

We have some great dates available in June.  Spend a day with one of our hard-working, fun and skilled guides to dial you in on the Lower Deschutes: Lower Deschutes River | Guided Float Trip - Full Day - Fin & Fire Fly Shop (

Another Pearl & Orange Perdigon caught Lower Deschutes Trout. 

Lower Deschutes River Report

May 19th, 2021

Cold fronts are not ideal for stonefly hatches. The big bugs become lethargic and generally inactive and hunker down in the bushes. You won't see a lot of bugs falling in or trout gobbling them up aggressively.  That's the bad news.   

The good news is that fishing remains excellent on the Warm Springs to Trout Creek section (with nymphs). Dry fly fishing will be decent through the day with small surges anytime warmth and wind conspire to knock some bugs into the feeding lanes.  Fish are keyed in now and notice the big meals right away when it happens.  The short windows of surface activity will most likely be in the middle of the day.  These feeding surges are short but if you are in the right place and right time its game on.

For the large majority of the day you should be focusing on Chubby Dropper tactics.  You will be in the game all day if the fish want to eat the dry but you will be hitting fish on the dropper all day even when the surface bite is slow.  Cover water aggressively and look for water that hasn't been pounded all day.  Our standard routine is a Chubby Chernobyl in size 8 or 10 (Purple, Beaver, Gold and Pteronarcys colors are great) trailed by a size 14 or 16 Perdigon jig fly with a Tungsten bead.  Run that Perdigon about 3 feet from the chubby in most water types but don't be afraid to go longer if the water is deep. By far our most favored size of tippet is 5x Fluoro but if you have a very stiff fly rod you may get broken off some.   Our hot flies remain the Fire Starter, Pearl & Orange, and Roza's Pink Tag jig.  Get a few different bead sizes for varying water types. This technique really works!  Please let us know how we can help get you dialed on this method.

Once it warms up next week or when you are feeling the urge to catch some on dries get some Clark's Stones and Norm Woods for trout keying in on Golden Stones and a few different size and color Chubbies.  On last Sunday night, the fish really wanted the bigger salmonfly patterns when the naturals were hitting the water and smaller patterns weren't even getting a second look.  The biggest dry in the box was the ticket that night.  Many other nights the more subtle patterns will outfish the foam flies. 

Caddis hatches are currently OK, pupa are being eaten at times and mayfly hatches have been sporadic at best.  A few PMD's and Green Drakes have been spotted. 

Expect crowded conditions into the first week of June.  The cold front may keep a few anglers away but overall the use of the river is at an all-time high.  

Lower Deschutes River Report

May 14th, 2021

Salmonfly mania is now in full effect along the entire Lower Deschutes. Salmonflies and Golden Stones are in abundance nearly everywhere from Warm Springs north through Maupin. You can expect to be fishing stone dries for the next 3+ weeks. The warm weather this week really got the Stonefly nymphs to migrate to shore and to hatch. 

Dry fly fishing is picking up steam daily and should be good this weekend. We have been catching lots of fish on dries on our multiday trips between Trout Creek and Harpham Flats and a few between Warm Springs to Trout Creek.  Our guides report smaller stone dries have outfished the big stuff. Smaller chubbies, Norms and Clark's Stones are always in our starting rotation. 

If you are so inclined don't hesitate to throw jig droppers off the back of the stone dries. Firestarters, Pearl & Oranges, Walt's Worms and Black Perdigons have been on fire. 5x Fluorocarbon and about 3 feet from the dry to the dropper. We are also seeing some mayflies (mostly PMD's) as well as good caddis hatches this week. 

The river is busy. Very busy. Now is a good time to be flexible with your locations and techniques.  On a  recent busy day we caught a bunch of quality fish in a piece of water that we rarely fish (or see anyone else fish). 

Have fun!

Lower Deschutes River Report

May 9th, 2021

With water temperatures still running a bit cold from the dam, the stonefly migration in the Warm Springs to Trout Creek section hasn't hit its stride yet.  If you look long and hard you'll find a few salmonflies in the bushes and bankside grass but overall we are still a few days away from the bulk of the hatch start.  Its running a few days later than last year.  Quite a few bugs are starting to hatch down lower towards Maupin and this will be a good week to venture north.  

Nymphing remains good in the Warm Springs to Trout Creek section with good sizes and numbers falling to stonefly nymphs and smaller nymphs.  Our favorite flies right now include the Firestarter Nymph (truly becoming a "must have" for Central Oregon), the Pearl & Orange Jig and the Roza's Pink Tag Jig.  All have silver tungsten slotted beads in sizes ranging from 2.8mm to 3.8mm.  Try 'em if you haven't already.  We are using the Chubbies to suspend the single jig fly and we have caught a few on the big dries

Fluorocarbon tippet is well-stocked at the store including the new and improved Rio Fluoroflex Strong.  Keep experimenting with different tippet sizes until you find the right mix of hook-ups to break-offs.  Big Deschutes fish have no mercy towards undergunned tippet but at the same time they will not eat your fly if its tied to rope.

We are also well-stocked on the venerable Norm Woods and Clark's Stone patterns as well as some new tricked out patterns that are fun to try each year.  If you are going to just run one fly (and not hang a nymph from the dry) make sure to get some Norm's and Clark's in your box as they are the real deal on selective fish.

Get out and get some!

Lower Deschutes River Report

April 30th, 2021

The entire Lower Deschutes River from Warm Springs to the Mouth is now open.  The river is low for this time of year and bouncing around between 3600 and 4000 CFS.  Fishing pressure was pretty heavy for the opener but has subsided some since. Most importantly, fishing has been good. With that said, it seems to be lining up to be the most crowded May on the river we have seen. 

We saw our first salmonfly flying around yesterday just below Mecca and heard reports of a couple seen above Trout Creek.  The "hatch" is not on but its not too far off either.  We are about a week from seeing large numbers of Golden Stones and Salmonflies hanging out in the grass along the banks.  

Fish are moving around quite a bit this time of year.  Many of the spots that hold fish all summer are still pretty quiet (except for Kamikaze smolts) and some of the winter lies are holding fish that are conserving energy.  Quiet runs with some depth and structure are fishing well right now and the riffles are seeing some fish nose up into them later in the day when the water warms up and there's some shade on the water.  No different than summer right now when it's bright on the are going to look for shade or water that has some chop to it to conceal them.  If you are seeing dark fish in shallow water (often paired up) that's a redd and its a not good to fish in there no matter how big or tempting the fish are.

