Trip Highlights

  • Drift ten miles of the Lower Deschutes River from Warm Springs to Trout Creek
  • Wade and fly fish for wild “redside” rainbow trout
  • Oregon’s most famous blue ribbon wild trout stream
  • Our most popular guided trip

Trip Overview

Wade and fly fish for wild “redside” rainbow trout on Central Oregon’s blue ribbon trout stream, the Lower Deschutes River. Our daily guided drift boat trips take you from Warm Springs to Trout Creek on a ten mile wild and scenic float through the Deschutes River Canyon and provide turn key access to some of the best fly fishing near Bend.

Fishing Program

The day begins at 7:00 am at Bend Fly Shop. The shop shares a patio with Sparrow Bakery, a great place to grab coffee and a delicious breakfast if you’d like (they have to go options). At the shop you’ll meet your guide and carpool about one hour to the Warm Springs Boat Launch on the Lower Deschutes River. This is where your fly fishing float trip begins. Alternatively you can meet your guide at the Madras Safeway grocery store. From Madras your guide will take you to the river and back to your vehicle at the end of the day. Daily float trips from Maupin, Oregon can also be arranged. We lived in Maupin for ten years and are intimately familiar with that stretch of the Deschutes.

The float from Warm Springs to Trout Creek is about ten miles. We typically fish two anglers per boat and guide, however three anglers per guide can be arranged. The drift boats are used for transportation down river and provide access to both banks as well as many productive islands and gravel bars. There is no serious whitewater in this stretch and the drift boat provides a safe and comfortable ride down river, making this trip appropriate for just about any age level.

All fishing is done on foot. You will need waders and wading boots, although just wading boots and shorts (wet wading) are appropriate during warmer summer weather. Rental waders and/or wading boots are available through Bend Fly Shop.

On the Lower Deschutes you’ll fly fish for native rainbow trout, locally known as redsides, that average 12 to 15 inches and provide great sport on a five weight fly rod. Larger fish are common. Redsides are brutally strong for their size and, once hooked, their initial blitz catches many anglers off guard.

Beginning anglers will find that this trip offers a very well rounded fly fishing experience. We are happy to pass along skills and technique. Our guides are patient teachers and are happy to be on the river with you. Fly rods are available for you to use, and casting and fishing instruction is part of our service.

Experienced anglers will enjoy our guide’s hard charging enthusiasm and bird dog-like knack for finding trout. We are dry fly aficionados and will do what we can to put you on rising fish.

A variety of hatches keep the trout feeding on the surface many days throughout the season. The busiest time of year on the Deschutes is May and June during the salmonfly and golden stonefly hatch. The trout key in on the big clumsy stoneflies and dry fly fishing can be fast and furious. After the stonefly hatch fades for the season caddis flies become the most important item on the dry fly menu. July brings warm sunny weather and consistent dry fly fishing, as the trout must eat a ton of these little insects each day. Throughout the summer and fall the trout continue to feed daily on a smattering of small caddis, mayflies, craneflies, and midges.

When the trout aren’t rising we use several different nymph fishing techniques, including indicator, Euro-style, and dry/dropper, as the trout do much of their feeding subsurface. There are many days where we will opportunistically fish both dry flies and nymphs to capitalize on each good fishing spot as we come to it.

Lunch is provided and served either streamside or right in the boat. We happily accommodate dietary requirements and preferences. Your guide will have plenty of drinking water in the boat. Please bring any special beverages you would like.

You’ll likely hit the take out between 4 and 6 pm. Please let your guide know if you would like to be back in Bend at a certain time. We are happy to accommodate your schedule with an early take out or overall later meet and take out times.

Rates

Full Day Float:  $550 (1 or 2 anglers), $650 (3 anglers)

Season

Opening day in April through October.

Included: Guided fishing (one boat and guide per one to three anglers), lunch, drinking water, fly rod setups, flies and fishing tackle. Transportation from Bend, Redmond, or Madras can be arranged and is included as part of the service.

Not Included: Rental waders and / or wading boots, fishing license, Deschutes Boater Pass, Warm Springs Tribal Permit, alcoholic beverages, guide gratuities.

You Will Need: Waders and / or wading boots, Oregon fishing license, Deschutes Boater Pass, and Warm Springs Tribal Permit. We can assist you with obtaining these items, except for your fishing license.

Location & Travel

Trips begin at Bend Fly Shop – 50 SE Scott St, #7, Bend, OR 97702 – about 54 miles from the Warm Springs Boat Launch. Alternatively, you can meet your guide at Safeway in Madras – 80 NE Cedar St, Madras, OR 97741 – about 12 miles from the boat launch.

Pre and post trip accommodations in Bend or Madras should be handled independently.

Licenses & Permits

Fishing License: You will need a valid Oregon angling license. Daily licenses are available (daily combination angling license, available online at https://or.outdoorcentral.us/or/license. You will be responsible for purchasing your fishing license. Daily licenses run $16.50 per angler.

Boater Pass: You will need a Deschutes Boater Pass, a BLM fee and document available at https://www.recreation.gov/permits/251980.  Boater passes cost $6/transaction fee + $2/person (weekdays) and $8/person (weekend days) and are limited in availability during peak season (Memorial Day weekend through Octboer 15th depending on the stretch of river), so early reservations are encouraged. We are happy to assist you in obtaining your boater pass. Please contact us for details.

Tribal Permit: Recommended but not required, a Warm Springs Tribal Permit (https://tribalpermit.com) grants you access to 8 miles of great water along the Warm Springs Indian Reservation. We encourage each angler to have a Tribal Permit, and are happy to purchase Tribal Permits on your behalf. Tribal Permits are $14 per person / day.

Bend Fly Shop’s outfitter, Chris O’Donnell’s Guide Service, is an equal opportunities recreation provider operating under special recreation permits granted by the Bureau of Land Management for the Lower Deschutes, Crooked, and John Day Rivers.