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Deschutes River, Lower

Friday, July 29, 12:14 p.m. PDT

Current River Levels

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





Shitike Ck / Peters Pstr

7 30 year

4.43 / 66

11 am

Shitike Creek / Warm Springs

7 30 year

0.94 / 43

12 pm

Warm Springs / Kahneeta

7 30 year

1.05 / 235

11 am

Deschutes / Madras

7 30 year

2.80 / 3880

12 pm

Deschutes / Moody

7 30 year

2.54 / 4200

11 am


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










The Dalles




Government Camp




What to Expect in July

How to use this section.

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






Slate-winged olive

Pale morning dun

Yellow quill

Pale evening dun

Saddle-case caddis

Spotted caddis

Green caddis

Golden stonefly

Yellow sally






Trout. Caddis, pale morning duns, midges, and pale evening duns are the primary hatches, especially the first two; the PMDs will fade by mid-month, however.

Fishing will be fair in the morning hours (watch for caddis and midges in the backeddies in the early a.m.). Afternoons will be slow, but good fishing will return in the evening. You can still pick up fish during the bright midday times, but you have to be more clever about it: look for trout along the banks, under shade trees, and in fast, broken water.

If there's a pale morning dun hatch, it will probably start about 11:00 a.m. and end around 1:00 p.m. or 2:00. If it's a cloudy day, the hatch will start earlier and be more intense. Dead-drift a size 18 Pheasant Tail or Gold-Ribbed Hares Ear near the bottom before the hatch. Then switch to a size 18 Sparkle Dun, Parachute PMD orPMD Cripple when trout are taking duns from the surface. Carry Rusty Spinners in size 18 in case you encounter an evening spinner fall of PMDs.

Following the PMDs, many trout will take a siesta until about 5:00 p.m. when they will begin looking for caddis and midges. However, it is possible to pick up trout on the surface even in mid-afternoon. To do this, look for shady areas near the bank and cast a size 14-16 Elk Hair Caddis or other adult pattern; tan or olive are good color choices. If you can, fish the west side in the afternoon because it will be shaded first.

Carry size-14 tan, size-16 gray and olive, and size-18 black caddis patterns, such as Elk Hair Caddis, X Caddis, Casanova Caddis, or CDC Caddis. Spent caddis patterns can also be effective, especially in the morning. Jeff Morgan's Lights Out Caddis imitates this stage.

You might run into a pale evening dun hatch between 4:00 and dusk, but this hatch is on the way out. Craneflies, yellow sallies, yellow quills, and aquatic moths are other possibilities this month.

Spotted caddis and saddle-case caddis are still hatching. A few blue-winged olives may be in the mix around mid-month. Make sure yellow sally and cranefly patterns are in your fly box, as well. Aquatic moths--which resemble caddis--are another factor at this time of year.

The golden stoneflies and salmonflies are essentially done, although you might encounter a straggler or two. Even so, trout might take an imitation early in the month in the upper river; some habits are hard to break, especially if your brain is the size of a pea (I speak here of trout, not anglers).

As the weather turns sunny and hot, and as the river fills with anglers and rafters, trout might move farther out in the river and into the broken whitewater areas. They will also hug the banks and be in rocky areas. They're seeking safer, more oxygenated water. That's where you need to seek them.

Steelhead. It's not all about trout, of course. This is the month that summer steelhead arrive in fishable numbers. By mid-month, we should be catching some steelhead in the lower 15 miles, and by the end of July we should have reliable fishing as far up as Beavertail, and maybe farther.

The Deschutes is great summer steelhead water, and classic wet-fly swing tactics work well. Good fly patterns include the Freight Train, Green Butt Skunk, and Streetwalker. The best fishing is in the low light periods near dawn and dusk, but it is possible to pick up steelhead at midday. If you can't stand being off the water even when the sun is high, use a sink-tip line and a weighted purple Woolly Bugger; fish will be in deeper water, shady areas, and up under the foam at the heads of riffles.

No matter which species you're pursuing, remember that July weather can be unsettled and afternoon thunderstorms sometimes occur. Be prepared with rain gear no matter how sunny it looks when you start out. Carry plenty of drinking water (don't drink the river!).

Be extremely careful with fire this month. No smoking except in a car or boat. No campfires. No charcoal briquettes. No matches. No Coleman stoves with liquid fuel (propane is okay).

For more on July 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

Deschutes River Spring Trout

Tower of Doom or Tower of Better River Management?

Deschutes Late Season Steelhead

Lower Deschutes Steelhead with Sam Sickles

Deschutes Blue-Winged Olive Hatch

Deschutes December Steelhead with John Smeraglio

Hunting Trout in the Trees with Chris O'Donnell

Deschutes Trout, July

Deschutes Steelhead, 2010 Season

Deschutes Salmonfly Hatch

What to Expect on the Deschutes

Westfly Makes Donations

Fishing the Deschutes with Chris O'Donnell

The Drift--March 2004

The Drift--February 2003

An Oasis of Tradition on the Deschutes

Recent News Articles

Deschutes, Hood rivers to Open for Spring Chinook. April 01, 2016

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