As far as tactics go, now is a good time for classic indicator tactics (strike indicator, split shot, 2 flies) but Chubby Dropper tactics (One Chubby/One Tungsten Jig Fly) are also good. Dropper flies should be near the bottom.  Flies going too fast or not deep enough aren't getting it done.  As water temps increase and insect hatches explode you will see more activity up top.  

Flies that have caught fish this week are Stonefly Nymphs (try different sizes and colors),  20 Incher Stones, Red Copper Johns, Pheasant Tails, Pearl & Orange Jigs, Roza's Pink Tag Jigs. The Chubby Chernobyl's, Norm Woods and Clarks Stones are on deck waiting for the call.  

Lower Deschutes River Report

April 19th, 2021

We are excited that the Lower Deschutes from Warm Springs to the Northern Boundary of the Warm Springs Reservation opens on Thursday April 22nd.  You can expect fishing to be good this week, especially indicator nymphing with stonefly nymphs (Jimmy Legs, Pat's Stones, Lex's Improved Stones) and droppers (think Pheasant Tails, Copper Johns, Hare's Ears).  You will also find success with Chubby Dropper tactics.  Probably not much action on the Chubby until around May 10th or so but the dropper nymphs should be excellent for the next couple months.  Firestarter's, Pearl & Oranges, Thread Frenchies or Jig 20 Inchers will catch fish.  We have a massive selection of killer jig flies. If you are trying this style of nymphing for the first time come see us at the shop and we can dial you in.  Its effectiveness is a result of its simplicity.  

Fish are transitioning between winter and summer lies this time of year and  some spots that fish great in summer will still be quiet.  

Swinging with a trout spey/switch can also be very effective at this time.  Smaller sculpins, minnows and buggers generally outfish the bigger streamers often used for bulls or browns.  Sculpzillas are very good redside hunters.  Cycle through colors until you find a color that's getting eaten.  A T-8 tip, some 2x Fluorocarbon and a 50 foot cast will get you into some good and aggressive redsides.

Visible dark fish in shallow water are off limits. Keep an eye out for spawning redds.  Also, move on from any water that seems loaded with silvery steelhead smolt which are prevalent into May.  

Our multi-day trips are pretty much booked during the salmonfly hatch but we do have some great mid-June dates open for caddis hatches.  Weather is usually good and the consistent hatches make these an underrated time of year to really experience the Deschutes without the crowding that is now commonplace in May.


Lower Deschutes River Report

March 30th, 2021

With warm weather on the way, this might be a good week to get down to the Maupin area and get some trout fishing in.  Late March and Early April is when we start seeing some solid March Brown hatches midday as well as a few Skwala Stones and Blue Wing Olives.  We carry some great March Brown dries such as Sparkle Duns and Carnage Drakes but often the most consistent fishing will be subsurface.  Nymphing with an indicator, Chubby Dropper rig or Tightline/Euro styles will find fish.  Don't be afraid to try stonefly nymphs as well as larger Hare's Ear nymphs (covers the March Brown hatch well), Dirty Birds and Guide's Choice Hare's Ears.  We also have a fly called the HDA Fav (High Desert Anglers Favorite) that the fish have a hard time refusing.  It's basically a #14 flashy Hare's Ear tied on a jig hook.  

It goes without saying that some Deschutes redsides are on their spawning beds and its not cool to target fish doing their business.  You will see this activity well into June or July.  

As a reminder, the Warm Springs to North Junction section of river reopens on April 22nd.  Our guides would love to get you on the water this spring!

Lower Deschutes River Report

March 6th, 2021

Still about 6 weeks away from opening day on the Lower Deschutes bordering the Warm Springs Reservation.  For the time being you can fish the waters in the Maupin area and find good fishing for redsides in the month of March.  As the water warms up and the days get longer, look for March Browns later in the month as well as Skwala Stoneflies, a few caddis and Blue Wing Olives.  Nymphing will be good and don't forget how important stonefly nymphs become as we get closer to the stonefly hatches.  Even when stonefly nymphs are available you may find that fishing smaller nymphs will be most effective.  Good flies for March include the Jig Pheasant Tails, Guide's Choice Hare's Ear and a fly we carry called the HDA Fav.   Its basically a modern and flashy Hare's Ear on a jig hook that is super effective when we see March Browns or caddis emerging and moving up the water column.  Give one a try on the Deschutes, McKenzie or anywhere else you see good March Brown hatches.

Lower Deschutes River Report

January 26th, 2021

We haven't been getting too many reports from the last few days.  With cold overnight lows into the single digits you can expect that trout fishing will be pretty slow to start and build as temps get into the 30's or 40's.  You may see a few blue-wing olives in the afternoon.  When you do see some blue wing's poppin head to your favorite backeddy or slow run and you may see a few noses break the surface.  

Nymphing will be a more consistent way to find some fish.  Traditional indicator tactics with a smallish stonefly trailed by a small pheasant tail will work.  Euro Nymphing may be a more effective approach as getting your flies down and moving slowly is important in the winter. Most fish won't move too far for their meals right now.  We have a great and ever-expanding selection of Tungsten Beaded Euro Nymphs that will get it done as well as an impressive selection of materials to custom make your own Deschutes special fly.  If you have wanted to get into Euro style fishing but would rather not be inundated with all the options we were recently restocked with the Orvis Clearwater 10' 3wt rod/reel outfit.  At $398 for the whole enchilada its a proven rod package that will help you get started and beyond.

As a reminder, the river is closed to all fishing in the Warm Springs, Trout Creek and South Junction area but remains open all winter in the Maupin area.


Lower Deschutes River Report

December 31st, 2020

The Lower Deschutes from the Warm Springs area north to the Northern Boundary of the Warm Springs Reservation is closed to all fishing (yes even fishing for whitefish!) until April 22nd 2021.  This includes all water adjacent to Highway 20, Mecca Flats,Trout Creek and South Junction. 

For anyone that gets the urge to get on the Deschutes, there is plenty of good roadside water in the Maupin area and fishing can be pretty darn good with very little competition in the winter.  Of course, focus on soft water and warmer overcast days for your highest chances of success.  Smal flies such as Perdigon's, Pheasant Tails and smaller Stonefly Nymphs are the most favored flies.  Dry fly fishing starts pretty slow in January with improvements by late February.  Steelhead fishing is essentially over but a few will be caught in the next couple months.  These are summer steelhead that are preparing to spawn.  

