Oregon’s Best Hatch-Deschutes River Salmon Fly Hatch

Deschutes Salmon Fly Hatch
Fly fishing the Deschutes Salmon Fly hatch is to experience some of Oregon’s best fly fishing!

Experience the best fly fishing in Oregon’s- Deschutes River salmon fly hatch in central Oregon.  Amazing scenery, epic whitewater, wildlife, and great camps combine for what is one of the west’s best fly fishing trips.  Float, camp, fish and you’ll soon fall in love with Oregon’s Deschutes River.

Tradition has it in Oregon that when the Dogwood trees start to bloom the spring Chinook are running; another tradition that holds true in Oregon is when the Redwing Blackbirds show up on the Deschutes River the Salmon Flies are hatching! That call of nature is heard by more than just birds and fish. Fishermen flock from all parts of the globe to see this “freak of nature-four winged-food bananza” happen on the banks of our favorite river.  The Deschutes River salmon fly hatch is an annual event.

Golden Stones and Salmon Flies
Golden stones and salmon flies hatch in May on the Deschutes River and are a favorite food for trout.

Salmon flies and the golden stones are insects that live underwater in the substrate of the river, some for up to three years in what looks to be an armored outfit. Only clean oxygenated rivers with all the right components have hatches like the lower Deschutes River. When the water temps hit 52.5 degrees, these armoured meat packages crawl out of the water into nearby vegetation and shed their skin as it were like the proverbial worm to the butterfly. These critters are not anywhere near the graceful beauty of a butterfly and are clumsy fliers; often crashing mid-flight with a smack into the water making a veritable food buffet for hungry trout.

Anglers of all skill levels can enjoy the dry fly action of the Deschutes River salmon fly hatch!

The intensity of this unique hatch which is found in only some of the most legendary rivers of the west can be amazing. Afternoon flights of thousands of these four winged fliers can pepper the sky. Driving near the river during one of these afternoons can be disasterous; leaving bloody smears of the three inch blobs coating a vehicle. The good news is these clumsy critters do not bite.

The fish however do, they seem to love them and viciously attack a floating food morsel of both salmon flies or golden stones. The goldens seem to be the preferred meal – perhaps they are sweeter? All this combines to provide anglers on the Deschutes- who have the good fortune of timing their trip right – some unbelievable dry fly fishing!

Salmon Flies
A variety of flies work this time of year. What is best are big bugs representing golden or black stoneflies.

Favorite fly patterns for the hatch:

Chubby Chernobyl – Golden
Chubby Chernobyl – Salmon Fly
Chubby Chernobyl – Norm Woods
Sofa Pillow
Clark Stone
Norm Woods Special

Favorite Tapered Leaders for this hatch:  7-1/2′ 3X tapered leader

Other hatches that show at the same time:

Blue Winged Olives
PMD- pale morning dun
Green Drakes (inconsistently)

Good bank fishing access can be found around the town of Maupin both upstream and downstream.  There is good access atr Warm Springs along hwy 26 and at the Mecca Flats campground just downstream from the Warm Springs boat ramp about 1 mile.

To really experience the best of the hatch, in the most remote parts of the canyon join the crew of the guides from Water Time Outfitters. Their goal is to surpass your expectations with expert, fun loving guides and exceptional hospitality, so you can focus on your love of fishing, maximize your success and take home memories that last a lifetime.  The WTO guide team has many decades of experience fishing the banks of the D. Groups of 2- 10 anglers can easily be accommodated. Enjoy the comforts of home right on the banks of the river with a their signature camps on a three or four day float trip.  See more at: Deschutes River Float Trip

Deschutes River camp with Water TIme Outfitters
Campfire time along the river in the spring is a great time to reflect on the fishing of the day while mesmerized by the glow of the fire.

The Deschutes River is one of Oregon’s most treasured rivers flowing 252 miles from it’s origin in the high cascade mountains.  The Deschutes is a tailwater river with a series of dams that regulate flows.  Different than many rivers in Idaho or Montana that are plagued by snow melt and muddy flows in the spring it’s rare for the Deschutes river to turn muddy in providing for optimal fly fishing conditions.  The hatch is typically during the month of May but will often stretch into early June.    Visit www.watertimeoutfitters.com for more info.


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