Upper Deschutes River
The Upper Deschutes River, while less well known than sections downstream, is a wonderful fishery offering a range in character from placid elbows to wild whitewater.
From the headwaters at Lava Lake down to Crane Prairie and then Wickiup Reservoir lie two incredibly productive and diverse seasonal fisheries. Below Wickiup to Benham Falls this river produces both wild and stocked rainbow trout and brown trout. Most of the fish in this stretch are in the 8-14” range but larger fish are caught every year. A 34” 15lb rainbow trout was caught near the Harper Bridge in Sunriver in the summer of 2004! Fly fishing this stretch is best done from a drift boat, with the big hatches typically occurring early or late in the day. Action in the evenings can be quite good, particularly over weed beds and next to grassy banks.
The Very Uppermost “D”
Anybody who has experienced the Brook Trout fishing on the uppermost section of the “D” will tell the same stories about the number, aggressiveness and strength of the trout. Not to mention that the State Record Brookie came from this stretch. The river through this area bares little resemblance to the big, wide waters lower in the system. Up here it is more of a stream, narrow, fast-moving, meandering through stands of Lodgepole and Ponderosa pines and out into open meadows. There are bends, riffles, holes and undercuts, all classic Brookie water. This stretch of river is susceptible to run-off and aquifer conditions. The season runs from the last Saturday in May through the end of September. But if you are looking for a classic stream fishing experience in the Bend area, this is the river for you. Contact us for up-to-date conditions and fishing report.
The Next Stretch
Between Crane Prairie and Wickiup Reservoirs is another short section of river unique to the system. This is Brown Trout water, bigger, heavier and more challenging. But if you like stripping streamers in swirling pools for big browns, this is a great spot. The open season on this water is the last Saturday of May to the end of August. Flows are generally pretty consistent through the season. For anglers who don’t mind a little hiking for some outstanding fishing these two upper stretches of the “D” are the perfect day.
These are just two more reasons why this part of Central Oregon is arguably one of the great fly fishing destinations in the world. Pretty much anytime in June into mid-July you can be assured of good flows, heavy hatches and a day you’ll remember for years!
Down to Sun River
Below Wickiup the river charges through a pristine forest before slowing into the sweeping meadows above Sun River. The Fall River enters the system through this stretch. This is a perfect area for drifting slowly through some of the most beautiful riparian habitat you will ever see. The fishing can be pretty good too! Call for current flows and fishing report.