Deschutes Advice Needed - Page 2 - Spey Pages
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post #16 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-08-2019, 05:04 PM
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the D

with all that being said, i would reiterate smaller flies, traditional and/or natural colors seemed to work for me.
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post #17 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-08-2019, 06:28 PM
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I'm with Rick on the guided deal. It will for sure increase your odds exponentially but isn't really a requirement. There is plenty of access along that road and the runs are fairly obvious. Pretty much anywhere you can wade you can fish. Pull outs with a obvious trail down are your best bets and just explore mid-day so you can be on the spots you like the most early and late.

Stopping at Deschutes Angler is another great suggestion. They will be sure to help you out a bit. This time of year you probably have the same odds no matter what style you fish so just do what you like.

We're getting some early rains and fresh rain in the desert is a treat all by itself. Keep your eyes on the canyon hills for rams as well. Truly a magical place.

Have a great time!
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post #18 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-08-2019, 10:05 PM
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If it were me and knowing that I was not only new to steelheading but also new to the deschutes. I would get a guide for the first day and pick the guides brain for as much info as possible. Especially info on where to fish on the road side of the river. That way the next two days I would have knowledge of spots that hold fish with the right techniques and flies to catch them while saving several hundred dollars in guide fees. Good luck!
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post #19 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 10:49 PM
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Best of both worlds!

You could:

Call Deschutes Angler, Chris O'Donnell (, Taylor Geraths (Taylor Made Outfitters), Sam Sickles (Steelhead Outfitters) get a guided trip for a day or two...then attack w/ the river w/ the knowledge you have gained.

The guides know where the fish have been hanging out and will have you in good water...up to you to fish it well.

I think if you explain that you would like to do a guided trip for a day or two days then fish on your own a few days, you'll find they will be more than helpful in talking you through the water you are looking for once on your own.

It does not really matter if you are way above Maupin, Maupin to Mack's or down river below Mack's Canyon. The river repeats itself over and over and once you know what you are looking for...there is a plethora of good water...Could even handle the 2008/2009 crowd when fishing was lights out good!

Less time wasted, learning curve shortened, extra fun to be had!

~Steelhead Caddis
~Gerath's Curb Feeler
~Fiddle "D"
~Steelhead Coachman
~Rowell's Steelhammer
~Berry's M.I.L.F
~Anderson Euphoria Brown...a personal favorite
~Standard stuff like G. Butt Skunk, Freight Train, Coal Car
~Johnson's Outlaw Blue
~Lum Plum
~St. Pierre Hobo Spey
~Berry's Rambulance Blue or Orange
~Hickman's Fish Taco

Scandi as a dry line...Skagit and a moderate tip if you like!

There's my .02

Bruce Berry~
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post #20 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-10-2019, 01:59 PM
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I agree that you should hire a guide. Travis Johnson, a world champion Spey caster and instructor, grew up in Maupin and knows that river as well as anyone. He's always put me into fish on the Deschutes. You can contact him online at All Waters Angling. But here are some other great guides: Hawkeye Hawkins, Brian Silvey, Marty and Mia Sheppard, Sam Sickles, and Mark Bachmann. I've fished with Travis, Hawkeye, Marty and Mark. They're all good. The Deschutes is not an easy river to fish. The wading is difficult in many places, largely thanks to dynamite blasting during construction of railroad beds on both sides of the river that hurled huge chunks of basalt into the river bed. It definitely helps to have a guide. I seldom fish the Deschutes without one. Good luck with your adventure.
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post #21 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-10-2019, 02:38 PM
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John & Hazel, couldn’t ask for a better place to start, yes on a guide, worth the bucks..
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post #22 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-10-2019, 03:04 PM
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I like to figure out rivers for myself, that's half the fun for me.

The Deschutes is an easy river, in my opinion, to do it yourself on. There is so much access between Maupin and Mack's and also many campsites that doing it yourself in that area is pretty easy.
Hiring a guide will certainly increase your chances of finding fish and you'll learn a lot but if keeping the cost of the trip down is important you should feel confident in working out the river on your own.
As others have mentioned there are turnouts everywhere leading to popular water. One day driving around and looking at where other people fish while you find spots for yourself should provide more than enough water to keep you busy

For whatever it's worth, I have never hired a guide anywhere. I would if it was the only way to get on the water and I really wanted to fish specific water but it really isn't necessary on the Deschutes.

