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Deschutes River, Lower

Monday, January 23, 2:29 a.m. PST

Current River Levels

For 7-day, 30-day, and one-year graphs, click bold type below.





Shitike Ck / Peters Pstr

7 30 year

4.66 /

1 am

Shitike Creek / Warm Springs

7 30 year

1.17 / 65

1 am

Warm Springs / Kahneeta

7 30 year

1.44 /

1 am

Deschutes / Madras

7 30 year

3.25 / 5010

1 am

Deschutes / Moody

7 30 year

3.14 / 6640

1 am


Click bold type for weather from NOAA, Accuweather, or The Weather Channel










The Dalles




Government Camp




What to Expect in January

How to use this section.

Hatches divided by half-month.  Super    Major    Minor    Slight    None






Blue-winged olive

Saddle-case caddis

Spotted caddis

Green caddis

Golden stonefly


Little brown stonefly





Wait for the river to drop to at least 5,500 cfs before heading over here. With the cold weather, the Maupin area can get freezing fog. Also, anglers need to remember that the Deschutes River access roads are not maintained in winter, so a snow storm can make it difficult or impossible to reach the river from the access roads. Black ice can also be a problem. Check with a local source, such as Deschutes Canyon Fly Shop or Deschutes Angler Fly Shop if you're not sure. Still want to go? Read on.

Remember the river is now closed to all fishing where it borders the Warm Springs Reservation. This means everything is closed--both sides of the river--upstream from near river mile 69 (Maupin is at river mile 54; the Locked Gate is river mile 61).

If you can get to the river, you will still find summer steelhead. They're getting kinda dark and red, but they're there. Fishing continues to be inconsistent and often frustrating; that's just the way it is in January. Steelheading will continue through most of January, but at some point you've got to hang up the rod and leave the fish alone. A sink-tip line and standard winter steelhead flies will work most of the time for steelhead. For deeper runs and colder days, use a Type 6 sink-tip. Most of the steelhead action will be centered in the Maupin area, but it's possible to take fresh fish near the mouth, even this late in the year. If it's cold and the water temperature is in the low to mid 40s, you'll probably do better with indicator tactics.

Responsive trout can be hard to find until late in the month, but some are available. Whitefish don't mind the cold water as much as trout, so they are very active. Whitefish love a size 18 Pheasant Tail or Hares Ear dead-drifted on the bottom. Look for slowish runs and the slow side of current seams.

Little brown stoneflies will be present this month, and trout love 'em. They'll be around until spring. Try a size 14-16 black Elk Hair Caddis near the banks, or a size-14 black Hares Ear near the bottom.

Blue-winged olive hatches are sporadic until mid-February, but they sometimes bring trout to the surface. Whitefish, however, will hug the bottom even during a hatch. I've never ever caught a whitefish on a dry fly in the Deschutes. Other rivers, yes, but not on the Deschutes. If you want whitefish, give them a nymph.

Whether you're after whitefish or trout, nymphing will be your most reliable option. A size 10-12 stonefly nymph with a size-18 Pheasant Tail or Hares Ear on a dropper is a good combo. Alternatively, try a size-14 Prince or size 18-20 midge larva pattern on the dropper, or an Egg Fly in size 18 to imitate whitefish roe.

For more on January tactics and flies, see the Rivers in General forecast

Other Fisheries

Select a report for another fishery


Other Info Sources

Phone or click on links

The Caddis Fly Angling Shop 541-342-7005

Confluence Fly Shop 541-678-5351

Deschutes Angler Fly Shop 541-395-0995
Online report

Deschutes Canyon Fly Shop 541-395-2565
Online report

Fin and Fire 541/548-1503
Online report

Fly and Field Outfitters 541-318-1616
Online report

The Fly Fisher's Place 541-549-3474
Online report

The Fly Fishing Shop 503-622-4607

Gorge Fly Shop 541-386-6977

The Hook 541-593-2358
Online report

Northwest Fly Fishing Outfitters 503-252-1529

The Patient Angler 541-389-6208

River City Fly Shop 503-579-5176

Royal Treatment Fly Shop 503/850-4397

Feature Articles

Can the Deschutes Be Saved?

Thanks to the Birds!

Steelhead Tactics: Spey Casting for Noobs

Tactics: Thoughts on Flies and Presentation

Is the Deschutes River in Danger? Yes!

Oregon Spring Fishing--Beyond Salmonflies

Tower of Doom or Tower of Better River Management?

Lower Deschutes Steelhead with Sam Sickles

Deschutes Blue-Winged Olive Hatch

Hunting Trout in the Trees with Chris O'Donnell

Deschutes Salmonfly Hatch

Fishing the Deschutes with Chris O'Donnell

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