Oregon Fly Fishing Opportunities for 2023 – Guided Trips with Water Time Outfitters

Deschutes River steelhead fly fishing is a blast!
Oregon Fly Fishing Opportunities abound, this summer steelhead was caught on the Deschutes River in October with a swung fly.

There is no shortage of Oregon Fly fishing opportunities for 2023 and the guides at Water Time Outfitters have been guiding anglers on Oregon’s best waters for over 30 years.  Experience the line sizzling battle of steelhead, the thrill of an aggressive take on the surface with wild rainbow trout, the acrobatic and hard fighting shad (by the millions), big hard pulling Smallmouth Bass and of course wild salmon fishing!  What’s not to love about fly fishing opportunities in Oregon?  Join the guide team of Water Time Outfitters for an Oregon fishing adventure you won’t forget.   Check out the 2023 fishing calendar below.

Oregon Fly Fishing Opportunities f0r 2023 starts with our most amazing fish- Steelhead.  These amazing creatures born in freshwater and migrate to the ocean each spring.  It’s when they return as adults that the sport really begins.  These fish are some of the most aggressive of anadramous fish and are especially hard fighting.  With the rocket fuel to burst 35 miles per hour these fish are fast!  Their naturally aggressive nature lends them well to swinging flies with spey rods.  This style of fishing is hard to beat.  It’s a relaxing way to wade through a pool looking for the biting steelhead.

Jan through April is prime time for Oregon winter steelhead.

Steelhead in Oregon can be found year-round with specific months showing the best opportunities.  Jan-Mar is prime time for winter run steelhead.  These fish arrive and spawn quickly, ready to return to the ocean.  They are often the largest steelhead of the season with possibility of 20+ lb steelhead.  These fish are found in most of the coastal rivers of Oregon with the Sandy and the Clackamas Rivers near Portland showing decent returns most years as well.  April – July is when summer steelhead show in a number of Oregon rivers.  These are referred to as the Skamania strain steelhead which commonly stay in the river for nearly 6-8 months giving anglers plenty of fishing opportunity.  July-November timeframe is the summer/fall run of steelhead in the Columbia River basin.  Oregon’s primary fall steelhead river is the Deschutes River.  This fishery is one of the most amazing steelhead fishing rivers on the planet.  Here water temperatures and the aggressive nature of steelhead combine to produce some of the best swung fly steelhead fishing around.  On average years there are ample steelhead to be found.  Here, swinging flies on the surface is the most fun.  Using easy casting floating lines and small flies are the best combination for anyone who is addicted to steelhead fishing- this is the best!

Deschutes River is one of Oregon’s best rivers to fly fish for wild trout.

When it comes to trout in Oregon fly fishing opportunities the spotlight has to be on the Deschutes River.  Running through the town of Maupin, OR the Deschutes is the hallmark of trout fly fishing.  The best of the best is the spring salmon fly hatch.  During this time giant stoneflies, 2-3″ long fly about along the river corridor, commonly crashing into the water.  This provides a high protein diet for trout who aggressively smash the surface for these bugs.  This timing is in May but the Deschutes secret is fishing in the summer and early fall.  This time of year the fishing pressure drops off significantly and trout fishing can be ridiculous!  For the best Deschutes river adventure check out Water Time Outfitters’ three day float trip down the wild and scenic Deschutes canyon- it’s amazing!

Fly Fishing for American Shad on the Willamette River is so fun! The Columbia/Willamette Rivers host the worlds Largest Run of Shad!

June is the month where Oregon Fly Fishing Opportunities reach a new level; the worlds largest run of American Shad enter the Columbia and Willamette Rivers in June.  These fish are 1-4 pounds and fight impressively.  We use #5-#7 weight rods for these hard fighting fish that arrive in large schools each day.  During the month of June it is common for 4-7 million shad to enter the river.  Yes, that’s MILLION! Needless to say, fishing is typically fast and furious.  We recommend this to anyone who wants to catch fish and especially fun for new fly fishers.  See more about this amazing fishery.

