Feb 17,2006 00:00
While the Deschutes River is famous for its summer run steelhead, good fishing opportunities exist well into the winter for summer-run hatchery fish that remain in the river. Summer-run fish are slow to mature and do not typically begin spawning until early spring in the Deschutes . Slowly migrating or holding fish provide anglers opportunity throughout the Lower Deschutes for most of the winter. While not as popular as the summer fishery, winter steelhead angling offers anglers greater solitude than in the busy summer months.
The ODFW releases hatchery steelhead into the Deschutes from Round Butte Fish Hatchery, located near the base of Pelton Dam. In addition, hatchery steelhead from throughout the Columbia Basin also enter the Deschutes, and while most eventually leave the Deschutes and continue their journey to their native stream, many remain in the Deschutes, providing anglers additional harvest opportunities.
Fish can be found throughout the river during the winter, but areas upstream from Sherars Falls generally provide the greatest angler success.
The Deschutes River is open for steelhead angling the entire year from the mouth of the river upstream to the northern boundary of Warms Springs Indian Reservation.
While bait fishing in prohibited on the Deschutes , anglers use a wide variety of techniques. Successful anglers cast sinking flies, pitch spinners, spoons, or plugs, or drift fish with artificial baits and jigs. Large tracts of public land provide bank access, along with boat access throughout much of the river.
Anglers are allowed an additional fin-clipped steelhead per day, for a total daily limit of 3 adult fish.
Water Clarity: Warm Springs to White River - visibility is 5'-7' average. White River to Heritage Landing - visibility is 4'-6' average.
Water Temperature: 40-45 degrees.40-45 degrees.
Book your Deschutes Fly Fishing Trip for the 2006 Season
***If you are going to fish the Deschutes or Crooked River, Hwy 26 is the most direct route from Portland to Central Oregon. Here is a good way to check out the road conditions through the Cascade Mountain Passes: