The Lower Deschutes — Trip of a Lifetime

Rapids on the Deschutes

Wherever you’re traveling from, far or near, by car or plane, with friends, your spouse or your entire family, The Fly Fishers Place will give you a specialized, memorable, and entertaining three-day float on the Wild and Scenic Lower Deschutes River — A remote, 2,000-foot deep basalt canyon full of native redband trout.

Imagine waking up to the sounds of a running wild river, songbirds happily chirping, and a warm gentle wind rustling through the trees. You open your eyes and see the early glints of sunlight hitting rugged canyon walls and a wild river below. Then, the smell of freshly made hot coffee lures you out of your dreamy nights’ stay. 

You rise and greet this wild and remote canyon with a smile and anticipation of what’s ahead for your day. Will you catch an even bigger native redband rainbow trout? Will you see any Big Horned sheep scaling the steep cliff walls? Or, when you hear those exciting rapids ahead, what will it be like navigating through them in a drift boat rowed by an expert oarsman?

tents pitched in the deschutes canyon
Camp life on the Deschutes under blue skies in a majestic canyon.

The above image is brought to you by a magical place that does exist and the lucky ones like yourself get to visit. This magical place is the Lower Deschutes River.

The Wild and Scenic Lower Deschutes

The Lower Deschutes River flows through a wild and scenic desert canyon that’s located in beautiful Central Oregon. It’s home to world class fly fishing, breathtaking scenery, diverse wildlife, and a legendary three day fly fishing and camping adventure that calls your name. 

A guided three-day trip on the Lower Deschutes with the Fly Fishers Place is an extraordinary experience that offers plentiful opportunities for catching native trout that are biologically unique to this area of Oregon. The guides know the Deschutes River intimately and will row you to their secret spots they know will hold generous numbers of beautiful trout. It’s up to you to catch them, but each guide is highly trained and motivated to give you the instruction, gear, and guidance to make you a better angler. 

a drift boat with three people in it on the deschutes

Whether you’re a returning guest, coming back for another unforgettable trip. or you’re bringing your family for the first time, our guides will make sure you have a safe and fun three days on the river with lots of opportunities for catching fish. 

But there’s so much more. 

Deluxe Camp Life and Gourmet Meals under Starry Skies

This trip isn’t just about fly fishing, it’s about the entire three-day adventure and experience! Relaxing and enjoying the comfortable camp life after an epic day of fishing and enjoying mouthwatering and hearty meals. One of the best parts about the trip is the connection you’ll gain to the outdoors and the people you’re lucky enough to share this adventure with.

When you arrive at your deluxe camp, you’ll be greeted by your camp chef/host who will have everything in camp set up for you ahead of time. So, put your feet up, relax, and share special stories of the day and create memories for a life well lived. 

In camp, you’ll find a roomy tent with comfortable sleeping arrangements. So, when your head hits the pillow at night, you can dream about all the adventures that are still waiting for you down river.

Nothing brings people together quite like food. So, get ready to dine on delicious mouthwatering gourmet meals that are freshly prepared for you. The camp host/chef will prepare your breakfasts and dinners a stone’s throw from the river. There is nothing like food under starry skies with the essence of sagebrush and alder trees mixing with the camp cooking. The camp host/chef always calls you before the trip to ask for any dietary requirements or special requests, so your menu is sure to be a grand slam. 

A plate of food.

A three day Lower Deschutes trip offers unbeatable fly fishing, camping, and dining. These trips are available starting mid April and go through early November.

Deschutes in Spring — Eager Trout on Dries and Nymphs

Springtime rings in the season with hungry trout, and a thick Salmon Fly hatch by early to mid-May. Warmer days in the canyon are to be expected by May making for perfect conditions for dry fly and nymph fishing. Early in the spring trout are easy to fool after they haven’t seen a fly for the last several months. 

Deschutes in Summer — Epic Caddis Hatches

Summer months are perfect for fly fishing during the months of July and August. In fact, it is the best time for dry fly fishing on the Deschutes. We can’t emphasize enough the importance of the tremendous caddis hatches that happen on the Lower Deschutes during the summer. Besides the caddis hatch, pale morning duns and pale evening dun mayflies offer exceptional dry fly fishing at many times throughout the day. These hatches and the dry fly fishing that follows are what makes summer fishing on the Deschutes so inviting.

On the hot days you will find rainbow trout seeking and stacking up in the shady spots under the trees, and in a gentle back eddy sipping a mix of mayflies and caddis that are floating by.

In the evening, the guides on the Deschutes always talk about the magic hour for dry flies. You have to come see for yourself and make some of your own magic.

Deschutes in Fall — Trout and Swinging for Steelhead

In early to mid-September with the first hints of autumn, temperatures during the day will frequently be warm, but crisp autumn nights will turn the canyon golden. The dry fly fishing will slow somewhat, but the fishing is still great, both nymphing for trout and spey casting for mighty steelhead. The Columbia Basin steelhead start their migration from the ocean as early as July or August and will last into the winter months. September through November is the peak time to cast a fly for the celebrated steelhead run on the Deschutes.

If you book a trip after October 1st campfires are legally allowed, and with the longer nights there is nothing like sitting around the fire telling stories and sipping a favorite beverage, then tucking into a warm sleeping bag on a cold night and waking to a misty sunrise and the chance to swing the camp water for steelhead. 

A Totally Unique Experience on the Deschutes

One thing to note that makes the Lower Deschutes unique from many other Western rivers are special regulations requiring that NO fishing from the boat is allowed. This rule has been in place since the 1970’s and it’s there for the ultimate protection of wild fish, as it honors the private and tribal land ownership of this 100 mile Wild and Scenic stretch.

an angler and guide wading on the deschutes
The Lower Deschutes is wade fishing only.

The guides at the Fly Fishers Place will row you to spots that hold fish and from there you can wade safely out of the boat and have a phenomenal time fishing. 

Central Oregon — The Ultimate in Outdoor Recreation

A three-day Lower Deschutes trip is a fantastic experience on its own, or as part of an adventure on your extended Central Oregon vacation. Bend, Sisters and the entire Central Oregon area is a must do destination for your family for the ultimate in outdoor recreation. Before or after the fishing trip, relax and take in a challenge on one of many scenic golf courses, dine and drink at a local brewery, or have a blast while enjoying any activity including cycling, whitewater rafting, or even taking in the upscale dining and growing cultural scene Central Oregon is becoming more famous for. From rodeo’s to concerts, and a renowned film festival, you can work your fishing trip around many other fantastic opportunities for the ultimate vacation experience. 

Wherever you’re traveling from, far or near, by car or plane, with friends, your spouse or your entire family, The Fly Fishers Place will give you a specialized, memorable, and entertaining three-day float on the Lower Deschutes River.

three men sitting in chairs and laughing while at camp on the deschutes

So, this year get ready for three days on the Lower Deschutes with the Fly Fishers Place because it’s going to be filled with epic fly fishing, the ultimate camp experience, jaw-dropping scenery, and an unforgettable adventure with those who mean the most to you. 

At a Glance

Three day Lower Deschutes Float: Trout Creek to Harpham Flat
Time of Year: Mid-April thru November
Species: Native Redband Trout, Summer Steelhead
Two or three anglers — $525/person per day 
Four or more anglers — $450/person per day
Trout Creek to Harpham Flat

Ready to go? Contact us and let’s get started planning the trip you will never forget!

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