We are now booking Single Day and Mult-Day trips for April 22nd and beyond.  If you have ever wanted to learn more about our greatest fishery resource in our backyard, make this the year.  Although its never an easy lay-up, the Deschutes holds many secrets that will take a lifetime to learn.  Allow us to shorten that learning curve and put the Lower Deschutes back onto your radar as a great place to cast a fly.  Call our Guide Manager Dave Hogan here at the shop for more details and he will get you dialed and ready for your trip.

Lower Deschutes River Report

December 18th, 2020

Warmer than average December temps are keeping us on the grind on our favorite river.  Trout fishing is holding up pretty well, especially midday.  Small blue-wings hatch around 1pm and that gets the trout a little more active.  Don't expect much dry fly fishing but small pheasant tail nymphs or perdigons below an indicator (or chubby) will get some eats.  

Steelhead are definitely around in the Warm Springs to Trout Creek section.  Fishing is fair to good depending on who you talk to.  Nymphing with a stonefly and an egg pattern will get you in the game as will swinging an egg sucking leech or an intruder on a sink-tip.  The river has been busier than a typical December so be ready to cover some water and be flexible. Enjoy every moment of this bonus time as the river will close from Warm Springs to the Northern Boundary of the Warm Springs Reservation on December 31st.


Lower Deschutes River Report

December 8th, 2020

The Lower Deschutes remains a good option.  With the short days, focus on the middle part of the day for best success.  Noon to 3pm is prime time for trout but if you are steelheading you will need to get to your favorite spot earlier than that.  


When trout fishing we are employing the Chubby Dropper tactics.  No fish are coming on the big dry anymore but it works great as an indicator.  Use flurocarbon on your dropper.  Generally we use 5x.  If there are some bigger fish around you may want to upsize.  We really like the half size tippet from Trout Hunter. 4.5x and 5.5x are mainstays in our pack.  Use jig flies with Tungsten beadheads to get down fast and stay in the zone. The Fire Starter Nymph continues to crush and we will be restocked soon (hopefully!)  It's really been that popular.  We also are having luck with the Lite Brite Perdigon and Thread Frenchies.  Look for slower runs and get out of the faster riffles and heavy water.  Chinook spawning is slowing down also but the whities are super fat with eggs right now so an egg pattern may still be a good option for trout. 

Dry fly fishing is decent.  In the slower runs you may see some fish chasing down emergers.  If so, try a Quigleys Film Critic solo or run a size 20 Non-beadhead Pheasant Tail or WD-40 off the chubby.   These fish are notoriously picky so if you fool a couple consider that a great afternoon.

Steelheading is slowing but if you have your fly in the water...good things will happen.  This hatchery hen was fooled while trout fishing by a size 14 Blue Perdigon and 4.5x Trout Hunter Fluorocarbon (it's crazy how well blue works in the winter) and was promptly dispatched.  If you are targeting steelhead with the nymph obviously upsize your tippet to at least 3x.  Swinging flies has been slow, but again...if you have your fly in the water...good things will happen.

Lower Deschutes River Report

November 28th, 2020

Solid fishing remains on the Lower Deschutes.  Whether you are looking for that one last tug from a steelhead or a few eats from healthy redsides, you have about a month to get it done.  The Warm Springs to Trout Creek section as well as South Junction down to the Northern Boundary of the Warm Springs Reservation will close on December 31st.

We saw a few nice steelhead picked up around Warm Springs this week.  Late November and December are a good time to find a steelhead on this section and they can be caught swinging or nymphing.  The days are getting shorter and some sections of river aren't getting much light while other sections seem to get blazing bright light directly in the fish's eyes.  Plan accordingly. 

Sink-tips are preferred by most.  T-8 and T-11 should be staples in your kit as well as flies that move well.  Also keep in mind that the average steelhead has seen a lot in its upstream journey and you might want to show something a little different.

Trout fishing is still good.  The window of success seems to get shorter every day with the most activity around 1pm.  Small hatches of BWO's, midges and a few yellow mayflies get the fish to activate.  Swinging small soft hackles will work during this time if you have active feeders.  You can also try a small dry in some spots but that window is very short.  Of course, we are fishing Chubby Dropper tactics.  Fire Starter Jigs in #14 and #16, Perdigons, PT Jigs and Thread Frenchies are getting it done.  Maintain a nice dead-drift and fish about 3-4 feet of 5x Fluorocarbon tippet between the chubby and your nymph. 

If you are more interested in steelhead but wouldn't mind some nice redsides along the way stay with traditional indicator tactics.  Fish heavier leader such as 2X Fluoro and a 2 nymph rig with one stonefly and a flashy nymph or egg pattern dropper.



Lower Deschutes River Report

November 21st, 2020

Steelhead fishing is holding up pretty well on the Lower Deschutes.  Its not hot and heavy (that's for sure) but if you put the time in you will be rewarded.  Swingers are finding some fish with their sink-tips and Skagit heads.  Fly choices seem to be all over the board with mid-sized flies like the HoBo spey leading the way.  Black and blue is always a good place to start but don't hesitate to try some purple, orange or even fuschia for a little different look.  Nymphers are using the two nymph rigs with a stonefly followed by a smaller flashy nymph such as a Lightning Bug or and Egg Fly. Steelheading should remain decent for the next month or so when it's time for all of us to hang it up on the D and start chasing winter steelhead on the Coast.

Trout fishing remains good especially midday when small blue-wing olive hatches seem to wake the trout up pretty good.  For trout,we are generally fishing the Chubby Dropper tactic.  We used Fire Starter's, Lite Brite Perdigon's and other size 14 and 16 jig flies with good success. Which color chubby you use probably doesn't matter too much, just make it something you can see well and allows you to get true dead drifts.  The chubby will occasionally get eaten if you are getting good dead drifts towards the end of the day as the sun goes behind the canyon wall but its mainly your indicator.   Deschutes trout are truly conditioned to get more aggressive as the light dims and what didn't work for you 5 mintues before the sun dipped may now work.   For the tradtional nymphers you probably can't beat a simple pheasant tail trailed behind a stonefly nymph but egg patterns will crush in some spots (where Chinook are) and a Red Copper John in size 14-18 always seems to be a good fly on the Deschutes.  Remember, flies matter but how you fish matters more.

