Lower Deschutes River
The 39 miles of the Lower Deschutes River on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation offers world class fly fishing for Rainbow Trout & Steelhead. The Deschutes River is one of the premier trout rivers in the nation with 1,700 fish per mile. The river is equally special for the great steelhead fishing. The most celebrated trout water is the section below Pelton dam where Littleleaf Guide Service takes our clients. This cascading stretch of water holds excellent hatches of caddisflies, mayflies, stoneflies, and midges. We are the only outfitter to offer single day and multi-day camping trips on the Native side of the River. While the other side of the river has lots of pressure our clients fish on tribal lands where we have the river to ourselves. Essentially we have 39 private unspoiled miles of fishing access you can choose between our luxury Pavati Warrior drift boat and 4 wheel drive trips. We are the only company that offers vehicle access.
The Deschutes River is home to the Columbia River Redband Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss gairdneri) known locally as "redsides". The redsides grow larger than most trout and also have a distinct darker red stripe than most wild rainbow trout. The section we take our guests on is Oregon's finest fly fishing section for native rainbow trout. These native trout grow thick and extremely powerful for their size. Averaging 15-18 inches with large ones topping out around 25 inches, these unique rainbow trout are notorious for their strength, often running harder and jumping higher than rainbow trout in any other river. They are noticeably stronger than trout who do not have to cope with life in such a big, powerful river. It is common for our clients to catch multiple trout over 20 inches in a day.
The Lower Deschutes River in Oregon has one of the best runs of steelhead in the United States. Perfect water temperatures, regulated flows and the presence of hatchery and wild steelhead makes the Deschutes River one of the most consistent steelhead fisheries. Deschutes River Steelhead average between 23"-29 inches in length, and weigh between 6 to 9 pounds. Larger steelhead up 14+ pounds are caught each season by our guests.
These powerful fish begin migrating up the Deschutes River from the Pacific Ocean in July, and occupy the river through March. By late July or beginning of August, there are excellent numbers of steelhead in the Deschutes River. By September fish are spread throughout the entire river, with the run peaking in late September - early November. When the weather cools in September, the steelhead respond. They are notorious risers for skated dries and initiate takes that leave even fly fishing veterans exhilarated.
The scenery is rugged and beautiful on the Warm Springs Reservation section of the river as rambles through canyons, calm stretches, and then drops sharply through Whitehorse Rapids. Besides great fly fishing, the Lower Deschutes is home to some of Oregon's most dramatic scenery and wildlife, including Owls, Bald eagles, Osprey, Blue Heron, Big Horn sheep, Mule deer, Elk, playful Otters among other wildlife.
Whether it is spinning rod, fly fishing, or spey fishing, Littleleaf Guide Service has you covered. We have also filmed numerous promotion videos of one of the most popular hatches that only comes once a year on the famous Deschutes River. The legendary Salmonfly Hatch. This hatch starts in May and goes through the month of June.
Steelhead seasons offer some of the best fly fishing on the river. Long, hot summer days make for endless opportunities to hook into aggressive rainbow trout & steelhead. The Lower Deschutes produces all day-long caddis hatches with Pale Morning Duns at dawn and Pale Evening Duns at dusk. The ample amount of bugs, cause the rainbow trout to look towards the surface to eat. Anglers who love dry fly fishing, this is the best time to visit the Lower Deschutes River.
September & October are great months for fishing the Warm Springs Reservation side of the Deschutes River. The weather is pleasant, and steelhead run is at its peak in our section of the river. These turbo charged, sea going rainbow trout (Steelhead) return to their native spawning grounds. Fly fishing during this time of year offers anglers the greatest chance for catching both rainbow trout and steelhead. For those not afraid of the cooler temperatures, November and December can offer great fly fishing opportunity. Anglers can have record setting days, since the largest numbers of steelhead are in the system.
If you enjoy fly fishing for large redside rainbow trout and powerful native steelhead, the Warm Springs Section of Lower Deschutes River with Littleleaf Guide Service is truly a world class fishing experience for experts or novices.
Both the Salmonfly hatch & Steelhead seasons are both very limited in spaces available. Littleleaf Guide Service recommends to book in advance for both because they fill up fast! For more information & to book your dates for fishing the Lower Deschutes:
Please call 541-615-0402 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Tight lines & wet nets...
The following Passes & Licenses are required:
Boater Pass (per boater) - www.boaterpass.com
Oregon Fishing License (per client) - www.dfw.state.or.us
Tribal Permit Area 2 (per client) - www.tribalpermit.com
We do not provide any gear other than a small selection of flies we tie, please bring your own chest high waders and all rods, reels and flies. Wading boots must be studded...the river has been becoming more and more slippery every year!