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The Deschutes River


The wild and scenic designated Deschutes River has a beauty of its own. Located in the high desert of Central Oregon it flows north to the Columbia River. The Deschutes River and its tributaries, which include the Metolius, Crooked and Fall rivers, covers the middle 1/8 of Oregon. The rich riparian zone bordering the river has a dramatic back drop of volcanic basalt cliffs. These canyon walls are formed by the Columbia River Basalts, which are 20 to 40 million years old. The Deschutes canyon itself is a relatively young three to five million years old. Wildlife is abundant, with a plethora of waterfowl and upland game birds. There are also cougar, deer, elk, big horn sheep and coyote. It is not unusual to see river otter, mink, beaver and muskrat. Fish populations include red band rainbow trout, steelhead, Chinook salmon, bull trout, mountain whitefish, northern pike minnow, and suckers. It is truly an oasis in the middle of the desert.

Trout fishing is good season start to finish, with prime time being May through mid August. May has outstanding nymph fishing, with the salmonfly hatch starting mid-month and lasting through mid June. Mayfly and crane fly hatches start with the salmonfly hatch and last through the season. Mid June brings on abundant caddis fly hatches through August. These legendary caddis hatches often reach blizzard proportions.

The world famous Deschutes steelhead run starts mid July and continues through December. The first two months of the season offers steelhead and trout fishing in summer weather. Mid September through mid November the river has a higher concentration of fish and, a lower concentration of fishermen.

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