Overall, its a great time to be thankful to have such a wonderful river in our backyard that we can all access and enjoy.


Lower Deschutes River Report 

November 10th, 2020

Things seemed to cool down a bit on the Deschutes this past week. Air temps dropped and everything got a little more quiet.  Steelhead fishing is occuring over the whole 100 miles with fish being caught throughout. Most fish are being taken on sink-tips at this point with a few dryline devotees still getting it done on the lighter presentations.  The legendary HoBo Spey is a great fly right now. Warm Springs to Trout Creek is hit-or-miss with a few nice fish caught. We see a mix of swingers and nymphers finding a few.  Chinook are spawning right now so if you see a large fish jumping around or digging a redd it's often a big ol' king and not a steelhead.

Trout fishing is good but slowing a bit.  The windows of opportunity have gotten smaller as the days shorten but midday remains the best time and linger into the short early evening if you are stilll having some success.  Small blue-wing olives are hatching and a few fish are eating the adults and emergers. We have stuck to our guns and continue to fish the Chubby-Dropper routine with good results.  Very few fish will eat the chubby now that most of the October Caddis have faded but the single jig fly below the Chubby is working well.  Duracells, Fire Starter Jigs and assorted Perdigons will find fish.  Look for slower walking speed runs and less in the faster riffly water for concentrations of fish.  We are finding steelhead and trout occupying the same water types right now.

Trout Spey fishing is fair to good.  Numbers aren't that great but the Spey angler understands and likes the hard grabs by aggressive fish that punctuate the quiet on a late fall day.  Try Black Sculpzillas, Near Nuff Sculpins and smaller egg-sucking leeches.  It's FUN!

Lower Deschutes River Report

October 28th, 2020

With beautiful weather forecasted this week, now would be a good time to get after some Deschutes steelhead.  Water temps plummeted this week below 50 degrees making Skagit heads and Sink-tips the preferred option. You will see an increase in water temps this week giving you more options than dredging.  Numbers of steelhead remain low but success is being had from the mouth up to Warm Springs.  Sizes of the Deschutes steelhead remains very good with the larger 2-salt fish making for some impressive catches.  Our favorite flies at this time of year include the HoBo Spey, Marabou Tubes, and Mini-Intruders.  Expect some crowding especially if the White River remains dirty which it has been.  

This is also the last week to fish the Tribal side of the Deschutes with the closure on October 31st.  The river is running clear and the fall colors are out. Trout fishing is excellent and steelhead are being caught on the Warm Springs to Maupin section.  Dry fly fishing for trout is inconsistent but some heads are up in the evening eating scattered hatches including midge emergers.  Dry Dropper Fishing (Chubby followed by 3-4 feet of 5x Fluorocarbon and Jig Fly) and Euro tactics are cleaning up right now.  Hot flies include the Firestarter Nymph, Pearl and Orange Jig, and the Blowtorch. All of these flies are in size 14 or 16 and we still prefer jig flies with silver tungsten beads.  We did catch a nice hatchery steelhead this week on 5x and a size 16 jig fishing for trout on the WS-TC section. Sometimes luck is on your side when you have your fly in the water!

Most of the trout are caught in runs and less in the riffles and backeddies we prefer in summer.  We are also swinging some of the slower runs and doing well with Black Sculpzillas on our Trout Spey rods. We do have several discontinued 4 wt. Redington Hydrogen Trout Spey rods on the sale section of our Web Store that are perfect for the Lower Deschutes.  Although not the best way to catch a lot of fish you will get some great eats and some hefty redside trout.  


Lower Deschutes River Report

October 15th, 2020

The Lower River below the White River has been rough lately with more days blown out than fishable. With that said, if you like to gamble and win, a trip downriver may yield your fish of the year as those that are willing to take the risk are being rewarded with some truly great fish this year. 

The Warm Springs to Maupin stretch is decent for steelhead with a surprising number of nice wild fish being caught in the Warm Springs to Trout Creek section.  The next few weeks should be good and if you are willing to put the time in you just might get rewarded.  Nymphing the Double Bead Peacock Stone with a Silver Lightning Bug is a good place to start and swinging and egg-sucking leech style fly or Black & Blue Mini intruder or Marabou fly is not far behind.  

Trout fishing is very good most of the day with Dry Dropper tactics dominating.  Continue to experiment with different bead sizes on your dropper flies as making adjustments in weight can make a huge difference.  Fish heavy enough that the fly gets down in the strike zone quickly but not so heavy that you aren't getting stuck on the bottom often.  We have been having great luck on a new Perdigon called the Pearl & Orange Perdigon as well as the tried and true Firestarter's, Roza's Pink Tag Jig and Duracell's. Most of these flies are in size 14 or 16 and have a 2.8mm or 3.3 mm tungsten bead in silver.  We are fishing 5x Fluorocarbon tippet from the Chubby down to the Jig and start with 3 feet.  Don't hesitate to go longer if needed.   For your leader to the chubby, keep it fairly short.  A 7.5 foot 3x leader is great for this system.  

Enjoy the fall colors and enjoy the day on our great river with your family and friends!

Lower Deschutes River Report

October 7th, 2020

Trout fishing on the Day Stretch (Warm Springs to Trout Creek) remains quite good with nymphing dominating. Dry fly opportunities are scarce minus a few fish up in backeddies and a few fish looking up for October Caddis. If its bright and sunny and warm, mornings and evenings will be best. If you are a dialed-in nympher with skills with the Euro rig or Dry Dropper tactics you should find fish most of the day. Pheasant Tail Jigs, Duracells and Pink Tag Jigs are getting it done. Egg flies can also crush if you see any chinook around.

Steelhead fishing is starting to hit its stride along the entire 100 miles. Overall fishing is fair but fish are being caught and many of the fish are big this year. Swinging a fly or nymphing below an indicator are both producing. Jessie spent last Friday jet boating around with the G Loomis crew and it was fairly crowded above the mouth with below average visibility. A few eats but nothing to hand except some spunky trout.


Lower Deschutes River Report

September 17th, 2020

Although we did not encourage it, a few of our brave (OK maybe slightly foolish) buddies fished the Lower Deschutes for steelhead and trout while the river was blanketed in smoke and reported excellent trout fishing and good steelhead fishing. Dry dropper, caddis dries, and indicator methods were getting it done all week for anyone willing to donate their lungs for this fishing report. Our hottest fly still remains the Duracell under a Chubby. Use the Chubby Beaver in a size 10 to do a good job of imitating an October Caddis and the Duracell in sizes 14 and 16.