Explore around, talk to people in camp who are fishing. Most people will be more than willing to share information, how and where they have been fishing, what flies they are using etc.
I've met some good people on the water that I have ended up fishing with and around and have shared many campfires with people I just met. People have given me flies and I've done the same for others.
The first time I floated/drifted Mack's to the mouth I spent a fun night in Wagonblast drinking cocktails with a couple of older guys one of whom made me get my map book in which he marked off every campsite he thought was good and made notes in the margins about the best runs to fish.
I still read through it even though I don't really need it just because it makes me smile.

One of the guys I met on the Deschutes I ended up doing a trip to B.C. with, we still keep in contact. Of course some people just want to be left alone to do their thing and that should be respected but it doesn't take more than a second or two to figure that out.
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post #23 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-13-2019, 01:05 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the input from so many! I feel much better now about approaching the deschutes. I cant wait to get out there.
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post #24 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-13-2019, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Lacheng View Post
Thanks for all the input from so many! I feel much better now about approaching the deschutes. I cant wait to get out there.
From a fellow American River rat, let us know how you do and what you learn.
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post #25 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-13-2019, 10:24 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I have already learned from my first post there are many wonderful and helpful people here. I will definitely report back when I return from the D. Hopefully, I might even have a piscatorial picture or 2,( at the risk of sounding greedy).
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post #26 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-22-2019, 08:50 PM Thread Starter
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Just back from my Deschutes trip last night. Thanks to the input from so many, I went far better prepared than I would have otherwise. I did stop by and visit the good folk at Deschutes Angler. Quite an impressive shop.
We fished 3 days unguided, and found the river very approachable with many access points to great water.
It rained a lot during the first day and night. By second day, the river below White River was high and muddy. We fished upriver of the White, as did a gazillion others. We saw the same drift boats that started O' Dark 30 , come right back up river an hour later.
The only low holing encountered were when people cut in below me on the run i was fishing. But they were mostly kind enough to leave me 100 yards of water. Is that still low holing? One guy seemed a bit miffed when I quickened my pace to fish behind some mid stream boulders that formed a nice long soft water before he could cut in. Felt a bit like combat fishing. Not knowing the Deschutes and being relatively new to steelhead fishing, I didnt know what to expect or how much space people should allow or expect on a long run. I guess when the river gets muddy, everyone has to crowd into whatever clean water there is. Most everyone I encountered was very friendly and I enjoyed chatting with them. I even met a formerly local guy who moved to Sacramento, near my neck of the woods.
The Deschutes is a beautiful place, lots of river miles to access, and I look forward to returning to learn the river better. One guy I met who fished the river a lot made a comment that stuck in my mind. He said he focuses a lot of time on a small stretch of river to know it really well, rather than explore all over.
Thanks again for so many helpful replies to my first post.
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post #27 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-22-2019, 09:11 PM
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Sometimes you have to do that to make it clear you are not an easy target. It’s weird, but I have occasionally found some of the most experienced people and locals are the ones that when they see a new face in “their spot” test out the margins of etiquette the most. I think you behaved rightly - use it or loose it. There are alway going to be people who figure, “oh well, if he doesn’t say anything I’ll just push in”. If you were physically able to step downstream fast enough to deny him his intended spot I’d say that is one working definition of an attempted low hole.

But if it was as crowded as you say I’m sure it was frustrating for everybody all around. The White is a little SOB. It drains the glacial stuff on Hood, and so has super-fine-ground silt in it when it is melting up there.

“Gravity is a harsh mistress!”, The Tick
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post #28 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-22-2019, 10:51 PM Thread Starter
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I usually like to start higher up river and fish towards what I think are best holding water, but that's how I lost the tail out to some who cut in front of me. But I didnt want to start my day at the tailout. I guess there was a learning experience. I was there before first light. I should have fished the prime tailout first, before the other less prime waters.

I think I must have come upon many people's favorite spot because it got more pressure than any other spot i fished. I didn't have that experience at any of the other spots.
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post #29 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-22-2019, 11:06 PM
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Sounds like you did just fine. The Deschutes is a special place.
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post #30 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-24-2019, 02:26 AM Thread Starter
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Yes, Deschutes is a very special place. I can't wait to return. Thanks again to everyone that helped make the trip for me.
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