I spent the last couple days on the Lower Deschutes between Trout Creek and Maupin. My buddy Kyle and I were showing our friend Clay the river, training him to start running baggage this season, but we also got to do some fishing.
The river was running a little high (somewhere in the neighborhood of 5500-5600 cfs coming out of Pelton Dam), and a little off-color. The heavy snowpack in the Ochocos this year has the Crooked River running high and muddy as it melts, coloring the water in lakes Billy Chinook and Simtustus, as well as the Lower Deschutes River. The fish, however, did not seem to mind.
The nymphing was outstanding start to finish. Big flies seemed to be the ticket. Most anything seemed to work; various stonefly nymphs, mega-princes, possie buggers, whatever we tied on. We caught rainbows primarily, a few whitefish, and Clay caught this magnificent, butter-bellied sucker.
We saw very few rishing fish, but managed to bring a few nice trout to the surface, including this guy, who attacked an adult stonefly pattern.
The fabled Salmonfly hatch on the Deschutes is just barely getting started. We saw just a couple adult stoneflies flying around on our float, and all of those down closer to Maupin. In the coming weeks, the Salmonflies and Golden Stones of the Deschutes will grace the river with their annual emergence, and the dry fly fishing will really turn on.
Anyone interested in a top notch Deschutes River Flyfishing experience should call or email! Salmonfly season is already pretty booked, but we have the rest of trout and steelhead season to look forward to. The trout and steelhead fishing on the Deschutes is some of the best of what Oregon has to offer.