Steelheading has been good despite the challenging conditions. Fish are being caught from the mouth to well-upstream of Maupin. Most of the fish are being caught on dryline tactics with swung flies but the nymphers and sink-tip swingers are also finding some chrome. The White River made for some pretty dirty water but a few confident anglers still found success. There's nothing wrong with sticking a Skagit Head, some T-11 and few Prom Dresses in your bag just in case the river blows out again.


Lower Deschutes River Report

August 6th, 2020

Although we are firmly in the dog days of summer on the Deschutes, trout fishing is good with some great fishing to be had for anyone that can hunt the backeddies and shady spots with sniper-like precision. Big fish are up eating dries every day but not too often in easy to fish water. Caddis dries in size 16 and 18 are the main food source. X Caddis and X2 Caddis are two of our favorites. Nymphing remains good although there will be some days that just don't turn on. That's the dog days of summer.

Steelhead fishing is fair overall with a slight increase of numbers this year over the last couple. It seems as if the fish are travelling in groups so if you find one, keep hunting for more. If you are not finding a fish start covering water and don't try to keep going through the same spot. Water temps are high in the afternoons so look for the mornings to be primetime. Fish your Scandi set-up early and don't hesitate to switch to a Skagit, sink-tips and larger-profile flies in the late morning when the sun starts beating down the river.

We have a great selection of anything you might need for a successful day on the water. Whether its stalking wary trout on the day stretch or outfitting you for a steelhead trip from Mack's to the Mouth, we are here 7 days a week to help you enjoy every day on the Deschutes River.


Lower Deschutes River Report

July 19th, 2020

The caddis explosion from a couple weeks ago has slowed overall but fishing remains fair to good with a nice surge in the late evening. You can still find some fish up eating dries during the day but you will need to be pretty stealthy in your approach and your presentation. 5x tippet is good for most situations on top but you should also carry some 6x or at least lengthen your tippet length. Drag-free drifts are important (remember Dead Bugs Don't Move!) and use smaller size caddis. Size 16 and 18 for the most part are going to outfish the bigger stuff. The Tan X Caddis in #16 followed by a #18 Tan Sparkle Pupa is a good way to target any fish you see eating on top. Look for shade and you should find a few fish slurping on top.

Nymphing is slowing down but you should find a few fish eating in the favored spots. Continue to fish the dry dropper tactics. Look for drop-offs, shady pockets and deep runs off the bank. Smaller flies such as the Thread Frenchie and Duracell are best right now. Use 5x Fluoro tippet when you can. We now carry an expanded selection of Fluorocarbon from Rio, Scientific Angler, Trout Hunter, Cortland, Fulling Mill and Orvis.

Steelhead are starting to show in the lower river from Mack's to the Mouth and maybe a few above Mack's. Traditional swung fly tactics with classic hairwing patterns is the dominant theme right now. Cover water well with confidence and it will happen. Work hard to get your favored spots in the morning and keep an eye on water temp's the rest of the day. So far the counts above the dams is trending slightly higher than last year so we are hopeful for some good fishing in 2020.


Lower Deschutes River Report

July 8th, 2020

We are having a great year on the Lower Deschutes. Continue to look for the best fishing periods to be when shade is on the water. Mornings and evenings are the best time to fish dries but nymphing can be productive almost anytime of day. If the high sun is beating down on the water look for fast moving riffles and deeper runs for fish trying to evade predators from above. In the month of July, caddis really dominate the scene with a scattering of PMD's and PED's and possibly some midge hatches. The best flies remain the X Caddis in Tan #16, CDC Caddis Tan #16, Sparkle Pupa's Tan in #16 and #18 . When you can't find fish eating on top and using an indicator try the Guide's Choice Hare's Ear, Dirty Bird, and Pheasant Tail. We are still throwing a small chubby chernobyl with jig flies hanging 2 to 3 feet on Fluorocarbon tippet. The #16 Duracell continues to crush but we also really like the Fire Starter, Thread Frenchie and assorted Perdigon's.

We have some availability for guide trips this coming week. Now is a good time to get with one of our experienced guides and get your caddis game dialed in. Call to book a day float on the Warm Springs to Trout Creek section of the Lower Deschutes.


Lower Deschutes River Report

June 30th, 2020

Cool and unsettled summer weather over the last few days hasn't really slowed down the caddis hatches on the Deschutes as much as expected. The best fishing has been in the evening as usual but first light (5am to 9am) has been good with dead caddis on the menu. X Caddis and X2 Caddis are good early morning flies.

Midday brings a mixed bag each day with some caddis hitting the water when it warms up and the Aquatic moths making an appearance most days. The moth is often confused for a caddis but its speckled wing is more splayed out. Use a tan X Caddis in a #14 to get a pretty good match. Some nice fish are in the backeddies now and often found in the little shady pocket found under overhanging grasses and the willows. These are often bruiser-size redsides and won't really like a sloppy presentation. 5x tippet and a well-presented caddis inches from the feeding lane are needed.

Nymphing is ruling the midday scene however and the Dry Dropper tactic continue to find many players. A small chubby (size 10 is a good start) followed by 2 to 3.5 feet of 5x fluoro tippet and a jig fly is an amazing way to cover the spots that others cannot. Traditional indicator tactics as well as Euro-nymphing certainly have their place but if you fish the Dry Dropper tactics in all the spots that others cannot fish effectively you are going to find some great fish.

The Jig flies that remain hot in the store (and more importantly, on the river!) include:

Fire Starter Jig .(basically a UV Orange Perdigon fly with a silver tungsten bead) that absolutely hunts down fish in all the dropoffs and deeper slots. Use in a size 14 on some 5x and fish it deep. No split shot needed anymore as this thing plummets

Duracell Jig. Fulling Mills and our top selling Jig fly that is hammering all year but even more so now with the abundance of caddis hatching. The Duracell is good in any water typed but particularly backeddies and soft water below tree lines (similar spot as you would fish the Stonefly hatch). It does a good job as a drowned caddis and swung like a caddis pupa it gets fish to chase it down and grab it hard. It's also good on the dead drift (use size 16 most of the time but try a size 14 in heavier water). This is another pattern with a silver bead that really gets fish to move for the fly.

