Deschutes River, Lower




► If the river suddenly rises, such as following an intense rainstorm, fishing will be poor until the extra water subsides or stabilizes at a consistent level for a few days.

► This time of year you will find more trout in backeddies and in slower water near the bank than you will in faster water.

► Trout will sometimes take drifting roe from spawning whitefish; a peach colored egg fly drifted near the bottom can be effective.

► Be prepared for midge hatches in the warmer parts of the day.

► Streamers, such as Woolly Buggers, Morrish Sculpins, and Muddlers can sometimes be productive.

► Trout fishing will be pretty slow for the next two months. You might have some luck if there is a blue-winged olive hatch. In general, nymphing with small, dark flies will be the best strategy.


► The river is closed from Pelton Dam to river mile 69 (northern boundary of Warm Springs Reservation). For reference, Maupin is at river mile 54, and the Locked Gate is at river mile 61.

► Wait for the river to drop to at least 5,500 cfs before heading over here.

► With the cold weather, the Maupin area can get freezing fog. Also, anglers need to remember that the Deschutes River access roads are not maintained in winter, so a snow storm can make it difficult or impossible to reach the river from the access roads. Black ice can also be a problem.

► Expect cool days, occasional rain (or snow) and sometimes bitter winds. Bring extra clothes in case you slip and get wet. If you're headed over here from the Willamette Valley, be careful on the roads.

► Anglers coming to the Maupin area from Portland may find it faster to go through The Dalles and take highway 197 at this time. While it's farther, you seldom encounter snow, and that can make for a faster, safer trip.

► The major tributaries--Trout Creek, Warm Springs River, White River--can dump muddy water into the Deschutes after a big storm. However, if you fish between Warm Springs and Trout Creek you can usually avoid these problems.

► Take special care not to disturb spawning salmon or walk on their redds (nests; distinguishable by the clean-scraped gravel).

► Many anglers look down their nose at whitefish, the trout's poor cousin, but whitefish are plentiful and they're more active in cold water than rainbow trout. They like small nymphs, so winter is a great opportunity to hone your subsurface skills. Besides, whitefish are better than no fish. Look for them in slow runs and the inside bends of riffle corners.


What to expect in