• Deschutes River Outing


  • The River

  • Considered to be one of the great rivers of the west, the Deschutes is renowned for it’s native redsides and acrobatic steelhead. The river’s greenish water runs in stark contrast to the pink stone of Oregon’s high desert. Depending upon conditions, anglers can enjoy nymph, soft hackles or dry-fly fishing, usually all. I like to fish nymphs or soft hackles during the day. When the shadows hit the water in the evening, I enjoy switching to dry flies. A big Clark stonefly or a Norm Wood Special will usually get visious takes on the surface. The river is big and fast moving, so plan to break it down into small pieces to get the best results. CSF’s Deschutes River outing has become an event that is anticipated throughout the year and it continues to be one of the club’s most popular fishouts. There is always a chance that the windknot of the year will take place in front of your eyes. Remember the flying espresso machine, Larry?

  • The Fishing

  • Whether you call beforehand or upon your arrival in Maupin, check in with John and Karen Smeraglio at the Deschutes Canyon Fly Shop (541-395-2565) for up-to-date river conditions and accurate recommendations on which flies are producing. Also, you can check their web site: www.flyfishingdeschutes.com. (←Link) Four- to six-weight rods work well. I like long rods for nymphing and short rods for drys under the trees. Nymph flying is always good. Dry flies get better as the water warms up. There is nothing like a redsides jumping on a dry stonefly. You do not need to be an expert to fish this stream. There are plenty of places for beginners to wade and fish. I recommend felt wading shoes with carbide small spikes and a wading staff. You can make a staff with an old ski pole and a cord to attach to your wading belt or buy one of the many good commercial models that fold up and are carried in the fly shops. Bring lots of flies.

  • Flies

  • Yellow Mays 12-18; olive, tan, gray & tan Caddis; golden & salmon Stone flies drys including dark Stone, Simulators, Madam X, Norm Wood special 4-8; Blue-winged olives 16-20; large dark & light Stonefly nymphs; Pheasant tails 12-18; Hare's ear 12-18; my favorite the Prince nymph 8-16. Try tying beadheads and some flashbacks. A new nymph that is featured in the Spring 2002 Fly-Fishing & Tying Journal, the O2 pupa may become a hot Deschutes fly this year. Our local fly shops and the Deschutes Canyon fly shop have these flies, plus some of their own special patterns.

  • Camping

  • Our plan is to camp again at the Beavertail Campground, which is about 12 miles downstream from Sherar's Falls. Gayle and I plan to be camping there with our trailer. If the campground area is not available, I will post some paper plates with the name of the new campground and leave word of the change at the Deschutes Canyon Fly Shop. Plan to be there early in the week. Check with the fly shop or BLM to see if water is available in the campground. Bring your camping gear, and I recommend plenty of water. NOTE: be sure to bring a gas-burning stove and BBQ. NO OPEN FIRES ARE PERMITTED. See DeLorme's Oregon Atlas & Gazetteer pages 63 & 84 for directions.

  • Optional Accommodations

  • For anyone who does not wish to camp, there are several options in the town of Maupin. Rates are reasonable.

  • Imperial River Co.
  • 304 Bake Oven Road
  • Maupin, OR 97037
  • 800-395-3903;

  • Deschutes Motel
  • 616 Mill Street
  • Maupin, OR 97037
  • 541-395-2626;

  • Oasis
  • US Highway 197 South
  • Maupin, OR 97037
  • 541-395-2611

  • Fishing Reports


  • For up-to-date information, log on to the following sites:

  • The Fly Shop

  • Deschutes River, Oregon

  • Kaufmanns Streamborn


  • Water Level Reports

  • For current water levels, click here.

  • Directions


  • There are a couple of routes that most of us use. The first: take I-84 out of Portland to the last exit in the Dalles (US-197). Go south on US-197 heading to Maupin. Turn left on Highway 216 to the Sherar's Falls Bridge. Cross the bridge, go straight about a half-mile; as soon as you cross the Buckhollow bridge, turn left onto a gravel road (Big Sign: Deschutes Canyon Recreation Area). Follow the river downstream about 11-12 miles, at the top of a short hill, turn left at the sign Beavertail Campground and follow the road into the campground. Look for my Terry Trailer.

  • The second route: Highway 26 over Mt. Hood, at the top turn left onto Highway 216, turn right onto US 197 to Maupin, cross the bridge, turn right half block for Deschutes Canyon fly Shop or turn left go one block past City Park, turn left and follow the river towards Sherar's Falls. At stop sign turn right and go straight about half a mile. As soon as you cross the Buckhollow Bridge, turn left onto a gravel road (Big Sign: Deschutes Canyon Recreation Area). Follow the river downstream about 11-12 miles. At the top of a short hill, turn left at the sign Beavertail Campground and follow the road into the campground. Look for my Terry Trailer.

  • Contacts

  • To contact the outing Fishmaster, see the contacts list on the About Us page.

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