Perdigon's in Butano color and the Black which really looks bright green. More silver beaded flies that get down fast and stay there. Use a #14 in bigger water and the #16 in slower moving water.

Brillon's Lucent Jig Hare's Ear in size 16. A deadly modern jig with a Hare's Ear Soft Hackle base. Great in the backeddies and soft water like the Duracell.

Hot Spot Pheasant Tails and Thread Frenchies round out a diverse mix and give you a mayfly on the days they are important. If you need help picking out a fly or need advice on the simple rigging tactics let us know.

Evenings remain primetime on the D and we are doing well with X Caddis and Sparkle Pupa's in tan. There are also quite a few dark bodied caddis in size 18 so have a couple of those. Don't forget a couple Purple Haze's in size 16 and 18. They can save the day. Best fishing is from 8pm till pitch black which will be around 930 to 945pm this time of year. Bring a headlamp and consider having two rods ready. One with a Dry Dropper rig and the other with a Dry caddis ready to roll. The Silvey's Beadhead Caddis is great right now just below a chubby or on an indicator rig. It's OK to give the fly some movement at the end of the drift as fish like eating this pattern on the swing.

July is a great month to fish the Lower D. Continue to look for low light periods as the best time but midday has plenty of opportunity for the angler willing to hunt out fish. 4th of July is usually not too crowded on the Deschutes with No Fireworks allowed but it being on a Saturday and pleasant weather you can expect some traffic this year.

Steelhead are just around the corner and Jessie has already tied into one on the swing on a different Columbia tributary. We can't wait!


Duracell getting it done!

Big redside fooled by the Duracell fly.

Lower Deschutes River Report

June 23rd, 2020

With heat comes caddis. With caddis comes big redsides feeding tight to the banks feasting on caddis pupa, adult caddis and dead caddis. Managing heat can become an issue but if you target late evenings and early mornings you have good strategy and will find more fish eating. The trout aren't big fans of the bright sunlight anywhere and even more so on the Deschutes.

Nymphing remains good with dropoffs and swirly water holding fish all day. Drop a Firestarter Jig off a chubby and be ready for the eat on the first cast. Duracells are also getting lots of play right now. Yes, we are still fishing with the chubby although we are getting very few eats on it anymore. We just find the chubby to be an incredible indicator that doesn't spook fish, allows the nymph to hand directly below it without much lag and is sensitive on light bites.

For the traditional indicator angler, Guide's Choice Hare's Ears and Tan Sparkle Pupas are good and get some hard eats. Red Copper John's and Small stonefly nymphs in size 10 or 12 are also good right now.

In general Pupa are finding plenty of willing players right now. The Silvey's Beadhead Caddis is also a shop favorite. Dead-drift it yes, but for the type of take that you will remember, let that fly hang down below you in the evening and wait for a crushing eat. 5 wt rods are our preferred rod of choice this time of year. The Scott G Series, Winston Pure and G Loomis NRX LP are all in stock and do a great job of delivering small flies and protecting the tippet when a fish eats and takes off.

When caddis are on the water and the fish are actually eating the egg-laying caddis it's time to throw some dries. Look for evenings and mornings to be best or hunt out the small slivers of shade on the banks to find fish eating on top. We have been using the X Caddis Tan in size 16 on most nights with good success. The ultimate rig is the X-Caddis trailed by 18-24" of 5x and a Tan Sparkle Pupa hanging off the bend of the hook. It really works when the fish are keyed in on caddis.

Primetime on the Deschutes Caddis hatches will be for the next month or so. Stop in for a timely fishing report, grab a crowler of your favorite Ale and head to the river for an evening of fun. We are doing quite a few guide trips right now but overall we would not describe the river as busy. Sure, it has it's moments when it seems really busy, but traffic on most days is very manageable. If you are interested in a primetime caddis hatch day give Guide Manager Dave a ring here at the shop and he will get you out on the water for a memorable day.


Lower Deschutes River Report

June 18th, 2020

Caddis, Caddis, Caddis.
Although we are seeing some PMD's, a few Yellow Sallies and quite a few midge hatches, the caddis explosion has begun and some of the very best angling opportunity for wild and native Deschutes trout will be during the next month. Although the salmonfly hatch gets all the press, the caddis hatches on the Deschutes are the real story.

Emerger and dry fly fishing in the evenings is epic right now as long as you don't leave too early. Best fishing is from about 8pm to pitch black. There is also really good topwater fishing at times during the day as long as you can find some shade. Heat really gets the caddis moving around and a little wind can help blow some caddis onto the water creating windows of opportunity to catch some bruisers on top. Morning fishing will also improve as more caddis die off and the egg-laying phase builds. Tan X Caddis, X2 Caddis, Swisher's Dancing Caddis and the venerable Tan Sparkle Pupa should be in the starting rotation. Size 16 is doing the trick. We are carrying a few Purple Hazes and Yellow Sally's to round out the options.

Nymph fishing is excellent. We are still fishing the dry-dropper tactics we have been talking about all year with great results. When there's bright sun on the water we are fishing the larger size 14 Jig flies on about 3 feet of 5x tippet hanging off a small chubby. You'll get some eats on the chubby but its mostly a deadly indicator for hanging a single jig fly off of. As far as the flies the tungsten jig flies and you will find success. Flies with silver tungsten beads are fishing very well. When the water gets some shade and the fish start heavily feeding on emergers and adults you can still run the same tactic just downsize the fly a bit and let that thing swing up in the water column under tension. Many fish will eat as the jig fiy rises in the column. Hang on and don't set the hook too hard otherwise it will be over fast with the nice trout sporting a jig fly in its upper lip and you having to retie a new fly in the fading light. This tactic is here to stay. Let us show you how to set it up(its pretty darn easy!) next time in the store.

Euro nymphing tactics continue to dominate and the increasing success rate for many of our good customers is actually pretty astounding. We carry a great assortment of the tools that you need to get started including the very popular Echo Shadow II Euro rods. If you want to fish the traditional indicator tactics you will also have good success right now. Small stonefly nymphs, Silvey's Beadhead Caddis, Red Copper Johns and Guide's Choice Hare's Ears are all proven winners.

Our guide business (and retail store) has gotten busy quickly and we are appreciative of all the support. We would love to get you (re)acquainted with the Lower Deschutes this summer as fishing has been stellar and traffic is way down since the end of the salmonfly hatch two weeks ago.


