Last week, I was fly fishing the Lower Deschutes River with my friend Eric. This has been mostly an annual event for the several years and it’s something I look forward to.

Eric Releasing Rainbow on Deschutes |

The image above is Eric’s reaction when the fish decided he’d had enough pictures!

We launch at the Warm Springs boat ramp and leisurely make our way downstream the 10 miles to Trout Creek.

Deschutes River Launch |

Eric gets on the river around 11 am, which fits my desire to be the first of the second wave. All the guides have launched and are ahead of us.

The Salmonflies and Golden Stones were all over the grasses as the boat slide into the water. The images below show a variety of bugs in the mating process.

Here is a closeup of the Salmonfly adult and a recent empty nymphal shuck after an adult climbed out.

As we floated down the river, Eric had told me about the rock slides from recent torrential rainstorms which resulted in blowing the river out of shape for a few days. I was ready with my camera as we approached each slide.

I can’t imagine the amount of water flowing down these canyons and all the force needed to move these boulders!

Continuing our tradition, I’m barbequing what we call “riverburgers” and tending bar, making Moscow Mules.

The fishing…

Well, the fishing was slow for me with only two trout landed for the day.

This is the only image of my 16 or 17 inch Rainbow before it exploded out of the net.

Deschutes River Rainbow |

I think Eric landed 3 or 4. Here’s one of his.

Deschutes Rainbow |

I always marvel at how strong these fish fight!

Most of the insects were in the first couple miles of our float. The farther we drifted downstream, the fewer bugs we saw. We noticed an occasional rise, but the fish seemed to be taking a break.

Even thought the fishing was slow for us, the drift is always beautiful. Here are a couple images of the canyon.

Deschutes Canyon |
Deschutes River Canyon |
Deschutes River Canyon |

On a warm day, the river can be a wonderful place to cool off!

Deschutes River Slippery Rocks |

Even after a dunking, he came up with a smile on his face!

Fly Fishing Deschutes River |

Enjoy…go fish!

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  1. That is always a nice drift. I happened to be camping a crossed the river from that big rock slide during the thunderstorm. It was pretty scary to see the mud flow coming down, I made a video of it on my youtube channel if you want to check it out. Needless to say the fishing for us was pretty bad that day after to the storm.


  2. I think I met eric on the metolius one day. There was a fella just downstream of me at a popular hole that had been watching me toss flies at fish all afternoon with no success. He offered me a green drake biot pattern that had been tied by a guy he knows in sisters named John. First cast, fish on! then, broke off… He was grinning, his job was done and i called that trip a success! Still wish i knew what exactly that pattern was, i’ve been meaning to order a bunch from you..

  3. Hi John,

    I hope it’s OK for me to let your group know that you make the BEST on the water coffee I’ve ever tasted. AND it’s called “River Coffee!” Yes, I know the fishing was good; your great pictures show the results and the bugs that were hatching but your picture of the lunch brought back memories of the great coffee. Take care & …

    Tight Lines – Al Beatty

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