Deschutes River, Lower

River Levels

GAGE TIME FT/CFS ℉/TB GRAPHS
Shitike Ck
Peters Pstr
8 am 5.83/345 ↑ 7 30 year
Shitike Creek
Warm Springs
8 am 2.24/316 ⇑ 7 30 year
forecast
Warm Springs
Kahneeta
8 am 3.45/1230 ⇑ 7 30 year
forecast
Deschutes
Madras
8 am 4.41/8600 45.7 7 30 year
forecast
Deschutes
Moody
8 am 4.52/11800 48.4 7 30 year
forecast

 

What to Expect in March

HATCH NYM/
LAR
PUPA/
EMER
DUN/
ADLT
EGG-
LAY
Blue-winged olive
March brown
Saddle-case caddis
Spotted caddis
Green caddis
Golden stonefly
Salmonfly
Small black stonefly
Skwala
Midge
Sculpin
Crayfish

Hatches divided by half-month.
 Super    Major    Minor    Slight    None

 

Blue-winged olives will be around all month, and will be an event through April. Expect the blue-wings to hatch around 1:00 p.m. (standard time). Slow runs and backeddies are the best places to find fish. For tips on backeddy fishing, see Three Quick Tips for Backeddies.

During a hatch, a size-18 olive Sparkle Dun , Parachute Baetis , or Comparadun should work well for you. If the hatch is intense, a slightly darker pattern will help you spot your fly among the naturals; the trout don't seem to mind the darker color.

The best hatches will be on overcast days, preferably with a light drizzle. This prolongs and intensifies the hatch, getting trout into a proper frame of mind to accept your imitation.

The Smurf Emerger is another option for blue-winged olive hatches. It's a fly developed especially for the Deschutes and is available at Deschutes Canyon Fly Shop in Maupin.

Outside the hatch times, a gold-ribbed Hares Ear or Pheasant Tail (size 18-20) presented near the bottom is a good tactic. Another good nymph pattern is the Zug Bug . It imitates drifting spotted caddis larvae, which are common in the upper 60 miles of the river.

Saddle-case caddis (Glossosoma) are very active this month. A size 16-18 creamy Sparkle Pupa can be productive when dead-drifted near the bottom. If caddis are hatching, this is the most likely genus.

A size-14 black Elk Hair Caddis or Parachute Black Stone should also be in your fly box. The little brown stoneflies are not a prolific hatch, but trout seldom ignores the adults. See Small Brown Stoneflies for details.

Egg Flies are another productive tactic at this time of year. The river has more whitefish than trout, and they spawn in winter. Trout will take roe that is drifting near the bottom.

March browns can become locally important about the second week of the month. A water temperature around 48-50 seems to get the March browns moving in numbers. A size 12-14 brown CDC Cripple or Comparadun works well during the hatch; Deschutes March browns have a tan or creamy underside, so pick your pattern accordingly. This is not a prolific hatch here, but some parts of the lower river have large pockets of March browns.

You may also see an occasional Skwala stonefly this month.

If you dredge a stonefly nymph on the bottom, you might pick up a spawned-out steelhead that is headed downstream. Let it go on its way.

For more information on March fishing, see the Rivers section of the General Oregon Report

What to expect in 

Map (enlarge)

NOAA, Accuweather, Weather Channel
Madras noaa
twc
accwx
Maupin noaa
twc
accwx
The Dalles noaa
twc
accwx
Government Camp noaa
twc
accwx

 

Other Info Sources

The Caddis Fly Angling Shop 541-342-7005

Confluence Fly Shop 541-678-5351

Deschutes Angler Fly Shop 541-395-0995

Deschutes Canyon Fly Shop 541-395-2565

Fin and Fire 541/548-1503

Fly and Field Outfitters 541-318-1616

The Fly Fisher's Place 541-549-3474

The Fly Fishing Shop 503-622-4607

Gorge Fly Shop 541-386-6977

The Hook 541-593-2358

Northwest Fly Fishing Outfitters 503-252-1529

The Patient Angler 541-389-6208

River City Fly Shop 503-579-5176

Royal Treatment Fly Shop 503/850-4397