Lower Deschutes River Report

June 10th, 2020

With the Salmonfly Hatch in the rear view mirror the traffic on the river has diminished but fishing remains good. There are a few big bugs in the grass from Warm Springs to Trout Creek but the fish aren't really seeing many anymore. They will still eat the big bug in select spots for a week or so. Caddis have been hatching big time for the last few weeks and many more fish were keyed in on caddis than stones for much of the hatch. Caddis emergers are key right now with some adult caddis being eaten also in the morning and evenings. One of the most effective techniques is to run an X Caddis, Elk Hair Caddis or Purple Haze dry in size 16 with 5x tippet tied to the bend of the hook with a Tan Sparkle Pupa trailing behind. This is the standard rig for the next few weeks and is deadly effective when you can find fish. Expect to see some PMD and PED hatches from time to time as well as some Yellow Sallies.

The dry- jig dropper technique we used all May is still working great, with most fish coming to the dropper. Fish a small chubby (it might get a few eats) with a tungsten jig dropper 3 feet off the bend of the hook. Quite frankly, this technique will generally outfish traditional indicator tactics by quite a bit. The bonus is that you will occasionally pick up a nice fish on the chubby that you would otherwise miss on the plastic bobber. If you want to fish big stone fly nymphs you should use a traditional indicator but for the most part we are now fishing size 14 and 16 flies with occasional 18's. With the dry-jig dropper tactic the direct connection (without split shot) between the Chubby and the jig dropper is so much more effective than the methods we used for the last decade or two. Jig flies are here to stay and let us help you get dialed in the method we have been finding tremendous success with the last couple years.

Lower Deschutes River Report

June 1st, 2020

It's June and the Salmonfly hatch of 2020 is fading fast. To say its been "an interesting" year would be an understatement. The severe wind and rain event on Saturday put the river into a pretty rough state for a couple days with an increased flow of 500 CFS as well as muddy water. It is clearing now and will be back into shape soon but Saturday afternoon, Sunday and Monday (so far) were tough to find fish eating dries. A few fish were caught nymphing and our streamer devotees (all 3 of them!) got some swinging sculpins. Again, the river will improve this week and don't let some off-colored water keep you from fishing. Be there when it does get back into shape and you'll have a good day.

One of the other "interesting things" is that how fast the hatch is fading in the Warm Springs to Trout Creek section. It seems as if the cold front and freezing weather had a pretty bad effect on the adult stones. What happened to them? There's a lot less in the bushes than normally for this time of year. Our guides reported decent numbers down to Maupin this week and had good days on golden stones and chubbies but the "Day Stretch" bugs are in lower numbers than expected. Fishing last week was good on dries for a few hours per day (often around noon and again at dark). Dropper fishing was lights out again as many of the dominant fish have switched their behaviors and position in the river to feed on the abundant caddis hatches. Size 14-18 droppers particularly the Duracell, Jig Hare's Ear and a Silvey's Beadhead Caddis are getting many fish. A small pupa hanging off the back of a stone dry is great right now each evening and will continue into June.

You can expect about one more week of big dry fishing from here on out in the Warm Springs to Trout Creek section. Focus on the golden stones and use Norm Woods and Clark's Stones for the jungle water casts or small chubbies when fishing tungsten jig droppers. For leader when fishing the Norm or Clark's 4x is a good choice. When fishing the chubby 3x will aid in turnover.

After the big bugs fade away, make this the year to learn what many locals see as the best time of year to fish trout on the Deschutes: Caddis Season in June and July. Consistent hatches, dramatic drop in angling presssure and big fat redsides on light leader and small flies. A guide trip this summer is a great way to sample the amazing resource of the Deschutes in our backyard.

Lower Deschutes River Report

May 25th, 2020

Finally some heat! With temperatures hitting the 80's this week you can expect some good fishing on the big bugs. It's pretty rare to hit a day where it's "going off" the whole day but if you are at the right place and right time you will have a day to remember. It's been pretty slow with the big bugs this past week (but dropper fishing has been great!) but now is the time to break out your favorite Salmonfly and Golden Stone dries. Chubby Chernobyl's, Norm Woods and Clark's Stones need to be in your box. Grab a few "wildcards" also as they can save the day. Stimulator's and Paulson's Flutter bug come to mind. When fishing the big dries we generally are fishing 7.5 foot leaders in 3x with chubbies. We occasionally go to 4x if we have trout munching golden stones and we are fishing the more subtle Clark's Stone or the Norm Woods.

Caddis are hatching heavily right now. Have caddis on hand as every evening many more fish are keyed on caddis than the stones. Caddis nymphs such as the Silvey's Beadhead Caddis and the Sparkle Pupa are working well. We have seen a few Green Drakes and some PMD's but nothing major.

Jig-style nymphs continue to dominate the discussion in the store. They are gaining converts on a daily basis. Why? They catch a lot of fish. They are also hooking fish in way that seems to minimize damage to the facial area of the trout and they can be fished in so many ways (i.e. Tightline or Euro Nymphing, in a dry-dropper rig or traditional indicator rig). We have over 60 models of jig flies in stock and when buying them look to get some of different sizes, and more importantly, different tungsten bead sizes that allow you to fish different water types and depths. You will not be using split shot in a Euro rig or dry-dropper rig so use the flies to achieve the proper depth. You use light enough tippet to help achieve a rapid sink rate but not-too light that you can't turn a hot redside in a 4000 CFS river. Also, if you are fishing a fast action rod you will see some breakoffs if the tippet is too light. If you are fishing a 5wt or 6wt fast action rod your rod does not protect tippet that well. Generally we are fishing 4x or 5x between the Chubby and the jig fly. The Trout Hunter 4.5x Fluoro has proven to be a good choice this year. If you fish lighter you will hook more fish without a doubt but we see many bad endings on the Deschutes when a fish is hooked on anything lighter than 5x.

You can expect that the big bugs will be around until around June 5th or so with maybe some lingering a few days beyond that. Pressure is heavy at the few day-use areas but floating traffic was surprisingly light since the reopening of floating on May 21.


