Guide Chronicles: Autumn on the Lower Deschutes with Fly and Field

Guide Chronicles: Autumn on the Lower Deschutes with Fly and Field

As this crazy summer wanes into fall, our focus turns downriver, to the mighty Lower Deschutes River and its amazing denizens. For many of us, this is our favorite couple months down there. With the shorter days comes one of the bigger bites of food the fish see all year, the October Caddis. Last year’s hatch was the best we’d seen in a long time, and while the fish don’t key in on the mostly nocturnal adults, the pupae -jumbo-sized and pumpkin orange- quickly becomes a sought-after morsel for both trout and steelhead. After several long months of making a living on little mayfly and caddis, the October bug is a veritable feast. Last year we had incredible fishing on dry/dropper rigs from mid-September all the way through October. There’s no reason to think this year will be any different.

If you’re looking to DIY down there, don’t hesitate to reach out to the shop for tips on flies and rigging. We are always more than happy to help get you into some nice fish. But if you’d like to get a taste of the good life, be chauffeured down the big river by one of our guides, please read on!

We have some prime date availability for Day Trips and Multi-Day Camp Adventures. As for the Day Trips, these run from Warm Springs to Trout Creek. We fish almost ten river miles that offer every conceivable kind of water, from classic riffles to prime buckets and slots, to some of the tastiest swinging runs on the entire hundred miles of Lower Deschutes River. We know this stretch of river as well as anyone, having put in the time over the years. Our guides have collective decades of experience, so your chance of a solid day of fishing goes up hugely being out with us.

By late-September we anticipate a Steelhead showing up, enough to target in all our favorite spots. While the anadromous fish is always an unpredictable quarry, no matter what, the trout fishing should be solid and fun well into November. We do, however, have a reason for optimism this year with the steelhead. The counts on the Columbia have been promising. Early season on the lowest stretches of the river was really good sporadically. The latest push of fish got hammered with the White River puking like a frat boy on a Saturday night, which usually means the fish will make moves upriver to get out of the muck. This could help us, with our fishing getting good maybe a week or two earlier than usual.

The trip you should really try to make happen, the one we most enjoy running, is the Multi-Day Camp Trip. For us, this typically means running the 34 miles from Trout Creek to Maupin. Most of these are three-day adventures although we love the four and five-day trips even more! This is our favorite trip for myriad reasons. If you’ve been down there, you are familiar with many of them. The fishing, scenery, camps, rapids, epic remote beauty. It’s all down there, in spades. Our camp has been upgraded and dialed in over the last six years to the point of efficient perfection. From the expedition-grade The North Face tents to the deluxe cot/pad combos, the mega camp kitchen and large, comfortable dining tent, to astonishingly delicious meals, we will pamper you beyond anything you’ve experienced on a river trip before. We are so proud of this trip. Whether it’s just you or you have a group of ten, we can create memories to last a lifetime down there.



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