The Deschutes River Fall Steelhead Experience

It is hard to find the words to describe the experience of the Deschutes River canyon fall steelhead trip. It’s in Oregon’s high desert, sage and juniper trees line the hills where basalt cliffs tower and canyons veer through the crags.  This is home to chuckar, quail, bighorn sheep, mule deer and coyote. A National Wild and Scenic cooridor that hosts a bounty of other wildlife along the river too. Beaver, otter, muskrat, mink, varieties of ducks and geese, great horned owls to name a few.  Then there are the big birds; bald eagles and golden eagles which are often seen soaring the basalt cliffs and wind ruffled ridgetops searching for prey.  Whitewater welcomes the prepared here and eats the non-experienced for lunch!  The remoteness of the canyon is part of the adventure where 32 miles of hard to get to water invites your exploration.

The Deschutes river is an aqua ribbon through this desert landscape and is home to one of the most robust steelhead runs on the lower 48.  Here both wild and hatchery steelhead are seemingly somehow born with-out the abiltiy to resist the swung fly.  These fish average between 6-8 pounds but are often found to 10 pounds.  Each year we land fish in the mid-teens.  One does not simply put the breaks on when fighting a steelhead here.  Mix big water with powerful fish and it’s a recipe made for good seeing portions of backing line.  Hang on and enjoy the battle, don’t rush it; let that fish run and then coax him back.

Getting ready for Buckskin Mary Rapids.

Wading is required on the Deschutes as regulations do not allow for fishing out of the boat.  The best traction money can buy is well worth it here.

History abounds on the Deschutes.
The Deschutes River railroad has an incredible story starting back in 1908.

On this adventure you can wake up to the smell of coffee and step into a prime steelhead run just feet away from camp.  Fish til dark if you like and allow the glow of the lanterns in the large canvas tents to lure you off the water. Or perhaps it’s the smell of hot chocolate chip cookies coming out of the oven that welcome you to camp.  The sound of a crackling fire and dinner on the grill are part of the memorable adventure that tingles the senses and creates lasting memories.

As the weather gets colder times around the fire get better!
Campfires are allowed in the canyon after Oct 15th.  
The cool clear waters of the Deschutes are a mecca for salmon and steelhead migrating up the Columbia river.  Many seasons the Deschutes runs 10 degrees cooler than the Columbia river and is a much needed safety zone for salmon and steelhead.  

Big Deschutes river rainbow trout like to eat steelhead flies too!

Fishing the swung fly for fall steelhead

Bull trout on the Deschutes River. 

Wild turkeys in the Deschutes canyon.
Bighorn Sheep on the hills of the Deschutes Canyon

Home away from home on the river.

Come join us for an adventure that words cannot describe; once you see it you will soon know why many of our customers have been fishing this trip with us for nearly 20 years!  Make the most of your water time with Water Time Outfitters.  For more info visit us at: @robcrandall @sageflyfish #perfectingperformance 

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