Fly Fishing Opportunities in Oregon
April 22 Trout Season Opener Deschutes River
The stretch of the Deschutes River from Warm Springs to Trout Creek is some of the most popular and productive fly fishing water in Oregon. There are many Redband Trout per river mile. It is easy to float in a raft or drift boat, which may be used for transportation, but fishing from a boat is not allowed. Fishing is usually done from the bank or while wading. This is prime native, wild trout, tailwater fishery. This section of the river borders the Warm Springs Indian Reservation on the west side. It opens April 22 and remains open until October 31. On the west side of the river this is called Area-2 and requires a fishing permit issued by the Confederated Tribes. (Click Link to Buy a Permit) Area-2 starts at Dry Creek Camp Ground and extends downstream to a distance of approximately 6 miles to the Wasco-Jefferson County line (approximately 1/4 mile downstream of the mouth of Trout Creek). The Fishing from the east side of the river extends from the upper guard rail a mile above the boat launch on Hwy 26 at Warm Springs to the northern border of the reservation. A reservation permit is not needed when fishing from the east side of the river. That side is open from April 22 until December 31.
Don’t forget that there are another 91 river miles of the Deschutes downstream of Trout Creek and it is all great trout fishing.
April 22 Trout Season Opener Metolius River
The Metolius River is a large spring creek that flows out of the ground at the base of Black Butte, a large volcanic cinder cone about ten miles west of Sisters Oregon. This mountain acts as a giant sponge that traps rain and snow-melt and forms an underground reservoir that feeds this huge spring, which is situated in the climatic transition zone between the rainy west slope of the Cascade Range and the high arid desert of Central Oregon. The surrounding forest is largely made up of Ponderosa Pine with scant understory that gives the area a uniquely beautiful open forested personality. Twelve miles of the Metolius is designated as fly fishing only. The Metolius River is one of the great wild fish experiments in Oregon.
The area from where the spring first appears to Allingham Bridge (about 6-miles downriver) is closed in the winter to protect spawning fish. This section is open April 22 – October 31. Catch and release for trout. The Metolius is fly fishing only from the head waters to Bridge 99 (12-miles).
Deschutes River Lower 100 Miles
The water flows in the lower Deschutes River is already down to summer levels. It is hard to tell if there will be spring run-off from snow melt. Below the mouth of White River there is is slight discoloration, but the river is very fishable. Expect to see sparse caddis hatches and some Baetis mayflies. However, the best fishing has been with small nymphs.
Deschutes River Trout Camps
We have done guided trout trips on the Deschutes River since 1981. A great deal has changed during that 40-yerperiod. We adapted to each of the changes and moved our operation up and down the river to avoid crowds and provide the best angling experience for our clientele, while staying from notice of our competition.
During the last 10-years due to the way PGE draws water from Lake Billy Chinook, the lower 100-miles of the Deschutes River is much warmer during the winter than it used to be. That situation has changed hatch timing and placement within the watershed.
The Salmonfly hatch is now May 1 to May 15 instead of May 15 to June 20, as it was 40-years ago. The warmer water has also shifted parts of the hatch downstream of Shearer’s Falls. True there are not as many Salmonflies in the Deschutes below Shearers as above, but certain sections have as many or more Golden Stones and have huge hatches of Olive Stones. The dry fly fishing can be extraordinary with very little fishing pressure from other anglers.
May 1 to May 10: I’m planning on setting up a camp downstream from Mack’s Canyon and parceling it out to client parties the same as fall steelhead trips. Four clients max in camp, with individual sleeping tents. Same price and same amenities as steelhead trips.
We can put you where trout live and help you hook them up. Nymph fishing, Trout Spey and Dry Fly fishing can be all be available nearly every day. Camp will be complete with a fly tying kit, entomology kit, hatch matching PowerPoint presentation, and casting skills lessons, upon request. Some spaces are already booked. Deschutes Trout Camp
Good News for the Lower Deschutes
Seems as though the tannish yellow crane flies, which had nearly disappeared over the last ten years are returning to the Deschutes River from Sherer's Falls to Heritage Landing. Though not in the numbers seen thirty years ago they were hatching this week and bringing trout to the surface.
Sandy River & Clackamas River
The winter steelhead fishery will extend through April. The Sandy has the best late season of the two rivers for winter runs. Spring Chinooks will start showing when the water reaches 50-degrees. This happens much earlier in the Clackamas than in the Sandy. Expect a few Chinooks in the Clackamas the first week in May and in the Sandy the last week in May or the first week in June. Friends of mine are catching some Chinooks in the Willamette River as this is being written. We do Spring Chinook trips. These trips are always contingent on fish runs and water flows: Swinging Flies for Spring Chinooks
Mark's Calendar for Open Dates