Smallmouth bass fishing near Portland can be fun and productive!

July-August smallmouth bass fishing can be amazing.  These are some of the biggest river smallmouth bass to be found in Oregon.  We fish a little known section of a rural river not far from Portland, OR.  This is dependable with some trophy sized smallmouth a possibility each outing.  The average size bass is much larger than you might find on other Oregon rivers known for smallmouth.  These guided smallmouth trips are day trips with sightings of deer, bald eagles, hawks, osprey and blue herons common.

July- Sept summer and early trout fishing can be stellar!  We have some great options for trout fly fishing in Oregon.  The world class Deschutes river is tops for Oregon and the summer action can be excellent.  The weather is typically sunny and warm, the canyon scenery amazing and the fishing good to very good!  Single and multi-day float trips are so much fun in the Deschutes canyon.

Guided Carp Trips in Oregon
Oregon fly fishing trips for Carp are a fun way to keep your saltwater fly fishing skills sharp.

July-August guided fly fishing trips for Carp on the Columbia River has some unique fishing opportunities that can really test your fly fishing skills.  Carp are very numerous and sight fishing to these spooky fish is the perfect test to help build your saltwater flats fly fishing skills.  These fish are commonly 10-20 pounds and are often into your backing on each hookup.  Casting accuracy makes the game in this setting as good casters tend to have the best results.  The backdrop and scenery are a stunning addition to this sight fishing trip.

Deschutes River Guided Fly Fishing Trips
A Deschutes River fall Steelhead caught by a long time Water Time Outfitters client.

August-November is prime time for fall steelhead on the Deschutes River in Oregon.  These are the hottest fish of the year and are often into your backing in a flash.  Swinging flies on the surface is the best game – a pinnacle of fly fishing for sure.  Experience the hook up on a steelhead here and you will understand the saying, “The Tug is the Drug”!   These trips are either jet boat camp trips or drift boat camp trips.  Try joining us for our special Guest Chef Steelhead Camp Trip for an amazing fishing adventure combined with the best meals on the river!

Chum salmon
Chum salmon arrive in November – totally catch and release fishing this fishery is thriving!

Nov 10-15 is prime time for guided Oregon Chum salmon fishing on the Oregon coast.  A couple rivers flow into the Pacific that get amazing returns of wild Chum salmon each year.  These fish are big, strong and aggressive fighters.  Chums are often 10-16 pounds with some larger.  Each day large pods of chums salmon arrive in the lower rivers on the high tide.  These fish surge up the river to their spawning areas.  Catching them low in the river system and fresh from the ocean you’ll find aggressive fly eating fish.  They will literally chase down your fly and smash it!  Double digit hookups are common on these single day float trips.

Nov-December fly fishing for late fall steelhead on the Clackamas river can be excellent some years.  This is an up and down fishery.  Check in with us to see how the fishing is for a single day float trip.

Oregon Fly Fishing Opportunities 2023 – Water Time Outfitters Guide Calendar 2023

Jan, Feb Mar, April         Guided Fly fishing for steelhead.  Oregon Coast rivers, Clackamas, Sandy Rivers.  Jet boat, drift boat or raft

May-                                   Deschutes River Trout fishing- Salmon Fly Hatch- drift boats

June-                                  Fly Fishing for Shad on Oregon’s Willamette River- jet boats

July-August                      Fly Fishing for Smallmouth Bass- jet boat trips

July-August                      Fly Fishing for Carp on the Columbia River- jet boat trips

Aug, Sept, Oct                  Deschutes River Spey Water Jet Boat Camp for Summer Steelhead

Oct, November                Deschutes River Drift boat camp/float trips for Steelhead

November 10-15              Fall Salmon Fishing Oregon Coastal rivers

November-December     Clackamas River late Fall Steelhead


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