Fishing The Deschutes


The Deschutes River is undoubtedly the most well-known fishing spot among all the fantastic fishing spots in Oregon. Large summer steelhead and wild rainbow trout will slam a fly with authority and fight valiantly in the vast Central Oregon river, which gained its name primarily as a fly fisherman’s paradise.

The river travels northward, improving as it goes, and drains a sizable portion of the center of Oregon, reaching as far south as Klamath County on the eastern slopes of the Cascade Mountains. Even its tributaries, such as the Crooked, Metolius, and Fall, are renowned for their excellent fishing. The river offers many various sorts of stream types as well as several fishing chances. However, the two closely related native fish that are most responsible for its fame are the summer-run steelhead and the native rainbow trout known as redsides. The steelhead are rainbow trout that migrate as juvenile fish to the ocean like salmon and return as jumbo-sized fish, with both native and hatchery runs. Additionally, the Deschutes is home to a large population of native whitefish and a very tiny population of native bull trout, a char species similar to brook and lake trout.

Deschute River Trout

Although they can reach enormous sizes, bull trout are fiercely protected in most of Oregon, and if they are ever taken in an Oregon river, they must always be released uninjured. (Lake Billy Chinook, a sizable reservoir on the Deschutes, is the only place in the state where bull trout may be legally harvested.) Along with the steelhead, other well-known anadromous fish of Oregon can be found in the Deschutes. Chinook salmon have an autumn run that provides a consistent fishery. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife also permits harvesting of a spring Chinook run when good numbers are anticipated.

Deschuted River Fall Coho Fishing

Also returning to the lower river are coho salmon. Sockeye salmon, steelhead, and other species of salmon and steelhead can now be reintroduced into the upper reaches of the Deschutes River and its tributaries thanks to management adjustments at the large hydroelectric plant that creates Lake Billy Chinook. We should note that the new water regime has caused some debate among anglers. Local anglers have had to adjust as a result of some of the typical patterns in the fishery changing, despite their ongoing efforts to persuade officials to modify the water releases. Additionally, there are non-native species in the Deschutes, such as certain middle stretches with good German brown trout fishing and a large population of Eastern brook trout in the uppermost section of the river, where the state record for this char was caught.


Catching Bass on the Deschutes

From the Columbia River, smallmouth bass have entered the lower river. roviding some excellent opportunitis to some premium bass angling as well.

The Deschutes is by far one of our favortie river to guide and we think you’ll agree once you’ve hooked into a spunky summer run steelehad or spiring chinook salmon.