Lower Deschutes River Report

May 18th, 2020

Things are little different out here right now. The main difference is that there are still no boats on the river. We still do not have a firm date on when boats can float the Deschutes once again in the stretch from Warm Springs down to below Maupin (Segment 1 and 2). Also, the pressure on the river is extremely intense at times and quiet on others. For example, on Friday the 15th and Saturday the 16th, the Mecca area was a complete zoo with dozens of cars at the parking lot and the road in. Sunday with the rain, traffic was light. Camping is scheduled to reopen on May 21 at Mecca, Trout Creek and South Junction. Expect crowds.

Dry fly fishing with the big bugs is only OK right now with the cold front that rolled in. Yes, some nice fish are being caught on the big dry but it's not hot and heavy consistently. Cold weather has the bugs hunkered down and hiding out in the grasses. During the few times the bugs hit the water they get noticed pretty quickly. On Saturday the 16th, quite a few took to the air to lay their eggs and for a few hours it was game on.

With that said, fishing is very good right now. Most fish are being caught on nymphs, particularly dropper nymphs off of a dry. The cloudy/rainy weather has the fish in tight to the bank eating heavily. Our standard rig is a size 8-12 Chubby Chernobyl (just in case they want the big dry) followed by 3 feet of 4x fluoro and jig-style nymph. Flies that worked very well this week included the Duracell, the Thread Frenchie and the Quill Jig. The dropper is usually a size 14 or 16. If you haven't tried this tactic yet stop on in and let us get you dialed.

Caddis hatches are solid with a few PMD's and PED's in the mix. Be ready for Green Drakes as they make an occasional appearance in May. If the fish are eating small dries or emergers don't be afraid to change to what they are eating instead of sticking with the big dry. If you see tons of swallows on the river you can bet the fish are eating small bugs.

The big dry fly action will improve as it warms up. Chubbies, Norm Woods and the Clark's Stone should always be in your box. We have also caught some very nice fish on the Paulson's Flutter Bug. That fly seems to trigger a response from some of the bigger specimens. Big fish eating big flies. Go figure.

Lower Deschutes River Report

May 11th, 2020

The Hatch Heard Around the World is here and in full swing. Salmonflies and golden stones have hatched along the entire length of the river including all the way up to Mecca/ Warm Springs area. Fishing was fair this weekend. It was unseasonably hot and the water is very low for May and has been bumping up and down. Fish were on the dries for a bit on Saturday primarily in the late morning when it warmed up fast and some bugs were flying and again in the evening when the sun dipped behind the canyon. Sunday was much of the same. We are finding success on the usual suspects: Purple Chubby, Royal Chubby, Norm Woods and droppers. The dropper game is very good in the evening when fish move in tight to chow on a mixed bag of bugs mostly salmonflies and caddis. Overall the dropper fishing was good (not great) all day. Duracell and Hot Spot Pheasant Tails are good with any other jig-style in the game. We fish them pretty deep off the bend of the dry hook (2 to 3.5 feet) to get down in the column. Because the jig rides hook point up it doesn't get hung up on the bottom too often.

With colder weather this week expect the hatch to sputter for a bit. The big bugs hunker down with lower temps. If it fits your schedule try to hit the time of day when you expect it to warm up some. Often this is around 11am to 1pm. If it stays in the 70's look for some good evening action also. Overall, we are just in the first inning and not many fish have moved in or noticed the "big cheeseburgers" floating down the river so you have plenty of time to get-it-done.


Lower Deschutes River Report

May 5th, 2020

As of May 5th, salmonflies and golden stones are now hatching along the entire length of the Deschutes River. It's safe to say that due to the warm spring weather coupled with low water has created an early hatch this year. If you snooze you lose.

The Maupin area is loaded with big bugs and the fish are just starting to look for them. Both golden stones and salmonflies are thick in the bushes and are just starting to fly. You will also see some yellow sallies as well as some PMD's and caddis. Expect that the fishing will get stronger day by day and if you can time it right on a hot day expect the fishing to be great. We really like fishing the smaller dries down towards Maupin. Norm Woods and Clark's Stone in size 8 and 10 are essential but have a few chubbies as well as they are great to hang a dropper off of and get some good looks in the meantime. We are fishing a dropper behind the stonefly dry with good results right now. We are running a modern jig-style nymph on 4x or 5x Fluorocarbon tippet to hook fish that have not really keyed in on the big bugs yet. Our favorite flavors at the moment are the Hot Spot Pheasant Tail and the Duracell but almost any other size 14 or 16 jig fly will get some good eats.

There are some salmonflies and golden stones in the Warm Springs area. Not a ton yet but they are there. Expect that the entire upper river will be completely hatched out in the next few days to a week. At that point you will have about 3 weeks to go get it done with your 3x and foam. With water temps climbing in to the mid 50's and flows below 4000 CFS its going to happen very soon. Covering water with a Purple Chubby or Beaver Chubby with a jig style fly is good right now. Expect most eats to come on the dropper but everyday will see an uptick on fish looking up. Traditional indicator nymphing with stone nymphs remains good. Make sure to avoid redds at all costs. Don't be that guy. A "Hero Shot" with a dark spawning redside is a "Zero Shot". Local walk-in traffic will likely be heavy until the 21st of May when its possible that boats may be able to float again. There is no camping at Mecca Flats Campground, Trout Creek or South Junction until further notice and the Warm Springs Tribe is not allowing any access on the west side of the river. We are hopeful for resuming more normal patterns in late May if for no other reason than to spread out the traffic on the river.

Lower Deschutes River Report

March 26th, 2020

With only a few weeks away from Opening Day (April 22nd) on the Lower Deschutes, we couldn't be happier. It's time to fill up the boxes with Stonefly Nymphs. A couple weeks after the opener look for the big Salmonflies and Golden Stones to make their annual migration up onto the overhanging grasses and banks and then the party will start. If the last couple years can be a guide to what to expect, look for the days around May 10th to start seeing the adult big bugs in the Warm Springs area. If you are interested in booking a trip during this fun (and busy) time send an email to Dave will give you good advice and get you dialed in with one of our great guides.

Currently, trout fishing is good in the open sections around Maupin. Nymphing (both indicator and Euro-styles) is productive. Perdigons, Small stonefly nymphs and Jig Pheasant Tails have been good. Also, look for some dry fly action each afternoon with Blue-Wing Olives and March Browns on the menu. Also, it would be a mistake to not have a few Skwala stoneflies in your box. Trout really dig the big meal after a long winter.

Lastly, please abide by any current government directives regarding access along the river and any pertinent travel restrictions which are in place for all of our safety, including the great people in Maupin.